Ten reasons to be excited about the Chiefs
1. New and improved Arrowhead. Glad we snuck that one in before the "new economy" hit. However, it will be a great thing for Chiefs fans for years to come.
2. Clark Hunt. A dedicated and stable owner who will demand performance on and off the field. We are very lucky to have the Hunt family invest so much into Kansas City. And Clark Hunt is the reason for #3.
3. Scott Pioli. Like Clark Hunt, he wants action to speak rather than him. I think that he will be one of the best GM's in the league for the next 20 years. He likes football intelligence, strength, speed, power and again football intelligence. It will take him a few years but I believe he will build a consistently excellent football team. Sure I would have preferred Monroe or Curry but he believes Tyson Jackson will allow him to draft and find the players to really build a good D. Even with the best, luck has to occur (Tom Brady) but he tried with about five draft picks of QB's until he struck gold. He will build consistently good teams and will get rid of players who don't fit the profile. He did not have a lot of choice with LJ this year but he definitely would not have signed him to the big money as we did in the past. He will get rid of players over 30 aka Steelers/Eagles and Patriots versus signing them because he personally likes them. Lastly, why not have Bill Parcells as your father in law. This man lives and breathes football and will be excellent.
4. Todd Haley. He might be a bit of a prick but who cares? He and our GM demand perfection and football knowledge. What is wrong with that? As Adam Teicher said, this is the best camp he has seen in years. According to Adam, under Herm there was no sense of urgency in camp. This year, players know they better be ready every play. There is no coasting under Coach Haley. Benching Bowe was a great message. He is basically saying if you just want to earn a check and get stats, go play for the Bengals. If you want to play the game right and win championships here is what we are doing in Kansas City. I like his schemes on both sides of the ball. He also has the confidence to hire great assistants, Pendergrast, Gibbs, Gailey, the OL coach etc. We had such weak assistants under Herm. Too often in the past, we either played defense (Marty), offense (Coach Vermeil) or neither (Herm). Coach Haley will build both sides of the ball. He also understands what Herm never seemed to- if they do not know what you are going to do, it gives you an advantage. His Dad, one of the greatest scouts in the history of the game (70s Steelers +) offers the same pedigree as GM Pioli. These guys are football breathers through and through.
5. Special Teams. Both the coach and the GM understand the importance. Even starters will get special teams time. It is not just an afterthought. It comes down to playing the game right ALL the time. Sure we are short of a return man but you can’t solve everything in five months. With the 3-4, we will have an abundance of linebackers to field special teams. I think we drafted O'Connell just to play special teams. It takes commitment and we have it. I think Succop will be very good. His FG accuracy will not be up to Nick Lowery level but he has a gun and will help us immensely on kickoffs. Remember Morton Anderson (a good guy) knocking his kick offs to the 15 yard line. Not this year. Colquitt is great. It will take time but in a year or two, I believe our special teams will win us a game or two a year and consistently help with field position.
6. The Lines. Though not this year, but I think Pioli, a former lineman, understands that you win or lose on the line. He decided to start on defense. I still wonder why he did not try to bulk up Hali or McBride but I dare say he knows way more then I do. Next year, I foresee a strong emphasis on the O line. The Patriots have a bunch of 2-7 round draftees on their line. Maybe the scheme can allow football smart big guys to outperform? They might not be pro bowlers but they will be effective. It will take 2-3 years but we will have concisely good lines. Bill Parcells would certainly call him out at family gatherings otherwise.
7. Some good young players. Albert- will be good for years and years and is a stable, smart man. Matt Cassell- has the football smarts if not the gun of Tom Brady. He will be a good player and gives us the stability to build around him. Glenn Dorsey- c'mon buddy, show us what you can do. Be a star. I think he can. Bowe- sky is the limit. Who better to push him into a TO like player than Haley/Pioli? Tyson Jackson- it is not even as much what he can do himself. He is not Julius Peppers. It is what he allows to do elsewhere in building a D. We can focus on LB's and just be big, tough and fast. The CB's- Flowers could be pro bowl and Carr will be good. Sure it is not enough but it is a start. I truly believe that Haley and Pioli will make every single player better and will help develop these guys into stars. Maybe not pro bowlers but extremely effective Chiefs football players.
8. Super Bowl or try again next year. Haley and Pioli are not as concerned with the West division or beating Denver. They want to win Super Bowls. I really tire of us caring so much about division rivals. The only difference is we play them twice. Other than that, it is immaterial. The ONLY GOAL is to win the Super Bowl. I believe that Hunt, Pioli and Haley share that vision. They will stay on top of trends in the league and stay ahead of the curve. Again, if you create confusion in your opponents that is worth several of Chad Johnson’s. I think come 2011, we will start a number of years of fun Decembers and even a few Januarys for Chiefs fans.
9. A TEAM. The Chiefs going forward will play as one. Individual efforts will be rewarded but not more so than team results. Everyone will be expected to subdue individual accomplishments (LJ rushing leader etc.) to the end results. Its all about the victories and players that want to push themselves over the team will be discarded and more importantly not signed or drafted. Randy Moss worked in NE because the TEAM was already there and he knew it. Give credit to NE for being able to decipher the difference between TO and Randy and focus Randy. We will sign some big money free agents when we have molded the team. This will take into next year. However, by 2011, players who come here will know it is not about them it is about winning the Super Bowl.
10. No Douche bags. These guys will not put up with guys who only care about themselves or who hit their women. I know LJ is still on the team but we had very little choice and now Larry has no choice but to shut up and put up. Can you imagine if Larry goes to the press as he freely did against Herm. Coach Haley would immediately bench him and Pioli might even cut him. As a fan, who wants those guys anyway? Go play for the Bengals or the Raiders. This will be a professional and very successful team for years to come.
That said, I just don’t think we have the talent to get much better than 6-10 this year. Our schedule is brutal to begin the year but gets substantially easier toward the end. We might fight to 8-8 but even if we are 5-11, I truly believe we are on a course to build consistently good/great teams for years to come. Have patience. It will take a few years but get excited Chiefs fans; the light at the end of the tunnel is starting to shine!