It seems like disaster has struck Kansas City, but that’s not the case, and here’s why. This season is about two things: 1. Changing the culture. 2. Figuring out what we have and what we need player wise. That’s honestly why I think the Chiefs were such pennypinchers this offseason. Other than going out and getting a quarterback, which we obviously needed, why pay a boatload of cash for an expensive piece that could be redundant or, even worse, isn’t even needed? Especially when you can blame this season on Harm and King Carl and then spend bank during the 2010 uncapped offseason.
As for Gailey, he was given a prolonged audition, but at best he was a lame duck O.C. This is very much Todd Haley’s vehicle, so you knew he was going to ask for the keys back at some point. We just didn’t know it would be this soon, but he was eventually going to call the plays. I say the sooner the better. This way he has a better understanding of what he needs to add in order to be able to move the offense with his playcalling heading into next offseason. Besides, I always thought it was silly that we had a 2-14 O.C. calling the plays instead of a guy who was calling the offensive shots for the Cardinals in the Super Bowl last year.
Maybe the Chiefs just wanted to pick Gailey’s brain? At the very least, he knew the Chiefs’ offensive personnel and the AFC West defenses better than anyone on the coaching staff. Thanks for services rendered, Chan. You’ll get another job — you always do. With all of the league’s egomaniac owners, “yes men” are a valuable commodity in the NFL.
Devard Darling’s injury is a non-issue. Unless Mark Bradley suddenly comes back to life, we know we need another receiver opposite Dwayne Bowe heading into next season. Pioli should look at Brandon Marshall.
In the past, both the Patriots and Pioli showed a willingness to deal within the division. With Josh McDaniels in Denver, I think Pioli could get a deal done with the Broncos. It would likely cost us a second- and a fourth-rounder, but considering we have an extra second (from Atlanta), that’s a price we should consider paying, troubles and all. Haley has also shown that he knows how to handle receivers, very much the divas of the NFL. The Bowe -Marshall combo would give him Boldin-Fitzgerald Midwest. Definitely something to think about, because Denver almost has to unload him at this point. And despite his drawbacks, he’s one of the league’s 10 most talented wideouts.
Derrick Johnson is a bust. I’m going to come out and say it. The guy just doesn’t have the temperament to be a great linebacker. No need to waste any more keystrokes on that guy, as I’ve already wasted plenty. I think the Chiefs are really looking at moving on. The good news is that Demorrio Williams looked terrific at inside linebacker the other night.
We know what we have in Flowers, and no news is good news. We know we have a No. 1 cornerback, but we really need him on the field for the rest of the defense to gel. They looked awesome with him, awful without him on Saturday. Still, if he misses any time, it will be a good chance for us to take a long look at Maurice Leggett.
Now the biggie — Matt Cassel. Behind this line, we knew he was going to get a little banged up at some point. It was bound to happen. Typically the speed lane is on the left, but not with our offensive line. The right side of our offensive line is atrocious, a super freeway to the QB. Pioli wanted to see if Mike Goff could bolster the line. The truth is, I’m not sure Larry Allen in his prime could perform well sandwiched in between Damion McIntosh and Rudy Niswanger. We know we totally have to revamp everything right of Waters now for any quarterback to succeed. That much is obvious.
Back to Cassel’s injury. If there were a time for it to happen, this is it. The start of the Chiefs’ schedule is brutal and what’s really important is that we close the season strong. We have a ridiculously easy final stretch, and history shows rebuilding teams that close strong often significantly improve the next season. Cassel will be back soon enough, and in the meantime the Chiefs can figure out which of their three quarterbacks is the next best option (or maybe it’s Kevin O’Connell?).
My whole point is that we all, myself especially included, are overreacting. This season was never going to go further than six, maybe seven if we were really lucky, wins. The Chiefs have some nice, young building blocks, but they also have a lot of holes. This year is all about changing the attitude and figuring out what moves need to be made in order for us to be Super Bowl contenders by year three of the Pioli Trinity’s reign. So, let’s just sit back, relax and enjoy not having to deal with the idiocy of Herm Edwards or the smugness of Carl Peterson for once. I have a lot of faith in the new brass, especially considering the way Tyson Jackson looked the other night.