Shared history of Chiefs’ John Dorsey, Seahawks’ John Schneider reflects on teams

Feb 21, 2014; Indianapolis; Chiefs general manager John Dorsey speaks to the media in a press conference during the 2014 NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 21, 2014; Indianapolis; Chiefs general manager John Dorsey speaks to the media in a press conference during the 2014 NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Chiefs general manager John Dorsey claimed seven players from waivers on Sept. 1, 2013 in what has been categorized as the “Second Draft.”

Notable players from that transaction period still contributing to the Chiefs’ roster include linebacker James-Michael Johnson, cornerback Marcus Cooper, defensive end Jaye Howard and defensive back Ron Parker.

The latter two players, of course, arrived from the Seattle Seahawks.

Parker caught national attention following Week 10’s performance against the Buffalo Bills where the fourth-year pro totaled eight tackles (six solo), three passes defenses and a forced fumble.

“Ron has been very good for us,” Chiefs coach Andy Reid said during a Wednesday conference call with Seahawks reporters. “A tribute to (Seahawks general manager) John Schneider and his group for finding him, and for Dorsey bringing him here.”

That Schneider and Dorsey liked Parker isn’t a coincidence when considering the respective general managers have history dating back to the Green Bay Packers of the early 1990s.

“It’s no secret John and I both started at Green Bay,” Dorsey said Wednesday. “Groomed under Ron (Wolf), groomed under Ted (Thompson), so there is a like-mindedness of how you go about certain ways.”

Schneider joined the Packers staff as an intern in 1992, a year after Dorsey became a scout for Green Bay following his playing career. Schneider became a fulltime staff member as a pro personnel assistant in 1993.

The men worked closely with then-Packers coach Mike Holmgren, who had current Chiefs coach Andy Reid on staff, in addition to Wolf and Thompson.

“Our principles and foundations were taught at a very young age,” Dorsey said of Schneider. “We have an understanding what we like in players. He sees what I see, I’m sure, because we used to sit and talk a lot about players. That’s natural when you’re doing personnel.”

The comparisons of how Schneider helped build the Seahawks, especially at the cornerback position, to what Dorsey has done with the Chiefs the past two seasons is also natural.

With Schneider leading Seattle’s personnel department, the Seahawks boast five cornerbacks standing 6-0 or taller.

The Chiefs have four cornerbacks listed at 6-0 or taller.

“To me, bigger corners, that’s been engrained in me for 20 years,” Dorsey said.

Seahawks coach Pete Carroll also notices the identical approach at the cornerback position.

“I think we’re very similar,” Carroll said during a Wednesday evening conference call with Chiefs beat writers. “(Chiefs cornerback) Sean (Smith) is exactly in the mold of the guys that we like. He’s been a really stout player. You can see why we liked Ron Parker. He’s big and fast and does a nice job, so I think we are very comparable.”

Meanwhile, the defensive secondary isn’t the only area Schneider and Dorsey apparently have common ground.

Identifying and securing talent through the annual NFL Draft, and then developing those players represents a related philosophy for the two general managers.

“I was always committed to young players at USC and John Schneider came to me with that same thought,” Carroll said. “We hit that in harmony. I’m sure you guys are working the same thing with the draft just looking at how (Chiefs rookie running back/wide receiver) De’Anthony’s (Thomas) been a part of it and how your guys have been able to fit in. I think that’s similar.”

Dorsey points out that while he and Schneider share traits when it comes to the player personnel department, individual personalities also play a role in how a general manager builds a team.

While there are parallels between the Seahawks and Chiefs, Dorsey stopped short of declaring the teams’ respective rosters as a mirror image of each other.

“We’re just in Year Two of this thing here,” Dorsey said. “It takes a while to build this thing.”

But the Chiefs general manager appreciated what Schneider has accomplished in Seattle, offering praise for how his old friend assisted Carroll in building the defending Super Bowl champion Seahawks.

“I think they’ve done a great job,” Dorsey said. “I mean, it’s evidenced they won the world championship and they’ve hit on some draft picks. I think that’s what you got to do. John is aggressive enough to where he’ll go out and get some free agents when he thinks needs to be fit in there. He and Pete have a very good working relationship.”