Following a year that was so disastrous it would be hard for any team to duplicate again, many big changes have come to One Arrowhead Drive. Will those changes correct the course of a ship that was seemingly lost at sea only a year ago?
Any Chiefs fan should answer the above question with a resounding YES! If a season cannot get any worse than last season, then it has to be better right? I have seen teams go an entire schedule without winning a single game that still managed to not flop as hard and as bad as the Chiefs did a year ago.
This team however, has gotten a new lease on life.
Scott Pioli’s horrid tenure in KC ended and John Dorsey’s began shortly after the close of the 2012 season. Andy Reid was hired to rejuvenate a team that seemed to stagnate under the supervision of (former) head coach Romeo Crennel and company. The releasing of former quarterback Matt Cassel (now a Minnesota Viking) was praised by virtually every Chiefs fan in existence. Alex Smith was signed to fill the position for the Chiefs that has been so lackluster in years past, that most Kansas City fans forgot what a decent quarterback actually looks like.
As life goes in the NFL, with a new head coach, also came a new coaching staff.
The Chiefs have built one very solid coaching staff this year. While I wont break down every coaching hire, I wanted to focus on the main coordinator positions and give an idea of what each man brings to the organization.
Doug Pederson was named offensive coordinator for the Chiefs in 2013. Pederson is tasked with overhauling an offense that struggled mightily last season. With the exception of Jamaal Charles’ productive season on the ground, the Chiefs passing attack ranked last in the league for yards gained. Having spent 12 years behind QB-great Brett Favre and coaching his own fair share of quarterbacks since his retirement, Pederson may just be the man who can turn this offense around for the Chiefs.
Bob Sutton was hired as the new defensive coordinator. Sutton inherits a defense with quite a bit of talent. While most of the Chiefs struggled last year, the defense did show a few (I mean, FEW) glimpses of hope. If Sutton can unite the defense into a cohesive force on the field, they could be quite thrilling to watch. When asked by the media to explain what type of scheme he brings to the field, he gave the following reply:
“It’s based out of 3-4. That’s the personnel that we select off. We’re more multiple than just 3-4 without much imagination. We try to do a lot of different things that encompass the same kind of techniques and adjustments, particularly for the up-front guys. It goes on as we get into the sub and the third down we have some more multiple things, pressures, etc. that we try to do. I would guess you’d say it’s multiple in nature, but it’s based out of a 3-4 personnel.”
I cannot wait to see this defense in action.
Dave Toub was also brought in to take over a special teams squad that was seemingly non-existent last year. He served as the ST coordinator for the Chicago Bears for the last nine years.
During his tenure, the Bears registered an NFL-high in kick return yards (punt and kickoff) with 17,031 and kick return TDs (22). He helped Devin Hester become the NFL’s all-time leader in kick return touchdowns (17) and compile the NFL’s fifth-best all-time punt return average mark (12.1 avg.).
While coached by Toub, the Bears led the NFL in punt return yards (4,143), punt return TDs (15) and ranked third-best in punt return average (11.2).
Andy Reid talked highly of Toub to the media saying: “Dave is one of the league’s best special teams minds, he will bring an innovative approach and consistency to this group. Dave will get the most out of our players and I’m very happy he is joining our staff.”
Look for the Chiefs special teams to be just that – special.
Andy Reid summed up his thoughts on all of the new hires with the following statement:
“I’m pleased we were able to get all of these coaches on board,” Reid said. “I have relationships with each of them, and I know their past experiences, work ethics and coaching styles. These are high-character coaches, and each one brings something different to the table for us.”
To say I am ready for the football season to begin, would be a severe understatement. The Chiefs possess one of the strongest coaching staffs that I can remember. Each man brings a unique talent or two to the board to hopefully give the Chiefs that structure and edge they need to be competitive for a long time. Hopes were high last year for this Kansas City squad. Hopes are even higher this year, and with all signs pointing to the positive, the Chiefs are virtually flying out of the abyss that seemed to have swallowed them up last season.
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