2013 NFL Season Preview: Kansas City Chiefs
With Alex Smith arriving to play quarterback for the Chiefs and Andy Reid coming to town to coach, expectations are high for the Kansas City Chiefs in 2013. However, the team’s over/under win total is only seven. The line for “over” is -145 while the “under” is -125. A fresh start in Kansas City is exactly what both men needed, and if their Pro Bowl-laden defense can stay healthy this season, many expect the Chiefs to at least push for a wild card berth in the playoffs.
“The thing that really jumped out at me was how much you could tell he enjoys coaching and teaching, and I didn’t know that,” Alex Smith said of Reid’s coaching in a piece by ESPN’s Ashley Fox. “A lot of times, head coaches get away from the classroom and on the field. So many times they’re doing administrative things or different stuff. But it was very cool to see him in installations early, out on the field. How much he enjoys coaching and teaching — you could see it right away.”
Many thought Reid should have stepped away from the game following the death of his son in the preseason last year, though Reid says that he never wanted to leave the sidelines.
“This is what I enjoy doing,” Reid said. “I think you’re given a window in your life where you can do this, and then you’re too old. You’re very lucky to be doing it anyways. You’re one out of 32 guys in the whole world. And then, it goes by fast. Those 14 years in Philadelphia went by like that [snaps fingers]. And I’m not getting any younger. You sit out a year, you’re taking away another year you have an opportunity to do this. I look at it as a privilege, so I felt like I still have the energy, passion — all those things to do it. I really didn’t go the other way.”
Reid’s high-tempo, West Coast offense will be a good fit with Smith, who thrives on a high completion percentage and surprisingly effective pocket mobility. His offense was stunningly effective for many years in Philadelphia, though it requires the right personnel to run effectively. Former New Orleans Saints backup QB and current KC backup Chase Daniel said that he sees a lot of similarities between what Sean Payton ran in New Orleans and what Reid is implementing for the Chiefs.
“That’s what I think this offense is going to do,” said Daniel. “We are really going to be focusing on spreading the ball around. I think that’s something that Coach Reid has really harped to our running backs, tight ends, wide receivers. We’re getting everybody involved, catching the balls in the back field, throwing quick game, sweeps, isos, leads, but right now we’re working on the fundamentals and basics before doing that stuff.”
Former Nevada head coach, Chris Ault, who helped pioneer the Pistol offensive package that became so wildly popular in the NFL last year, has been brought on as a coaching consultant with the Chiefs. While many people doubt the effectiveness of the Pistol offensive package, ESPN analyst Trent Dilfer is very high on the offense’s, and the Chiefs’, potential this season.
“It’s here to stay,” Dilfer said of the Pistol. “It’s nothing like the wildcat. In fact, I’m starting to get offended by people comparing it to the wildcat. It shows a lack of understanding of football. The wildcat is a gimmicky run offense. The Pistol is the benefit of a shotgun offense, a downhill, I-back formation, you can get wishbone elements in it. There’s a lot of misdirection, and it gives the quarterback space to do a lot of things.”
All in all, I believe that the Chiefs will easily exceed the “over” and finish with a 9-7 record in a relatively easy AFC West.