Following a 2-14 campaign last season, team chairman and CEO Clark Hunt went to work on revamping the organization from the top down, beginning with changes at the general manager and head coaching positions.
Scott Pioli made a name for himself as a personnel man for the New England Patriots, but his time in Kansas City wasn’t quite as prosperous. While the Chiefs searched for a new head coach to replace Romeo Crennel, Pioli sat in on the interviews, presumably helping to pick the head coach who would necessitate his departure.
Kansas City hired former Philadelphia Eagles head coach Andy Reid—a coach known for having a say in nearly every personnel decision made in Philadelphia. With Reid assuming the head coaching role in Kansas City, it was time for Pioli and the Chiefs to part ways.
John Dorsey replaced Pioli at the position, but the new GM isn’t likely to wield as much power as Pioli did in his time with the team. By all indications, Dorsey and Reid are working together on personnel matters, giving the new head coach an opportunity to mold his roster the way he sees fit.
Reid brought in an entirely new coaching staff, effectively cleaning house and starting fresh with a new identity. But perhaps his biggest offseason move came in the form of a trade for a new starting quarterback.
With Colin Kaepernick having taken the reins in San Francisco, the 49ers were willing to part ways with Alex Smith—a quarterback who saw a resurgence of sorts under head coach Jim Harbaugh. San Francisco simply wasn’t willing to facilitate a quarterback controversy or pay Smith top dollar, but the 49ers’ loss was Kansas City’s gain.
The Chiefs traded two draft picks for Smith (a 2013 second-rounder and 2014 conditional pick), but the potential reward was worth the risk. After all, the Chiefs finished the 2012 season ranked dead last in the NFL in passing.
Factor in the absence of an elite quarterback in the 2013 NFL draft class and it appears Kansas City made the right choice.
With a new quarterback at the helm, Dorsey and Reid went to work on filling in pieces around him. First they re-signed Dwayne Bowe to a five-year, $56 million contract extension, and then they gave offensive tackle Branden Albert the franchise tag.
While Kansas City did well to keep its in-house affairs in order this offseason, it also pieced together a tremendous free-agent class that included the likes of cornerbacks Sean Smith and Dunta Robinson, tight end Anthony Fasano, wide receiver Donnie Avery and former Philadelphia Eagles linebacker Akeem Jordan—a player with whom Reid was already familiar.
The Chiefs also put together a solid draft class, headlined by No. 1 overall offensive tackle Eric Fisher.
Fisher, a late riser in the predraft process, jumped Texas A&M offensive tackle Luke Joeckel to earn that selection, and while the merits of Kansas City’s choice are still being discussed, Dorsey and Reid got the player they wanted at No. 1.
We’ll take a closer look at that decision and the rest of the Chiefs’ draft class, as well as a more involved look at some key free-agent signings, positions to watch and the Chiefs’ 2013 schedule. Read on.