We all know that the Chiefs are moving on from the Todd Haley era. Right or wrong, that much is crystal clear now, even to those of us with blinders on. Lately, the huge topic is who will lead the Chiefs moving forward as the head coach in 2012. The internet is literally littered with stories about potential candidates for the job. The talking heads are jabbering like bobble-heads while spewing out the big three names for every coaching opening (Jeff Fisher, Jon Gruden, Bill Cowher) and in the race to win the internet, the writing pundits are wearing the letters that spell J-o-s-h out on their keyboards.
At the same time, before he has even coached a game as the interim head coach of the Kansas City Chiefs. Some people are pointing to Romeo Crennel staying on as the Chiefs permanent head coach despite his slightly abysmal record as the "top dawg" in the Cleveland Browns locker room a 'hip' and a half ago. To me, that opinion will shift greatly if the Green Bay Packers crush the Chiefs at home tomorrow and people get over the informed feeling that is watching a recent Romeo Crennel press conference (the comparison to Todd Haley is night and day.)
What if the Chiefs win tomorrow?
That is a fun question, but that is not what I plan on talking about this afternoon (if you want a great preview of the game watch According to Mitch.) Instead, I thought we all might look internally at what we want out of this organization moving forward.
This is a enormous transition period for the Kansas City Chiefs and one that could set the organization back for several seasons if handled in the wrong way. That said, what should we expect in terms of results from this upcoming regime?
Is it Super Bowl or bust?
Scott Pioli -
We have seen the pictures, heard the stories and wishfully dreamed that Scott Pioli could bring his past success to the Kansas City Chiefs in the form of Super Bowl wins. Well, it has been almost three years and now, one fired Todd Haley later we are still dreaming around here in the Midwest...
What are the contents of those dreams? Well, a few months ago during the NFL lock out (and every year), my dream was to see the Chiefs win the Super Bowl. Obviously, unless we trade for Tim Tebow and a miracle takes place that is just not going to happen. Romeo Crennel could finish the season with three straight wins, but even at 8-8 the Chiefs would probably not go to the playoffs.
So, if we put 2011 in the rear view mirror, and look into the future as Chiefs fans. What are some of the expectations that we should set for Scott Pioli before his shiny new head horse even leaves the starting gate? After all, it will be useless to find this next horses head chopped off and laying on Clark Hunt's bed if "The Don" is eventually fired a couple years from now without the fans giving the man some clear understandable goals to obtain.
Develop a quarterback -
Since the Chiefs traded for Matt Cassel in 2009, they have stuck to their guns in saying that Matt Cassel is the man. Well, moving forward that just isn't going to fly with most fans. Personally, I believe it is safe to say that the majority of Kansas City fans would be uncomfortable going into 2012 with Matt Cassel as the franchise quarterback unless there was a potentially great understudy waiting in the wings (not named Rick(-y) Stanzi.)
Some have suggested trading for Peyton Manning or drafting a first round gunslinger... Whatever the case may be, my first expectation of this new regime is to find an elite QB.
Either get these guys signed to long term contracts as Kansas City Chiefs or turn them into ammunition to get another quarterback via the franchise tag in April. There is no reason to let either of these guys walk without receiving something beneficial in return.
That said, my preference is to see them signed on long term. They are both outstanding football players and deserve to be compensated in my mind. Make something happen.
The offensive line -
The Chiefs biggest offseason move on the line was signing Jared Gaither and while he is helping the Chargers win games now, Gaither didn't really do anything for the Chiefs. Moves like that are unacceptable and the Chiefs must do better in terms of acquiring talent on the offensive line.
You can't win Super Bowls in the NFL with bad play in the trenches in my opinion. It is time for the Chiefs to make some upgrades. Truthfully, I don't care how they do it, but I want to see the Chiefs improve their line. Whether it be in the draft, free agency or a plentiful mix of both, this team needs help up front and they needed it months ago. No more excuses, get it done.
The defensive front seven -
The Chiefs need a line that can get after the quarterback. We expect sacks in Kansas City. Draft someone, sign someone, fire someone, but whatever you do, the results better be the Chiefs defense getting more sacks. That is the bottom line, get us players that we can watch get to the quarterback.
Jamaal Charles, Eric Berry, Tony Moeaki, Matt Cassel, Brandon Siler and Gabe Miller. These guys should all be receiving the best rehab that money can buy, no excuses. Let's not make any boneheaded team decisions in their individual rehabilitation's. They will all have plenty of time to go through the healing process. We all want to see healthy recoveries.
Be competitive -
Score touchdowns, create turnovers and don't get blown out anymore. The Chiefs tell us they are trying to compete for championships... let them prove it. Improve the play on the field and give us a reason to get excited about this team.
Start with being competitive for the rest of this season and keep it going with these two things:
*Competitive search for a capable new head coach.
*Competitive search for a franchise QB.
Win both of those competitions.
Win games -
Ultimately, we probably should judge this team on wins and losses. Show us a reason to believe you deserve to be in charge of the Chiefs Scott Pioli, because right now, we are mostly skeptical at best. Help this football team win games.
Go to the playoffs and win -
We want success in Kansas City. When I was younger, I watched Joe Montana, Marcus Allen, Derrick Thomas and Neil Smith take the Chiefs to the AFC championship game in the 1993 season against the Buffalo Bills. Despite the loss, it was a good feeling to see my favorite team make it that far. After all the playoff losses and losing seasons it is getting harder and harder to remember that feeling.
Now, I can't speak for all the fans, but I want to experience that again. We should all expect you to turn this team into a winner and this is one of the things I will be judging you on Scott. Get it done.
Win the Super Bowl -
Ultimately, this is every teams goal in the NFL. The Kansas City Chiefs are no different and after four decades of losing, we want it to be our turn. Every season I expect the Chiefs to win a Super Bowl, let's make this happen soon.
Scott Pioli, to put it quite simply, if you take this team to a Super Bowl you will forever be a god in this town and every ounce of ego that you possess will be justified.
However, if the losing continues, then sadly just like the 2010 NFL Coach of the year Todd Haley. You too, will be unceremoniously shown the door, sooner rather than later. Which option sounds better to you?
Super Bowl or bust?