PDA

View Full Version : Chiefs Teicher: Despite labor strife, Chiefs still focus on long-term goals


Tribal Warfare
03-21-2011, 12:14 AM
Despite labor strife, Chiefs still focus on long-term goals (http://www.kansascity.com/2011/03/20/2741018/despite-labor-strife-chiefs-still.html)
By ADAM TEICHER
The Kansas City Star

NEW ORLEANS | By this time last year, the Chiefs had signed through free-agency two starting offensive linemen, a running back and a versatile defensive lineman. Together, they were no small factor as the Chiefs improved their record by six games over 2009 and won their first AFC West championship in seven years.

Free-agency has yet to begin this year because the players and owners couldn’t reach a deal on a new labor agreement. Whether it begins at all may soon be decided in court. The players’ antitrust lawsuit goes to a federal judge in Minnesota on April 6.

Either way, there will be an April draft. And that could be the only avenue for teams to address personnel needs this offseason. But general manager Scott Pioli, in New Orleans for the annual NFL meetings that begin today, said the Chiefs still will be careful with their picks.

“I won’t allow us to ever fall into the trap that we have to do something that is such a short-term, temporary solution,” Pioli said. “If you become overly short-sighted at any point in time, then I’m abandoning the core philosophy of why I was brought here.

“Yes, we need to fill needs. But I’m not going to go so need-based that we make short-term decisions. For us, there is some combination of best player and need, but it’s not the same formula every time. It’s not always 50-50. Sometimes it’s 70-30. Sometimes it’s 80-20. That’s part of the strategy when you’re on the clock — knowing what other opportunities are out there.”

The Chiefs are in better position than they were in either of Pioli’s first two drafts with Kansas City. Then, they had significant needs at many positions. They wound up taking defensive linemen Tyson Jackson and Alex Magee with their first two picks in 2009 and safety Eric Berry with their top choice last year.

They could take the best available player regardless of position with their top pick, the 21st overall, and it wouldn’t necessarily be viewed as the odd move that it would’ve been the last two years.

That’s not to say the Chiefs can’t use help in a few spots. They were so desperate for a wide receiver before their playoff game against Baltimore that they signed out-of-work veteran Kevin Curtis, who wound up playing most of the game.

Dwayne Bowe goes into the next season as their only sure thing, and he has just one more season left on his contract. If the draft does prove to be the only way to add players this year, the Chiefs may take a couple of receivers.

“It’s like a lot of positions on the football team,” Pioli said. “We have to get better. You have to think about where you are at that position today and in 2012. It goes back to the idea where if you think too short-term, you could potentially set yourself up for failure.”

Drafting a receiver would allow the Chiefs to provide some help for quarterback Matt Cassel. He made the Pro Bowl last year as an alternate choice, but the way he finished the season — he completed fewer than 40 percent of his passes, with five interceptions and no touchdowns in losses to the Raiders and Ravens — should be of concern to the Chiefs.

The Chiefs could also be looking for a pass rusher to pair with Tamba Hali. And with Brandon Flowers heading into the final season of his contract, they may be eyeing a cornerback. They also may be looking for an upgrade over Branden Albert at left tackle. Drafting a tackle would allow the Chiefs to either move Albert to the right side or one of the guard positions.

And this is a good year for teams looking for a tackle. While there may be no dominant player at the position, there are several who project as long-term solid players. And that’s Pioli’s kind of guy. His draft record shows he will go for players who aren’t all-or-nothing propositions.

“I’m more concerned about dependability, reliability and consistency than highs and lows,” Pioli said. “We all become what we are based on how we’re reinforced in life. A pattern I’ve seen is that dependability and consistency give you a better chance to build for the long term. The goal when I came here wasn’t to build something quick or something fragile that just immediately satisfies the masses in the short term. It’s about building something that lasts.”

Hog Farmer
03-21-2011, 05:53 AM
I like his philosophy. We should be playing in the SB by 2024

Wilson8
03-21-2011, 06:02 PM
And this is a good year for teams looking for a tackle. While there may be no dominant player at the position, there are several who project as long-term solid players. And that’s Pioli’s kind of guy. His draft record shows he will go for players who aren’t all-or-nothing propositions.

Probably one of the safest long term, Pioli profile type player, will be at OT. There are several team captains. Both Wisconsin's Gabe Carimi and Boston College's Anthony Castonzo might be available at 21. UCLA's OLB Akeem Ayers also fits with what was stated in this story.

Some people have projected Pitt's WR Jon Baldwin or Baylor's NT Phil Taylor with the Chief's 21st pick, but I don't think either match up with the needs mentioned in last paragraph of this story.