Results of the GM Rebuilding Post: Marty Schottenheimer
With Marty now in control of the Chiefs, we have to move forward to the Head Coaching position. Clearly this team has had some problems in terms of leadership in 2012. That falls at the feet of Romeo Crennel. Ultimately, it is his team and his responsibility. This team needs strong leadership and a new direction. Preferably, we would like to see someone who can work with the talent already on the team, but also cultivate their own to help us improve and become relevant in the NFL again.
So here is a list of candidates that I believe the Chiefs should be looking at.
Bill Cowher - Analyst - CBS Sports: Probably the popular pick of any team that is down in the dumps. Cowher is one of the most recognizable former coaches because of his success and his intensity. The Chiefs could use both of those right now.
Cowher is an old school guy who loves smash mouth, hard nosed football. Strong defense and a reliable running game are his bread and butter. Theoretically, that works out well with what the Chiefs have. Though we fail the eyeball test, our defense is actually one of the better teams in the league in terms of yards given up. Of course, that doesn't matter much when you're still giving up a ton of points. Cowher is probably the best guy out there to fix the most obvious problems we seem to have: intensity and discipline.
The concerns with Cowher are with his desire for control and whether or not the game has passed him by. Cowher has made it well known that he wants to be in charge of all football operations. So he will naturally clash with any GM. However, if Marty is the GM, this may be mitigated. The two have worked together before, and with Schottenheimer's age, he may not wish to have too much on his plate. The second concern on Cowher is probably more important. While he has been an analyst, that isn't the same thing as being down on the sidelines. The approach a player takes to his players is very important, and it remains to be seen if he has the same ability to motivate as he once did.
Chip Kelly - Head Coach - Oregon Ducks: Chip Kelly's name is being heard more and more amongst fan bases looking for a fresh new face. Kelly has been absolutely phenomenal at Oregon, turning a mediocre program into one of the best, and most exciting, teams to watch in college football.
Kelly would certainly bring a new offense to Kansas City. His spread, fast paced, attack has gone almost unhindered over the past several years. Of course, that's not the NFL, but it has been working in one of the best conferences in the NCAA. Kelly has also built a strong defense in Oregon, though it generally goes unnoticed because of the offense. His approach of scoring early and often to force the opponent to play from behind is certainly the exact opposite of what we seem to be doing here in Kansas City.
The concerns with Kelly are first and foremost regarding his offense. Oregon's attack is based on speed, which the Chiefs do not have a lot of. It's hard to say how Dwayne Bowe or Jon Baldwin would fit into his scheme. And with the obvious need to upgrade the QB, it isn't likely that he could get the personnel he wants at WR right away. The other concern is the same one you always have with college coaches: are they ready to make the transition. He won't be dealing with kids anymore. These are grown men who may not be as open to hearing him out. That's definitely something he will have to prove at the NFL level.
Cam Cameron - Offensive Coordinator - Baltimore Ravens: Over the past several seasons, the Ravens have looked better and better on offense. That is due largely to the work of Cam Cameron. After his failed stint in Miami, Cameron went back to what he does best, making offenses dangerous. Cameron has been a top name on head coach watch lists on multiple occasions, and this may be his final opportunity to make the move.
Cameron has done a lot with Joe Flacco. He has played around his strengths and made sure to incorporate enough weapons so that Boller is never exposed. A strong running game and a varied passing attack have been Cameron's trademark over the past several years. His approach seems like it could work out very well with the current talent on our roster.
The concerns on Cameron start with his terrible year in Miami. The Dolphins were a terrible 1-15. However, before condemning Cameron over that, it would behoove you to go back and look at everything that happened that year. Cameron was not expecting to be a head coach in the first place, but Nick Saban's sudden departure left the Dolphins holding the bag. On top of that, there was an abundance of off the field issues that destroyed the team before they even got to training camp. And finally, the QB options available reads like a series of trivia questions on obscure QBs. The other concern on Cameron is whether or not it is him, or John Harbaugh, that is really the driving force of the Ravens offensive success. Given Harbaugh's history as a defensive coach, I'm inclined to say that Cameron has been the brains there.
Bruce Arians - Interim Head Coach/Offensive Coordinator - Indianapolis Colts: The Colts are having quite the turnaround this year despite a rookie QB and having supposedly jettisoned much of their talent in order to rebuild the team. Of course, a lot of this is because the team is playing with an emotional boost for Chuck Pagano, but don't downplay the role of Bruce Arians. This plays well to Kansas City. Chuck Pagano has made it known that he will be back on the sidelines as soon as he can, which means Arians would likely fall to his old role. That opens him up to consideration for a head coaching position.
Arians is an air attack offense guy. He's the one that helped build around Ben Roethlisberger with guys like Antonio Brown, Mike Wallace, and Emmanuel Sanders. That's impressive when you consider the culture in Pittsburgh has always been based on the running game and defense. He has done much the same in Indianapolis so far. He has given Andrew Luck all the tools he needs to develop and succeed. Speaking of Luck, it is also important to note that Arians has been instrumental in developing a rookie QB. That is something he will have to do in Kansas City as well.
The concern with Arians is his age. At 60 years old, he probably won't be a 5-10 year guy. However, the Chiefs really just need to right the ship at this point. Thinking about the Super Bowl is nice, but we need to at least hold a lead in a game first.
Brian Billick - Analyst - NFL Network/CBS Sports: Brian Billick is another popular choice for fans of floundering teams. Despite being an offensive guy, Billick was instrumental in helping to put together one of the most dominant defenses in NFL history in Baltimore. Remnants of that defense still remain with Ed Reed and Ray Lewis, but it is the base approach and structure that has allowed that defense to reload at each position as needed so that it could remain dominant.
As mentioned, Billick is an offensive guy. He was the offensive coordinator at Minnesota when Dante Culpepper was laughing at DBs trying to cover Randy Moss and Chris Carter. A big play, explosive offense is what Billick prefers, but he has shown in Baltimore that he can work wonders with a ball control offense as well. Being flexible like that is important in a head coach, and it has paid off well for him before.
The concerns with Billick start wither whether or not he has been away from the game for too long. Much like Cowher, he has been an analyst for the past several years, but that is not the same thing as coaching. The other concern is that a lot of Billick's success came with teams that had a lot of talent to offer. Already mentioned are Ray Lewis and Ed Reed in Baltimore, as well as Randy Moss, Dante Culpepper, and Chris Carter in Minnesota. There are many critics who do believe he is overrated.
That's the short list. Of course there are a number of other quality candidates to be considered, but (as with my earlier GM post) these are the ones that get me thinking. Each of these guys has a lot to offer a team, but they all come with some big concerns. However, the coaches who don't have any concerns are already employed. The Chiefs need a new direction, and I feel that any of these candidates could bring that.