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The Chiefs Main Hopes Are Already In-House

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With every passing day that the NFL awaits to cross the final 't' or dot the final 'i', the amount of time that teams will have to get attend to the all-important business of roster construction and readiness goes down like a slowly dripping hourglass. Many teams will scramble to fill holes via free agency and hope to take care of perceived weaknesses before the official kickoff to the 2011 season takes place.

But franchises like the Kansas City Chiefs have been responsible enough to take care of all major business already. Thus, their need to be a part of the feeding frenzy will not be motivated by market forces, external pressures to plug a leak on a sinking ship, etc. Instead, they can sit back and make calculated moves as they see fit -- and those are generally the marks of a great team. The worst of sports franchises press the panic button year after year and overpay (i.e. Washington Redskins) or fail to have a long-term plan to fall back on (i.e. Arizona Cardinals when Kurt Warner was obviously going to retire soon). This is the beauty of having Scott Pioli as your general manager.

The Chiefs have a lack of depth on the defensive interior. Part of the answer will be the draft choice of Jerrelle Powe to learn to plug the middle alongside hopeful resigning Ron Edwards (and perhaps another player). The Chiefs had no over-the-top offensive option to pair with Dwayne Bowe. Yet Dexter McCluster still has the same amount of flash-and-dash as he did last year when he was an exciting second round choice, and Jonathan Baldwin was the first round selection in April's draft. Both players should help the Chiefs spread the field and force opposing defenses to respect the entire offense.

 

The Chiefs also need a pass rusher opposite Tamba Hali at outside linebacker, so Pioli brought in the love-him-or-hate-him option of Justin Houston. The third round choice was an incredible speed rusher from Georgia and played at both linebacker and defensive end, so he's also experienced and versatile on both fronts. Andy Studebaker should continue to flourish with more playing time (under that new extension), and even Cameron Sheffield should not be forgotten from last year's fifth round.

Other holes have been addressed, while others will need to be filled. But at this point, the Chiefs have to feel good about their depth in several places that they've lacked for some time (secondary, offensive interior) and their ability to make intelligent football decisions amid the whirlwind that's inevitably coming once the lockout is lifted. Anytime you can withstand the need to have to make a move, that's when the best moves are made and choices are drafted. And that's the position that Scott Pioli is placing the Chiefs in.