Talk all you want about the big signings of star quarterbacks, wide receivers and running backs. Gaining or losing a quality player from the offensive or defensive line can do more to help or hurt a team as anything else…sometimes more.
The Kansas City Chiefs may have just hurt themselves in letting DT Glenn Dorsey get away to the San Francisco 49ers. While Dorsey might not yet be the impact player he was at LSU, he’s been steadily improving throughout his first five seasons in the NFL, and could be on the verge of greatness.
In case the Chiefs have forgotten, their defense was wretched last season, especially against the run. Letting a defensive tackle get away to gave you over 60 tackles a year and never played in less than 15 games over his first four seasons could be a move that the Chiefs regret.
Dorsey only played in four games during 2012, limited by a calf injury, but reports are that he is completely healed and in his best physical shape in years. He started 30 of his 51 career games with Kansas City, and he appeared in all but two games during his first four seasons.
But this is Andy Reid‘s team now, and he’s calling the shots. Just as he did in Philadelphia, where his offensive line left QB Michael Vick hanging in the wind and his defensive line was a group of human swiss cheese, Reid has put his focus on the skill position players and bringing in the recognizable names–QB Alex Smith, TE Anthony Fasano, DB Dunta Robinson and WR Dwayne Bowe (a returning player).
I get it. When a team is as bad as the Chiefs were last season you have to make some wholesale changes. But Dorsey was an important player even on bad Kansas City teams. Re-signing him should have been a priority.
The NFL’s television highlights might come from the skill positions, but the games are won and lost in the trenches, and those players are the ones who make or break the guys you see in the highlight reels.