John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports
There is much optimism this off-season at One Arrowhead Drive. The new regime of Andy Reid and John Dorsey has created a stir of intrigue in most fans, something I share with them. An offensive juggernaut with the Philadelphia Eagles, what is Reid going to be able to do with the Kansas City Chiefs? We all knew Reid as a West Coast, pass first, second, and maybe third guy while in Philly. While he has made moves that look like his new Kansas City team may be more balanced then his previous teams, the passing game will always be key with Reid. With the acquisition of quarterback Alex Smith, Reid has a proven steady game manager who can operate his system. My main concern The receiving corps.
We all know who the clear number one receiver on this team is General Manager John Dorsey signed Dwayne Bowe to a long-term contract this off-season to make sure that wasn’t in question. You know what you are going to get with Bowe if “The Show” is healthy. He will give Smith a good possession receiver capable of 70-90 catches, over 1,000 yards and double digits of TDs. The key is who will step up after him?
The Chiefs signed Donnie Avery and Mardy Gilyard to help stretch the field. Reid had burners DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin with the Eagles to do this. I am in no ways comparing these two to them, but see them as Alex Smith’s key deep threats. Avery had a pretty good season last year with the Indianapolis Colts, setting a career high with 60 receptions and 781 receiving yards. He needs to duplicate this for this team to take a huge step forward. Gilyard, on the other hand, hasn’t had much success at the NFL level, but was a great college athlete that maybe Reid can reach his potential as a 4th or 5th receiving option.
Already on the roster are two guys who will have a bigger spotlight on them then before: Jonathan Baldwin and Dexter McCluster. Baldwin has the physical tools to become a force like Bowe, but coming into his third year, hasn’t done much to get anyone really excited. McCluster has the speed and effort to rival most anyone in the NFL, but at 5-9 and 165, it’s hard to imagine his body can take the NFL lifestyle. Both of these guys are very interesting to me. Coach Reid could make McCluster into a star, but we thought the same thing would happen when Charlie Weis was the OC. McCluster has a similar stature as former Eagles star Brian Westbrook. (Westbrook did weigh 30 pounds more than McCluster though.) Baldwin could create another key possession receiver to pair with Bowe while the other option spread the field. It’s easy to write on paper what could be, hopefully these two can live up to our high expectations.
The tight end position brings intrigue to the receiving game as well. We know what Tony Moeaki can bring to the table when healthy. This is a big question mark, as Coach Reid must agree on by signing free agent Anthony Fasano and drafting Travis Kelce. Fasano was a reliable 30-40 catch guy with 350-550 receiving yardage receiver while with the Miami Dolphins. Travis Kelce was graded as one of the best tight end prospects coming out of this year’s draft. I am very fascinated to see if Reid implements the new double tight end craze into this Chiefs team.
To me, one of the biggest questions going into this season will be how this unit does. If this unit reaches full potential I believe a Division Title if not a Wild Card is within reach. Well Addicts, what do you think about this receiving corps?