Tuesday, March 27, 2012
Pioli, Chiefs continue to go in right direction
By Bill Williamson
One of the more underrated winners in the 2012 offseason has been the Kansas City Chiefs.
While the Denver Broncos dominate headlines with the Peyton Manning addition, the Chiefs continue to build a promising roster. Kansas City added several pieces, highlighted by the additions of cornerback Stanford Routt, running back Peyton Hillis, right tackle Eric Winston and tight end Kevin Boss.
I got a chance to catch up with Kansas City general manager Scott Pioli on Tuesday. Pioli is clearly pleased with the additions and how they continue to help his team move forward. Pioli is a student of how to build a winning roster and I think every move he makes is carefully considered and done in the scope of the big picture.
I was not surprised when Pioli said the players he signed this offseason will help the Chiefs’ “makeup.”
“We think we improved our football team,” Pioli said from the owners meetings in Florida in a phone interview. “We continue to want to form a team from a makeup sense. We want highly competitive, tough, football-focused people.”
The additions of Hillis, Winston and Boss will all help quarterback Matt Cassel. In fact, these additions re-affirm the Chiefs’ confidence and plans for Cassel.
I know there is a faction of Chiefs fans who perpetually want the team to move away from Cassel. Don’t be surprised if Cassel flourishes with these new additions and an otherwise healthy supporting cast. Pioli thinks that is the case.
“I do believe in Matt,” Pioli said. ”He is a good starting quarterback.”
The additions of Hillis and Boss are particularly smart, because they give the Chiefs terrific insurance policies in case running back Jamaal Charles or tight end Tony Moeaki suffer delays from their returns from suffering torn ACLs last September. Both players are expected to be fine, but if there are setbacks, Hillis and Boss can step in and be fine starters.
With a healthy Charles and Moeaki, the Chiefs will have plenty of options with Hillis and Boss.
“We think we have enhanced those positions,” Pioli said. “There will be enough snaps for all of those players.”
There is no doubt Kansas City is becoming a crowded place for talented players and the additions made this offseason are another indication of a team headed in the right direction.