This post will be in two parts. First, the Chargers’ game in particular, then the season as a whole.
Lance Long? OK…but why not release Engram or Copper? Did I miss some contribution either of them made towards a successful season? Pendergast, just come out & admit it like a man. Putting Richardson on Jackson was a stupid idea. Cassel, this was his worst game yet. He looked genuinely like a #2 QB. LJ was…well…just like he’s been all season. Ineffective. Our offensive game plan just sucked. Fire the OC.
I stumbled on an epiphany concerning our Chiefs last Friday night, when I was dumping some things off my DVR. I came across the NFL network condensed replay of the Chiefs-Ravens game from week 1. I took one last look at it. The visual evidence against Haley was just damning. This was a much, much better team in week 1 than it has been at any time since, with the possible exception of the ‘boys game. Players were focused. The offense, while clearly less talented (especially in the OL) than the Raven’s defensive counterparts, still played effectively (of course, the QB was Croyle, not Cassel). The defense was on the field for a very long time, but still held it’s own until the last 3 minutes of the game (when Pendergast went “all-in” with both safeties blitzing). “That team” would’ve easily beaten the Raiders and the ‘boys. So why isn’t the current team at least playing up to its potential? Perhaps something is distracting the team. Might it be the coach’s temper tantrums? Perhaps constantly looking over your shoulder to see what free agents are working out for the coaching staff that week? (by the way, Whitlock’s column is right on target this week)
What’s happened? In the past 4 months, we’ve jettisoned some serious talent…Turk McBride (2nd round draft pick)…Bernard Pollard (2nd round pick)…Tank Tyler (3rd round pick, traded for 5th round pick). The coaching staff has treated three other former 1st round picks (Glenn Dorsey, DJ, Dwayne Bowe) like children. My guess is that they’ll leave via FA as soon as they can. Adults like to be treated like adults, with respect (none of these three instances remotely resemble circumstances in Denver). The GM has passed on obvious opportunities to improve the team (example: not pursuing OT Tony Pashos) The coaching staff has become obviously desperate (Pendergast’s trick secondary versus the Chargers, Haley’s penchant for going for it on 4th & whatever, even on our own side of the field). The HC/OC has stuck with a RB who has obviously lost a step or two, and is now showing his frustration, while Jamaal Charles languishes in Haley’s doghouse. The GM gives a newly-acquired QB a huge contract much earlier than was necessary, before evaluating the overall QB situation (would they still be starting Cassel if he didn’t have that big contract?).
As a long time (& it seems like long-suffering) Chiefs’ fan, I ferverently hope that Peoli & Haley get their respective acts together by next July. In Haley’s case, if he doesn’t show significant improvement in his performance (something he expects from his players) next season, he should be dismissed.