Offseason Playbook: Chiefs

A look at Kansas City's philosophy, team needs and a key free-agent move

Originally Published: March 12, 2013
By Gary Horton and Field Yates | ESPN Insider
Dwyane BoweDave Kaup/ReutersWide receiver Dwayne Bowe signed a new five-year deal with the Chiefs this offseason.

In a new offseason series, Insider takes an in-depth look at NFL teams before free agency begins March 12. What is each team's philosophy on offense and defense, biggest needs and one player who could make for an ideal signing in free agency?

Team philosophies

Offense -- Andy Reid will be in total charge, as he hired a coordinator in Doug Pederson with limited experience running an offense. What we will see is a very similar scheme to the one he ran in Philadelphia. Reid will always be a pass-first coach, but he may look for more pass-run balance than he had with the Eagles. The guys up front will likely be zone blockers and we will see outside zone runs, stretch plays, sprint draws and misdirection, which requires athleticism by the offensive line and running backs who are good in space.

It will be a West Coast offense with occasional two-tight end sets and with a lot of underneath and crossing routes. The screen play will be a nice part of this offense and the backs will get a lot of touches in the passing game. When they see single man-to-man coverage, they will take some deep shots. The most important thing to getting this offense going is having finally found a quarterback, Alex Smith, who the coaches can trust, and he will make less mistakes than the sloppy play that plagued Andy Reid & Co. at the position in Philadelphia.

Gary Horton spent 10 years in the NFL as a scout and another 10 years at the college level as an assistant coach and recruiter. He is the founder and most seasoned member of the Scouts Inc. staff, and his extensive experience at all levels of football make him an excellent talent evaluator.
Field Yates has previous experience interning with the New England Patriots on both their coaching and scouting staffs. A graduate of Wesleyan University (CT), he is a regular contributor to ESPN Boston's Patriots coverage and ESPN Insider.