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Edwards, Peterson take blame for Chiefs woes
By KENT BABB
The Kansas City Star
Herm Edwards invited blame Tuesday for what is becoming a dismal finish to his second season as Chiefs coach.
He said it was OK if some fans skipped Sunday’s home finale; he would understand. He said the Chiefs’ six-game losing streak and 4-9 record are not results of poor efforts from players or coaches — the two or three nights he spends in his office at Arrowhead Stadium are proof of that.
General manager and team president Carl Peterson heard it all. Then Peterson said the blame should fall on his shoulders.
“At the end of the day,” Peterson said, “the buck stops here. I think I understand our fans’ impatience and disappointment. I feel the same way. But everything that happens in this organization … it all ends up on my desk.
“The ultimate responsibility is mine.”
Peterson said he plans to evaluate all team personnel after the season, including himself. He said Tuesday that he would give himself “not a good grade” for this season. Peterson, in his 19th season with the organization, said he would examine his entire body of work but “absolutely” would resign if convinced that he or his decisions had become a detriment.
As for Edwards, Peterson said Tuesday, the coach’s job is safe.
“I think he’s the right guy,” Peterson said.
Peterson’s comments came after Edwards addressed the Chiefs’ latest loss, a 41-7 beating by Denver. Edwards said the players’ effort was not to blame for the skid; instead, he said, players abandoned fundamentals while trying to make big plays. He added that losing seasons are a part of the NFL, a league in which the Chicago Bears, who reached last year’s Super Bowl, are 5-8.
“People aren’t used to this in Kansas City. Get over it. It happens. It’s called life,” Edwards said. “You can’t think that you’re too big (that) it can’t happen to you. It happens to everybody. The good thing is, we’ve got a plan and we’re going to fix it.”
Until the problems are fixed, Edwards said, the team must focus on its remaining three games. During that time, the Chiefs will continue auditioning young players and identifying the holes the staff plans to fill during the offseason.
If that brand of football is unappealing, Edwards said, he would understand why Arrowhead might not be full Sunday, when the Chiefs play host to the Tennessee Titans.
“There will be some fans that don’t show up, rightly so,” he said. “That’s OK, too. That’s part of the deal. When you don’t win, that’s part of the deal.
“You want to come to the game? It’ll be cold. It might be raining. We’re not winning. You might not want to come out to the ballpark. That’s OK. That’s your choice.”
And that’s his fault, Edwards said — this week’s icy weather notwithstanding.
“In our society, you always want to point the finger at somebody; you want to blame somebody,” he said. “Blame me. If you want to blame somebody, blame the head coach. It’s on me. I’m the coach, so it’s on me. You don’t have to blame any more players. You don’t have to blame people in the organization. You can blame the head coach. It’s on me. That’s where it starts, and that’s where it ends.
“And I’m OK with that. I’m a big boy. I’ve been in the league a long time. I know how it works.”
He said coaches have prepared players, and players have continued to work through the team’s troubles. Edwards has not sensed a decline in effort during the streak that killed the Chiefs’ playoff chances. He said players remain eager to play and finish the season and catch a glimpse of what made Edwards end his weekly news conference Tuesday on an optimistic note.
Edwards said it is a matter of time before the Chiefs are winners again, even if through 13 games there appears to be enough blame to share.
“We’ll get this thing fixed. There’s no doubt in my mind it’ll get fixed,” Edwards said. “It’s already on the way of getting fixed. You just don’t see it yet. It’ll come to fruition. We’ll sit back here in a couple of years, and we won’t even think about this year. We’ll be sitting back there saying: ‘You know what? Wow. Look at this.’ But right now, it’s bad.”