Forget the fact that they replaced Brandon Carr with Stanford Routt and signed other offensive free agents like Kevin Boss at tight end or Eric Winston to start at right tackle. For the Kansas City Chiefs to have a successful offseason in retrospect, Peyton Hillis is going to have to become the player that Scott Pioli and Romeo Crennel hope he can be. That's what Michael Lombardi writes in his free agency wrap-up after the first couple of weeks of the NFL free agency period are in the books.
Specifically Lombardi writes, "If Peyton Hillis can resemble the breakout player who rushed for 1,177 yards and caught 61 passes in 2010, the Chiefs might have the perfect complement to a healthy Jamaal Charles." That comment comes in the "if" section, into which both the Chiefs and Broncos were placed based on whether their key free agent signings can bounce back from poor years in 2011.
Lombardi's take is quite different from others who list the Chiefs among the winners for their ability to grab Winston and add several key players to a struggling offense. The team has already addressed its weakest point at right tackle and added some significant veteran pieces to a team that was very close to winning the division last season despite the loss of many impact players. Lombardi is one of the few who isn't quite convinced just yet.
That's just fine. It's all perception at this point -- for the better and the worse -- and only the results on the field matter anyway. While some love the Chiefs offseason and others say they need to see it to believe it, that's ultimately what counts in the end.