I know I've read a lot of people lamenting the Cheifs' difficult schedule, particularly the run of NFC East teams that we have in the first half of the season. If you really look at a rebuilding team that is trying to change a losing culture, this is the best possible thing that could ever happen.
I have written about this before, but I am a former high school coach and I had the opportunity to attend a wrestling coaches' clinic at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs. While we were touring the facilities, they mentioned that the swimming pools have a harness that will literally pull the swimmers through the water at world record speed so they can tell how far off world record pace they are. It gives them a physical measuring stick by which to judge themselves.
The Chiefs' 2009 schedule will do the exact same thing -- it will give the team a measuring stick to see how much they have to grow and get better. I hope McNabb is healthy when we play the Eagles. As a coach I would want these teams to be full strength when we play them. It's all about competing and if you are going to change the culture of the organization you have to compete against the best the NFL has to offer. If you want to be a Superbowl team you need to play the Superbowl champions. As a coaching staff we used to find the best possible competition for our kids, even if we had to travel to find it. It makes them better. The AFC West is in a downturn at the moment, a shell of what it was in the 90s. Getting the NFC East and the AFC Central is the best thing that could have ever happened.