KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- For those who have ESPN Insider access, Pro Football Focus has an interesting piece on the most improved NFL rosters from 2012 to 2013. Not surprisingly, the Kansas City Chiefs were ranked second in most improved roster behind only the Carolina Panthers. The Chiefs had the biggest improvement in the league as far as their record, going from 2-14 in 2012 to 11-5 in 2013.
Many of the players cited by PFF as dramatically improving the Chiefs in 2013 were already with them in 2012. This list includes defensive linemen Dontari Poe and Tyson Jackson, running back Jamaal Charles and strong safety Eric Berry. Among newcomers who made an impact, PFF cited quarterback Alex Smith and defensive end Mike DeVito. Smith committed just 10 turnovers during the regular season. In 2012 quarterbacks Matt Cassel and Brady Quinn combined to commit 27 turnovers.
Smith's grade, according to PFF, was minus-0.6, which is nothing special. But it is far better than the combined score for Cassel and Quinn of minus-17.7.
In the case of returning players like Poe, Berry and Jackson, better coaching could be the reason for their improvement. Not only was the teaching better on Andy Reid's staff but the majority of players were put in better positions to play to their strengths.
That was for some players but not all. In a post later today, I'll compare the grades for returning players from 2012 to 2013. The play of a certain Pro Bowl cornerback was down dramatically from last season to this one and it raises questions about his ability to succeed in the system that requires its corners to play so much one-on-one coverage.