Chiefs Have To Win Now: The Imperative Of Immediate Success Post-Dorsey

A few short weeks ago, we were staring down one of the most stable organizations in the NFL. Chiefs sport a roster stuffed with young talent and a front office hemorrhaging the guys who secured said talent. Clark Hunt has gotten a lot of respect from fans, thus far, for turning the franchise around, but Reid and Dorsey was his first successful duo. Before that, his record is not so great. Andy Reid has one of the best records in the NFL, as a head coach, but he’s never won a Super Bowl. It seems clear that fans have moved from trusting the organization, to a wait-and-see attitude. If things start to go wrong, it won’t be long before the finger pointing begins and the banners start flying. Those are the kinds of distractions that destroy teams. There is only one remedy to all this uncertainty: win, and do it now.

Cap Space: The Chiefs defense is hanging onto some old players. Derrick Johnson and Tamba Hali, together, will hit the Chiefs cap for almost 19m in 2018. That’s a lot of cash, but Chiefs are unlikely to cut beloved veterans loose on the cusp of a championship. If Chiefs can win the big game, it’s likely that both Hali and Johnson are ready to walk off into retirement, leaving a huge chunk of cap space behind. The cap situation may seem dire at the moment, with Chiefs projected to be over the cap already next year, but Chiefs will begin 2019 with over 80m in cap space. If they can let loose a few veterans and hang on to some key rookies, the future could offer a lot more flexibility.

Treating Mahomes Right: Most fans have mixed feelings, at best, about Alex Smith. If the Chiefs find themselves falling behind this season, the calls to put in the rookie will come quick and loud. At best, this response, from the fans, would be a distraction and an annoyance to the team. At worst, Chiefs could give in to fan pressure and throw Mahomes to the wolves. No one, who wants Mahomes to succeed, should want that. I believe he is the QBOTF for this team, but starting him this season wouldn’t be good for his long term development. Rookies who start too early tend to pick up bad habits. If Chiefs can roll into the playoffs, with Smith at the helm, it’ll be a good thing. If they can win it all with Smith, they might just be able to get a 2nd or 3rd round pick for him next year.

Maintaining a Positive Image: Chiefs might not be the biggest market, but they have a pretty good rep in the league and Clark Hunt is among the more influential owners. Chiefs have been working hard to elevate their position in the league for a while now. Hosting a draft is a major goal for Kansas City. If Chiefs want to maintain their status though, they’re going to need to win this year. The NFL bet big on Kansas City, scheduling them for six prime time games, including the all-important, season opener. If Chiefs look anything short of a playoff contender, they’ll be letting the league down and humiliating their fans on national television. Right or wrong, those fans will be quick to blame such a performance on the Dorsey firing.

At the beginning of the off-season, fans expected Chiefs to make a big push for a championship. A few months later, we really aren’t sure what to expect. That doesn’t change the fact that Chiefs need to win. Fans may have dropped their expectations for the moment, but they’re still lurking beneath the surface. Anything less than a playoff win will be considered a major let-down and an indictment of the Dorsey decision. Firing Dorsey was a huge risk, but winning solves everything, in the NFL, and Hunt better hope that’s what the Chiefs do.

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Ransom Hawthorne

Ransom Hawthorne

Ransom Hawthorne is an electrician living in central KS. He's married and has two young boys. Born in KS, and raised in Tucson, Ransom spent his middle school years in southern Mexico.
Ransom Hawthorne

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  • freshmeat62

    Dorsey or no Dorsey, this season is pretty much set. It’s up to the coaches now to mold this into a winning team. Where Dorsey will be missed for the rest of the season is bringing in the unknowns to replace injuries or the marginal player. That, I believe, was his strongest asset.

    You stated that 2019 is a year in which the cap can become manageable for the Chiefs. I’ve been saying that for a couple months. That’s why, even though he did a fairly lousy job of managing the cap in the past, I would have given him 2 more years to see if he learned to do a better job.

    I don’t know who they’ll get to replace him, but even if a clone of Belichick, I expect this to set them back at least 2 years.

    I just don’t get it! Was he asking for too much money? Did he piss on Hunt’s desk? What the heck happened?

    • Frank Rodela

      I heard it was a poo on the desk, not pee

    • Chiefly Bacon

      http://mmqb.si.com/mmqb/2017/06/29/kansas-city-chiefs-john-dorsey-fired-nfl-notebook That article pretty much says that Dorsey was disorganized and didn’t seek enough input on his decisions. Sights the drafting of Kevin Hogan as something that came as a shock to most scouts and coaches. Dorsey had begun to trust his gut a little too much and wasn’t sharing with the rest of the coaching and scouting staff like he should have.

  • tm1946

    Might suggest a little twist to this line of thought. First, never thought we were headed toward the SB with this roster after the draft. DJ and Hali are still on the roster (18 million dollars worth of roster space) BECAUSE there is no replacements (apparently) on the roster – refer back to no replacement from the draft. Lastly, Dorsey is gone, what the Chiefs do or not, he did what he could and except for his cap management, highly regarded until he got fired.

  • freshmeat62

    I’m curious now as to where Mahomes stands? Is he now the orphaned red headed stepchild that no one wants? Was he Dorsey’s pick and Hunt and Reid were against it? They were in the room when Dorsey made the trade and pick. Did Dorsey go rogue? I don’t believe that for a minute.

    • berttheclock

      I believe it was Reid who begged Dorsey to travel to Ames to personally scout Mahomes II. Reid wanted to go in a new direction at QB. He did the same thing when he coached in Philly. He gave up on McNabb before McNabb was really finished in the league. However, what bothered me the most about taking Mahomes II was not that he did not possess talent, but, by moving up to 10 in the draft and giving away both the 91 pick and the 1st pick next year, that move really hurt the Cap space and began the domino effect of cutting Maclin a year too soon.

      • David Perkins

        The cap as already a casualty before the 2017 draft so Mahomes pick did not hurt it any worse than it already was

        • Laurels and limitations

          thank you. If a person really wants to cite events that have negatively affected the KC cap there is no shortage. Bowe/Hali/Charles/Maclin/Howard/Fisher etc. The salary cap situation, which is still easily rectified, was not caused by any rookie signed THIS year.

          • mnelson52

            I thought we still had Howard for this year as the 2nd year of his 2 year cheap contract. I didn’t understand his release.

          • you are saying this outside of Dorsey’s plan. I don’t believe that the cap was Dorsey’s stumbling block. I stated this above. I think he knew who he was releasing and why. I think the way it got done, reflects something else that Dorsey/JMac had going on. I am sorry for Charles. I think Dorsey wrote him off and he had reason to do so. Charles cost a lot of money for two years of nothing. Howard? He is not sore and there was a reason for his release.

    • tm1946

      We needed a QBOFT and had failed with every kid they brought in to look at, why I think Reid is not the guru so many consider him. Will Mahomes be the guy, no idea, most college QBs fail, why is he any better? But Dorsey/whoever get full credit, it had to be done, they had to try for one…. Alex is not going to any SB without a ticket.

    • Chiefly Bacon

      Everybody in the organization wanted Mahomes. No sources have said otherwise and several have explicitly stated this.

      • freshmeat62

        After doing some more reading, I think you’re right. Some of the talk I had seen were making it out like Mahomes was a just Dorsey pick.

  • berttheclock

    After perusing all of the important Chiefs’ fan blog sites with the many different opinions expressed, I believe Britt Zank of Arrowhead Addict has come the closest to an excellent review of the situation. Zank feels that Clark Hunt ended up firing the wrong man. John Dorsey has been poor with negotiations, either in starting many of them far too late or in the overall money he ended up giving to players. However, he is a great talent scout and possessed something no other GM of the Chiefs has been able to do since Don Klosterman in the sixties. Dorsey was able to build the lower part of the roster with quality players who were paid low amounts of money.

    But, Zank believes that Hunt fired the wrong man. He should have released Andy Reid. Yes, Laddie will fly to the support of his fellow Southern Californian and mention the many wins by Andy. But, Reid is very much akin to George Allen, another HC who could rack up many wins, but, never succeed in winning the biggest prize of all. Andy Reid will lead a team to what appears to be a very successful year, but, fail badly in the all important playoffs.

    One thing about Arrowhead Addict is while that site has some excellent writing talent for articles, their ridiculous policy of allowing trolls to frequent the site makes their comment section unreadable. I believe Laddy has been the only one running a Chiefs’ site who has been able to keep the level of discussion by posters informative and enjoyable.

    • freshmeat62

      AP also has good columns, but they are a little too liberal w/ their ‘free speech’ over there.

      • drwillez37

        A bunch of knuckleheads postings GIF’s that have nothing to do with the column. AND if u do you get steamrolled by said posters, so I read and move on to here.

    • Andy

      I just can’t agree with cutting Reid. Reid and Sutton are just as important, if not more so, than keeping Dorsey.
      I don’t fear Reid fallring in the playoffs. I remember the last time we got rid of a coach because he couldn’t win in the playoffs..The last Chiefs team to earn back to back playoff berths had Joe Montana and Steve Bono at quarterback.
      Releasing a HC has huge ramifications, like a whole new, well, everything. How long will that set us back?
      Most of the names I’ve heard that have interviewed sound good, with Mr V at the head of the class.

      • larry mckinney

        I agree and will spread the wisdom of another poster on another site that is very apropos. Too many focus on the ceiling instead of the floor. Wherever Reid has been, he has delivered playoff teams. Instead of wailing about not being the SB winner, I take comfort in knowing the Chiefs will be in the hunt.

        We’ve seen 3 consecutive flukey SB winners. Think the Pats win if Carroll runs the ball, or if Carolina doesn’t go brain dead? Think the Donkies win without an offense, ever again? That’s three flawed winners in a row. Which “wise” observers here would have given any of them a chance?

        • Andy

          Hard to tell what this season will hold, with our roster pretty much the same. I like the Logan and hunt pick ups. But I love our HC and DC to keep us in almost every games

          • larry mckinney

            Me too.

    • tm1946

      Dissecting site is a tough enterprise. It all depends on your point of view. IMO, Pride would give anyone diabetes, AA just to hateful with know-nothings wearing red/gold glasses no matter what. AO, just like it, less hate for those who do not think the Chiefs have made a mistake here or there.

    • Laurels and limitations

      If the Clarks were to fire Reid it would set the program back by at least two years while the new guy gets his program in place- and this is if the current personnel fit said program. The new guy might want to play a man scheme with the o-line, he might want to employ a 4-3 defense. Either of which would require the better part of an entirely new roster when it is all said and done.

      • mnelson52

        I agree with you. At the same time, if Reid stays 8 more years and still no SB, than you have to start that 2 year change 8 years from now instead of now.

      • certainly true, unless he brought someone to the field who could simplify the offense, exploit the talent on the roster and often Reid doesn’t use the players that have all the skills…Another HC probably could accomplish what I am suggesting, stick with a version of the west coast and begin to see his own future(according to the partnership with the GM, which suddenly disappeared a couple three days ago)

    • Chiefly Bacon

      The great thing is, as much as you hate Reid Bert, you’ll be just as happy as the rest of us when he his first Super Bowl.

      • I don’t hate Reid. I think he has built a complicated offense that is difficult for players to grasp easily. I think his PLAY CALLING SUCKS. His clock management has improved. He has a way of stepping on his own D–k periodically, especially in playoff games.

    • drwillez37

      I don’t believe that was ever in the cards…Dorsey was out because of his actions not because there was a you or me situation

    • drwillez37

      Whats going on lately Bert you been craving the rope alittle. Are you ok?? (Friend hat on)

    • drwillez37

      U are 100 about the AA commentors…terrible at best with a Broncos fan doing most of the writing

    • Yes. I think Zank was correct. I think Dorsey didn’t help himself but I want to get this out again; Dorsey used all of the cap down to the iota to put the players in position to contribute to the Chiefs. Rather than believe he mismanaged this, I think he did an extraordinary job. However, I agree that his negotiating contracts was not up to what I believe it should have been. I think here, contracts he got signed(I personally agree with them, but that is not the point). He had difficulty with Houston and Berry for example and apparently pissed Berry off to the max. But I don’t personally think a safety is the player to pay that much money to. Just me. OTOH: People are pissed about Fisher and LD-T. I am not. They are pissed about Al Smith. I am not. When they gave Al the contract, it seemed huge. It now fits where he fits in the scheme of NFL QBs and it is a “bargain”. Our loss at QB, first Chase Daniel and then Foles, set things back for me but they were 10 mil plus #2 QBs. The cap space had nothing to do with letting them go to F/A. That is a lot of money for a #2. Ballard, which is not related to cap but who was allowed to interview and leave — that tells us that whatever happened was a ‘Rude Awakening’. Clark Hunt deserves criticism on this matter. Big time.

  • freshmeat62

    After reading the bios of the 5 candidates mentioned, any one seems like he would be a good pick. I guess I’m more surprised that there are so many good candidates out there now. But if I had to pick a fave, and for a seamless transition, it would probably be Brett Veach, because of familiarity w/ Reid, and the current roster.

  • Laurels and limitations

    Maybe, just maybe the Clarks felt that Dorsey had reached his personal Peter principle. Maybe Dorsey is well above average as a scout but I think everyone can agree that his contractual skills are sub-par. As the owner/GM/spokesperson of the team Clark can’t afford to employ a GM with only 1/2 of the necessary skills so Dorsey had to go.

    • tm1946

      Still unlike normal Hunt operation. He and his dad used to wait till the end of a season to evaluate staff. This was something more pressing.

      • Chiefly Bacon

        I’m guessing Hunt had a lot of issues with Dorsey, but was going to hold his nose and extend him because of drafting ability. I think the handling of Maclin’s release had to be the last straw. Any of the other issues Chiefs had happened long enough ago that Hunt would have dealt with it then.

        • tm1946

          You folks are thinking outside the box. At the end of last year, Mr Hunt could have cut ties to any management but he did not. Then the necessary cutting of veterans, could that have been enough to not tried to find a medium path where the success of the last 3 years was? Does not sound “Hunt” to me. We are missing something.

          But, that said, Dorsey is gone, we will have a new GM and he has to sign Mahomes and find cash for “just in case” matters and we still have to play the 2017 season…. time is a-hopping

          • drwillez37

            Who knows…this might just be a pis sing competition as sad as that sounds…we’re all men you know how it goes…and if I owned the team it would be MY WAY!!! BEST BELIEVE THAT

          • tm1946

            Probably correct but can you picture Clark Hunt saying that?, I cannot.

          • drwillez37

            No he might say it in the mirror then apologize to himself

          • drwillez37

            It’s definitely more to the story…I wonder how many interviewees..are asking that question behind that door

          • you are, I think, correct. And we may never know. Dorsey is a throwback era man and he was Mr. Football all his life. I respect the man. “Something Happened”(vis a vis, Joseph Heller).

      • Laurels and limitations

        could have easily been an impasse between the two parties. The “butting” of “heads” in the last few months was possibly Clark attempting to steer Dorsey in the desired direction and Dorsey resisting.

      • exactly. In Hunt’s view and he is the top executive. Look, I trust Hunt and since the Belcher incident, he put people in position to make the Chiefs 4 years of winning football possible. I met Mr. Hunt at the gate before the Titans game and recall that the game time started at 0 degrees. He was out front, hatless, wearing an overcoat and gloves, taking the time to meet the fans. His stock shot up tremendously with me to be able to have a short chat with him. He asked me how long since I had been to Arrowhead — it was 1977 or 78 the last game I saw at the new complex. I moved to NC in 78 and then I’ve Been Moved took me round the country…

    • drwillez37

      Almost borderline Phil Jacksonish at times with his contractual skills.ouch!!! ALMOST

  • drwillez37

    I just read a story about Joe Delaney of the Kc Chiefs a young man in the prime of his days drowned trying to save 3 boys drowning 2 that would reach the same fate of poor Joe…heroes these are people that need to be praised in these times

    • tm1946

      There have always been those who run toward the fire while others do not.

      • drwillez37

        I’m that kiND of person… (not to toot my horn) but I wanna know why I never heard his name till now…I’m 36 I was 2 when that happened but still

        • Laurels and limitations

          Joe Delaney has been a KC legend for a while. The kid had so much promise as a player, but that is not what mattered to him and he gave his life proving it.

          • drwillez37

            The story was amazing. His sister said he was the only one in the family that could swim, and he was proud of that. And he also acknowledged he didn’t swim well he still went in that water

          • Laurels and limitations

            completely selfless act by Delaney. It’s one of those stories that you wish never had to be told, but you understand that it should. It’s easy to think the universe revolves around yourself, it is so much harder to understand that it doesn’t but that we should strive to make it a better place regardless.

        • Delaney was a story so long ago that it takes someone who knows the history, and his time with the Chiefs and his tragic death to remind us of the great and honorable men in the Chiefs past. There have been many tragedies since the Texans were formed and became the Chiefs. I wrote an article for KCChiefsbeat 3 years ago about Delaney, but there was Mack Lee Hill(Torn knee ligament, died of an embolism a day or two later; Stone Johnson(RB) broke a neck vertibrae, had surgery and died days later and of course, Joe Delaney. Fred Arbanis, KC Tight End had an eye put out and played his NFL career with vision in only one eye. Also I wrote several pieces on how Hunt(at the time, 26 years old) had the vision and could not get it done attempting to purchase a franchise — voila: The AFL and Texans(Chiefs). I wrote a piece on Lloyd Wells who was responsible for bringing players from small colleges to the Chiefs, unknown talents from the south and Texas. The Chiefs had a Rice U relationship and that fed the team a lot of talent. Jim Tyrer, a solid OL for the Chiefs, who should have been in the NFL Hall of Fame in my view — whose life ended in tragedy in 1980 after he killed his wife Martha. Of course, this was long after Tyrer had retired but he was part of Chiefs history and this was a huge shock to the organization. DT. What can I say? Man that was awful. Then we have Jovan Belcher, murdering his girl friend and killing himself in front of the coach in 2011.

          There are a lot of good things in the past as well and I don’t wish to dwell on the deaths of so many as the only thing about the past I recall. For me? KC Municipal was where I watched most of my Chiefs games that I may now have forgotten and some of the games away stick in my mind. I can’t recall where it was played but there was a championship game v. the Bills and the Chiefs were shy of RBs and Tight Ends… Stram went to the College I formation to win that game. I think it was the 66 championship game, the opposing QB, Jack Kemp.

      • drwillez37

        Others hold their phones while a girl dangles from an amusement park ride

  • drwillez37

    If anything this has given us lots to debate and don’t look this as a lose or as a rebirth(not again!!!)….GO CHIEFS!!!