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Outside Perspective: What is the Chiefs primary problem?

We recently polled some AFC West writers from around the SB Nation network on a variety of Chiefs-related questions for an Outside Perspective.

Tom Szczerbowski

Sometimes you're too close to the subject to remain objective. Whether you're trying to hang a photo or paint a picture, sometimes you have to step back from what you're working on to get the right perspective.

The same thing can happen for all of us as Chiefs fans. We can love the team so much that we become blind to some of the realities about the team. While a losing streak brings out the frustration and hatred on a handful of lightning rod figures, the reality is that the players, coaches and players who earn the praise or fury of fans aren't worthy of either most of the time.

We recently polled some SB Nation colleagues to help us get an Outside Perspective on some key things for the Chiefs. Consider it a roundtable of sorts. We'll check back in with some more questions on Saturday. For now, however, we wanted to focus on one question alone: What is the single biggest problem with the Chiefs?

John Gennaro from Bolts from the Blue, SB Nation's Chargers blog, says it starts with the guy who has already been benched: Matt Cassel.

"It starts with Cassel," writes Gennaro. "A former Chiefs player once told me, 'Matt Cassel has the tools to be a very good QB, but the Chiefs keep asking too much of him and putting him in a position to fail.' I thought Haley did a decent job of building an offense where Cassel was more a piece of the orchestra instead of the conductor, but that has gone flying out the winder with Romeo Crennel. Now everything relies on Cassel and he's showing how he responds to that type of pressure.

"To make a couple of comparisons, I've been saying for a while now that Matt Cassel is Rob Johnson. I still think this is a true. They're both QBs that have all the tools, but hold the ball too long and make too many bad decisions with the entire offense at their fingertips.

"I think Alex Smith is, or at least was, the same type of QB. When Harbaugh got to SF, he simplified the offense for Smith. It became a 1 read offense. 'Check Vernon Davis. Is he covered? Check down to the RB or run the ball.' It took all the thinking out of it. Smith no longer had any reason to hold the ball too long. The offense was a bit predictable and clunky, but it didn't make mistakes and it built Smith's confidence up.

"Now, in year 2, Harbaugh has opened things up a little bit more to see how Smith responds. A similar philosophy needs to be used with Cassel, and it isn't being used."

Levi Damien from Silver and Black Pride, SB Nation's Raiders blog, agreed. He wrote, "Quarterback. Matt Cassel was always the big question mark for this team coming into this season. He has played so bad that the team has actually opted for Brady Quinn. Not good at all."

Interestingly enough, Kirk Davis from the Broncos blog Mile High Report believes the problem isn't even on the field. Without any additional commentary, Davis merely said "Scott Pioli."

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