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Ex-Ravens look to improve Chiefs

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Recent posts by Eli Kaberon

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Posted Aug. 18, 2011 @ 9:06 p.m. ET
By Eli Kaberon

After being eliminated by the Ravens in the playoffs last January, the Chiefs had a lot of soul-searching to do, trying to figure out a way to improve as a club and join teams such as Baltimore among the NFL's elite. It turns out the first step was looking across the sideline at the group that had just beaten them.

Since that game, the Chiefs have added four key members of that Ravens team to their organization. OT Jared Gaither, FB Le'Ron McClain and NT Kelly Gregg will all make on-field impacts, while new QB coach Jim Zorn is expected to be an important voice on the practice field and in the meeting room. The Chiefs have added toughness, experience and intelligence since that playoff defeat, all while weakening a conference rival.

Although the team has said publicly that it was just a coincidence that the flock of ex-Ravens flew to Kansas City, there are suspicions about that. There is no doubt the team wanted to become more physical, and copying a club that is known for its physicality is a good way to start. Adding a coach who is known as an accomplished tutor of quarterbacks helps, as well.

Gaither, McClain and Gregg will add their Ravens-style toughness to the Chiefs' roster, and Zorn brings in another intelligent mind to the staff. Next January, the organization will find out whether these changes actually helped them become elite.

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