Desperate Measures for the Chiefs

Make no mistake, not all was sucky in last Sunday’s debacle against the Chargers. Ropati Pitoitua was a monster with two sacks and a couple of tackles for loss. Jalil Brown again downed a punt inside the 5, caused a punt return penalty against San Diego because of outstanding coverage and performed admirably in the secondary, filling in for Brandon Flowers for a series. Edgar Jones once again had a great stick on kick return coverage. Even Jovan Belcher showed up, stuffing the run on a 3rd and 1 and playing aggressively all day long.

But so what. Because we got our asses handed to us on Sunday.

There’s a few things very wrong with our team. Here’s a list of my top five, in reverse order of urgency, as well as remedies the Chiefs can implement over the next 12 games:

5.  Jon Baldwin: Dude isn’t a factor. After a monster pre-season, he’s been AWOL. Assuredly, Baldwin has been victim to Cassel’s tunnel vision and passes that are in danger of hitting the Mars Rover, but he’s also just not been that open.

Remedy: Throw Baldwin the ball more and let him make the athletic plays we drafted him for. We have to learn if Baldwin is for real. And more importantly, other teams need to know that he’s a serious weapon.

4.  Offensive Line Pride: Between Winston’s false starts, holding calls up and down the line and inconsistency throughout, the Chiefs’ O-Line needs to gather together and make a pledge. Either they are going to carry this offense on their shoulders, or they are going to go through the motions for the next 12 games.

Remedy: Get nasty. Bring in Casey Weigmann for some leadership and pride. I don’t care if Weigmann plays a snap, but he can instill some pride of ownership into this unit.

3.  Defensive Secondary: What the hell. I have not seen a unit so disjointed, so without communication, in a long time.

Remedy: Bring back Sabby! Just kidding. Ferreals, pile on Pioli for letting Brandon Carr go. That was a disaster, kinda like letting Tony Gonzales go. I’m not sure what the fix is here: are the players surprised by what they are seeing on the field? Is there a Haley-like headset-play-calling communication gap? Let’s see if this unit can settle down when Kendrick Lewis returns, hopefully this week against the Ravens.

2.  Quarterback: Has anyone noticed that Matt Cassel is, um, not playing so good? I’ve really enjoyed reading the blogs this week, because they are spot on. In summary, (a) Cassel is a liability; and (b) he’s the best quarterback on the roster, by far. I heard during the gamecast that Cassel trained with the same trainer that has been working with Tom Brady and Alex Smith. Brady and Smith seem to be doing pretty ok. What happened to Matt?

Remedy: I think we play Cassel for at least the first half against the Ravens. Consider it a final audition. If he performs well, then fantastic. If he underperforms again, pull him, and put in Brady Quinn. Might as well see if Quinn has anything left. If Cassel continues to play like he played against the Chargers, then we’re well on our way to a 4-12 or 5-11 season, and we’ll need to know whether Quinn can continue being a backup, or if he and Cassel are both trade bait as backup quarterbacks for other teams.

1.  Coaching and Overall Preparedness: Remember in elementary school when your school would have tornado drills to prepare you for emergencies? If the Chiefs were running those drills, we’d all panic and probably be dead by now. There are very little signs of preparedness. That means things like having some knowledge of what to expect from opponents. That means throwing in wrinkles into schemes that actually catch other teams by surprise. That means having a game plan that at least works a little, rather than resulting in three score deficits after ten minutes of play. We are just. Not. Prepared. To. Play.

This one falls squarely on Romeo. Our defense is playing well below our talent level, which is pretty much the exact opposite of what you want. My guess is that the pressures and daily maintenance of being head coach are simply preventing Crennel from doing what he does best: creating winning defensive schemes. The defensive game plan going in is just wrong (single-cover Gates? Are you kidding?!) and while halftime adjustments have been decent, it’s just not enough to overcome double digit deficits after two quarters. In a word, our defense is a joke, and it’s not because of talent. Week in and week out, we are going up against the most creative offensive minds in the business, and we are just not up to the task right now.

Remedy: There’s a reason that the norm in the NFL is to have a head coach, an offensive coordinator and a defensive coordinator, represented in three human bodies. The demands of winning an NFL game are just too much and too complicated to combine these duties into two people. We all hate Josh McDaniel, but that guy is an offensive genius. Imagine game-planning against him with literally half the number of hours and mental energy each week. It’s just not smart. Look, I applauded the hiring of Romeo as much as anyone, and I still have hope that he can be a decent head coach. But no one can do two NFL senior level jobs at once. Haley tried it, with miserable results. Crennel has tried it, with equally horrendous outcomes. I’d even let Crennel pick the job he wants – head coach or defensive coordinator. Just pick ONE. Then hire the other, ASAP.

Sorry for the harsh thoughts here, Addicts, but we are pissed off and need some answers! What remedies do the Chiefs need most, Addicts?!!!!

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  • diehard chiefs fan

    we are in shambles we should of never fired todd just kidding. God HELP US. thats all i can say.

  • CrowheartButte

    Miles, very well put, I agree with all of it. I wish someone would listen!!

  • chiefridgy


  • Kcndarock

    I know Todd was nuts but I seriously think he was piolis scape goat last year.. I liked how he would get in the players face and fire them up.. Baldwin what a bust it’s still early in his career but there’s gotta be a reason why some1 with his size can’t get open.. I think what the chiefs miss is a ray Lewis on the team.. A big nasty vocal player who’s Gunna hit u in the mouth game in and out.. Pioli needs to go and cassel needs to head to the next team pioli signs with…

    • tm1946

      side issue, Baldwin is a huge target, can outjump any DB in the NFL, decent hands. I said it when he was drafted and ever since…..he does not have NFL speed for a WR, he would run circles around me but for a NFL WR, he is not fast. Also I have been told he run lousy routes, some suggest he does not run routes at all. The Chiefs just hope he is in the area he is supposed to be in when the ball gets there.

      • Scott Campbell

        Baldwin: 4.49
        Bowe: 4.51

        He’s not blazing, but he’s an NFL receiver filling a different role than a McCluster. He just doesn’t seem to be getting open, not that it would matter…

  • tm1946

    Sanity is so nice. Sort of like that feeling you get when you stop hitting yourself in the head with a hammer, the quiet is awesome.
    To bad the Chiefs seem inclined to NOT do anything sensible at this time.

  • ArrowFan

    Turnovers Turnovers Turnovers Turnovers Turnovers did I say we have a problem with Turnovers!!!!!!

  • Doc

    I’ll chime in here on your points. BALDWIN: Cassel is too focused on Bowe from the snap that Baldwin is being overlooked. The way he produced in preseason as compared to now I belive is influenced on Cassel’s “tunnel vision” (his words). Balwin may also be suffering from ‘prima donna-itis’ where he was the star in preseason while Bowe held out and now he is not getting his touches. He has speed, but if the QB can’t get the ball that deep, we don’t get to see it. He can run crisp routes – but Cassel can’t throw a timing route pass. OLINE: They need time to gel. New players and injuries keep from developing chemistry. I believe the false starts are caused by Cassel changing the play and his own players are going, “What?” Cassel may be changing up his cadence to throw the d off, but it is messing with his own o-line. Too many people on here wanting to throw Winston under the bus. He was a great improvement over Richardson. Thought – maybe Winston (and others) is (are) whiffing on blocks in hopes that cassel gets injured and leaves the game. Possible because this team just does not appear to support Cassel despite what they say in interviews. DEFENSE: Players are out of position too many times.Romeo – your help can’t do it without you, and you can’t wear two hats. Get on defense where you belong and get these players in line. QB: I disagree, Cassel needs to be sat down now. To let him play for a half is sort of like pullingh a bandage off slowly. No sit him now. Or, since the NFL is a production type of business, give him 3 downs to make it happen. If he can move the ball, then he earns the right to have 3 more downs. The taking him out at the half is ludicrous. We also need to see what Quinn has in the tank (not that I think he is better than Cassel, but he could be the spark the team is looknig for). There are a few QBs out there that are available, but are they really better than what we currently have? Those available have health issues or have been out for a while.

  • Chiefswatch

    I don’t attend games because i live in California. Watching on tv i tell you i rarely see much of whats going on in the backfield and if receivers are getting open. Regardless, how does Baldwin getting open matter to Cassel. He throws to Bowe Regardless of being open. And when Bowe is open he misses. Isn’t Baldwin supposed to be able just out muscle his cornerback? Isn’t that what made him so awesome in practice.

  • iowaskcchiefsfan

    The Chiefs need to stop the stupid mental errs. How often do we have a big play called back for a stupid penalty? Winston not getting up to the line calling back a Cassel to DBowe pass play. J. Brown unneccessarily holding on punt return. Momentum Killers.
    The “D” blowing assignments and giving up big plays and drives.
    The Chiefs aren’t making adjustments on Offense and Defence.
    This could be addressed by hireing a DC. This will allow RAC to focus on his HC duties and have someone focusing on the DC duties. We would probabily have to promote from within. Easier to find a Position Coach than a DC. A DC can focus on defensive problems, while RAC can focus on the Chiefs making the needed adjustments and the mental errors.
    Baldwin isn’t running his routes and getting open. I’ve seen Cassel try to force the ball into him.
    There is a reason for some of Cassel’s high passes. Both with DBowe and Baldwin’s size, a high pass means only the Reciever can get it.
    I think the Chiefs should release Quinn and sign ex-Patriot and Brady backup, Brian Hoyer. The 6’2″. 215 lbs., QB would be in his 4th season. It’s my understanding that he has a better arm than Cassel, both stronger and more accurate. Hoyer has had only 44 regular game play experience, but as Brady’s backup he got a lot of practice reps and Preseason experience. A number of experts think he could start on a bunch of NFL teams.
    When he gets up to speed he could push Cassel or maybe even subplant him as the starter.