From the FanPosts -Joel
For the Chiefs and their fans, the 2012 campaign was one that started with lofty expectations and guarded optimism, yet ended in massive disappointment and unimaginable tragedy. With a brand new regime in town, we Chiefs fans are already looking ahead to the offseason and playing our favorite game: General Manager!®
This offseason is ripe with important, and not so important, questions about the Chiefs future. Among the more popular ones here at Arrowhead Pride (with my unsolicited opinions in parenthesis):
- What are the Chiefs going to do about the contract situations of Dwayne Bowe, Brandon Albert and Glenn Dorsey? (I think they will eventually resign Bowe and Albert to long-term deals, even with his drops Bowe is a good WR, though if he leaves I don't think it will kill the Chiefs. Albert is probably a 10-ten LT. Look here for more discussion on that topic. I don't really have an opinion either way on Dorsey. He never lived up to his lofty draft expectations, but hasn't been a complete bust either and is good against the run.)
- What will the Chiefs do with the first overall pick? (While an important question, this is not the most important question. If I were Reid/Dorsey I would consider resigning Albert and draft Luke Joeckel out of A&M. Albert could move to LG and Lilja could be a backup on the interior. Hold this thought for a minute.)
- What free agents are out there and who should the Chiefs sign? (I'm not a huge fan of free-agent signings for the most part, unless it is a quality player in his prime who fills a huge need - much like Eric Winston last season. However, given how horribly Stanford Routt played before being cut, I wouldn't mind the Chiefs taking a flyer on Aqib Talib. He transformed New England's secondary after being picked up and I think he would fit nicely opposite Brandon Flowers.)
- What is the deal with the Chiefs' WR situation? (Obviously I think they should resign Bowe and I loved what McCluster did in the slot. I think Jonathan Baldwin still can be a game-changer for the Chiefs, and you don't give up on 6'4", 225 lbs. WR's who runs a 4.5 40 after one season. That's my philosophy. That and everybody wang-chung tonight.)
- Was Doug Pederson the right choice for OC? (Doesn't matter. In
The MustacheAndy Reid I Trust. The man went to the playoffs 9 times, 4 NFC Championship games, 1 Super Bowl, and only had 3 losing seasons in 14 years with the Eagles. I'm assuming Reid felt Pederson could implement and coach his system after being with him in Philly. He's earned the right to hire who he wants without being second-guessed after only 10 minutes on the job. He also will reportedly be the one calling the Chiefs' offense.)
- What defense will Andy "Mustache" Reid and Bob Sutton run? (I agree with our very own BJ Kisseland think isn't a very important question facing the Chiefs this offseason, due to the number of sub packages defenses run every game. And, as an update, Reid has since said he will keep the 3-4.)
Those are all important questions to be sure. However, they all are insignificant to this question: Who is going to be the Chiefs' quarterback? It's the most important position in sports for a reason. Chiefs fans saw first-hand how poor QB play can doom a season this last year, as they had
probably the worst offense in the league. There really is no need to get into the numbers and advanced metrics, though if you want some they can be found here, here, here, here, here and here. (Even though the Chiefs were 5th in rushing per game in the NFL, the numbers show they didn't run the ball particularly effectively.) Chiefs fans bore witness as rookie QBs took teams who missed the playoffs in 2011 lead their teams to the playoffs last year. Andrew Luck in Indy, RGIII in Washington and Russell Wilson in Seattle all made the playoffs this year. Andy Dalton in Cincinnati lead the Bengals to the playoffs for the second straight year. Colin Kaepernick has the 49ers back where they were last year, but looking much more dangerous this time around. Matt Ryan has made the playoffs all four of his seasons in the league, and Joe Flacco all five.
The Chiefs are either unlucky or stupid, depending on how you look at the situation. Unlucky because they got the first pick in the draft the year after Andrew Luck and RGIII. Stupid because they took Donald Stephenson one pick ahead of Russell Wilson (and not to brag but to vent, but I was literally screaming for the Chiefs to take Wilson during the draft last year). They missed out on Peyton Manning, Matt Flynn and Ryan Tannehill (who played well the second half of the year).
So. Who will be the Chiefs' QB next season?
There are plenty of options available. With the first pick in the draft the Chiefs could take any college QB out there. But let's be clear: none of them are Andrew Luck or RGIII. Is anyone really sold on Geno Smith, Matt Barkley, or Landry Jones? Realistically Barkley is the only one who is a first-round talent (and even mid-to-late first round at that), and Smith and Jones are 2nd rounders or below. But because of that "QB" after their names, they will likely go high in the first round.
But let's assume for a minute the Chiefs don't take a QB in the draft. There are several options for QBs already in the league. Alex Smith took the 49ers to the NFC Championship game a year ago, and could probably be had in a trade due to Colin Kaepernick's emergence. Matt Flynn is probably also available from the Seahawks, as is Kevin Kolb from the Cardinals (don't laugh too hard, he played very well under Reid). If you have a thing for Tom Brady backups, Ryan Mallett could probably be plied from the Patriots for a mid-round draft pick. They all have their drawbacks: Smith's ceiling isn't nearly as high as Kaepernick's and that's why he lost his job, he also doesn't have a cannon; do you really want the guy who's been in the league four years (Flynn) and couldn't beat out a rookie for the starting job?; Kevin Kolb is Kevin Kolb; and Mallett has never taken a meaningful snap in a game. But they're available and they aren't Matt Cassel or Brady Quinn.
On the free-agent market Tarvaris Jackson, Matt Moore, Rex Grossman (hey, he did take the Bears to the Super Bowl), David Carr, Kellen Clemens, Jason Campbell and Matt Leinart are all former starters who would sign with the Chiefs if they were promised a shot to win the starting job. Moore and Campbell are probably the best of that group, but Leinart would be worth a shot as well and would come cheaply. (Yes, Joe Flacco is technically going to be a FA, but he's not leaving Baltimore. Boy gonna get paid.)
Andy Reid has said any type of QB can fit his system. He has largely proved it throughout his time with the Eagles, having worked his magic on Donovan McNabb, Kevin Kolb, Michael Vick, Nick Foles, and even Jeff Garcia for a few games. It's an excellent track record, but I don't think the "bad" QB type fits any system. Cassel proved himself capable of quality QB play (see: 2010), so that may yet be an option for Reid. But one thing is for certain: if the Chiefs don't get better QB play under Reid, none of the answers to the other questions will matter.
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