New-look Chiefs turning attention to NFL draft


New-look Chiefs turning attention to NFL draft

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) The wholesale overhaul of the Kansas City Chiefs is nearly complete.

Andy Reid has been hired to replace Romeo Crennel as coach, and longtime Packers personnel man John Dorsey has replaced Scott Pioli as general manager. Most of the assistant coaches are on board, and now the Chiefs can start turning their attention toward the rebuilding job.

That includes preparation for the NFL draft.

The Chiefs finished 2-14 last season, matching the worst record in their 53-year history. But the byproduct of all that on-field suffering is that they have the No. 1 pick for the first time, giving Kansas City a good place to start turning around the team.

``We're in a unique position,'' said Dorsey, who will work closely with Reid but have final say over personnel decisions. ``We all know there is some pressure involved in that.''

It is pressure unlike anything he's ever experienced.

Dorsey began his career as a scout for the Packers, and eventually rose to direct of college scouting and director of football operations. But his primary responsibility was assembling the draft board, and the final decision ultimately came down to the Packers' GM - Tom Braatz early in his career, Ron Wolf and Mike Sherman after that, and most recently Ted Thompson.

Now, when the final seconds are ticking away on April 25, all eyes in the Kansas City draft room will turn toward Dorsey for a decision that could shape the future of the franchise.

``Ultimately, we're just trying to win Super Bowls. That's what we're trying to do,'' said Dorsey, adding that he plans to use a similar blueprint to Green Bay.

``History and time has proven - and that's all I know - but this system works,'' Dorsey said Monday. ``That's what I'm going to try to implement.''

Examining the Packers' drafts over the past two decades yields a few ideas about how Dorsey will proceed: He'll likely choose the best player of available, regardless of position needs, but also understands the importance of drafting for depth at quarterback.

Many outsiders panned the choice of quarterback Aaron Rodgers when Brett Favre was firmly ensconced in Green Bay, and Rodgers has turned into a Super Bowl champion. Matt Flynn was picked in the seventh round and became a valuable commodity as a backup, while other guys such as Matt Hasselbeck and Aaron Brooks developed into starters elsewhere in the NFL.

``What we've always tried to do is develop a third guy,'' Dorsey said, ``and develop him and see if he can be a 2 or a 1.''

By contrast, the Chiefs have spent only one pick - a fifth-rounder - on a quarterback in the past six drafts, and the result has been disastrous play at the game's marquee position.

Matt Cassel is still under contract, even though he was benched last season. Brady Quinn played just as poorly, while Ricky Stanzi never saw the field during the regular season.

``Any time when you begin to build a franchise, let's be real, the quarterback is a very important part,'' Dorsey said. ``As you note the last couple weeks in the playoffs, the quarterback position is a very important position to the long-term success of the organization.''

Important enough to spend the No. 1 overall pick on it?

Not necessarily.

Dorsey and Reid both insisted they plan to draft the best player available, and that may not be a quarterback. West Virginia's Geno Smith is widely considered the best prospect at his position, but some draft analysts believe he's only worthy of a late first-round selection.

``My draft philosophy, you'd love to get good players. That's the primary thing,'' Reid said. ``As the general manager comes in, that's what he's going to do. That's his responsibility.''

It's not as if the Chiefs don't have other needs.

Left tackle Branden Albert and wide receiver Dwayne Bowe can both become free agents, and there are gaping holes along the defensive line, at linebacker and in the secondary. And it just so happens that some of the best available players fit those needs: Texas A&M offensive tackle Luke Joeckel, Florida State defensive end Bjoern Werner and George linebacker Jarvis Jones.

One thing that Dorsey made clear is that he won't reach for a player.

``Philosophically, you stay true to your board,'' he said. ``You spend all those months staying true to your board, and all of a sudden you have to jump a player due to positional needs? I don't think you do that. Historically, we have proven you don't do that.''

Dorsey plans to keep the Chiefs scouting department intact through the draft, but he's also bringing with him an entire season's worth of his own scouting work from Green Bay.

That will be augmented by work done at college all-star games, various pro days organized by schools, the annual scouting combine and from hour upon hour of highlight tapes.

``It's going to be a focus of our fans, the media and our personnel department here for the next three or so months,'' Chiefs chairman Clark Hunt said of the No. 1 pick. ``It's very important we get that pick right.''


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Game 73 Capitals vs. Stars Date, Time, How to Watch, Game Thread


Game 73 Capitals vs. Stars Date, Time, How to Watch, Game Thread

What: Washington Capitals vs. Dallas Stars

Where: Capital One Arena, Washington, D.C.

When: 7:00 p.m. ET

How to Watch: Capitals-Stars will be broadcast on NBC Sports Washington (Channel Finder)

Live Stream: You can watch the Capitals-Stars game on NBC Sports Washington's live stream page.


The Capitals (41-24-7) take on the Stars (38-27-8) Tuesday, March 20 at 7:00 p.m. ET at Capital One Arena.


The Capitals-Stars game will be broadcast on NBC Sports Washington. Coverage kicks off with Capitals FaceOff at 6:00 p.m. followed by Caps GameTime at 6:30 p.m. Stay with NBC Sports Washington for Caps Extra following the game, Caps Overtime at 10:00 p.m. and Caps in 30 at 11:00 p.m. for all your postgame coverage. (NBC Sports Washington channel Finder)

6:00 p.m. — Caps FaceOff
6:30 p.m. — Caps GameTime
7:00 p.m. — Capitals vs. Stars
9:30 p.m. — Caps Extra
10:00 p.m. — Caps Overtime
11:00 p.m. — Caps in 30


Here are the projected lines for the Caps-Islanders game:

Alex Ovechkin -  Nicklas Backstrom - Tom Wilson
Andre Burakovsky - Lars Eller - T.J. Oshie
Jakub Vrana - Travis Boyd - Brett Connolly
Chandler Stephenson - Jay Beagle - Devante Smith-Pelly

Christian Djoos - John Carlson
Dmitry Orlov - Matt Niskanen
Michal Kempny - Jakub Jerabek

Braden Holtby starts with Philipp Grubauer as backup

Scratches: Evgeny Kuznetsov (upper body injury), Alex Chiasson, Brooks Orpik (lower body injury)


The Capitals-Flyers game, as well as Caps GameTime and Caps Extra, is available to stream live here through NBC Sports Washington's live stream page and is available to authenticated NBC Sports Washington subscribers on desktops, tablets, mobile devices and connected TVs anywhere in the United States.


Use the comment section below to discuss the game action with other Capitals fans. 

For all the latest Caps coverage, follow Capitals Insider Tarik El-Bashir, Capitals correspondent JJ Regan and the NBC Sports Capitals account on Twitter. Be sure check out our Capitals page and NBC Sports Washington's Facebook page.

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Need to Know: Looking at the Redskins' defensive depth chart after early phase of free agency

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Need to Know: Looking at the Redskins' defensive depth chart after early phase of free agency

Here is what you need to know on this Tuesday, March 20, 37 days before the NFL draft.  

Looking at the 2018 depth chart—defense

The Redskins are likely to make a few more free agent acquisitions and there is the draft, but the depth chart is beginning to settle in. Let’s take a look at where the defensive side of the ball stands now. The offense was covered yesterday.

Defensive line: Jonathan Allen, Matt Ioannidis, Stacy McGee
Backups: Terrell McClain, Anthony Lanier, Ziggy Hood

I wrote this on Monday afternoon wondering if I would have to edit it to add Jonathan Hankins but that has not happened yet. I have to think that they will use a top draft pick on a D-lineman if they don’t land one in free agency. That could create some competition between Hood and McClain for the last roster spot.

Linebackers: OLBs Preston Smith, Ryan Kerrigan; ILBs Mason Foster, Zach Brown
Backups: Ryan Anderson, Zach Vigil, Josh Harvey-Clemons, Martrell Spaight

Again, I thought I might have to edit this because of the return of Junior Galette or the addition of Pernell McPhee but as it is, the Redskins are looking for an additional reserve edge rusher to go with Anderson. There might only be room for two backup inside linebackers between Vigil, Harvey-Clemons, and Spaight.

Defensive backs: CBs Quinton Dunbar, Josh Norman; FS Montae Nicholson, SS D.J. Swearinger
Backups: Orlando Scandrick, Fabian Moreau, Josh Holsey, Deshazor Everett

I debated including Su’a Cravens here because he is on the roster, but I think that the odds that he will be on the 53-man roster in September are slim. If he doesn’t return they will need some help at safety. You can count on Scandrick playing in the slot. They seem to like both Dunbar and Moreau better on the outside and Scandrick can give Holsey a chance to develop inside.

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page and follow him on Twitter @TandlerNBCS.

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Days until:

—Offseason workouts begin (4/16) 28
—Training camp starts (approx. 7/26) 130
—2018 NFL season starts (9/9) 174

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