The Chiefs Defense Could Be Championship Caliber Before You Know It

All of the pieces are in place for Romeo Crennel. At least most of them. When you look back to the championship teams of the last decade for the New England Patriots on which Crennel served as defensive coordinator, you find that the Chiefs really don't look that much different than what they had in-house. And that, my friends, is really good news for the future of this franchise.

Think of it. If you could rewind back to the moments where the Patriots were creating a dynasty, the players we now remember as champions really weren't considered so in the moment. I'm talking pre-concussion and Super Bowl hero Teddy Bruschi. Here's a linebacker who's single season highs are 81 tackles (2003), 4.5 sacks (2002) and 3 interceptions (2003-4). Or what about Rodney Harrison, dumped by the Chargers after the 2002 season because he 32-years-old - another team's castoff who turned into a vital part of the championship teams after arriving.

The Pats made it work with the guys they had in house. Tyrone Poole received plenty of playing time on this roster, yet New England only played him after Carolina, Indianapolis and Denver had all dumped him. Same thing for journeyman linebacker Roman Phifer who came to NE as a 33-year-old LB with his best years clearly behind him. The same could be said for DT Ted Washington, LB Ted Johnson and DE Bobby Hamilton.

The one thing the Patriots had done well is draft young, dynamic defensive linemen. Then they gave those linemen - namely Vince Wilfork, Ty Warren, Richard Seymour, Tulla Banta-Cain - to Crennel to craft something out of. They also made sure to have a nice cornerback in his prime named Ty Law. The rest were fill-ins, roster fodder from other teams that fit the exact scheme and plan and talent mix that Crennel knew he needed to have to make it work. And the rest, as they say, became NFL history.

Consider what we have here: a young, talented defensive line filled with promise that Chiefs fans hope to make good on. You have a young, dynamic CB in Brandon Flowers whose developed quite nicely. You have some other roster talent that should work quite well in such capable coaching hands - one that can make use of Wallace Gilberry, Demorrio Williams, Brandon Carr and others. Oh yeah, there's also that blossoming Tamba Hali guy.

So there you have it. A championship defense doesn't require superstar talent levels of several high-round draft picks. Instead, it's about getting the right guys in the right place, many of which I believe we already have in-house. And ultimately what you need most is a chessmaster who can place those pieces perfectly. History being the best indicator of the future seems to be smiling on us.

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