We're encouraged to be independent thinkers on sports blogs, but sometimes there's a guy out there shaking the branches so hard you just have to follow his lead. We've had some interesting discussions over the past week regarding our special teams status. And the whole Feely incident was enough to end Batman's patience over at Arrowhead Addict, who is now calling for Priefer's head.
It's hard to blame him. He lists the specific failures of Priefer's judgment, and it's a damning list.
I prefer to take a broader review of the situation, and it's not much better. It might even be worse. More after the jump.
* The kick and punt returning game is a mess, and our best hope is a 5'8" UDFA.
* The kicking game is as awful now as it has ever been, with no projected starters and neither of the possibilities looking strong.
* Our kick coverage has been awful with a continual rotation of guys that come up short.
The only two positives about our special teams have been punter Dustin Colquitt (picked before Priefer showed up) and the numerous blocked punts by Bernard Pollard (hard to argue that drafting a safety in the 2nd round could be credited to Priefer). In every other area, we have either spun our wheels or gotten worse. And this will be Priefer's third year.
I think the clearest condemnation of Priefer's tenure with the Chiefs is (1.) blocking, and (2.) coverage. Picking kickers is a crapshoot. Returners are tough to evaluate because it all depends on blocking.
Blocking for kick returns and on the other side of the ball, defending kick returns, it's as pure an indication of coaching as you're going to find in the NFL. You're dealing with a random cross-section of the ten to fifteen worst players on your roster that are constantly changing and rotating throughout the season. It's nearly impossible to establish chemistry among this group -- it all comes down to how well you can coach them.
And it's been sorry. Sure, our field position is consistently amongst the worst in the league during Priefer's tenure. Our opponents' field position is never that bad.
In addition to that, there have been monumental mental errors as well on this team. I remember we missed an extra point once because a lineman simply leaped over our blocking front against Jacksonville a couple years ago. Talk about bizarre.
I could continue to relist specific instances in which Priefer has embarrassed this unit that once set records in 2003. There doesn't seem to be any other conclusion but that he needs to go.