They have a new quarterback and a new middle linebacker. They've released veterans [url=http://www.bearscheapshop.com/cheap-authentic-marcus-cooper-jersey]Marcus Cooper Jersey[/url] , traded away one of the top cornerbacks in the league, signed wisely in free agency and loaded up on draft picks.
Sounds like a losing franchise trying to turn things around.
Try the two-time and defending AFC West champion Kansas City Chiefs.
The slew of offseason moves began even before free agency, when the Chiefs agreed to trades that sent quarterback Alex Smith to the Redskins and cornerback Marcus Peters to the Rams. But the pace of the dealing has hardly slowed down as the Chiefs remake an aging and expensive roster that was good enough to reach the playoffs last season but not good enough to beat Tennessee in the wild-card round.
That's why they signed wide receiver Sammy Watkins, cornerback David Amerson and middle linebacker Anthony Hitchens, and landed cornerback Kendall Fuller in the trade with Washington.
"We're not trying to win a Super Bowl four years from now. We're going out there and we're trying to win a Super Bowl next year," Chiefs general manager Brett Veach said. "Whether that happens, I don't know, but I know that we're going to do everything we can to put our team in position to do so."
Many teams coming off back-to-back division titles would try to hold on a little longer. And the result would be a slow regression that would ultimately force the team to begin a complete rebuilding job anyway.
Veach, who took over for John Dorsey last summer, took a refreshingly different tack. He went after the trade market, was decisive in his convictions and landed his biggest priorities [url=http://www.broncoscheapshop.com/cheap-authentic-terrell-davis-jersey]Terrell Davis Jersey[/url] , even if he may have had to pay a premium to get Watkins and Hitchens in the door.
It was a sign the candid, confident Veach is going to be a far different GM than his predecessors in Kansas City.
"If we have shortcomings," Veach said, "we'll continue to work on those things. Our mindset is at every period to get our team in a position to win a Super Bowl. We have a lot of talent here. It's a lot of young talent, which is exciting for the fans, but we realize there may be some growing pains. But we have some guys that can straight up play football, and that's exciting."
There is no doubt an abundance of talent, especially on offense.
Patrick Mahomes II is poised to take over for Smith under center, and he showed flashes of his big arm and gamesmanship in a Week 17 victory over Denver. To ease the transition, the Chiefs added Watkins to what is arguably the best set of skill-position players in the division, headlined by NFL rushing king Kareem Hunt [url=http://www.bengalscheapshop.com/cheap-authentic-carl-lawson-jersey]Carl Lawson Jersey[/url] , Pro Bowl tight end Travis Kelce and speedy wide receiver Tyreek Hill.
They also retained one of their own when they brought back bruising fullback Anthony Sherman.
"As a team, we've won a lot of games in the last few years," Mahomes said, "and we're bringing a lot of those guys back. And with the additions that we have added, I feel like we can have a very, very good offense. It's all going to start with how we prepare, especially at my position."
Yes, the Chiefs expected to have a very good offense, just as they did last season. But one of the big challenges this offseason has been to fix a defense that ranked among the worst in the league.
Hitchens was a good first step, and he'll step in to the void created by the release of the aging Derrick Johnson, the franchise's career tackles leader. Amerson and Fuller will help to cover the trade of Peters [url=http://www.bearscheapshop.com/cheap-authentic-william-perry-jersey]William Perry Jersey[/url] , and the draft picks netted this offseason will almost certainly be used on defense.
Still, the question remains: Is that enough to make an appreciable improvement?
"We've got a great nucleus coming back. We've added some players that are top-notch," Chiefs coach Andy Reid said last week. "We're fired up about this whole thing. I'm not great at standing up and going, 'Hey, here we go!' But I'm ready to roll as we're sitting here in March."
A person with knowledge of the situation said interim coach Jay Triano is not among ”handful” of remaining candidates for the Phoenix Suns coaching job.
The person, who asked to remain anonymous because the search is ongoing, said the Suns are in the midst of second interviews ”with a handful of candidates still in the mix.”
Triano served as interim coach for all but the first three games of last season after Earl Watson was abruptly fired. Triano guided an exceedingly young and injury-plagued team to a 21-61 record, worst in the NBA and second-worst in franchise history.
Phoenix has the most ping pong balls and therefore the best chance of landing the No. 1 overall pick in next months’ draft lottery.
The Suns conducted initial interviews with a wide range of candidates, including Triano.
Among those publicly linked to the job are former Memphis Grizzlies coach David Fizdale, ex-Charlotte Hornets coach Steve Clifford, former Cleveland Cavaliers coach David Blatt and ex-Milwaukee Bucks and Brooklyn Nets coach Jason Kidd. Former Atlanta coach Mike Budenholzer removed his name from consideration.
Azcentral (The Arizona Republic) reported that Clifford and San Antonio Spurs assistant coach James Borrego were in Phoenix for interviews last week and that team officials also spoke with Toronto Raptors assistant coach Nick Nurse and New Orleans Pelicans assistant head coach Chris Finch.
General manager Ryan McDonough has said the team is prepared to make a strong move to improve the level of talent [url=http://www.brownscheapshop.com/cheap-authentic-darren-fells-jersey]Darren Fells Jersey[/url] , particularly experienced talent, to build around the young talented trio of Devin Booker, Josh Jackson and T.J. Warren. Phoenix, once one of the league’s most vibrant franchises, has not made the playoffs in eight seasons.
Triano took over and kept the team’s effort high despite the lack of victories, working to improve the youngsters, a project that was most evident in the development of the rookie Jackson.
Born in Canada, Triano became an assistant coach with the Raptors in 2002 and was named Toronto’s interim coach after Sam Williams was fired in 2008 and eventually signed a three-year deal as coach there. He went 87-142 with the Raptors. Triano was assistant coach of the Portland Trail Blazers from 2012 to 2016 before joining Watson in Phoenix.
Arizona Sports 98.7 talk radio host John Gambadoro first reported that Triano was no longer under consideration.
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