My grandfather always told me that if you don’t have anything nice to say it’s best to keep quiet. Well I tried to write this column after last nights Chiefs game but the words were harsh, poignant and they just irritated me even more. However, the time away from Saturday nights game, still didn’t sit well with me or any Chiefs fan.
I’m not going to describe the Chiefs as the Titanic. but in the course of six months, they’ve regressed to a below average football team. Over the course of six days this football team has showed numerous flaws and that almost certainly insures a losing season in 2014.
Yes I know it’s the pre-season and these games don’t mean anything. However, what’s the point in playing a football game of any kind if you don’t plan on winning it. The problem with the Chiefs right now, this team has to overcome significant issues on offense and defense (not to mention key injuries and suspensions) but it’s going to be nearly impossible to clean them all up before the season opener.
Head Coach, Andy Reid, has his work cut out for him. As things look now, he’s going to need every coaching trick in his back pocket to guide the Chiefs to eight wins this season. But from what we all saw Saturday night, this football team is going to be hard pressed to make that happen.
What sticks in my crawl is the fact the Chiefs have not been more aggressive in making moves since camp opened. With double digit draft picks available next season, the fact they’re sitting on them instead of dumping a few to add some veterans, tells me they might believe 2014 is a rebuilding year.
If that’s the case, I would expect some major roster cuts or trades over the next week plus to load up on dollars for a big free agency run in 2015. If they are truly building for the future, and appear unwilling to give both, Quarterback Alex Smith and Linebacker Justin Houston, NFL market dollars, I can see lots of empty seats at Arrowhead this winter.
General Manager, John Dorsey, talked at halftime during the game about making roster moves this week. In my view, he needs to claim players off waivers, make a trade or two and do something bold. By doing just that, it will show the fan base that in the wake of his teams mediocrity, he can create solutions. But standing pat isn’t acceptable.
It’s clear the 2014 version of the Chiefs is flawed. Management has built a team that has no significant depth at offensive line, wide receiver, safety and cornerback, has to call into question his efforts to build upon the team’s playoff appearance last season.
Granted it’s not all Dorsey’s fault because the players are ultimately accountable. Reid is doing his best Houdini act but let’s be honest, this football team has taken several steps back since January. So that begs the question. Can this team turn it around with a lack of talent, contract squabbles and a roster that’s not quite ready for primetime?
The short answer is no.
The long answer might offer more optimism. Reid is a wonderful coach, who has taken teams with more flaws than this Chiefs team, to multiple NFC Championship games.
Still this team enters the final pre-season game Thursday night against the Green Bay Packers with a plethora of issues. However, if the Chiefs are going to make some adjustments on and off the field, they better do it fast.
For Reid, he has to settle on five offensive linemen (currently on this roster or not) that can run his offense and protect his unhappy quarterback. For Dorsey, he better get on those contract extensions with Houston and Smith because it’s clear neither has played well in three preseason games and their contract stalemates are spilling out onto the field.
Should Dorsey get that done, he then needs to wheel and deal to shake up the roster to insure his football team will be playing meaningful games in October and beyond.
Void of those efforts it could be a very long season for the Chiefs this season. And should the Royals continue their onslaught for a playoff birth, this football team will be an after thought to the starved baseball fans that have been waiting for a post season winner since 1985.
Photos: Alex Smith (1) & Knile Davis (2) Justin Olson Warpaint Illustrated.
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