Pro Football Writers of America bestowed yet another award on the Kansas City Chiefs. This one goes to Chiefs general manager John Dorsey for NFL executive of the year, after re-building a roster that was 2-14 just a year ago.
“I’m very humbled,” Dorsey told Randy Covitz of the Kansas City Star. “It’s a reflection of everybody’s efforts. It’s from Clark and the entire Hunt family for providing us with the resources … it’s to the players for understanding what we’re trying to achieve here, it’s Coach (Andy) Reid’s leadership, it’s the entire coaching staff’s ability to teach … Everybody is working together for that one goal … and those people should be proud of this.”
Dorsey’s work is less about what he did at the top of the roster – though he did add key pieces in Alex Smith, Sean Smith, and Mike DeVito – but what he did at the bottom of the roster. It wasn’t big news when Dorsey found Marcus Cooper, Husain Abdullah, Quintin Demps, or Ron Parker off of the scrap heap, but all of those players ended up being significant additions for the Chiefs.
Add in quick thinking additions like Sean McGrath after all three of the Chiefs projected tight ends got injured, trading Javier Arenas for Anthony Sherman, and finding a spot for Geoff Schwartz and we can see why the bottom half of the roster performed so well this season.
At no point was this more telling than when the Chiefs nearly defeated the San Diego Chargers on the road in week 17 while starting mostly backups and practice squad players. Chase Daniel – another Dorsey signing – proved he was one of the better back-up quarterbacks in the NFL while Knile Davis – a Dorsey draft pick – had a breakout performance.
This isn’t to say the job is complete for Dorsey, or that everything went as planned. Top overall pick Eric Fisher struggled for a strong part of the season, the offense lacked weapons beyond Jamaal Charles, and the pass rush fell off once opponents figured out the Chiefs didn’t have a defensive end who could rush the passer.
Still, the ability to flip half a roster – a roster that was 2-14 the year before he took over – and have that roster win 11 games is pretty impressive.