The 2012 K.C. Chiefs: When To Win?


Now or later? What’s the plan? Are the Chiefs preparing to go for it all this year or are they still rebuilding with the idea that a year or two down the road they will compete for championships?

It looks like the waiting is over. The Chiefs are planning on going for it all this season.

However, there is one caveat: quarterback. At the heart of the matter is the QB situation.

I’ll first say that it’s not the QB situation that got us to this place. There are other factors responsible for that. Star players returning from injury. That always helps. A coaching change, for the positive. A bona fide offensive coordinator and a QB coach who is sticking around longer than one season. In other words: some stability. A GM and HC on the same page. And then of course there’s the incredible host of players that management and ownership have teamed up to bring to KC that places the Chiefs in a situation they’ve not had the privilege of being in, in quite some time: as coach Crennel put it, “We don’t have to draft for need.”

So, what does that have to do with the quarterback position? I’ll get to that in a moment.

With K.C. in the enviable position of being able to draft the best player available they can either address one of their few remaining needs or even trade the pick and expect to still compete for the division crown. However, saying that we don’t have to draft for need may just be a ploy because the Chiefs may know exactly who they want to target in the draft. And, why is that important? Well, because the Chiefs have taken so many positive steps this off season that by adding the right pieces with their first two or three picks they could very possibly be in contention for the biggest prize of all: the conference championship and a chance to play in the Super Bowl.

That is if… if the play at the QB position is good enough… to not get in the way of that coming to fruition.

In other words… if the cards fall right for the Chiefs during the draft… they could be looking at competing for a conference championship (and a place in the Super Bowl)… if… issues related to the QB position are resolved.

So… what issues?

If Matt Cassel is the Matt Cassel of two years ago… but, more consistentand he learns to read through his progressions… and learns to throw the ball away in a timely manner… and learns how to throw the ball accurately… then I see no reason why the Chiefs can’t be the AFC representative.

So, you’re still thinking, what issues? Well, I’d say there’s a better than 50% chance Cassel will not be any better than last year and that he will continue to be as inconsistent… and all the other jazz… as ever.

Some may be wondering… what inconsistency? In Cassel’s golden season, the season so many refer to as being his best year, 2010, he had a passer rating one week of below 50 and the next week it was more than 110. The week after that it was below 70 and two weeks later it was over 140. It’s maddening. And that’s not an uncommon occurrence. Later in the 2010 season he had a passer rating of nearly 130 and… the next week? Under 20. That’s right. It’s not a typo. Under 20.

Unless Cassel, and the Chiefs offensive coaching team and brain trust can fix that… then a change at QB must be in order.

However, that’s the real problem. If the Chiefs are about to make a change at QB then it’s highly unlikely that they are headed towards… winning now.

Brady Quinn appears to have the smoothest possible transition while taking over at QB if he’s the next Chiefs QB but, is he really the answer? That’s as big an open ended question as any I’ve heard.

The same goes for Ricky Stanzi. If he takes over, no one has a clue about whether or not it’s going to work. Especially not about whether or not it will make the Chiefs Championship competitive. We just don’t know. Thank you very much Todd Haley.

If the Chiefs have the back up plan of drafting their QB of the future next year in the 2013 draft, then the plan is not to win now. It’s to win 2-3 from now because even the best of QB’s don’t win in their rookie seasons.

During this next season Derrick Johnson will turn 30 years old. Tamba Hali will turn 30 next year. DJ and Hali are the core of the Chiefs defense and their window of opportunity will begin to narrow after next season.

Perhaps all the off season joy and giddy happiness in Who-ville needs to take a break so we can get focused on a critically important draft coming up. Because, if the Chiefs aren’t planning on winning now, then what is the plan?

So Addicts, are the Chiefs going to win now? Or are they stuck in the eternal “building faze” maze?