From worst to first in no other major sport in America do we see teams go from worst to first faster then the NFL. Think about it if I told you in Sept. 1999 that the St. Louis Rams would win the super bowl that year you would call me crazy or last August if someone told you to bet your mortgage that the Dolphins would win the AFC East you would probably have them drug tested but it happens year after year.
What causes such drastic turnarounds and how can our Beloved Chiefs become the story of the 2009 season? Easy get a QB!! Oh yea we got one (This is the part were you say YESSSS). For the first time in about 38 years the Chiefs have a young franchise quarterback who has all of the tools to be a great QB in this league. The difference from the 07 Dolphins to the 08 Dolphins was the consistent play at quarterback, look at the Rams in 99 with the play of Warner or even the play of the Rookie QB Matt Ryan in Atlanta.
The Chiefs have completed the most important part of the worse to first process now the second part seems to always involve a BIG TIME impact player. With the Rams it was Marshall Falk, the Dolphins had Ted Ginn Jr. & Ronnie Brown (returning from injury) and the 08 Falcons had the beast of a man named Michael Turner. The Chiefs have a few players at skill positions that can play on a Pro Bowl level but will they?
Dwayne Bowe has a lot of talent and I think everyone could see that after the first few weeks of his rookie season, the only problem is he didn’t improve from his first to second year, he still caught the ball with his body, mistimed jumps and failed to get open at key points all problems that should have been corrected after year one. Todd Hailey will push Bowe as far as he will go but its going to be up to Bowe to learn the game and play at a higher level.
Larry Johnson, perhaps the biggest question mark of the off-season but now I think we know the answer to the million dollar question; Larry will be a Chief (if he doesn’t mess up). Scott Pioli knows the importance of a strong running back as does Hailey but they are both no-nonsense types of guys so Larry is on a one strike and your out plan, can he do it? Many in this city believe Larry is done and has been since he signed that contract and I could not disagree more. Larry still has a lot of tread on those tires, don’t forget Larry sat on the bench for two years. When the hole is there Larry is still a beast but too often over the last two years Larry has been greeted in the backfield by defenders, something that didn’t happen when he played behind two HOF. When Larry can get to the line or second level he is still one of the most dangerous backs in the league, just ask the Broncos and Falcons but when he is confronted in the back field he can never get his legs going.
Other then the two players listed above I don’t see a guy on the roster today who can be a big playmaker. I know a lot of you will tell me about Jamal Charles but let me be clear Jamal Charles is an undersized RB who in is heart is a track star not a football player. Charles is often hurt and not a “PIOLI GUY” Meaning he is not big and strong just fast.
So where does this leave our KC Chiefs can they become a worst to first story, will the red sea rise this season? The answer is YES with the additions of veterans to the offensive line with the maturation of Brandon Alberts the chiefs have the tools to protect Cassel and open running lanes for LJ. Now I don’t think the Chiefs are going to the super bowl but 10 games is not out of this teams reach, we sat at Arrowhead or on the couch and watched this team loose 7 games by a touchdown or less and that was with a God Awful O-line and a third string QB.
It will be interesting to see what happens with our Chiefs and when the National media comes running in to do Chiefs specials you can always say that SouthSide D told you so way back in May…