With the NFL’s post-season combatants down to the Final Four, it’s time for the Kansas City Chiefs to get serious about winning it all in 2015. With the future of Denver Broncos Quarterback in flux and the teams window for a Super Bowl all but closed, the Chiefs need to adopt a new off-season plan.
In the month of January, the Kansas City Chiefs have sprinkled in a few roster moves including signing Quarterback, Terrell Pryor and troubled wide receiver, Da’Rick Rogers but done nothing else in my view thus far to shake their foundation to succeed in 2015 where they failed in 2013 and 2014.
However, through a series of moves I believe need to be made, they would reshape the Chiefs into Super Bowl contenders. It would require some guts from KC’s Head Coach in order to execute my plan. That would mean, Andy Reid, must go outside his comfort zone, turn away some loyalties on his own staff and push his General Manager, John Dorsey, to sign some key free agents.
So what five steps must be made?
1. Hire Dick LeBeau – When news broke Sunday morning that the Steelers Hall of Fame Defensive Coordinator was leaving Pittsburgh, I began to hatch my plan for a Chiefs Super Bowl encore.
With Bob Sutton an average defensive coordinator at best, the Chiefs could upgrade their defense in the snap of a finger. In dumping Sutton and hiring LeBeau the Chiefs defense would be reminiscent of the days when Derrick Thomas was leading the pack.
LeBeau has never had a pair of pass rushers with the ability of Justin Houston and the upside of Dee Ford at his disposal. If you add, Tamba Hali into the mix (provided he restructures his 2015 contract), he’d have a trio, along with Defensive Tackle, Dontari Poe that would make the Chiefs front seven nearly unstoppable with LeBaue’s handprints on KC’s defense.
Should this domino fall, Reid gets the chance to right that wrong that pushed him to hire Sutton. Further I believe strongly a move to change defensive coordinators would make some of the Chiefs defenders happy. It’s clear the players tap dance when talking about Sutton and that tells me they’d support a mutiny.
2. Promote Brad Childress - I’ve already talked about my passion for promoting Brad Childress from game coordinator to offensive coordinator. So I’ll make this brief, it has to happen.
Reid, who calls the play now over his current offensive coordinator, Doug Pederson, needs to give up some control to the brilliant offensive mind of Childress. Enough said!
3. Promote Eugene Chung - I’ve never been a fan of Andy Heck as a player or an offensive line coach. The fact Reid brought him over from the Philadelphia Eagles told me this move was based more on loyalty than coachability. Like Pederson the two are friends with the Chiefs head coach but I don’t care about that any more – a Super Bowl is in the balance for this franchise. The NFL is a results business and under Heck the Chiefs offensive line actually got worse as the season progressed – that’s not acceptable to me.
Though I would prefer the Chiefs wait patiently to hire current Oakland Raiders Head Coach, Tony Sparano, should he get passed over to keep his job, for their offensive line job - promoting Chung makes a lot of sense if choice one isn’t available.
The key to all of the Chiefs fortunes offensively, not to mention the health of Quarterback, Alex Smith, rests solely on revamping KC’s line in 2015. However, should that occur, Heck isn’t the man to see that transformation. I believe Chung will rise to the occasion and make the five guys management chooses to toe the line for Smith and company one of the organizations top off-season moves.
4. Offensive Line Overhaul - As I stated above, changing coaches at the offensive line position must take place. Still the Chiefs have to come to terms with the fact former first round draft pick, Eric Fisher, is nothing more than a right tackle at the NFL level. The good news is heading into the 2015 NFL Draft Kansas City could land a pair of solid offensive lineman to add into the mix for their new offensive line coach.
However the mix that remains to sprinkle the new with the old will likely remain an open question until training camp. In my view, outside of Fisher, only Center Rodney Hudson and Guard Jeff Allen are worthy candidates to carry over but I would guarantee them nothing. If I was truly being honest, I’d consider trading Fisher but that’s a line this organization won’t cross just yet.
There are a plethora of offensive line candidates that could be had in free agency. But the Chiefs have never shown under current management, they are willing to buy the talent up front to protect the investment they’ve made in their quarterback. I have a feeling that will change in March when the Chiefs begin their free agent shopping.
5. Sign Jeremy Maclin or Randall Cobb - Let me state emphatically it’s not even an option for me; the Chiefs must sign one or the other. By adding Maclin or Cobb to pair up with veteran, Jason Avant, last years top rookie receiver, Albert Wilson, along with De’Anthony Thomas and the aforementioned Rogers, suddenly this offense will have some playmakers at the position. It would go from the worst in the division to possibly the best depending on what Oakland, Denver and San Diego muster up in the off-season.
Neither Dwayne Bowe or Donnie Avery fit in Kansas City. Avery (injury aside) lost his job to Wilson, Avant (who is working on an extension to stay with the Chiefs) and potentially Rogers can do more than Avery and Bowe. The fact both are owed big money in 2015 doesn’t really factor into the equation. They just don’t fit in KC’s offense.
However for my overall plan to work Reid and Dorsey must dial into their respective past. If they are unison they must dig deep into the pockets of Chiefs Chairman of the Board, Clark Hunt, to pay the note to land Maclin or Cobb in free agency – provided one or both is not given the franchise tag from their current team.
That aside Reid drafted Maclin and I’m told the two are very close. However, should Maclin spurn the Eagles contract overtures, the St. Louis Rams, provided they stay in the show me state, might be the frontrunners from what I’m told. Again money will be the overriding factor so let’s not lose sight of that in any deal for Maclin.
As far as Cobb, Dorsey scouted him when he was with the Packers. Green Bay just gave Wide Receiver, Jordy Nelson, an iron full of cash during the 2014 season so they probably can’t afford to pay Cobb as well. Still this is about the coin and the Chiefs have to offer more of it than anyone else.
In reality, I could care less which receiver the Chiefs nab in March. Still let me make my stance firm in this regard, I will consider it a complete off-season failure, no matter what else the head coach and general manager do between now and opening day, unless (if available) one of these two wide receivers becomes a Chief in March.
Photos Jeremy Maclin (1) Goeff Burke & (2) Mark J. Rebllas USA Today Sports Images