View Full Version : Final Coach Vermeil Press Conference

01-03-2006, 06:13 PM
DICK VERMEIL: “This five year experience is as positive an experience that I’ve ever been exposed to within my coaching career. To have been given the opportunity to work with players that were already here and, gradually over the next four years add to the roster, what a highlight that has been for me. Never have I enjoyed an experience more with so many great young men.

“I feel bad that I wasn’t able to play a part in bringing Kansas City a championship that I had the opportunity to share with the two other NFL experiences I was exposed to. I do believe we should have been a playoff team more than the one time that we were. I assume the responsibility for not getting it done because the people here did everything they possibly could do, from our security guards to our equipment people to our trainers to the groundskeepers to everyone. They were with me 100% in support.

“But that said, I have to hang up my cleats knowing that even though we did not meet my own personal expectations we did accomplish a number of worthwhile alternatives that we can still take some pride in, and that I can take pride in.

* Only eight teams have won more games over the last five seasons than this organization has won.
* Only six teams have won more games over the last three years than this organization has won. Only five of them are in the playoffs today.
* This year, 2005, we played 10 games versus winning teams; we won six of them.
* We played six games against playoff teams and we won four of them.
* Only Indianapolis has a better overall record against playoff teams at 5-1 than our 4-2. Only Denver had more wins against winning teams.
* Within our tenure here we’ve established 34 Kansas City Chiefs single-season team records.
* We’ve established five Kansas City Chiefs consecutive season team records, 14 Kansas City single game records, 32 Kansas City individual career records, 25 Kansas City Chiefs individual single-season records, seven Kansas City individual consecutive season records, 14 Kansas City individual single game records, four Kansas City individual consecutive game records.
* As of right now after five years, the Chiefs and this organization rank number four or better in 11 different categories over that span.
* We have four first place finishes with over 30,000 total yards, total touchdowns scored with 262, total first downs with 1760 – nobody has done any better – rushing touchdowns.
* We have two seconds: a second in total points with 2157 points – second to only Indianapolis; second in yards per pass attempt with 7.81 yards.
* Two third place finishes: third in net passing yards (20,386 yards), third in team quarterback passing efficiency rating at 88.5 and Trent (Green) is the only quarterback in the last four years with a quarterback efficiency rating of 90 or better in the entire National Football League.
* Three fourth place finishes: rushing yards at 10,986 yards, second to Denver’s 11,644 yards, fewest sacks allowed at 150, in third down conversions at 41.8%.

“Personally, as a head coach I was allowed to gain my 125th career win with as fine a group of people as I’ve ever been exposed to. I won 44 and lost 36 here and that’s a .533 batting average and not quite good enough. My average score was 27-23.

“Each year was highlighted by a very big win, wins over past division champions, wins over division champions, wins over past Super Bowl teams and wins over last year’s Super Bowl winner.

“No one ever said, ‘you know, coach, if you guys hadn’t done a great job you wouldn’t have won as many games as you did.’ That’s not how we’re evaluated. We’re evaluated on how many games we win and that’s how it ought to be. That’s the National Football League. I can handle that with no problem.

“I learned before I came back to not evaluate how good coach I am or how I felt about myself personally from the standpoint of my own self-esteem or the quality of my coaching based on a win-loss record. There are so many things you don’t have control of.

“Phone calls from Marty Schottenheimer yesterday, Mike Shanahan, Jim Mora, Bill Walsh, Joe Gibbs are as rewarding as any coach of the year honor you could receive. When your own peers take the time to call, well….

“Did we get done what we wanted to get done? Did we get done what we’re paid to get done?

“Not quite.

“Did we fail?

“No way.

“There are too many good people in this organization representing me within their responsibilities that shared this whole five-year experience that would not allow it to be considered it a failure. Yes, we didn’t meet our goal and the ‘Main Thing’ didn’t end up being the ‘Main Thing.’

“But I’m not going to leave here with my head down. This organization is not going to disintegrate from a football standpoint because someone else will be here and Carl (Peterson) will make the right choice.

“To (wife) Carol. Gosh, you talk about an assistant coach. She’s been such a big part of my career. Someone asked me if I remembered the very first game I ever coached as a head coach and I said, ‘yeah, I got beat by Serra High School, 14-7.’ She was crying as I came off the field. It’s never changed. It’s been a great profession because I’ve been able to share it with her and my family.

“You talk about a support staff. My sons and my son-in-law and my daughter, and daughter-in-laws and grandchildren live and die every week. My sons go to work on Monday totally influenced by the outcome of Sunday either positively and negatively.

“So, it has been a great career. But I’m not going to hang my head or pout or complain or point the finger or make excuses. I just didn’t quite get it done. Hopefully, as this program is evaluated over the next five or six years people will appreciate what my coaches did and what I did, and what Lamar Hunt and Carl did, and what my players did, how it was done, why it was done the way it was done and the people that it was done with.

“In Philadelphia, the fans were the most intense, loyal and loving in the country. In St. Louis, once you got winning, they got totally emotionally involved. I feel bad that I wasn’t able to play a role in sharing that experience here, but I hope very much that the fans got out of our five years together as much as I got out of it because they are wonderful people. Never have I been treated with more respect and appreciation than I have by the Kansas City Chiefs fans. So, on behalf of Carol and my family, I say thank you.”

Q: How does a new coach come here and deal with the talent he has? How does he approach the job? He has a pretty good team already in place.

VERMEIL: “I say any coach who comes here, regardless of who it is, has to do it his way, within his personality and within his profile and within his philosophy. I can’t do somebody else’s job the way he would do it, and I don’t think anybody else can do my job the way I do it. I never tried to emulate anybody. I have had many head coaches inspire me and for a while I wasn’t a very good listener for a while.

“But a new coach will come in here and find a support staff that is second to none in the National Football League, and find a level of talent that won 10 games and could have easily won 13. He’ll find a work ethic he doesn’t have to find a way to improve. It’ll be more to maintain. But he’ll change philosophies and routines and all those kinds of things.”

Q: But do you change to accommodate what’s here?

VERMEIL: “This offensive scheme is an outstanding scheme. I started coaching it in 1971, but it’s not the system it’s the people. Nobody can run this offense better than Trent Green. It’s a wonderful package of an attack, but if you don’t have Trent Green running it, it isn’t nearly as good if Casey Wiegmann, Willie Roaf, Will Shields, Brian Waters, John Welbourn, Tony Gonzalez, Jason Dunn and Tony Richardson, and Eddie Kennison, and Samie Parker aren’t in those positions; it doesn’t run as good. It didn’t run as well without Willie Roaf and John Welbourn for six ball games this year. It wasn’t like it was the last two weeks.”

Q: Do you think the players want to stay with the news of your leaving?

VERMEIL: “Oh sure the players want to stay. First off, they don’t have a choice, most of them.”

Q: What was the discussion like with your wife that brought to Kansas City?

VERMEIL: “It wasn’t quite as vulgar. It was more understanding and she was more emotionally involved in the discussion with Carl and Lynn (Stiles) and then with (Peterson wife) Lorie and then Lamar over dinner and a couple bottles of wine. She saw when we went back to St. Louis for the Rams ring ceremony the same thing that I did. Then when we were given the opportunity to come back to another outstanding organization it was too good to turn down.”

Q: What was this Monday morning like when you came back to work?

VERMEIL: “Well, I took my usual lap around the complex. I took my lap and thought about things and said a little prayer.”

Q: Do you have any thoughts about returning to broadcasting?

VERMEIL: “No I don’t think so. Broadcasting is a lot of fun when you’re in the booth presenting the game. It’s really fun when you have a producer and director that know something about the game and that aren’t there to establish their own egos. I had a good experience in broadcasting for 14 years, especially the last number of years with Brent Musburger doing college football. I learned a lot about the game and a lot more about talking to other coaches and talking about philosophy and how other coaches coach. I took some of those principles and philosophies when I went back into coaching in 1997.”

Q: Do you think coaches spend too much time now in preparation?

VERMEIL: “It was when I did it between 1976 and ‘82, yes. Even now I get after my coaches. I worry about sleep deprivation; I worry about making decisions when they’re really tired; I worry about caffeine keeping them going. I was so insecure with my total responsibilities then that I kept pushing myself harder to see if I could do it better and work an hour later. There’s a point.”

Q: What advice could you give a coach who comes to a head job in the NFL?

VERMEIL: “Number one, be yourself. Number two, tell the truth. There’s nothing an NFL player appreciates more even when its criticism than to know that he can trust the coach to tell the truth. I’ve always believed that.

“You can’t allow a fourth down call where a penalty gives them the ball and a first down and they beat you; you can’t allow that to beat you up. I used to allow that. It’s important for the head coach to come back to the meeting room the next day and present himself as a leader who understood what happened and understands better what we have to do.”

Q: Is there anything as you look back that you wish you had done differently here?

VERMEIL: “I’m sure there are things I would have done differently. I think I got too deeply involved in the Donnie Edwards situation. That’s one thing that comes to mind. I think maybe I was too patient, looking for too much to come from a portion of our football team after 13 wins and they didn’t. Sometimes I see too positively certain talents that I think can go to the next level and can’t. That’s always been my philosophy: if I see you do something a few times real well then we can get you to do it all the time. It’s been proven that it doesn’t always work out that way.”