It’s hard to imagine the Kansas City Chiefs becoming a perennial playoff franchise after the depressing debacle that was last season. After finishing 2-14 on the season, it became abundantly clear that the Chiefs needed not only a new head coach with a decent track record, but also a franchise quarterback who is not only a supreme passer but a valiant leader.
In hiring Andy Reid as their new head coach along with the acquisition of quarterback Alex Smith from the San Francisco 49ers, the Chiefs made the ultimate power play in order to resurrect their down trodden organization.
Although the Chiefs can only go up from where they were last year, they’ll need to fully utilize all of their highly anticipated components in order to be consistently competitive.
Despite the fact that Reid never won a Super Bowl with the Philadelphia Eagles in his fourteen-year tenure, he still managed to guide the franchise to several successful seasons. With the Eagles, Reid only missed the playoffs five times and finished below .500 in two of those seasons. Out of the nine times the Eagles made the playoffs under Reid’s tutelage, they managed to make it to the NFC Championship game five times along with one Super Bowl appearance against the New England Patriots in 2004.
While coaches and sports organizations in general are typically gauged by how many championships they’ve acquired, what Reid was able to do with the Eagles in fourteen years is nothing short of impressive.
Now, the Chiefs finally have a gifted quarterback who is capable of leading their franchise to hopeful new heights. While Smith may no longer have Vernon Davis and Michael Crabtree as his security blankets, he still has several formidable offensive weapons that should prove to be just as reliable.
Although Dwayne Bowe had what could be considered an off season last year after he only caught three touchdown passes, his soft hands and instinctual swiftness make him an offensive weapon that can make a sensational play at any moment. If Bowe can become the prolific wide receiver he was in 2010 when he caught fifteen touchdown passes and totaled over 1,100 receiving yards, he’ll be the exceptional weapon that Smith needs. Although the Chiefs have other veterans in Terrance Cooper and Dexter McCluster, they both have failed to match the prestigious accolades that Bowe has garnered. With Reid’s dynamic offensive philosophies along with having a strong passer in Smith, the Chiefs receiving corps could prove to be deeper than most people think.
Of course, while the Chiefs appear to be becoming a more balanced team now that they have a legitimate passer at the helm, they’ll inevitably go back to their bread and butter of running the football at some point during the season. Even with their horrific record last year, the Chiefs still managed to finish fifth in the league in rushing.
The Chiefs consistent success in this category was all thanks to Jamaal Charles. Last year, Charles was a relentless running back who managed to rush for over 1,500 yards along with five touchdowns. While the Chiefs may not necessarily have to completely rely on Charles’ monumental running game, it is still a crucial component to their game plan that will allow them to effectively break down any teams staunch defensive line.
When all is said and done, the Chiefs still have a long way to go until they can fully reinvigorate their organization to its desired success. Even with Reid as their new and proven head coach, the Chiefs still need to properly utilize the talent they have on their roster in order to stay competitive in their division. If Reid’s leadership combined with Smith’s instincts prove to be a match made in heaven, Chiefs fans could see their beloved franchise rise from the ashes sooner than they might think.