View Full Version : When Should Al Saunders Get the HC Job?

06-06-2001, 08:15 AM
When should Al Saunders get the HC job in KC?

a. After DV retires of his own accord

b. After/if DV bombs

c. As soon as other teams begin to court him for a HC position

d. He should be the HC now; DV should not have been hired

I know its too early to tell anything. But its still the slow off season and what else is there to do?

PS: How do I convert this into a poll?

06-06-2001, 08:27 AM
Oops. To late.
Hiring Goonther was the biggest mistake CP has made in his Chief career, next to hiring Marty.

06-06-2001, 08:30 AM

06-06-2001, 08:40 AM
I'm not sure what has you confused?

06-06-2001, 08:43 AM
So you are saying that hiring DV was Carl's biggest mistake after hiring Marty/Gun?
Who DO you like for crying out loud?

06-06-2001, 08:53 AM
I'm not sure how my response led you to that conclusion, but with regards to VD, I actually agree with you about hiring him, but for different reasons.
I think that Saunders would have been a better choice from the start, because even though the transition should be a smooth one, it will be a transition when VD steps down, and will affect the team to some extent.
Also, I just think that VD had "lightening strike in a bottle" in the Rams' SB season, and just don't believe that he will have that kind of luck fall into place a 2nd time. That is one issue that we agree on.
And I still bristle at throwing away draft picks for a coach that will likely be done in 3 years (tho', my money says he gone after 2)

My first choice would have been Marvin Lewis, followed by Rick Neuheisel, John Fox and Marty Mohinweg.

06-06-2001, 09:21 AM

This may surprise you but I voted for "Saunders should have been hired as Head Coach in the first place" If not for the loss or our draft picks I would not feel that way. I also, like most of us realize we would not have a new Head Coach if we had not hired Vermiel so I guess based on that may vote would change to When DV chooses to step down.

06-06-2001, 09:27 AM
I disagree with you milkman. CP's hiring of Marty was a great thing at the time. The team had been bad for so many years and MS turned them into a perrenial playoff contender. I think Dan Snyder is doing the same thing in Washington. Of course, if MS hasn't done squat in the playoffs by the 3rd or 4th year, Marty will be gone. Now, that being said, I actually was hoping that the Chiefs would've hired Brian Billick in 1999. I was wanting a team that could produce some offense for a change and with the success Brian had as the Vikings offensive coordinator, I figured he would be a great coach for the Chiefs, especially if they would've left Gunther at defensive coordinator. I was disappointed with the hiring of Gunther as HC but, I decided to be optimistic and support him and for a while there, it seemed like he had the team on the right track. Of course, we all know how that all fell apart. I think the cards are stacked against DV as far as going to the SB with a 3rd team but, stranger things have been known to happen. Hell, up until the 2000 SB, no dome team had ever been able to get to the SB. Who knows how good a head coach AS will be. Personally, I think he will be a good one but, you never know. Still, I believe that hiring DV as the HC for 3 years with Al waiting in the wings was the best move. The Chiefs have been struggling for 3 years now and DV is a proven winner. He's just what this team needs right now. As far as the lightning in a bottle crap goes: Sure you might be able to say that if he had only taken one team to the SB (see 1999 Atlanta Falcons) but, he took 2 different teams to SBs. Both teams were perrenial cellar dwellars until DV took over. That blows the "lightning in a bottle" theory out of the water, in my opinion.

keg in kc
06-06-2001, 10:20 AM
I'm tired of talking about what has been, what could have been or what should have been. From this point forward I'm going to deal with what is, and the "is" here is the fact that Vermeil is the head coach now. Them's the facts, and IMHO, Saunders should get the job when Vermeil decides to retire, be that next week, next year, two years, three years or ten years.

06-06-2001, 10:25 AM
You make some strong points, but the lightning in a bottle is definite an accurate analogy considering DV was 9-23 in his first 2 years at StL and the way he stumbled onto Kurt Warner.

Jim, Gun was going to replaced win, lose or draw.

Milkman: I was VERY high on Neuheisel and he would have been a perfect (young, idealistic) coach for the rebuild Chiefs. Carl went with Vermeil to coach the win now Chiefs.

Bottom line: if the poop is correct, then Al Saunders will one day be the Chiefs HC. He has earned it! 10 years on the Chiefs sideline including some years bearing the title of Assistant Head Coach. Shocking prediction: Vermiel steps down after only one season (remember, this guy retired for a reason) and Saunders (a TRUE Kansas City Chief) takes the helm and the team to the AFC Championship game in '02.

Perpetrator of wild prognostications

06-06-2001, 10:35 AM
I can't believe it . I actually agree with KCJohnny on something.:eek:

I also believe Vermeil will step down after one season and Saunders will take over at that time. And I will be happy. :D I have said before that when Vermeil was hired and they were discussing compensation, I told my son it would be worth a 2nd or 3rd as long as Saunders came along in the deal. Saunders would have been my first choice to take over from Gunther.

Skip Towne
06-06-2001, 10:41 AM
Milkman- Hiring Marty was a mistake? Check the Chiefs record 5 years before & after his arrival.They were drawing "crowds" of 20,000. Some people would complain if we hired Vince Lombardi. (If he were alive).

keg in kc
06-06-2001, 10:54 AM
Since we're discussing history, here's a little:

St. Louis Rams:

1990 5-11
1991 3-13
1992 6-10
1993 5-11
1994 4-12
1995 7-9
1996 6-10

That's 36-76 (an avg. of 6-10) over the 7 years prior to Vermeil's arrival in 1997.

It's strikingly similar to the situation he inherited in Philadelphia:

1967 6-7-1
1968 2-12
1969 4-9-1
1970 3-10-1
1971 6-7-1
1972 2-11-1
1973 5-8-1
1974 7-7
1975 4-10

That's 39-81-6 in the 9 years before Vermeil, an average of about 4-9-1.

He was 9-19 his first two years in Philadelphia, and then he took them to the playoffs for 4 consecutive years following that, including a Super Bowl in 1980.

In his first two years with each Philly and St. Louis, he's a combined 18-42 a .300 winning percentage. For the rest of his career, including playoff games (6-4 record), he's 64-35, a .646 winning percentage.

In other words, he's a good coach, not a miracle worker. He's turned two of the worst franchises in the NFL into playoff contenders in 3 years. Once, I'd call that lightning in a bottle. Twice? Not likely...

Accredit it to management, other coaches, whomever you like, but the numbers speak for themselves.

Who knows, he might leave in a year. I doubt it, since he knows we're giving up a draft pick for him next season, but he's a free man, if he wants to walk he can. I wouldn't be very happy about it, either, but, geez, come one, let's show the guy a little respect for what he's done in his career. He's not exactly some idiot who's stumbled his way into two Super Bowls...

06-06-2001, 10:54 AM
Somebody actually agrees with me!
Sighing out loud...

06-06-2001, 11:02 AM
Nobody's disrespecting Vermiel. I'm not.
He's a great coach.
All I'm speculating on is that he retired for a reason, he's named his successor, he's 65 this October, he's gotten a Lombardi, he's got nothing left to prove, he has no history in KC or even the AFC, and he did NOT single-handedly guide the Rams to their SB season. You HAVE to account for Warner/Martz as the key factors.

Al Saunders is probably going to be the Chiefs HC, sooner or later, and the future begins then. Vermiel is a stop-gap win-now solution. Saunders is the future with an EXCELLENT resume of KC Chiefs credentials. JMHO!


keg in kc
06-06-2001, 11:10 AM
That wasn't aimed at you or anyone else in particular, Johnny, I was just trying to add some perspective on Vermeil into the arguement. A lot of people over the last few months like to say that DV "lucked" into the Super Bowl with St. Louis, and I like to throw out some numbers in the guy's defense. That's not to say that luck wasn't a part of it, it certainly was, just like luck is a part of every Super Bowl champion (no injuries, ball bounces your way, etc. etc., you know what I mean), nor does it take anything away from Warner or Martz. No head coach single-handedly guides a team anywhere, that's just the facts of the game, and the reason I love it (a TRUE team effort, both from players and coaches).

And I agree, I think Saunders will be an excellent head coach whenever he gets behind the reins.

I just feel sometimes like I owe Vermeil some defense, because nobody else seems to. Probably the same way you feel about Marty sometimes...

06-06-2001, 03:37 PM
Nobody defending DV?
Try standing on my side of the fence!
Vermiel is greatly responsible for the Champion Rams but if his prior form is applied, the Chiefs will dive before they fly. Of course, DV admits that the Chiefs are further along than either the Eagles or the Rams were when he inherited them. I doubt seriously that DV inherited the league's 5th best passing offense on either of his former teams.
Personally, I think DV was brought in to win now, and go for it all. Which is what I would do if I were Carl. That said, I think DV will NOT enjoy the KC media and the more unsavory aspects of big-league coaching after quitting this most recent time. I will be very surprised if DV hangs around for a 2nd or 3rd year. Especially if the Chiefs have a frustrating campaign.
Go Chiefs!

06-06-2001, 03:51 PM
I think DV will step down after 2-3 seasons. No sooner than that IMO. He, more than most, realises that it takes time to build a championship team, and given that the Chiefs are a lot better right now than the Rams/Eagles teams he inherited, I think he'll hope to be in a position to make a good playoff run after the 2002 season. If he has 2 poor seasons, and doesn't think he's going to strike it lucky in his third season this time, he might step down then. But if he feels he's on the right track I could see him staying here for 3 years.
Now that he has decided to come back to coaching (again) I am sure he'd think it a waste of time to come back for just 1 year. He appears to be relishing this, and IMO most fans are just looking for the implementation of a good system, and steady improvement from the 2001 Chiefs. He can afford to go ~.500 if those things happen IMO. I don't think the media is going to drive him away.

I also think that DVs hiring was important for the club. He may not have been everybody's first choice for HC (including mine), but he is a proven winner. This is something that has got to carry some weight amongst the players. They realise when they are being trained, disciplined, corrected by their coach, that he is a dual SB coach. If Saunders had come in straight away, he'd be little more than another guy unproven at the HC level IMO. Maybe he'd have done great. Who knows? But I think the transition is better this way, and I think the results will reflect that. And when Saunders time comes in 2-3 years, he, the players and the fans will all be ready to see him put his stamp on a good team :cool:

Well, that's how I see it anyway :p

06-06-2001, 03:55 PM
I don't know about DV quitting after this year, but it wouldn't suprise me.

I think a lot of people have bought into a lot of overblown expectations and they're going to be repeatedly splashed with cold water this season.
This is going to be a trying year as the offense learns its new scheme and terms. As all three facets learn their new coaches. And as the coaches learn their players. The fact that we've subtracted from our defense does not bode well for a win now scenario. And the KC fans are not a forgiving lot.

As for your question if he's to get the job he should've gotten it from the start and saved us two draft picks. Personally I wanted Marv Lewis. Actually I wanted George Seifert but Marty resigned days after his hiring.

keg in kc
06-06-2001, 04:04 PM
if his prior form is applied, the Chiefs will dive before they fly


He's got a .500 level team to work with, a team with over a decade of winning tradition. In both St. Louis and Philadelphia he took teams that were the exact opposite of the Chiefs. He's got plenty to work with here, from a talent standpoint; I think most people would agree that the Chiefs have underachieved for the last two years, be it due to coaching, locker room cancers, or any other reason you can come up with. He's getting a team which should have been 10-6 or better for the last two seasons, and a playoff team both years. He's not getting a team that hasn't finished above .500 for the largest part of a decade and is the laughingstock of the NFL. We may be in a holding pattern for this year, but no way should this team be any worse than 7-9, there's just too much talent on the roster for that on both sides of the ball, and a favorable schedule to boot (favorable in terms of when we play the teams we play. I'm not saying it's easy...)

As for the KC media, they're not going to be a problem. The Star treats the Chiefs like they're royalty, 810 is a huge fan of both Vermeil and Saunders, and the few people still listening to 980 in the afternoons won't find much in the way of criticism (at least I haven't heard any so far). National media? They don't even pay attention to Kansas City. I don't see what media problems you're talking about, not in year one. Now, if the Chiefs bomb for two or three years, sure, but he's not going to hear a great deal of criticism in the next 12 months, unless he committs the same sort of "open mouth, insert foot" faux pas that Gunther was guilty of last season. And, as I'm sure someone has said before, sports coverage in KC is warm and cuddly compared to what he faced in Philadelphia. I don't see anything here phasing him in the least.

I could see him leaving after year 2, maybe. But not after year 1. He's here to bail out his friend Carl Peterson, and if it takes 3 years to do it, he'll do it. He's not going to step away simply because it's not smooth sailing or not going the way he wants it to go. Sure he just walked away two years ago, but he left on top, and he's going to want to do that again.

06-06-2001, 04:44 PM
I am Marty's most vocal detractor (another thing that I believe that KCJohnny will agree with). I wasn't happy when he was hired. I was deliriously happy when he left. My happiness was stunted when Goonther was hired, although I tried to put on a positive front.
I despise Marty and his play not to lose philosophy.
I'll never agree that Marty was a good hire.
We were a bad team when he came here. He only improved the team from bad to mediocre, and that just ain't good enough.

06-06-2001, 07:21 PM
How about never?

06-06-2001, 07:50 PM
Al Saunders should get the head coaching job when he proves he is an effective offensive coordinator and has the flexibility to run the whole show. And should he demonstrate these capabilities, he should be offered the job once Dick Vermiel feels he has accomplished what he came here to do. And what Dick Vermiel has been brought here to do is reestablish a winning foundation to this franchise and bring in solid players who will work hard and help make this a desirable place for players to want to come and play once again in the offseason.

Al Saunders has been a head coach before, albeit with a bad team, so he knows what it takes to be a head coach. Whether or not he has the ability to be a good head coach is in question. If he displays those capabilities over the next few years, then fine. If he doesn't, we look elsewhere. But for now, I feel confident in DV delegating power to his assistants and overseeing the entire process, because he has already proven he is a good coach. I don't see Vermiel giving up very easily. He has an ego too, and he wants to prove he can succeed everywhere he goes. If Vermiel crashes and burns, it certainly won't be because he lacked the desire, and it certainly wont be because Carl didn't get him some players. The last thing Carl wants to do is tarnish his friend's reputation...

06-06-2001, 09:10 PM
Gentlemen, please consider:
1. DV retired after the '99 season because he didn't want to coach anymore (dangit, man, he's 64!, see Beatles: SGT Pepper)
2. His TRADEMARK has been rushing, defense and field position (sound familiar?); it is a huge gamble to transplant Martzyball here on grass, outdoors in the AFC West. I think by October the Chiefs will look like an anti-Martz traditional football team (see: '92 Cowboys).
3. I'm just rooting for Saunders because he's already borne the heat of the day in Kansas City for years and is a respected AFC West vet/expert.

Thanks everyone who is voting in the poll

06-07-2001, 04:41 PM
I was hoping for more than 36 votes!
Brewer of controversy

06-10-2001, 03:01 PM
DV is the best move the CHIEFS have made in decades. The man simply a winner. Yes, he is implementing new offensive and defensive schemes but what he will be bringing to this organization more than anything is attitude.

The man is the most passionate Coach in the game and you'll see how infectious it becomes. He is an inspirational speaker, motivator and organizer who will surround himself with the talent necessary to win. Phase 1 is bringing in guys who have been there. There are currently more rings in the Coaching staff and locker room than there has been in 25 years.

Question... What happened to the RAMS in 2000? Did they have a more difficult schedule? Did they lose key players to FA? MARTZ, IMO is given more credit than he deserves.

IMO, Teams take on the personality of their Coaches. MARTY was a warrior and a solid Coach with one character flaw. He lost his confidence in go time situations. MARTY"S teams became teams playing not to lose. GUN never had confidence as an HC and by mid-season last year you could see it on the field. DV brings passion. And IMO by mid-season you'll see more passionate KC football than you've seen in years. The guys on the field will give 110% all the time and more importantly, they will BELIEVE they can win in any situation. DV creates overachievers.