A Step In The Right Direction


Looking at the title of this post, one would think I was talking about the Chiefs’ previous game against the Raiders and some of the positive things I saw during the course of that match.

Unfortunately for a select group of players, coaches, and front office personnel on the Chiefs, I am not going to discuss anything of the sort today, and considering how bad the Chiefs played on Sunday, anyone who expected otherwise is out of their mind.

What I’m going to talk about today is much more pertinent to the Chiefs moving forward in the right direction, at least in my mind it is. I’m going to break down three steps the Chiefs could take right now that would improve the level of play for this team from today on. None of these moves are easy decisions to make, but they cover the entire organization, and in my opinion they will allow our beloved Chiefs to return to glory much quicker.

So sit back, grab a beverage of your choice, and enjoy the ride…

1. Fire Gunther Cunningham

It’s been pretty apparent to me since Herm Edwards came to the Chiefs as the head coach close to three years ago that Gun is out of his element trying to coach a defense that is based primarily on the Tampa 2/Cover 2 defense. Gun is fairly good at motivating his players on the practice field, but once he moves up to the booth to call the plays, it’s as if he becomes completely oblivious to the proceedings on the field. I rarely see any adjustments made from half to half, and it has never been more evident then it was last Sunday.

There is absolutely no reason why any team, let alone the Raiders, should be able to rack up 300 yards and 2 TDs on the ground in one game, especially when you look at how good our defensive line and linebackers are at stopping the run. I can understand one bad play where an opposing RB romps for a big gain, but to see it happen over and over and over again during one half of football is simply unacceptable.

Despite what Herm might tell you in his post-game press conferences, the responsibility for these mistakes falls directly back on the coaching staff, and not on the players. If coaches cannot make the right calls to place their players in a position to succeed more often than not, they deserve to be fired in my opinion. Hence my decision to let Gun go elsewhere and get someone in here right now that is capable of running our defense effectively.

2. Ban Herm Edwards from any offensive decision making

This one is really a no brainer. Herm Edwards has no business whatsoever making any sort of offensive decisions for the Chiefs, because he has proven time and time and time again to be a complete idiot when it comes to that side of the ball. Herm is an outstanding motivator of players and his defensive acumen is pretty solid as well, but when it comes to handling any portion of his team’s offensive gameplan, he is so far out of his league, it’s not even funny.

Chan Gailey was brought to the Chiefs in the off-season to do one thing only: revamp the offensive side of the ball by making smart playcalling decisions on a consistent basis. From what I’ve seen so far, that has yet to happen, and instead of watching our young offense grow from week to week, we’re regressing to the point of utter disaster because Herm has once again placed handcuffs on his offensive coordinator.

Herm did this with our previous OC, Mike Solari, and he’s doing it again with Gailey this season. I understand his desire to keep the offensive mistakes to a minimum, but last I checked, you have to score more than six points a game to win in the NFL. And to do that, you have to be willing to take some risks by throwing the ball down field on a semi-regular basis.

That’s why Herm needs to step back and allow his offensive coaches to call the plays the way they want to, and stick to his motivational speeches and quality soundbites for the media instead. At this point, we have absolutely nothing to lose by going down that road, and in the long run, it will make our team that much better because they will have the experience to make the plays they need to win the game.

3. Buy Damion McIntosh a one way ticket out of town

Watching McSack, as I’ve taken to calling him, stand around on the field while an opposing defensive end cruises right by him en route to destroying our QB, makes me violently ill. This guy couldn’t block a flea, let alone a NFL-caliber DE, yet for some odd reason the Chiefs coaching staff continues to trot him out there each week, even though they have to know that the well-being of whatever QB is on the field at that time is in serious jeopardy.

I’d much rather watch a young rookie like Barry Richardson fail occasionally, and learn from it in the process, then see McSack out there trying to impress the matador scouts in the stands. It’s as if his feet are permanently attached to the field, wherever he might be playing, and he cannot free them in time to put up any kind of blocking effort against his opponent on the other side of the ball.

If the Chiefs want to see their QBs have any health remaining at the end of the season, they’ll toss McSack out on the street tomorrow, and go with Richardson at the RT spot instead. McSack has clearly demonstrated that he has nothing left to give, on the field or anywhere else for that matter, and the longer the Chiefs wait to pull the plug on that horrific experiment, the worse this offense will be.

Final Thoughts

All of these moves would take guts on the part of the coaching staff and front office, however I think it’s pretty clear at this point that they are absolutely critical to make this team a better one in the future. At times like these, the teams that are capable of making the tough decisions in favor of making their organization better in the long run are the ones who wind up having post-season success more often than not.

Keeping untalented coaches and players because of a self-serving interest in being proven right is detrimental to franchise as a whole, and until the Chiefs realize this, and make the adjustments in their staff/team that need to be made, we’ll be seeing more of what we were forced to watch last Sunday in the near future.

Chris Kolb is the owner and lead writer for KCChiefsFanatic.com