Wanted: more offense

By JASON WHITLOCK

Columnist


In case you forgot, when last we saw our Chiefs, the final score was 23-8, the Chiefs didnít get a first down until late in the third quarter, Larry Johnson rushed for 32 yards, and the Indianapolis Colts fielded one of the leagueís worst defenses.
Carl Peterson, Herm Edwards and Bill Kuharich should have been forced to re-watch KCís playoff loss in the hours leading up to the draft. Maybe then they would have been reminded of what they needed to do over the weekend.
Kansas Cityís offense needs a major injection of youth, talent and energy. Somehow that has all been forgotten this offseason. So after signing two free-agent linebackers, the Chiefs reluctantly settled on a wide receiver in the first round of the draft and then settled on a Turk and a Tank, two defensive linemen, in the second and third rounds.
Am I the only one who remembers Indianapolis? Am I the only one who remembers that Dick Vermeil went overboard trying to build an offense and that Herm promised to build a complete team?
Am I the only person who thinks it is absolute lunacy to hand Larry Johnson any more contract leverage?
Let me be the first to label this offseason a failure. I donít mind climbing out on limbs. Iíll be the first to apologize if Iím wrong. But from my view, the Chiefs played this thing all wrong.
They did not do near enough to fix their decaying offense. Will Shields retired. Trent Green is on his way out. Larry Johnson wants Peyton Manning money. The Chiefs never replaced Willie Roaf or Tony Richardson. Eddie Kennison is old.
And letís see, a little more than three months after the most embarrassing offensive performance in the history of the league, the Chiefs take a flier on Sylvester Bowe or Dwayne Morris or SlyBowe.
Hey, Iím not down on Dwayne Bowe, the receiver out of LSU. I was happy about his acquisition. I called it a great pick at the time. But the Chiefs needed to do more on the offensive side of the ball.
They should have taken an offensive tackle in the second round. Who? I donít know. If there was no tackle worthy of a second-round pick, Iíd have taken another receiver. In the third round, they should have selected Louisville running back Michael Bush, a sure-fire top-15 pick had he not broken his leg. The Raiders took Bush with the first pick of the fourth round. He might be the steal of the draft.
Right now, if Larry Johnson holds out in a contract dispute, Brodie Croyle and Damon Huard should sue Peterson, Edwards and Kuharich for negligence.
It is impossible to develop a young quarterback (Croyle) without the proper complementary surrounding talent. It appears Croyle is going to get Schottenheimered, which is quarterback death caused by neglect.
Dick Vermeil put on a five-year clinic on how to develop a quarterback. You pamper quarterbacks. Peterson didnít pay attention, and Herm spends his free time fantasizing about 9-3 field-goal shootouts.
Did anyone notice that the Colts drafted a receiver in the first round and an offensive tackle in the second? The Colts are constantly giving Manning new toys to play with.
Croyle and Huard got Bowe and upgraded life-insurance policies. Meanwhile, Herm and Gunther Cunningham got a Tank and a Turk to maneuver, and a new kicker.
If Johnson is a no-show, the Chiefs wonít score a touchdown this season. Not an offensive one. Even with Johnson, the KC offense is still highly suspect. Bowe is not a burner. He wonít open up passing lanes for Tony Gonzalez. In fact, Bowe is likely to crowd Gonzalezís zones. Best-case scenario, Bowe is a T.J. Houshmandzadeh, the Bengals receiver who plays opposite speedster Chad Johnson.
The Chiefs donít have a Chad Johnson. They donít have a dominant offensive line, either. They have a top-flight, 31-year-old tight end and a punishing, overworked, hard-to-like running back who wants a $30 million signing bonus. Thatís it.
The Chiefs made five key acquisitions this offseason: two linebackers, two defensive tackles and a receiver.
Rewatch the Indy playoff game and ask yourself whether the offseason strategy makes any sense at all.