A team that wants to get to the playoffs consistently needs to be able to take care of its division rivals on a regular basis. The Broncos' rivals are going through some major changes this offseason. Here's a look at the first team, the Chiefs, and the effect this particular team might have on the Broncos offseason choices:
New coach: Andy Reid - Coaching tree of Bill Walsh via Mike Holmgren. WCO. Coached Eagles for 13 years. Was also, effectively, the GM since 2001. Has a pretty impressive list of coaches in his own tree: Childress, John Harbaugh, Spagnuolo, Rivera, Shurmur, Frazier... Chiefs hired John Dorsey as GM. No doubt Reid will have input, but he'll be more strictly a HC now. Dorsey says his philosophy is BPA, straight down the line. Reid brought in the lightly experienced Doug Pederson, QB coach of Eagles, as OC, which means that Reid will pretty much be running the O. DC is former Jet's LB coach, assistant coach for 13 years, and sometime DC, Bob Sutton. He brings a lot of experience to the job.
The interesting question I have about the Chiefs is, will they trade for Alex Smith, or Matt Flynn, or keep their picks and draft a QB? Or will Reid just go with Cassel? If there's one guy who knows you have to have a QB in this league, it's Andy Reid. The question is, where will he go? For those who don't know, they have the number one pick. I'm assuming Reid will stick with the WCO, since he hired Pederson. He has the running game for it already built in with Charles at RB. I also expect them to work hard to re-sign Bowe, since his strength is as a slant receiver. The only question is, where will Reid go for the QB? I won't be surprised if he takes Barkley. There are two Matt Barkley's; Matt coached by Carroll, and Matt coached by Kiffin. Reid might just think the Carroll coached version of Barkley is just right for what he wants to do in KC. I assume they'll cut Cassel for the cap room.
Projected cap space: $16 million.
Chief's draft needs: QB, CB, DT
Broncos' issue with the new Chiefs?: Linebackers.
The one aspect of the defense that the WCO is designed to exploit is coverage in the LB corps. Reid was a TE coach and loves his TEs. I won't be surprised at all if they go after Zach Ertz with their 33 pick. He's perfect for a Reid team and the position has always flourished on Reid coached teams. Moeaki is just average and who knows what happens with Kevin Boss? He's had four serious concussions.
Conclusion: To counter a Reid coached Chief's team, the Broncos have to upgrade over the middle of the defense, especially with regard to linebacker and safety pass coverage. It might not show up Reid's first year, but it will become an issue down the road.
If this thread effort doesn't get mercilessly attacked, I'll try the Chargers and Raiders.