Dec 13, 2012; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton (14) before the game against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-USA TODAY Sports

KC Chiefs Worked Out Colin Kaepernick, Andy Dalton

David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

The Kansas City Chiefs are the worst team in the NFL in 2012 and the primary reason is poor QB play.

Only it didn’t have to turn out this way.

The team had the chance to draft a young QB of the future. You see, in early 2011, the Chiefs worked out both Andy Dalton and Colin Kaepernick… but took Jonathan Baldwin instead.

Back then, things were different for the Chiefs. The team was coming off a 10-6 season and an AFC West Championship. QB Matt Cassel had put forth a Pro Bowl season in which he threw 27 touchdowns and only seven interceptions. The general consensus at the time was that the Chiefs lacked the receiving threats necessary to compete in the playoffs. Dwayne Bowe and Tony Moeaki had been shut down in the team’s playoff loss to the Baltimore Ravens in January.

Still, at the time, we here at Arrowhead Addict thought taking a QB early in the draft would be a good idea.

Let’s take a little trip back in time to our post on the Chiefs working out Nevada QB Colin Kaepernick.

The Chiefs have already had a private workout with QB Andy Dalton and now they are looking at Kaepernick. This is curious because both QB’s are projected to go around the late first to third rounds.

I don’t take this as an indictment on Matt Cassel. I take it as an indictment on Brodie Croyle. Quite frankly, the Chiefs would be wise to grab as talented a QB as they can in this draft without wasting a pick. The team is getting better and deeper each year and Scott Pioli would be extremely foolish not to have solid depth at team’s most important position. We saw last year that without Matt Cassel the Chiefs were pretty much screwed.

Matt Cassel is about to turn 29 and while he should be entering his prime as a QB, there is always the chance that he could get injured or flame out. QB’s like Dalton and Kaepernick aren’t guys you want

starting from day one but they both have huge upside and potential.

The Chiefs are rolling with Matt Cassel in 2011 but what about beyond that? What if Cassel gets hurt or stops progressing? The Chiefs are likely wisely taking warning from teams like the Arizona Cardinals and Minnesota Vikings. Those teams are loaded with talent and are wasting years because they don’t have the right guy playing QB.

My guess is that the Chiefs are strongly considering taking a QB in the third round if they right guy is available. If Dalton or Kaepernick were to slide that far, they’d be wise to snatch one of them up. This way they could inject the QB position with depth and developmental talent without causing too much of a QB controversy.

The best thing for the Chiefs would be for Matt Cassel to continue to develop and to continue making Pro Bowls but it certainly won’t hurt the Chiefs to have a very solid backup plan just in case.

It was clear, even following that playoff season, that the Chiefs would have been wise to invest in the QB position, something they have failed miserably at for decades.

Instead, here is what happened. The Chiefs held the 21st pick in the draft. The favorite to be the Chiefs’ selection at the time was DT Phil Taylor. Fans had been clamoring for a nose tackle since the Chiefs instituted the 3-4 defense.

When the Chiefs’ number got called inside Radio City Music Hall, Taylor was still on the board. I was on hand, along with AA staffer Big Matt. We were pretty positive that Taylor would be the pick. Only Scott Pioli surprised us and traded the pick to the Cleveland Browns. KC moved back to #27 and picked up an extra third round pick.

First the good news. The Chiefs used Cleveland’s third round pick, #70 overall, to select OLB Justin Houston. A clear home run for Pioli.

Now the bad news. KC’s new first rounder, #27, quickly became #26 when the Baltimore Ravens, who owned that pick, failed to make a selection during the allotted time because they were trying to make a trade. The Chiefs used the pick to select Jonathan Baldwin.

While it may be a bit early to call Baldwin a bust, especially given KC’s terrible QB play, things aren’t looking good.

Nine picks later, the Bengals selected Dalton and with the next selection, the 49ers selected Kaepernick.

To have nabbed Dalton or Kaepernick, the Chiefs would have either had to trade back a little farther or they would have had to use their first round pick. At the time, Cam Newton, Jake Locker, Blaine Gabbert and Christian Ponder were already off the board, so the Chiefs would have been using their first round pick on what would have been the fifth or sixth QBs selected.

Now it is easy to sit here now and say that Pioli should have taken either Dalton or Kaepernick but as they say, hindsight is 20/20. Given the circumstances at the time, we may have all thought it was crazy to spend a first round pick on a QB, considering the season Cassel had just had.

On the other side of the argument, you have the San Francisco 49ers and Jim Harbaugh. The 49ers, who many assumed would be selecting a QB given the failures of Alex Smith to that point, selected Aldon Smith at #7. They could have taken Locker, Gabbert or Ponder but they went defense instead.

In 30 NFL games, Mr. Smith has 33.5 sacks, 95 tackles, five forced fumbles and one interception. This season, he has 19.5 sacks and is closing in on the single-season sack record.

Then in the second round, the 49ers took Kaepernick.

Hindsight aside, herein lies the difference between Scott Pioli and the Chiefs and the 49ers. Not only did the 49ers make QB a priority, they made getting the RIGHT QB a priority. They did their homework, passing on three QBs who are having mediocre, at best, careers thus far, and got their man early in round two.

The Bengals took a similar path. They drafted AJ Green #4 overall, also passing on the Locker, Gabbert, Ponder combo and selected their QB next.

Many of us want the Chiefs to take a chance on a QB in the first round this offseason, likely with the #1 overall pick. It has been so long since the Chiefs have selected a QB in the first round and the QB play has been so terrible that those feelings are natural.

But what this situation illustrates to us is that while it is important that the Chiefs get themselves a QB early, that it is important that they get the right QB early.

Pioli has shown to be a failure in this department. He evaluated both Dalton and Kaepernick and passed on them in favor of Jon Baldwin. While WR was a position of need for the Chiefs at the time, Pioli could have selected a QB late in the first round and still nabbed Torrey Smith or Randall Cobb in the second.

Lastly, Harbaugh’s decision to bench Alex Smith in favor of Kaepernick this season is absolutely astounding. Smith had been playing well and the 49ers were a Super Bowl favorite. The move shows that not only were the 49ers confident in their selection of Kaepernick, the were willing to take the chance to do what it took to give themselves what they thought was the best possible chance at winning a championship.

Had the Chiefs done that, had the team’s talent evaluators been able to spot the potential problems and limitations of having Matt Cassel as their QB, perhaps the 2011 draft would have turned out differently for the Chiefs.

When Clark Hunt sits down to decide Scott Pioli’s fate, he needs to look at situations like the 2011 draft to determine whether or not he should move forward with the current regime.

Pioli has done some nice things in KC but he has also failed in his evaluation of the team’s most important position and he has whiffed on most of his first round selections. That, combined with his failure to put together a stable coaching staff, should be more than enough to convince Hunt to move on.

The 2013 offseason could very well be the most important in franchise history. The team will have prime draft position. The roster has enough talent for things to be turned around rather quickly. The team has enough cap space to keep some of its stars and also make a play for some top free agents.

But it all starts at the top, with Clark Hunt. If Hunt can make the right move, it could start a chain reaction that will change the Chiefs’ fortunes for the next decade.

If, however, Hunt makes the wrong decision, his father’s franchise will likely continue to be the laughingstock of the NFL for years to come .

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Tags: Colin Kaepernick Kansas City Chiefs

  • Leon Ritz

    Nice read, it really makes me think more about the whole trade back and draft Te’o then pick up a QB in the second round like Murray ( if he comes out ) or Wilson who I think will be there still. I also think we could move back into the first if Glennon starts to slide. I think this year will be a huge offseason for the Chiefs, if they can get two big pieces out of this draft, which they should be able to do, then they will be in contention for years to come. Let’s just hope that Pioli, or hopefully the guy that replaces him, gets the job done and brings us at least two top of the line picks.

    • Patrick Allen

      I am a staunch “take a QB first guy” but I am all for getting one early in round two but ONLY if the Chiefs are absolutely, freaking positive that they’ll be able to get their guy. They can’t blow it. If the Bengals don’t get Dalton, they’re stuck with a crap QB and AJ Green.

      Clark has to get this hire right and the new regime has to hit home runs on the first couple of picks.

      If they know which QB is there guy and they aren’t certain they will be able to get him later then I’d rather they take him #1 then risk missing out.

      • Leon Ritz

        How do you feel about it if they are able to trade back out of number 1 then get Te’o around 6-8 and use the the extra picks to trade back into the first to get their guy. I think this is a possibility with Murray and maybe even Glennon. In my thinking we should be able to get a first in the 6-8 range, a second in the same range, and a second next year for our first overall. Then trade the second this year, the second next year, and our third this year to get back into the first to draft our QB. This would give us Te’o, our QB in either Murray or Glennon, and we would still have the first or second pick in the second round. Now I am not saying this will happen but I do believe it is a possibility.

        • Patrick Allen

          If the Chiefs came away with a franchise QB and a stud linebacker and that is all from this draft, I’d be thrilled. Especially if the new staff re-signed Bowe and Albert.

          • Leon Ritz

            Again I am not saying it will happen but I think it could if they play it right. I think as of right now the Chiefs have the number one overall and the Cardinals are somewhere in the 5-9 range. The Cardinals need a QB desperately as well and I am sure it would be worth it to them to give up their first and second this year as well as a second next year to leap frog the Jags to get to number one. The Jags will take a QB at number two so if someone wants Smith they will have to come to us. If the Cardinals move up and take Smith, then the Jags take Barkely that would put us in good shape to take Te’o with our pick and trade back into the first for Glennon or Murray who I think will still be there later in the first. In the second we can use our first or second overall which ever it turns out to be to get a CB or a WR if we can’t resign Bowe.

          • Calchiefsfan

            I’ve been thinking about a trade with the Cardinals too. If both the Jags and the Cards want Smith we could even play the two against each other. Wishful thinking maybe but not too crazy.

          • Andreas E. Rush

            Why would you allow the best QB in the draft to go to another team when you yourself are in desperate need of said QB and in the perfect spot to pick him?

          • Calchiefsfan

            I don’t think Smith or Barkley are sure bets as franchise quarterbacks. Both Murray and Glennon could end up having better NFL careers and they aren’t sure bets either. There are no obvious choices like there were last year with Luck and RGIII. So my thinking is don’t waste the first pick in the draft on such a high risk gamble.

            These “experts” that decide who is 1,2,3 in QB draft ranking are wrong more often than right. Otherwise Wilson would have been drafted before Weedon or Tannehill last year, maybe Cousins and Foles too. Dalton and Kaepernick would have never made it to the second round knowing what we know now. They would have been the second and third QBs taken. Instead Locker, Gabbert and Ponder got drafted in the first round ahead of them.

            Anyway, that’s my thinking right or wrong. I’m certainly wrong my fair share on these things but at least I’m not paid big bucks to study them all day like “the experts” are. Don’t I wish though, what a great life.

          • Andreas E. Rush

            With the new rookie pay scale, drafting a QB or any other player of need became much less risky and costly. RG3 & Luck are once in a decade players and it sucks that we missed out on one of them but, this QB class is not as bad as the talking heads are making you believe. The Chiefs are in a position to draft a top 10 NFL caliber QB and have to take advantage of it.

          • Leon Ritz

            That’s what got the Rams a huge amount of picks from the SKINs for RGII. I Just don’t see a huge difference in SMith and any of the other QBs in the draft. I really do think if we play these two against each other we can clean up in the draft with a top player on D and a very good QB.

          • Calchiefsfan

            Let’s just hope we get some good coaching and a good GM that will be able to get the right players. I truly believe we could be one of those big turn around teams for 2013. All we need is a good QB and decent coaching.

      • TAZMOSIS

        Agree 100%. If the Chiefs blow it this time, the franchise could be just as irrelevant in four years as they are now. The new GM, whomever that may be, (Bill Polian) needs to be put in place yesterday. As I and many others have said on this site, Clark Hunt has to act ASAP. If he follows the same path as he did four years ago, how is that helping the Chiefs? It isn’t so much that he doesn’t know exactly how this works, it’s that he procrastinates. There just does not seem to be any urgency to the moves he has to know that need to be made. Moving Crennel out now is not nearly as important as making a move with Pioli. Crennel knows he is toast, but just let the guy coach the last two games, then he can clean out his office and say his good-bye’s. Piloi needs to leave today, and tomorrow the Chiefs can make an announcement on the new GM. If Hunt drags his feet, as he is so prone to do, we will all watch as other teams who have the same needs as the Chiefs fill those needs with the top talent, and we are left with the crumbs.

  • richard comstock

    Alec Ogletree!!!! LB georgia. Im tellin you right now he will be a super star. I say we try to get him in either the early second round or trade back into the first and snag him there. He is amazing,big,fast athletic linebacker that use to play saftey. We could draft Geno smith and try to get him. Would be ideal for us to trade back a few spots and take our QB (whomever that may be its to early to tell). Trade back in and get ogletree and then try to get us a few DB’s and another QB late in the draft. (logan thomas type).

    • Patrick Allen

      I worry about taking linebackers really high after Curry and McClain have kind of busted. Seems like you can find good players later. Like Houston. I kind of like your thinking here.

      • Leon Ritz

        Haven’t heard of this guy but we could trade back in the first and take Gelnnon then use the picks to get back into the first to take Skov. I would be ok with that. we would still get our physical LB and our franchise QB and still have our second round pick.

        • Leon Ritz

          I will say in my dream where I am GM I also hire Andy Reid as HC, Norv Turner as OC, and Rex Ryan as DC LOL

          • Danny W

            I like it all except Ried. Would love to have Chip Kelly though.

          • Leon Ritz

            I would like Chip Kelly but the problem their is I think he is a year late for us. Kelly needs a mobile QB for his offense to work in the NFL and I think last year a combo of Kelly and RGIII would have been awesome. You could look at a Kelly Vick thing but I think Vick is really about done, plus we need a young QB not a retread. Without a RGIII, Cam, Russell Wilson type QB I just don’t think Kelly’s offense will be as good in the NFL.

          • Andreas E. Rush

            3 coaches who’s teams are almost as bad as the Chiefs are going to come in and somehow save the franchise? C’mon people

          • Leon Ritz

            Romeo was a failed coach in Cleveland yet came in a helped our D, Charlie Weis was a failed college coach at Notre Dame yet the best offensive season we have had in 4 years was with him at OC. Just because a guy isn’t a good head coach doesn’t mean he isn’t a very good OC or DC. Norv Turner is a very good OC he just can’t do the head coach job, like wise with Rex Ryan a very good DC but he just isn’t a good head coach. As far as Reid goes, he has been a good head coach in the league for many years, I think he has just run his course in Philly and needs a change. All most every HC has a shelf life in a city and Reid’s is up in Philly, this doesn’t mean he all of a sudden forgot how to coach. Marty had a shelf life in KC and was gone yet led the Chargers to the playoffs.

  • Travis Forsyth


    • Leon Ritz

      He could but why would we want him to?

      • Lenny Lieurance

        Seriously? Why the Hell not?

        • Leon Ritz

          Did you see him play in the preseason, He looked terrible. Couldn’t complete passes couldn’t get the ball out fast enough, couldn’t read a defense. He honestly looked like Palko 2.0. There is a reason why Cassel and Quinn beat him out for the starting and back up jobs this year. I know some of you Stanzi lovers think he is the next coming but lets face it, he belongs nowhere near an NFL field.

  • ladner morse

    Excellent article Patrick. I think the Chiefs are stuck behind the 8 ball here at QB and even if they get a good one early, as has been suggested by someone here at AA, they need to take another one late, ala Redskins draft of 2012 (RGIII and Cousins).

    However, it appear the linchpin of this whole off season is whether or not Clark Hunt has the vision to move on from Scott Pioli. I hope he’s not thinking “20 year plan” like Lamar gave to Carl Peterson.

    If Hunt gives Pioli more time it could be the demise of the Chiefs as we know them and I wouldn’t be surprised to see them move to another City at some point because if Chiefs fans stop going to games like they did in the 80s — I don’t believe the Hunt family can make it through even half a decade like that.

    • Danny W

      Excellent comment Sir I agree 100%. I don’t know if I will watch another season if Pioli is the guy and the season ends like this years. I mean why would you?

    • Brody Hall

      Issue with your theory… Fans will never stop watching kc games. If we suck the ticket prices go down and then we buy them to go drink and what not (kinda like a royals game). And no real fan would ever want to see kc gone anyways

  • ArrowFan

    Don’t forget Tanney. Also I remember thinking all these same thoughts about four years ago.

  • jimfromkcj

    Over the last 5 or 6 years there have been just 6 guys in the draft that I was really high on, and I think 5 of them could have been Chiefs. They are Clady LT, Okung LT, Kaepernick QB Weeden QB, Hernandez TE and Miller LB. This year I would add Joekel LT to that list. I would like to see the Chiefs pick up Matt Moore if possible for an interim QB till we can draft a franchise QB. I just don’t see any of the QB’s in this draft as being one. There are probably a couple or three that will be journeymen QB’s and might lead us to a divisional title after Peyton retires, but is a division title as high as we are aspiring for. I guess I am a little greedy, for me it is super bowl or bust.


    Screw Stanzi he SUCKS! Give ALEX TANNEY a DANG CHANCE what would it hurt our QB’s are SUCK WADS all 3. ALEX TANNEY which by the way was and is the most accurate chiefs QB in and out of camp this year. So what he played DIV III he holds NCAA RECORDS IN ALL DIV! 157 TD’S /14,249 yds / as well as in just two years of play he set the new career marks for completions with 560 & 14 games with over 300 yds passing. He did all this with DIV III players. I believe ALEX TANNEY could of competed in ANY DIV & Confrence maybe he wanted to keep the family tradition going bc I believe his dad n brother both went to monmouth. He had one throw in preseason and completed the pass to belamy on the five yard line with pressure in his face n hit n injured his hand i believe on the defenders helmet but got called back for holding thanks to that great line didn’t get to see much of him and got his completion taken away.

    • Calchiefsfan

      At this point neither Pioli or Crennel have the ability to recognize a good quarterback when they see one.

    • Andreas E. Rush

      Tanny is on IR

    • soonerfan glenn


  • Calchiefsfan

    Solid article Patrick. I like the idea of going for a QB in the second round. I’m also a believer that Murray and Glennon could be this year’s Dalton, Kaepernick or even Cousins. I’m also warming up to Landry Jones. I just don’t see either Smith or Barkley as blue chippers so I’d hate to waste the number one pick on such a high risk. Trade down with someone in the top ten like Arizona if possible, even if all we can get is their first and an additional second. I’m even up for a second QB in the third round if the right guy is there. Can we trade a second round pick with Washington for Cousins?
    I must respectively disagree with you that are biggest problem this year was poor quarterback play. Yes we need a better QB but I believe it was poor coaching, with obviously Crennel and Daboll being the two biggest culprits, that was our biggest reason for failure. Which brings up the next issue. If we don’t have the right coaching staff to develop a young quarterback next year what a travesty that would be. Right now we don’t.

    • soonerfan glenn

      Amen brother