The Chiefs’ Passing Attack


The Kansas City Chiefs will throw the ball in 2013. If you don’t believe me, just ask the new head coach, Andy Reid. He’s a passing coach. He grooms quarterbacks and makes receivers into superstars. It’s what he does. Reid and new Chiefs GM, John Dorsey, have done everything they can on the offensive side of the ball to improve the Chiefs’ dismal passing attack during the 2012 season. They have secured the services of a starting caliber quarterback who has not only been to the playoffs, but has won in January. They’ve re-signed the Chiefs’ best receiver and paid him top dollar. Once the free agency period hit, Reid and Dorsey didn’t break the bank, but they had a plan and that included finding a fast receiver who can “take the top off the defense.” They believe they found that in newly signed wide receiver, Donnie Avery. The Chiefs will absolutely throw the ball in 2013. The question is, how well will they do it and will Reid’s offense work with the players on the Chiefs’ roster?

For the Chiefs to be successful, all the components have to fit together. Alex Smith must maintain the accuracy that everyone is talking about. Bowe has to catch the balls that are thrown his way and then do something with the pigskin to move it up field. This mysterious “best five” offensive line has to give Smith the time to get the ball to the right receiver. Finally, Jamaal Charles has to do what he does and break a 40 or 50 yard run every now and then to keep the opposing defenses honest. All that said, do the Chiefs really have the pieces it will take to pass the ball successfully this season? Let’s take a look at some of the major players in Reid’s new “passing offense.”

I would hardly call Dwayne Bowe a question mark. The man has shown in his six seasons with the Chiefs he is a versatile receiver. He has had passes thrown to him from seven different quarterbacks and still has managed to secure the Chiefs’ franchise record for touchdown receptions in a single season. That’s a pretty lofty feat for a team that used to count tight end Tony Gonzales as one of their players. The only question mark that plants itself squarely on Dwayne Bowe’s back is what will he do now that he has the big contract he’s been searching for. He’s getting paid top five receiver money. Will he show up and be a top five receiver?

Dexter McCluster was drafted to the Chiefs’ roster to be a playmaker. I don’t think Todd Haley and Scott Pioli truly knew what they were getting when they called the diminutive athlete’s number with the 36th overall pick in the 2010 draft. While McCluster’s numbers haven’t been as stellar as many would think fitting for a high second round pick (984 receiving yards in 42 games with three touchdowns) many would attribute that to McCluster not being used properly. Reid seems to have a plan for #22 and spoke very highly of him in a recent interview.

I kind of like him. He’s not the biggest guy in the world, but he’s got a heart of a lion. He’s got that MO, tremendous quickness and can catch. He’s pretty good at running the football, so there is a place for him. You line him up everywhere. You can move him around and kind of do some unique things with him.

Andy Reid’s words bode well for DMC’s future with the Chiefs organization. I don’t see him being a late off-season cut or casualty of the new administration in Kansas City.

Newly acquired free agent Donnie Avery is a bit of a wildcard. Many Chiefs fans (me included) were scratching their heads after this signing was announced. I found myself searching up YouTube to find any tape I could on Reid and Dorsey’s new toy. I didn’t have to search any further than the Indianapolis Colts played vs. Detroit Lions game last December. Let me recap it for you. The Colts needed a touchdown to beat the Lions and as time expired, rookie quarterback Andrew Luck found Donnie Avery on a slant route. Avery pulled the ball in and hit the accelerator. With his speed, there was no way he would allow the Lions’ secondary to catch him. Game over. The Chiefs need that “clutch” player on their team. I’m hoping they found it. Time will tell, I suppose.

Perhaps the biggest question mark in the passing offense is third year receiver, Jon Baldwin. Last year during pre-season, as Dwayne Bowe was skipping training camp due to not having a contract in place, Baldwin got most of the reps with the first team. Blogs and tweets were running rampant with news of the amazing, one-handed, circus catches that Baldwin was making in camp. Everyone forgave the former first round pick for his disappointing rookie season. Fans blamed the lockout and the lack of an offseason for his less than stellar first year. Last year was going to be Baldwin’s year…or not. He fell flat and didn’t live up to even the most conservative of expectations. Baldwin cannot afford to have another year like the last two.

Andy Reid is ready to win now. In his offense, that means catching passes and scoring touchdowns. The entire mindset of the Chiefs team is about to change. Reid and Dorsey have proven in the short time they’ve been a part of this organization they’re willing to make tough decisions and do what it takes. To think Reid will change his entire offense because Kansas City has traditionally been a “run first” team is silly. I love Jamaal Charles and I love watching him hit the edge or find a seam and burn an opposing defense for a 50 or 60 yard touchdown run. But, there is nothing better than holding your breath when the game is on the line and a pass is in the air, waiting to see the spectacular catch and ultimate touchdown on the other end. The Chiefs will throw the ball this season…and I can’t wait.

That’s how I see it Addicts. What say you?

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