KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- It’s a bit much to directly credit chairman Clark Hunt for the 10-game winning streak that the Kansas City Chiefs will take into Saturday’s first-round playoff game against the Houston Texans.
But Hunt’s public vote of confidence for general manager John Dorsey and coach Andy Reid, when the Chiefs were 2-5 and seemingly far from playoff contention, certainly didn’t hurt.
Hunt’s endorsement allowed both the general manager and coach, but particularly Reid, to go about the business of fixing what ailed the Chiefs even though they were falling far short of their preseason expectations.
“It really goes back to the job they’ve done over the last two and a half years they’ve been here, almost three now,’’ Hunt said Sunday, before the Chiefs beat the Oakland Raiders to extend the winning streak to 10, longest in franchise history. “Their body of work in three seasons with us has been fantastic. Although we were disappointed in the five-game losing streak at the beginning of the season, I sensed that they had a chance to turn it around and sure enough they have.”
Hunt is a big believer in continuity and has held up the Pittsburgh Steelers, who rarely change head coaches or general managers, as a model of how the Chiefs would like to operate. His first hires as general manager and head coach, Scott Pioli and Todd Haley, didn’t work out well and the Chiefs had to make a change in both jobs before Hunt initially intended.
Hunt also deserves credit for doing his homework on his GM and coach hires the second time around. Dorsey and Reid have the kind of staying power Hunt was looking for. That’s why, despite the disappointment of a season that seemed on its way to ruin, Hunt wasn’t tempted to make a change.
He was rewarded for his patience, certainly in 2015 but possibly beyond.
“Clearly, when you’re 1-5 you’re not thinking about the playoffs or the Super Bowl,’’ Hunt said. “You’re thinking about getting a victory and getting out of the losing streak. Once we started stringing some victories together, I became optimistic that we could maybe carry it all the way to the end of the season and make the playoffs and that’s the way it’s played out.”