NFL Season Preview: The Kansas City Chiefs Reinvent Themselves
The Chiefs had a dreadful 2012 season in every possible facet. There were a host of injuries, the worst QB pod in recent memory, an off the field suicide by starting LB Jovan Belcher and seemingly no direction, despite having a solid head coach in Romeo Crennel. Crennel had turned around the Chiefs at the end of 2011, but 2012 began with an embarrassing blowout, and cascaded out of control from there. The Chiefs hope that bringing in Andy Reid and a new philosophy offensively (along with a new QB in Alex Smith) will bring about a change of culture that is much needed.
The Chiefs will utilize Jamaal Charles in much the same way that the Philadelphia Eagles have used Lesean McCoy over the past three seasons, and Charles has expressed excitement about his upcoming role in Reid’s offense. The Chiefs should have a pretty strong running game in 2013, which has been one of the few bright spots for the Chiefs in recent years. They have ranked in the top five in rushing for quite some time.
Reid is known for creative passing attacks, and a virtual over reliance on the passing game in general. One thing that the Chiefs will have to do is get WR Jon Baldwin going opposite WR Dwayne Bowe, as well as keep TE Tony Moeaki healthy for once. There has been a good amount of shuffling along the offensive line, and this will naturally be a point of emphasis with the West Coast-oriented offense that Reid employs. Alex Smith is a West Coast-style QB who is best suited to make quick reads and short to intermediate passes. There is reason for optimism for the Chiefs’ offense.
Defensively, there were flashes with the Chiefs, and with good reason: the team is loaded with nothing but former 1st Round draft picks. The issue has been getting players like Tamba Hali, Derrick Johnson, Eric Berry and other guys who have excelled in spots (such as Justin Houston rushing the passer) to gel and play as a cohesive unit.
It is not clear what base the Chiefs will use, but the team is notably best suited to have Tamba Hali and Justin Houston rushing the passer off both outside linebacker positions. The Chiefs lost a number of games in the closing moments in 2012, so they may not have been quite as bad as the final scores indicated, but they looked bad even when they lost by fewer than seven points. They hope to rectify those issues heading into 2013.
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