It's the end of term. The pads are being put away and the players are on their way home. Time to sum up and evaluate the 2009 version of the KC Chiefs.
It's the Scott Pioli and Todd Haley show, so at the end of the day it's their performances which will power the Chiefs to the next level or see them sink. How did they do? Well, Scott has the last laugh, but only because he is up in the office and his decisions are not always apparent. Todd is on the front line and way too visible. Scott had his work cut out for him because he inherited a team from the previous regime and would have had to be a real Houdini to escape the mediocrity that was the previous incarnation. Has he failed? No, not yet – but he only has this year's draft and free agency to come up with some solutions. Todd has already made some moves to improve his coaching staff. A smart move. As a beginner he has had it rough. Again, he has only one more year to show some real progress. After that it could be adiós!
The blaze of anticipation that came with Matt Cassell soon foundered under the realisation that without any quality receivers and a make-shift backfield he was not going to be a Pro Bowl QB this season. The Chiefs will persevere with him and rightly. With some quality around him he can only get better. Brodie Croyle is a good back-up – question is can the Chiefs keep him?
See above. No quality. Dwayne Bowe took over the Larry Johnson role as Idiot in Residence. Others arrived, left or just bombed. Must be priority number two in draft/free agency.
Jamal Charles is now the saviour after a good second half to the season. Shows a lot of promise. Could be a thousand yard plus back. One thing is for sure, the running back is the quarterback's best friend and if Cassell is to prosper then so must Charles. Chiefs may well draft here but not in the top three rounds. The demise of Larry Johnson was long past doing and benefited everyone. Now he can set about messing up Cincinnati.
Got a bit better but only just. Chiefs will try to acquire some quality at center and maybe one tackle. Some incumbents will be out of a job next season – at least in KC. Draft priority – equal second.
Not enough quality and the result often found the Tomahawkers behind before they started. Change of coach? Change of philosophy? Change of personnel? Probably all of the above. Chiefs fringe draftees must be able to contribute to this part of the team. Draft priority – below five
Just about a plus for Mr Irrelevant. Chiefs will persevere with him and should. Punting rock solid – probably the only area the Chiefs will not have to look at next season. Draft priority – not on the radar. If the Chiefs draft a specialist kicker they really have lost the plot!
Here's where Pioli and Haley really can point to the first year blues. Trying to change the 4-3 to a 3-4 with more or less the same personnel was always going to be a killer, and it was. So, now they must fix it. They must draft high (first/second round) and explore free agency. They may trade/get rid of Glenn Dorsey. Makes sense – he's not a 3-4 player. The 2010 Chiefs must be able to stuff the run with the front three. End of story. Linebackers are not good enough and will be cleared out – with the exception of Tamba Hali and maybe one or two others. Draft high! Imperative!
Suffered because of the non-existent pass rush. Still developing and will probably be down in the draft priority.
Did not contribute much. Despite noises that everyone on the roster must be the right kind of player it just did not happen From the 50-odd man roster that finished the season I expect no more than 35 -40 to be starting the next.