We need to have a conversation about Brett Veach
We can give credit to Brett Veach for rebuilding the offensive line, but it almost seems like he focused too much on the offensive line and ignored other positions in the process.
The second biggest reason the Chiefs lost the Super Bowl last season was because of the defense. The defensive line couldn’t get any pressure and the secondary didn’t have many answers for Mike Evans and the Buccaneers either. What did they do to improve either of those spots?
WR2? The team tried to sell us on Mecole Hardman taking the next step but we’ve seen enough.
Essentially, the team patched up one hole, but they didn’t notice the other 5 holes in the boat that opened up while they were busy working on the first one.
So, at what point do we start to have a serious conversation about Brett Veach and his roster-building tactics?
I went to the most recent Chiefs-Bills game personally this past Sunday and it was not very fun. Now, the reason I bring this up is that I felt something after this latest loss.
For so long we felt like any time the Chiefs were in a rut that they would turn it on and turn it around just because they were capable of it and they always had before. This was a game in which the team was supposed to impose their will and once again prove they were atop of the AFC.
All of that and the entire aura of the Chiefs and their fanbase feeling invincible felt like it came to a screeching halt against the Bills.
The first few losses you could explain away and say if this guy was healthy or if that turnover didn’t happen then everything would be ok. Against the Bills, Kansas City just straight up got clobbered by a better, more talented team. There’s no way around it.
Now, the Chiefs are 2-3 through 5 weeks into the 2021 season, and it’s not a fluke anymore. Other teams have caught up with the Chiefs in the talent department and a lot of the blame goes on Brett Veach.
Veach has had four draft and offseason cycles with Kansas City. In those four offseasons in which he’s been here, how many players would you say Veach has brought in that are truly great players that deserve to be mentioned in the nucleus of Mahomes, Kelce, Hill, and Chris Jones?
Tyrann Mathieu is probably the only one. To this point, you’d have a hard time finding a Veach draft pick that deserves a lucrative second contract beyond their rookie deal. You have to have a higher hit rate than that if you want to stay on top. Because if you’re not getting better in the NFL, you’re getting worse and the Chiefs certainly have not gotten better.
Let’s go over some of Veach’s most notable moves and draft picks since he’s been here.
- Drafting Breeland Speaks with the first pick in 2018
- Trading for Frank Clark and paying him $100 million
- Drafting Mecole Hardman with the first pick in 2019
- Drafting Clyde Edwards-Helaire with the first pick in 2020
- Signing Anthony Hitchens for 4 years, $45 million
How many of those moves would you legitimately say you’re happy with and wouldn’t change? To me, they’re all misses. Maybe some will argue in favor of Clyde Edwards-Helaire or Mecole Hardman, but this team signed Josh Gordon for a reason and Edwards-Helaire is an average running back. Point blank. His best games are against bottom five rushing defenses. Those are the facts.
Again, your hit rate has to be higher. I understand Veach has had some success with later-round picks but you’re going to need more than the occasional hit on a 4th or 5th rounder. At some point, bad moves catch up to a team and that’s exactly what’s happened to the Chiefs.
The “Patrick Mahomes come save us” approach to winning games has failed to this point and you cannot have the 32nd ranked defense in the entire league and expect this team to win games. You’re asking too much.
I’ve seen a lot of people say “How dare you question Veach after he took this team to back-to-back Super Bowls and three straight AFC Championship games!?”. The goal is to create longevity and maximize your Super Bowl window. So far, Veach has failed at that. Yes, the Super Bowl was great but it took three straight historical comebacks to even make that happen and I think we can all agree that if the Chiefs only have the 2019 Super Bowl to show for in this next five-year stretch, it’s a failure.
One of the biggest reasons the fanbase is upset with the front office is because of that 32nd ranked defense. There’s no excuse for it. Whether it’s talent or coaching or even a combination of the two, Brett Veach is going to end up taking heat either way.
He failed to bring in the proper pieces. Letting Melvin Ingram go to the Steelers for dirt cheap and then turning around and signing Alex Okafor the next day was a complete whiff. Bringing back Dan Sorenson and then neglecting the free-agent safety market when the team knew Juan Thronhill wasn’t ready is malpractice. Moving the team’s best defensive lineman to a different position that ultimately made him worse was also a travesty.
Everyone anticipates the defense needing to be completely overhauled this offseason regardless of what happens from now on, but are people forgetting this defense was just rebuilt two years ago? Something tells me the general manager didn’t do his job the first time if we’re having this same conversation two years later.
The Chiefs have a chance to rebound and get on the right track this weekend at Washington, but if the score is even remotely close or god forbid the Chiefs lose, heads may have to roll.