Shortly before the Super Bowl, Chiefs chairman Clark Hunt said he wanted to discuss long-term contracts with coach Andy Reid and general manager John Dorsey at some point this year, the final seasons of their deals.
On Thursday, in his first news conference since the end of a season in which the Chiefs went 12-4 and won the AFC West, Dorsey expressed his happiness in Kansas City.
“From my family’s perspective, or mine, professionally and personally, this has been the greatest four years of my life,” Dorsey said. “I love this city, I love this team, I love this community.
“I think this is one of the most stable franchises in the National Football League, and I think that leadership starts at the top. The relationship that (president) Mark Donovan, myself and Andy have and Clark, it’s awesome. I love coming to work everyday. I don’t know more I could say, but I do love it here and I do love this community.”
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A source told The Star in January that Dorsey was under contract for 2017, briefly (at least) ending speculation that Dorsey might consider jumping for the top job in Green Bay, where he spent several years as a player and front-office executive. The NFL Network speculated in early January as a candidate for the Packers’ general manager job, provided it opened.
When asked directly about the report, which stated Dorsey was still held in high regard in Green Bay, he chuckled.
“I didn’t pay much attention to it,” Dorsey said. “I like it here. I love it here. I don’t know how much more I can stress it. I’m having fun and from an organization standpoint, we have made strides every year.”
When reminded Thursday that he called his current position a “dream job” when he was hired in 2013, Dorsey again added that he sees himself in Kansas City for the long term.
“I like to be thought of as a man who finishes what he starts … I want to see baby Jack graduate high school,” said Dorsey of his son, who is 5 years old.
When asked to clarify if he wants to see that in Kansas City, Dorsey responded “why not?”
Since the arrival of Dorsey and Reid before the 2013 season, the Chiefs have posted a 43-21 regular-season record with three playoff appearances.
Dorsey said is happy with the progress the club has made over the last four years, despite the disappointing 18-16 home loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers in the AFC Divisional round.
“As we’ve gone alone, we’ve always said we want to be competitive in the AFC West and try to achieve greatness within our own division and then move forward,” Dorsey said. “I think this year, we kind of took a step moving forward by actually capturing the AFC West and actually getting home-field advantage, which I thought was a wonderful thing because of these great fans that we have.
“And unfortunately, as hard as it was to swallow this year, it turned out the way it did … but I was very proud of those guys. I thought they were going to capture it and take it and move on to the next game, but it didn’t happen so my perspective is I have to build in ’17. Let’s learn from the past but let’s move forward.”
The Chiefs will have to do so without Chris Ballard, their highly respected director of football operations who was recently hired by the Indianapolis Colts to be their general manager. Dorsey said Thursday that he’s very happy for Ballard, and that the Colts got an energetic, personable and smart person.
“He has a challenge — those first four months are hard in that transition,” Dorsey said.
Dorsey, however, said the Chiefs are prepared to absorb his loss. Ballard interviewed for other general manager jobs in the past, and Dorsey promoted Brett Veach and Mike Borgonzi to co-directors of player personnel a year ago.
“From a cultural standpoint, we have a system in place and that system in place not only teaches but develops everybody with this organization to take ownership in their draft,” Dorsey said. “Kind of like you build through the draft, you build and develop your own culture, and we’ve got some really good guys in that personnel department. Those guys know what the role is; the system is built in place to protect yourself against if you lose a guy like Chris Ballard.”
Dorsey was also asked if he expects any of his front-office staffers to follow Ballard to Indianapolis.
“We’ll see what happens but right now I feel very comfortable with where we are as a personnel staff,” Dorsey said. “He and I have sat down and had discussions about certain things … I (told him) I think it’s important you develop your kind of tree, as well. Right now, everybody’s in place; I don’t foresee anything happening in that regard in the personnel department.”