Column – New Coach, New QB … Same Team

From Arrowhead Stadium

That crash we heard around 3:15 on Saturday afternoon was the Romeo Crennel-Kyle Orton bandwagon going off the road, down through the gully and crashing into the trees just outside the Truman Sports Complex.

Should you happen to be one of those who thought the Chiefs problems were solved in the aftermath of the Crennel-Orton led upset of the Green Bay Packers, it might be time to rethink your position.

The essential element to the quick support of the new head coach and new starting quarterback had as much to do with who they weren’t, as to who they were. They weren’t Todd Haley and Matt Cassel and/or Tyler Palko. Those were the guys holding the Chiefs back and Crennel and Orton were going to overcome that history and take the Chiefs to football’s Promised Land.

On Christmas Eve Saturday at Arrowhead, those ear-to-ear grins worn by Clark Hunt and Scott Pioli in the moments after the Green Bay victory were replaced by set jaws and troubled looks. What happened that first week after the firing of Haley and benching of Palko and the ultimate conclusion – the beating of the unbeaten Packers – was kismet. It was exhilarating and it clouded the common sense and judgment of many people around the red and gold.

We saw in moments against the Raiders why Orton is now starting for his third NFL team since coming out of Purdue. He can leave you excited about the possibilities when he’s throwing the ball with accuracy and good decisions. And then he can drive fans crazy when he isn’t accurate and starts throwing the ball to the guys wearing the other color.

It was a 3rd-down play at the Raiders 13-yard line in the second quarter where the Bad Kyle showed himself. He threw towards the end zone and WR Dwayne Bowe, who had dropped an earlier pass in the same vicinity. This time his pass was badly underthrown and S Matt Giordano had little trouble making the interception and then returning it 62 yards into Chiefs territory.

Bad Kyle would throw another pick, when he tried to push a pass into Bowe and Oakland CB Stanford Routt was the guy who caught it. The Bad Kyle was visible on not one, but two intentional grounding calls. The Chiefs complained about the penalties, but both times an under duress Orton threw the ball nowhere near an eligible receiver.

And then he was the Good Kyle again in the fourth quarter when in the final three minutes of regulation, he completed six of seven passes, producing a touchdown and the set-up for a game winning field goal that ended up being blocked by the Raiders.

Inconsistency thy name is Kyle Orton; that’s what has haunted him throughout his career with the Bears and Broncos. It’s why both of those teams found him wanting when it came to being the starting quarterback.

And Team Inconsistent would be the 2011 Kansas City Chiefs and for those folks that wanted to put all the blame for that on Haley, well maybe now you understand that it’s hard for a coach a consistent team when there’s not enough talent. As each snapshot of the 2010-11 Chiefs comes further into focus it’s obvious that last year’s division championship and this year’s victory over the unbeaten Packers were flukes, mirages, not anything tangible that points to real progress.

Clark Hunt is living in fantasy land if he thinks his roster has enough talent to be a contender. That’s what he said when Haley’s firing was announced – “We have a strong foundation in place with a core group of talented players.”

The core group of that core group watched the game from home or the Arrowhead sidelines on Christmas Eve afternoon. Most have been missing all season and there were not enough talented players on the roster to replace them. That was evident again against the Raiders. Seeking consistency by the firing of coaches and players doesn’t solve the core problem.

17 Responses to “Column – New Coach, New QB … Same Team”

  • December 24, 2011  - ED J says:

    I disagree Bob at end of the day Orton did put us in position to win. I do agree we need more talent but you act like Chiefs are the Rams Bucs or Jags. This team does have alot of talent and you couldve played that game 10 times it wld be split. Sometimes you lose. Palmer threw 2 picks too. At end of day we had chance to win couldnt keep guy block on field goal that is bigger story than Orton two picks this Nfl that going to happen. He still put us in position to win special teams if anything cost us this one

  • December 24, 2011  - Johnfromwichita says:

    Crap, they fired the wrong person again. Haley had nothing to do with those costly injuries. Nothing to do with terrible lack of depth. Nothing to do with lack of talent. Fire Hunt. Really fire Pioli. Double crap, can’t fire owner and pupett. If you felt the ground moving, it’s not an earthqake; it’s Lamar turning over.

  • December 24, 2011  - Tenand6 says:

    The Chiefs must stay on a relentless drive to upgrade the QB position…..and then the rest.

    When I flip the coin, Orton comes up more often than Cassel. Others may differ. Neither one is the answer.

    I did find it amusing that as of last week Bill Muir was a better O coordinator than Haley by what I read and heard. What a load of crap. It was strangely classless what Muir said about Haley. Might be true, I’m not there. Haley has had nothing but great things to say about Muir. Bob, maybe you have some insight here?

    If the penalties had occurred on Haley’s watch….Oh my.

    Good stuff here, Bob. Chiefs fans all need to get some perspective. Bob Kraft says that there can be no weak side of the Owner/GM/HC triangle. I have no faith in Hunt. None in Pioli. And, little to none in any Head Coach who doesn’t have a franchise QB in today’s game.

    The Chiefs have a long way to go. Today’s game was ugly except for a few brief minutes.

  • December 24, 2011  - cychief24 says:

    Edj- are you spooning with Orton tonight?
    Why aren’t you calling for Stanzi ;)

    I do think Bob is a bit harsh on the starting talent. What we are missing is C/RT/ILB/NG/and depth everywhere! Oh and a competent Special Teams Coordinator.
    The fact is we had enough talent to win the AFC West again if we had a competent back up QB. Palko was pathetic and OrtINT was very inconsistent like he always has been. It’s why the Bears and Donkees dumped him.

  • December 24, 2011  - cychief24 says:

    Tenand6 your name represents what last years’ team accomplished with Cassel at QB. Sorry for pointing out a FACT.

  • December 25, 2011  - Johnfromwichita says:

    I was there. I watched. I have lost my voice. Probaly for two days. And I feel that I’ve commited more than Hunt. $27 for parking where they say I have to? I have to leave in an hour? And next year year $32? Lamar come back and kick you’r little kid’s ass. Please.

  • December 25, 2011  - johnfromfairfax says:

    I saw the two holiday losses (as some of you long time fans did) with 40 years between them. I’ve watched a lot of football in between and hopefully learned a little along the way. We are not a good team and today showed the exact same shortcomings that we’ve been seeing all year and for the most part since Lamar passed and Clark inherited the team. I wish it weren’t true but it just is. Bob’s right in that our best young talent wasn’t on the field and most of it was acquired by the last fired organization. I believe in an “old school” approach on the field but the whole cult of harshness, secrecy and the Arrowhead black box approach is unnecessary, tiresome and inane. Remember it’s what got Belichick fired when he didn’t win in Cleveland. That type of silliness may be tolerable when you have results to mitigate it but not with this product. I remember the Chiefs when they were a great team and that’s a far cry from what we have been subjected to for quite a while now. Todd Haley said one thing that resonates. He was a young man when the Steelers were one of the most dominant teams in the history of the NFL and his father told him that he would always know what great looked like. I remember it also and it isn’t what we’ve become. I hope we are able to put this season behind us and improve but have serious questions regarding that prognosis. Chiefs fans deserve better.

  • December 25, 2011  - aPauled says:

    If Orton is inconsistent…what in the heck is Cassel? I doubt that Orton has ever had a game where he averaged 3 yards per pass attempt as Cassel and few others in NFL history have. Not hate…just look at Cassel’s stats and inconsistencies this year. Complete bias that anyone thinks he should continue as the annointed, unchallenged leader and QB of this football team. The man was blessed with patience and big $$….and at 28…has been outplayed by a handful of rookie QBs this year.

    How about the day that another “untouchable” had today…one Bill Muir. His red zone calls are patterned after Mike Solari. And the fourth down call…who calls a counter play to a 240 lb back 5+ yards deep on fourth and inches? It has to be a quick hitter when 9 guys are on the line…and even then I’m not sure that our interior OL could move the Raiders. We had a similar call in the red zone last week. Maybe Muir will call it again next week just to be sure that it doesn’t work.

    Rashard Langford again proved that he can’t cover anyone. Moore ran right by him on the TD…something that we have all seen numerous times before.

  • December 25, 2011  - Dream Turns Nightmare as Chiefs Fall : says:

    [...] COLUMN: New coach, new QB, same team. [...]

  • December 25, 2011  - Chuck says:

    I feel that alot of Chiefs fans just “can’t handle the truth” but this team is a long ways from being a super bowl team. Thats just the simple truth of the thing.

  • December 25, 2011  - Craig says:

    Good Column Bob. The Chiefs are just short on depth. Yesterday was a bad job of coaching overall. Defense good Offense Badddd. Maybe a new OC and a few linemen would help. Lilja and Wigeman got shoved around all day as did Richardson. A great running back makes the line look better as they dont have to hold their blocks so long. Jones missed a couple of cut backs which could have gone for long runs. Charles wins this game for KC. No depth. I guess that is what u get 30 mill under cap.

  • December 25, 2011  - TDKC says:

    Charles would have been more effective in the red zone and I have to think that Berry runs step for step with the Raiders’ receiver.

    Really the game was lost in the first half. Red zone turnover and not taking advantage of the Raiders penalties. Good teams don’t let you off the hook when you screw up. The Chiefs have done it all year.
    Lost season. Let the rebuilding begin…..again…….and again.

  • December 25, 2011  - DanO says:

    I don’t care who our quarterback is, if we don’t get a better line, they all will fail!

  • December 25, 2011  - cychief24 says:

    DanO is so right!
    Although as Bob pointed out, Orton had plenty of time yesterday.

  • December 25, 2011  - ED J says:

    Apauled and tenand6 ignore cychief 24 byass for Cassel its very apparent he’s related to the guy and has an unbiased opinion about a guy who’s had games where he’s threw for less than 100 yards more than once LMAO. Seriously guys ignore his blogs I know I will from this point on because he makes himself look more and more ignorant with his bias opinion about Cassel hopefully once he’s gone to another team cychief24 will follow.

    Now on to real stuff. Bottom line Orton had us in position to win it kicked got blocked. And apauled I do agree play calling was horrible and shot at Haley was classless by Muir as well. Who runs draw play on 3 and 7 in redzone REALLLY. He should been post because his play-calling yesterday stinks. IF we keep Crennel its no question we need go get Josh McDaniels or Norv Turner someone more experience in calling plays.

  • December 25, 2011  - ED J says:

    Oh and here’s link by Charles Robinson who talks about how Weis didn’t even believe in Cassel ability which was part of the reason him and Haley clashed. So guys forgive cychief24 he’s relative of Cassel so he’s got blind faith but even former OC who got false credit for the guy’s development last yr when he gave up on him doesn’t believe in him why should we as Chiefs fans believe in him. Anyways there’s the link

  • December 26, 2011  - rufus says:

    ya, pretty much Bob.

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