Tuesday Morning Cup O’Chiefs

I’ve searched for the best way to explain why a bunch of talented people were shown the door on Monday at the Chiefs offices.

There was no public announcement but new GM Scott Pioli has begun the process of purging the team’s personnel department. Now that the ’09 NFL Draft is over, Pioli is going to hire his own people to handle the scouting process.

None of this comes as a surprise to any of those people who lost their jobs on Monday. As I said, there’s no official announcement, but the word inside the building was that all but two of the team’s seven scouts had been fired. Also left go was long-time director of college scouting Chuck Cook. He’s the guy in the white hat, far left in the photo. Chuck has been part of the Chiefs organization for 25 years. The guy next to him, holding up a yellow stopwatch is scouting coordinator Bruce Lemmerman, who was one of the scouts released.

Eventually, if it hasn’t happened already, that group of dismissed employees will include V.P. of Player Personnel Bill Kuharich.

Only a handful of people in the personnel department will survive and it’s unlikely any of them will be in a position of power or leadership once the dust settles.

How best to explain what’s going on inside the Chiefs? That’s what I’ve struggled with trying to explain. Here goes.

If you’ve ever had a loved one go through chemotherapy it provides a pathway to understanding what’s happening with the team. When Mom went head-to-head against the Big C, the doctors dosed her up for chemo and the treatment about killed her. Sitting in that hospital room one night back in the ‘Burgh I thought we had lost her. But she’s a tough Irish broad and eventually she kicked the Big C’s ass and today is well over five years cancer free. Love you Mom.

Here’s the thing about chemo: it’s like shooting an army of medical soldiers into the body that seeks out the bad cells and kills them. With any army there come problems, things like friendly fire, unintended casualties, a bomb misses the military installation and lands on the library. The treatment kills good cells along with the bad ones; that’s what makes people so sick when they go through chemo or radiation treatments.

In a football sense, Pioli inherited an operation in the Chiefs that he judged was very sick and needed radical treatment. There have been a host of changes around the team’s operation, many of which have not and will never become public. It’s a very different manner of operation than any way the Chiefs have been run before, going back to their first days as a football team and a business.

But this is what Clark Hunt hired Pioli to do. Not surprisingly, Pioli wants his own people, so he must scuttle employees he inherited. Many of them are talented and gifted in what they do, and in no sense were they part of the problem that made the football team 6-26 over the last two seasons. They would provide good work and good information for Pioli.

Doesn’t matter. They are the collateral damage that comes with the emphasis on change. It came to the front office, to the coaching staff, to the locker room and now to the personnel department.

Here’s a salute to those who lost their jobs and what they tried to get done over the years with the Chiefs. They will not be unemployed long, because the NFL is always on the lookout for good and talented people.

A bunch of them are now available.

A SECOND LOOK AT MR. IRRELEVANT

Some readers thought I was a little harsh with my assessment after the draft of the Chiefs pick at No. 256: South Carolina kicker Ryan Succop.

Understand I’ve got nothing against the young man. I don’t even have anything against kickers per se. I always enjoy the chance to visit with the greatest kicker in Chiefs history any time Jan Stenerud comes around. I just don’t view a draft choice as something that should be used on a position where the initial failure rate is so high.

It’s especially surprising given the presence of special teams coach Steve Hoffman on Todd Haley’s staff. During his time with the Cowboys, Hoffman had a good track record of finding kickers without the team using a draft choice. It was guys like Chris Boniol, who went 27 of 28 in the 1995 season or Richie Cunningham, who went 34 of 37 in 1997.

If a team is going to draft a kicker, I guess the seventh round is a good a place as any. Succop’s resume is interesting. First, he’s no little guy at 6-3, 225 pounds. For awhile he was the kicker, punter and kickoff man for the Gamecocks:

  • Field Goals – he made 49 of 69 over his career, 71 percent. Inside the 40-yard line, he was 26 of 31, 83.9 percent. Past the 40-yard line, Succop was 23 of 38, 60.5 percent. He made punts of 53, 54 and 55 yards. He also had three FGs blocked.
  • Punting – in 85 punts over two seasons (2006-07), he averaged 42.3 yards per punt. He had three touchbacks, 17 punts that returners fair caught, 22 punts were inside the 20-yard line and three punts were blocked.
  • Kickoffs – in four seasons he had 253 kickoffs and 94 were touchbacks, an average of 37.2 percent.

To survive as a FG kicker in the league, Succop will need to add about 15 percentage points to his total; 71 percent will not make it, he needs to be around 85 percent.

If he can get to that level, and keep up the long kickoffs, he will no longer be Mr. Irrelevant.

ON THE COLLEGE FREE-AGENT TRAIL

As soon as the draft was over, the Chiefs and other NFL teams started signing from the pool of players who were not drafted. The Chiefs have not released any names officially, but thanks to family members and colleges looking to let everyone know, word leaks out.

Again, we don’t know for sure the status of these players, whether they have signed free agent contracts or simply have been offered a chance to attend the team’s rookie mini-camp on May 8-9-10 on a tryout basis:

LB Bobby Abare, 6-2, 220 pounds, Yale – He played four seasons and had 279 total tackles, 10 interceptions and four sacks. He was named All-Ivy League three times and was a finalist for the Buck Buchanan Award, given to the best defensive player on the 1-AA level. Reported by the Torrington Register-Citizen in Connecticut.

OLB Jovan Belcher, 6-2, 240 pounds, Maine – A defensive end for the Black Bears, he was second in the voting for the Buck Buchanan Award and was named the Colonial Athletic Association’s defensive player of the year. Out of West Babylon, New York, he finished last year with 98 total tackles, 17.5 tackles for loss, 7.5 sacks, 1 interception, 1 recovered fumble and 2 forced fumbles. Reported by the Banger Daily News.

CB Londen Fryar (right), 5-11, 192 pounds, Western Michigan – The son of long-time NFL receiver Irving Fryar, he became his career with the Broncos as a wide receiver but they switched to cornerback. He had 170 career tackles and seven interceptions. Reported by the Kalamazoo Gazette.

DT Dion Gales, 6-6, 290 pounds, Troy State – A junior college transfer from Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College, Gales finished his two-year career at Troy with 93 total tackles, 8.5 sacks and 23.5 tackles for loss. Reported by the Dothan Eagle in Alabama. 

OT Cameron Goldberg, 6-6, 280 pounds, Duke – A three-year starter for the Blue Devils at left tackle, the Maryland native kept his job despite a spring suspension from the program last year. Reported by the Durham Herald-Sun.

DE Bobby Greenwood, 6-5, 278 pounds, Alabama – In four years on the field with the Crimson Tide, he played I n 51 games with 22 starts. Greenwood had 102 total tackles, 21.5 tackles for loss, 11.5 sacks, 1 forced fumble and 1 fumble recovered. Out of Prattville, Alabama. Reported by the Birmingham News.

WR Taurus Johnson (left), 6-0, 206 pounds, South Florida – The Florida native played in 49 games for the Bulls, starting 13 times. He caught 112 passes for 1,434 yards and 12 TDs over his career and he returned 39 kickoffs for 784 yards. Reported by the Tampa Tribune.

(tryout) S Ricky Price, 6-1, 195 pounds, Oklahoma State – Four-year player for the Cowboys, who spent two years as wide receiver and then last two as a safety. In 26 games in the secondary, he had 159 total tackles, 6.5 tackles for loss, 3 sacks, 1 interception, 2 forced fumbles and 1 recovered fumble. Reported by the Associated Press.

DE Pierre Walters, 6-4, 269 pounds, Eastern Illinois – He played defensive end but will be an outside linebacker in his attempt to make the Chiefs roster. Walters had 48 total tackles, 16.5 tackles for loss and 4.5 sacks last year. Reported by the Charleston Times-Courier in Illinois.

THE HAMMER FALLS ON HERM

I shouldn’t do this because all it does is bring more attention to idiocy. But I can’t help myself.

Kansas City’s biggest sports columnist came out of the second-day of the NFL Draft with a piece that rips Herm Edwards for being Herm Edwards.

Jason Whitlock’s Monday column eviscerating Edwards’ performance in ESPN’s draft coverage falls into an already bulging file I would call literary larceny, i.e. the Kansas City Star should file a police report saying somebody took their money under the false pretense of actually doing work and writing a column on a timely topic.

So much to write about over the weekend, just with the Chiefs alone, and this guy smashes the former coach who is no longer part of the equation. Understand that he’s still trying to curry favor with the new regime so there was no critique of the first Pioli/Haley draft. He had to bash somebody because that’s what big, bad columnist do, so he picked a talking head on TV.

Listen, I watched and heard Herm over the weekend. I was a bit busy with the site and stuff, so I didn’t sit down and sternly evaluate his performance. But what I saw is what I expected: it was Herm being Herm. He took issues and questions and tried to explain them in his own way. Sometimes it worked, sometimes it did not. Anybody that expected him to rip apart a draft pick, a team or a player doesn’t know Herm. That’s why they had Mel Kiper on the broadcast. Actually, I enjoyed most of what I saw from the former coach. Considering he’s never been in that forum before, he actually seemed quite comfortable during the Sunday broadcast.

Here’s the problem that Whitlock and his ilk have right now: they have no villain in the Chiefs story. For years Carl Peterson was the bad guy they got all the written darts and verbal bombs. He’s not there anymore. In the last three years, they enjoyed throwing heat at Edwards, but now he’s no longer part of the Chiefs equation. Larry Johnson is keeping his mouth shut and showing up for workouts, so it’s hard to fire one across his bow.

They just can’t let Peterson and Edwards go, so Whitlock steals another day’s pay at his inflated rate while dozens of his former Star co-workers continue trying to survive on unemployment. That’s a greater crime against journalism than anything Herm Edwards did on TV over the weekend.

SIGNINGS AND MOVEMENT IN THE NFL

BENGALS – released WR Chris Perry.

DOLPINS – released QB John Beck.

PACKERS - released C Brennan Carvalho.

SEAHAWKS – signed CB Ken Lucas and FB Justin Griffith.

SAY HAPPY BIRTHDAY …

Born on April 28, 1979 in Ventura, California was LB Scott Fujita (left). Drafted by the Chiefs in the fifth-round of the 2002 NFL Draft out of the University of California, Fujita spent three years with the team (2002-04), playing in 48 games with 41 starts and contributing 326 total tackles with 9.5 sacks, 1 interception and 1 forced fumble. He spent the ’05 season with Dallas and the last three years with New Orleans.

Born on April 28, 1967 in Dearborn Heights, Michigan was K Pete Stoyanovich. He was acquired in a trade in the 1996 pre-season from Miami. He kicked in 69 games in five different seasons (1996-2000) as part of his 12-year NFL career. Stoyanovich made 93 of 125 FG attempts with the Chiefs, including five of six from 50 yards or more. He made all but one of his 164 PAT kicks.


65 Responses to “Tuesday Morning Cup O’Chiefs”

  • April 28, 2009  - Rip 'em a new one says:

    Excellent column and analysis Bob and I’m glad to hear your Mom is doing well. Alright, I’ve got some pent up venting to do so here goes:

    I was really looking forward to Pioli as a “Patriots II” in the draft and it was like waiting for Kiss to show up on stage only to be entertained by the Jonas Brothers.

    If you’re cocky enough to cut someone like Will Franklin and blame it on the previous guy’s bad drafting then you better have someone ready to take on his role. The Chief’s RB/WR/TE situation is tenuous at best and given the state of their OL to the right of LT I’m not sure Cassel will want to sign with the Chiefs if he plays week 1. He might be Marc Bulger II. Looks good when the going’s good, but when it breaks down he’s a sack test dummy. Are you feeling me on this?

    I’ll say it again. Pioli is not what I thought him to be while his former NE subordinate in Atlanta, Thomas Dimitroff is making the right moves and by extension, making Pioli look the way he is, in over his head.

    Meantime, Pioli sacks the scouting department and has a convenient excuse for his first lackluster draft should these players not perform at a level above average. Vent over. Thanks for that.


  • April 28, 2009  - DaveS says:

    Do you expect he is going to bring Brian Ferentz over from New England’s scounting department?

    I think Scott is the one who got Brian in over there, and of course we all know about his long friendship with Brian’s father Kirk.


  • April 28, 2009  - DaveS says:

    Well Rip you have to remember that Scott is trying to build a program up from the bottom.
    Essentially Dimitroff inhereted a team that had a bad year because their All Pro QB got thrown in the pokey.

    The moral to that story is that when you are one piece of the puzzle away from being a playoff team and you have the #3 pick in the draft it makes it a whole lot easier. That is what TD had last year. Pioli was missing about 10-12 pieces when he got here and that can be attributed to the previous administration.


  • April 28, 2009  - DaveS says:

    Re: Jason Whitlock

    I think there is a huge misconception that people voluntarily read his columns. The fact is that anyone who would read Whitlocks rants is probably illiterate and has to have someone else read it to them.

    The guy knows about as much about football as Pamela Anderson knows about acting.


  • April 28, 2009  - Harold C. says:

    People…..as has been said before….if you look at the way the Patriots were run in previous years then you will see things going on here are not a whole lot different. This organization has not been a wining organization for some time….and Pioli intends to change that. If getting rid of good people and replacing them with new people of Pioli’s choosing gets us on the road to a championship then I’m all for it. We won’t know for a few years if this will be successful or not….so just sit back and enjoy the ride for now.

    Whitlock: Man oh man….that guy is a project. I have never seen his columns as anything to be taken seriously. I only occasionally read his column anymore because I can only stomach so much. Sometimes I just need a laugh. It’s amazing…I find that I can almost always pick out which stories are his just by reading the title. He is not happy unless he is bashing someone and he often contradicts himself if it will bring up more controversy. He often has an agenda….(Jeff George…LOL)….and he seems full of himself. I loved it when Rush Limbaugh gave him his gentle rebuke and I enjoyed your story too Bob. Now…will Whitlock respond to this with his gibberish like he did to Rush?


  • April 28, 2009  - Mark says:

    Well again you kind of missed and important part of the story about Ryan.

    You point out the following.

    “To survive as a FG kicker in the league, Succop will need to add about 15 percentage points to his total; 71 percent will not make it, he needs to be around 85 percent.”

    “Senior kicker Ryan Succop has been playing since early October with a sports hernia, or a small tear in his abdominal wall. The only way to repair it is surgery.

    And when does it hurt most?

    “Kicking is the thing that bothers it most,” Succop said. “I can get out and jog a little bit, and it’s not too bad. Just kicking is when it’s painful.”

    “Succop’s injury first came to light when his usually accurate leg started going errant.

    Succop missed four of five field goals Oct. 11 at Kentucky. Succop had missed four field goals total in each of the past two seasons.”

    So if you look at his percentage before that injury what do you get? I dont have time to look it up but maybe you could so we get a more accurate picture.


  • April 28, 2009  - Shoe says:

    I only read Whitlock for the humor value even though I’m reasonably sure that he’s not going for laughs when he pecks out a column.

    I wonder how many of those who will get their undies bunched up over all the changes made by Pioli also wanted Peterson to leave town…


  • April 28, 2009  - Harold C. says:

    I think Jason should come over here and respond. Anybody can post and anyone could say he is Mr. Whitlock but he can validate his post here by mentioning what he says here in his column so we really know it’s him. Come on Jason….lets have a conversation. We could talk about Jeff George if you want…LOL.


  • April 28, 2009  - tm1946 says:

    I am a Pioli/Haley fan….. but it sure is difficult. By dumping on the scouting staff, we are supposed to believe they id’ed the past stiffs while most of us blame Carl/hc. Now look at the college free agents, I know most are cannon fodder or developemental squad but what is missing? Maybe a WR with blazing speed and no hands or reverse that? Offensive linemen or deep snapper, just to fill in for our starters during camp? I just do not see the hand of genius since signing of Cassel (I want him under long term contract before season starts)and I am not sure this was all Pioli’s doing.

    I cannot figure who is going to do the scoring this season, who is going to save Cassel’s life during games, who is the safety value on Off., who is the “fix” on Off. Line, or deep snapper. It is fine to say give Pioli 3 years to put it together but don’t we have to field a team in 09 and keep Cassel alive until 2012??


  • April 28, 2009  - Scott says:

    Rip,

    Pioli is not done putting this years team together. He said so right after the draft. Have patience. We WILL be an improved team this year.

    Thing is, this team didn’t go to sh*t in one year…and it won’t be fixed in one year. I don’t see us making a Super Bowl run this year…but I do expect us to have a competitive team. Which will be a HUGE step up from the joke we put on the field last year.

    As far as all those bashing Pioli’s draft picks? Give them a chance. How can anyone know that our picks were not good ones at this point? Pioli obviously saw something in these guys…so let’s give it some time, and maybe we’ll all know what that something was.

    I guess I’m just strange. I always thought that part of being a fan meant that you had faith in your team.


  • April 28, 2009  - tm1946 says:

    Scott I like your view. The gurus of the national media say a solid, non chance taking draft. The kids will play for many years, maybe not all pros but contributors. And I am not aware of anyone, even we nuts who comment here, predicting a superbowl appearance.

    Your first sentence got my attention. He also said the 2nd round pick for 2010 “might” be moved to a 2009 pick, did not happen. The management is so parnoid about talking to the public, I am not sure how much you can believe when they do talk.


  • April 28, 2009  - Harold C. says:

    Scott, “fans” often do strange things. Besides having faith in your team…I always thought if you are a fan and root for your team that you don’t boo your own team….but that’s what “fans” do….I guess.

    You are right….Pioli is not done. Just have a little patience people. Things could be far worse…..we could be the Raiders. Now don’t you feel great about the Chiefs now?

    Where are you Jason? Come on over and spread some propaganda.


  • April 28, 2009  - Harold C. says:

    We are going to the Super Bowl this year… :) :) :)


  • April 28, 2009  - Scott says:

    I always suspected that Rin Tin Tin was Whitlock…


  • April 28, 2009  - Mark says:

    Ok here is some more info on Ryan from NFL.com
    Just in case you dont have time to look it up.

    “Analysis

    Positives: Versatile and is experienced as a place-kicker, punter and on kickoffs. … Legitimate NFL leg strength. … Has a career long field goal of 55 yards and improved his kickoff depth considerably as a senior. … Accurate. … Entered the 2008 season with a 94.1 accuracy rate on attempts of 39 yards and in. … Mentally strong. … Regained accuracy once he’d recovered from abdominal strain in ’08. … Rare size and athleticism for the position. … Athletic enough to break down in space and make the tackle in the open field.”


  • April 28, 2009  - SG says:

    “I cannot figure who is going to do the scoring this season, who is going to save Cassel’s life during games, who is the safety value on Off., who is the “fix” on Off. Line, or deep snapper. It is fine to say give Pioli 3 years to put it together but don’t we have to field a team in 09 and keep Cassel alive until 2012??”

    Wow tm1946, nice to see I’m not the only one asking these questions.


  • April 28, 2009  - True Red & Gold says:

    Time will tell us all we need to know about Pioli. The guy is not a dummy even if he comes off as one sometimes. His little speech about we are not looking for the best 53 but the “Right 53″ is nothing more than a built in excuse. It doesn’t matter how many talented players he lets go or misses on, he can always say: well that guy just wasn’t a good fit, sure he is a pro bowl player but he just wasn’t part of our “Right 53″. Now that is brilliant, still just an excuse, but most fans will buy it. It doesn’t matter what you think of him now or in the future he will eventually be the hero or the goat. He will have to answer for taking Jackson with the 3rd overall pick if he does not pan out. Or what if Cassel is a bust and Sanchez is a superstar and we could have had him at #3, he will have to answer for that too. It is too bad that he is letting good people go, but ultimately, it is his job (and reputation) that is on the line.

    Haley on the other hand so far has that deer in the headlight look. Talk about being in over his head. At this point Haley comes off as nothing more than a puppet for Pioli. We will see??


  • April 28, 2009  - SG says:

    Comments for Scott:

    “Thing is, this team didn’t go to sh*t in one year…” Nope – you’re right – it’s been several years of ignoring a glaring problem – since Willie Roaf and Will Shields flirted with retirement a few years ago until now…we’ve spent what – one Day 1 pick on our O-Line? I can’t praise that obvious failure to respond.

    “As far as all those bashing Pioli’s draft picks? Give them a chance.” The funny thing is – before the draft – the comment was ‘wait until the draft is done – Pioli’s got a brilliant series of moves up his sleeve!’ Now that it’s over and he didn’t make any brilliant moves and didn’t address the line problem – we should now wait until the regular season or some other future point in time?

    “I always thought that part of being a fan meant that you had faith in your team.” I am and will continue to be committed to rooting for my team – hoping they will crush the Donks and the Raiders at every turn. However, I don’t believe I’m required to check my brain at the door.


  • April 28, 2009  - True Red & Gold says:

    And as far as Witless goes, he makes a living off human nature.


  • April 28, 2009  - Jody says:

    I like Herm. I do. He was AW-ful. I thought thank god this idiot is no longer running the team. And I thought Herm would be a natual for tv. Herm takes a lot of time and a lot of words to repeatedly say nothing.


  • April 28, 2009  - Scott says:

    SG,

    But…

    If Pioli built the O-line with the #3 pick, and others…then people would be bitching that he didn’t do anything about our gawd-awful Defense.

    He seems to be in a no win situation with some people.


  • April 28, 2009  - ArrowheadHawk says:

    Maybe some decent schemes and some better coaching will make the difference with some of the same players……..


  • April 28, 2009  - SG says:

    “He seems to be in a no win situation with some people.” Scott man – you’re probably right about that. I just hate to see our team throwing money down the drain by not protecting our investment properly. We’ve got all this money locked up in salary for LJ and Cassel – but if they go down (like LJ did and both Croyle and Huard did) – wouldn’t it be a pretty big waste? No matter how one spins that – it’s an awful hard pill to swallow.


  • April 28, 2009  - True Red & Gold says:

    Scott, the frustration that some of us feel is that after making a large investment on Cassel, Pioli has done little to protect or help that investment. Maybe there is more to come but at this point Cassel’s protection is suspect, he does not have a sure handed RB making catches out of the backfield, he does not have a reliable relief valve in a TE, and his receiving corp is hardly stellar. I think many of us expected him to do something flashy on defense after that apparently brilliant trade for Cassel.


  • April 28, 2009  - True Red & Gold says:

    flashy on defense …… I meant flashy on offense. What I meant, not what I said :)


  • April 28, 2009  - anonymous says:

    Keep up the great work Coach Edwards – whether as the NFLs best coach or TVs best on-air talent ALL of KC is still behind you and we know that you’ll lead ESPN and/or the next fortunate team that you coach back to glory very soon now.

    AND NOW Clark Hunt has RE-RE-affirmed he hasn’t a clue what he’s doing since you told him to take a hike & left him at the chapel door. We miss you – for what we have in your stead is but flotsam and jetsam…indicators this past weekend and more to follow, surely.

    Memo to Edgar Bergen/’searchme’piolee at Paranoid Central aka One Arrowhead Drive

    You’ve located the problem: step 2 is fixing it- FIRE YOURSELF! After that sorry draft of yours you ought to be a man & have the decency to resign – and on your way out through one of the secret executive level 3 tunnels take Charlie McCarthy/’checkpoint’ hailee with you (make sure you have him blink now and again/make his lips move so security doesn’t become suspicious.)

    R.I.P KC Chiefs 2009…0-16

    :-)


  • April 28, 2009  - Scott says:

    He hasn’t really addressed the Offense…YET.

    True. Can’t argue there. But, I think he will. There’s still plenty of time…and we’ve still got money to spend. I’m sure there will be plenty of additions and subtractions to our roster before opening day.

    ArrowheadHawk says:
    “Maybe some decent schemes and some better coaching will make the difference with some of the same players……”

    I believe that to be true, also. Maybe Pioli and Haley think that with better conditioning, better coaching, and REAL practices…that some of our current players might be better than their play indicated last year. I’m fairly confident that the guys in charge know what we have, and what we still need.


  • April 28, 2009  - B in SC says:

    Jeez, give it a rest already. He let go the scouting department, because (let’s face it)in 25 years of Cook’s leadership, they hadn’t exactly been leading the way in drafting talent. To be the best, you have to hire the best.

    Before anyone gets too down on the draft, keep in mind that all the draft pundits don’t have their jobs riding on who develops into real talent. I read a comment on ESPN.com that Pioli thinks he got the next Richard Seymour in Jackson. How does this guy know what Pioli thinks? Maybe Pioli thinks he drafted Jackson. This evaluation of the draft by know nothings is crazy. It doesn’t matter. What matters is the team that takes the field. What if they were to trade for Julius Peppers tomorrow? He would go from goat to genius. Long way to go to September. I am really intrigued with the FA rookies they may have signed.

    Bob, thanks for the redo on Succop. He will make everyone forget about Justin Medlock.


  • April 28, 2009  - johnfromfairfax says:

    I think there’s a little truth in everything that everybody is saying. I also think people need to realize that the team is not going to be fixed overnight and that it will be an extended process. Whether we all like it or not we are “rebuilding” with everything that entails. The team and organization has a lot of issues. Time will tell if the new GM and coach have any skill and know anything that separates them from those they have dismissed. But only time will tell. It’s every fan’s right to support or criticize any and every move but it’s way too early to know that they’re idiots, clueless and know nothing about what they’re doing. If you listen to what they say and pay attention to what they do they are doing what they have said they were going to do. At least they’ve been consistent in their approach so far. As for the results. We’ll all see.


  • April 28, 2009  - Brian says:

    People, this was made clear to us that this was going to happen. Pioli stated that he was going to build the organization from top to bottom. That includes, scouts, Front Office…everything. He wants a staff that is all on the same page and working as one unit. Arrowhead will be ran as a business now and businesses that succeed strive for efficiency and that is what is going on. Of course he wants his own people because he trusts them, he has relationships with them, and he knows what to expect out of them and they are on the same page with him. Just because some of these people were let go, doesn’t necessarily mean they were bad at their job or whatever. It just means that they may not share the same vision or they have a different philosophy than Pioli and Pioli needs people that are on the same page with him. That is all this is about.


  • April 28, 2009  - anonymous says:

    To say that the Chiefs haven’t improved the O-Line is a bit disingenuous. They signed Goff as a free agent, he alone will help tremendously, they drafted the kid outta Mizzou, they have signed 2 TE and drafted one, all reportedly known as blockers. The O-Line, as it was had improved by the end of last season. McIntosh got much better, I think he was a little nicked early, that and adjusting to the right side had a negative effect on his play early.
    Do I feel like they need to improve at a couple of positions still? Yes. I wasn’t impressed with Niswanger’s play at all, but I only know from what I could see watching the games, maybe I am wrong about him. Jones may have been the weak link, obviously the Coaches thought so, as he’s no longer a Chief. All in all I think the O-Line all though probably NOT what we as Chiefs fans have become accustomed to, will be ok, short term.

    However, I personally, am concerned about the WO’s. Judging by the mere #’s that the Chiefs have signed/drafted/UFA’s and those already on the roster, I would guess that Haley is too.
    Some one asked a very good question, who is Cassel going to have as a security blanket? Backs (no one, now, that TG is gone to dump the ball to quickly) and receivers are still a concern, imo.


  • April 28, 2009  - anonymous says:

    the bad punk-you-asian guy (get it like punctuation), I heard the same thing about you.


  • April 28, 2009  - burnsomatic says:

    I cant wait to see what all you are saying after pioli goes out and gets braylon edwards


  • April 28, 2009  - SG says:

    “I cant wait to see what all you are saying after pioli goes out and gets braylon edwards…”

    Then he will have done something, which is better than nothing, which is where he stands now…will it be enough? we’ll save that for another debate.


  • April 28, 2009  - SG says:

    “Before anyone gets too down on the draft, keep in mind that all the draft pundits don’t have their jobs riding on who develops into real talent.”

    My draft grade was given based on my observation of 6-26 in two seasons, 3 season-ending injuries, and insufficient action to address the problem, plus a trade of possibly this team’s most powerful offensive weapon.


  • April 28, 2009  - Scott says:

    burnsomatic says:
    “I cant wait to see what all you are saying after pioli goes out and gets braylon edwards”

    What’s the big deal about Braylon Edwards? In 2008 – 55 catches…873 yards…3 TD’s…average of 55 yards per game. That puts him around 30th in the league.

    By comparison…Dwayne Bowe had 86 catches, 1022 yards, 7 TD’s, and an average of 64 yards per game last year.

    Edwards had one good year in 2007…but is generally over-rated, if you ask me. Hardly an “elite” player, as he is generally referred to as being.


  • April 28, 2009  - anonymous says:

    I’m with you on Edwards. OVERRATED! I wish they could have gotten Holt.


  • April 28, 2009  - Tim says:

    I hope everybody calms down a bit. Trying to rebuild an entire organization that has been failing is a huge undertaking. When Pioli was hired, there was no time to make changes in the scouting dept. He had to get them to adjust to what they wanted on the fly. This purge was going to happen.

    I believe the information “lockdown” has many reasons:
    1. They really need their own people that they trust.
    2. They want to create a level of discomfort in the players to make sure they get their best effort.
    3. They don’t want a bunch of discussion out there about exactly what they want to do on the field. That will come in time.
    4. Haley isn’t comfortable yet in his role as the “face of the organization” yet so no need to throw him out there. He’s going to have to grow into that part of his job.

    I believe the ’09 Chiefs will be a better football team. Our schedule is a killer, but I have confidence we’ll be a better team. Don’t forget how we lost so many of those close games: defense & special teams. We’d score to go ahead then give up a huge kickoff or punt return which left a weak D defending a short field.


  • April 28, 2009  - Mark says:

    Amazing that some people could actually defend Herm Edwards as a Coach, and knock Scott Pioli as an executive, ABSOLUTELY AMAZING. I guess some Chief fans want to lose, as long as they are entertained by a Circus Clown at press conferences, and are give “full access”, rather than try to win with a proven winner, a recipient of multiple NFL executive of the year awards.


  • April 28, 2009  - ILChiefsFan says:

    Kudos to B in SC for pointing out that the Chiefs haven’t exactly done “nothing” to improve the O-line. Already it should be better than last year.

    It is disconcerting, though, to see how many sacks Cassel took last season (48, vs. 37 for Chiefs quarterbacks) with what would have to be considered a better offensive line. I’m sure some of that can be chalked up to the Pats’ style of play (lots of deep routes), but still…


  • April 28, 2009  - Scott says:

    Well, we would have given up a lot more sacks last year…except for the fact that Thigpen can run.


  • April 28, 2009  - ILChiefsFan says:

    Scott,

    That’s my thinking, too. So protection of Cassel is a concern.


  • April 28, 2009  - arrowhead1978 says:

    It’s all about the right 53 year old!! They picked up engram, he should do us well for the next 17 years…

    Like I have said before Belichick was and still is the man in NE. Look at what they did this weekend, traded down, got players they wanted…


  • April 28, 2009  - Pete says:

    I am no Whitlock fan but it is interesting you rip him and then, as Mark says, write a whole section about Succop that does not mention the glaring fact that when he was healthy he made his kicks.


  • April 28, 2009  - anonymous says:

    Well said Tim.

    My point is Pioli may be underestimating the importance of PR in KC. We all know it doesn’t matter what the real truth is, it is perceived truth
    that wins in the court of public opinion. Pioli was able to get by with an I don’t give a damn if you like me or not attitude in the giant metropolis of Boston. I’ve spent some time there, most folks think there shi% is just below God like. That won’t fly in the Heartland of the Midwest! He said he wasn’t going to be the voice of the team, oops, to late! Your it whether you like it or not.

    I don’t want to see Pioli or Haley villainized because of poor PR.

    I think he needs to do a much better job on this part of his job. First and foremost, not saying he did or didn’t, but I would think that lying to the media and fans, would set a very bad precedent. If he doesn’t want to answer a question, simply decline to answer, but never should he just flat out lie!

    And like I said before, I can understand the denying the Gonzalez trade until it was final, but I don’t get all the mystery about Cassel and his contract.


  • April 28, 2009  - ED says:

    Totally agree with your column Bob. Whitlock is not a real journalist and now there isn’t a villian or so call villian in KC anymore he has nothing to write about. What a clown.


  • April 28, 2009  - colby says:

    Cassel can run too. Anyone who actually watched him play last year would know that. Difference is, he can actually THROW too!!!

    Bob Gretz says:
    “Many of them are talented and gifted in what they do, and in no sense were they part of the problem that made the football team 6-26 over the last two seasons. They would provide good work and good information for Pioli.”

    Far be it from me to wish unemployment on anybody in this economy, but these guys have proven they don’t deserve to work in the NFL. What do you mean they were “in no sense part of the problem that made the team 6-26?” Are you freaking kidding me Bob?! They were the key men who helped BUILD that pile of crap team we’ve watched these past two years! Who is responsible then? Carl? No way would you lay too much blame at his feet. Herm? Last I heard, you thought he deserved an extension! These personnel men deserved to be fired and I’d be surprised if half of them get another job in the league.

    And then you have the gall to attack Whitlock for his opinions! I love the site Bob, but when you offer things like this, it’s evidence why Whitlock works for a major newspaper, regularly fills in for Rome in the “Jungle”, and gets face time on ESPN and Oprah and you….well…..DON’T.


  • April 28, 2009  - colby says:

    PS, I’m glad your Mom is still going strong. Chemo is a bitch.


  • April 28, 2009  - Scott says:

    arrowhead1978 says:

    “Like I have said before Belichick was and still is the man in NE. Look at what they did this weekend, traded down, got players they wanted…”

    NE wasn’t trying to deal the #3 pick, either. Plus, NE doesn’t have the kind of holes to fill that we do. Oh…and what about letting the player they wanted (Percy Harvin) get taken by the Vikes with the pick right before them? I’d say that was a big time f-up.

    And whether or not you like our selections…I’d say that Pioli got the players he wanted, too.

    It just blows my mind that so many are willing to call our draft this year a bust…ALREADY. Let’s see what these guys can do before we pass judgement. Last year, Dorsey was considered by most to be the best defensive player in the draft. How much did THAT help us last year?


  • April 28, 2009  - arrowhead1978 says:

    Scott,


  • April 28, 2009  - arrowhead1978 says:

    I didn’t say that the draft was a bust I personally like the fact the Pioli went against the trend and didn’t take Curry. I dont think that letting Gonzalez go for a second rounder next year helped the team out this year though. If the falcons are in the playoffs this year, the pick will become a late second rounder…

    Dorsey was considered to be the top defensive player in the draft last year and he performed like a rookie DT, but still better then any other rookie DT that was taken in the draft last year.


  • April 28, 2009  - Scott says:

    Just to clarify something I said above…

    It has been reported that the Patriots had told Percy Harvin that they were going to draft him, after they worked him out. When Minnesota took him (right before the Pat’s pick), NE traded down…since their #1 player of choice was gone.

    Just doesn’t sound like great planning from “the man” Belichick to me. If he wanted Harvin, he should have moved up a pick or two to make sure he got him.


  • April 28, 2009  - ILChiefsFan says:

    colby says:

    “Cassel can run too. Anyone who actually watched him play last year would know that.”

    So the @ 48 sacks he took are not a cause for concern?


  • April 28, 2009  - ILChiefsFan says:

    BTW, Whitlock “works for a major newspaper, regularly fills in for Rome in the “Jungle”, and gets face time on ESPN and Oprah” because he knows what sells. That doesn’t = integrity, which was the point of Bob’s criticsm.


  • April 28, 2009  - The IT Guy says:

    Scott,

    Last I checked, Mr. Cassell could run just fine. He chalked up 300 yds passing and 100 yds rushing in one game…..

    He moves well, draws comparisons to thiggy (although I think it should be the other way around.) Also, to think Pioli hasnt done much. Short sighted, truly. He got Cassell and Vrabel for a second. Do D-lineman that fit our mold/scheme, and if you noticed, there are several tackles (one from Cincy) that are being released at the moment. Plus he signed Goff. hmmm….maybe hes doing something….


  • April 28, 2009  - Scott says:

    Hang on everybody!!!

    I never meant to imply (or say) that Cassel couldn’t run. I know he can.

    All I said was, we would have had a whole lot more sacks last year if Thigpen didn’t have the abilty to run.


  • April 28, 2009  - The IT Guy says:

    “Two D-Linemen” sorry, oops.


  • April 28, 2009  - DaveS says:

    ILChiefFan-

    Ancient philosopher once say “It not what you know, but who you blow.”

    No great accomplishment for Whiltlock to get on ESPN or fill in for Rome. He is exactly the kind of no talent hack they look to hire all the time, which is why ESPN is horrible.

    In regards to Oprah I did see him on there once and it was the one time I found myself in agreement with Whitlock’s position..which btw really had nothing to do with sports.


  • April 28, 2009  - SG says:

    “It’s all about the right 53 year old!! They picked up engram, he should do us well for the next 17 years…”

    Nicely done Arrowhead!

    Even with Mike Goff on my Chiefs’ roster, if I was a health insurance carrier and evaluated cost based on distribution of salaries, I would raise the Chiefs’ insurance premiums about 10-fold for its backfield going into 2009 (even with the hope of improved coaching)!!!


  • April 28, 2009  - tm1946 says:

    Some one once said “Those who refuse to learn from history are doomed to repeat it” ( I paraphase of course). Even fans are allowed to compare what happened in context to what is happening now. If Pioli/Haley are living in some makebelieve world that by not talking to the public, everything is a top secret, and they are beyond scrutiny, they time in KC will be mis-spent. My point is we only know they by their action, their choice, and so far most like Cassel trade but the rest of their actions “appear” less than stellar.

    I think the Chiefs are better than the 08 Chiefs but not as good as the 09 Chiefs before the Tony G. give away.


  • April 28, 2009  - Scott says:

    Just a thought here…

    Maybe Pioli will open up a little once he’s not “the new guy” anymore. Remember…he’s in a new job, new city, and a new team.

    You know, the guy is under a tremendous amount of pressure. I think it took some major balls for Pioli to leave the comforts of New England, and a successful organization…to come here and try to turn this team around. He didn’t HAVE to. Nobody had a gun to his head. And then to have everyone second guess every move you make…analyze every little detail…question every single roster move? Like you don’t know what the hell you’re doing? Nice.

    Pioli has the respect of some of the best football minds in the NFL. That speaks volumes. To me it does, anyway. I’m confident that he’s going to build a winning franchise here, and I’m willing to give him a chance to do it.


  • May 7, 2009  - robgar says:

    whitlock is an idiot. He was bashing idiot reporters on rome the other day. I couldnt help but wonder if he was talking about himself.

    RG




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