After Chiefs end season with ninth straight loss, Peterson says he and Edwards will return
By ADAM TEICHER
The Kansas City Star
Carl Peterson (left) says he will be back running the team for owner Clark Hunt (right) next season.
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. | If the Chiefs are to bounce back next year from one of the most miserable seasons in club history, they will do it with Carl Peterson as general manager and Herm Edwards as head coach.The Chiefs ended their 4-12 season Sunday with a 13-10 overtime loss to the New York Jets at the Meadowlands. The Chiefs had lost as many as 12 games in a season only twice in their history, and not since 1978.
Peterson said afterward that he would be returning for a 20th season as president and general manager in 2008 and that Edwards would be retained for a third season.
Chiefs chairman Clark Hunt did not make himself available for interviews.
“There will be no changes,” Peterson said. “I’m still under the same contract. I’m here and will be here in my current capacity.
“Clark and I have had conversations. We talk every day or almost every day. We have a plan, and we’re implementing that plan. He’s on board with that plan and embraces it. He’s as disappointed as anybody, but he’s not discouraged.”
Hunt’s silence fed speculation that he was planning to make changes. The loss to the Jets was the Chiefs’ ninth straight, a club record for a non-strike season. The Chiefs also lost nine consecutive games in 1987, but three of those came when they used replacements for the striking players.
“Certainly Clark is involved,” Peterson said. “But the Hunt family is not one that is going to get out there and express their views and emotions all the time. Clark has his thoughts and he expresses them to me, but it’s just not his way to make them public all the time. He doesn’t feel a need to make a comment every single time.”
Peterson had been unwilling to use the term until Sunday, but finally let it spill as he explained the plan to repair the damage.
“Let me go on record: We are rebuilding,” he said.
The Chiefs used several young players as this season wore on, and Edwards’ plan is to play even more young players next season. The Chiefs’ initial pick will be either third, fourth or fifth in the first round of next year’s draft.
They have 10 draft picks, including extras in the fifth, sixth and seventh rounds, so it’s not out of the question that the Chiefs could start two or more rookies when next season begins.
“What is unique with Herm is that he is a head coach, the first one that I’ve had with the Chiefs, that embraces playing young players and building through the draft and taking the lumps that go with it,” Peterson said. “We need to get younger and we’ll continue to do that.
“We would have liked to have won this one. For all of us, it’s just been excruciating. Nine consecutive losses? That’s unacceptable. I will agree with my head coach that we’re not going to get discouraged. We’ll have a plan. That plan is already in the works. It has been for the past couple of years.”
Edwards indicated a great deal of relief that the season is finished, and instead of preparing another futile game plan, he can begin preparing for next season.
“Am I glad it’s over? Yeah, I’m glad the season is over with,” Edwards said. “Now we can go on to try to improve our football team.
“This year is over with. It’s been very disappointing for all of us. The great thing about it is we can bounce back and that’s what we count on doing. It’s not like we’re going to go off somewhere and feel sorry for ourselves. We’ll go back to work and we’ll get it fixed.”
Edwards indicated that if he made changes to his coaching staff, they would come this week. He is likely to replace offensive coordinator Mike Solari, who was never able to find a way to energize the Chiefs this season.
The Chiefs scored 226 points, the lowest in team history for a 16-game season. They scored fewer only in 1977, when the season was 14 games, and 1982, when the season was shortened to nine games because of a player strike.
Told you Clark wouldn`t have the balls to fire them.