The Chiefs Home Improvement Plan: A Work In Progress



The Kansas City Chiefs GM Scott Pioli has done it. With some deft drafting, shrewd maneuvers and timely signings, Pioli has finally done it: he’s made the Kansas City Chiefs into… a work in progress.

It’s official: ladies and gentlemen, the KC Chiefs are a brick house. Of course the Chiefs are a few bricks short of an out-house… but, at least that’s a house too, right?

So, how did we get here? Wasn’t this was supposed to be a team that competes for a Conference title and bangs with the big boys of the AFC?

The deft drafting? Daft.

The shrewd maneuvers and timely signings? Closer to inept and silly.

Typifying the Chiefs’ drafting in this manner, based upon two hellacious (emphasis on the “hell”) preseason games, is probably not fair or factual, but this is not about accuracy or democracy; it’s about feelings. That’s why we watch the sport, isn’t it? We all want to feel good–at least some of the time–and this doesn’t. Maybe it’s simply that the first Chiefs preseason game was so gloriously fun to watch that the juxtaposition is a big pile o’ poo.

So, what happens next is anybody’s guess. At least head coach Romeo Crennel, appropriately, is not happy, and that makes me happy… at least a little.

As you would expect: the Chiefs will be making moves.

Chiefs fans around the globe are doing their own surveillance in hopes of seeing the team improve. In response to my recent article called, “Will The Chiefs Really Be Better In 2012,” Addict poster “iowaskcchiefsfan” had this to say about possible upcoming moves by the Chiefs:

The Chiefs could sign FA’s Marcus Thomas, DT/NT, 6’3″, 320 lbs., 6th season. Played NT in the Denver 3-4 for 3 years until their switch to the 4-3. A 2-down run-stopper who won’t provide much as a pass rusher, or Howard Green, NT/DE, 6’2″, 320 lbs., Run-stopper, a bit more pass-rush. They could also trade for Sammie Hill, DT/NT, 6’4″, 330 lbs., 4th season. He had 80 tackles and 4 sacks in the last 2 seasons as a back-up, maybe a 4th rnd. pick. Or. Pat Sims, DT/NT, 6’2″ , 330 lbs., With the Bengals having drafted Devon Still (2nd pick) and Brandon Thompson (3rd pick), should be available. Spent most of 2011 on IR, Had 2.5 sacks and 9 QB pressures in 2010 as a back-up.

If Brandon Flowers is hurt, and stays hurt, who will take over as the Chiefs number one corner? Jalil Brown doesn’t look like the immediate solution, even if he might be that someday. There are some unknowns about Stanford Routt. The Bleacher Report says CB Terrence McGee may be available by the end of camp,

Unfortunately, McGee might be the odd man out this offseason. The Bills drafted talented cornerback Stephon Gilmore with their first-round pick, who will come in and compete for a starting job. Buffalo already has Aaron Williams—who has a bead on one of those starting gigs thanks to a solid rookie season—and Leodis McKelvin.

There are many other intriguing cuts that may be in the work as well.

The Bengals have a logjam at LB, and because it looks like Vontaze Burfict is going to stick, Dontay Moch may be on the outside looking in when camp is over. I liked Moch when he was coming out of Nevada, especially because he runs a 4.44- 40 time.

Another potential area of weakness on the Chiefs roster, once again, is at backup quarterback. Ricky “I-don’t-like-you-anymore” Stanzi is nowhere near to being the short term solution the Chiefs hoped he might be. Brady “I’m-still-not-sure-about-you” Quinn is a big question mark. Chiefs back-up QBs should wear a big question mark instead of a number.

The Chiefs need a QB who is an experienced back-up with at least some credentials.

Are there any QBs out there who fit that description? Two seasons ago the Carolina Panthers draft QB Jimmy Clausen. Last year they draft Cam Newton. Newton of course is a Pro Bowler and the face and future of the team and the league. Clausen is predicted, by his own coach, to have a future starting for another team. However, it’s not Clausen that I’m hoping to get cut. It’s the other backup, Derrick Anderson, who threw for over 3,700 yards for a Romeo Crennel-led Browns team in 2007. If the Chiefs could land someone like Anderson to back up Cassel, it would be the best backup they’ve had since Rich Gannon was in town. With Anderson currently serving as the Panthers’ number two QB, the Chiefs would likely have to trade for him. Such a trade would be a positive move as long as they don’t weaken the existing starting line-up.

The problem I have with any of these suggestions is that they’re ho-hum. Business as usual. Worse yet, its the same-ole-same-ole second rate organization-on-a-shoe-string approach to player development that we’ve seen for years. At least Carl Peterson would land a big fish every now and then.

Second rate acquisitions of:
Matt Cassel: the player who invented the term “career backup”
Mike Vrabel: the player who was thrown in on the Cassel deal that made Pioli bite on the trade but, who was also on the far-back-nine of this career.
Chris Chambers: a San Diego throwaway. We should have trusted in that analysis because after the Chiefs gave him a nice contract, he turned back into the throwaway he is.
Thomas Jones: what was he good for? He was good for half a season. Then if you subtract the half season he took from Jon Baldwin, well, you do the math.

Pioli was also good for:
Mike Brown
Devard Darling
Sean Ryan
Bobby Wade
Dantrell Savage
Rudy Niswanger
Sabby Piscatilli

Scott Pioli may spend all of his time swinging the hammer, but he sure hits his thumb a lot.

Second rate draft picks:
Alex Magee: why? Just, why?
Donald Washington: with the 102nd pick the Chiefs could have taken Johnny Knox or any of 150 other players like Quinten Lawrence or Javarris Williams. What? Oh. Never mind.
Quinten Lawrence
Javarris Williams
Colin Brown
Jake O’Connell

I’ll give this to Pioli: every single one of the 2010 draft picks are still on the roster and look to contribute. The same might be said for the 2011 draft but, it’s too early to appropriately reflect on that draft.

The Chiefs home improvement project needs a great looking front porch–or how about one of those huge gnarly driftwood mantle pieces? At the minimum, the kitchen needs upgrading so they can get some cooking done.

And if the Chiefs can’t at least look good at home, they may be shopping for a new architect sooner rather than later.

So Addicts, if you were remodeling and had millions to spend: what would it look like?


Dick's Sporting Goods presents "Hell Week":

  • jimfromkc

    It’s nice to see that what I have been harping about ever since Pioli rode into town on his high horse is gradually filtering up to the top. One of the things that kool aid drinkers say when you try to bring rationale into the equation is what would you do differently. Well I would go back to my original thoughts on the subject and I originally wanted the Chiefs to hire Marty as the General manager and have him go after a coach of his choice. Bill Cower comes to mind. I would also like to see Al Saunders as the offensive coord. I still like Gunner’s style of defence. So there you have my druthers. could you get these diverse personalities to mesh? I have no idea, but they all have worked together at one time or another and have strong ties to the Chiefs.

  • ArrowFan

    Eric Winston, Kevin Boss, Preston, Lijia. and that’s just O and don’t even get me started on the draft. Lets look at the league as a whole and see how other GM are doing with drafting or signing pro bowl players?

    • KCMikeG

      Without any name calling while sipping on my red cherry kool aid I’ll add Hillis, resigning Charles, DJ, Flowers, Hali. You also lay some really bad decisions by Haley that Pioli facilitated (Wade, Bradley, Engram, Toomer, Curtis) while ignoring the careers that never were due to injuries (Savage, Williams, Brown and O’Connell is still sliding around his grave on a banana peel.
      It is premature to write off Cassel and unfair to not value the leadership and maturity Vrabel brought to us. Yes he should have retired a year earlier and turned over the starter role during the previous year. And as disappointed as you may be on that move you have to acknowledge the huge value in getting Houston for free along with Baldwin. Scott Pioli has take this team from the chaotic bunch of losers of 2008 and made huge strides now entering his 4th season filled with many hurdles. He will put the finishing touches on what we accomplish this year and then this conversation will be banished to the haters only “fan” sites where they all have dry mouth due to the lack of kool aid. Poor guys.

      • ladner morse

        So you feel comfortable assigning responsibility to Todd Haley when it comes to players like Wade, Bradley, Engram, Toomer, Curtis — but — you don’t want to give him credit when it comes to Baldwin and Houston?

        That doesn’t appear even handed to me.

        In the end… Pioli has to take all the credit and blame and he’s had a lot of guys he’s brought in who have not only not panned out but been miserable failures… on the field and in the check book.

        Thisis about taking an accounting. If you can’t see that Pioli has made a ton of personnel mistakes then how will be able to see when things truly are going great. don;t say they are going great either… what proof would you have of that? I’d say a playoff victory would be proof. Until then the Chiefs have a distance to go.

  • Dmatt

    Really? Marty, Saunders, Gunther. They worked out so well in the past let’s just bring them back. Your an idiot. Bill cowher is retired and the last place he would come to is a small market team. Do you people really forget whO this team had before pioli got here. This is not baseball or basketball. U can’t buy a championship. You get better by drafting the right guys and quality free agents who don’t break the bank. That’s how you stay competitive. It takes at least four or five drafts to accomplish this. SO STOP THINKING IT CAN BE DONE IN A COUPLE YEARS. YOU PEOPLE ARE IDIOTS.

  • jimfromkc

    Dmatt, it is always a given that a kool aid drinker will not likely post without trying to insult someone. How do you know that Cower is interested in only coaching in a big market town? Has he ever showed any interest in them? He coached in KC and Pittsburgh, neither one could be labeled a big market city. I think that if anyone could bring him back to coaching it would be the guy who first hired him, I can’t say for sure, but I believe it was Marty. As for what we have, I believe that marty has forgotten more about judging players than Pioli will ever know. I will say for the umteenth time, Bill taught Pioli every thing he knows, but he didn’t teach him everything that Bill knows.

  • iowaskcchiefsfan

    !st I want to thank-you for the quote, really feel a bit honored. So much for the bows.
    I’m starting to question how much of the problem is Scott and was Carl, or maybe the common factor Clark. Clark controls the purse strings when you come down to it.
    Haley might have only a say on who Scott and Clark signed or drafted. He had a lot of say on who started and who played. He was responcible for Richardson over Gaither for example. D.J. and Demorrio Williams should have been our starting ILB’s, Williams at RILB and D.J. at LILB, this would have put the 2 best on the field.
    While I’m on the ILB thing, there is something that I would like to propose. Move Andy Studebacker to LILB. The 6’3″, 248 lbs., LB has good speed (4.6 neighborhood), is a smart, nose for the ball (good instincts), and while more of a consistant tackler than a thumper, he can still bring the big hit. Andy is a much superior coverage compared to Belcher or Siler and is as good if not better run stopper. IMO a starting LB corp of ROLB-Hali, RILB-D,J., LILB- Studebacker, LOLB-Houston could be one of the best in the NFL. We could keep Marcus Jones, Leon Williams, or Gabe Miller as a back-up for Justin. A inexpensive signing as a back-up for Tamba, maybe even against Atl. Matt Roth, FA ROLB, 6’4″, 275 lbs. 8th season, 5 of them in a RAC 3-4, feisty aggressive pass rusher who can still get to the QB. Would fit in well and add locker room leadership.