The Kansas City Chiefs are, by most standards, enjoying a great start to the NFL offseason. Free agency has yet to begin and the NFL Draft is still nine-plus weeks away, but compared to other teams clearing house this winter, the Chiefs have fared very well on the surface.
It's easy to feel great about the team's early moves to overhaul the front office and coaching staff. Scott Pioli and Romeo Crennel were replaced by John Dorsey and Andy Reid respectively, a duo that most believe provide the team with a great foundation for the future. Both have experienced long-term success in the NFL and come with impressive credentials. While other teams fumbled through one interview after another, the Chiefs' search seemed precise and calculated.
But how meaningful is that perception?
It was one year ago that the Chiefs enjoyed a "great" offseason. If your memories are fuzzy after the debacle of last year, don't worry. Here's a refresher course of the highlights of last offseason:
1. The Chiefs replaced Todd Haley with the steady hand of Romeo Crennel as head coach, a player favorite who went 2-1 in an interim role.
2. Eric Winston parlayed several barbecue visits into a new contract and gave the team the right tackle they've lacked for years. The move was hailed by every media outlet from here to Siberia as one of the best free agent signings of the offseason.
3. The team returned Jamaal Charles, Eric Berry, Tony Moeaki, Matt Cassel and Brandon Siler from injury.
4. Peyton Hillis was signed to provide the thunder to Charles' lightning.
5. Kevin Boss and Devon Wylie were added to a receiving corps that already had Dwayne Bowe, Moeaki, Jon Baldwin Dexter McCluster and Steve Breaston. It was a mix that was supposed to give Cassel enough weapons to succeed.
6. A savvy Scott Pioli let Brandon Carr walk for a $50 million deal with the Dallas Cowboys and replaced him for pennies on the dollar with Stanford Routt before FA even started.
Of course, we all now know that many of those moves proved to be disastrous. In fact, a summary is not even necessary, except to point out that the Chiefs have the first pick in the upcoming NFL Draft in April.
The reason this is important is that nothing is won (or lost) in the NFL offseason. A brilliant hire in January can become a necessary dismissal in December. A heralded acquisition in March can become a waiver wire transaction in midseason. An impact draft pick can end up with little to no impact on the field.
The Chiefs got their man in Andy Reid and they deserve applause for pulling him in when so many other teams needed a head coach. Dorsey should also be celebrated as the team's general manager. However expectations and applause should be tempered until the team actually shows itself worthy of such things on the field.