♪♪ For the loser now
Will be later to win
For the times, they are a-changin' ♪♪
~ Bob Dylan
For years in Kansas City, it's been about the Dwayne Bowe-Show with the red and gold "O". Since 2007, Dwayne Bowe pretty much was the Kansas City Chiefs passing offense.
118 games, 112 starts, Bowe was targeted 947 times, and he caught 532 passes with 7,155 yards and 44 touchdowns. Love him or hate him, Dwayne Bowe made his mark in Kansas City. I know I'll miss him, and so will many of you out there in Chiefs land...
But this article isn't solely about Dwayne Bowe, it's about change. After all, nowadays the Bowe-Show will be broadcast in Cleveland, where we'll all wish him nothing but endless Browns...
And I get it AP, this isn't exactly new-news, Jeremy Maclin has been in Kansas City for awhile now and D-Bowe is long gone, but I just wanted to dive into the Maclin addition and talk about where the Chiefs will go from here with the NFL Draft rapidly approaching.
Obviously, with Bowe gone, the Chiefs will miss his production, but what about Maclin? How does his stat line compare to the Chiefs longtime favorite target?
75 games, 73 starts, Maclin was targeted 567 times, and he caught 343 passes with 4,771 yards and 36 TD's.
[The interesting sidenote with Jeremy Maclin is that the Chiefs could have drafted him in 2009, a lot has been said about that draft class, in terms of quality. Back then, the Chiefs drafted Tyson Jackson third overall; we all know Jackson is now with the Chiefs former GM, Scott Pioli in Atlanta, but Maclin went 19th overall, and the Chiefs technically could've had him (especially if you love hindsight draft moves). But Maclin also might have been a disaster in Kansas City if he was teamed with Todd Haley instead of Andy Reid, so, you never know.]
Regardless of that, Jeremy Maclin is now a Kansas City Chiefs player. With that being a fact, the question becomes, what can he do for Kansas City, and first -- how much is he making?
Jeremy Maclin signed a 5 year, $55,000,000 contract with the Kansas City Chiefs, including a $12,000,000 signing bonus, $22,500,000 guaranteed, and an average annual salary of $11,000,000. In 2015, Maclin will earn a base salary of $750,000, a signing bonus of $12,000,000 and a workout bonus of $250,000. Maclin has a cap hit of $3,400,000 while his dead money value is $22,500,000.
It's been duly noted that the Chiefs pretty much gave Maclin, Bowe's old contract, but it's still another $20 million guaranteed that the Chiefs have to give a receiver for the second time in two years.
But you know what they say, you gotta pay to play. And the Chiefs are paying...
Speaking of playing, the Kansas City Chiefs now have to play football with Jeremy Maclin. So, what can he do for the football team?
For me, the first answer is: Attitude
Listening to Maclin, you heard him say that he wanted to be here, that this was the perfect situation, that Kansas City was home to him, that he loved Andy Reid and the coaching staff; that he knew the offense and felt confident in the system.
He talked about guys like De'Anthony Thomas and Albert Wilson, and specifically mentioned being a mentor to the young offensive players like that. I believe that attitude is all WIN and that just having the difference in personalities between Bowe and Maclin in the locker room, could be a huge boost for the Kansas City Chiefs identity under Head Coach Andy Reid moving forward.
~ Lou Ferrigno
Listen to the Hulk, AP, behavior radiates how you feel. If Maclin walks into that locker room radiating positive energy and attitude, that could potentially spread through the roster like a wild fire. I like the idea of that...
Outside of attitude, the second answer is: Maclin's NFL ability
Starting with speed, he's a 4.48 guy, so he's not always the fastest guy on the field. But when he runs his routes, he has more than adequate speed to create separation in the NFL. And that's not really a theory either; watch any tape on Maclin and he's often finding holes in the defense, that ability should really help the Chiefs offense in the passing game.
With Albert Wilson and Jeremy Maclin, the Chiefs have two receivers with the speed to get behind the defense. With Travis Kelce and Jamaal Charles, the Chiefs have two unbelievable NFL weapons that can score at any minute, from any set. With Jason Avant, the Chiefs have a crafty veteran WR that knows Andy Reid's offense, how to get open, and will likely catch more passes than he drops. Plus, Avant already works well with Maclin from their time together in Philly.
In the WCO, the Chiefs QB Alex Smith has the opportunity to have five weapons on any given pass play. Five offensive linemen, one QB and five weapons. Any mix of WR, TE, HB, WB, FB, Slot, Split-End or whatever specific football verbiage you want to use.
The addition of Maclin gives the Chiefs offense a chance to look a lot different than in 2013-2014 teams with Dwayne Bowe... but why?
The reason is the difference between Bowe as a possession receiver with ultimate YAC ability, and Maclin, a true deep threat that knows Reid's full route tree. It will allow the Chiefs to open up the playbook to some different sections for the teams new "Z" man weapon in the Chiefs gigantic Andy Reid WCO guide.
In theory, it will allow the team to throw more. Dwayne Bowe's skill set as a blocker was exceptional, and I think Andy liked to utilize that skill in the game plan. Whereas Maclin's super skill is speed and getting open; this should call for Alex Smith to dial up #19 often, as Jeremy Maclin proved last season to be an effective number one target in Chip Kelly's busy offense.
That doesn't necessarily mean that Maclin will have another 1,000 yard season. But he might, Dwayne Bowe was targeted 198 times in Andy Reid's offense in 2013-14, the Chiefs were trying to get him the ball, but he only caught 117 of those passes. That's a lot of missed opportunities for the Chiefs.
With Maclin, he was targeted 143 times just during last season. Sure it's in Chip's super pass happy offense, but he caught 85 balls, while missing 58 times, a very Chiefy number (don't confuse that number with drops, it's different).
So why no 1,000 yards for Maclin?
Because the Chiefs probably won't throw to him 143 times. Philly threw the ball 621 times last season. Kansas City threw it 493 times.
With Maclin, I predict that number will go up. Not just because of Maclin himself, but because in 2013 the Chiefs threw the ball a little bit more (546 times), and I think the Chiefs will get back around that number in 2015. Especially if they add more receiver talent in the draft or FA before the season kicks off.
Also, I expect DAT to really increase his catch totals. In 2013, Dexter McCluster was targeted third most on the team behind Jamaal and Dwayne with 83 targets. Last season, DAT was only targeted 31 times... and I expect that to go up. Maybe not to 80 plus, but I expect those targets to divvy out among DAT, Kelce, Harris, Davis, Avant, Wilson and Charles (and other future offensive weapons additions).
Jamaal Charles targets were only at 59 this season, as compared to his 104 targets in 2013. I expect to see the Chiefs throw a lot more to Charles this year, as Maclin and Wilson are stretching out the field deep, depending on the play call...
At this point, there's only so much you can speculate about this move, the Chiefs haven't drafted yet and the final roster isn't even close to being set, but this appears like a huge WIN for the Chiefs offense.
Fans will remember the years before Dwayne Bowe; that endless search for a number one receiver (I've made the argument myself). But the truth is, with Dwayne Bowe, the Chiefs had four of his eight seasons where they only won 12 games out of a possible 64. That's brutal, you remember 2007-2008-2009-2012, don't you KC?
I apologize for bringing up the hideous memory, but maybe with Maclin, those days of abysmal football are over in Kansas City; we all can certainly hope so, anyway.
The more I think about the Jeremy Maclin move, the more I like it.
Looking at the draft, it's easy to see the Chiefs drafting a WR in the first round, but that's just imagination working its power. It's really simple to see the Chiefs drafting a new receiver, Devante Parker, Breshad Perriman, Dorial Green-Beckham, Amari Cooper, Kevin White, Jaelen Strong, Justin Hardy... really, whoever you can imagine.
But first, I go back to Andy Reid and Philly... remembering what their fans at Bleeding Green Nation told us when Reid was hired:
"I would bet a lot of money on whichever guy Andy uses your #1 pick on to be an offensive tackle or a QB.
As for WRs, Andy has always had a complicated history. His first probably 4 years here were just a parade of so-so guys, which was baffling for a guy that called as many passes as he did. But if you look back at the overall body of work, it does seem like he has tried to stock the team with good WRs, to varying degrees of success. Obviously the most notorious move was the trade for Terrell Owens, which worked out spectacularly for one year and was a spectacular disaster the next. He spent a first round pick on Freddie Mitchell, who was a bust, and one on Jeremy Maclin, who is hardly dominant but a good player. He spent second rounders on Todd Pinkston, bust, & DeSean Jackson, hit.
So his record of success with WRs is spotty and his desire to find quality ones is somewhat suspect given that he runs a pass first offense." ~ Jason B
Now we have that "hardly dominant but a good player", in Jeremy Maclin. Yay!
It's funny to read that comment in hindsight, as that was before Maclin's big season last year as the number one option for Philly... it would be interesting to read what Jason B. had to say about Maclin after the Chiefs signed him vs. that comment while he was recovering from an ACL injury...
Nevertheless, Maclin is a Chief now, and I think he has a legitimate opportunity to be an outstanding weapon for the Kansas City offense in 2015.
I didn't post Jason's comments to only point out that Jeremy wasn't always dominant, I posted them to show you that history dictates that Andy Reid doesn't always make the obvious choice, he doesn't make the Mel Kiper choice, or the fan favorite choice. In fact, sometimes, his decisions seem to come straight out of la-la-land. We've all witnessed his clock managment... I digress.
So while you're out there studying receiver after receiver, think about Jason B's words, OT or QB. While you're looking at the next ILB to replace Derrick Johnson, remember these words:
"The LBs have been a revolving door for nearly Reid's entire tenure. Virtually no top picks have been used on LBs."
So if we can't expect to get the pick at the position we want, what can we expect, Jason B?
"Expect to move around on draft day, a lot. Andy doesn't like to sit still. Whether it's trading back to acquire more picks or moving up, he's very active on draft day.
Learn to love big men as top picks. Andy Reid has made 14 top picks. 9 have been offensive or defensive lineman.
Oh and on draft days, he wears giant Hawaiian shirts."
Hmmm, Jason may just be onto something, in the last two years the Chiefs have drafted Eric Fisher and Dee Ford. And -- we now know just how serious Jason B. was about those giant Hawaiian shirts... right?
I love Andy Reid.
Sure, Dee Ford is a linebacker, but in the Sutton Death 3-4 defense, he might as well be a down linemen. OLB's are like the fast hybrid LB/DE's in the Wide Nine defense Reid employed in Philly. Or maybe Reid's just changed a little? Change is good.
Nevertheless, the Chiefs have Reid, they have Jeremy Maclin, and they have an entire fan base sitting at the edges of their seats waiting to get up and cheer for the new red and gold additions coming to Arrowhead Stadium at the end of this month.
It's almost draft time, AP, Jeremy Maclin is still here.... now, who else are we going to add so we can actually beat Peyton Manning and his fightin' fiveheads this year?
+SUPER BOWL VICTORY