You Mean There’s A Plan? … Tuesday Cup O’Chiefs

There were two interesting moments when Romeo Crennel was introduced as the new head coach of the Chiefs on Monday.

Crennel did most of the talking during this affair, but at one point Chiefs chairman Clark Hunt was asked if he had a vision on how he wanted his franchise to operate.

“When I became chairman of the club five or six years ago, what I mentioned at the time was I wanted us to be a team that drafted well and developed the players that we drafted,” Hunt said.

And, that was it, the sum total of Hunt’s vision for his team or at least all that he was willing to share with the media and ticket buying public.

The other moment came when Crennel said: “I think Clark has a vision for building a championship team and the commitment that it takes to get that done. I’m on board with his vision and I want to help him do that.”

Again, maybe Hunt has shared more of his vision with Crennel and the head coach was holding back on repeating those thoughts.

There’s apparently a plan in place for the Chiefs. No, really, it’s true. It may be hard to believe given the way the last year or so has gone around the franchise, but Hunt has a vision and reportedly his employees are working to make that happen.

That’s what makes it so far hard to figure out just what is involved in this plan. Hunt wants to draft well and develop the talent the team selects into contributing players. OK, that’s good; it’s a plan 31 other teams in the league share, but you have to start somewhere.

What about beyond that? What about when those draft choices are developed into contributing players? Are they allowed to walk, or are they paid the going market rate for their services?

And what happens when amidst all those developing players, there are holes in the roster that must be filled. Is the team’s vision to do that as cheaply as possible, or to sign the best player available? How tight are the purse strings on items other than players? Is there enough money in the club’s vision to pay for high caliber assistant coaches, or trainers, workout specialists all those people? Is there enough money available to pay for talented scouts and personnel people to evaluate those draft choices that are so important?

Five years after he took control of the franchise, Clark Hunt hasn’t provided much in the way of answers or explanation of his vision. Yes, some of those developing players –acquired by the previous administration – have been kept in house with new contracts before they reached free agency. But others, specifically two very talented players in Dwayne Bowe and Brandon Carr, are left to twist in the wind right now. Why?

If the draft is the lynchpin to everything, that puts a lot of pressure on the personnel department and the person making the selections. That batting average has to be far higher than normal. With seven rounds each year and say seven picks per team, the average club will get short-term contributions from five choices and long-term contributions from two or three. The Chiefs would have to score short-term from six and long-term from three or four, or better than 50 percent. Those are tough odds year after year after year.

Here’s where the secrecy of the Chiefs organization under Hunt and Pioli hurts them. It’s hard to convince a lot of people to invest in something they don’t quite understand because they’ve been given so little information. Most ticket buying decisions are made on whether the team wins or loses, but a significant segment of fans will hang on through tough times if they’ve been clued in to the road map the team is following. A map to the Holy Grail is easier to find than a document that outlines the direction of the Clark Hunt Chiefs.

Right now, the Chiefs have two issues leading directly back to Hunt. First, it’s the murkiness of the franchise’s vision or plan. Second, is the impatience Hunt has shown over the last six years with his head coaches. Herm Edwards moved forward with his desire to go young in 2008 because he thought he had Hunt’s support. Edwards told him there would be some temporary pain. Hunt couldn’t handle that (2-14 in 2008) and swept out the old regime.

Todd Haley won several coach of the year honors in 2010, taking his team to a 10-6 record and an AFC West championship. Then 13 games later, after an unusual off-season with an owners’ lockout and a host of major injuries, Haley gets dumped with a 5-8 record.

Both of those moves provided the franchise with no stability; in fact it paints an exact opposite picture.

That brings us to Crennel, who signed just a three-year contract as head coach, not four like Haley signed in 2009. For his sake, I hope Romeo does have an idea of Clark Hunt’s vision for his team. I also hope he understands that vision seems to change when things get tough.

In the amended words of a football legend, Romeo … you’d better just win baby! There’s no room for building here.

Just ask Herm and Todd … turns out the vision wasn’t quite in focus for them.

36 Responses to “You Mean There’s A Plan? … Tuesday Cup O’Chiefs”

  • January 10, 2012  - James says:

    I get the sense that Clark isn’t all that thrilled to be the Chairman of the Chief’s, more that it’s his duty. Maybe he realizes he hired the wrong gm. It appears to me that Crennel will be nothing more than a puppet HC. Hope I’m wrong.

  • January 10, 2012  - Gerald Titus says:

    I don’t know, maybe Bob’s saying things I don’t want to hear, but its almost as if he hired a consultant to help him increase his readership (subscribers) and was told that he needed to be more hard edged and cynical. I was drawn to Bob’s articles because he was more positive in his reporting and focused more on the what took place on the field than the speculations about back office goings on. I felt I could trust what he was saying rather than listen to all those naysayers on the radio and other websites. Where do I go. Who can I trust.

  • January 10, 2012  - Canada Brad says:

    Welcome to the offseason Titus. There is no ‘on the field’ action to report on until OTAs.

    Plus Bob has been complaining about the silence from the higher-ups since Pioli and the “Patriot Way” came to town. This is nothing new.

  • January 10, 2012  - bhive01 says:

    Silence from the higher ups and the upheaval in the offices.

    I’d like to see a bit more speculation or an Ask Bob that starts to answer some of the questions that we have currently. He just did a player ranking and in that you can kind of see who needs to stay and who needs to go. I’d like to see what Bob thinks and who he thinks we could get in the draft or free agency to fill those positions. Then he can refer back to it and do one of his post-game checklists to let us know whether we lost, gained or if it’s a push in the personnel department.

    I imagine the secrecy from the front office makes Bob’s job very difficult; hence, a little vitriol from time to time.

  • January 10, 2012  - Tenand6 says:

    Well, Sam Mellinger has a piece in the paper today saying Scott Pioli is an insecure man who needs to move past blindly following what Belichick did years ago. Bob was the first to point out Pioli’s personality flaw and the stunted “vision” of pretending there is a “Patriot Way” beyond Tom Brady.

    Bob has the most realistic, grounded view of the Chiefs—- more so than any other writer. I didn’t always want to hear it, but why not have a clear view of what is being offered up by the Mothership?

    Bob Gretz isn’t the problem, guys. Jeff Fisher figured out in less than two hours he didn’t want any part of the Kansas City Chiefs. Should we bash Fisher now, too?

  • January 10, 2012  - Chuck says:

    Bob; I know by now that you know the management (ala Clark and Piglioli) never tell you anything of substance at these meetings. Thats why long ago I quit going to and don’t listen to the media soundbites. THEY NEVER TELL YOU ANYTHING OF SUBSTANCE. Now, one last thing I could tell between the lines that you were not thrilled with Clarks comments on the future of the franchise. Don’t know how long you have followed the Chiefs but I have ever since Super Bowl #1. Have you ever thought to yourself that 5 or 10 years from now we might be having this same identical conversation???? Small market team, owner that really was given the business, owner that wants to “manage” the money and not spend the money. There’s a difference. Owner that doesn’t even live in KC. Are you starting to get my point?????

  • January 10, 2012  - RW says:

    Given his horrid track record as owner, I don’t know why anyone would think Jr. Hunt has a remote clue about owning-managing-running ANY kind of business operation. I think the best we can hope for is that he’s keeping the franchise warm and afloat for a sale at which time he can walk away, count his money, and fade from the scene.

    If Jr. Hunt is in it for the longterm, he’s going to make everyone feel the pain of his actions until that time when HE feels the pain of an empty stadium and a fan base in deep decline. This guy makes Charlie Finley look like a considerable upgrade. (Like the old school owner reference???)

  • January 10, 2012  - el cid says:

    In the old days when we had the print media, 8 minute TV sports reporting, and no sports radio or internet, we knew little about our favorite teams. We thought owners were all about winning because that was the way we thought. Unless we were employed by the Chiefs we had no clue about why they did the things the way they did.

    While I appreciate Bob’s site, we may be the poorer for it. No, it is a billion dollar business and operates that way. The owner makes decisions based on business not the sport. The sport is just what the business does to suceed.

    Bob is quite capable of ignorring those who only comment is attacking him. It is just what we have come down to, fighting among ourselves and watching the Chiefs stumble forward with their “plan”.

  • January 10, 2012  - Blake says:

    I may be in the minority but I do believe there is a plan and that Pioli is going to do good things here. Yes Clark may say that he wants his team to draft and develop their own players, but think about it what was Carl Peterson’s plan? Carl was not good come draft time, he might hit on the first round and that’s it. Pioli has hit a little bit of everywhere, he has gotten sleepers and hit in the first round. Did he miss on some? Yes, but what team doesn’t? His first year wasn’t good we all know this but Succup is good, and Tyson has gotten better every year and is turning into a good 34 DE. These last two years have been good drafts, better than most teams in my opinion. If Pioli continues to bring in good players like the last two drafts, I believe he will stay here. This is a good thing, KC had a terrible roster when Pioli got here, yes they had a good 2008 draft and lots of good young talent but besides that draft and first round draft picks, there was close to nothing. I hope Romeo does good because Pioli is a good drafter and if he continues to do what he is doing, in 5 more years this roster could be stocked with good players.

    Gerald Titus- I am seeing the same thing you are, Bob has started to turn negative in everything Chiefs related. If you think back he use to defend Pioli’s first draft, saying that he had no help and only a few short months to prepare, but now he is blaming Pioli. Bob use to have good insider information or a different spin that others didn’t have and its just not there anymore…

  • January 10, 2012  - Tim says:

    I love the Chiefs & Lamar -rest his departed sole. The fact is while Lamar was so significant to what we all enjoy today in this country, he really wasn’t a football guy. He was a sportsman, competitor & visionary. The tradition of the Chiefs was built on the field by Stram mainly. Had he not had the success he did, we might not have ever had it. He listened to the wrong people, kept Steadman around way too long, etc. Guess who was watching all of this? Yes, Clark was. He saw the drawbacks of his father’s extended loyalty & hands-off approach. I sense he’s trying to not fall prey to that. The problem is his FOOTBALL judgement, not his intelligence or business accumen. The problem is you can’t create stability without patience. Of course there has to be accountability, but if there is accountability at the expense of a realistic amount of patience, stability will never realistically be achieved to any degree. I believe the plan is a transitional one with the RAC hire. I believe he feels we have enough of a core to continue to develop so keep Crennel & in the best case scenario, find a “coach in waiting” type of coordinator. That’s why the 3 yr. contract considering his age.

  • January 10, 2012  - jim says:

    The one thing that alarmed me was when Romeo said,”I’m on board with his (Hunts)vision and am here to help him with that.” Hunt should have said he is there to help Romeo with his vision and is on board to help with THAT. Yea, Hunt owns it, but Romeo/Pioli are there to be held accountable. Hunt needs to help them, not the other way around.

  • January 10, 2012  - rufus says:

    I come to the same conclusion Bob does. the troops are falling in but the general has no clue. this next year or two will decide whether this franchise needs to be sold to somebody who knows football. I think the Hunt family needs to get real one way or the other and your write will begin the crusade, I believe.

  • January 10, 2012  - Johnfromwichita says:

    Obviously Clark has a plan: make money. Goodby Bowe and Carr and don’t count on free agency. Once more, that was not an earthquake you felt; just Lamar turning over. Again.

  • January 10, 2012  - leonard says:

    Well all you Carl bashers what do you think now?
    Carl at least let the coaches coach. Haley should never have been fired, Pioli should have. With the new CBA they have to spend the money now. Maybe we will see something now. I like Romeo, I think he learned alot as a head coach in Cleveland, and we saw some of that thye last 3 games. Just 1 field goal not getting blocked, and we win the West. The special teams coach should be fired.

  • January 10, 2012  - cychief24 says:

    I hope you all enjoy wallowing in Bob’s sh!t.

    No doubt that Pioli blew the Haley hire. Some people interview great and then become themselves on the job. IMO, that’s what happened to the Chiefs. Hard to guess that Haley was that immature and bipolar. He thinks he’s smarter than everyone else, that’s why he wasted the short Pre-Season while every other team was preparing for the regular season.

    I like the partnership of Romeo/Pioli. Some of you need to watch the press conference. Romeo said they would work together on the staff, but Pioli said the final decisions on staff were Romeo’s.

    I choose to be optimistic and am anxious to see the moves Romeo/Pioli make over the months leading to the draft.
    Looking at the rest of the West, I think I’m going to get to see another home playoff game from my seats in 2012.

  • January 10, 2012  - Michael says:

    Many would agree Hunt hasn’t done much to inspire confidence so far, but I too believe there are some reasons for optimism. He hasn’t been at it that long; so, hopefully, he will improve with time.

    Pioli and Crennel should be able to work together well. Pioli also is relatively new at being the man in charge; so, hopefully, he will improve, too. The Chiefs will necessarily have to spend more to stay in line with the cap rules. The team has a talented group of young players to build around. They have all their draft picks, and may even get a compensatory pick or two. The 2012 schedule is no cake walk, but compared to this year it looks much better. The teams in the AFC WEST are not far apart in terms of talent. All together these give me hope.

  • January 10, 2012  - iwriter says:

    Unless they are willing to get a new quarterback in here all we will ever be with Cassel is a loss when we go to the playoffs… nothing better… I have never seen cassel throw a football to his recievers in midstride like Tebow did on last weekend…same with Orton….I saw orton at least hit recievers in midstride… I for one will not go to antoher game unless we do something about our quarterback situation because if we accept Cassel it means we accept medicrity… sorry but I have seen too much of Cassel to say anything other…He is not a playoff winning quarterback… plain and simple..His reads are stilted and he telegraphs his passes, his ability to do a screen is a joke and I could go on an on….

  • January 10, 2012  - cychief24 says:

    Like Romeo said, “when did Matt fall off the wagon?”

    You Cassel-haters are bores at this point…

  • January 11, 2012  - Jesse says:

    @ iwriter: I have no issues with you feeling Cassel isn’t the right QB for our team. But suggesting that Timmy Tebow is a better passer than Cassel? C’mon, man! That’s just dumb.

  • January 11, 2012  - ED J says:

    Another Bbb rant that’s clearly misguided. Trust money will get spent this offseason Pioli understand its now or never as GM for team to take next step and start not only winning in regular season but winning playoff games. Bottom if he’s not going to take the gamble and go up to 2nd pick to get RG3 he better go be aggressive and get best off coordinator money can buy. Hue Jackson is now out there and I know he’d love to stick to Raiders after firing. Hue has bright mind and he’s solid QB coach he needs to be at top of the list as OC. Or maybe bring back Al Saunders. Either way the next OC going to determine how well this team does going forward. Since I know Pioli isn’t going to be bold enough to trade up to get RG3 we’re stuck with Cassel. So might as well get someone who very bright and can work around his short comings he has proved he can win few games if he has strong running game.

  • January 11, 2012  - el cid says:

    EDJ,why? Trust money will be spent, why? Pioli won he did not have to get a “big name” HC, he got one he could work with. Partner, that does not get you to the superbowl, no, it gets you a guy you can get along with without creating anti NE waves. “he better go be aggressive”, again why, he has always been about the future, not the here and now as in 2012. He has 3 years, at least, to get players for Crennel. No hurry, it is all about the future. As for OC, don’t think Pioli has any ties to Jackson or Saunders. Again, no, he has Zorn on staff and Pioli’s comfort zone will carry the day. As for Cassel, not a fan favorite, but Pioli reminds me of Haley/Palko, Pioli/Cassel is the answer no matter what the results say.

  • January 11, 2012  - Blake says:

    Money will be spent because it has too!!! In the collective bargaining agreement, teams must spend close to all of their money by 2013! I believe they must spend 90% of the cap. KC has to spend atleast 20 mil, between this year and next! So yes Clark will open up the wallet because he HAS too!

  • January 11, 2012  - el cid says:

    Sorry but you are wrong for the upcoming year. This is 2012, not 2013. This is the last year all the teams in the NFL are averaged together to reach the salary floor. That is just what the Chiefs did the last 3 years. Bottom of the player salary levels, teams spending a higher percentage make up the difference that Hunt banks.

    You are dead on with the 2013 season. Then, only then, the Chiefs have to spend to reach the salary cap floor. 2012 will be the last year Pioli can bypass veteran free agency AND can add an additional 20 mil as contracts change of time. Cassel got 12 mill in 2011, drops to 7 mill in 2012, that is 5 mil floating as extra money.

    You first view of the Chiefs in 2012 will be if they sign both Bowe and Carr. They have the money, will they (additional worry is do Bowe and/or Carr want to test free agency or have personal disagreements with Chiefs management.

  • January 11, 2012  - Blake says:

    yeah I know all that, I guess the way I said it it came out wrong. What I meant was the since KC is so far under the salary cap they are going to have to spend big to get to the 90 or 95 percent next year in 2013. I know that 2012 it doesnt begin where teams must spend a certain amount. I just said it that way because if KC doesn’t have very many good free agents next year (we only have Albert and Colquitt) then KC will have to spend a lot in FA and if there isnt very many good free agents then they will have to give money to players that aren’t worth the contract they are getting. I just figure if they resign Bowe, Carr, McClain, and hopefully Orton then it will be easier to reach the salary cap minimum that way.

  • January 11, 2012  - Niblick says:

    Sam Mellinger tweeted that he has had conversations with certain individuals that Zorn will probably not be the OC and that he is not really interested anyway. The hot name now is the OC in Miami, who also was in Cleveland under Mangini. He also was a coach with the Pats in the mid 90s. I don’t recall his name. His first name is Brian. I don’t know abut Jackson or Saunders. I think they are probably long shots, but I guess they are possbilities.

  • January 11, 2012  - el cid says:

    I am with you on 2013. The Chiefs will spend at a level not seen under Clark. But in 2012, not so much.

    There can be excellant reasons not to spend in 2012, from the Chiefs point of view:

    1. Old tried and boughten by fans over and over, there is no one out there worth the money.

    2. Support of fans verbally say what is wrong with Hunt not spending all his money.

    3. We have a new HC, he needs to see what is on the roster, along with his new OC, why confuse issues with guys who may not fit over the next few years?

    4. (unspoken) We need to repay Hunt for his share of the remodel costs, out last chance.

    5. Bowe and Carr, our own free agents, not all that good, not Pioli guys, can be replaced thru the draft or with cheaper free agents.

    6. What if we signed a free agent and he failed or got injured, better to not spend and take a chance.

    7. This team is not ready for the final push, why waste cash when we do not need those type of players until 2015 or later?

  • January 11, 2012  - Craig says:

    How about a positive? I like bob’s writing and may not agree with him, but that is what makes our country great: the freedom to disagree. How about Peyton Manning to the chiefs in the off season? Great fit! he is not going to set behind Luck for a moment. He will have to go somewhere. Why not the chiefs? Something to chew on.

  • January 11, 2012  - txchief says:

    Man, the amateur psychoanalysis of the owner and GM continues! This is just another cynical takedown piece that is typical of this site. Such articles have a place, but they are getting rather old by now.

    I think Bob would find a way to criticize Pioli and Hunt if they managed to sign the entire Green Bay offense and Ravens defense, had an undefeated season and won the Superbowl 70-0.

  • January 11, 2012  - johnfromfairfax says:

    C’mon, it’s not that bad txchief. By the way, hmmm! Txchief…. Your last name isn’t Hunt, is it?

  • January 11, 2012  - Johnfromwichita says:

    holy crap! makes sense now.

  • January 11, 2012  - txchief says:

    John, I wish my last name was Hunt! The season ticket payment wouldn’t be so painful if it were! I think I’d wear out the private jet on tropical getaways too!

    I do think that Bob made a valid point in this article. Perhaps the Hunts are too hands-off. On the other hand, how would we Chiefs fans like it if the owners were overly hands-on like Jerry Jones or Ol’ Al?

  • January 11, 2012  - el cid says:

    Tough choice, Jones who wants everyone to know how great he is, an ego bigger than TX. But he did use only his own money to build the biggest stadium, Tx style. HMMMM

    Or Al Davis, dead….Hmmm.

    Or Clark Hunt, has recouped most of his money from he portion of the Re model of Arrowhead, Will he enclose the stadium and get a superbowl, not without the Jackson Cty money.

    Jones team has risen to the heights and won superbowls, when alive Al Davis’ team won superbowls, Clarks team not so much.

    I will leave it to others, are we better off with a Clark Hunt operation or a Jones or Davis. I would say 40 years or more between superbowl appearances does speak for itself.

  • January 11, 2012  - txchief says:

    el cid,

    A couple of points….

    Jerry Jones did put up some of his own money for the death star, but about 50 percent of the funding was provided by the Arlington taxpayers, hotel guests and the NFL.

    An interesting example of how Jerry Jones is a complete douchebag was his attempt to expand the old Texas Stadium in Irving in the mid 1990s. He floated a referendum to increase the sales tax by 0.5 percent and have the city pull out of the regional mass transit system, freeing up more money for the stadium. His idea would have left low income and disabled persons in the city of Irving with no form of transportation. The voters, myself amongst them, told Jerry to FO.

    Remember also that Jerry’s Superbowl teams were built on Tom Landry’s draft picks and the coaching of Jimmy Johnson. Jerry has little to show for his own efforts. He is truly a complete bust on his own as the owner, CEO, GM, scouting department and head coaching advisor/ersatz play-caller for his team. The Cowboys would probably be better off if Jerry fired himself and hired a real GM and head coach.

    Maybe Jerry could hire Pioli, and the Chiefs could bring back Marty as a GM.

    Just a thought.

  • January 11, 2012  - Michael says:

    Clark Hunt hasn’t been at it for 40 years; you’d have to lay that at the feet of the lovable Lamar Hunt.

    Cap spending to the floor is mandatory in 2013. Better start fielding a winner (2012) or revenue will decrease as cost go up in 2013.

  • January 11, 2012  - cychief24 says:

    Enjoy wallowing in Bob’s Sh!t.

  • January 12, 2012  - iwriter says:

    Jesse…. Sorry but you got me wrong… I meant that even tebow can get a pass right every now and then… but I was not comparing him to Cassel I was trying to compare Orton to Cassel… But I do not care who we bring in right now….but we need to find someone who can compete with Cassel because what He definately went backwards this past year…accepting Cassel is accepting mediocracy. It was very scary when our new coach lent his support to Cassel yesterday… VERy VERY SCARY. It means we will do what it takes to get to a superbowl…

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