Chiefs: A Lost Season
Okay, I know we’re only two games into a 16 game NFL schedule, so maybe writing off the Chiefs is a little premature. A lot can happen the rest of the way. For instance, Matt Cassel could start holding onto the ball and actually make good passes to his receivers. The secondary could figure out how to cover a receiver. The front seven might learn how to shed blocks and get to the quarterback. Jonathan Baldwin might rediscover the hands he left in St. Joseph.
The good news is the Chiefs will most likely end the season with a top five draft pick and a chance to pick Matt Barkley as the quarterback of the future.
And that is where the downfall of the Chiefs begins. How in the heck did KC NOT draft a quarterback last year? Everyone, and I mean, everyone except Scott Pioli could see it was a huge need. Matt Cassel has had plenty of opportunity to do something behind center and has proven to be an average NFL QB, sometimes not even that. His decision making sometimes is horrendous. He’s one reason the defense is so bad, because a defense is only as good as its offense. If an offense can sustain long drives, it keeps the defense on the bench and refreshed. With Cassel, it seems the Chiefs get stuck in a pattern of three and out, three and out, three and out. The defense barely has a chance to chug a cup of Gatorade before they have to go back on the field. They tire, and the other team takes advantage.
It all starts and ends with general manager Scott Pioli. Some of his draft picks have been genius. Dexter McCluster. Eric Berry. Justin Houston. Tony Moeaki. Some have been busts. Seventh rounder Ryan Succop is the only 2009 draft pick that’s done anything. Other things he’s done have been questionable. Insulting Brian Waters by refusing to talk to him. Letting Tony Gonzalez go – look at how Tony G is thriving in Atlanta four years after being traded for a second round pick. Letting cornerback Brandon Carr go. We could sure use him now. Sitting on a pile of money instead of spending it on big name free agents. Cheap. The fans invest thousands of dollars each year in merchandise and tickets and our general manager won’t spend the money needed to fill the holes in our depth chart. Is his bonus dictated on how much money he saves? While signing tackle Eric Winston and running back Peyton Hillis in the offseason were good moves, drafting a project like Dontari Poe in the first round, a defensive tackle who didn’t even dominate sub-par competition while at Memphis, was as boneheaded a move as I’ve ever seen. But the guy runs faster and lifts more than any other defensive tackle in the draft, they said. Who cares! If he can’t dominate on the football field, then what good are those numbers off of it?
My philosophy in drafting is to take playmakers from BCS schools. If you’re making plays against Alabama, LSU, Ohio State and other national powerhouses, then you will continue to make plays in the NFL. Sure, you can find a diamond in the rough once in a while. Jerry Rice played at Mississippi Valley State. Danny Woodhead of the Patriots played at Chadron State. But these are third and fourth round picks, not first round. Draft a playmaker in the first round and use that extra cash to sign a veteran defensive tackle or three.
So here’s my point: The Chiefs won’t be good again for at least three years. And that is only if Scott Pioli is gone. He might have been executive of the year while with the Patriots but he has made too many bad moves heading up the Chiefs. If Clark Hunt finds the cajones to clean house and bring in a new GM, then the Chiefs can hopefully get back on the right track. They can start by drafting a quarterback in the first round. A good one. Trade up for Matt Barkley. Maybe Geno Smith from West Virginia. Get a quarterback ready to play next year, trade Cassel for draft picks and hope we can turn the corner faster than expected. Because right now we are losing hope with every bad move Pioli makes.