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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

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