K.C. Chiefs: Building Not Rebuilding


Since Herm Edwards was asked to leave town on January 23rd, 2009  the Chiefs have been in “rebuilding” mode. According to Edwards, the rebuilding was going on the whole time he was here. That means we K.C. Chiefs fans have grown used to being slammed with that not so catchy catch phrase… we’re in the process of rebuilding. The Chiefs finished 10-6 in 2010 and so the question is: are we done rebuilding… and we’re now… building?

We’re making arrangements trying to get them out here as well, even if they have to come out and stay with me for a few days.

~ Matt Cassel

From beginning to end, during the full reign of Herm, another question kept surfacing for me: if a coach set out to destroy a franchise would it look any different than what Edwards was doing? The reasons that this question kept coming up were obvious. No coaching. No weight training. No accountability. No sense of community within the team. Bad personnel decisions. Spiraling effort on the field. I know some of the responsibility falls on Carl Peterson but, maybe not as much as you’d think because Carl’s last couple of years were served as a…flaming lame duck. Hotly skewered!

I’m training (and) getting ready in case anything happens.

~ Casey Wiegmann

The purpose of this is not to re-gash old wounds or attach new blame for our beloved Chiefs churning sizzle into fizzle. No, this is about understanding where we’re at right now, which is… in a pretty good place. However, to really get a better picture of this, we should all recognize that the Chiefs have been in a “rebuilding mode” since Dick Vermeil departed and that was 5½ years ago.

My youth camp & high school skills clinic are 2 weeks away. Go sign up & support EB Foundation [the EB Foundation restores community parks].

~ Eric Berry tweet

Rebuilding is having to make wholesale changes in nearly every part of a team and organization.  Teams that are successful don’t need to rebuild but, are tweaking their rosters on an ongoing basis. The Steelers haven’t stopped building or adjusting their roster in the past ten years and they’ve been pretty successful in that time. Same for the Patriots and the Colts and the Ravens….

We just wanted to help the people as much as we could. It was devastating to go into a town that was completely wiped out. I feel blessed to be part of it.

~ Dwayne Bowe

Are the Chiefs needing to continue to build their defense? Yes. Are they needing to completely “rebuild” their defense? I would say no. Does that place the K.C. Chiefs in a class with the Steelers, Pats, Colts and Ravens? Probably not but, the Chiefs are definitely not where the Panthers, Bills or the Lions are either.

I just reacted. I knew I could swim. I just had to get there. I wasn’t waiting around for anyone else.

~ Leonard Pope

In April, at the end of draft day three, Scott Pioli was answering questions about the selection of Iowa QB Ricky Stanzi and made the comment that “philosophically I like the idea of trying to get a QB every year.” If you’re desperate for a QB you don’t make a comment like that. If you’re in dire need of a player at any other position, at that spot in the draft, you don’t take a QB… just to satisfy an ideological whimsy… unless… you’re in a position to fortify and enhance… not if you’re in a revise, replace and refurbish mode.

We have something to build on from last year.

~ Andy Studebaker

The K.C. Chiefs are “building.” That’s what good teams do and the Chiefs are a good team.

Let’s do a little inventory.

DB… Are the Chiefs above average in the defensive backfield? You could say they have one of the best units out there.
LB… How’s the line-backing corp? It needs improvement but, it’s by no means desperate. Hali was one of the most productive in the league and Johnson performed near to Pro Bowl level last year.
DL… How about the defensive line? This may still be their place of greatest need but, not nearly dreadful.
OL… The offensive line? Best running game in the league. They’re getting a little long in the tooth in spots but, there’s also solid youth waiting in the wings (and that’s before free agency).
RB… How about the running back situation? The best in the league, and that says enough for this examination.
WR.. How about wide receivers? This definitely has been a position of great need but, the addition of Jon Baldwin may have just turned this position of need into one of the best duos in the league. Plus, Tony Moeaki is not too shabby (and many expect free agency to produce a slot receiver).
QB… A Pro Bowler is nice so, depth is the concern. However, if what you’re concerned about is “depth,” then that’s probably not the definition of “rebuilding.”
ST…. Are the special teamers losing games for the Chiefs? You’d have to say they’re more consistently helping win games.
K….. Kicking and punting a problem? They’re actually very good in that department.

It’s close enough…. We’re definitely getting a lot of work done.

~ Derrick Johnson

Where in your evaluation of the current K.C. Chiefs roster and organization would you say, “oh, they need to rework that whole group or department?” If the Chiefs were computer software… would you be wanting to rewrite the whole system software or… upgrade portions of the program? Look at the Top 100 NFL Players as rated by the NFL players. Five Chiefs made the list (Charles, Bowe, Hali, Waters and Berry). From a statistical stand point, every NFL team should average 3.1 players on the top 100 list. The Chiefs nearly doubled that amount and we all know Brandon Flowers should be on that list. I also heard Cassel was very close. With that many players in the top echelon of elite players it sounds like the Chiefs are a team that’s ahead of the curve, not trying to play catch up.

Dusting off the playbook really helps out … It just felt crisp to me.

~ Ryan Lilja

Obviously, we didn’t win the Super Bowl last year but, the Green Bay Packers are trying to get better by improving their roster too! K.C. may have further to go than they do but, the Chief’s “rebuilding process” appears to be a thing of the past. Hopefully, that’s permanent.

… you’re going to dedicate your time and energy to doing whatever is best for the team.

~ Todd Haley

Now, they can get on with the never ending process of strengthening the team, instead of overhauling and reconstructing it. There are enough solid pieces in place that we can declare an end to that not so catchy catch phrase.

Two, three years ago … we had an extremely young football team. Now those guys have matured….

~ Jon McGraw

Kansas City may not have been to the Super Bowl in more than 40 years but, what this current group of Chiefs is doing and saying on and off the field speaks volumes about how far the team has come. You don’t have to win a Super Bowl to understand what Vince Lombardi meant when he said:

Build for your team a feeling of oneness, of dependence on one another and of strength to be derived by unity.

~ Vince Lombardi

GM Scott Pioli recently declared, “We’re not even close to being done.” However, they’re also not anywhere close to where they were when they started.

The vision of a champion is someone bent over, drenched in sweat, to a point of exhaustion, when no one else is watching. -Anson Dorrance, as tweeted on June 6, 2011.

~ Brandon Carr

Perhaps this means that the Chiefs are done… rebuilding.

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