When the 2014 Chiefs season came to a close last Sunday, bittersweet was the word everyone — coaches, players and executives — used to describe the feeling.
On one hand, it felt good to close the season with a victory over AFC West rival San Diego and finish 9-7. On the other hand, missing the playoffs after starting 7-3 was obviously disappointing.
“As I look at this season, did we lose some opportunities to go to the playoffs? Yeah, we lost some opportunities there,” general manager John Dorsey said. “I think also, there are some things here that you can build off of and be positive.”
For one, the Chiefs managed to avoid a regression back to .500 after last year’s breakthrough 11-5 season, despite being one of the NFL’s youngest teams and facing a much tougher schedule.
“We’re not in the game to blow things up,” Dorsey said. “I don’t think you can do that, but these guys understand that, in order to achieve a high level of success, you’re going to be in this thing together.”
Now, the challenge for Dorsey and his staff is to build on the foundation that has been laid over the last two years, as plenty of difficult decisions abound.
The Chiefs could be a player in free agency — they are right against the salary cap but can clear space by parting with longtime fixtures such as wide receiver Dwayne Bowe or outside linebacker Tamba Hali. But the Chiefs also have to make decisions about a handful of key pending free agents, including outside linebacker Justin Houston and center Rodney Hudson.
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