I went in-depth on a report yesterday that “Arthur Blank is going to make a big push for the combination of Eric Bieniemy and John Dorsey to accept the roles of head coach and general manager.”
Fans are pretty split on Dorsey, and for a good reason. However, I’m here to lay out a few pros and cons that come to mind when I think of him so that you can draw your own conclusions. There’s no doubt that this next set of hirings will be the most important the franchise has seen in a long time. John Dorsey has done a lot of good and a lot of bad in a lot of places. As you read, keep in mind that Dorsey did not have the final say on all of these decisions, but he was present when they happened.
Possible Eye for Franchise QBs
Baker Mayfield is playing pretty well this year, and Dorsey was in the front office that drafted two of the greatest quarterbacks in NFL History. While he parted ways with the Chiefs shortly after, he was present when Kansas City made the gutsy move that was HEAVILY criticized at the time — trading up for Texas Tech QB Patrick Mahomes (more on that later). He was the director of scouting for the Green Bay Packers when they selected Aaron Rodgers 24th overall. From that same class and in his first season with the Chiefs, the team acquired Alex Smith — who had his best years of football under Andy Reid. Credit to Reid, Smith got MVP love when he was in Kansas City.
With Matt Ryan in the twilight of his career, the Falcons would benefit from having Dorsey evaluate his heir apparent. Ryan can still play competitive football because Dorsey has been part of front offices that have found franchise QBs all over the draft and in free agency.
For skill positions, Travis Kelce is a walking mismatch and arguably the best tight end in the NFL, and Tyreek Hill (legal issues aside) is one of the most dangerous players in football. They were drafted in the 3rd and 4th rounds, respectively. Kareem Hunt dug his own grave before getting another chance, but Dorsey snagged him in the 3rd round. He proceeded to lead the NFL in rushing as a rookie. Nick Chubb is playing like the best running back in the NFL right now, and Denzel Ward is growing into a lockdown cornerback. Here’s a list of acquisitions he’s made:
Players acquired in KC/CLE in John Dorsey eras:
Not even including Aaron Rodgers
— SportsTalkATL.com (@SportsTalkATL) December 9, 2020
Relationship with Eric Bieniemy
Regardless of what you think about Reid and what he has to do with Bieniemy’s success — he’s likely the number one candidate for many teams. Bieniemy is a leader of men, and the Chiefs offense kicked up a notch and shattered records when he took over as offensive coordinator.
Salary Cap Troubles
Kansas City notoriously had plenty of issues with the salary cap — especially pertaining to dead money. Atlanta is pretty cap-strapped, and managing the salary table will be key for future success. Dorsey’s handed out some pretty ugly contracts, and that’s something the Falcons simply cannot afford.
Issues in Kansas City
Let me address the elephant in the room — while it’s not a CONFIRMED report, there are rumors that Dorsey was not behind the decision to draft Mahomes. Things like this, along with alleged constant infighting with Andy Reid, led to his departure from the Chiefs. It raises a lot of questions if his relationship with Bieniemy is even in good graces, but that’s all speculation for now.
Rolling with Hugh Jackson and Freddie Kitchens
While the Browns have had a miraculous turnaround by their standards, two of the worst coaches in the NFL were employed under Dorsey’s watch. In his defense, he didn’t hire Jackson, but his incompetence was allowed for far too long. I’ll even admit I thought Kitchens was the right hire at the time, and the players had his support. It turns out that Hugh Jackson was actually THAT bad, and Kitchens was slightly more competent enough to make himself look good. With Kevin Stefanski running Cleveland like a well-oiled machine, it was a bad move in hindsight to retain the interim coach.
Photo: Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire
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