Nov 01, 2015; London, United Kingdom; Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid reviews his play notes during the second half against the Detroit Lions at Wembley Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Flynn-USA TODAY Sports
As the Chiefs bye week rolls on in Kansas City, there are questions to be answered.
The terrible start to the season has given way to a two-game winning streak. Aided by the success of the Royals, the optimism for the Chiefs’ season is on the rise. Players and teams develop over the course of a season. Some changes are enough of a surprise to change the course and plan of a franchise. Though success cannot wipe out failure of the past, it can revel the direction for the future.
Looking at where the holes are for the Kansas City Chiefs is crucial in planning for the future. The trade deadline came and went without any movement by John Dorsey. That suggests a long-term plan not dependent on this season’s winning and losing streaks. Thinking big picture, here’s where the team is at respective positions and what the bottom line looks like.
Alex Smith has gotten more weapons, gotten suspect line play and has stayed the course. His 3-to-1 touchdown to interception ratio is solid but unspectacular with nine touchdowns for the first half of 2015 season. Smith broke out his old moves while the Chiefs were in the UK, nearly out-rushing the Lions by himself. That dimension of the offense is something to keep in mind going forward as the Chiefs have something to play for.
Bottom line for future:
Smith’s contract means He’ll be the starter in 2016. His backup could be Aaron Murray, but the coaching staff hasn’t shown any faith in Murray yet. The team will need to draft another quarterback, but I don’t see Dorsey pulling the trigger until he second night of the 2016 draft.
Sep 13, 2015; Houston, TX, USA; Kansas City Chiefs cornerback Phillip Gaines (23) during the game against the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
The off-season will see changes to the Kansas City secondary. Eric Berry’s return from cancer has him playing very near to his previous level. Re-signing a pro bowl player of his caliber is imperative for a franchise that is building. Unfortunately, that means the band is breaking up. Bringing back Berry all but guarantees that the team will not be able to afford Sean Smith. Smith’s play has been very good in Kansas City. As a free agent, Smith will command a contract the Chiefs will not be able to provide.
Bottom line for future:
John Dorsey has his work cut out for him. The Berry contract will be an interesting process given his condition and the team’s dedication to his treatment. The Gaines injury makes the cornerback position an important draft focus once again. To team with Gaines and Marcus Peters, the team hopes Nelson can continue to grow into the nickel role. Beyond the trio, the roster is empty jerseys.
Next: Work to do in the trenches