Clark excited about an aggressive special teams that can win games and more:
Chiefs chairman Hunt looks forward to next season
By RANDY COVITZ
The Kansas City Star
Chiefs chairman Clark Hunt is understandably pleased with the hirings of new head coach Andy Reid and general manager John Dorsey. After all, Hunt selected them.
But Hunt is equally excited with another new addition to the Chiefs coaching staff — special-teams coordinator Dave Toub.
“I think we really have a chance to take a step forward in special teams,” Hunt said Friday upon arriving in New Orleans for Super Bowl XLVII. “I grew up with the Chiefs during a period of time in the 1980s when Frank Gansz was the special-teams coach … widely regarded as one of the best in the league at that time and maybe one of the best ever.
“You can think back to some of those seasons in the ’80s, when we won a lot of games with special teams. Well, that’s the mentality that the team is going to have with the new leadership. It’s something Andy believes in. Instead of trying not to make mistakes, we’re going to go out on special teams and try to win football games.”
The Chiefs have not returned a kickoff for a touchdown since the 2009 season or a punt for a touchdown since the 2010 season opener.
Toub was a very well-regarded special-teams coach during his nine seasons with the Chicago Bears. Chicago’s Devin Hester became the NFL’s all-time leader in kick-return touchdowns with 18, including a record 12 punt returns.
After returning from the Senior Bowl last week, Reid, Dorsey and the new assistants have been poring over tapes of the Chiefs’ 2-14 season.
“Andy has been very consistent,” Hunt said. “He thinks we have a lot of talent on the football team. He clearly understands there are things that have to be fixed. We have to be better offensively. That’s going to start with the quarterback position. He has to have better play from the quarterback. That’s one of his main focuses right now and will be through the spring.”
When he was hired, Reid said he wanted to fully evaluate quarterbacks on the roster — Matt Cassel and Ricky Stanzi — before deciding on his next plan of action.
“He’s not made a decision on those guys,” Hunt said of Cassel, who lost his starting job to Brady Quinn last year, and Stanzi, who has yet to play in a game in two years. “He’ll have a chance later this spring to see them in person. He’s had a chance to look at them on tape. I know he’s spent a lot of time focused on the young quarterbacks who will come out in the draft as well as thinking about other possibilities as to how we can improve ourselves at that position.”
The Chiefs could take a quarterback with the first overall pick in the draft if they believe the right player is there.
“It’s exciting to have the No. 1 pick,” Hunt said. “We don’t ever want to have it again because of the season you have to have to get there. It creates a lot of possibilities for us. There’s probably not that franchise quarterback who will be sitting there like there was last year, but still, with that No. 1 pick, you have a lot of options in terms of trades or just taking a player who can really help you upgrade.”
Hunt, who lives in Dallas, said he pays more attention to the Chiefs than many people think.
“The last four or five years after my father passed away, I do spend a lot of my time, in that case speaking with the general manager … thinking through the strategy of who do we need to re-sign, how can we get better at this position?” he said.
Now, with both Reid and Dorsey reporting directly to him, Hunt plans to keep an even stronger pulse on the organization.
“With the change in our reporting structure,” Hunt said, “it will probably be more so because I’m having those conversations with both John and Andy. I want our fans to understand I care. There was a feeling in (Kansas City) that I didn’t care. Nothing could be further from the truth.”