Monday, January 07, 2008

It's a Wrap - Chiefs Hit the Wall

Looking forward to draft day!!

It's all over for the Chiefs. Whist the play-off teams ready themselves for the coming battle, the Chiefs enjoy some time off and a chance to reflect on the 4-12 season. It's not happy reading.

In a long interview, Coach Herm Edwards and GM Carl Peterson had to stand up and receive the flak from the press. Quite right. No-one likes losing and mistakes were made. Some big ones!

First, the Chiefs have cleared out some of the coaching staff. This may or may not be a good thing but it does, at least, show that they are taking the blame and doing something about it. How long before Herm and Carl are asked to fall on their swords remains to be seen. For now, the clear out has begun with coaches. Some players won't be far behind.

Second, Edwards rightly pointed out that the offence was just not good enough. They scored about 14 pts a game. They contributed greatly to a negative 11 in the turnover count. They persevered with some linemen who clearly were over the hill and they paid the price.

The defence was better.

But, it's a two-part game. If the offence can't score the defence is always under pressure. That just about sums up the Chiefs this season. Always under pressure.

So, what's to be done?

According to Herm and Carl, the draft is the key. Chiefs are picking high and have (though trade acquisitions) ten picks. Herm thinks we did well last year in getting Dwayne Bowe and there is no reason we can't significantly improve the team in key areas.

Number one is the O-line. Their analysis is probably correct in that O-linemen come in from college with not too much to learn. So, drafting high for two quality guards or tackles should really help the offence. The line-backing corps is looking a bit thin and a bit old – hopefully this will be addressed as well.

Strangely, when asked about QB's Peterson was adamant that the quality is just not coming out of college this season. He believes we should stick with Brodie Croyle. I remember Elvis Grbac!

Summing up the plan: draft long and wisely; clear out some of the old guys and dead wood; stick with Brodie Croyle; use free-agency to bolster key areas.

Well, it is, at least a feasible plan.

Trouble is: this is just about every team's plan. What counts is identifying the talent and grabbing it.

The Chief's hierarchy is correct when they point out that six of the teams that made the play-offs last year aren't there this year. It is swings and roundabouts in the NFL. Just look at the GB Packers. Could beat no-one last year. Getting set to retire Favre. Instead, there are number two seed in the NFC.

The Chiefs could do the same next year.

Hope springs eternal.

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