It's what General Manager John Dorsey and Head coach Andy Reid have been working towards ever since they united in Kansas City: To form the best roster possible and the right fit of players heading into the 2013 season. That time has come, training camp has passed, preseason has concluded, and the Chiefs had to cut down to the mandatory 53-man roster by Sunday. It's always a tough time of the year when guys have to be released after working hard trying to claim a roster spot and playing in the NFL. The Chiefs also put together their eight-man practice squad and claimed players off waivers to solidify their group. Head coach Andy Reid offered his thoughts after cut day.
"Tough time of the year. Obviously, when you have to bring in guys and let them go. Again, we're hoping they all have a chance to hook on somewhere else and we're hoping the ones we've invited back for practice squad will clear waivers and be able to get back. We're still early in this and we'll see how everything works. We didn't have, obviously, the practice squad players out here; we had the guys that made the cuts and we're able to get in a practice."
Some notable players to make the cut were WR Junior Hemingway, a seventh-round draft pick last year out of Michigan. Hemingway had a great camp and finished off the preseason with seven catches for 80 yards and a score. He beat out Devon Wylie for a roster spot, and the Chiefs will have a different list of wideouts this season compared to last. Undrafted rookie fee-agent Josh Martin also beat the odds and made the final roster. Martin, an Ivy league LB from Columbia, caught the eye of coach Reid during the preseason and ultimately made the final list, adding depth to the linebacker corps. He also joins fellow Ivy-leaguer Mike Catapano as a new linebacker on the KC defense.
"He's big, he's fast, he's strong, he made plays," said coach Reid on Martin. "He was able to cover and he's got some pass-rush ability, which is important."
From the waiver wire, the Chiefs claimed seven guys who were released by other teams. The most notable was LB Dezman Moses, cut by the Green Bay Packers. Moses was a college free agent pick up by John Dorsey last season when Dorsey was serving as Director of football operations for the cheeseheads. Moses was surprised he was let go but was excited to get another opportunity from the man who gave him his first. He is probably the most ready to come in and contribute right away, after playing in all 16 games a year ago and starting six of them. He recovered a punt for a touchdown and recovered a muff punt in the playoff game against Minnesota. This gives the Chiefs more depth to an already crowded linebackers group but in this league depth is extremely important.
Guard Jon Asamoah, linebacker Nico Johnson, and cornerback Sanders Commings remain off the practice field as they continue to recover from injuries. But today was the first day of preparation for the first game of the season this Sunday in Jacksonville against the Jaguars.
By no means is this roster completely set in stone as Dorsey and Reid are always looking everywhere for players to fit their style. But for now, the 53 is set and the Chiefs will go into the 2013 season with 30 new players inherited by the new regime. That means one thing is clear: this team wants to win and win now and they have no intention on using this year as a "rebuilding year." This team sent six players to the Pro Bowl a year ago and others have gone in the past. The new regime made sure to get a bunch of guys together with the talent they already were walking into.
Expectations for this team is higher than usual after coming off a 2-14 record and worst season in franchise history. But that was last year. It's a new year and a new season is upon us. New GM, new coach, new QB, new players. It's a new era in Kansas City and it all starts this Sunday, September 8th.
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