Chiefs in Transition: All the Right Moves

 

 

 

With the Bye Week behind us the Kansas City Chiefs are ready to move on and prepare for the Giants this coming Sunday in New York. While we’re all hoping that head coach Andy Reid has directed his staff to make the necessary changes to get the team over the hump of playoff failures which has plagued the team for decades, it’s clear that the team it in the midst of major transition.

 

Consider what has taken place since the team allowed the Pittsburgh Steelers to walk into Arrowhead last January and steal a two-point game out from under their noses.

 

  • RB Jamaal Charles is wearing Denver blue.
  • WR Jeremy Maclin is now in Baltimore.
  • GM John Dorsey was fired.
  • DT Dontari Poe is in Atlanta.
  • DT Bennie Logan was signed to offset the loss of Poe.
  • DT Jaye Howard is at large. .
  • Players lost for the year: Eric Berry (Achilles injury), Spencer Ware (last years starting RB, is rehabbing both a PCL and an LCL on his right knee), WR Chris Conley (Achilles).
  • The team actually drafted a first round QB in Patrick Mahomes II (K.C. traded away their 27th and 91st picks this year as well at their 1st round pick in 2018).
  • Derrick Johnson is no longer Derrick Johnson… on the field.
  • QB Alex Smith is no longer Alex Smith… on the field.
  • The Chiefs Director of Football Operations, Chris Ballard, moved on to become the GM of the Indianapolis Colts.
  • Vocal stylist, and OLB, Tamba Hali, is still on the roster, and has just made his season debut.
  • RB Kareem Hunt is the new kid on the block and possible RoY (NFL Rookie of the Year). He’s presently the NFL’s rushing leader.
  • K Cairo Santos was released and Harrison Butker was was nabbed (and his kicking has been KICKA$$).
  • ILB’s in orbit around Ramik & Derrick: Reggie Ragland, Kevin Pierre-Louis and Ukeme Eligwe (drafted) were added, while DJ Alexander was traded to Seattle then Josh Mauga and Justin March-Lillard were released.

 

Injuries are part of the game, I get that. However, if I were to have told you in January that all of this transformation of the organization would have taken place by now, you’d likely have thought that the team had planned to call this a “Rebuilding” year.

 

This is not merely about changing faces either. The team’s on-field identity has flipped too. What has been a strength of the team, is now a weakness and what was once a weakness, is now the team’s bread-and-butter. I’m referring to the offense and the defense of course. They’ve totally traded places.

 

This changing of the guard has come at a cost to fans when you take into account what was popular about the team’s recent roster:

 

The Hungry Pig– although Dontari Poe came into the game on offense on only a few plays, he became a huge fan favorite, especially after getting into the end zone on a play that became known as the “Hungry Pig. Of course, watching the 345 lb. Poe go airborne to throw a TD was probably more astounding than seeing him play like he was Christian Okoye for one play.

The Mo-Beau, Jeremy Maclin– when the Chiefs signed WR Jeremy Maclin in March of 2015, it appeared to be a match made in heaven. Maclin had played his college ball at Missouri where he was a two-time All-American and he was born and raised in Missouri to boot, in Kirkwood, not far from St. Louis. So, when the Chiefs signed him, they not only got a #1 WR but the Chiefs HC Andy Reid had drafted him out of college while he was in Philly. Consequently, Maclin was already familiar with the offense and immediately made an on-field impact gaining 1,088 yards receiving on 87 catches.

JC Saves– Jamaal Charles was the face of the franchise for what seemed like a decade and watching him break off a long run and then pull away from the competition was as exciting a play as you’ll ever want to see from a Chiefs player. At least it was for me.

Cairo Santos Popularity- Santos was the first Brazilian born player in the NFL but more than that… I personally know of more than one female fan who listed Santos as their favorite player. Is it really a good idea to be disappointing the female population of Chiefs fans? [Honestly, I’m fine with it… Butker is really good!].

The Three Musketeers– Defensive Linemen, Jaye Howard, Allen Bailey and Dontari Poe, had named themselves the Three Musketeers and the three were good together… when they were all healthy.

The Dorse– Over the past four years, GM John Dorsey had helped rebuild a roster to one of the best in the league after the team had gone 2-and-14 in 2012. Dorsey was well liked by players and fans alike and there’s not a person I’ve talked to about his being fired who wasn’t shocked when it happened.

 

I recall the first year that John Dorsey was in the front office. The change-rate was exciting to see since the team was so bad and Clark Hunt had kept so much of his cap space which Dorsey was able to use to turn the team around quickly. Making the playoffs that first year was an amazing accomplishment, even though they lost 45-to-44 to the Andrew Luck-y Colts.

 

With a new Head Coach and a new GM, players expected things to change. Now, a year with that much change… that quickly… can also look like a bit of a mirage. It’s not a very good template for building for the future years… and yet, it’s almost as if that’s what the Chiefs have done again this year.

 

The problem with that much change, that fast, is that it can cause some blow back for the people left behind. Have you ever heard of “Change Saturation?” It’s defined like this:

 

“Change saturation occurs when there is so much change going on that it negatively impacts individuals and the organization.”

 

That much change, in the space of one calendar year, can become antithetical to developing the feeling of community: the concept of “team.” If you want your players to feel “a part of” something special but in the meantime you keep changing the cast of characters… you see the problem.

 

Players come into the league being told up front that, “it’s a business” so, they shouldn’t be surprised when they are informed that it’s their time to go. The problem is, just because players realize that, it doesn’t mean that it’s good for the team. This may also be why so many players are seen after games, exchanging jerseys: because in a certain sense, “the NFL is their team.” Where else can young men make $500K or more in one year? Those jobs just don’t exist outside of a pro sport like football.

 

The Bye Week is a time when many have suggestions about how to “fix” the team. Perhaps what the “team” needs more than anything right now is the cohesion that can come when “no changes” are made. On one hand, I’m in favor of bringing Jaye Howard back… and I think the signing of CB Will Redmond (who played on the same defense with Chris Jones at Mississippi State) was a good move… but, the best moves right now, may be the moves they don’t make at all. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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  • That last comment? yep. Continuity suffers and we are probably seeing more than a bit of that. Maybe that’s why, in part, Ehinger hasn’t resumed his position and Witzmann has been the starter at LG… etc.

  • Homer Dave

    Jaye Howard could definitely hit the ground running in KC if he’s healthy as the team hasn’t made any major changes scheme wise to the d-line. I really wonder how the FO might manage that though, Howard is on the books for 5 miillyun still according to OTC.

    • PaulFromNorthMo

      I wouldn’t sign him for more than league minimum and with only 7 weeks left, that wouldn’t be much of a cap hit.

      • Homer Dave

        hehe, Howards getting 5 million for sitting on his duff…they should MAKE him come back and play…IF…the FO wants him, that is.

        • PaulFromNorthMo

          I’m thinking we’re going to have quite a bit of dead cap next year, but maybe after that, Veach will do a better job than his predecessor.

          • Homer Dave

            the dead cap next year will be large but depending on the path Veach takes the cap space will/will not be there. There are just a few, very possible moves needed to be made to either free up a substantial amount of monies or to handicap the team until 2019. I’m all about being faithful to players but part of that scenario is keeping the team competitive and when a player becomes a deficit to both on the field play and monies it’s best for the team and player to part ways.

          • PaulFromNorthMo

            Yep, OTC is projecting us to be over the cap for 2018 right now, and that’s with them guesstimating the cap will be 178 mil. Of course we’re about 4 months away from the NFL setting the official cap for next year. There are 5 player that I would move that would free up a considerable amount of space, but at the same time, that space will be needed to try and improve the roster.

  • Homer Dave

    Question as to Redmond. I know that Dai is high on the cat but I read review that claimed he was more of a finesse player rather than a physical type. I guess someone could argue that KC is transitioning to a more finesse type defense but if KC is, it’s clearly not working. So, my question is what kind of player IS Redmond? Does the guy emulate Neon Dieon or Dale Carter?

    • Chiefly Bacon

      I wonder where you might have heard that 😉 Redmond doesn’t have Marcus Peters syndrome. He will absolutely come down hill against the run. His lack of physicality is not heart, but body. Dude is just too small to tackle bigger players. He’s quick and fast, looked pretty solid in coverage (in college), but he just doesn’t have the frame to be a great tackler.

    • Chiefs-Kings-A’s

      Redmond has never seen a single down at the NFL level……..yep….perfect down the stretch acquisition.

      • berttheclock

        You live close enough to the Bay to remember one of the major reasons for the downfall of Trent Baalke, the former GM of the Niners. He kept drafting players who were trying to rehab from ACL injuries. I believe only one of them, Tank Carradine, ever made it to the playing field.

        • Chiefs-Kings-A’s

          Yep…..is it just me, or does it seem like Baalke might be Mr. V’s mentor?

          • Way too early to tell much. Veach has made some good moves in my view. His first draft test is 2018. I like Ragland and Redmond acquisitions.

      • Homer Dave

        yup, fire all da rest o dem bums. But in all sincerity, maybe Redmond has something to build on. This could be more about Veach looking to the future than the immediate.

    • He played physical at Ms. State.

      Someone posted what was thought about him before the 49’ers drafted him — 68th pick.

      Sure, he hasn’t played, he was released but the Chiefs would not have signed him if he couldn’t do duty(mnsho). In which case, he is one of the corners who should do well in the NFL or above just “well”. Is that “Swell”? I think you could say he was to be a sure “Starter”, and this was Lance Zuerlien’s view. He has quick feet, mirrors well, and should be very good in Man coverage. Drawback? Length(5’11”). He also suffered a season ending injury his last season in college at Ms. State. 4:35 40. 10th among all corners in 2016. Kiper rated him in the top 5 of CB’s — has lockdown skills but needed more seasoning in 2015. decent size, plays physical, good ball skills including kick returns.

      Problem was he suffered injury and then was waived, injury designation and the 49’rs didn’t reclaim him.

  • Homer Dave

    Hehe….

    Martellus Bennett’s shoulder injury is related to a broken collar bone suffered by another player, a first in modern day medicine. This will be studied for years— Lawrence Tynes (@lt4kicks) November 13, 2017

    • Chiefly Bacon

      Everybody knows the Pats and Bennett orchestrated this. Only question is whether the NFL can find the proof to punish them for it. I’m guessing they won’t be able to.

      • Homer Dave

        “if”, or will they even LOOK for proof? I don’t even have a full roll of tin-foil in the whole house but there is something fishy going on with the NFL anymore.

  • berttheclock

    Strange thing happened yesterday. Drew Brees has turned into a game manager. No TD passes for two straight games. Why? Two things. A tandem running attack which gained 298 yards, which allowed the defense to stay off the field. Combine that with the fact, the defense is playing far better than before. For some time, the offensive minded Payton, HC of the Saints, could not find a proper DC who could work well with him. Now, the defense is playing far better. But, it begins with a solid running attack and an offensive line which can open holes. The newest runner for them is Kamara of whom many at this site were very high on heading into the last draft.

    • Chiefs-Kings-A’s

      Ironically…..Smith finds the deep ball and the quick score everyone was Jonesing for and now our defense…..well you know.

    • ladner morse

      Yep, I was one of those who thought Kamara was a fit for Reid’s offense… but also thought he was like a JC-lite… more of a one cut and go guy without as much go as JC.

      • Chiefs-Kings-A’s

        I’ve stated this before, it was no secret my obsession with Melvin Gordon entering the draft…….I saw him as the next JC and was so friggin mad when he went to SD…….I’m still not over it…lol

      • Homer Dave

        so, Knile Davis type guy?

    • PaulFromNorthMo

      The Bills defense, or lack of, was pathetic. Late in the 3rd the Saints ran a 10 play drive for 94 yards and a score, all running plays. But actually on the final play of the drive, Brees went back for a pass but ended up running it in for the score.

  • berttheclock

    One scary team I am glad the Chiefs will not have to face unless it is for The Lombardi is the Inglewood To Be Rams. Great defense led by Wade Phillips. Plus, a simplified offensive system designed to allow Goff to develop. They run a lot of “11” shotgun plays. That means one RB, one TE and 3 wide outs. Goff can concentrate more on presnap decisions. It is the same type of system Peyton Manning loved to run in Denver.

    • ladner morse

      “Inglewood To Be Rams.”… hehe

      • berttheclock

        Used to love to go to Hollywood Park when it was a race track for summer racing. They tore that down to build the new football venue. Heading into Inglewood was, always, a bit dicey, no matter from whatever direction you came through. Lots of gang activity.

        • ladner morse

          Is that why LARs are so much better this year… gang activity?

          • berttheclock

            Did you notice some of their “gang” tackling?

        • ladner morse

          BTW… my father worked as an Acoustical Engineer for years in Santa Monica. It was always better getting to Inglewood coming in from that direction…..

    • Chiefs-Kings-A’s

      As long as Zack Fulton is not your center your good.

      • Homer Dave

        hmm, I was thinking that Fulton did a more than adequate job as a fill-in. Now, I’d hate to rely on him as a full time starter at Ctr, but spot-duty?…sign me up. There are a lot worse out there.

        • Chiefs-Kings-A’s

          It was a joke…..maybe not a funny one, but nonetheless……Bert was talking shotgun…..remember when Fulton hiked the ball over Smiths head causing a safety?

          • Homer Dave

            crap, forgot about that one.

          • PaulFromNorthMo

            HAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Now I get it. Ok, I’m a little slow. lol

  • berttheclock

    Lemme try to understand something. Your QB has your team on about the 2 and one half yard line with no time outs and only about 12 seconds left in the game. He decides he wants to call an audible for a QB sneak up the middle. Now, who was this QB? He was the young man from The Golden Dome of whom jimfromkcj kept raving for Dorsey to draft for the Chiefs. Kiser.

    • ladner morse

      Now, now… let’s try to keep the Trolling — or calling others out — to a minimum.
      😮

      • berttheclock

        Hey, at one time, I thought drafting the current backup offensive lineman for the Chiefs would be great. Funny thing, he took a slight detour through Cleveland. All of us at one time or another have considered highly players who ended up not being the best choice in the world after all. So, perhaps, that means, now, I have trolled myself, eh?

        • ladner morse

          Self trolling is a part of life… and while I would encourage that… it just shouldn’t be done in public (it can cause to turn blind ya know).

        • larry mckinney

          Self trolling? It’ll damage your health Bert.

          • berttheclock

            How is gloom and doom setting in out there in Broncos’ land?

          • larry mckinney

            LOL. Think Doom and Gloom lives in eastern Kansas. Plays golf a lot. Here in Denver, doom and gloom is too weak an appellation. Arrows are flyin’ at EVERONE, even St. John-boy.

          • larry mckinney

            Have to pass on this tidbit. One Denver sports station has a sound bite of a Donkey coach in high rotation. “You cannot lose games in this league….and win.”

          • PaulFromNorthMo

            Just out of curiosity, is that coach related to Yogi Berra? lol

          • larry mckinney

            Sounds familiar, doesn’ It?

          • larry mckinney

            Now that’s self-trolling!

    • jimfromkcj

      Just to clear up a controversy that has been raised. Yes, I did tout Kizer over Mahomes and still think that with the right coaching he will be better in the long run. In reviewing the stats it shows that Kizer has been the one bright star in the Browns offense. They have scored a total of 16 td’s and Kizer has passed for 4 and ran for 4 which makes him account for half of the Brown’s offence. As I didn’t watch the game I just looked at the stats and they showed that Kizer scored on the sneak. Also I doubt very much that he is changing many plays on his own. After all he was the youngest QB in the draft, so has time that the others don’t have. Also I read where Harbaugh may not be real happy with things at Mich. and might be open to getting back in the NFL. After seeing the difference between Kaap after Harbaugh left. If he were to go to Cleveland he might be just the coach to bring out the best in Kizer.

  • berttheclock

    During after game reviews over at NFL Network, several former NFL players were roasting two things. The attempted QB sneak by Kiser and the play involving the Bears. In that Bears game, the Bears runner tried to stretch out to hit the pylon with the football. But, instant replays showed he had lost control of the ball prior to hitting the pylon. When, no TD was awarded immediately, John Fox threw a challenge flag. But, he was not wearing his head gear, so, he could not hear any of his staff telling him it had been correctly ruled a fumble . Of course, Fox lost the challenge.

  • PaulFromNorthMo

    Well, Brock Olivo is no Dave Toub. The donkeys ST’s were just plain horrible last night. A muffed punt, a blocked punt, giving up a KO for a TD. The Pats found the donk’s KO return game to be weak as they continuously kicked off short of the goal line and still pinned Denver short of the 25, and they kicked off a lot.

    • tm1946

      While I agree in principle. Execution and discipline with a solid game plan are more an answer to good or bad special teams play. Get it and you are a Toub, no then an Olivo.

  • berttheclock

    Happy to see where a sort of Chiefs connection did very well yesterday. Young NIners’ QB, Beatherd, had a winning day. Nephew of the former Number One pick of the Chiefs, Pete Beatherd, and grandson of the fellow who scouted for the Chiefs in the early sixties.

  • Read thru again. Great job. I always seem to forget that we lost Ware for the season…. that hurt quite a lot. West cannot carry a load like Hunt or Ware…

  • here is another question: Hunt, Hunt, West, & FB Sherman. The latter two RBs are speedster types but who spells hunt for standard RB play? Hunt #2 weighs in less than 190, whereas Hunt#@1 goes about 210. Akeem is a 3 yr pro while Kareem is a rookie who is taking a lot of punishment. Wasn’t this the case for Spiller, the oft released RB? (yeah, I recognize that Spiller didn’t show much). But put in the right circumstance, where Spiller wasn’t immediately, on the next play, called on to run the ball, I think he would have shown better. Given a set of downs to rest Hunt, but not telegraphing that the next play was likely to be a run. Like that.

  • PaulFromNorthMo

    Every team has a player turnover annually, it’s the job of the coaches to get everyone on the same page and working together. Keeping older players or players that have been in the system for a few years helps (continuity), but bringing in new players via the draft or FA is inevitable. There are always teams that have surprising results with new coaching or players, such as the Rams, but it seems there are teams with older established systems that do well almost every year.

    • Homer Dave

      very fair point. Teams that are able to keep their core for a number of years are at a huge advantage but that advantage is usually not for long. Contracts, age, admin/coaching changes are inevitable and hence the “window” that we all so often hear about in regards to organization’s chances to winning a championship.

      • PaulFromNorthMo

        Unless you’re in Foxborough, that window has been open going on 2 decades.

        • Homer Dave

          ya, that stooped place is always the “but” in any conversation regarding winning percentages.

          • PaulFromNorthMo

            Ain’t that the truth!

  • Homer Dave

    and here it is, even though I do not disagree with what has transpired to Miller even in spite of the absence of due process. The NFL is a hypocritical mutha f*r !!.

    Chiefs Cut Roy Miller, sign Cam Thomas https://t.co/d0uSlTLwzR— Arrowhead Pride (@ArrowheadPride) November 13, 2017