The League

Peter Schaffer
NFL Agent

Peter Schaffer

Agent and professor of sports law

Chiefs Poised for Comeback

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The recent history of the National Football League is replete with
Cinderella stories of teams going from the outhouse to the penthouse,
from worst to first in the span of one year. This past season saw
both the Dolphins and Falcons accomplish this dramatic and difficult
feat. While there is never a single reason for such a meteoric rise, there
is enough empirical and objective data to create a logical analytical process
to determine who might be that team in 2009.

Some of the common factors in a dramatic improvement in the NFL
include the division a team plays in, strength of schedule, talent
improvement and an infusion of new coaching and strategic philosophies.
Both the Dolphins and Falcons benefited from all of these factors last
year, and looking at the 2008 doormats like the Lions, Chiefs,
Seahawks, and Rams, the logical choice for drastic 2009 improvement
has to be -- drum roll please -- the Kansas City Chiefs.

The Chiefs of 2009 are blessed with the gift that keeps on giving: Playing in the AFC West.
It's historically a strong division, but it's also one that is suffering through
a recession of talent. The Chargers have benefited recently from this
mediocrity with decent records due to limited competition from the
Broncos and the enigmatic Raiders. Now the Chiefs could be poised to benefit from the same syndrome.

Furthermore, the Chiefs have top talent at the most important skill
positions on offensive: Quarterback and running back. They acquired a
top flight trigger man in quarterback Matt Cassell in an offseason deal with the Patriots. They should also host the return of a guy who is arguably one of the league's most talented "big" backs, Larry Johnson, who appears to be on the rebound both physically and emotionally.

The Chiefs have also brought in a new offensive-focused coach in Todd Haley, who is committed to a "pound the ball" style of offense and a strong, simple 3-4 defense. Add to that an infusion of young talent from the past two drafts, and the Chiefs have to be the odds-on favorites to ascend from their most rent doldrums to a level of competence.

One of the great attributes of the NFL that is sorely lacking in
baseball, basketball and hockey is a team's ability to drastically
change their fortunes within a year's time. It's one of the greatest assets teams can sell to their fans as they embark on minicamps and OTAs, and Chiefs fans have more reason to believe it this year than most other teams in the league.

By Peter Schaffer  |  May 29, 2009; 10:18 AM ET  | Category:  Denver Broncos , Kansas City Chiefs , NFL , Oakland Raiders , Peter Schaffer , San Diego Chargers Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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Getting Matt Cassell for what they gave up will be looked back at years from now as the steal of the century !

Posted by: BeltwayBoy | May 30, 2009 4:41 PM

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