Could Our Next GM Come From Within?

Bill Kuharich (KC Chiefs)Pretty interesting stuff here. If the Chiefs (basically Clark Hunt) do fire Carl Peterson, would Bill Kuharich be first in line to replace him? He was mentioned by Peter King as one of the top potential GM candidates out there (hat tip to reader Adam #2):

1. Scott Pioli, 42, New England. Smart. Ready, if he ever chooses to leave his good friend Belichick’s side, which he’ll likely have to do if he ever wants to have his football acumen recognized.

2. Chris Polian, 35, Indianapolis. Working under his prominent dad, Bill, Polian has risen to vice president of football operations and tried to learn lessons from top baseball execs. Tough and precocious.

3. Jeff Ireland, 38, Dallas. Thorough and ultra-prepared, with a reasoned opinion about every player he scouts. Unemotional and methodical.

Close: Philadelphia GM Tom Heckert, 40 (who might be available because Andy Reid has final authority with the Eagles); Baltimore director of pro personnel George Kokinis, 40; Green Bay personnel analyst John Schneider, 36.

Teams looking for more veteran guys could look at former Saints GM Bill Kuharich, 54, now the Chiefs’ VP for player personnel, or Chris Mara, 50, the Giants’ VP for player evaluation.

(Don’t even mention Pioli — we have no chance.)

Now, not only does Kuharich have experience as a GM, but he also has experience working with Hunt and head coach Herm Edwards. He’s also still relatively young for the position, and really cannot be blamed for Peterson’s follies since he’s only been with the Chiefs since 2000, and only been vice president of player personnel since February 2006.

In fact, one could argue that the Chiefs personnel decisions have improved since Kuharich’s promotion. He obviously has been part of some huge moves, and this older bio from the Chiefs official site reflects that:

Kuharich was also the first NFL executive to spot the potential of QB Jake Delhomme, signing him as a rookie free agent with the Saints in ‘97. Delhomme later led Carolina to a berth in Super Bowl XXXVIII and has earned a pair of Pro Bowl invitations. Other noteworthy Chiefs players that Kuharich played a role in procuring in Kansas City include three-time Pro Bowl RB Priest Holmes, two-time Pro Bowl QB Trent Green, two-time 1,000-yard WR Eddie Kennison and DE Tamba Hali (D1-06), who started all 16 games for the club a year ago.

When you consider that Kuharich played such a big role in drafting Hali during his first draft as V.P., you’d also have to assume that he played a huge role in this year’s selection of Dwayne Bowe. Given that Derrick Johnson was basically a no-brainer pick when he fell to us, those are our best two first-round draft selections since we nabbed Tony Gonzalez over a decade ago. It’s obvious, at least to me, that since his promotion and Herm’s arrival, the personnel decisions have only improved. I’ve always believed that Dick Vermeil and Lynn Stiles were pretty lousy when it came to personnel decisions, especially the draft, and things have been better personnel wise since Vermeil’s departure. There is definitely an argument that Kuharich has been the brains behind many of the Chiefs’ best football decisions since 2000.

Even Peterson believes Kuharich is ready to run an NFL franchise, as evidenced by this quote:

“Bill’s outstanding background and experience certainly qualifies him to run an NFL franchise and we’re very pleased to have someone of his caliber and expertise working for the Kansas City Chiefs.” – Carl Peterson

Maybe it’s just me, but if King Carl does get canned or moved to the business side, I’m not sure that the best replacement isn’t a guy just down the hall — Bill Kuharich.

Topics: Bill Kuharich, Carl Peterson, Chiefs Gm, Clark Hunt, Dick Vermeil, Herm Edwards, Lynn Stiles, Peter King, Scott Pioli

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