We're just hours away from the start of the new league year, which officially begins at 3:00 pm CT and with it 2014 free agency.
Behind the scenes at One Arrowhead Drive, a collective team effort is taking place, logging countless hours of film study, preparation and more to ensure the team makes the best possible moves this offseason, including free agency and the upcoming draft in May.
"So far, it's smoother," coach Reid said about his second offseason in Kansas City. "You've got a staff; you've got John Dorsey and his staff and you've walked in those shoes for a year, going through the whole process, getting ready for the draft. For the football side of it, we work scheme evaluation for half the day and the other half, we're doing personnel and that's broken up into free agency and the college draft and that's the way it will go, right up until the draft; whatever John needs us to do, we'll do from a personnel standpoint."
The working relationship between Andy Reid, John Dorsey and the personnel and coaching staffs comes back to age-old factor of trust.
"When I first got to Kansas City last year in January, I said that the greatest thing about this relationship is when the head coach and the general manager, philosophically, are on the same page and they go to work every day and they want to work to get better," Dorsey said. "That's very meaningful, because that's what successful organizations do. With Andy (Reid), Andy is one of those guys that lets you do that, and he trusts me enough to do that. I have great respect for Andy, and that's kind of the way that Clark (Hunt) laid that whole system out. So far, it has worked pretty well."
Working directly with Dorsey is the team's director of player personnel, Chris Ballard, who oversees the collegiate and pro scouting departments. Ballard says the relationship between the Chiefs scouts and coaches is unified and focused on the ultimate team goal.
"We are working right together," Ballard said. "It's our job to find what they need to be successful. They have to be able to give us a definition and then we have to go find what they want. Absolutely, we work together. It gives us a chance to really hone in on guys that we think are going to be Kansas City Chiefs. All our scouts will go out and attend every pro day; we are always trying to find the guys that might not have attended the combine. It's another chance to spend some more time with those players."
The Chiefs scouting department already made headlines this offseason as area scout Willie Davis was named the AFC Scout of the Year and John Dorsey received the Pro Football Writers of America Executive of the Year Award. Chiefs scout Marvin Allen described what it's like to work for Dorsey.
"It is a blast," Allen said. "John is 90 miles an hour, all the time, which is great for us, because we have to keep up with him, because he's moving on to the next thing. He wants to make sure everything is covered, every base is covered; there are no stones unturned, there is no slacking. The group of guys we have is great and everybody is going 100 percent. It's fun to work with John, because he is a football guy. He's not a guy coming from another avenue or another arena, instead, he's been a scout and that's how he got in the league and that's what we are; we talk the same language and understand the same things and have the same thoughts."
Ultimately, in 2014, the Chiefs brass will make the best decisions it deems necessary to keep the team moving toward accomplishing its ultimate goal of earning football supremacy, winning the Vince Lombardi Trophy.
"I think you try to get guys that have the same mindset that you have," Allen said. "If you talk to some of the coaches, their personality fits with Andy's, their personnel and philosophies are similar to his. When you talk to a lot of our scouts, you might be like, 'Did I just get finished talking to John or something?', because we all talk a lot like John; we use the same languages. When you're in countless meetings in the same room with 15 guys for days, you start thinking alike. We have specific needs for our team; we're not grading guys for the NFL, we are grading specifically for the Kansas City Chiefs."
We'll begin to see which players received which grades, throughout the coming months of free agency, as well as the 2014 NFL Draft in May (8th-10th).