View Full Version : Chiefs Gretz - Small Staff Guides Chiefs

07-28-2008, 10:14 PM
Small Staff Guides Chiefs (http://www.kcchiefs.com/news/2008/07/28/small_staff_guides_chiefs/)
Jul 28, 2008, 6:08:50 AM by Bob Gretz - FAQ

RIVER FALLS, WI – On one hand the Chiefs will be among the youngest teams in the NFL for the 2008 season. On the other hand, they have one of the smallest coaching staffs in the league.

Some would think an inexperienced team would need more coaches to handle the teaching and make up for that lack of playing time in the NFL.

Herm Edwards doesn’t think that way. The small coaching staff is exactly what he wanted for the Chiefs in this season of reconstruction.

“I think most coaches would tell you that fewer voices talking in the ear of the players makes for less confusion and better understanding,” Edwards said. “Listen, I’ve been there. To have the ability to walk into your room with your guys and know that your voice is what they are listening for makes the job a lot more fun. I think good coaches would rather approach their individual jobs knowing they are the authority at that position.”

According to the 2008 NFL Record & Fact Book the Chiefs have 16 assistant coaches. However, that number does not include defensive quality control assistant Daron Roberts. Whether it’s 16 or 17 doesn’t matter; either number ranks the Chiefs among the 10 smallest coaching staffs in the league.

New England has the smallest group of assistant coaches with 13, although that number does not include head coach Bill Belichick’s right-hand man Ernie Adams. He’s listed as the “football research director” but not part of the coaching staff. Adams you might remember is the guy who handled the tapes of opposing coaches that the Patriots did against NFL regulations.

At Tennessee, Jeff Fisher has 15 assistant coaches. So does John Fox with Carolina and Wade Phillips down in Dallas.

The Chiefs come in next, along with AFC West rival San Diego, Cincinnati and New Orleans.

At the other end of the coaching staff spectrum are the Minnesota Vikings with 23 assistant coaches. The Oakland Raiders have 22 coaches and Cleveland has 20.

Think about the Vikings, who just might have the largest coaching staff in NFL history. On game day, Minnesota can dress 46 players. With 23 assistants, head coach Brad Childress has one coach for every two players. The Vikings have three strength and conditioning coaches, two special teams coaches, and two coaches each for wide receivers, defensive line, offensive line and linebackers.

“There are two ways of looking at it,” Edwards said. “In one way it’s another set of eyes at a position, and more eyes to see things. That might be an advantage in some situations.”

But not enough to convince Edwards he needs a bigger staff. The Chiefs have two offensive line coaches – almost every team in the league does – but that’s the only spot where they have doubled up on assistants.

“I just think for the coach to have command in his room, there needs to be one voice and one voice only,” Edwards said. “That speaks volumes. Sometimes when you have big coaching staffs, you have too many voices in the players’ ear. They hear bits and pieces from a lot of voices and there’s no consistency to the message.”

That’s certainly not a problem this year with the Chiefs linebackers. Defensive coordinator Gunther Cunningham is also serving as the linebackers coach this year. He’s the only defensive coordinator in the league who also serves as a position coach. There are four offensive coordinators who also carry the title of a position coach: Rick Dennison in Denver and Doug Marrone in New Orleans are also the offensive line coaches and Kyle Shanahan in Houston and Josh McDaniels in New England both handle quarterbacks. Now in Denver, New Orleans and Houston the title offensive coordinator is a bit different than other teams because the head coach is the primary play caller.

“At the end of the day, Gunther wanted the opportunity to handle the linebackers,” said Edwards. “I think one of the reasons he thought it possible was the fact he has a lot of faith and confidence in the rest of his defensive staff.”

To make a small staff work requires everybody doing a little bit more.

“There are items and duties that have to be delegated within the staff and the support staff and sometimes that makes for extra work,” Edwards said. “But I also think that makes your coaching staff more efficient.

“You have to have the right kind of coaches to make a small staff work. They have to be very good teachers. They have to be able to communicate with the players so there is no misunderstanding about technique, assignments and fundamentals. They have to be very thorough.”

Still with a young team like the ‘08 Chiefs, wouldn’t more eyes and more bodies to work with them help their development?

“One of the things that happens with a big coaching staff is you get all this information, all this input,” said Edwards. “You get information overload. You want to see a young player struggle, overload him with information, hit him with a lot of different voices saying things in different ways, and maybe even saying things that are different.

“That will confuse a young guy very quickly.”

A small staff is also part of Edwards’ plan in teaching his players how to think for themselves. Anymore in pro football, coaches have taken control of the game and some teams even discourage their players from thinking on their own. That’s not Edwards’ style. He wants his players to understand the game and the situations that come on every play.

“You know in practice, the coach is standing behind you telling you what to do,” Edwards said. “But they don’t let the coaches on the field during the game. Players have to learn to think for themselves, to assess the situation and understand what should and should not be done.”

07-28-2008, 10:47 PM
On the other hand, they have one of the smallest coaching staffs in the league.


07-28-2008, 10:49 PM
Dick Curl can hide behind that spiderman costume all he wants, but he's not fooling me.

07-28-2008, 10:52 PM
Methinks Bob Gretz has a "small staff"

07-28-2008, 10:57 PM

07-28-2008, 11:33 PM
Mr. dorseybowe, you seem like a nice person. But, if you ever post something like that again, I shall construct a voodoo doll in your honor, douse it with stale cat urine, and impale its nether regions with a rusted hole scaler.