Chiefs need to make better use of deep roster, particularly in playoffs

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Before he joined the Kansas City Chiefs, Andy Reid coached the Philadelphia Eagles to four straight NFC Championship Games (2001-04). The won only the final one to advance to the Super Bowl in February 2005. That’s the only time Reid has reached the Super Bowl in his 18-year head coaching career.

Reid, speaking this week to reporters at the NFL meetings in Phoenix, didn’t say the Chiefs were about to embark on such a run. He did indicate the Chiefs have the same kind of deep roster the Eagles had during those seasons.

“In Philadelphia we got to that point, probably during those championship years, where we felt we didn’t have a lot of holes,’’ Reid said. “You could go into the draft and just kind of take the best player. That’s how I feel this year. We’re picking 27th and whatever is there, you just want to make sure it’s the right guy, the best player. Not every team can say they can go out and play right now and play halfway decent. We’re in a position where we could do that if we had to do it today, without the draft.’’

Reid’s point is valid. The Chiefs have some positions where they could use an upgrade. Running back, where the Chiefs recently released Jamaal Charles, is one of them. Inside linebacker, where Derrick Johnson is coming off a torn Achilles tendon that prematurely ended his 2016 season, is another.

But the Chiefs can line up and play a game today with the players they have on their roster and be competitive. They have 54 players who got into at least one game for them last year, this from a team that finished 12-4 and won the AFC West. They also have 10 picks, including four in the first three rounds, in the upcoming draft.

The problem for the Chiefs is the postseason, where they are 1-3 under Reid. The deep roster was essential last year when the Chiefs went parts of the season without key players such as Charles, Johnson and Justin Houston.

It didn’t help them in the playoffs, where after a first-round bye they scored only 16 points in a loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers.

“We obviously need to take it up a notch,’’ Reid said. “I thought we did a pretty good job of that this year. We were better than what we were the year before. I think consistency throughout the year, we could get better in those areas, both sides of the ball and special teams. We’ll get an influx of new players here, so I think it’s important that we get them on board and contribute [in] whatever areas that they become contributors."