A devastating Wild Card round loss to the Indianapolis Colts put a damper on a tremendous and exciting 2013 regular season for the Kansas City Chiefs. Under new Head Coach Andy Reid, the Chiefs saw their record improve 9 games, from 2-14 in the 2012 season to 11-5 in 2013. The team played with renewed confidence while fans watched with renewed hope.
Heading into the offseason, the Chiefs biggest overall need is the same as it was heading into the 2013 season: depth. In most spots, the Chiefs have solid starters that are among the best in the NFL. However, as the season-ending game against the Indianapolis Colts painfully showed us, there is a serious lack of quality depth in the backup spots.
With very little cap space available, the Chiefs cut cornerback Dunta Robinson on February seventh. Cutting Robinson may be the first of many salary cap moves to come. Reports are that left tackle Brandon Albert will be allowed to move on to a new team. lLast year’s first overall pick, Eric Fisher, played left tackle at Central Michigan. With the Chiefs, he was moved over to Right Tackle. After suffering several injuries and struggling on the right side, the Chiefs coaching staff is planning to move Fisher over to Left Tackle, giving Donald Stephenson the Right Tackle position to command. Re-signing their Guards, either Jon Asmoah or Geoff Schwartz, will be a key component to keeping the continuity on the offensive line.
Another position in need of expansion is wide receiver . More than half of the Chiefs wide-receivers from last season are Free Agents. The biggest name in this group is Dexter McCluster. In 2013, McCluster utilized his immense talent as a return specialist, garnering him a spot in the Pro Bowl. His production at wide receiver though, paled in comparison to his production as a return specialist. Because of this, the Chiefs may decide to go in another direction at wide receiver .
Getting Tight End Travis Kelce back this season after a knee injury, will give Quarterback Alex Smith another target in the passing game. The Chiefs are set at Quarterback and Running Back and should not need any upgrades.
The defense inherited by Coach Reid needs depth in almost every position. The Defensive starters, like the Offense, have been solid. The Chiefs need to cultivate the talent of the backups to ensure there is no drop-off in play if a starter goes down. The exception to the solid Defense is in the Free Safety position. That may require not only depth, but an overhaul of the position itself. Since returning from his shoulder injury, Kendrick Lewis has been a liability. Missed tackles and an overall drop in performance may lead to the Chiefs saying goodbye to Lewis.
New General Manager John Dorsey may also follow the team-building blueprint he utilized in Green Bay by building up the roster via the draft rather than through free agency. Regardless of how Dorsey builds the roster, the building blocks are in place to push the Chiefs into being a Super Bowl contender sooner rather than later.
Written by: Scott Murphy
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