There have been many great articles on why the Chief’s will be better (or not as good) in 2010. I’m just wanting to expand on that and try to be a little more specific. We, as very enthusiastic fans, know almost every move….much more so than some of the national sites.
Coaching: As the pattern here will reflect, the Chief’s, I believe and will explain, will show improvement in nearly all areas. I believe that few teams will be able to say this to the same degree. Teams make gains in several areas but at the same time, they decline in others. I don’t think that this is happening in hardly any areas with the Chief’s. They are improving or at lest staying the same in almost all areas.
Let me explain: I love the intensity that Coach Haley brings to every aspect of the game. He is still learning as a head coach and the difference between this year and last year, less we have forgotten, are dramatic. Last year he was a “new” head coach, he got started late, was constantly learning and shuffling personal and then dropped Chan Gailey just before the season actually started. This had to be a major, major disruption. Coach has obviously gotten much more comfortable with the position and how he wants to run things. So, he’s had a full season of evaluating, coaching, planning, drafting and putting this organization together as compared to last year where he was just plugging holes and putting out fires. From the head coaching position I believe we will see a huge improvement, especially with all the new help and time to put everything together.
Coaching (more): Again, we all know about our new coaching staff including Weis, Crennel, Emmitt Thomas and others. Last year was a “thrown” together staff. In no way did Coach Haley have the time to get the staff he wanted. He just had to do the best he could with what he had, just to get by. Under the circumstances, he did the best he could and it should be obvious that this years coaching staff is the difference of “night and day.” How can this even be measured? In looking back, last years coaching staff, through no fault of their own, on a scale of 1 to 10, I would have to give a 1 or 2. It is amazing that this team won 4 games under the total, over all situation. Now, wouldn’t most of us rate our present staff a 9 or 10. It has to be one of the biggest changes, best staffs in the NFL, just needing to have some time to work together. And now they have had the entire pre-season to put in their scripts, evaluate their players and to plan for the new season. To me, these comments regarding the Chief’s coaching staff, by themselves, could easily account for 2-4 more wins. Just think about it. I don’t believe that this team is going to lose games due to lack of preparedness or bad coaching. In fact, they will beat some teams due simply to “out-smarting” them and being better prepared. JMO, do you agree?
Special Teams: This is one of my favorite areas, an area that is not talked about too often, even overlooked, and an area where I believe the Chief’s have the potential to be one of the NFL’s very best. Look at the new players that will be factors like Berry, Arenas and McCluster. Add in Charles and tell me one team in the NFL that has the potential to have better returners. The coaching in Steve Hoffman is great, the Chief’s have always tried to get top level special team players, they were pretty good last year and is there a much better pair of young kickers than Colquitt and Succop? Again, this is an areas that the Chief’s were pretty darn good but all appearances are that they are going to be even better, and maybe “much better.” Maybe another game or two here?
Hey, so far we could already be up to 8-10 games. Let’s be positive. I’m not even drinking any Kool-Aid.
Offense: Our offensive line is always criticized. My thought here is that they were pieced together all of last season and just towards the end, they actually started to get a little rhythm. Add two veterans, a full off season and pre-season, a more organized and consistent offensive game plan, better running backs, better coaching, more experience…..how can they not be much, much better. Plus, how about that better field position that our Special Teams will be giving the offense. I definitely believe that we will see improvement here and most importantly….consistency.
A step further with the offense: I do believe that Cassel will be more comfortable and much better in the Weis system. Chambers was added mid-season and has now has had a full year to blend in, hopefully Bowe is ready to be the player we all expect him to be and we’ve added McCluster and Urban. With the better coaching and offensive scheme, our offense is another area where we should be much better.
Defense: Again, nationally, this is an area where the Chief’s are criticized, mostly because of their front seven and now it will be to the inexperience of their secondary. We’ll see. However, what is Coach Crennel worth? Coach Thomas? A full year together? A more consistent system? A better, faster secondary? Better field position? Less time on the field (due to a better offense)? Playing with a lead instead of from behind? Really, these are pretty big factors. I believe that the defense will also be much improved. Whether it will translate to an extra win or two, I don’t know but I’m a believer and I believe that the Chief’s are going to surprise us all. I actually like keeping the expectations within reason, maybe even a little low, but this will be a surprise team. In Haley and Pioli I trust. Conditioning and intensity make a difference. Last year they kept finding other talent that did contribute to this team (Chambers, Pope, O’Callaghan) and they will continue to do so. The biggest shortcoming to me is probably “depth.” On the other hand, when we study who the “right 53” might be, we don’t have all that many holes any more like we did last year…..and it’s going to get better and better. I predict at least a 500 record but I can realistically see our Chief’s winning 10 games, winning the West and of course, being in the play-offs.
Let’s see, let’s be positive and it will all start on Monday night, September 13th with an upset of the Chargers.