Chiefs chairman Clark Hunt is not taking the team’s success the last four years for granted.
Three playoff appearances, a playoff victory for the first time in 22 years and a 43-21 regular-season record go a long way with an NFL owner, so Hunt plans to discuss contract extensions with coach Andy Reid and general manager John Dorsey, who each have one year remaining on their deals.
“Both he and Andy ... I would expect to sit down with them over the course of the next year and sit down and talk about an extension,” Hunt said. “Let me frame it this way: I’m very satisfied with the job both of them have done, and I really like the way the two of them have worked together.”
Hunt also confirmed The Star’s report over the weekend that Dorsey is under contract through the 2017 season, putting to rest the speculation (at least for now) that he might join the Green Bay Packers if longtime general manager and Dorsey mentor Ted Thompson retires.
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“There had been some reports out there that he was not under contract for this upcoming season — that’s incorrect, he is under contract,” Hunt said of Dorsey.
Hunt said his belief in both men is based on everything they’ve accomplished since they arrived in 2013, taking over a team that went 2-14 in 2012.
“John, the job he’s done in building depth and competition on the roster — and I think those were areas we were probably weak in when he joined the franchise — I think that’s made a very big difference for us,” Hunt said. “Certainly, a number of his draft picks have played well. Not only first-round guys, but guys down through the rounds.
“And then Andy, I think you would have a hard time finding a four-year period for the Chiefs — other than (the one including) Super Bowl I and Super Bowl IV — where we’ve had (this) kind of success, whether it’s talking about 2013, where we opened undefeated for eight or nine weeks, last year, where we were 1-5 and somehow recovered from that to win 10 straight games and make the playoffs and then win the playoff game in Houston, or this year, going 12-4 and winning the West ... He’s done a great job.”
That’s not to say Hunt was completely happy with the 2016 season, however. He certainly liked his team’s regular season, when they finished 12-4, their best record since 2003, and won the AFC West for the first time since 2010. But the ending, an 18-16 home loss to Pittsburgh in the divisional round, was bitter.
“We’re really uphappy not to be playing here in Houston this weekend,” Hunt said. “I know there are 30 teams that feel that way, but when you have a team that wins 12 games, wins your division, it’s much, much tougher to be here in Houston and not have the Chiefs playing.”
The Steelers game, specifically, was difficult to stomach.
“We had a chance to score points and we just didn’t get it done,” Hunt said. “You hate to lose a game where you’ve got a penalty involved, but we never should have been in that position.”
All in all, Hunt said the Chiefs had an exciting season. Wild, comeback victories were their calling card (see games against San Diego, Carolina, Denver and Atlanta), and Hunt hopes fans enjoyed that part, at least.
“There were a number of games where it looked like we lost the game and somehow we came back and won it,” Hunt said.
The key now, he said, is to build on this season’s successes.
“I do think (this team) is good enough to win the Super Bowl — I absolutely think it’s capable of that,” he said. “The trick is, you have to keep building on what you have every year, and every year you’re going to turn over 20 or 25 percent of your roster.
“You’ve just got to try to get a little bit better than you were before.”