Veach presented as GM amid questions about predecessor
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) While the Kansas City Chiefs held a news conference Monday to present the seventh general manager in team history, much of the attention was on who no longer holds that position.
Wearing a black suit with a bright red tie, red socks and shoes, Brett Veach was officially announced for a job he actually got July 10 when word leaked he would be promoted from within.
The former co-director of player personnel began his career in professional football as an intern with the Eagles when current Chiefs coach Andy Reid was in charge in Philadelphia. He joined the Chiefs staff when Reid came in 2013.
Former GM John Dorsey also came to the Chiefs prior to that season, and he received plenty of credit for building the Chiefs into a winner. The Chiefs were 43-21 in Dorsey's four years, including three playoff appearances and the AFC West championship last season. But he was fired June 22 with little explanation of why; speculation was that Dorsey's management style was part of the reason, while mismanagement of the salary cap also may have contributed.
''I'm not going to say anything negative about John or the job he did as general manager of the Chiefs,'' Chiefs Chairman and CEO Clark Hunt said of Dorsey, avoiding answering why Dorsey was fired. ''It was a difficult decision, but after a thorough evaluation of our football operation, I felt it was in the best long-term interest of the Chiefs to make a change
''I sincerely appreciate John's contributions to the success of the Chiefs the last 4 1-2 years. I have a tremendous amount of respect for John.''
Veach rapidly has risen up the Kansas City ladder. He spent six years with the Eagles before coming to Kansas City as pro and college personnel analyst, a role he held for two seasons. He was promoted to his most recent position in 2015.
''I have a lot of confidence in Brett,'' Hunt said. ''I think he's a talented young man.''
Veach insists he's not a ''yes man'' to Reid.
''When you work with coach, you disagree,'' Veach said. ''It's not like we've worked together for 10 years and we agreed on everything. He tries to surround himself with people who work hard, and I don't think he would have respect for me if all I said was `Yes, yes, yes.'
''If I came to Andy with (solutions to problems), he knew it was well thought out. We have a great deal of trust. Going forward that won't be an issue.''
The hiring of Veach concludes a tumultuous offseason for the Chiefs. Following their 18-16 loss to the Steelers in the playoffs, the Chiefs parted with all-time leading rusher Jamaal Charles, who missed much of the last two seasons with knee injuries. Charles later signed with the division rival Broncos.
Shortly before the start of OTAs, they released the leading returning wide receiver, Jeremy Maclin, to clear $10 million in salary-cap room. That leaves tight end Travis Kelce and second-year hybrid running back/receiver Tyreek Hill as the go-to receivers in KC's passing offense.
When pressed if there was a tipping point for the decision to oust Dorsey and promote Veach, Hunt said, ''I don't know that we had a mess on our hands; we just had a situation where I felt we needed to get better. The NFL is a very, very competitive business. In order to build a championship team, you have to have a personnel department that is operating at a very high level.''
The timing was unusual, of course. Less than an hour after it was announced that Reid signed a five-year contract extension, the Chiefs said they and Dorsey ''agreed to part ways effective immediately.'' The official release said Hunt informed Dorsey that his contract would not be extended past the end of the 2017 season, so they agreed to split immediately.
''We're going to leave here today and drive up to (training) camp'' in St. Joseph, Missouri, Veach said. ''I'm excited to see those guys. We've worked together for four years. We kind of know what's expected of each other.''
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