If you ask Kansas City Chiefs Head Coach, Andy Reid, he appears to be waffling a bit on what to do with his starters against the visiting Green Bay Packers Thursday night. But then again, KC’s head coach isn’t likely going to tip his hand to anyone in the media.
But this is the final game that Reid can evaluate the last twenty or so roster spots. His goal is to determine if the back end of the roster is good enough to eventually step up this season or in 2014. Further, if he and General Manager, John Dorsey, think there’s talent to be had from another NFL team, those castoffs could find a home in Kansas City.
However there might be another angle for fans to consider as Reid and Dorsey hammer out the final roster. With the roster cuts already made this week and those anticipated over the weekend, it’s clear that the Scott Pioli, regime continues to take a beating.
And with the latest flap over Wide Receiver, Dexter McCluster’s mysterious illness, that could be (depending on whom you believe) more of a scolding versus a cold, it’s clear Reid isn’t too thrilled with some of the players drafted by the previous regime.
Pioli’s players are being getting their pink slips in alarming numbers. That’s because Reid can’t afford the luxury of wasting his time on players that aren’t worthy of being a Chiefs going forward. In other words, what they did or didn’t do in the past just doesn’t matter to Reid.
And when you consider he’s already jettisoned one of his own draft picks Kansas State Fullback, Braden Wilson, any Pioli leftover better realize that they better completely buy into the mix or they won’t be around to see the Chiefs resurrection.
What those players have to understand is that none of them are locks to be part of Reid’s future this season or next. And they each better understand; as McCluster is finding out now, every single practice is an audition to stay on the roster. And what the coach says is final.
Now players such as Eric Berry, Dontari Poe, Ryan Succop, Justin Houston and a few others are relatively safe for the moment. But for the most part, Reid has significantly changed the culture in Kansas City. And that means his roster, which will be finalized after Saturday’s cuts and acquisitions, will be comprised of team guys who all buy into Reid’s stern hand.
If there’s been a constant theme since Reid and Dorsey began trimming the roster excess back in February, they’ve put a premium on finding football players with egos that never hit the practice field.
And to their credit, not only will they turnover 60% of the roster, but they’ve improved the 2013 roster substantially. Enough that in my view I think the Chiefs can win ten games this season.
So even though Arrowhead wont’ be full to the rafters Thursday night, the mind of thirty some potential Chiefs, will be wondering if this is the last game they’ll play this season or they’ll open the season a week from Sunday in Jacksonville wearing Chiefs red.
That means the Packers game could be a final calling card for the Carl Peterson and Scott Pioli players to take a stand and show they belong in Kansas City under Reid and company.
Those that do will be awarded a roster spot. For the others, especially the fringe Pioli guys, they best scratch and crawl every single snap against the Packers. Because if they want a roster spot and hope to avoid the Turk, that could come knocking on their door Friday or Saturday, this game represents their Super Bowl.
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How many more Pioli guys will get cut after Thursday's final preseason gamei?
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