The shift and focus to next season continues for the Kansas City Chiefs. On Sunday, Chiefs general manager John Dorsey and his personnel staff arrived in Mobile, Alabama, site of the 2014 Senior Bowl. Some of the country's best senior college football players will compete against each other as the North team, coached by Mike Smith and his entire Atlanta Falcons staff, faces the South team, led by head coach Gus Bradley and his staff from the Jacksonville Jaguars on Saturday, Jan. 25.
The new league year begins in March, so when asked about the status of the Chiefs’ 2014 cap situation, Dorsey smiled and played coy. "I think we’ll have the resources to go where we want to go in this thing," Dorsey said.
The general consensus is that Jeremy Maclin, who was drafted by and played for KC’s head coach Andy Reid in Philadelphia, makes the most sense for KC to sign this offseason. While that reunion does seem logical, I will also offer up an alternative, Seattle’s Golden Tate (some may bring up Eric Decker as well, but with his numbers the past two seasons his price tag will be too steep for KC to afford). This post will compare Maclin and Tate and see if one appears to be the better option for KC to pursue.
The one thing Alex Smith did above all for most of the season was protect the ball. Kansas City Chiefs quarterbacks committed 27 turnovers in 2012, a big reason their team was 2-14. Smith committed 10 in 2013, a big reason his team was 11-5. But Smith got a little loose with the ball toward the end of the season. He committed three turnovers in his final regular season game, a 23-7 loss to the Indianapolis Colts at Arrowhead Stadium.
The Kansas City Chiefs signed wide receiver, Dwayne Bowe, to a lucrative, long-term contract last offseason and expected big things from him. Instead, Bowe failed to lead the Chiefs in receiving for the first time since 2008 and had the worst statistical full season of his seven-year NFL career. Bowe But Bowe saved his best for last, catching eight passes for 150 yards and a touchdown in the playoff game against the Indianapolis Colts. Yet, fittingly for the season he’d had, Bowe did not catch the fourth-down pass that served as Kansas City’s final offensive snap of the season.
Belichick’s Cleveland Browns finished first in the NFL in special teams in 1994, as did his 2010 Patriots. Scott O’Brien was the special teams coach in all three of the seasons Belichick teams finished No. 1 in the kicking game. Former Patriots special teams coach Brad Seely finished No. 2 this season with the 49ers. Like O’Brien, Seely’s special teams have finished first on three occasions. Kansas City finished third in special teams after hiring Dave Toub away from the Bears. His Chicago teams twice led the NFL in special teams. With Toub, the Chiefs vaulted 20 spots in the rankings.
Along with the rest of the NFL, the Chiefs’ primary decision-makers have descended upon the Senior Bowl this week in hopes of learning more about prospects, including several at a few positions of need. Wide receiver. Safety. Tight end. Cornerback. Those are the obvious ones. But it would be wise not to sleep on the Chiefs’ need for more pass rushers. That’s right — a team that boasts one of the league’s top pass-rushing duos in outside linebackers Tamba Hali and Justin Houston needs help getting after the passer, and that couldn’t have been more obvious over the last half of the season.
Here are some players at the Senior Bowl who might fit what the Chiefs like to do, according to Shane Pellam of draftTV.com. Quarterback: Clemson’s Tajh Boyd is shorter than you'd like (6 feet 1 and 225 pounds) but posted impressive numbers in a wide-open system. David Fales (6-2, 220) of San Jose State is extremely accurate on short passes and gets the ball out very quickly. Running back: Charles Sims (6-0, 213) of West Virginia is a solid blocker who has caught plenty of passes in his career. Wisconsin’s James White (5-10, 195) has spent his entire career sharing time with such talented backs as Montee Ball and Melvin Gordon but runs with toughness and has room to grow.