What a difference things could have been IF, the big IF. In conjunction of the Chiefs Week 3 opponent - New Orleans Saints, I want to take a look back at how things may have worked out had Carl Peterson not hire Dick Vermeil.
In January 2001, sports media confirmed that Carl Peterson was successful in prying Vermeil out of retirement to coach the Kansas City Chiefs. Because Vermeil was still under contract to the Rams, NFL ruled that St. Louis be compensated with KC's 2nd RD (2001) and 3rd RD (2002) picks. So how is this connected to Drew Brees of the Saints?
Upon the hiring of Vermeil, then Chiefs QB Elvis Grbac became a free agent but elect to leave KC to sign a deal with the Ravens. Peterson and Vermeil didn't want to build a team with young talent thus went for the easy and quick fix. They traded away KC's 2001 1st RD pick to the Rams for Trent Green. The rest is history.
Take a look back if Peterson had not hire Vermeil and instead hired another coach or perhaps kept incumbent HC Gunther Cunningham, KC would probably suck for yet another year. With Grbac leaving, KC would have still been looking for a QB replacement in the FA market or to draft one in the 2001 NFL Draft. The draft of 2001 wasn't exactly a QB heavy class thus only having 3-4 prospects (Vick, Brees and Weinke). Chances of Peterson trading up to get Vick who went No.1 overall to the Falcons was slim because the Chiefs 1st RD pick was 12th overall. At that time, the drop-off in QB prospects was supposedly huge after Vick. Just another IF – had Peterson not sign a QB via Free Agent to replace Grbac, the draft might have been the other route. Even if Peterson had picked up a journeyman QB, it's still a possibility for Chiefs to pick up a QB via 2001 draft. With the 12th Overall pick, a lot of experts would have considered a reach to snag Purdue's Drew Brees (who'd eventually be drafted 32nd overall, 1st pick of the 2nd RD by San Diego) but we know today how much of a reach it really was <sigh>.
(Isn't ironic that Drew Brees seen here receiving his award from Peterson as the Maxwell College Football Player of the Year and to imagine that Peterson might have considered drafting Brees had the Vermeil-era not taken place)
The Chiefs lost the 12th Overall pick (Trent Green trade) and 42nd overall pick (Vermeil compensatory) of the 2001 draft. Not to let our mind get sidetrack, this is all but a WHAT IF scenario. Your KC Chiefs would look a lot different had they kept those picks and selected Drew Brees with the 12th overall pick and then turned around to select Matt Light with the 42nd pick and with the 3rd RD pick (KC had two 3rd RD picks 75th and 77th overall - trade up), they select Adrian Wilson with the 64th overall pick.
With all of the negative from Week 1 and 2, now approaching Week 3, I thought it would put a different taste in my mouth to take a completely off-base tangent to explore this imaginary scenario of WHAT IFs. A scenario that would have made us feel very good today looking toward our week 3 opponent with the likes of Drew Brees, Matt Light and Adrian Wilson as Kansas City Chiefs.
Carl Peterson - what a difference it would have been (coulda, woulda, butta and what if's) one man with his decisions may set an organization back 10-15 years or forward but in our case, it set us back a good 13 years now and counting...