COMMENTARY | The current focus for everyone in and around the Kansas City Chiefs organization is clearly geared towards preparing for their Week 1 matchup with the Jacksonville Jaguars. The front office, coaches and players--both mainstays and new faces alike in all areas--are eager to flush out whatever sour taste is left in their mouths from last season's 2-14 showing.
Ownership made it the focal point this offseason to clean house; meshing the likes of quarterbacks Alex Smith and Chase Daniel, head coach Andy Reid, general manager John Dorsey, defensive backs Sean Smith and Dunta Robinson, among others, with the returning core of players that this organization is confident in to quickly put 2012 in its rear-view mirror for good.
As these new names now call Kansas City home, however, it was imperative that the Chiefs make room by bidding farewell to a few others. While these players are long gone, their connection to this team is cemented in the walls of Arrowhead Stadium forever--whether you like it not.
Brought to Kansas City to usher in the Scott Pioli-Todd Haley era back in 2009, Cassel was promptly handed the starting quarterback job and a brand new contract extension upon his arrival.
While very aggressive--based largely on Cassel's 2008 season while filling in for the injured Tom Brady and his relationship with Pioli when both were with the New England Patriots--the move was made with mixed reviews. But with the new regime sprouted a blind trust; thus kicking off one of the most frustrating stretches in franchise history.
Other than his 2010 season--when he compiled a 10-5 record, throwing for 3,116 yards and 27 touchdowns to only seven interceptions--Cassel's time with the Chiefs was forgettable. It became clear he was not a starting-caliber NFL quarterback and was released this offseason, promptly signing with Minnesota.
The Vikings are clearly (for now) invested in third-year quarterback Christian Ponder as their starter, but having Cassel around could make for interesting chatter leading up to (and during) the 2013 regular season.
Though Cassel never quite embraced the expectations of being the man under center on a full-time basis, he did rise to the occasion with the Patriots once before in a fill-in role. Should Minnesota be unimpressed with Ponder at any point during this potential make-or-break season for him, Cassel's number could be called once again.
The Chiefs selected Dorsey with their first of two first-round picks by drafting the defensive lineman fifth overall back in 2008. After five rather pedestrian seasons (based on the expectations of being such a high draft pick) the team decided to let him walk in free agency this offseason.
Primarily a tackle in college, Dorsey was welcomed to Kansas City by a scheme change that forced him to play the end position in their new 3-4 defense. Though responsibilities lent to him not necessarily showing up regularly on the stat sheet, frustration oftentimes accompanied the way he will ultimately be revered in a Chiefs' uniform.
The 49ers signed Dorsey to a two-year deal this offseason.
Base defense is regularly misconstrued in football, as those not heavily involved with the game get bogged down with the terminology at face value. Teams line up based on game situation and personnel groupings, constantly altering their look during any given matchup and throwing out the notion of any traditional set.
The 49ers brought Dorsey in to play multiple roles along their defensive line. He has the experience to be flexible and is surrounded by All-Pros to cover up any deficiencies, so he might just start to shine in San Francisco.
Kansas City used Arenas primarily on special teams and in obvious passing situations on defense. After being traded to the Cardinals for fullback Anthony Sherman this offseason, his role in Arizona will probably not change much--except for being pushed even further down the depth chart.
With Patrick Peterson and Antoine Cason entrenched as the starting cornerbacks, and Jerraud Powers in the fold as well, Arenas could be used sparingly at times this season. If not for injuries and Kansas City's porous pass defense--resulting in opposing offenses picking on it often--the fourth-year corner out of Alabama would not have much of a career to speak of right now.
Though he also has plenty of experience returning kicks, Arenas suddenly finds himself behind one of the best punt returners in the game in Peterson. Rookie safety Tyrann Mathieu will likely be used on special teams for his playmaking ability as well.
If Arenas can embrace his role as a utility man--much like he did with the Chiefs--Arizona's defensive backfield will be exciting to watch in 2013.
Jeremy Sickel has successfully created and operated numerous websites, including Podcast to Be Named Later--where he is the co-host of the site's up-and-coming podcast. Jeremy's work can be read on Yahoo! and Bleacher Report, and he has also appeared on various sports talk shows around the country.
Interact with Jeremy on Twitter @JeremySickel
- Sports & Recreation
- American Football
- Kansas City Chiefs
- Matt Cassel
- Glenn Dorsey
- Minnesota Vikings