PDA

View Full Version : Gretz: The Next Step


NewChief
01-07-2005, 06:40 AM
Pretty decent article. Nothing groundbreaking.

http://kcchiefs.com/news/2005/01/07/gretz_the_next_step/

GRETZ: The Next Step
Jan 07, 2005, 5:48:55 AM by Bob Gretz


We know from email and our surveys that readers of the official site of the Chiefs tend to be independent thinkers who resist the cynicism coming from the usual places. While they are generally disposed to display a pro-Chiefs stance, they still like to make up their minds and want clear, evidence-based articles and opinion that often times ignores what is appearing in the more conventional media. In this the first of a series of columns, Bob Gretz tackles what must come next for the Chiefs. Following the same theme, columnists Jonathan Rand and Rufus Dawes will offer their takes in the week ahead.


So where do the Chiefs go from here. Letís break it down.

The Roster
Thereís no question the Chiefs must strengthen their roster in several positions. Obviously, defensive help is needed and most especially at cornerback. But linebacker and defensive line should not be ignored as well. Offensively, wide receiver and guard must also be addressed.
Right now, the Chiefs have Eric Warfield and Benny Sapp at cornerback. William Bartee has provided little in the way of evidence that heís a candidate for playing time at the position. After two seasons, Julian Battle remains what he was when he was drafted: a prospect. Problem is, after two seasons of nothing, heís become more suspect than prospect. He may be able to turn on the switch and still become a player, but the Chiefs simply cannot count on him. Dexter McCleon will be 32 years old for most of next season and he struggled on the field this year. His time on the corner is done. The Chiefs need to find three corners, one who can contribute immediately.
At linebacker, there was growth this season, but remember this: every one of those linebackers was drafted or signed to play the Greg Robinson defense, not the Gunther Cunningham scheme. Thereís quite a difference in what the linebackers are asked to do from one to another. Gunther needs his kind of linebackers. Plus, Shawn Barber will not be physically ready for the start of next season and Monty Beisel is a free agent.
Along the defensive line, the Chiefs need another pass rushing end. Jared Allen was a great find in the 2004 NFL Draft. If he keeps his head screwed on and works as hard in this off-season as he did the last, heíll be a much better player. Eric Hicks is a solid, if unspectacular DE. Somebody needs to be pushing for playing time, and it doesnít seem to be coming from Jimmy Wilkerson or Gary Stills. Because of injuries and contract status, veteran Vonnie Holliday has to be considered a non-factor here.
At wide receiver, the Chiefs may have found a gem in Samie Parker. If Marc Boerigter comes back from his injury with no problems, a WR quartet of Eddie Kennison, Boerigter, Parker and Dante Hall would be a significant improvement. The team still needs another young receiver to mix into that group.
Whether or not Will Shields retires or not, the Chiefs need to address the future at right guard after him. Right now, Jordan Black and Brett Williams are on the depth chart as backups at guard. Blackís future may be better at tackle, based on his play over the last month of the season. Williams has been a disappointment in his development. He had an opportunity to challenge for the right tackle job, but never rose to the occasion. Heís been moved inside and thereís no telling until training camp and the pre-season to know if heís better suited for playing guard. John Welbourn could also move back inside to guard, where he spent most of his time with the Eagles and Chris Bober is a possible replacement there as well.
Oh, and in case anyone forgot, the Chiefs need a punter.

The Staff
Keith Rowen was not well known among Chiefs fans, but he was an integral part of putting together the teamís offensive game plan each week. He handled the short yardage and goal line package and there were few teams in the NFL better at the goal line over the last three years than the Chiefs.
It will be interesting to see if the defensive coaching staff stays intact. Gunther Cunningham inherited all of the coaches with the exception of linebackerís assistant Fred Pagac. The poor production on the field usually leads to changes in the locker room and on the coaching staff as well.

The Approach
The coming season finds the Chiefs at a crossroads as a team and organization. The skillful contract work of Carl Peterson and Denny Thum created a three-year window for the team, where the annual battle of getting under the salary cap would not adversely effect the roster. The 2005 is the last year that window is open. Some of the big offensive contracts signed in recent seasons will soon be escalating to the point where they must be redone, restructured or terminated.
Plus, as Peterson said this week in an end of season press conference, everyone is working with just one-year left on their contracts. That includes Peterson, Vermeil and the coaching staff.
If the players still believe in the Vermeil Way that can be a rallying point: win one for the Dickie! If some players have tuned him out, then a lame duck season can be very difficult. Theyíll simply wait until the 2006 season and a new coach.
The entire organization must also consider this: is caution and the future thrown to the wind with the idea of making one big push in the coming season? Is the Hunt family willing to put all their football eggs into the 2005 basket and go for the Super Bowl, while risking some poor victory totals in the seasons after because of salary cap implications?

Whatís Next?
It begins with free agency. Peterson says the Chiefs will have enough money to see a couple unrestricted free agents. That should be done, but only on the basis of whether those players are a good buy. The worst thing the Chiefs can do for 2005 and beyond is rush into free agency and try to scoop up big-name players with contracts that put pressure on the cap and performances that do not fulfill expectations. Free agency history is filled with those kinds of stories.
The Chiefs rebuilt their offense after Vermeil took over. Some of that was done through free agency (Priest Holmes, Johnnie Morton and Casey Wiegmann), some was done through trades (Willie Roaf, Trent Green and John Welbourn), some was talking chances on an out of work player (Eddie Kennison) and the rest came from improvement from within (Brian Waters.) Those players combined with holdovers like Will Shields, Tony Gonzalez and Tony Richardson to create one of the most productive offenses the league has seen in the last 15 years.
They can do the same with the defense. Through free agency and possible trades, along with development from within and the draft, the Chiefs defense can be upgraded. It canít be overhauled in one season. Thatís asking too much in a salary-cap world.
But it can get better. No matter the future direction of the franchise, 2005 needs to be the season where defense returns to Arrowhead Stadium.

KCTitus
01-07-2005, 08:19 AM
Im suprised this thread hasnt received the 32 obilgatory "Gretz is a moron/shill" responses yet.

I'd like to point out something, that Im sure is being ignored, Carl says they have money to spend on FA's...this should bring cheers and celebration. Sounds like they're going to sign a couple of FA's.

Is that not great news?

Chief Faithful
01-07-2005, 08:51 AM
"Julian Battle remains what he was when he was drafted: a prospect. Problem is, after two seasons of nothing, heís become more suspect than prospect."

OUCH! The truth can sure hurt.

Devin Vierth
01-07-2005, 09:03 AM
Im suprised this thread hasnt received the 32 obilgatory "Gretz is a moron/shill" responses yet.

I'd like to point out something, that Im sure is being ignored, Carl says they have money to spend on FA's...this should bring cheers and celebration. Sounds like they're going to sign a couple of FA's.

Is that not great news?


Of course it is great news......but the faithful feed on bad news, not good news. Personally, I have found Gretz to be the most accurate of the media sources.

htismaqe
01-07-2005, 09:20 AM
Sounds like great news to me. I just hope that when they're evaluating defensive FA's and draftees that they lock Vermeil out of the room and tell him he's not needed.

Count Alex's Wins
01-07-2005, 09:25 AM
Sounds like great news to me. I just hope that when they're evaluating defensive FA's and draftees that they lock Vermeil out of the room and tell him he's not needed.

Vermeil: "Please don't draft that stud DE, he has some evil-looking tatoos and once was arrested for shoplifting in high school."

Carl: "STFU and STFD, Dick."