I took a look back at the beginning of Carl Peterson and Marty Shottenheimer's era. Using the first 3 years of their era and compared it to the first 3 years of the Scott Pioli and Todd Haley era. (though the 3rd season for this new regime isn't over but I'm merely looking at the starters and key contributors to the team's success)
In 1989, we all know Peterson had the 4th overall pick and he picked up the player that would forever changed our Kansas City Chiefs - #58. After the break I have a comparison of the first 3 years of each regime's draft picks
1989 draft - Derrick Thomas LB, Todd McNair RB, Robb Thomas WR
1990 draft - Percy Snow LB (injury ended his future), Tim Grunhard C, Dave Szott G
1991 draft - Harvey Williams RB, Tim Barnett WR, Joe Valerio T, Charles Mincy S
2009 draft - Tyson Jackson DE, Donald Washington DB, Ryan Succop K
2010 draft - Eric Berry S, Dexter McCluster KR, Javier Arenas DB, Jon Asamoah G, Tony Moeaki TE, Kendrick Lewis S
2011 draft - Rodney Hudson C, Justin Houston LB, Jerrell Powe
All in all, both regime drafted somewhat equal in terms of the number of players that would become key contributors if not starters for the team. Now here's the interesting part, lets take a look at how many good to great players each regime inherited:
Peterson/Shottenheimer era inherited:
Albert Lewis** DB, John Alt** T, Deron Cherry** S, Neil Smith DE*, Kevin Ross* DB, Nick Lowery** K, Christian Okoye* RB, Bill Maas** DT, Stephone Paige WR, Steve DeBerg QB, Dino Hackett LB, Chris Martin LB. Key pick ups in 1989 were Dan Saleaumua* DT, Mike Webster C
Pioli/Haley era inherited:
Dwayne Bowe* WR, Jamaal Charles* RB, Branden Albert T, Tamba Hali* LB, Derrick Johnson* LB, Brandon Carr DB, Brandon Flowers DB, Dustin Colquitt P, Glenn Dorsey DE, Demorrio Williams LB, Wallace Gilberry DE, Ron Edwards DT. Now instead of key pickups in 2009, I'm gonna list their key releases: Tony Gonzalez TE, Jarrad Page S, Bernard Pollard S - in which the regime elect not to keep with team.
Based on the lineups and comparison, Peterson/Shottenheimer era indeed inherited a much stronger core group of players. The group included 6-8 Pro Bowlers right off the bat. Whereas Pioli/Haley inherited maybe 3-4 Pro Bowlers? If you include Bowe, Hali, DJ and Charles in 2010.
* Pro Bowl selection with new regime
** Pro Bowl selection from previous regime
All in all, it seem like this regime is sort of headed in the right direction, right? But one thing stood out - it is clear Peterson/Shottenheimer regime inherited an already complete DEFENSE and it didn't hurt when they got lucky with Derrick Thomas in their first year. Here's the one thing that stood out most when you compared the drafts 1989-1991 vs. 2009-2011, one glaring difference, its not just DT58. Look carefully in 1990, the most integral part of the team was drafted in that 2nd year in that regime - C Grunhard and G Szott. When Peterson was able to put the foundation of our O-Line in place, he was able to pluck and play from QB to QB and utilized different RBs.
When comparing the two regimes, based on those O-Line and D-Line in their first 3 years - the difference is significantly greater in favor of Peterson/Shottenheimer. 1989-1991 Dan Saleaumua, Neil Smith, Bill Maas, Derrick Thomas on the D-Line, Alt, Grunhard, Szott on the O-Line. 2009-2011 - I can't name our D-Line. Branden Albert is the only constant in our O-Line. I am pointing out this huge void between the two regimes because with that foundation of O-Line and D-Line, the Peterson/Shottenheimer regime still failed to take their squad to the Superbowl. My concern with current regime is when we eventually build a solid D-Line and O-Line, we'd still be at best repeat what Peterson/Shotteheimer did - get us to the playoffs every year. If the Peterson/Shottenheimer era had a QB, a true QB in place, who knows, we could have had Superbowls. Strangely enough, the last time we won a playoff game was when they mortgage 2 years of their ship to pick up HOF Joe Montana - a true QB. Unfortunately, he was too old and it eventually took its toll. Peterson/Shottenheimer gambled big time with the 3-year deal for Montana because they knew the team was ready to make the move to the Superbowl - they're only missing a QB.
My thoughts here is simple - we need a QB to build a winning franchise - every other way or angle you look at it, you can't escape the reality that the commander of a team, the leader is the QB. A team live and die with their QB. I know the franchise have tried year after year to find their quarterback :- the Matt Blundins, Pat Barnes, Steve Matthews, James Killian, Brodie Croyle, Ricky Stanzi - none of them came through. I want to urge them to seriously look at drafting a highly touted QB in the early rounds. No more dropping your fish hook in the lower rounds in hope that some version of Tom Brady appears.
Pittsburgh waited and went through a whole lot of QBs between Terry Bradshaw and Big Ben. Teams such as NY Giants and Green Bay Packers were luckier. Phil Simms to Eli Manning wasn't too many years apart. Brett Favre to Aaron Rodgers wasn't that much as well. San Francisco are still hunting for their QB. Patriots was very lucky between Drew Bledsoe to Tom Brady. The Chicago Bears have been searching for their next Jim McMahon since 1987.
We have to keep searching for the QB and accept the fact that Matt Cassel isn't it and he is merely a stopgap.