The Chiefs “Taking Care Of Business” Checklist p. I
By Laddie Morse
“Taking care of business, every day,
Taking care of business, every way,
We been taking care of business, it’s all mine,
Taking care of business and working overtime.”
~ Bachman-Turner Overdrive, 1973
Every season, goal number one is to win the Division Championship. However, the Chiefs can make the playoffs without doing that and what seems to pain more Kansas City Chiefs fans is the lack of playoff victories for more than 20 years now.
So, the real question is, what’s on the checklist of things “to do” for the Chiefs to win a playoff game in January 2016? Today we’ll take a look at the “Special Teams” checklist and a “Stopping the Run” checklist. Tomorrow we’ll focus on the “WRs Who Must Catch TD Passes” checklist plus the “Making the QB Position More Efficient” checklist.
At this time of year, with a mere 19 days to the draft, most fans are focused on the specific positions the Chiefs could or would or should draft. What may clear up the answers, is a better understanding of the questions still facing them. However, clearing up the questions about who the Chiefs will ultimately take in the draft comes from a greater understanding about where the team is at so far this offseason and more specifically why they do or don’t need certain position players.
To keep track of all that is going to take a checklist. So, here’s my checklist and checklist rating system: four or five checks (5 ✓✓✓✓✓ in the case of the OL) representing the highest number a position can garner.
So, let’s find out how the Chiefs are doing this offseason on their taking care of business checklist.
1. Maintain Special Teams Unit and Coach
Dave Toub puts the mmm in special teammms. He has to be considered the best special teams coach in the game today. When all the guillotines had fallen after the end of the season and the head coaching vacancies were wide open, Dave Toub was rumored to be moving on from the Chiefs. We, of course, now know he is staying with the Chiefs. That should help secure what was “best” about the Chiefs in 2014 and 2013.
Last offseason the Chiefs lost both their primary kick returner in Quintin Demps (30.1 yards per return, plus a TD) and their top punt returner in Dexter McCluster (11.8 yards per return and two TDs) and consequently no one was sure about how good the special teams unit would be in 2014. Well, 2014 turned out to be as good if not better than 2013. Rookie De’Anthony Thomas averaged 11.9 yard per punt return with one TD for the season (plus one TD in the preseason), and Knile Davis averaged 28.6 yards per return with one TD.
Not only that, but punter Dustin Colquitt came back with another strong season by continuing to consistently place the ball inside the opponent’s 10-yard line.
Field goal kicker Cairo Santos had a shaky beginning to 2014 but came on strong as the season progressed and finished completing 83.3 percent of his field goals. Assuming he continues to progress, we can expect him to get better and better while saving the Chiefs cap space with the release of Ryan Succop last year.
The Chiefs success on special teams was due to more than returners and kickers. According to ProFootballFocus.com, the top four special teams players in the NFL in 2014 were all KC Chiefs, including Josh Martin (1st), Kelcie McCray (2nd), Kurt Coleman (3rd) and Daniel Sorenson (tied for 4th). All of these players have been re-signed for 2015 except Kurt Coleman, who’s moved on to the Carolina Panthers.
Level of Need Already FULFILLED for Special Teamers: ✓✓✓✓
GM John Dorsey gets four check marks for the Chiefs special teams development with a huge nod to Coach Toub for taking care of his business.
Special Teams Draft Considerations: Next to none
The Chiefs special teams in 2015 should have the expectations to be #1 in the NFL, and that’s BEFORE the draft. If the Chiefs draft someone like WR/KR Tyler Lockett who can return kicks too, you would think DAT would not only be freed up to play more on offense but also be more effective when he does take his turn at returning punts or kicks. In any event, GM John Dorsey is steering the Chiefs ship into draft weekend knowing full well he doesn’t need to draft even one player to help the special teams. It could happen, but the beauty about where he’s leveraged the Chiefs is he won’t have to.
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The Chiefs “Taking Care Of Business Checklist”
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