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Andy Reid Year Two: What to Expect for the 2014 Chiefs

Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

When it was announced that veteran coach Andy Reid would take over for the struggling Kansas City Chiefs, the Kingdom erupted with cries of joy. Reid was one of the most sought after coaches when the 2012 season came to a close and his dismissal was just a matter of time.

Chiefs CEO Clark Hunt, knowing his struggling franchise and unhappy fan base needed a change, was able to secure Andy Reid to helm is team.

For the Chiefs currently on the roster, and with the bitter taste of the worst season in franchise in history, the introduction of head coach Andy Reid was met with enthusiasm and a bright outlook for the future. They also knew their 2012 record was not a reflection of the talent on this team. But, the team was lacking the direction necessary to achieve greatness that escaped them.

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One of the first things Reid did was to bring in his choice of staff members while still retaining a couple of coaches from the previous organization that he knew could help. He also helped to secure new general manager John Dorsey, former director of football operations from the Green Bay Packers. Together they had the daunting task of putting the pieces together from a broken team.

Their first move as a newly formed duo was to secure Alex Smith from the San Francisco 49ers. Reid knew that the place to start was to get this team a proper quarterback, and that is exactly what Smith is.

After some roster tweaking and draft selections, the 2013 Chiefs team took shape.

No one could have predicted the success Coach Reid would have over this team, as they shocked the NFL by going a staggering 9-0 to start the season. They also knew that right after the bye, this team would be faced with the toughest part of the schedule as they faced the Peyton Manning Broncos twice in three weeks. It was here that this amazing start had its reality check as they finished the season 11-5 with a loss in the playoffs to the Colts.

However despite the rocky start to the end of the season, some key pieces slowly came together. For the first half of the season the Chiefs relied on their attacking defense and the error-free play of the offense. In the second half of the season, the offense found its stride as the defense lapsed in play. For quarterback Alex Smith, being labeled a game manager was not a stigma; there is nothing wrong with playing efficient football in which you can control the clock and help move the ball.

For the first nine games in which the Chiefs went undefeated, Smith averaged 213 yards per game. The second half, including the playoffs, showed just how much more acclimated Smith was becoming in the Reid offense, averaging 253 yards per game. This was the result of the coaching and the offense starting to click as a team and not being afraid to air out the ball.

Alex Smith not only silenced his naysayers, but also put together career bests in both passing and running. He finished the year at 3,691 yards, 27:7 touchdown-to-interception ratio (including playoffs), all of which are his career best in those categories. So one could argue that once Smith got comfortable in that offense he began to shine, and it showed in his production.

Jamaal Charles, the Chiefs’ first and foremost offensive weapon, also had a stellar year in the Reid offense. Already by far the most explosive weapon on the Chiefs offense, he posted career records in touchdowns (19) and in receptions (70) for 693 yards. Charles had such an amazing year with the Reid offense that he was even named NFL Fantasy Player of the Year.

What does this mean for the second year of Andy Reid’s Chiefs? Well judging by what has been displayed thus far, great things are still to come for this resurgent team. Another year in the Andy Reid offense can only help solidify what has already been displayed. The one major change that should occur during the offseason is to build around Alex Smith. He needs a good second wide-out to take pressure off Charles, and hopefully with how Dwayne Bowe preformed in the playoff game, it is an indication that the chemistry between Smith and the Chiefs’ No. 1 receiver is improving.

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The second major change that will happen in the Reid/Dorsey Era is to help build the defense. The defense of the first half of the season was different to the second half. They did not have the same fire they once had. Of course injuries played a part in that, with Tamba Hali and Justin Houston going down, but even after their return, the defense just did not have the same passion as before their bye week. Look for Bob Sutton and Company to continue to find the key players that they want in order to put together a hungry defense once more.

Kansas City Chiefs Head Coach Andy Reid knows how to win, and he is developing that culture in a team that has a lot to look forward to. As the offseason continues, Reid and Dorsey will make changes that will allow this team to not only compete, but become a legitimate contender and make a run at dethroning AFC West Champions Denver Broncos.

What say you, Addicts? What would you like to see from Reid and Dorsey in the 2014 offseason? Sound off below!

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Tags: Andy Reid Jamaal Charles John Dorsey Kansas City Chiefs

  • Tristian

    Get alex smith a deep threat number 2 and fix the secondary. I think this team is on the verge of exploding because they never beat a team with a winning record and despite denvers epic super bowl collaspe I promise all the pundits will pick the chiefs to finish 3rd in the division because of Peyton Manning and Phillip Rivers. Thats fine by me. I dont mind proving the world wrong yet again. The chiefs secondary has to improve more than anything. Thats the number one need in my opinion for this team. Dorsey and Reid are no idiots so I hope they realize why we lost the playoff game. It was secondary play moreao than anything else. Get that fixed and chiefs win the division although I believe it will be 10 or 11 wins the division next year due to thw tough schedule and denver wont go 5-1 again in the division and chiefs wont go 2-4.

    • KCMikeG

      Spot on analysis and prediction. Thanks – it would have taken me far more words.

      • Tristian

        Lol sometimes it takes me too many I know what you mean

    • sidibeke

      I’d say there is no level that doesn’t need help on D. Secondary, obviously, most glaring is FS. LB needs help. We got killed by dump off passes to TEs or RBs (see the SD @ KC game). We need more of a pass rush from our front 3 (DEs). I feel like an improvement in ANY of the 3 areas will make the other 2 all the better, but I have been known to be deluded by my rabid devotion to the team.

      • Curtis

        I disagree about the LB core. We have the best set of LB’s in the NFL. The devastation brought on by the screen pass had more to do with scheme planning. Sutton made play calling mistakes that cost us and they need to review that in this offseason.

  • Chris Tarrants

    Proof read your article before you publish! Good thoughts and good article but your fingers weren’t movin as fast as your brain was! Happens to me all the time

  • Erik Hild

    I want to see a playoff win. I’m 24 years old so I don’t remember the last one we won even though I was alive. I have faith in Andy Reid and John Dorsey to put together a successful offseason and draft to improve our team.

  • andy

    I agree with most of this. Sutton may need more playmakers, but not enough is talked about how he could be the problem. Giving up a31 point lead in less than one half is a coaching problem.Indy was one dimensional at that point, with pretty much one wr who was burning us. I’m trying not to think about the parallels with this team and the Dick V years when everyone knew our defense was the issue except the head coach. I am not saying Dick V did nothing to fix it, but…I have more confidence in Reid.

    • Tristian

      It may not be talked about enough but I promise you we all know its on Sutton. Like u said it was one guy who beat us in one half. Unacceptable. Seattle can play cover 3 all day because of elite execution almost every play. We don’t have those kinds of players at least it appears that way. Mix up the coverages. U cant give good to great qbs too mich presnap info. But safety play falls on Sutton. The whole defense is on him. Like Peyton Manning. If you praise him when he throws 55 tds you better bash him for the worst game of his career on the biggest stage in New York last week

    • Dan

      I’m with you. I felt coaching lost us that game.

  • tomflex

    Going into last year all I was truly looking for was a team that was fun to watch. A team that could hang with anyone and still be in most games in the final quarter. I was hoping for an offense that could move the ball consistently and score touchdowns instead of having to settle for mostly field goals. Defensively I held no particular expectations, so many question marks at so many positions, not to mention the coaching end of it made it a bit unreasonable to expect much. I was ok with that…….
    Based on what i just wrote I should be nothing short of ecstatic for how it all played out…but to admit dummy me jumped on that crazy wagon and rode it right over the cliff. Not the Chiefs fault…that’s all mine.
    This year?….I totally expect the offense to continue getting better simply by the fact that the system stays the same (a rarity in this neck of the woods). Any changes here will be minor and can be addressed through the draft.
    Defense? I’m going to trust Andy and John on this one. Andy feels the defense is in good hands with Sutton and I have no sound reason to start questioning him now. John knows what the defense needs personnel wise and he (unlike a silly little clown or two from seasons past) knows how to make it happen.
    Schedule looks tough but they must say the same when they see us on theirs……playoffs baby!

  • Tyler_KC_Fan

    To start out the year I thought the Chiefs would go 9-7 at best. Needless to say I was very surprised when we started the year out 9-0. I had a feeling the honeymoon feeling would end after the bye week because of the schedule and we still seemed to struggle against teams that weren’t doing very well last year.

    Andy Reid has always been known as a offensive guy so I’m betting he will fix the few holes we have on the offensive side of the ball.
    I’m hoping Sutton gets himself some more help in the secondary, can help Sean Smith a little because he got burned way to many times which would eventuallly cost us some games, and get himself another pass rusher.

    John Dorsey is someone I really like. He has a great track record when it comes to players drafted, and he seems to see something in some players that other people don’t.

    If the Chiefs don’t get a solid #2 WR then we can’t really expect the offense to do much better. Charles played out of his mind and Bowe seems to be on the decline from the past two year. If he continues on this path then we might be in more trouble than anticipated. The holes on defense are more than I can think of right now, but all I can do is hope they stay healthy.

    I think the Chiefs will win 10 games this year. As long as Manning is with the Broncos it will be difficult for the Chiefs to win the division. I’m not worried about Oakland and I think the Chargers had more luck on their side this year than anything else. Some could say the same for the Chiefs, but I think the Chiefs will come back better and get 2nd in the division and play the first week of the playoffs again. Hopefully we win.

    I’m a Royals and Chiefs fan through and through and I’m getting tired of watching us do nothing great in the playoffs. Like someone else said, I’m 22 and haven’t had anything happen in the playoffs besides depression and anger. All I want is to see playoff success, why is that so much to ask for?!

  • Stan Colbert

    I am really concerned. I look at our list of FA and Salary Cap and feel it will be difficult to resign them. I look at roster replacements and the ones I am most excited about are completely unknown. The rest are downgrades in my opinion. This year missing the 2 round. pick hurts. And the kicker is our schedule next year is killer suggesting significant improvement necessary!

  • KCMikeG

    Nice work Nick! Isn’t great to have so much to look forward too! The best part is it isn’t just my Homer attitude this time. We have some very talented players, coaches and front office working in unison with our owner who stepped in to save the day. A little fine tuning here and a few parts replaced there and this team is going to be a top 12 team for years. I know some worry that we have a window with some of our stars aging but Dorsey isn’t the kind of GM to not have the plan for who is next. The way they brought in the consultants on the offense this year should be replicated on the defense by bringing in a consultant or two as Sutton showed he could use some help. Who knows they could potentially be his replacement.

  • kcpauly

    What is a matter with you Nick? you are not suppose to write about the Chiefs here at AA, you are suppose to write about Pop Culture, and P.C. bullshit, man I don’t come here to read about the Chiefs, I come here to hear about homo’s being sensationalized, and ex-coaches being slandered for vanilla comments, get it together man… really nice read and keep it up, you are our last bastion of hope for PURE CHIEFS news thank you
    Go Chiefs!!!!!