We've been fairly hard on former Kansas City Chiefs defensive coordinator Gunther Cunningham. But that criticism doesn't come without good reason. The Chiefs defense under Cunningham has been flat out bad. Just bad. You can blame the scheme or the youth movement, but Gunther's been through it all with the Chiefs and for the last decade we've simply stunk on defense.
Chris summed up Gunther's tenure with the Chiefs in the wake of his arrival as the Detroit Lions new defensive coordinator:
What's sad about that performance is that Cunningham is a known workaholic, meaning it's his ability and not his work ethic that failed him. He put in the hours and the research. He just doesn't have the same acumen as others. It's sad but true. The league has passed Cunningham by.
That's about right. Since then, Cunningham has come out with more than a few
excuses criticisms regarding his poor record with the Chiefs.
"I’ve gone through three years of playing zone defense because I was loyal to Herm Edwards. That’s what he wanted."
Then why did you take the job if you knew you couldn't be successful? And nice job making sure everyone knows that this was on Herm, not you.
That's like asking why Fannie Mae handed out a $300,000 mortgage to someone making $25,000 a year. 'They said that's what they wanted, so I gave them the loan.'
"The emotions get involved, ‘Oh, we’ll play with all these young players. But what you don’t understand is, they have to be led by guys like Jared Allen."
Why did you get rid of Napoleon Harris then? What about Derrick Johnson who had worked for four years exclusively under you, in particular in 2008 when you said you would personal give extra focus to the linebackers?
The most recent one comes courtesy of NJChiefsFan in the FanShots.
"For people to think you can put five rookies on a defense and stop anybody, you can do it for three quarters. But in the fourth quarter when the vet stands up and looks at you and says 'Well, son, now it's time for me to kick your ass,' that's what they do."
Excuses, excuses, excuses. I was taught at an early age that giving excuses for your performance is a cop out. No one cares why you didn't succeed. Maybe it's because I grew up in a family where, at the end of the day, the bottomline is all that mattered.
You see, the coaching world, as we've learned since Scott Pioli's hiring, is a small, small world. Things come back to bite you. Once Gunther is inevitably canned in Detroit, the next team looking to hire him will be very weary considering what he said after he left Kansas City.
Todd Haley and Scott Pioli haven't offered up any excuses thus far. And, frankly, neither of them seem like the type of guys who would. Haley was blunt in speaking to Brian Waters, "22 guys off the street could have won two games last year." It may seem harsh, but Haley isn't willing to make any excuses for any player on the roster.
It's refreshing to see a hard-nosed coach who isn't willing to make an excuse for poor performance.