Leadership. Certain veterans brought in for leadership/mentoring factors high in team development. But if you are looking to build a young team, one that can contend year in, and year out, while plugging in new pieces as players retire or move on; you have to look at building a system of leadership. Bringing in big name free agents tends to take away from that system. A system that Pioli thrives on.
If you look at many of the big spenders in the league, the ones who spend their money on big names...the results aren't that promising. Better qualify that, those that spend money on big name free agents. Spending to keep and reward good players is another subject.
It surprises me that New England has fallen into the trap of spending on big names..and for the love of God, on Haynesworth?! IT really shows that perhaps Pioli did more for that team then Mr. B. Or has Mr. B suffering from repetitive concussion syndrome from butting heads with Rex Ryan?
Cassel took hold of the leadership reigns of the offense last year. And if he continues to grow, the offensive weapons now presented at his feet could take this Chiefs O to whole other level! But what of the D?
Haley used some tough love coming into the Chief fold. Not only on the offense, with the likes of Bowe, but also with DJ and a couple others. And the team was rewarded with a couple new defensive weapons, as in MR. BERRY. The defensive backfield provided leadership in their work ethic and on-field abilities that did their talking for them. But, who is our defensive leader? Vrabel brought some of that....but he really was not a Chief, he was an old NE player turning coach. The defense needs a voice, but not thru acquisition of a big name FA. One of the young players has to take on that role. Studebaker has the personality. Who else? Dorsey seems to be more of a "just let me play"...TJax? If he can get his game on, perhaps. My thought it will be a two man job, Studebaker and Berry. But the defensive instinct always wants that killer mentality to also be in there barking out and point out to his fellow defensive squad. Grab them by the facemask and pointing out that guy across the line that must be stopped..someone who can look across at the opponent with rabid eyed killer instinct, but be able to turn to his teammates with cool, commanding presence.
Look at the number of team captains taken by Pioli in the drafts....perhaps they'll all just be able to look around at each other and nod their heads...it's go time!