Sep 19, 2013; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith (11) talks with offensive coordinator Doug Pederson (left) and head coach Andy Reid (right) during the third quarter against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field. The Chiefs defeated the Eagles 26-16. Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Kansas City Chiefs: For The Offense, Knowledge May Mean Production

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It is difficult not to turn every Terez A. Paylor article into a post, so I’ve sort of put a temporary freeze on myself from pulling every Paylor article. However, there was a line in today’s story on Demetrius Harris that struck me as interesting.

Here’s a link to the article and the quote:

But while Harris admits his quest to master Andy Reid’s intricate West Coast playbook is an ongoing battle — “it’s reading the defense, knowing how to set up faster, just thinking quicker,” he said — it appears he’s already made a significant transformation physically.

We’ve heard frequently about the complexity of the Reid’s offense and how it isn’t one where a player can come in immediately and fully absorb the offense. Although I do not think we’ve actually heard a player reference the complexity in a public statement like this.

“It’s reading the defense, knowing how to set up faster, just thinking quicker.”

Speed and intelligence. Those are two difficult things to find in players, and it sort of makes sense why the Chiefs wouldn’t take gambles on guys like Kelvin Benjamin who may have big ceilings but have questions marks about their football intelligence. The offense seems to favor players who can get to where they are supposed to be quickly. Do that and you’re bound to be open or be in position to block your man or be able to make the high percentage throw.

To this end, with a small window into the complexity of the offense, it should be interesting to point out that the Chiefs are returning nine of the 11 offensive starters from week one of 2013. Of the two new starters, Donald Stephenson started seven games due to injuries to Eric Fisher and Branden Albert. Add in the supplemental role players of A.J. Jenkins, Junior Hemingway, Travis Kelce, and Knile Davis, and the Chiefs are returning a lot of contributors who have had a year in Reid’s offense.

There is a tremendous chance I am being too optimistic and reading into one sentence too much, but it would seem the best thing the Chiefs could have done improve the quality of their offense was to let it simmer for an offseason. Let the playbook and the experience of 2013 marinate so the unit could come back this summer ready to build on the knowledge they gained in the previous season.

Two or three new receivers, another starting offensive lineman, and another tight end would have been great to add to the talent pool. But the thing that may improve the offense more than anything this year is time. It will be interesting to see in the preseason how much quicker and decisive the offense is with the same players compared to the year before.

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