The Chiefs problems pt 4: What are our options?

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I’m not one to leave a bunch of questions and criticisms unanswered.  Nope, just not in me.  I HAVE to find answers, I HAVE to fix the problem.  My wife finds it both amazing and irritating, largely depending on how long I spend on the problem.

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One thing I really want to stress here is that THE 2015 NFL SEASON IS NOT OVER!!!!  Yes, things are frustrating right now, but that does not mean all is lost.  We’ve all witnessed the Royals troll us into believing they were falling apart before they pulled out another spectacular postseason performance.  The Chiefs have some time to pull out some wins and fix this season, if not at least salvage things for the future.  But, for arguments sake, we will assume that the Chiefs are not going to turn this around and are headed for the bad finish their performance so far has hinted at.

To begin, we’ll start with what should most certainly be “Option A”…

Stay the course

Yes, Chiefs fans, this is absolutely a legitimate option and should be the first consideration.  While this is a frustrating year, the truth is that the Chiefs have turned it around from the Pioli Era.  We have higher expectations for the franchise now.  We expect to beat quality teams.  We expect to be contenders.  Anything less is a failure in our eyes.  In the long run, that’s a very good thing…even if it makes for a frustrating start to the 2015 season.

Staying the course means we trust in Reid and Dorsey to straighten this thing out with minimal adjustments.  It means that we believe in their long-term plan to make the Kansas City Chiefs into perennial contenders.  However, that doesn’t mean there wouldn’t be changes coming…

While Alex Smith most certainly is not the only problem, he stands alone as what would be the biggest indicator of change. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports


I have held the position since Day 1 that Alex Smith is simply the bridge before to the Chiefs quarterback of the future.  And while they haven’t taken every shot at it (Bridgewater and Carr), John Dorsey and Andy Reid have made some investments in that area with Aaron Murray and Tyler Bray.  Both guys were low risk moves with potential to turn into something big.  I like that approach.  Unfortunately, Bray hasn’t stayed healthy and Murray has yet to even supplant our current backup quarterback.

But the 2016 NFL Draft presents a number of intriguing options that may be exactly what we need…

  1. Jared Goff – California: A spread-system quarterback, Goff’s numbers are definitely inflated due to the offense he plays in.  However, he shows some excellent accuracy and the ability to anticipate routes.  Very good in the short to intermediate game, he is more than happy to put the ball in the hands of his playmakers and let them do the work which is an ideal trait for someone coming into Andy Reid’s offense.  As with most college quarterbacks today, you have to question just how much of the game he really knows.  Doesn’t make a lot of calls or pre/post snap reads, instead just taking what the defense gives him.  Not a “bad” thing, but will need to do more at the NFL level.
  1. Connor Cook – Michigan State: Cook is much more the traditional pocket passer than anyone else in this draft class.  Strong frame and a quality arm that can make every throw.  Cook is asked to do a lot more than most of his contemporaries which is a good sign for the NFL transition.  Struggles in a questionable pocket and can get a little panicky.  However, he does not question his own abilities with his arm strength which is a good sign.  Will take risks and has the accuracy to do it.
Cardale Jones – Ohio State

: Jones was the hype-champion this offseason, but it is safe to say that nobody has seen what they were hoping for thus far in 2015.  It’s not that Jones has regressed, but that he hasn’t shown improvement.  Appears to still be more of an “athlete who can throw” than a quarterback.  Doesn’t make a lot of decisions on his own other than to take what is there.  He is a superior athlete though and has shown himself to be an intelligent individual, which some coaches may take to be a sign that he is capable of learning the ins and outs of being a quarterback at the NFL level.

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  1. Christian Hackenburg – Penn State: “Hack” has had a lot of hype since his freshman campaign under Bill O’Brien.  However, he has not lived up to it and his draft stock has tumbled as a result.  Whether that is on him or the new offensive system in Penn State, I can’t say.  Many seem to believe that the only way he goes in the first round of the draft is if the Texans take him…which makes me think he’ll be a Day Two selection.  Has the tools to be a good quarterback, but can’t say that I have seen him put them together on the field in the last couple of years.
  1. Gunner Kiel – Cincinnati: Kiel’s stock is going to take a hit due to his concussion and general attitude.  The talent is there, but this young man has demonstrated a confidence that borders on arrogance.  He decided to bypass options at LSU and Notre Dame in order to be an immediate starter for Cincy.  He demonstrates a lot of the techniques you like to see from a quarterback, but also has some bad tendencies like staring down his targets.  Trusts his ball placement, but I do worry that he will be suspect to a lot of the baiting techniques defensive backs use at the NFL level.

As I said (and have said for a long time), Alex Smith is a bridge.  And he really isn’t a bad one when you stop and really think about it.  The problem has been that the other side of the bridge is nowhere in sight.  That can change this year.  There are several quality draft options to consider, and with Chase Daniel unlikely to be re-signed, you would have to think there is space for a new option.  But a new quarterback won’t solve all of our problems, and there is still the other side of the ball to consider…

Next: What about Bob?