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Can Scott Pioli Fix The Chiefs Receiving Issues?

There are holes here. Too many for a fan to really be able to stand, but then again, you have to be realistic after going 2-14. After all, when a friend hits rock bottom, you're just happy for him to stay sober for a night, right? So as we move forward here in Chiefland, we're frustrated but happy to see signs of life. Rookie and veteran playmakers making their first appearances in K.C. give us signs of life on the defensive side. QB depth being a plus is a wonderful move. And, of course, snagging a guy who won NFL Executive of the Year from various publications in 2001, 2003, 2004 and 2007 is the best move of any NFL team this off-season.

But much has been made of the weakness that used to be a strength - perhaps our only real strength. Our receiving corps is subpar, to put it lightly. Dwayne Bowe has emerged as a solid-to-brilliant playmaker depending on the drive, but that was in the shadow of the greatest TE in the game. We might be glad for that 2nd rounder a year from now, but for now we have a new scheme, new coach and new QB intended for a high octane offense... with no true skill position players to make it happen.

Thus we turn to the man who built New England into the best team of the last decade to come through in the Midwest and turn up or acquire skill players like he did for the Pats. Right? I mean, one team had the cajones to grab Randy Moss while the getting was good. One team saw the diamond in the rough on the Dolphins roster and signed Wes Welker to that restricted free agent deal when the Fins were high on Ted Ginn's possibilities. One team made the perennial disappointment of Jabar Gaffney into a legitimate receiving threat who could run crisp routes and provide a solid option for Tom Brady when no one else was open. And lets not forget the great hands of Kevin Faulk out of the backfield or Ben Watson at the tight end position.

But a closer look reveal some moves that seem rather Sylvester Morris-esque. Or was that Snoop Minnis? High draft picks during the Pioli regime include a second rounder wasted on a guy named Chad Jackson - a burner out of Florida that fell for a reason. Remember Bethel Johnson from Texas A&M? Another second rounder there. Then there was the multi-year FA deal for Kelley Washington and failed experiments with Doug Gabriel and Reche Caldwell.

Of course, I'm leaving out Pioli's greatest strokes in the draft concerning wideouts - the wonderful draft class of 2002 that netted both Deion Branch and David Givens late in the draft. As difficult as the position is to properly gauge, grabbing two starting wideouts like this is certainly impressive.

So it simply remains to be seen what our WR corps will look like once the regular season rolls around. Perhaps we strike quickly with a trade no one sees coming (like the ones listed above and the one already executed for Mike Vrabel and Matt Cassel). Or perhaps some of the young guys on our roster display some Givens-like skills like we hope for (crossing my fingers for Quinten Lawrence). But while Pioli seems to strike it rich in the draft on linemen on both sides of the ball, he's apparently as susceptible to the quandary of the WR position as anyone else working in a front office. And that's not only going to be frustrating for a coach built to move the ball through the air but a fan base who just watched their best player walk out of the door.

It's Game Time.

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