CHAIRMAN AND CEO CLARK HUNT
“Good afternoon everybody. It’s another exciting day for the Chiefs, and we appreciate all of you coming out to join us today. It’s been a very busy and productive start to the year for us. We introduced Coach [Andy] Reid last Monday, and he has hit the ground running, already signing a number of outstanding coaches. And sitting here today, just 14 days into 2013, we are excited to officially welcome one of the top personnel men in the league to the Chiefs, our new general manager, John Dorsey. John is an experienced player personnel executive who has helped shape some outstanding football teams over the last 22 years. He is widely regarded around the league for his abilities as a talent evaluator. The last two decades John has played a key role in the draft process for the Green Bay Packers, working closely alongside Super Bowl-winning General Managers Ron Wolf and Ted Thompson. From 2000-11, John oversaw the Packers college scouting operation before being elevated to director of football operations in Green Bay last year. During his time as director of college scouting, several of Green Bay’s most important players were selected, including Pro Bowlers Clay Matthews, Greg Jennings, B.J Raji and most notably, quarterback Aaron Rodgers. He is also a former player himself, a linebacker drafted by the Packers in 1984. John played five seasons in Green Bay, and I’m sure that it will embarrass him for me to note that he still holds the club record for special teams tackles in a season with 35. John’s tenure overlapped with a young, up-and-coming coach on Mike Holmgren’s staff named Andy Reid. The two have maintained a great relationship over the years, and I believe they will complement each other very well together in leading the football operation. I know that their relationship, shared philosophy and tireless work effort give us the type of partnership needed to build a championship-caliber organization. In addition to his strong track record as a talent evaluator, John is a dynamic leader who is well respected by his peers for his character and integrity. As part of our search process, I made calls to friends around the NFL and each person I spoke to emphasized John’s skill as a talent evaluator and his ability to build a consensus for the best decision for the team. While he was in Kansas City for his interview last week, John spent time getting to know people throughout the organization and made a strong impression on everyone he met. John is a dedicated husband and father, and we are delighted to welcome his lovely wife Tricia to the Chiefs family today as well. Tricia is a successful attorney and a KU grad with strong ties to the Kansas City community. We are very excited to welcome the new General Manager of the Kansas City Chiefs, John Dorsey.”
GENERAL MANAGER JOHN DORSEY
“Clark, thank you very much for those wonderful words. It is an honor today to be a member of one of the finest franchises in all of sports. Once again, I would like to thank you, Clark, and the entire Hunt family for inviting my wife, Tricia, my daughter, Catherine, my son, Jack, into the Chiefs family. This has been a seven-day journey, and it has been awesome. I humbly stand here today, and I accept the challenges and responsibilities of my duties. Last Tuesday, I had a six-hour interview with Clark Hunt, Mark Donovan, Andy Reid and various members of the Kansas City Chiefs organization. During that interview I made a statement to Clark, I said, ‘I consider this franchise one of the crown jewels of the National Football League.’ Clark sat for a while, thought about it, and asked me why. I said, ‘Because you have an owner that is willing to win, you have a fan base that is as passionate and loyal as any fans are in all of sports, and a support staff that is willing to roll up their selves and do the little things in order for this franchise to succeed and of course, the deep history, the rich history of this organization. The first thing that comes to my mind is Mr. Lamar Hunt. He is a pillar of the National Football League, he is the founder of the Kansas City Chiefs. I never had a chance to meet this man; I have heard such wonderful stories. I have had a chance to be with Clark these last couple days and if Mr. Hunt is anything like Clark Hunt he must have been a fabulous man and those stories are exactly what I have heard about. That is why I consider this the crown jewel. Andy Reid’s résumé speaks for itself. I have known Andy for 20 years and I think he is one of the finest men there is in all the NFL, and I am so excited to be aligned with him as we work to rebuild this organization. I had the pleasure of working with Ted Thompson and Ron Wolf, who I still consider very good friends of mine. I always admire the one trait that they could do, and that was work alongside the head coach, because I think that when the general manager and a head coach are in sync, on the same theme, when they come to work every day and check their egos at the closet, roll their sleeves up and knock away at the little things in order to achieve the big things, that works. The draft philosophy, Andy and I feel that same way – build your team through the draft, be selective in free agency and turn over every stone possible you can to find those players. When we build this team’s roster, we would like to be consistently competitive in the division, the conference, and ultimately the Super Bowl. That is why we are here. We are here to win, and we are going to do our job. I would like to make a promise to all the fans out there today that I am going to do everything within my God-given ability to ensure that we have as competitive of a team in the National Football League as anybody in the NFL. And I want to remind them to please be patient. This is not a sprint, it’s a marathon. I look forward to meeting each and every one of you in the media in the days, weeks, and months to come. Finally, I would like to say in these three weeks of transition, I have been duly impressed in Clark Hunt’s ability to lead this transition. He has made bold decisive and swift moves, and I stand here today. Thank you.”
Q: What is your take on the quarterback and what is your take on the overall roster?
DORSEY: “I think anytime when you begin to build a franchise, let’s be real here, the quarterback is a very important part of any franchise as you note these last few weeks in the playoffs. I figure the quarterback position is a very important position to long-term success of an organization.”
Q: What are you going to do with the No. 1 overall pick?
DORSEY: “Pick the best available player. I haven’t had time yet to sit together as a staff, sit with Coach Reid and get his understanding and makeup. He is still trying to put a coaching staff together. I’m just trying to get used to the personnel staff here and just be able to take business as usual forward.”
Q: What is your reasoning behind taking the best available player and that philosophy?
DORSEY: “I know of no other philosophy but that. We have been doing the same model and concept for the last 20 years. We have kind of refined that and tightened it up to where it is today. We started in 1992 and we’ve kind of tightened it up. Now we’re in 2013, and it’s a little bit tighter. Hopefully I’d like to implement that type of similar system here within the Kansas City Chiefs.”
Q: Where does your drive come from?
DORSEY: “It probably comes from when I was a kid and the work ethic that my father probably instilled in me at a very young age. I like to wake up every morning to see if I can make a contribution because you want to get better every day in life. And I truly believe if you can work on the little things and achieve something special every day, then you are going to get a little bit better. I like to learn too. Not all of us have all the answers.”
Q: How involved were you in which players were picked?
DORSEY: “The important thing to remember is when you sit in that chair, that chair that makes decisions, I didn’t sit in that chair. Ted [Thompson] did and Ron [Wolf] did. The chair I sat in, what I had to do was to convince them that what I was telling them was correct. I think over years you begin to build skins on the wall and it was my job to suggest to them, ‘You should do this and you should do that,’ and hopefully they listened to me more times than not.”
Q: What made this job different than other job offers you received in the last few years?
DORSEY: “It was the perfect storm. You know what I mean by that? This is my dream job. It always has been. Ever since I met my wife in 1993, I’ve always wanted to and I’ve always dreamt about being the general manager of the Kansas City Chiefs one day.”
Q: What was it about the Chiefs that lead you to the job, and have you looked at the current roster as the bones to start with?
DORSEY: “I love Kansas City. Ever since I’ve been coming here since 1993, I’ve loved this place. I have had a chance to look at the roster. I would like to do some more planning with the roster. I want to go spend the next week now and really look at this roster, and then I want to get together with the Coach Reid and the other coaches and see where they are because collectively we are doing this. It’s just not my opinion, it’s them as well.”
Q: These last few years as Director of College Scouting, have you gone out on the road a lot or have you just evaluated the personnel reports? How do you balance that?
DORSEY: “I think it is the ability to evaluate and it’s the ability to manage. It’s like anything in life, how you manage people and how you evaluate, ultimately, in this business determines your success.
Q: So you traveled a lot?
DORSEY: “Yeah. Ted Thompson, he traveled anywhere between 19 to 20 schools. Ron Wolf, when he was doing it, traveled anywhere from 19 to 20 schools. This year, I traveled to 25 schools. But there was still enough time in there for me to do the management stuff that was important.”
Q: What is your philosophy in free agency?
DORSEY: “As you well know, in the past, what our motto has been, I like to be selective in free agency. I always believe that you can still get value within that philosophy, and you can still acquire players in that. I think every year has a different scenario, and I think each year you have to study that and then make determinations when you get together and you set your free agency plan in motion.”
Q: Is the league going through a phase with a change in quarterback style like Seattle’s Russell Wilson and San Francisco’s Colin Kaepernick? Is that possible that teams are moving away from a more traditional drop-back passer?
DORSEY: “Those types of athletes on the field put a lot of pressure on your defense. Those are two good examples that you cite [Russell Wilson and Colin Kaepernick] because they do a unique job – not only with their feet – but they do a unique job with their arm as well. I can’t tell you if it is evolving that way, but these cycles go every 10 years or so. They go in cycles, and I don’t know really how to answer that yet. All I know, at the end of the day, you want a quarterback who can win games.”
Q: Does the No. 1 overall pick add any mounted pressure? Will you be losing any sleep?
DORSEY: “Apparently you haven’t met Baby Jack because there is pressure every day with him. We will address that. It’s a positive, and here’s why it’s positive, we have the first pick in the first round; we also have the first (or second) pick in the remaining six rounds and we have the first pick in the waivers. It’s about acquiring players and that’s how we will approach this.”
Q: Would you have taken this job if the right guy wasn’t the coach and can you talk about what makes Andy Reid special and how you forged your relationship with him?
DORSEY: “You’ll get to know Coach Reid. I believe his résumé speaks for itself. It just so happened this year, Coach Reid was available to become the head coach for the Kansas City Chiefs. I was ecstatic. When I got a phone call from the Kansas City Chiefs to do an interview, I can’t tell you how excited I truly was. I got very excited. Again, a relationship between a head coach and the general manager is paramount for success in the National Football League today. They both have to have the same philosophy and understanding. They have to be able to have discussion – not debate – but discussion, and ultimately have discussion that is best for the Kansas City Chiefs. With Andy Reid, I know I have that. And I know what type of man he is. At the end of the day, you just want to know that collectively this thing is going to work. And this thing is going to work.”
Q: How patient are you asking these fans to be?
DORSEY: “Patient enough to see exactly what our plan is we can put into place. I don’t know all of the variables yet that makes the whole component work. But I can tell you, in two days I will know what all those variables are in terms of players to make it work. I have yet to meet all of the coaching staff. But I know this, Andy Reid is as good a leader and head coach as there is in the National Football League and Kansas City is very lucky to have him.”
Q: What do the next few steps look like for you and your family?
DORSEY: “Today, when I came into the office, I sat down with our personnel staff for about an hour just to do an overview for where they are, where I am and where we are going to be in the next four months. I still think that this week we need to first evaluate the team. Let’s get together as a pro department, we need to put a plan together for free agency. We have to put a plan together for our draft meetings. We have to put a plan together for how the coaching staff, philosophically, how they are with players and we’ll move from there.”
Q: You’ve got three players,
DORSEY: “Well, give me about three or four days to assess their talent level and I’ll get back to you.”
Q: Who will handle contracts and the salary cap?
DORSEY: “Right now, ultimately, I believe I do. We have Trip MacCracken right now who is our salary cap analyst, and I have given him some projects. Actually tomorrow morning he and I are going to get together and build a plan with regards to that.”
Q: What is the Packers philosophy at the Senior Bowl where everyone kind of stuck together in one area, didn’t really branch out like other teams do?
DORSEY: “The Green Bay Packers staff has been around together, collectively, and I think anytime you can be together with long-term stability in a personnel department, it can achieve a lot of really good things. I think that shows you the closeness of that group, but also, collectively those gentlemen know how to evaluate talent. I will meet with the Chiefs college scouts when I get down to Mobile, Ala., on Monday, and then we will kind of put a gameplan together.”
Q: When you are in the draft room and you and Coach Reid disagree on a player, who makes the final decision?
DORSEY: “Here is what I would like to say, when you sit there on that draft day, all of the hard decisions have been made; now it’s time for all of your facts to make your decisions for you. Those debates and discussions will have taken place and the Kansas City Chiefs collectively will have made the decision. Who has final say within the draft room? I do.”
Q: You mentioned how much this means to you since you met your wife who has ties to the area. How did you meet her?
DORSEY: “A blind date by an employee of the Kansas City Chiefs.”
Q: Who was that?
DORSEY: “Lamonte and Claire Winston.”
Q: You were just in town scouting?
DORSEY: “Let’s save this for another discussion.”
CHAIRMAN AND CEO CLARK HUNT
Q: Could you tell that this was John Dorsey’s dream job from your interview?
HUNT: “His enthusiasm for the opportunity came across even before that interview. I had a chance to speak with him on the phone a couple days before that, and he expressed how excited he was that I was reaching out to him. In his interview, although it went on for a while, he showed a high degree of enthusiasm the whole way. It was very clear to me that Kansas City was a priority for him. As was mentioned earlier, I know he has had chances to go other places, and for whatever reason, he decided not to, and I am thrilled that we were able to attract him to the Kansas City Chiefs.”
Q: What is next for you after hiring a new coach and general manager, outside of downtime and vacation?
HUNT: “It has been a very busy two weeks – and a very exciting two weeks – for the Chiefs and our fan base. There is a lot of work to be done. Some of the questions we have heard here today about free agency, not only other peoples’ free agents, but our own free agents. The draft is right around the corner, the combine is coming fast. Andy is still working on his coaching staff. There is a lot of work to be done and a very short period of time to do it. Fortunately, both John and Andy have tremendous work ethics, and they will get together, roll up their sleeves and get after it.”