Come right in officer, I have his card here somewhere...
Ever seen Silence of the Lambs? If so, you will remember that the guy pictured above was a pathological serial killer who managed to maintain an acceptable enough facade of 'normalcy' that he could live in a house, in a neighborhood with a whole bunch of other 'regular' folks and not raise any suspicion that something heinous was going on inside those walls. Well, maybe not any suspicion, but at least not enough to raise an alarm and/or have people calling the authorities on him to check up on what he was doing.
That was the goal. Make sure that nobody looked his way for answers to questions about what he was really doing there. He did whatever he had to do in order to keep doing what he wanted to do. This tactic proves very effective in fooling the masses. I think a certain GM we all know is trying to employ this same soporific on the masses of Chiefs fans.
Now I'm not going to try and convince you that Pioli is some sort of serial killer. Nor am I going to try to convince you that he intentionally set out to destroy the Chiefs when he was brought in here to build a winner. What I am suggesting though, is that (poor, pitiful as pictured above--sheesh) Scott Pioli is benefiting in a similar way to our friendly neighbor above with Romeo's announcement that Brady Quinn was the starter for the rest of the season. Don't you find it curious that the announcement was made that way? As a Head Coach, why would you want to pigeon-hole yourself like that? Considering the lack of success so far this season, if Quinn fails (which is very likely), then what do you do?
I understand the idea that Romeo may want to send a message to the team that he has confidence in Brady, but when/if Brady can't get it done (or potentially performs even worse than Cassel did), what does it do to credibility (assuming that's even a consideration at this point) when you switch again? Not only that, but who do you switch to? Do you put Stanzi out there with a team that is under performing and potentially screw up his opportunity to get off to a good start in the league or do you (***GASP***) put your original starter back out there and risk sparking the ire of the fans again?
Frankly, it is my belief that Brady Quinn becoming the starter has been planned since March when he was brought aboard. I believe that one way or another they were going to get him on the field. I further believe that week eight was the targeted week for Brady to take over. Cassel getting concussed only made it easier to conceal the fact that it was pre-programmed. If my suspicion is true, the thought process that made that decision is very troubling and is in fact, the basis of my desire to see Pioli/Crennel/Daboll relieved of duty. Why? Because if that's the best Pioli can come up with, it's time for a change.
Let's look at what is happening. Prior to the season, many fans and pundits were looking at the Chiefs schedule and predicting that the first six weeks were going to be more difficult than the final ten in terms of competition. If you were going to try and resurrect a QBs career, wouldn't you try to do that by giving him every opportunity to play opponents that he would have the best chance of winning games against, given certain schedule limitations? Well, where are we in that schedule? Right where the schedule is supposed to get easier and viola', there is Brady the starter, right on cue.
Brady Quinn has a horrible record in the NFL. Here are his stats.
If anyone sees anything encouraging here, please point it out. I doubt that request sets off a stampede of comments about how we should be excited about Brady as starter. What's troubling, is that if my suspicion is correct, Romeo (and Scott Pioli) did indeed think there was something to be excited about here. Agree with it or not, we are about to find out if they were right about this.
This idea of pulling players out of the scrap pile and resurrecting their careers is a Parcells trademark. He did it a few times, most notably would probably be Otis Anderson. Otis was considered washed up when Parcells brought him aboard and that team eventually won a Super Bowl in 1986, due in large part to Otis's contributions. Haley bringing in Thomas Jones was another example, although Jones wasn't quite thought of as washed up. Maybe Keary Colbert was a better example. When a player is on the outs, picking them up for next to nothing is the essence of a Pioli 'cheap' way to try and find winning combinations. Brady Quinn certainly meets the cheap requirement.
If they did indeed plan to make this switch all along, it means that Romeo doesn't think that what happened to him in Cleveland was his fault. It indicates that he believes that the circumstances he was in were more impactful than his ability to coach a team. It means that he does indeed think Brady can succeed. Anybody still think that the comment made by Charlie Weis before the season about Brady being able to succeed in the NFL was just 'random rumination' from Romeo's well known best friend in the NFL? If so, I've got a great investment for you--there's this bridge in Brooklyn that's for sale that people can't do without.
The question before us though, is given what we've seen on the field this year, is it true that Romeo was a victim of circumstance in Cleveland? I don't think so and I think the play on the field this season supports that thought. Will Romeo walk away from another broken franchise after this season believing that he was just never set up for success? I don't know about you, but I don't believe that for a minute. I think most fans here would agree, Romeo has been given decent talent and a pretty good sized security blanket in the form of his choice of QB, OC and a highly touted FB that Daboll had experience with to boot.
It's not surprising that a coach brings his 'guys' with him in this league. Haley did the same thing. Look at all the ex-cardinals that ended up on our squad. Leonard Pope, Tyler Palko, Steve Breaston, Lance Long, Jerheme Urban, etc. Speaking of Breaston, it was no surprise to me that he wound up on the bench. Breaston was a Haley guy, Baldwin (who is now named starter over Breaston) is a Pioli guy. Pretty clear to me, but I'm sure there are many here who will refuse to make the connection and blame it on--what, coincindence? What exactly has Baldwin shown on the field this year to give the impression that he should start instead of Breaston?
Baldwin has been pretty disappointing to me. I expected a large, fairly graceful receiver. What I've seen is a lumbering, somewhat clumsy giant, afraid to use his size to make plays. My guess is that Baldwin's height is an indication of where Daboll is going to try and go with the passing game. Having a taller wide out running down field will give an inexperienced QB a bigger target to throw at. It will help a lot though if Brady can actually read the plays and make the throws. His accuracy is a huge question.
So what happens on Sunday? That is the 64 thousand dollar question. The Chiefs can beat the Raiders. Will they? I'd say that if anybody was betting money on it, it'd be that they don't. Last I looked, the Chiefs were a 1.5 pt favorite. In their own house against a division rival. That ain't good. The Raiders have their own problems this year, but a Chiefs team that consistently beats itself makes their job a whole lot easier. Here are some tidbits.
Aim for 6th consecutive win at Arrowhead…In 6 starts vs. AFC West (w/Raiders), QB CARSON PALMER has 1,784 passing yards (297.3 avg. per game) with 9 TDs & 91.2 rating. In past 2, Palmer is averaging 325.5 pass yards per game (651). Palmer (174) needs TD pass to reach 175 career. Is 3-2 as starter vs. KC…In 2 career games at KC, RB DARREN MC FADDEN averages 6 yards per carry (33 att., 199 yards). Raiders are 8-2 when he has 100+ rush yards…WR DARRIUS HEYWARD-BEY averages 18.1 yards per catch vs. KC. Had season-best 85 rec. yards last week. WR DENARIUS MOORE had 4 rec. for 94 yards (23.5 avg.) with TD in last game at KC. Moore (941) needs 59 rec. yards to reach 1,000 career. For career, avg. 17.4 yards per catch (54 rec., 941 yards)
The Chiefs haven't beaten the Raiders in Arrowhead since this guy was the Raiders QB.
It was 2006 and Aaron Brooks was the Raiders QB. Herm was the coach. HERM WAS THE COACH?!?!?!? Herman Lee Edwards was the last coach of the Kansas City Chiefs to beat the freaking Raiders in Arrowhead? I'm not feeling well now. The team 'released' SRO tickets for this game this week. I wonder how many they will sell.
Never mind. There it is Chiefs fans. Will Pioli's latest experiment pay off? Can the Chiefs stop the bleeding before the team becomes a corpse? I just don't know. I don't think many fans do. It all goes back to Pioli and all his decisions since coming to KC. He's made some good and some not so good, but the bottom line is that he's running out of rope. It's time to see some positive results for his four years of managing the product. I don't see much right now, and from the sound of the fans I hear, I think there are a lot of people who agree.
The saddest part is that no matter what happens (short of a complete turnaround by this team), we are probably years away from a solution. For now, I'll just make sure that I have plenty of Jack Daniels in the house come game day. It's about the only way to watch a game now. Good luck Chiefs. If it's in there somewhere, there is no time like the present to pull it out and show it off.