Grading Kansas City's Offseason Activity
Among all 32 NFL teams this offseason, the Kansas City Chiefs have been one of the busiest teams, and rightfully so. After a 2-14 record and a season full of disappointment, there was no secret that the franchise had to clean house.
Chiefs chairman and CEO Clark Hunt did exactly that. The Chiefs now have a brand new identity and vie for improvement this season.
In this slideshow, I will grade Kansas City's offseason activity and encourage you guys to participate below, whether you agree or disagree.
Head Coaching Change
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Previous head coach: Romeo Crennel
New head coach: Andy Reid
When Romeo Crennel was named the interim head coach after Todd Haley's release, he had only six days to prepare for the 13-0 Green Bay Packers in Week 15 of the 2011 season. Within those six days, Crennel changed the starting quarterback, game plan and approach, which translated to a stunning win. There was optimism and hope after that game that Crennel could lift the Chiefs in 2012, if officially named the next head coach.
Crennel landed the job as the new head coach and was expected to win the league's Coach of the Year award by a couple of national pundits. Instead, he coached the worst team in the league and was relieved of his duties.
The Chiefs now have Andy Reid as their head coach. Reid had a reputable track record with the Philadelphia Eagles and should be able to help Kansas City find similar success.
General Manager Change
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Previous general manager: Scott Pioli
New general manager: John Dorsey
The hiring of Scott Pioli in 2009 was considered a big win for the Chiefs. However, Pioli taking charge did not translate into many wins for the franchise during his four-year tenure in Kansas City.
But who is to say that John Dorsey won't follow in Pioli's footsteps? No one knows. At the same time, the moves Dorsey has made in his first offseason with the Chiefs are more impressive than what Pioli did in his first offseason with the Chiefs.
It is still early to tell, but with the hiring and what Dorsey has accomplished so far, Chiefs fans should be happy with their new general manager.
Starting Quarterback Change
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Previous starting quarterback: Matt Cassel
New starting quarterback: Alex Smith
The plan with Matt Cassel never came to fruition and turned into a failed experiment. This past year, Cassel had trouble taking care of the football and avoiding turnovers.
With Pioli and Crennel out the door, it was expected that the Chiefs would look for a new quarterback. That led to acquiring Alex Smith in a trade with the San Francisco 49ers.
Some Chiefs fans have yet to buy into Smith. Given how he performed the past couple of years with the 49ers and the offensive players he has to work with in Kansas City, he should be able to find success with the Chiefs.
Key Free-Agent Losses
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Key free-agent losses: WR Steve Breaston, TE Kevin Boss, T Eric Winston and DE Glenn Dorsey.
When the Chiefs hired Reid and Dorsey, they quickly got to work and evaluated the talent on the team. By the time they looked over the roster, they had made some difficult decisions, but decisions they feel benefit the team the most.
Perhaps their smartest move was releasing right tackle Eric Winston, who allowed six sacks and committed a career-high eight penalties. Winston was useful in the running game, but was not a three-dimensional offensive tackle.
Key Free-Agent Additions
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Key free-agent additions: WR Donnie Avery, TE Anthony Fasano, DE Mike DeVito, CB Sean Smith and CB Dunta Robinson
The Chiefs remained active in free agency by signing some players who could be instant contributors in Week 1 of the regular season. None of the signed free agents are known as Pro Bowl-caliber players, but they fill a need on Kansas City's roster and can help the team improve after last year's two-win season.
Re-Signing Players and Using the Franchise Tag
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Players re-signed: WR Dwayne Bowe and P Dustin Colquitt
Franchise tag usage: T Branden Albert
The most impressive move by Dorsey so far is the day he locked up Dwayne Bowe and Dustin Colquitt to long-term deals while using the franchise tag on Branden Albert.
Bowe and Colquitt were re-signed the day of the deadline to use the franchise tag and managed to keep two good football players along with Albert. Although Albert's future is uncertain, the Chiefs have him for the 2013 season if the team doesn't find a trade partner.
In order for the Chiefs to find success this season, Bowe, Colquitt and Albert are all necessary components to help the team.
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Chiefs 2013 NFL Draft: T Eric Fisher, TE Travis Kelce, RB Knile Davis, ILB Nico Johnson, CB/S Sanders Commings, C Eric Kush, FB Braden Wilson and DE/OLB Mike Catapano.
Even though the Chiefs traded away their second-round pick for Smith, they used their first three draft picks on offensive players. Rightfully so, Dorsey and Reid want to make the offense better than before by finding new starters and building good depth.
Kansas City had a lot of attention when it owned the No. 1 pick in the draft and selected Eric Fisher over Luke Joeckel. Although this move surprised some, the Chiefs feel optimistic about their pick and believe he can help make a difference.