Kansas City Chiefs: Offseason Checklist

January 1st, 2013

There is a calm currently at Arrowhead, hopefully before a huge storm of changes.

KCCD Editor: Jason Madson

The 2012 season is in the rearview mirror. We know the Chiefs will have a new Head Coach and the number one overall pick. We don’t know who will be making the war room decisions on draft day though. Clark Hunt is taking his time deciding the future of his football team. Will Clark fire Pioli, keep him around or give him a broom and dust pan to earn that large paycheck?

This organization definitely needs to be cleaned from the top down. Whatever is decided, let’s just hope it is quick. The new staff needs time to develop a gameplan for the draft and free agency. Kansas City needs numerous upgrades for the starters and more depth. Check out my list and feel free to add your own or rearrange the order.

1. General Manager

After Clark Hunt goes through all his evaluations, Scott Pioli will not be an employee of the Kansas City Chiefs. Hunt is going to find it hard to hire one of the bigger name Head Coaches he covets with Pioli above them. I know Hunt said the new HC will report to only him, but how long will that last?

Check out the two articles I wrote in the past few months here and here about the candidates at which the Chiefs could be looking. You need a guy that brings back the relationships with the fans and media. Give the people what they want, info on their favorite team! More importantly, A WINNER!

2. Head Coach

This could be number one on the list if the head coached hired is also in control of personnel. What I want out of the new man is a caretaker, someone that oversees everything, but hands off most duties to coordinators and position coaches. The trust in this organization went bye-bye a long time ago, let’s get that back.  While a guy like Gruden would handle the QBs and some of the offense, I still want a strong offensive coordinator with him. We saw how that worked out as Romeo as HC and DC.

Great scenario would be a guy like Mike McCoy, Bruce Arians or Bill O’Brien as Head Coach with proven, veteran coordinators like Norv Turner(OC) and Lovie Smith(DC). This is just an example, but with these young HC proven coordinators are a must. Look at Todd Haley when he had Romeo and Charlie as his coordinators. It works.

3.  Fill Out Coaching Staff With Talent on Both Sides of the Ball

This was discussed above, but it is vital to any coaching hire. Get a great staff together and your team shows improvement. It’s science. We know the disadvantage the Chiefs set themselves up with last year with Brian Daboll at OC and Romeo filling HC/DC duties. Look at the Broncos with Mike McCoy and Peyton Manning 2 talented offensive coordinators taking them to the number 1 seed and likely Super Bowl appearance.

Black Monday created a few coordinator candidates for the Chiefs in Norv Turner, Lovie Smith and Ken Whisenhunt. There are also multiple postion coaches out there that are hungry for a shot. I haven’t looked at hese candidates yet. Check back in the near future.

4. Re-Sign Dwayne Bowe

Jonathan Baldwin is terrible. Steve Breaston “doesn’t know the gameplan” and Terrance Copper is well Terrance Copper. While the Breaston excuse is BS, the other two I mentioned aren’t going to cut it with a rookie QB. Giving Bowe a long-term contract worries me, but it is necessary for the future success of this team.  Look at the offense after he went out with broken ribs. It went from bad to atrocious.

Bowe is a fan favorite and seems to want to stay in KC. While him pointing to the name on his back after every big play annoys me, this signing is a must.

5. Put Franchise Tag on Branden Albert

The reason why I’m not signing Albert long-term and franchising Bowe, is health. Albert seems to be nicked up or hurt throughout the course of every season. He has a shaky back and multiple other injuries.  This one year deal buys some excellent protection for a young QB and gives Donald Stephenson another year to develop into Albert’s replacement.

If it turns out that Stephenson isn’t ready after the 2013 season, then Albert can be re-signed and all is well. That is if he accepts, but that is a long way away. Check the 2014 offseason checklist for that update.

6. Restructure Tyson Jackson

Tyson Jackson has been playing much better the last half of this season. I wouldn’t go as far as to say he’s earning his contract, but the play has improved. He is set to make over 14 million dollars next season. That cap number is unacceptable for a player with his resume. Get him signed to a friendly 4 year deal and Chiefs fans shouldn’t complain.

Tyson has a place on this roster, whether the new coaching staff uses a 3-4 or 4-3 defense. Jackson has proven he can stop the run and get to the QB lately in the sub packages. I would go as far as saying I’d be disappointed if he weren’t re-signed.

7. Cut Matt Cassel

This is an obvious decision, but wanted to add it anyway. Cassel, as tough as he’s proven to be, is a terrible quarterback.  He isn’t worth half of the 7.5 million he is set to make in 2013 or the 9 million in 2014. Get him off this roster ASAP. I don’t blame Cassel for his contract or being the Chiefs starter (#FIREPIOLI), it’s just time for a change for both parties.

8.  Throw Some Money Around in Free Agency

Pioli did this last year, hitting on one of his 4 big signings. Eric Winston was the only positive signing out of Routt, Hillis and Boss. It’s time to target some bigger fish and throw some of the cap space at them. Cutting Cassel and restructuring Jackson helps create more money for the new GM/HC. A cornerback like Aqib Talib or safety like William Moore would be huge additions to the Chiefs paper thin secondary.  A veteran QB should also be targeted, many of you have mentioned Alex Smith from the 49ers. An inside linebacker must be signed or drafted as well.

Make a few signings like these and you have a solid start to rebuilding certain spots on this roster.

9. Draft 2 Quarterbacks

In addition to signing a vet in free agency, an infusion of young talent on the QB depth chart is a must. Every one of you know I’m for the Chiefs drafting Geno Smith with the top pick. After this, grab another QB later in the draft. Whether it’s in the 3rd or the 6th, find a spot that you think has the most value and attack. This draft is deep with QB talent and the Chiefs need to take advantage.

10. Add Depth

Injuries hurt this team in a big way in 2012. The defensive and offensive lines along with the secondary need upgrades to the depth. The Chiefs had games where Jaquies Reeves started at cornerback. That is unacceptable. Abe Elam also saw too much playing time this year. Guys like Ross Hochstein and Bryan Mattison where among the top reserves late in the year for the Chiefs. This can’t happen.

Draft an interior lineman that can play all three spots. Sign a FA defensive tackle and select Tyrann Mathieu in the draft. Mathieu is a guy I feel can be moved around in the secondary playing at a high level in each spot. Problem solved.


Tags: Branden Albert, Chiefs offseason checklist, Clark Hunt, Dwayne Bowe, Eric Winston, Tyrann Mathieu

3 Responses to “Kansas City Chiefs: Offseason Checklist”

  1. Miguel Grande says:

    Clark Hunt should get on the phone with Tampa Bay and trade that #1 pick for Josh Freeman. Josh is coming off a record setting year yet he is blamed for the Buc’s failure to make the playoffs.

    He has never had the benefit of a consistent offensive coaching scheme.

    I think Freeman has never been accepted in the Deep South and would be better suited to return to his home state of Kansas.

    Freeman would help sell tickets to Kansas State alumni and even make Pioli look good.

  2. Brad says:

    Nice list.

    I think “regaining the fan base” should be on this list. Sure, getting a proven leader to coach and some free agents will help, but I think more should be done. Clark needs to go into the owners meetings and talk to who ever is in charge of scheduling and demand some prime time games at Arrowhead.
    A 2 win team usually is not that lucky, but if two games next year are prime time (including a thanksgiving night game @ Arrowhead) the whole city would be buzzing and will not hesitate to throw down some dolla dolla bills.

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