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tk13
12-20-2004, 01:04 AM
http://www.kansascity.com/mld/kansascity/sports/10456306.htm

KC kept wraps on too long

JASON WHITLOCK


You probably left Arrowhead Stadium early Sunday afternoon wondering where those Chiefs had been hiding all season.

Dante Hall raced 97 yards with the opening kickoff. Eric Hicks led a relentless pass rush that produced six sacks. Larry Johnson ripped off 151 yards and two touchdowns on the ground. Dexter McCleon picked off two passes. And rookie receiver Samie Parker showed off his jets, hauling in a 48-yard touchdown pass.

In a 45-17 trouncing of the Denver Broncos, the Chiefs looked like the team we thought they'd be at the beginning of the season.

There are two divergent conclusions you can reach about the Chiefs based on Sunday's performance: 1. Dick Vermeil and his coaching staff have this team headed in the right direction, and there's reason for significant optimism about next season. 2. Dick Vermeil and his coaching staff screwed up this team, and it's a crying shame that it took until mid-December for us to get a peek at what the Chiefs could be.

I tend to believe the latter, and here's why:

Larry Johnson and Samie Parker.

We shouldn't have had to wait until December to find out that these young guys could play. Johnson was the Chiefs first-round pick in 2003. Vermeil had many of us convinced that L.J. couldn't play and that he was a child in need of diapers.

Sunday's effort was L.J.'s third straight 100-yard game. We were skeptical of Johnson's first two trips over the 100-yard barrier; they came against two soft defenses. The Broncos have a solid defense. The excellence of Johnson's performance on Sunday can't be denied. He went toe to toe with Al Wilson and John Lynch. L.J. broke off another long touchdown run, a 32-yarder.

Given his draft position, there's no justification for Johnson sitting behind Derrick Blaylock for two seasons. Either Vermeil's coaching staff has difficulty evaluating talent or Vermeil allowed political games with the personnel department to cloud his judgment.

Given Kansas City's situation at wide receiver, there's no justification for Parker getting his first taste of NFL action this late in the season. Marc Boerigter got hurt before the season. The Chiefs began the year wanting to cut Johnnie Morton. Dante Hall is more of a return man than a receiver. Eddie Kennison is the only KC receiver who can stretch the field.

Why not play Parker before the 14th game of the season, especially when the Chiefs exited the playoff hunt three weeks ago?

You can argue that Parker had a poor training camp and the staff lost confidence in him. You can argue that Parker's three-catch, 84-yard showing on Sunday was a lucky fluke. But those are just theories. We don't know. Parker might be a “gamer,” a guy who plays better than he practices. Again, we don't know.

And there's no good reason for us to be in the dark about Parker this late in the season. He should've playing earlier. Given his youth, speed and draft position (fourth round), he should've been on the field.

This season feels like a total waste. The Chiefs are headed for a 7-9, 8-8 finish and the middle of the April draft. By the time the Chiefs pick, all the “saviors” will be off the board. Texas linebacker Derrick Johnson certainly won't be available.

Carl Peterson's scouting department will head into the off-season feeling vindicated, feeling as if the coaching staff is slow to utilize the obvious talent the scouting department provides. Lynn Stiles greeted Parker in the locker room with as big a smile as I've seen. Peterson strolled through the locker room confidently, basking in the glory of L.J.'s latest accomplishment.

I don't blame Peterson or Stiles. They've taken the heat for L.J. and Parker and Junior Siavii and every other young draft pick who hasn't developed quickly. Vermeil and his staff have proved to be quite adept at getting the most out of veterans such as Trent Green, Priest Holmes, Willie Roaf, Brian Waters, Casey Wiegmann, Dante Hall, Lional Dalton and Eric Warfield.

Vermeil's staff struggles to develop the team's draft picks — Johnson, Siavii, Parker, Ryan Sims, Kawika Mitchell, Julian Battle, Eddie Freeman, Eric Downing, Jimmy Wilkerson, Scott Fujita and Monty Beisel.

Is that poor drafting?

I'm sure a great deal of it is. But after watching L.J. the last three weeks and Parker on Sunday, it can't all be attributed to poor drafting. The coaching staff and personnel department have to work in conjunction, and the coaching staff has to be mature enough to rise above petty differences of opinion. Vermeil and Peterson must get back on the same page.

That's critical for next season. The Chiefs have some huge decisions to make this off-season. It appears they have two high-quality running backs — Priest Holmes and Johnson — with trade value that could improve KC's defense.

Hmmm. What would you do? Heck, you could even argue the Chiefs should keep them both.

Count Zarth
12-20-2004, 01:09 AM
Interesting article with a shitty conclusion.

I agree on his points about the inability to evaluate talent.

I'm sure we will find a way to f*ck it up.

Logical
12-20-2004, 01:20 AM
Interesting article with a shitty conclusion.

I agree on his points about the inability to evaluate talent.

I'm sure we will find a way to f*ck it up.

I think it is a fairly accurate conclusion, we probably both draft poorly and do a poor job of developing the players we do draft. Now as to why those two things are the case we have a lot of uncertainty. I have a feeling that the harmony people used to assume was there between Dick and Carl is not really present.

MichaelH
12-20-2004, 05:37 AM
I hate to have to agree with Whitlock yet again. I've wondered all year long what if Johnson played earlier in the season. I'm pretty sure if he split the reps with Priest, our record wouldn't be 6-8 and Priest wouldn't be on IR.

KCTitus
12-20-2004, 06:09 AM
Another, have my cake and eat it too, article by Whitlock.

Skip Towne
12-20-2004, 06:22 AM
I can't decide if VD is senile or vindictive but neither works for a HC.

ptlyon
12-20-2004, 06:30 AM
Sorry Fatlock, LJ and Parker wouldn't have saved the season.

What a moron.

Alphaman
12-20-2004, 06:45 AM
I hate to have to agree with Whitlock yet again. I've wondered all year long what if Johnson played earlier in the season. I'm pretty sure if he split the reps with Priest, our record wouldn't be 6-8 and Priest wouldn't be on IR.


What????? :shake: :shake: :rolleyes: STFU

This season did not go down hill due to RB play. Priest is still among the league leaders in TDs and he hasn't played for what 6 weeks. He was producing. He was not injured because of overuse. He was injured becaues he took a direct hit on the knee. The proverbial 1 play away came.

LJ wasn't ready to play early in the year. He couldn't be trusted to protect the QB. He's doing better now, but is not completely there. Vermeil has always said that LJ's problem was when the ball was not in his hands.

MichaelH
12-20-2004, 06:45 AM
Sorry Fatlock, LJ and Parker wouldn't have saved the season.

What a moron.

They couldn't have helped the defense, but I think the offense would have been better. Unfortunately it shouldn't take 45 points to win games.

ptlyon
12-20-2004, 06:54 AM
They couldn't have helped the defense, but I think the offense would have been better. Unfortunately it shouldn't take 45 points to win games.

I agree with your first statement, but yesterday it didn't take 45 points to win the game.

OldTownChief
12-20-2004, 07:07 AM
Whitlocks's article is absolutely nothing but a bunch of fugging hot air. Our shit defence has ONE good game against a poor showing by PlumINT and he forgets what needs to be adressed. Parker is no where near what Morton is yet. The Chiefs problem is still the D you moron. If Holmes and Morton had played, the result would have been the same.

MichaelH
12-20-2004, 07:14 AM
I agree with your first statement, but yesterday it didn't take 45 points to win the game.

No it didn't. After only 14 games, the defense finally decided to show up. No wait, they showed up for the Atlanta game too. :)