The Kansas City Chiefs are rebuilding again.
They’re just trying to do it while still winning games.
When Scott Pioli and Todd Haley came to Kansas City to save the franchise, they immediately began tearing apart the roster. Pioli essentially sacrificed the entire 2009 season so he could institute “the Patriot way” by bringing in a bunch of New England castoffs in order to “change the locker room culture” of the Chiefs.
For a fleeting moment, it seemed to work. The Chiefs stunk in 2009 but then in 2010, Pioli’s hand-picked QB, that he traded a second-round pick for, and a few of his recently drafted rookies, contributed a 10-6 season that saw the Chiefs win the AFC West.
The 2013 Chiefs, in many, many ways, were just like their 2009 counterparts. QB Alex Smith, while not overwhelmingly brilliant, took care of the football. RB Jamaal Charles got a lot of touches. The team was fairly lucky in the injury department.
Neither team, however, was close to being good enough to win a Super Bowl.
Chiefs fans should be thrilled with what John Dorsey and Andy Reid did last year. The due came in and brought winning back to Kansas City. They gave the Chiefs Kingdom some hope and proved that steady leadership and smart QB play can turn a team around faster than a “Patriot Way locker room shakeup.”
Still, Dorsey and Reid didn’t come to Kansas City to continue the franchise’s legacy of first-round playoff heartbreak.
Over the course of the last week, we’ve heard rumors that the Chiefs are considering drafting a QB and also that they might deal franchise CB, Brandon Flowers. While all this could just be some pre-Draft smoke-blowing, I wouldn’t be so sure of that.
Many of the players on the Chiefs’ roster were not drafted to play in Reid’s offense or Bob Sutton’s defense. That doesn’t mean that they aren’t good players to have but it does mean that their time on the roster is likely limited. The Chiefs do not have a lot of salary cap room and so it is foolish to think that Dorsey is going to pay a lot of money to veteran players that aren’t good fits for the team’s system.
Every coach and GM wants to fill the roster with “their guys.” Dorsey and Reid will be no different. Don’t expect the Chiefs to be dumping Jamaal Charles any time soon but if Dorsey believes had has a younger, cheaper player that is a better scheme fit than an expensive veteran he didn’t draft, Dorsey is going to make the move.
The changes have already begun. Players that once seemed part of the team’s future, guys like Dexter McCluster, Kendrick Lewis, Jon Asamoah and Branden Albert are all on new teams now. It is always a risk allowing players that have been productive to leave but teams that are consistently competing for Super Bowls have a knack for knowing which expensive veterans to ditch cheaper, younger models.
So while the Chiefs will surely try to keep winning as the new regime remakes the roster, fans shouldn’t delude themselves into thinking that beloved veterans will be around forever.
John Dorsey is building this team now and chances are, he’ll be replacing more old bricks in the coming months.
Let’s just hope he picks the right replacements.
Tags: Kansas City Chiefs