After Chris's earlier post concerning the number of transactions, it's quite interesting to think that radical reshaping time isn't even quite here yet. After all, teams must whittle down to 53 and every team in the league is hovering from the high 70s to low 80s at this point. (Sounds like a weather report, right?) Thus the amount of player activity in Chiefs camp shows us a few things:
1. Scott Pioli Wants to Act First - Rather than waiting a few games to see if their hunches about current players are correct, the current method of operation seems to be "Trust Your Instincts." Coach Haley already mentioned the Chiefs have scouting personnel all over the NFL watching and waiting. Therefore, the proper pipeline has been put into place: the coaches on the ground relay news to the front office about roster needs; front office asks scouts concerning promising options; act accordingly. When you wait until the frenzy, you're competing with 30 or so other vultures. Of course, there's more players then, so we'll see how this works out.
More after the jump:
2. Don't Get Comfortable - I'm waiting a full year to buy any new Chiefs jerseys, let's put it that way. From QB on down (no matter what Tyler Thigpen says), the Chiefs aren't afraid to jettison anyone. They traded the face of the franchise (Tony Gonzalez) and they cut guys they signed themselves (Vince Redd). They'll leave a rookie as the lone option (Ryan Succop) and put an obvious first-stringer on the third team offense (Dwayne Bowe). Whether you're a seasoned veteran, a longtime Chief, a former high draft pick or a undrafted free agent, the new regime could care less about anything but efforts and results.
3. Not Afraid to Admit Mistakes - This point is a hopeful one more than a reality at this point. Even the best front office staffs make mistakes. The best GMs misfire from time to time in the draft. The best coaches prod in the wrong ways. So we shouldn't expect perfection. But the teams that consistently win not only hit on many trades and draft picks and signings... they also are quick to admit when they're wrong. The worst teams continue to put their teams in position to lose because they force a high draft pick too early into a starting spot - or are reticent to remove them when they're clearly underperforming.
Case in point: the Titans. Vince Young is a favorite of the owner, a recognizable player and hyped up hero (remember when?). Yet when he wasn't playing well, the Titans didn't hesitate to bench him for the unheralded Kerry Collins. Compare that with the 49ers who seemed to throw, Alex Smith to the lions (not the team) and hope something would eventually stick.
The key is if someone or something isn't working, you move on. It's that simple. It's also much more difficult than you think, which is why most teams try to milk the most value out of their investment to the detriment of their overall record. Teams like New England, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia and Tennessee aren't afraid to say goodbye to seemingly still valuable players, yet they continue to win year after year. The Chiefs are seeing that first-hand and it's something fans will have to get used to.