In and of itself, anyway, the Chiefs made a logical, smart and presumably safe move promoting Brett Veach to general manager.
Most recently as co-director of player personnel, Veach has been in the mortar of their turnaround the last four years under coach Andy Reid and GM predecessor John Dorsey.
Sure, a bolder move might have been choosing someone like Seattle’s Scott Fitterer, one of the candidates for the job. He held a position comparable to Veach’s with the Seahawks and was part of building teams that went to three Super Bowls and won one.
But the Chiefs’ success of the last four seasons, which included a 43-21 regular-season record and the organization’s first playoff victory in more than two decades, was a tremendous argument for continuity.
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Hiring an in-house candidate suggests systems, structure, staff and personnel largely will remain in place, to be tweaked and contoured to Veach’s own approach but not likely subject to the turnover — and possible conflict — that naturally might figure in the arrival of an outsider looking to put his own imprint on the job.
Moreover, Veach is known for his aptitude for evaluating talent and his energy — as well as the communications skills that Dorsey evidently at times lacked.
It’s understood he’s widely respected by co-workers, including support staff and scouts, which should buoy him with a certain credibility and loyalty among them.
Also essential in his profile, of course, are his deep roots with Reid, who was so impressed with him as an intern when Reid was coaching the Eagles that he later hired him in 2007.
Within a year, he had earned such trust that he helped guide Reid to select DeSean Jackson in the second round of the draft, a pick that paid dividends for the Eagles.
But instead of this being a moment to move forward in, a weird haze lingers.
The Chiefs continue the “nothing to see here” stance they’ve taken since unceremoniously dumping Dorsey last month in a Thursday afternoon news release during what one NFL executive called an “unprecedented” time of year for such a move to be made.
Chiefs owner Clark Hunt has been mum ever since issuing a few mechanical sentiments for that news release, and the team is staying that course:
The news conference for announcing Veach’s hiring is scheduled for … July 24.
There are many reasons to want to know more about what happened, especially because of the very reason Veach makes sense in this job.
In hiring Veach, 39, the Chiefs essentially doubled-down on the work of Dorsey — whose mysterious and apparently abrupt dismissal still leaves unanswered what went wrong and, thus, what it is that Veach must do that Dorsey couldn’t or wouldn’t do.
Was Dorsey let go because of his management style? The Chiefs’ troubles with the salary cap?
Was it because of some of the cold form the Chiefs showed in negotiations with Eric Berry and in the cuts of popular players like Jamaal Charles and Jeremy Maclin without an attempt to negotiate?
Did Dorsey just want too much, either in terms of money or escape hatches, in his new contract?
Some combination thereof?
The biggest ongoing question, though, is what role Reid had in the decision to oust Dorsey.
While the Chiefs’ organizational chart technically has the coach, general manager and president Mark Donovan all on the same line, reporting to Hunt, it’s hard to believe Reid had no voice in it.
When Hunt hired Dorsey shortly after Reid came aboard in 2013, it was well understood that he relied heavily on the endorsement of Reid.
In the ensuing months, Reid and Dorsey played up the history of their friendship, which began in 1992 with the Packers.
They always wanted to be reunited, they’d say.
And as The Star’s Sam Mellinger noted then, Reid was apt to explain the dynamic between them by opening both hands and interlocking his fingers to signify the perfect fit.
“When you have that,” he’d say, “that’s good stuff.”
A lot of good stuff followed.
But that obviously was no guarantee of continuity for Dorsey, who has not responded to interview requests.
So even as they answer the question of who is succeeding Dorsey, the Chiefs at least publicly leave open to question what went awry and, by extension, what Veach must do to fulfill his new job.
Some of that is obvious, of course. But by staying silent and delaying Veach’s introduction, an easy moment for the franchise to celebrate, Hunt is hindering his own efforts to turn the page.