Three Questions: Kansas City Chiefs Tight Ends

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Jan 4, 2014; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith (11) celebrates with tight end Anthony Fasano (80) after throwing a pass for a touchdown during the second quarter of the 2013 AFC wild card playoff football game against the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Are the tight ends the key to the Chiefs season? 

Aside from the pass rush depth question, the production of the Chiefs tight ends may be the biggest factor in whether or not the team will build on their turnaround. One can make a serious argument tight ends are more important in Andy Reid’s system than wide receivers. Herbie Teope laid out this argument twice:

Excerpt one:

"“The relationship between a quarterback and tight end is very important because of the route concepts,” Detmer said then. “The tight end is a big part of it because if he’s not the primary receiver, he’s almost always the secondary receiver. That becomes a real big deal to a West Coast offense with the tight end.”"

Excerpt two:

"“Part of it is he coached the TE position for so many years in Green Bay, he has an affinity for TEs,” Lewis explained. “He understands the language, he understands the technique, he completely understands. Andy has no problem manufacturing plays to the tight end that helps the running game and passing game.”"

Running backs and tight ends seem to make of the core of what Reid likes to do on offense. You can consider them the backbone of offensive production. Consistent performances from those to groups help spring big plays for skilled wide receivers – specifically receivers who are good in space.

Assuming health, there is no other position group on the team that will see as big of a leap in talent as the tight end position. If the Chiefs go from basically nothing to something significant at the position then the potential for the offense explodes because of the value tight ends bring to Reid’s scheme.