PDA

View Full Version : Gretz is CANDID, but still throws out FA excuses


BigChiefFan
01-07-2005, 03:04 PM
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.

The opinions offered in this column do not necessarily reflect those of the Kansas City Chiefs.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

A former beat reporter who covered the Pittsburgh Steelers during their glory years, Gretz covered the Chiefs for the Kansas City Star for nine years before heading up KCFX-FM's sports department. He is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame's Board of Selectors. His column appears three times a week during the season.

htismaqe
01-07-2005, 03:11 PM
repost

go bowe
01-07-2005, 03:21 PM
repostok...

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.

The opinions offered in this column do not necessarily reflect those of the Kansas City Chiefs.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

A former beat reporter who covered the Pittsburgh Steelers during their glory years, Gretz covered the Chiefs for the Kansas City Star for nine years before heading up KCFX-FM's sports department. He is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame's Board of Selectors. His column appears three times a week during the season.

htismaqe
01-07-2005, 03:22 PM
ROFL

Mr. Laz
01-07-2005, 03:25 PM
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

this is a complete bullchit excuse


they are basically saying "history has shown other team have made mistakes and we suck at evaluation talent more than them, so we shouldn't even bother trying"


it's a big LOSER mentality that we have been force fed for years.

BigChiefFan
01-07-2005, 03:29 PM
this is a complete bullchit excuse


they are basically saying "history has shown other team have made mistakes and we suck at evaluation talent more than them, so we shouldn't even bother trying"


it's a big LOSER mentality that we have been force fed for years.
Damn. I hope everybody knows that was Gretz saying that and not BCF. :)

tk13
01-07-2005, 03:34 PM
I don't really see any excuses there... he just says that it's not always a good move to rush out and blow your wad on every huge FA, I don't think there's anything all that incorrect there... you look at guys like Wistrom and Troy Vincent and Antoine Winfield and Warren Sapp that everybody wanted from last year, what did any of them really do that was all that great? Anyone? Winfield and Sapp played on two of the worst defenses in the league and Wistrom and Vincent played in a combined 16 games. Is that worth the 30-40 million in signing bonuses they got?

Mr. Laz
01-07-2005, 03:47 PM
I don't really see any excuses there... he just says that it's not always a good move to rush out and blow your wad on every huge FA, I don't think there's anything all that incorrect there... you look at guys like Wistrom and Troy Vincent and Antoine Winfield and Warren Sapp that everybody wanted from last year, what did any of them really do that was all that great? Anyone? Winfield and Sapp played on two of the worst defenses in the league and Wistrom and Vincent played in a combined 16 games. Is that worth the 30-40 million in signing bonuses they got?

that's it... anticipate failure and avoid any moves that will put you at risk.


if you do a good job at evaluation talent, evaluating how that talent will fit into your system you stand a reasonable chance at success


hey guess what? there have been tons of 1st round bust in the draft, so lets stop drafting them.


it worked out well for that guy in san diego :rolleyes:



http://www.affichescinema.com/insc_l/loser.jpg

shaneo69
01-07-2005, 03:49 PM
I don't really see any excuses there... he just says that it's not always a good move to rush out and blow your wad on every huge FA, I don't think there's anything all that incorrect there... you look at guys like Wistrom and Troy Vincent and Antoine Winfield and Warren Sapp that everybody wanted from last year, what did any of them really do that was all that great? Anyone? Winfield and Sapp played on two of the worst defenses in the league and Wistrom and Vincent played in a combined 16 games. Is that worth the 30-40 million in signing bonuses they got?

How about Marcus Washington and Eric Barton? How'd they do for their teams? Like Laz said, just because some teams overspend for overrated players doesn't mean you can't find good free agents at decent prices. And just because Antoine Winfield played on a crappy defense doesn't mean he shouldn't have been signed. Just like you can't say that he's the sole reason that they went from no playoffs last year to playoffs this year.

You people that bash free agency by selectively picking out previous failures piss me off. Um, we signed Priest Holmes via free agency, didn't we? There's similar cases each year, maybe not as glaring as Priest, but if you do the homework, you should be able to sign good players that help you out. So please stop making excuses.

tk13
01-07-2005, 03:54 PM
Wah, wah, wah, wah, wah. No one ever said we should tremble in fear and not do anything, but big name free agency is a very risky proposition that usually doesn't reap the rewards for the money you're dishing out. I have no problem with going out and trying it, we have to at this point, but I'm not going to buy in to the video game philosophy that if we go out and add a couple of guys who are 95 rating, we'll magically be good.

Plus, more importantly in dealing with the Chiefs, Carl's strength has never been doing this. Name one big name FA he's brought in and lived up to expectations? McGlockton, Carlton Gray, Perriman Johnnie Morton.... Carl's best success has come through the draft (DT, Dale Carter, Will Shields, Donnie Edwards, etc.) and "value" pickups (Priest, Dalton, the trade for Roaf). The next big pricey FA he brings in that goes beyond expectations will pretty much be his first, and I hope that happens this year.

tk13
01-07-2005, 03:57 PM
good free agents at decent prices.

Right there is the most important part of your post... and the point Gretz is trying to make. No "excuses" necessary, which is my point. It's not an indictment of free agency as a whole, at all. I would add that I'm glad you can take my words and twist them and put words in my mouth and stamp me as someone who is blindly against signing any free agents across the board though, that's pretty talented.

Chiefnj
01-07-2005, 04:03 PM
People always seem to remember the "busts" but not the good FA signings.

3 years ago the Bills defense was almost as bad as KC's. They signed a bunch of free agents: Adams, Posey, Fletcher, Spikes, Milloy and Vincent and now have one of the better D's in the league.

People love to point the finger at the Skins to show how FA doesn't work, but the free agents they brought in weren't the problem. Coles and Portis were productive on offense and they had 4 free agents starting on one of the best defenses in the league.

tk13
01-07-2005, 04:04 PM
People always seem to remember the "busts" but not the good FA signings.

3 years ago the Bills defense was almost as bad as KC's. They signed a bunch of free agents: Adams, Posey, Fletcher, Spikes, Milloy and Vincent and now have one of the better D's in the league.

People love to point the finger at the Skins to show how FA doesn't work, but the free agents they brought in weren't the problem. Coles and Portis were productive on offense and they had 4 free agents starting on one of the best defenses in the league.
Who are the Bills and Redskins playing this weekend? :)

Mr. Laz
01-07-2005, 04:11 PM
Plus, more importantly in dealing with the Chiefs, Carl's strength has never been doing this. Name one big name FA he's brought in and lived up to expectations? McGlockton, Carlton Gray, Perriman Johnnie Morton.... Carl's best success has come through the draft (DT, Dale Carter, Will Shields, Donnie Edwards, etc.) and "value" pickups (Priest, Dalton, the trade for Roaf). The next big pricey FA he brings in that goes beyond expectations will pretty much be his first, and I hope that happens this year.
ya ... so stop blaming free agency and start blaming Carl




i wonder where philly would be if they followed the "oooh we're scared" philosophy to free agency that the chiefs do?

they wouldn't have Terrell owens and jevon kearse right now


btw carls best success being the draft is purely relative ... he pretty much sucks at both. Without Marty and a "money first" Owner ... carl would be serving fries at McDonalds right about now.

tk13
01-07-2005, 04:23 PM
i wonder where philly would be if they followed the "oooh we're scared" philosophy to free agency that the chiefs do?


No no no... more importantly, you have to wonder where Philly would be if they had not been able to draft an entire secondary that deserves to be in a Pro Bowl. The reason they were able to make those moves, and finish off building their team, is because they were able to let Troy Vincent and Bobby Taylor walk without blinking an eyelash because they'd drafted two good corners in Lito Sheppard and Sheldon Brown, to go along with Michael Lewis and Brian Dawkins, two safeties who they also drafted, to help form a secondary we could only dream of having right now.

Calcountry
01-07-2005, 04:26 PM
ya ... so stop blaming free agency and start blaming Carl




i wonder where philly would be if they followed the "oooh we're scared" philosophy to free agency that the chiefs do?

they wouldn't have Terrell owens and jevon kearse right now


btw carls best success being the draft is purely relative ... he pretty much sucks at both. Without Marty and a "money first" Owner ... carl would be serving fries at McDonalds right about now.
The Eagles don't have Terrel Owens RIGHT now.

tk13
01-07-2005, 04:30 PM
I do think the Jets are a great example that it wouldn't hurt to follow, but their personnel evaluation seems miles ahead of ours. They brought in LB Eric Barton, CB David Barrett, S Reggie Tongue, and CB Terrell Buckley.... then through the draft they added Vilma and Erik Coleman at safety who both jumped in and became studs as starters... then add draft picks from previous years like DT Dwayne Robertson and LB Victor Hobson that stepped up their game, and you have the 4th ranked D in the league that allowed one point less than the vaunted Patriots defense. That's 8 different positions right there (including the nickel corner who's not really a "starter") that they improved in one offseason, including their entire starting back 7 save Donnie Abraham at one CB spot and Victor Hobson.

shaneo69
01-07-2005, 04:31 PM
Who are the Bills and Redskins playing this weekend? :)


I would say that the Bills and Redskins would be thought of as Super Bowl possibilities right now had their idiot coaches started McGahee and P. Ramsey at the beginning of the year. Like NJ said, their free agents weren't the problem.