2014 DRAFT GUIDE
All-in already: Chiefs gamble on quick turnaround

    2013-07-27 09:34

Updates with quotes, details.
By DAVE SKRETTA
AP Sports Writer

ST. JOSEPH, Mo. (AP) - John Dorsey considers himself conservative by nature. He's willing to take a few calculated gambles, sure, but he doesn't like risks. He'd rather put his money on the sure thing.

It's a philosophy that served him well during his time in Green Bay, where he helped piece together draft classes that consistently kept the Packers in playoff contention. It's an approach that he intends to follow now that he's the general manager of the Kansas City Chiefs, too.

After inheriting a downtrodden franchise that finished 2-14 last season, Dorsey set about orchestrating a near-unprecedented turnover in personnel. Veterans such as Eric Winston and Steve Breaston were let go, replaced through a mixture of trades, free agency and the draft.

Now, after getting a glimpse of the payoff during the Chiefs' offseason program, Dorsey is getting to see his rebuilt team for real this weekend during the start of training camp.

``The guys you brought in here, now that you're around them, you get a good sense that they're starting to understand that being a professional means something,'' Dorsey said during an interview with The Associated Press before arriving at Missouri Western State University.

``It means taking ownership,'' Dorsey explained, ``and doing the little things - `My locker-mate is doing it.' So you're creating a goal with guys moving forward with the same mindset and objectives. That's what a team is all about.''

The team that the Chiefs are putting on the practice field this fall will bear such little resemblance to the one of last season that most fans will need a roster sheet.

Not that they'll complain. Who wants to see the same guys who had the NFL's worst record?

Certainly not Dorsey, nor new coach Andy Reid, who worked hand-in-hand with the GM to upgrade the roster. Quarterbacks Matt Cassel and Brady Quinn were jettisoned and the Chiefs' new brain trust swung a trade with the 49ers to land Alex Smith, giving them a fresh face under center and possibly some stability at the position for the first time in years.

Yet the trade was only the first of many calculated risks that Dorsey made this offseason - after all, are the Chiefs getting the Smith that went 13-3 a couple of years ago, or the former No. 1 draft pick who was an utter flop his first five seasons in the league?

When the draft rolled around, Dorsey had his pick of offensive tackles with the first overall selection. He went with Central Michigan's Eric Fisher over Texas A&M's Luke Joeckel, picking the guy with more perceived upside over the more polished product.

One of the Chiefs' third-round picks, tight end Travis Kelce, was suspended in college for a failed drug test Fifth-round pick Sanders Commings was suspended at Georgia after he was charged with simple battery and domestic violence. Quarterback Tyler Bray left Tennessee early, but some questions about his character left him signing with Kansas City as an undrafted free agent.

So, yes, Dorsey is taking some risks. But he's carefully considered each of them.

``Each one of these guys I've sat down and met with them one-on-one. I'm pretty good with finding out what makes people tick,'' he said. ``And I know in their heart of hearts, they want to be good. They understand the team model, they want to work, and that's all you can ask for.''

In the wake of the Aaron Hernandez case, NFL teams will undoubtedly take a closer look at acquiring players with checkered pasts. But in assembling this year's team, Dorsey believes that the guys he's brought into Chiefs training camp have matured since their transgressions.

``I got in trouble once in college and it was really just an unfortunate situation,'' said Commings, who could be out for a while after breaking his left collarbone on the first day of camp. ``I learned that I need to surround myself with people who bring out the best in me.''

Bray said that failing to get drafted, embarrassing as it may have been, left him hungry to be a better player on the field and a better person away from it.

``You come into college and new experiences, you're living on your own, not living with your parents, you can kind of mess up sometimes,'' he said. ``I'm done with all the dumb stuff.''

Dorsey is convinced that's the case, just as he's convinced free agents such as Sean Smith and Dunta Robinson can bolster a defensive backfield that struggled so mightily last season, and that Smith can pull the strings for an offense that rarely found the end zone a year ago.

``Risk taker? No. Am I conservative? Yeah. Am I a little aggressive? Yeah, I'll be a little aggressive,'' Dorsey said, ``but you take your shots at the right time.''

Might as well take a few bold shots right from the start.

The result already has been a level of expectations far higher than most teams that scuffled to a 2-14 finish the previous year. National pundits believe they can make a run at the Broncos in the AFC West, and just maybe pull off another Colts-like turnaround and make the playoffs.

All of that will wash out over the coming weeks and months, though, and the dozens of moves that Dorsey has made will be judged as flawed risks or successful gambles.

``I'm on the honeymoon period. We haven't lost a game yet. I'm smart enough to understand that,'' Dorsey said, leaning forward in his chair as if to emphasize his point.

``I'm never content,'' he added. ``Even if we win the Super Bowl, I won't be content. At the end of the day, what you're measured with is if you leave this place better. You have to establish a tradition, of sustaining on a year-in and year-out basis winning football teams. To me, then you've done your job. I'll never be satisfied with the one-year fix.''

---

AP NFL site: http://pro32.ap.org

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Trent RichardsonJan 27 10:43a

Indianapolis Colts RB Trent Richardson's one-game suspension for conduct detrimental to the team voided the guarantee of a $3,184,062 salary in 2015.

Josh GordonJan 26 02:13p

Cleveland Browns WR Josh Gordon is in Stage Three of an alcohol program, which requires him to be tested for alcohol for a minimum of two years. His failed [ More ]

Rob GronkowskiJan 26 02:03p

New England Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski could cause a problem for the Seattle Seahawks during Super Bowl XLIX, because the Seahawks defense allowed 11 touchdowns to tight ends this [ More ]

Earl ThomasJan 26 02:03p

Seattle Seahawks FS Earl Thomas (shoulder) said he won't miss the Super Bowl against the New England Patriots with a dislocated shoulder, but he also admitted that it won't [ More ]

Odell Beckham Jr.Jan 26 01:52p

New York Giants WR Odell Beckham Jr. (hamstring) said he'll need to shut himself down this offseason in order to enter 2015 fully healthy and in great shape. He [ More ]

Josh GordonJan 26 12:33p

Cleveland Browns WR Josh Gordon tested positive for alcohol, according to sources, and his failed test will subject him to a possible one-year suspension. Gordon caught 24 passes for [ More ]

Vontaze BurfictJan 26 12:23p

Cincinnati Bengals LB Vontaze Burfict (knee) is recovering from microfracture surgery on his left knee, and the surgeon who operated on him is hoping that he will be at [ More ]

Odell Beckham Jr.Jan 26 11:22a

New York Giants WR Odell Beckham Jr. (hamstring) said he played this season with two tears in his right hamstring, which never fully healed.

Josh GordonJan 25 09:12p

Cleveland Browns WR Josh Gordon will be under contract through the 2016 season, and he will only be a restricted free agent after that year due to his looming [ More ]

Josh GordonJan 25 04:12p

Cleveland Browns WR Josh Gordon has reportedly failed another drug test and will be subject to a one-year banishment, according to multiple league sources.

Earl ThomasJan 23 09:02p

Seattle Seahawks FS Earl Thomas (shoulder) will play in the Super Bowl, head coach Pete Carroll said Friday, Jan. 23.

Dennis PittaJan 23 04:22p

Baltimore Ravens TE Dennis Pitta (hip) met with some specialists last week, but the team is not expected to have an update on his status for a few weeks, [ More ]

Johnny ManzielJan 23 01:12p

Cleveland Browns QB Johnny Manziel had a big proponent last year in owner Jimmy Haslam, but Haslam now thinks the team needs a quarterback in order to get their [ More ]

Jimmy GrahamJan 23 10:32a

New Orleans Saints TE Jimmy Graham (shoulder) said he'll rehabilitate his shoulder injury after the Pro Bowl, but he hasn't made a final decision on surgery. 'It's something we [ More ]

Mark IngramJan 22 06:42p

New Orleans Saints RB Mark Ingram, who will be eligible for free agency this offseason, wants to return to the team next year, and he thinks the interest is [ More ]

Vernon DavisJan 22 06:22p

San Francisco 49ers TE Vernon Davis had just two touchdowns in 2014, and they both came in Week 1. He also wasn't targeted at all in the red zone [ More ]

Geno SmithJan 22 05:32p

New York Jets QB Geno Smith has a lot of talent and promise, according to new head coach Todd Bowles. At the same time, Bowles acknowledged that the quarterback [ More ]

Brian HoyerJan 22 04:52p

Cleveland Browns QB Brian Hoyer could be re-signed this offseason, according to his agent. Hoyer is expected to meet with general manager Ray Farmer and offensive coordinator John DeFilippo in the near future.

Johnny ManzielJan 22 02:43p

Cleveland Browns QB Johnny Manziel will be working with a new offensive coordinator this year in John DeFilippo, but DeFilippo is unsure if the team's quarterback next year is [ More ]

Joe FlaccoJan 22 12:52p

Baltimore Ravens QB Joe Flacco will have his fourth difference offensive coordinator in as many years in offensive coordinator Marc Trestman. However, head coach John Harbaugh is confident Flacco [ More ]

Tom BradyJan 22 10:12a

New England Patriots QB Tom Brady is now scheduled to speak to the media Thursday, Jan. 22, and he could come under fire due to the report of deflated [ More ]

Vontaze BurfictJan 21 09:03p

Cincinnati Bengals LB Vontaze Burfict (knee) has had knee surgery, head coach Marvin Lewis confirmed Wednesday, Jan. 21. While there has been concern Burfict might have to begin the [ More ]

Mike WallaceJan 21 09:03p

Miami Dolphins WR Mike Wallace's future with the team is unclear. General manager Dennis Hickey would not say Wednesday, Jan. 21, whether Wallace will be back or if his [ More ]

Johnny ManzielJan 21 04:43p

Cleveland Browns QB Johnny Manziel could benefit from new offensive coordinator John DeFilippo, according to Oakland Raiders QB Derek Carr. Carr said DeFilippo will do great with Manziel, adding [ More ]

Richard ShermanJan 21 04:23p

Seattle Seahawks CB Richard Sherman (elbow) said he will practice in a brace, but should not have any limitations on gameday.

Marc TrestmanJan 21 03:53p

Baltimore Ravens offensive coordinator Marc Trestman said he wants to learn the specificities of the team's offense instead of changing it. Head coach John Harbaugh said Trestman's familiarity and [ More ]

Blake BortlesJan 21 03:43p

Jacksonville Jaguars QB Blake Bortles should be able to develop under new offensive coordinator Greg Olson, according to general manager Dave Caldwell. Caldwell said Olson has the ability to [ More ]

Blake BortlesJan 21 03:13p

Jacksonville Jaguars QB Blake Bortles developed bad habits and may need to start over, in the opinion of NFL Films guru Greg Cosell.

Latavius MurrayJan 21 12:53p

Oakland Raiders RB Latavius Murray is likely to be the team's lead back in 2015, and new offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave plans tailor his system to Murray's talents. Musgrave [ More ]

Peyton ManningJan 21 11:03a

Denver Broncos QB Peyton Manning plans to return in 2015, pending the results of his annual physical, according to three sources The Denver Post's Woody Paige trusts. The test [ More ]

Rashad JenningsJan 21 10:23a

New York Giants RB Rashad Jennings could have a veteran running back to complement or compete with him next season. The team could possibly add a change-of-pace back and [ More ]

Trent RichardsonJan 21 09:13a

Indianapolis Colts RB Trent Richardson was suspended and deactivated for the AFC Championship Game Sunday, Jan. 18.

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2015 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group