Make no mistake, the time is now for the Kansas City Chiefs.
We have talked about some of the obstacles facing the 2016 Kansas City Chiefs over the last few weeks. The are concerning all the more because this team is in win-now mode.
Right now, in 2016, the Chiefs are squarely in their Super Bowl window.
The building blocks that are essential to meet the Super Bowl goal are in place. Some are solid and some are precarious, but they are there. The team has a solid, though not elite quarterback. Alex Smith is controversial but one thing is definite. Alex Smith is 30-16 as the Chiefs starting quarterback. He has led led the team to two playoff appearances and its first playoff win in 20+ years.
The Chiefs defense has helped Smith considerably during that time. The second pillar of a championship team, the defense has steadily improved to a top-tier unit in 2015. Unfortunately, a core component of that defensive unit is under duress. Last week, we talked about the state of the vaunted-but-ailing Kansas City passrush . Tamba Hali and Justin Houston are the keys to driving the front seven and will be needed to make a run at the championship.
Today on the Locked on Chiefs podcast, we are joined by Herbie Teope from Chiefs Digest. He gives us his point-blank look at where this franchise this season and gives an insiders impression of Chiefs’ leadership.
The team has a fiery mix of wise, veteran leaders and brash young players ready to step into leadership roles as soon as needed. Marcus peters is one player, in just his second year, that has embraced the role for the cornerback group. In the wake of Sean Smith’s departure, Peters fills a critical leadership vacuum.
Together with the veterans who are at the top of their careers, Peters and other young leaders like Eric Fisher have the team in position to make a leap. Fisher’s contract extension is another indication that the Redi/Dorsey regime is progressing with their plan. Athletic offensive lines were the hallmark of Reid’s Eagles teams.
"If this team doesn’t make to the playoffs, it’s a disappointing year. When you look at the key players on this team, the foundation, the leadership from the General Manager, to the owner, to the coach, and everything else… If you’re not in the Super Bowl within a year to two years, then you have every right to be upset because this team is built for a Super Bowl run. – Herbie Teope, Chiefs Digest"
Teope is not alone.
The franchise has expectations for 2016. The roster has been rebuilt by Reid and Dorsey to make a run with these veterans onboard as well as into the future. Paylor specifically points to owner Clark Hunt’s expectations.
"I think it started last year. Clark Hunt does want to win. Look, they are in the middle of the win-now window. They’re really building the depth and that gives a chance to compete year after year. – Terez Paylor, Kansas City Star"
Year after year is reminiscent of the the 90s era of sustained completive rosters. Like those years, the roster has to be bolstered with young talent. This year’s draft class looks to have a number of future core payers. They have made an impression.
"The rookies they’ve got. They flash. I can say I’ve seen something from every one of those guys. I know why they took every one of those guys… but they’re actually in the spot where the scouting staff is good enough that they have some good young players that they’re going to have cheap for a while. – Terez Paylor"
Those rookies, along with the contributions from previous draft classes, are the future of the franchise. The window is open, but likely cannot stay that way past 2018. Can the youth provide continuity as veterans reach the end of their careers? For the most part, yes. Several key positions will need attention in between now and then, but the foundation that is in place in Kansas City will let the the organization reload, rather than rebuild.
Can the Chiefs franchise win a championship in the next three seasons? What do you think, Addicts?