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How Does This Get Turned Around?

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The Chiefs are bad.  Very bad.  They may not have the worst record in the NFL, but I don't think its a stretch to say they could be the worst team in the NFL currently.  There is no question we are all very frustrated with the horrendous performances we are seeing.

But let's have an intellectually honest discussion here.  Why are we this bad and how can we get things turned around?

First off, I think we sometimes forget just how young our team is.  And not just young, but how stretched we are for talent on the team overall.

We have 16 rookies on the roster  (30% of roster),  9 second year players (17% of roster), and 9 third year players (17% of roster).  That is 34 players on the 53 man roster that are three years or less (64% of the roster).

Also note that on the Chiefs, 18 of those players (or 33% of the roster)  that have been in the league three years or less are either 6th round, 7th round or undrafted players that on many teams wouldn't even make the final roster.

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With the above data in mind, let's break down the main problems this team is facing.

1) Offense cannot move the ball, much less score points.

2) Lack of Pass Rush.

3) Cannot stop the run.

Offense
No matter how strongly the coaches thought Croyle could be a good NFL QB, that ship has sailed.  A QB that some said had Joe Montana qualities does no one any good in a cast on the sideline.  Croyle should pretty much be forgotten about.

That leave a 13 year old career backup that gets beat up easily and is inconsistent from game to game, and a 7th round pick with a 44% completion rate that tends to hit the defenders in the hands more often than his own players.

Call me crazy, but neither of those options at the most important position on the offense sound like a recipe for success.  The continuing problems on the offensive line not being able to block the run or block a simple screen pass do not help this.  The combination of the two gives us what we have seen from the Chiefs offense this season.   Absolutely horrid.

Solution: Get a new QB, continue to develop O-line. 

Pass Rush
We knew the pass rush was going to be a problem when Jared Allen was traded.  What we didn't expect was for Tamba Hali to completely disappear.  Some of the absence of sacks could be attributed to the fact that other teams are able to run so prolifically on the Chiefs so there is less need to pass and thus fewer opportunities for sacks, but the pass rush remains clearly lacking.

Solution: Sign a free agent or draft pass rushing DE.

Run Defense
This one is a lot tougher to figure out.  According to Herm , the primary problem is the defense not playing the gaps properly.  Is it a problem with just one linebacker or all of them?  Pat Thomas is playing MLB, the most important position on the defense and is a 4th year undrafted player.  Is he the weak link or is there something more?  How much of the problems with the run defense can be attributed to young Defensive linemen?  I may be wrong on this, but my perception is that we are getting beaten on off-tackle runs rather than up the gut runs, if that is the case, the problem is less Dorsey and Tank and more the DEs and LBs.

Solution: Get young players experience, sign free agent or draft MLB, other LBs.

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Many have expressed the strong opinion that the problem is coaching.  While that may have something to do with some areas, the Head Coach and both Coordinators have been succesful coaches for years in the NFL.  It seems unlikely that they would just suddenly forget how, no matter how much you dislike them.  

For the sake of argument (and since we talk all the time about the coaches), lets just take Clark Hunt for his word and assume Herm Edwards and at least Chan Gailey (since he was just hired) if not Gun as well will likely be back next year.

So if the primary problems are a combination of youth, overall low level of talent (we have lots of very talented players, but the ones that aren't extremely promising are at the low end of the talent pool) and the problems mentioned above, what can be done?

Many of the problems that involve youth will only get better with the passage of time.  Many of the problems that involve low talent will only improve with another draft or offseason free agent signings.

What moves do the Chiefs need to look at making to right the ship during the season, and what moves should we be looking at during the offseason?  It looks like the Chiefs have taken one suggestion from the fans and begun playing Herb Taylor at RT in place of McIntosh.  What else?