Here's what Pioli may be thinking...
Offense sells tickets, defense wins championships.
Last year we set 20-year lows for attendance, had a blackout, and people were very, very disappointed with the Chiefs. The only good thing to come out of the season was Jamaal Charles. The quarterback looked like poo. We ranked 25th in offense, 25th in passing offense, and did nothing in free agency to help the passing game.
Was the defense terrible? Yes. But without some sort of MAJOR progress on the offensive side of the ball, without MAJOR improvement from Matt Cassel, without some kind of EXCITEMENT at Arrowhead besides Charles, the Chiefs were probably looking at a repeat of what happened last year.
So what does Pioli do? Hires an offensive coordinator with a great resume. Signs two offensive linemen in free agency and a running back to complement Charles. In the draft, he picks a tight end (maybe the worst position on the team last year), a potential playmaking threat on offense, another guard to help the line, and a potentially exciting kick returner.
Brokakie and Clusterfuck are CLEARLY designed to play to Cassel's strengths - short-range passing. Last year the Chiefs had no one who was really good at this. Chambers is more of a down-the-field speed receiver and Bowe couldn't catch a cold. With an inaccurate quarterback who can't throw the ball down the field with consistency, that's not enough weapons.
How many slot receivers and tight ends did the Chiefs go through? Bobby Engram, Lance Long, Bobby Wade, Sean Ryan, Brad Cottam, , His Holiness Leonard Pope. Why did Cassel thrive in New England? Wes Welker caught 111 passes and Kevin Faulk, Sammy Morris and Benjamin Watson caught another 100.
Cassel needs short-range receivers that can get open and catch the ball consistently. Last year he had almost nobody. If Pioli hit on the right players, and Bowe unfucks himself, now he has plenty, and the Chiefs' YAC-based passing game thrives in tandem with a ZBS-based running game featuring three incredibly talented ball carriers.
Bottom line: The Chiefs have an easy enough schedule that a 25 PPG offense probably results in 7 wins. If Pioli's moves this offseason pan out and Cassel looks competent, the NEW Arrowhead is FUN and EXCITING again and the credibility of the new regime shoots way up. Season ticket sales ignite. And that's EXACTLY what the Chiefs need right now.
Can you imagine the excitement next offseason if people start saying "all we need is a few upgrades on defense and we'll be in the playoffs!" It would probably be the most anticipated season at Arrowhead since....2003....and to a lot of people that is a huge sign of progress.
Do I think Pioli is a moron? No. He's not stupid enough to sit there and look at the roster and think we don't need drastic help in the front seven. But he's not a fan...he's a GM...a general ******* manager...and the franchise he is managing has huge fan support issues and his highly-paid quarterback has credibility issues.
Upgrading the front seven and picking another quarterback probably wouldn't have helped him in that regard in the short term. Because...let's face it...most fans are pretty ignorant. And if Cassel flopped this year while the Chiefs trotted out a mediocre offense and an "improved" defense that wilted late in games without offensive support (see the 2007 Chiefs), guess what? More blackouts, stagnant season-ticket sales and Jason Whitlock ripping Pioli to shreds in the local fishwrap.
Do I like it? Not right now, mot especially, because if you have to prop up a quarterback you probably aren't ever going to win a championship, and I loathe the thought of watching guys like Jerome Harrison rape us for 300 yards rushing for another year. But there's enough true fan in me that I probably won't care if Jamaal Charles, Thomas Jones, Dexter McCluster, Javier Arenas, Tony Moeaki, Dwayne Bowe, Chris Chambers are flat out ripping **** up at Arrowhead this year.
Offense sells tickets, defense wins championships. Right now the Chiefs are nowhere close to a championship, but they sure do need to put some butts in the seats.