Might as well with the inspiration.
In a recent post-game column after the Chiefs preseason win over the Cardinals on Saturday, I read the following comment, "Another year that Dorsey is taking a major gamble on OL and we saw how that worked out last year." After getting up, pacing the room, shaking my head, practicing my yoga poses, drinking some green tea and more head-shaking, I finally had the clear mind set to finally respond. And then I read it again.
Is this a common sentiment: that John Dorsey is "gambling"? Are there others who believe this narrative? Because I just can't imagine anyone really believes this. But if so, let's take a look at why this would be as silly as other ideas like trading Chase Daniel:
A Look Back at Last Season
Here's what I love most about John Dorsey (and which is why I just find this whole line of thinking to be so ridiculous): He took a look at last year's line and simply said, "Not again." Knowing that the lone gem of last year, center Rodney Hudson, was going to leave for the megabucks available in free agency (especially in the "someone, please take our money" situation in Oakland), Dorsey went to work. It's possible the Chiefs could have four new starters along the line when the first week rolls around, and the depth and developmental talent is much better than 12 months ago.
The Moves He Made
Is there a single other position on the team that John Dorsey focused on this offseason more than offensive line? Secondary is the only other acceptable answer here. The Chiefs landed Paul Fanaika in free agency, traded a future pick to the New Orleans Saints for Ben Grubbs and spent a second round selection on Mitch Morse.
Let's not forget how significant the investment in Morse is, in particular. There were plenty of desirable candidates on the board at other perceived positions of need: inside linebacker, wide receiver and even the draft's best overall tight end (Maxx Williams). The Chiefs addressed those positions in later rounds to be able to invest a significant asset for further depth, flexibility and talent along the line.
Dorsey's moves along the line were also made knowing some players were going to return from injury and/or poor performances. Donald Stephenson was once the promising swing tackle who needed a starting spot, but after opening last season with a suspension, he couldn't overcome his competition in Ryan Harris for a starting role on the right side. Given another full offseason to get into shape and learn the system, Stephenson is still a talented option on the outside.
Even better was the return of Jeff Allen, who is a true starting option at either right guard or right tackle. An elbow injury led to season-ending surgery last September, which hurt an already thin line. While he was taken off the field on Saturday, Allen is still expected to be a starter somewhere on the line with this talent and versatility.
In the midst of this is the Eric-phant in the room (sorry) that we've not yet talked about. Eric Fisher mans the most important position on the line at left tackle, but does anyone expect Dorsey to do anything there other than wait for seeds to bloom? Coming in from the MAC, Fisher was expected to take more time than other prospects and the numerous and nagging injuries aren't helping the timeline. That said, Dorsey's most responsible course will be to let Fisher continue to grow and develop with more reps and experience given another year in his system. And I'd say that's the case even in 2016 (though I'm sure not everyone would agree with that amount of rope).
Finally, it's important to realize these moves were made in concert with the rest of the roster. A team doesn't have the luxury to focus solely on one position. To add or factor in all of these players alongside the developmental players already in place is a significant haul, and it's hard to believe that Dorsey could have done any more for the line.
All the while, he's given the Chiefs the AFC's best young secondary, re-signed the franchise's best player to a long-term deal, grabbed the No. 1 wide receiver everyone has been asking for (who is already familiar with Reid's system), and continued to churn over the bottom of the roster for more potential gems (a la Justin March) -- all for a team with a allegedly poor salary cap situation.
No one is gambling on anything here. It just seems like someone else is rambling.