There was quiet optimism among Chiefs fans this season with the big draft we had and the fact that they were handing the reigns over to Croyle and he was going to be THE GUY this season. Even with Croyle as the QB this season, everyone knew there was a chance that this season could be rough with as many rookies and 2nd or 3rd year players as we had on this team.
There is something to be said for building with and playing a young team. I'm sure i don't have to go over the benefits, but nobody seems to be patient enough to go thru some of the growing pains that come along with playing a young team. I've been right there with y'all this decade. I've seen us have a really good team in 2003 and have watched us get increasingly worse since then. I know every problem this team has. I get it.
I've seen it written a lot here that "major changes" need to happen on this team. But there's a problem with that logic, you can't get much more major than what they did this past offseason. Almost three quarters of this entire team is composed of players with less than 3 years experience. It's going to take some seasoning for these guys to play like a NFL team.
I'm guessing the "major changes" you are referring to are management. This whole mess is Peterson's fault. As the GM, you should never let your team get as old as it was the last two seasons. You should've drafted players who could eventually replace the guys who would be retiring. The problems with the Oline have nothing to do with the head coach. That problem lies at the feet of the GM.
No team should ever be in the position where two pro bowl linemen retire without anybody behind them pushing for playing time.
The failure of this team doesn't lie with the current head coach. This head coach is actually bringing some really good talent from the draft and rookie FA pool. If it's a head coach that you want to blame, it has to be Vermeil. Some of you may not understand this, but if you are blaming Herm for his personnel decisions, it's only fair to blame Vermeil for his.
I personally blame Vermeil for the hole the Chiefs currently find themselves in, aside from Peterson. Peterson is the type of GM who listens to his head coach when it comes to building his teams. You can see this evident by how good the teams were when Marty was here. Marty had a major say in personnel decisions. So did Vermeil. Vermeil made moves all over the place to bring in Roaf, Holmes, etc.
But, by the same token, Vermeil had a total of 38 draft picks from his time here in Kansas City:
1-LB Derrick Johnson (still with the team)
3 P Dustin Colquitt (still with the team)
4 WR Craphonso Thorpe (cut) (cut from chiefs 2005)
5 LB Boomer Grigsby (cut) (2007)
5 CB Alphonso Hodge (cut) (2006)
6 T Will Svitek (still with the team)
6 DE Khari Long (cut) (2005)
7 QB James Kilian (cut) (2006)
7 T Jeremy Parquet (Steelers DEV) (2005)
2 DT Junior Siavii (cut) (2005)
2 TE Kris Wilson (Carolina backup) (2007)
3 LB Keyaron Fox (Pittsburgh backup) (2007)
4 WR Samie Parker (cut) (2007)
4 DE Jared Allen (Minnesota Starter) (Traded 2008)
6 WR Jeris McIntyre (cut) (2005)
7 T Kevin Sampson (cut) (2006)
1 RB Larry Johnson (still with the team starter)
2 LB Kawika Mitchell (Buffalo starter) (2006)
3 DB Julian Battle (cut) (2004)
4 T Brett Williams (cut) (2004)
5 T Jordan Black (cut) (2006)
6 DE Jimmy Wilkerson (Tampa backup) (2007)
7 DT Montique Sharpe (cut) (2005)
7 S Willie Pile (cut) (2004)
1 DT Ryan Sims (Tampa backup) (traded 2006)
2 DT Eddie Freeman (cut) (2004)
4 RB Omar Easy (cut) (2004)
5 LB Scott Fujita (New Orleans starter) (2004)
7 LB Maurice Rodriguez (cut) (2002)
3 DT Eric Downing (cut) (2003)
3 WR Marvin Minnis (cut) (2002)
4 DE Monty Beisel (Arizona backup) (2004)
4 RB George Layne (cut) (2002)
5 TE Billy Baber (cut) (2003)
5 RB Derrick Blaylock (cut) (2004)
6 G Alex Sulfsted (cut) (2001)
7 DB Shaunard Harts (cut) (2004)
7 DT Terdell Sands (Oakland backup) (2001)
*(cut)-means they are no longer in the NFL
*(2001-07) indicates the year they were cut by the Chiefs
We see that only four of those players are actually still with the team. A further look into Vermeil's talent assessment shows that not only did they not make or stay with the Chiefs' team, MOST of them are no longer still in the league. 24/38 draft picks allotted to Dick Vermeil and Chiefs when he was a head coach were used on players who are no longer in the NFL. Of the 14 who are still in the league, six of them are still starters and again, only four of them are still with the team.
If you go back and look at all those picks, very few of them lasted two years with the Chiefs. If you look at Herm Edward's first draft with the Chiefs in 2006, all but one of his seven draft picks are still with the team and six of them are starters or playing VERY prominent roles on the team. Compare that with Vermeil's first draft when all but three of his picks had been cut before his third year with the team.
Also, don't forget that while Vermeil was building his juggernaut of an offense, his defense was a complete joke and didn't stop the Colts even once in their one playoff game in the Vermeil era.
Imagine how much better this team would've been if the Chiefs could've had just one third of those 38 picks to still be on the team for the past few years.
While, yes, the Chiefs probably should have drafted some O-linemen instead of maybe Hali or Bowe or Pollard, etc... you have to again remember that this defense was dead last in the league and the offense was still at the very least, respectable when Herm was hired. His first priority was to fix the defense. Other than MLB or perhaps maybe one CB spot, the defense is just about completely rebuilt.
It always makes me laugh when i hear people say Herm doesn't care about offense when the guy has gone out and drafted more offensive players than defensive ones since he's been here. The count is 15/11. Look it up.
I know this is frustrating. But you can only do so much with young players. The fact that we don't have a QB to lead this team doesn't help matters either. Everyone is still freakin out about the O-line too. If you look at that left side and even the center, those guys are pretty stout. If you watch that side of the line, those guys are doing a hell of a job over there. I know it looks like guys are pouring thru the line, but that's because teams are blitzing and bringing more guys than we have to block them.
The reason it's so successful is because we have young QB's who don't know what to do with that kind of pressure coming down on them and then they make mistakes with the ball or the rookie RBs make mistakes in coverage. Teams don't blitz this much against experienced teams who know how to exploit the blitz. (see Petyon Manning)
These are all growing pains. These are things that have to be endured if we want to build a long term contender and not some flash in the pan, one year wonder like what Vermeil gave us.
Just take a breath and look to the future. The Chiefs, believe it or not, are on the right path. Just know that good things are coming. I think Herm Edwards knows how to recognize talent and is building this team the right way.
Like i said before, i lay the blame firmly on Carl Peterson's shoulders. It is his responsibility to grow this team despite what the head coach may want. A hit rate of 6 for 38 is not the mark of a successful GM. I think he should remain as V.P. of operations because he has grown football in KC over the last 20 years, but he should no longer be the GM.