Over the next few weeks, new Chiefs coach Andy Reid and new general manager John Dorsey will analyze and dissect the Chiefs' roster, looking for strengths as well as weaknesses that need to be addressed.
Both Reid and Dorsey already have noted that the Chiefs' roster doesn't necessarily resemble a 2-14 team, as evidenced by the team's five Pro Bowl selections. But both Reid and Dorsey also have indicated there's plenty of work ahead to determine fixes that need to be made through the draft, free-agency or even trade.
Here's a breakdown of what Reid and Dorsey will be analyzing.
QUARTERBACK: Most likely a total gut job. Matt Cassel, the starter the last three years before being benched this season, will be due over $16 million in base salary over the next two seasons. His shortcomings as a starter in this league – very little pocket awareness and a lack of resourcefulness when plays break down – became evident this season, even to Romeo Crennel. And that's a lot of money to pay a backup, so it seems likely Cassel will be cut. Brady Quinn is an unrestricted free-agent and proved once again he is not an NFL-caliber quarterback, so he likely isn't brought back, either. Ricky Stanzi is pretty much an unknown, but if he couldn't wow the coaching staff enough in training camp last year to beat out Quinn, it seems doubtful that he's part of the solution. Expect Dorsey and Reid to find a veteran quarterback upgrade from Cassel, as well as at least one, if not two, quarterbacks in the draft.
RUNNING BACKS: Jamaal Charles was an absolute stud coming off knee surgery, gaining over 1,500 yards rushing. Reid will walk into a potentially elite ground game with Charles. Peyton Hillis, though, didn't impress anyone in Kansas City and is an unrestricted free-agent. The drop-off to fullback Nate Eachus isn't that dramatic and is more cost-efficient. Tailback Shaun Draughn showed some quickness and is a nice backup to Charles. Rookie Cyrus Gray is a work in progress but gives the Chiefs good depth. Not a position Reid or Dorsey will have to tinker too much with.
OFFENSIVE LINE: A few question marks here. The retirement of Ryan Lilja creates another hole to fill at guard. The Chiefs would be wise to ante up and re-sign tackle Branden Albert. Center Rodney Hudson was showing signs of improvement before he got hurt, and the hope would be that he can bounce back. Eric Winston was a better run blocker than pass protector, but that right tackle position is secure. Donald Stephenson, a rookie, showed good footwork and hands filling in for Albert, but another year as a backup would serve him and the team well. Jon Asamoah was solid at right guard and played hurt. Rookie Jeff Allen filled in well at left guard and drew much praise from Lilja for his toughness. If Albert re-signs with the Chiefs, offensive line will be a position of strength.
Andy Reid and John Dorsey have plenty of roster decisions
Fox Sports Kansas City | Jan 16