The feeling that the Chiefs are on the verge of something wonderful, just isn’t dying away this year. Every offseason I start out with great hopes and dreams and one thing or another happens that brings those ideological fantasies crashing. But not this year. This just feels different. It feels like the only thing crashing or crumbling… will be other teams. Example: see Broncos (take a look at the number of their offseason changes).
Remember the day that Andy Reid announced that Dontari Poe had back surgery to repair a herniated disc just the day before training camp began? The beginning of a crash? Nope! Why, well, that was also the exact same day that Cancer survivor Eric Berry announced he would be returning! Berry’s story is as inspiring a story as I have ever heard in sports. However, as is so often the case, Chiefs fans are dealt a heavy blow, as in the case of Poe… and the air of hope seems to go out of the bag. Not in this case. Not in 2015. Berry not only inspired a world of fans, players and coaches with the heroic way he worked out through the process of receiving IV-chemotherapy treatments but… he also saved the day… that day… the before camp began.
Chiefs fans should take that as a sign. An incredibly positive sign.
Of course, who does Eric Berry give credit to for his recovery? “Others.” Specifically, his mother and father but, he also pointed out his friends and Chiefs family as being essential to his recovery.
The Chiefs are smelling the smells of being stuck in a good-karma-garden… but there’s no time to stop and smell the roses.
The Chiefs already have an undrafted free agent wide receiver who also survived Hodgkin’s Lymphoma: wideout Kenny Cook. It’s not surprising Cook sites other people in life for his recovery as well. His mother Kimberly Cook said,
"“Not one time did I see him shed one tear, I used to just get weak, and Kenny was like ‘Mom, don’t cry. I’m going to be OK’.”"
I’m really pulling for Kenny Cook. It appears his best bet may be the practice squad but I wouldn’t count him out. Not in 2015.
Does it take these kinds of stories of overcoming to mold a championship team? Of course not… but the presence of these men, and their life conquering stories, has helped to create a cohesive atmosphere not often found on other teams.
General manager John Dorsey has apparently been looking for men with “The Right Stuff” and finding it.
If you’re looking for more evidence that this could be a championship team, there’s more. Much more.
“The Super Bowl” ≠ “Lord Voldemort”
Widespread confidence has taken over in St. Joe, Missouri. Almost to a man, every Chiefs player you talk to, has that winning confidence about this year’s team and his teammates. I recall what Tyvon Branch said when he was asked what was the reason he choose to come to Kansas City? He said, “(Justin) Houston and Tamba Hali. Whenever you can play behind a pass rush like that you jump at the opportunity.” There’s so much self-possessed resoluteness sprouting out of Chiefs camp that the words “the Super Bowl” roles off their lips without hesitation. In years past, Chiefs players seemed to avoid the words Super Bowl like Draco Malfoy would avoid speaking the name Lord Voldemort.
Not any more.
I’ve had the Kansas City Chiefs organization squarely focused in my binoculars for more than a few decades and I’ve never heard this much overflowing positive boldness coming out of the player’s mouths before. At first it was shocking. As camp has rolled along… I began to “get it.”
The offseason has always… always… been a time to sing “If You Wish Upon a Star” when it comes to the Chiefs. No doubt that every fan, in every NFL city, has enjoyed that annual hymn sing. However, this year is different for the folks in fountaintown. Very different indeed. Just the other day, in a press conference, I saw Andy Reid smile so big when talking about his players… smiling bigger than I’ve ever witnessed him smiling before: I had to rewind the tape and watch it again. It’s like he knows he has a winning magic trick up his sleeve and he’s about to unleash this magic trick on the rest of an unsuspecting league.
The 2015 Kansas City Chiefs have their flaws, like any other top team in the NFL, but this team also has a long and very promising checklist.
Top pass rush? Check.
DB’s with great coverage skills? Check.
Improved run defense? Check.
Excellent return game? Check.
Top Punter? Check
Good field goal kicker? Probably a check.
Top running game? Check.
Improved passing game? Yes. Check.
Improved offensive line. In all probability, check.
Does this team have an Achilles heel? Sure, but what team doesn’t?
Next: A Championship Pedigree?