So we suck. I could write a whole fan post on this, but that would be depressing for everyone involved. This team needs to start competing. I feel confident that I speak for us all when I say that we are tired of being an NFL laughing stock. Standing on my soapbox and screaming we suck and Hunt/Pioli/Crennel/Dabol/players need to be fired makes me feel better, but at the end of the day doesn't fix our problem because we still have to find someone to fill those positions who was better than who we let go of. Yelling about how bad something sucks, and how it needs to change without offering possible solutions is one of my biggest pet peeves. So here is where I put my money where my mouth is and offer my solutions. This is my Christmas wish list to Clark Hunt:
Dear Santa Clark,
This is the first time in my 30+ years that I have questioned why I am a fan of your team. Even when the Chiefs have been bad previously, I could at least feel confident that changes would be made to rectify our inadequacies. Your father was PASSIONATE about this team and I had no doubt that he would do what he could to put a competitive team on the field. When you took over the team I was unsure how passionate you were for this team or if you would be as loyal to this fan base as your father was. I was afraid you may be another Bidwill. Soon though you gained my confidence by cherry picking Scott Pioli the finest GM prospect available to lead this team to the promised land. I don't recall any arguments or distaste for your selection. He seemed like the best possible candidate for the job. Things were looking up in KC. However, the honeymoon has seemed short lived.
I am not mad that you picked Pioli. In fact, knowing what I know now, I am happy you did. At least it shows me that you are willing to be bold and go after the best to lead this team, and you were willing to pay a premium to bring them here. After the 2010 season it seemed like we were planting our flag at the top of the AFC west, things couldn't have been much better short of a playoff win or two. We had an opportunistic team that overachieved and a pro bowl QB that did not deserve the title, but it was easy to overlook because we APPEARED to be moving in the right direction. Somewhere in between your handpicked wunderkind GM got sideways with the HC. This was the beginning of the end in hindsight. It was easy last year to blame this on Haley because of his previous reputation in the NFL, but there are always two sides to a story. After firing Haley, Pioli could not get any interest from top tier HC candidates. At the same time stories surfaced about candy wrappers and phone tapping that indicated an obsessive, over controlling side to Pioli. Even though, on paper, the Chiefs looked like they had a pretty good 52 man roster with a lot of good, young, cap friendly players, we couldn't get a sniff from the Manning lottery. Why? It wasn't hard to draw a correlation. Romeo was hired and the last nail went into Pioli's coffin.
So here we are 2-12. It is just plain over. Like a bittersweet relationship that has taken its course we must move on. Pioli, has gained such a bad reputation with NFL players and coaches that he can not be trusted to make anymore decisions in KC. We can not afford to miss out on another coach or free agent because they don't like Pioli or how he conducts business. Pioli must be fired. Regardless if the rumors you gave him a contract extension or not he has to go. No matter how much money it costs HE HAS TO GO! No more Stanford Routts, No more Matt Cassels, No more Brandon Carrs, No more Romeo Crennels, NO MORE! We must start moving in the right direction, and Pioli can not be a part of that. Pioli is gone, which means so are Romeo and his staff. It is time to rebuild, and if I were you, this is how I would do it.
First I would hire John Gruden. This may seem counterintuitive, owners traditionally hire GM's that hire HCs but this is a growing trend in the NFL. To get a top tier HC you have to give them what they are looking for which is comfort and control. Hiring Gruden means he can help in the GM search and this encourages a more cohesive symbiotic relationship between HC and GM. We could argue whether Gruden is the right coach or not. We could argue that Gruden wouldn't want to take the job. I think Gruden will take the job if he receives the compensation and control he desires. I don't think he would take a job for another control freak of a GM after what happened in Oakland, so I think giving him more control would convince him to come to KC. I also think that he is the best candidate for the job considering who is available. My reasoning is that he HAS HC experience. He has shown an ability to lead at the highest level. He showed that he could build a SB team and win the Superbowl in SB XXXVII. I like Reid, I like Billick, I like Arians, and I even like Chip Kelly, but I think Gruden is the right choice for this team. They need his fire and tenacity. It is hard to predict which OC and DC Gruden would want, I just hope he sticks with a 3-4 defense because our defense does not seem that far away.
Second I would hire Marc Ross as GM. This is subject to Gruden's approval, but why wouldn't he sign on. Marc Ross has a great track record in the draft and has helped to build a Superbowl winning roster in NY. Polian is an option but would he wanna be Grudens puppet? Eric DeCosta is another great option here, but I don't think he would agree to the job if Clark is picking the HC. DeCosta is happy where he is and will only take the job he REALLY wants. Vincent Newsome,Mike Maccagnan, and David Caldwell all seem like other great options here. If Gruden could convince Rich McKay to leave Atlanta for a GM position in KC wouldn't be bad either.
As far as the players go lets go by position:
QB- Do I really need to say anything here? Cassel has to go. Quinn is a FA and unless he really turns it on in the last two games he should not be re-signed. Stanzi has not been able to see the field regardless of the fact that we have the worst 1st and 2nd string QBs in the league, Stanzi is gone. Yes I realize we now have no QBs, so where do we go from here? Drafting a QB seems a forgone conclussion, but which one? If we stay at #1 or 2 overall then my pick is Geno Smith. He has a lot of holes in his game, but he is the most complete prospect in this draft with the highest upside. Geno's lack of intermediate throws bothers me, but I think a good coaching staff could really turn Smith into a top 5 NFL QB. If we can somehow trade down to the upper to middle first round and pick up some more draft picks I would jump all over it, and because Smith would more than likely be gone if we did I would pick either Glennon or Wilson. Barkley would be the last option, his performance at USC this year scares me and the shoulder injury makes him too risky for my taste. My rankings of this years top tier QB draft prospects goes Smith>Glennon>Wilson>Barkley. WE CAN NOT AFFORD TO GAMBLE THAT A GOOD QB WILL BE AVAILABLE AT #34! Even if one makes it out of the 1st then Jacksonville will take them at #33 if the order stays as it stands now. I also believe that picking another QB later in the draft is a necessity even if that means picking another QB in the 2nd or 3rd rounds. We can not afford to neglect bringing talent in at the most important position of our team anymore! I would also bring in a FA QB to compete. I want someone to WIN our QB position not just receive it. As far as the FA QBs go I like Flacco and Campbell, but realistically it feels like Campbell may be the only one available.
WR- How did our wide receiver corps look without Bowe? We are truly less talented at this position than I once thought. Breaston can't make the 40 man and Baldwin/McCluster look like complete busts. I hope I am wrong with that last comment, and that bringing in a top notch QB will make Baldwin/McCluster good enough to win games, but I am not confident in this at all. First things first, Sign Bowe. He is not Megatron, he is not Andre Johnson, he is not Larry Fitzgerald but he is a REAL #1 target and much better than anything we have on the roster and it's not even close. Does he struggle with drops at inopportune times? Of course, but we have to throw the ball to someone. Pay the man! Greg Jennings and Mike Wallace look like good options in FA as well. I also REALLY like the second-third round WR prospects in the draft this year. I would love to pick up a Robert Woods/Cordarelle Patterson/Cobi Hamilton/ Stedman Bailey/Tavon Austin in the 2nd or 3rd round.
RB- I Know Charles is a stud, but someone needs to help him out. He cannot carry the load himself. He wont always be this good either, I am not saying he will fall of a cliff, but we have to be prepared if he does. Peyton Hillis is looking like a huge bust. Cyrus Gray looked like he might be able to fill this role, but cant make the 40 man. The good news is RBs are a dime a dozen and there should be a quality RB late in the draft this year, there always is. I am not a fan of FA RBs, because the wear and tear on this position and how successful even UFA have been as rookies in the NFL.
FB- it would be nice to have one. How about Braeden Wilson in the 6th or 7th?
OL- It feels like Albert must either be franchised or re-signed. However, his back injury bothers me. That is one injury I don't like an OL having. Other good FA choices might be Clady/Long. I don't think going into 2013 with Stephenson as your best LT is a very wise idea. Luke Joeckel Looks good at #1, but only after we have traded back into the 1st to secure the QB we want. The interior of the line should get better next year as they get healthy, but I wouldn't be afraid to bring in competition there if possible.
TE- Tony Mo is looking a little better and Boss looked kind of Boss before he got injured, but it wouldn't hurt to bring in another good TE. We have to re-sign Tony G if only so he can retire a Chief after he wins his ring this year with ATL. I like the FA options in Fred Davis, Jared Cook and Heath Miller.
DL- On a bright note TJax has started to emerge this year and Poe does not look like the bust many predicted he would be. However, Dorsey is likely gone. I was elated when we picked him, but he just doesn't fit a 3-4 and even if he did his injuries wouldn't make me comfortable in re-signing him. If TJax's contract can be restructured then it should, but even if it is we still need a DE. Pitoitua and Bailey haven't played horribly but the position could be upgraded. There is not a lot of talent this year in FA for a 3-4 DE, but drafting a Shariff Floyd/Margus Hunt/Jesse Williams might be a good fit.
LB- Tamba and Houston look pretty good. DJ is a stud, but Belcher created a hole in the middle of our defense. Siler hasn't been bad but hasn't been good either. The position could definitely be upgraded. If we are looking in FA I like Rey Maualuga. If we are drafting one look for Skov/Ogletree/Minter/Reddick. Whoever thinks drafting Teo #1 is a good idea needs to lay off of the pipe.
CB- Flowers is pretty good. Arenas has really surprised me this year. I thought we were not going to get anything from this guy but I have been pleasantly surprised with his play. Brown does not look like a #2 however. Letting Carr go and bringing in the Routt circus just to cut him mid season was real bad look on this team and Pioli. I do think that we are only a #2 away from having one of the best CB groups in the NFL. Quentin jammer, DRC and Brent Grimes are all options in FA but watch for Xavier Rhodes at # 34 this guy is a stud and could fall to us. I'll pass on Amerson.
S-When we drafted Eric Berry I thought we were getting a ball hawking centerfieled of a safety that could play the run. An Ed Reed type. Unfortunately i just don't see it. Eric Berry is good and all, especially on the run, but in coverage he leaves more to be desired. He just can't cover tight ends. I still want a ball hawking centerfielder of a safety like Ed Reed, so how about we sign him? If we are drafting one how about Bacarri Rambo or Eric Reid in the third?
P- Re-sign Colquitt ...Do it!
K- Succop is Pioli's greatest draft pick, I stick with Mr. Irrelevant
The last thing I need is for this to be done ASAP. I do not want to be left with no one to sign FA's or Coaches. We also need as much time as possible for our team to study this draft to make the right decisions in a critical year for us. My list is long, but I don't think it is to much to ask for.
Feel free to add to my list or make your own if you don't like mine.