What We Learned From Chiefs GM John Dorsey at the Scouting Combine

Dorsey addressed the media in Indianapolis Thursday



Opening statement: "Hi guys, good afternoon. I was walking over here and I was thinking to myself, I believe this year is the 30th anniversary of the Combine being held in Indianapolis, Indiana. And so I'd like to take a moment here before I answer some football questions and thank the city of Indianapolis for all the hospitality they've shown. Also want to acknowledge Jeff Foster and John Griffin from NIC and NFS for all of the work that they do to make this Combine work. And with that, I'll take your questions."

Have you been to all 30 of them?

"No. You know what, I've probably been here for 20 to 25."

Without Andy Reid here, how has that changed the interactions with the players? The formal interviews and the informal interview process?

"We've been in this program now for four years, and we've built this thing. We understand from a personnel staff what the coaches want in specific players, and I think the coaching staff understands what we want from a personnel side, and we mesh together. We understand each other and we trust each other. I don't think the process has changed one bit. I miss having Andy here, and here's why: because what's nice is when we sit down in the 60-player interview room, it's always nice to have him there because he does a nice job of just understanding players of what their worth is."

Is there any consideration to potentially use Skype or even FaceTime?

"Actually what we've done in terms of player interviews, this year what we've done, we've worked out a system where he'll be able to see the interviews. What we could've done—I wanted to see if we could do FaceTime in here, but I don't think he'd like that FaceTime thing."

Is it harder now to have a lot of cap space than it was in the past because it's so different?

"No, I don't think it is. I think what it is, is if you plan out three, four years at a time here, and you have an understanding of your team and the makeup of those specific players. No, I don't think to manage the cap, I don't believe that's true."

Do you feel like the guy who could be your number two quarterback next season is on your roster right now?

"I do. I know what you're getting with here. You're going with Chase Daniel. We've had Chase here for three years. I think Chase is a very competitive player. I think we were very lucky to have him as our number two quarterback. Just a couple hours ago, I've had discussions with his agent. Going to see where they were in the process. At the right price, I'll try to retain him. But the right price. But I understand the business of the game of football. And he's going to want to be able to see if he can start. I do believe he's capable of doing that. So that process will be ongoing. It will take a couple weeks here before we sit down and talk with his agent some more."

In the last three years, how have you see Doug Pederson develop into a head-coaching candidate?

"Now Doug Pederson, he's been around football—the game of football for a long time. Any time you can take a coach and you develop your skills as a high school coach, then you work up the ranks, then all of a sudden you're lucky enough to get into pro football. And I think it's always important that who you get with in this in this whole process, and he was lucky enough to get with Andy Reid. And he begin to see how to process and how to build certain things, and how to build a team. The play calling component of it, I think Doug will do a fabulous job. And what I've seen with Doug is, he's built a really good staff. So, I love Doug. I can't wait to see what he does. I really think he'll do a wonderful job."

On Albert Wilson and what role he's carved out for himself:

"Any time you can take a college free agent, and he can develop into that number two receiver, which he kind of did last year, that's a tribute to Albert and his development. And with that development I can see him getting better. And he wants to get himself better. I'm very happy where he is at this stage of football. He did very well in the '15 season that we're moving on to the '16 season. It's time to develop even more now."

Going back to the business side of football, last month you mentioned to us about the franchise tag. You were still in that process of trying to figure that out. Where are you now in the process especially with the deadline coming up next week?

"Exactly. I think the deadline is next Tuesday, probably 3 p.m. Central Time. As we move forward here, I've used the franchise tag in the past. And it's not out of the possibility I could use it again. It all depends on how certain things go in the process. But you always want to have something in your pocket, and I can use that."

What about Eric Berry? Where are you in the process in talking to his representatives about that?

"Eric's agent and I have had really good discussions the last couple weeks. We will continue to build on those discussions as we speak. I'm scheduled to meet with him this weekend in Indianapolis. It's a process. It will continually move on. And we'll see what happens when we get to that time."

With how quickly has Mitch Morris been able to step in and play for you guys coming from being a tackle throughout college and playing center for you, do you feel like the transition for spread offensive linemen is a little bit overblown, or do you think he's more of an exception than an indicator of what other guys can do?

"In today's football, the spread-option game it's everywhere. It's from the pro football, all the way down to the Pop Warner league now I've seen. I think that tribute first goes to Mitch himself as a person. For his athleticism, his smarts, his tenacity. It also goes to the Missouri coaching staff for getting him prepared to play at the next level. They've done a wonderful job at getting players ready to play, and then all of a sudden Mitch comes here, he picks things up quickly, he has quality coaches like Andy Heck and Eugene Chung, and it was a seamless transition. He did a wonderful job, and I continue to see good things for him."

Now that you've got a chance to go ahead and watch the players, what's unique about this draft? Where are you guys at in building your draft?

"Well, the guys jokingly say we're in phase one. What we've done is we've kind of finished our process. Our self-evaluation. We've kind of finished up the unrestricted free agent part of the process. Now we've spent the last 17 days evaluating and building our college draft board. It's very fluid. It will continue because it's just not one set board. We're 50-something days probably away from the draft. So it will continually change and evolve as we watch guys compete here at the Combine. We'll go to the school visits and watch them compete. We begin to formulate that final piece of the puzzle. Right now from a depth perspective, I think there are some really good defensive linemen in this draft."

Can you give us an update on Jamaal Charles' rehab, with the emergence of Ware and West?

"I told you all a couple weeks ago Jamaal is ahead of schedule. He is ahead of schedule. I continually talk to Rick (Burkholder). Before I left to come here to Indianapolis, I saw Jamaal down there diligently working in the training room, then all of a sudden, I come back down stairs and he's in the weight room. I think he's far enough ahead in the process here, which is good. It's good for everybody. Jamaal is a great football player. But you have to applaud those two young guys for what they did. When you lose a player the magnitude of Jamaal, and those two young guys step up and what they did. They competed and they played hard, and at the end of the day, it was good for everybody."

Dorsey on small-school players versus bigger-school players:

"I think from a Division I standpoint, which is probably 82 or 83 percent of the players in the National Football League come from Division I, then you begin to filter down. IAA, you have to take each level as it goes down. But as I've always said is how do they dominate the competition? At those different levels, do they dominate the competition? And do they have the measurables and the traits you're looking for in an organization.

Washington are going to release Robert Griffin III, they've already said that. When I've talked to some people is they feel that a coach like Andy Reid would be a good fit for him. What is it about Andy that would make a good fit for players like RGIII?

"Andy's a wonderful coach. He just has a way of working with young men. And young men believe in him. Now with regards to the player you talk about, I'm really not obligated to talk about him because he's still with another football team. But I think with Andy, what he does, he teaches them the basic fundamentals. He'll see the flaws within that person and try to break them down and build them back up. Then all of a sudden, he begins to sit there and grill them on the Xs and Os of the game until it's embedded in their head."

More so than any other coach you've been around?

"You know what, I can only speak for Andy. That's who I'm talking about."

You've done a good job since you've been here about building your roster. There are no immediate glaring needs for the Chiefs going in to the draft. Do you feel like that's going to be a realistic goal this year to be able to achieve that if that's something you decide to do?

"We take the same approach year in and year out. We try to build that up every year. Then you begin to see the holes that you need to fill in there. Then all of a sudden you have to factor that formula into the best-available-player approach as well. I foresee this year not being any different from all the years that I've been doing this."

What have you seen from Matt Nagy as a co-offensive coordinator?

"I think we are very lucky to have Matt Nagy in that roll. And then all of sudden you have Brad Childress in that role. Now what you have is a young upcoming coach blended in there with a former head coach who also is an offensive coach. He knows his system. He has a great relationship with Alex Smith and he will continue to have a great relationship with Alex Smith. And that does nothing but one, show you that the system that Andy has a place allowing guys to grow and build and develop. But it also speaks volumes for the quality of coaching staff we have here in Kansas City."

Are there any updates on Derrick Johnson's status?

"Truth be told, I had a meeting with his representative about three days ago, and we will continue to have continual process with that. We're going to move this thing forward. Any time you become the all-time leading tackler for the Chiefs. You know, we aren't going to let good football players go in this thing."

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