Monday, October 20, 2008

New Blog Home

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Put the Chiefs Out of Their Misery

Someone put this team out if its misery. Are there enough adjectives to describe just how poor this team is? In summary, a portly, short-yardage back burst off-tackle untouched for an 80 yard touchdown. That's right Lendale White the guy who has been getting grief from Titans fans for his out of shape body and slow feet burst untouched for an 80 yard touchdown. He averaged 8.8 yards per carry on the day. The Titans' "feature" back Chris Johnson in an attempt to run down the clock followed up that 80 yard plodding touchdown with a 66 yard effort. In all the Chiefs allowed 323 yards rushing. They allowed two backs to top 100 and each back averaged 9 yards a carry. Those are video game stats.

The Chiefs were ran over physically, emotionally and spiritually by the Titans. The spirit of the franchise was pounded into the turf at Arrowhead Sunday. Herm cannot fix this. At this point no matter what Edwards and Cunningham say players won't take it to heart. They will be hollow words and the players will have those glazed over eyes a son or daughter gets when their parent starts lecturing them. They need a new voice. They need new leadership from the top. Carl Peterson should do the honorable thing and fall on his own sword. Carl should step down from this mess he has created. I want to believe Clark Hunt is just saying the right things waiting for the off-season to make wholesale changes.

I want to believe that but part of me also believes that he's going to let Carl Peterson select his own successor. That is a horrible decision. I could understand that decision if the Chiefs were New England and winning Super Bowls and Carl Peterson was a beloved GM. But he is an embattled GM that has no support in the fan base and has proven through almost twenty years that he cannot build a Super Bowl team.

Herm has proven that he cannot win with his guys. I understand rebuilding teams are going to struggle. But struggle means losing some close games while showing flashes of talent and then sprinkling in a win or two with a blowout thrown in. What we are seeing is regression from week one to week seven. The rushing defense is arguably the worst in franchise history and Herm has spent a lot of draft picks on that side of the ball. The offense is arguably the worst in franchise history and we have no quarterback on the roster better than a career back-up.

Ingle "Freakin" Martin should start. I dont care if he's not ready. I dont care if he has to have Brian Waters tell him what the play is. He is a professional football player (allegedly) and has had several weeks to learn this offense. I mean there cant be more than twenty plays called in this gameplan anyway. This offense was supposed to be "easy" to learn so young guys could quickly pick it up. Thigpen should be the number two and Martin the one. At this point find out what you have in him.

What we should have is 28 year old Chris Simms on the roster but I won't go over that massive roster error again. No, I wont look back I'll look forward and what we need to know going forward is if Ingle Martin has any talent.

We know Thigpen and Huard do not.

We need new leadership starting at the head of this beast all the way down the chain. I love Gunther, always have but even Gunther needs to find new employment. Results are results and great coordinators would at least keep this team respectable. As it is we cant stop the run, we cant rush the passer and offensively we are a nightmare.

In all this doom and gloom it's hard to see there will be better days ahead but there will. Hang in there Chiefs fans, if this season is teaching us anything it is to appreciate when the ship is finally righted and has a new captain leading us to glory.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Chiefs' Edwards Faces Titanic Task This Weekend

It is no stretch to say that the game against the Titans this weekend could define Herm Edwards coaching career in Kansas City. Tony Gonzalez's request to be traded and Carl Peterson's unwillingness to trade him for anything less than a second rounder has put a huge burden on Herm's shoulders. You could hear it in his voice and see it in his body language that Herm is on the edge right now. He was as friendly as a crocodile in the news conference yesterday bristling at reporters and repeating himself in his traditional manner when he's irritated about something.

Q: What does that say about you, about Carl, about this organization that he asked to be traded?
EDWARDS: “It doesn’t say anything about me. It doesn’t say one thing about me. It has nothing to do about me. You need to ask the player about that. That’s not for me to answer. I answer for decisions I make, what comes out of my mouth. So, you’re asking the wrong guy. You need to ask him.” (

Herm likes to repeat himself to drive home a point. Nothing wrong with it, but when he does it you know he's passionate or irritated about the subject. You could hear the irritation in his voice when he responded to the questions the reporters threw at him yesterday. To compound matters Larry Johnson has been accused of pushing a woman in a night club. After reading the statements on both sides I'm inclined to think that she is looking for money from Larry and he will be yet again cleared of charges. However to think that Larry's charges aren't yet another distraction would be foolish.

Herm's titanic task is to find a way to get this young football team to focus on Sunday against an undefeated Titans team. The young Chiefs players turn to their veteran leaders like Larry and find him in trouble with the law or they turn to Tony Gonzalez and find him wanting out of the situation. Brian Waters seems to be the only steady veteran through this mess. To me Waters is the voice of the locker room and the franchise. He totes the company line.

Herm and Carl are on the brink. This rebuilding plan hangs by a thread and this Sunday could very well define not only the future of the franchise but who inevitably is leading it. If the Chiefs come out and play like they did against Carolina with slumped shoulders and people standing around after an interception waiting for someone else to make the tackle Herm has lost his team. To the fans and media that would be the final nail in the coffin for Herm Edwards and Carl Peterson in Kansas City. Win or lose the Chiefs have to come out and play with the passion they showed against the Broncos. Herm has to show the ability to get his team up for this game. Through all of the distractions and all of the negativity he has to provide a solid gameplan and motivation for a team teetering on disaster. If he can do this fans, media and more importantly the players might get some renewed vigor and confidence in what they're being taught.

On the bright side, Brodie Croyle is back and that might bring a little spark to the offense. Brodie is linked to Herm at the hip. His fortunes could be the fortunes of this head coach. If Brodie is awful or worse gets hurt Herm will take the blame for annointing him the quarterback of the future. If Brodie's week 1 injury provided any positives it was that it showed without a doubt, every single back-up on this team is league average or worse. There is no pressure on Brodie from any guy holding the clipboard on Sunday. Huard has been miserable and looks lost at times, Thigpen looks like a guy that needs time in the CFL and Hagans was a half thought out joke. In fact I'd go so far as to say that Ingle Martin should be moved to the number three quarterback ahead of Thigpen. Sure I only have some pre-season games with the Titans to back up that claim but that is my opinion.

Herm Edwards is sailing this ship through icy waters right now and he has to keep the ship afloat against a Titanic opponent in what could be the most critical game of his coaching career. If it sinks there won't be any Ballads of the Edwards-Fitzgerald from Chiefs fans.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Trades are Exciting

The trade deadline came and went and Tony Gonzalez is still in the red and gold of Kansas City. I'm happy and sad at the same time. I'm happy I'll still get to see number 88 catching passes in KC but part of me wanted to see some shakeup. Trades are exciting and in a year of down performances debating the merits of a trade adds some spice. My question is what if anything does he say to the players in the locker room now that the trade fell through? Perhaps nothing needs to be said.

Regarding LJ. I find it suspicious on the day of the trade deadline that this assault charge gets released to the media. Call me a conspiracist but could it be someone put this out there to cool interest in him? On the outside looking in the charges look flimsy. I wasn't there and don't claim to have all of the facts but picking LJ out of a police lineup seems a bit skewed. I could pick him out of twenty of his closest relatives I've seen his face so much.

My opinion is the NFL needs to do something to make the trade deadline a bit more active. The NFL salary cap rules are so convoluted it takes a capologist to figure it out and I'm sure that has a major impact on the lack of trades that occur mid-season and in the NFL in general.

Teams in contention over-value draft picks. Picks in the second, third, and fourth rounds are some of the most over-valued by General Managers. Draft picks are a bit like playing the lottery. GMs are hoping to find a jackpot in the third round instead of taking the payout on a known quantity. Are you telling me that the Giants or Bills wouldn't be a better team with Tony Gonzalez on their team for a second round draft pick? What are the actual odds the Bills or Giants draft a player in the second round in the next two or three years that is better than a Hall of Fame Tight End still playing at a very high level? I would say the odds are very low considering your average NFL career is something like three and a half seasons. Add to this that the Bills and Giants will most likely draft in the bottom third of the 2009 draft and the odds are even less of finding value that is greater than what Tony Gonzalez or Larry Johnson bring to their team.

A combination of coveting draft picks and the salary cap make NFL trades very rare and deadline day is often a dud instead of an exciting swap of players that a lot of fans would like to see.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Tony Gonzalez Picked a Fine Time to Leave

My first reaction to the news Tony Gonzalez wants out of Kansas City is "good for him". I wouldn't want to be stuck on that nowhere franchise at age 32 either. He has every individual award he could want as a tight end including all of the records. Tony Gonzalez literally has nothing to play for now except a ring. The Chiefs by all accounts won't be looking at a Super Bowl any time soon and by the time this young team "might" be ready (that's a big might) he will be past his prime and in a back-up role.

So in a way he did pick a fine time to get out of Kansas City. The other part of me however wants to question his internal fortitude just a little bit. Brian Waters said he wants to be on a winning team as well but he said he'd rather build it from the ground up. Tony Gonzalez wants to "ride the coat-tails" to quote Waters. Just when the days are darkest our most beloved player wants to bail. What does that teach the young players on this team? When the going gets tough, quit or request a trade?

I must think for Tony Gonzalez to want out and to publicly state such the situation around One Arrowhead Drive must be awful. Is Tony not buying into Coach Edwards' philosophies? Did he ever? Are the young guys also going to mentally check out on Edwards seeing that respected Hall of Fame players are doing so? I think the precedent Tony Gonzalez is setting for this club and its fragile mental state is a bad one. I respect Tony Gonzalez and I know "why" he is wanting out but why now? Herm seems on the edge of losing this team and with it his job could follow suit. He has already lost a lot of the loyal fan base.

Losing Croyle's security blanket in Gonzalez might seal the deal on Herm Edwards' tenure in Kansas City. Fair or not this team is developing too slowly for anyone's tastes. The offense is still unimaginative and no amount of Gunther cussing down on the sidelines is going to fix what ails this team.

Rumor on Fox Sports Sunday said that Larry Johnson kept coming up when people would call about Tony Gonzalez. If they are shopping Larry Johnson that is a good thing. He is not a guy you rebuild with. I like Larry Johnson and always have but I dont know if his attitude equates well to a young team trying to build some chemistry. Larry's running style also is not condusive to a team with a struggling offensive line. He's a downhill runner that needs a step or two to get those long legs churning. Against Denver he was able to do that and his talent once again showed but with Larry in the game we look very one-dimensional given his penchant to not block well and his mediocre pass-catching skills. If Charles were the full-time back we might actually get more production out of him given he presents a threat in all phases of the game. If not and we keep Larry Johnson fine. I dont think anyone will pick up his contract but they need to find a way to get LJ and Charles in the backfield together. Give defenses something to worry about besides their sack totals at the end of the game.

Monday, October 6, 2008

New "Arrowhead Anger" Workout Works Wonders

So a couple weeks back I started to feel sloppy sitting on my couch watching football instead of actually being athletic so I started to formulate a workout that would also double as a drinking game.

Every time the Chiefs punt or give up points you do ten pushups; if it is a three and out you could do ten more. Every turnover is twenty-five situps or crunches. I warn you this workout is harder than it sounds. When I quit watching the Panthers game at 31-0 I had already exceeded 120 pushups and something like seventy five crunches.

I figure by year-end my stress levels will be lower and I'll be pretty buff.

**Warning: you could also turn this into a drinking game but I am afraid the center for alcohol poisoning might get a few phone calls and I dont want to be held responsible***

Falcon, Dolphins, Chiefs a Rebuilding Comparison

The Falcons have 3 wins in five games one year after they lost their "franchise" QB in Vick and their coach quit before the season ended causing a turnover in coaching philosophies. To top it off they are starting a rookie QB. The Falcons are rebuilding with 23 rookies, 1st or 2nd year players. They have 9 1st, 2nd or 3rd year players starting. So in a year after Atlanta won four games they have already won 3. They have a rookie Qb, rookie LT, rookie MLB, two young corners, two young guards, and a young right tackle. I see some similarities on this team to ours but the major difference that I see is creativity and perhaps their draft picks are panning out? Or is the difference Matt Ryan? Remember this is a team that pounded KC in Atlanta three weeks ago.

The Dolphins in back-to-back games have beaten the AFC Champs and the AFC Runners up. They too have 23 rookie, first or second year players. They are starting 8 of them. They have a veteran noodle-armed QB with no mobility in Pennington (a slightly younger Huard). They have some once great running backs coming off injury (Brown) or hiatus (Williams). They have Ted Ginn Jr. and Camarillo as their wideouts (even worse than KC in my opinion) and no Future Hall of Fame tight end. They are starting a rookie left tackle, kicker, and punter. Most of their defense is young minus Porter and Holliday (a bust in KC). The Dolphins are 2-2 and arguably have two more impressive wins than the one KC had versus a suspect Denver defense.

The Chiefs on the other hand are 1-4 and have 26 first, second or third year players. They are starting fifteen of them which is nearly twice as much as the other two rebuilding teams. However, Herm has had some time to draft his guys around here. A lot of these guys may pan out but some of them are starting to look mediocre. Derrick Johnson is starting to finally show up on game film in his third season but Tamba Hali to me looks terrible. He stands straight up and gets driven into his linebackers on running plays and offers no moves at all to get to the QB on passing downs. Dorsey is not exactly clogging the middle if the number of rushing yards per carry and per game are any indication. He's a rookie but I'm pretty sure Warren Sapp was better than this at this stage in his career. For anyone who thinks it's not fair to compare him to Warren Sapp, I call BS. If you are drafted as a top 5 player out of a National Championship NCAA team you need to play like an All-Pro out of the gate. I mean it's Defensive Tackle, it's not quarterback. Line up learn a few stunts and beat the guy across from you. Tyler and McBride are also not exactly impressive. Some of these guys need to start playing. Rookies yeah i'll cut them some slack but the other guys need to start flashing some potential or they will be labeled busts sooner rather than later.

Chiefs Meltdown Bad Sign for Herm's Staff

"I didn't see that coming at all. We were a confident team after last week's game," Edwards said. "Then we come in here and we acted like we've never played before."

Part of me saw this coming. A young team fresh of an upset goes on the road and has a letdown game against a very stout Panthers team. But, part of me saw the Denver game as a confidence builder and a stepping stone to better games. I expected the Chiefs to lose on Sunday and maybe even by ten to fourteen points (spread was 9.5). What I didn't expect was such a flat performance. They may as well have not showed up. The blame there goes to Herm Edwards and the coaching staff. Not sure what you learn from this game as a young player. That it's ok to quit? The Chiefs quit on Herm in this game and that is the most troublesome part of this loss. I will say the young cornerbacks Brandon Carr and Brandon Flowers didn't quit but the rest of the team did. Muhsin Muhammad is not faster than those Chiefs defenders at his age is he? Yet he outran them to the endzone. That is a lack of desire or even more incriminating to a "fast young defense" is that a 36 year old possession receiver is faster than your twenty-something corners and safeties. So pick your poison. Either the Chiefs defenders gave up on the play or Muhammad is faster than a collection of young guys.

A prime example of the difference between a good coach and a mediocre one, Tom Coughlin. Coughlin is a hard-nosed old school disciplinarian football coach. He benched his best receiver before the game yesterday (Plaxico Burress) for being late. Coughlin's team has a huge upset win in the Super Bowl last year and Michael Strahan retires and Osi Umenyiora is injured yet they still come out and play at a very high level. If any team was due for a let down season it was the Giants. They won it all in one of the biggest upsets of all time. Their franchise defensive end retires and their other star defensive end is lost for the season. Mailing in the 2008 season would have been acceptable. How do you motivate a team like that? Yet Tom Coughlin has it figured out. Herm can't even motivate a young, hungry team with many guys playing for future contracts. Losing is 'ok' if the heart is there. The Chiefs coaching staff really needs to re-evaluate what they are doing in mental preparation. I have seen heartless performances in two of the last three weeks. That is not acceptable from a fan base that is trying to be patient with rebuilding.

The Chiefs have a bye week to regroup and for the coaching staff to make some tough decisions. I have come to two decisions that in my mind need to be made. First, move Hali back to left side defensive end. He is jumping around standing straight up and not even playing the run on almost every down. He lacks the burst to beat a left tackle and lacks the power to get off blocks. He needs to play on the left side to face some inferior competition. On the right side they need to play a guy that is more stout against the run. We can't get a pass rush anyway, don't compound the problem by letting Hali struggle on the right side against the run too.

Second, McIntosh needs to be replaced by Herb Taylor at right tackle. I understand the desire for consistency on the offensive line. Right now they are consistently awful. McIntosh needs to be a backup left tackle or even moved to right guard where his lack of quickness isn't as exposed. He is supposed to be a decent run blocker so why not move him inside at this point in his career? Brandon Albert at left tackle and Herb Taylor at right tackle needs to happen and happen in the bye week to give Taylor a chance to get acclimated.

Offensively the Chiefs are not any more imaginative with Chan Gailey than they were last year with Mike Solari as the offensive coordinator. First play of the game a play-action deep pass is a great way to put a little doubt in the mind of the defense. Hell run an end around or a half-back pass from Larry; something to slow down the run blitzing safeties and linebackers that are gang tackling Larry Johnson behind the line of scrimmage. Another play that slows down the rush is the shovel pass. If the defensive line and linebackers are coming so hard to the line of scrimmage squirt your back in behind them for a nice 4-7 yard pickup with a shovel pass. It's safe so it could be effective and again it shows a new look to the defense. Where are the slant passes to Bowe/Darling? I know the Chiefs offensive play book is limited with noodle-arm, no mobility Huard but don't compound the issues by being unimaginative with what weapons you do possess. How about Charles and LJ in at the same time? fake run to LJ up the middle and a toss outside to Charles? I know that might *gasp* put Georgia Tech fullback Mike Cox on the sideline for a play or two but I think the Chiefs will be just fine without him. There are a lot of ways to give some new offensive looks. With arguably the finest defense in the NFL coming to town Chan Gailey needs to use many of them if they expect Brodie to stay upright for more than a quarter on October 19th. Haynesworth and the Titans are coming into town and it could be very ugly very fast if they don't.