Know Your Enemy: The Kansas City Chiefs

brian clothierContributor IMay 16, 2009

KANSAS CITY, MO - OCTOBER 24:  Detail of a Kansas City Chiefs helmet during the game against the Atlanta Falcons on October 24, 2004 at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri. The Chiefs defeated the Falcons 56-10.  (Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images)

In order to accurately predict how well your team will do in the upcoming season, it is not only important to evaluate the steps taken by that team to improve, but also to evaluate the status of the teams they will be competing against. 

In this three-part series, "Know Your Enemy", I will be dissecting the Denver Broncos AFC West opponents.

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The Kansas City Chiefs 2008 season ended with a 2-14 campaign.  The woeful Chiefs longtime team president Carl Peterson resigned at seasons end and made room for former Patriots exec Scott Pioli (he helped the Pats claim three Lombardi trophies in '01, '03, and '04 and a 16-0 regular season mark in 2007).

Immediately after taking the helm, Pioli fired head coach Herm Edwards, traded away Tony Gonzalez to the Atlanta Falcons, and picked up Matt Cassel and Mike Vrabel from the Pats via trade.

After a thrilling Super Bowl performance, Arizona Cardinals offensive coordinator Todd Haley was hired on as the Chiefs newest head coach.  The ’08 Chiefs scored a total of 291 points on offense.  By comparison, Haley’s offense put up 427 points.

The Gonzalez trade netted Kansas City a second rounder in 2010.  The feeling around KC is that Brad Cottam will take the majority of plays from the tight end spot.  And to be fair, TEs in Haley’s system don’t need to be pass-catching superstars. 

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They just need to know how to block.

Haley was the reason for Kurt Warner’s "rebirth" and now he welcomes in a tested Matt Cassel.  In 2008, Cassel went 11-5 in relief of Tom Brady.

The Chiefs also added Zach Thomas (to the defense) and Bobby Engram (to the offense) from the free agent pool. 

Their first three picks of the 2009 draft were from the defensive side of the ball.  Defensive end Tyson Jackson (reunited with LSU teammate Glen Dorsey) came with pick No. 3.  Pick three in the third round (67) netted defensive tackle Alex McGee of Purdue and in the fourth round  (pick No. 2, 102 overall) Kansas City snatched up 6’0” cornerback Donald Washington from the Ohio State University.  Don’t worry (two Brandons) Flowers and Carr, I think your jobs are safe.

Kansas City’s defense was ranked 31st overall and gave up 440 points in 2008.  A 35-year-old Thomas and 33-year-old Vrabel may not be the cure-all the Chiefs would like.  KC would also like to see Glen Dorsey’s performance greatly improved.

Looking at the ’09 schedule, an at Baltimore, at Philadelphia, and at Washington all before the Bye Week spells three losses.  The Chiefs will host the Giants, Cowboys, and Steelers, but where’s the consolation in that?

A realistic approach to the 2009 Kansas City Chiefs campaign looks less like a 2-14 performance, but somewhere shy of a 6-10 outcome.  I’m going to say 4-12.

Next up, the Oakland Raiders.


Retrieved May 16, 2009, from CBSsports.com



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