When the Kansas City Chiefs replaced Scott Pioli at the top of the organizational pyramid earlier this offseason, the expectations for change were the same as any other franchise that hits rock bottom. The Chiefs were more talented than most teams selecting first in the NFL Draft, but clearly change was needed when the record read 2-14. The only question was just how much turnover the roster would endure.
In an offseason where numerous regime changes have been made, it has been impressive to watch new general manager John Dorsey and head coach Andy Reid go to work. In fact, even if you disagree with certain moves, it's hard not to appreciate the resolve with which they are executing their franchise plan.
Consider the decisiveness with which they attacked the quarterback position. Few Chiefs fans need a reminder of the horrific quarterback play in recent years with Matt Cassel, Tyler Palko, Brady Quinn and company manning the position. Yet outside of rolling the dice on a rookie, it's difficult for NFL teams to upgrade the position.
Dorsey and Reid went right to work and had a trade for Alex Smith finished with the San Francisco 49ers two weeks before the NFL league year reset in March, when they could announce the deal. It was clear that the team had considered the prospects available, surveyed the free agent landscape and pinpointed Smith as the favorite. They were then willing to shell out the price that the 49ers demanded.
Whether or not the thought of giving away two high picks for Smith makes you wince, it's important to resolve behind the bravado of such a move. No matter the steep price, the Chiefs were absolutely determined to change the position completely. Other franchises gave in to another year of musical chairs at the position, shuffling the same cards of Jason Campbell, Drew Stanton, Tarvaris Jackson and so on. The Chiefs were unwilling to even play the game in hopes of a different result.
When you survey the league and realize just how many teams are dealing with lackluster options at the quarterback position, it makes you appreciate a tandem that is clearly executing their plan of action. The Jags are going to go to war with Chad Henne and Blaine Gabbert for another year. The Browns brought in Brian Hoyer and Campbell to team with Brandon Weeden. The Cardinals are the latest team taking a flyer on Carson Palmer. The Raiders rolled the dice on Matt Flynn.
Other teams seem to operate in response to the moves of others. The Chiefs new regime was ready and willing to make them happen. They might have paid a high price and they certainly have their detractors, but Dorsey and Reid have shown the ability to enforce their will this offseason.
You might miss Eric Winston, wish they got more for Javier Arenas, question the Knile Davis selection, wonder what they will do with numerous fullbacks or shrug at the addition of Anthony Fasano. Yet at the same time, you can take comfort in knowing that Reid and Dorsey have developed a plan and they are carrying it out. That's better than a team willing to play with the same old pieces and hope for different results.