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Old 01-04-2013, 07:53 PM  
KcMizzou KcMizzou is offline
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Hunt should take a bow for his moves to save Chiefs

Quote:
Hunt should take a bow for his moves to save Chiefs
By SAM MELLINGER
The Kansas City Star

Two years of stubborn deterioration gave way to one week of aggressive reconstruction. A once-proud franchise seems to be back on its feet. This is Clark Hunt’s moment, and barring a massive departure from character, he will let others soak up the spotlight.

But if his Chiefs scratch back to respectability, these are the decisions we will remember.

Romeo Crennel, a fine man but overmatched NFL head coach, is gone. Scott Pioli, who became his own worst enemy and created unnecessary adversaries both inside and out of the Chiefs’ offices, is gone. The old restraints are gone.

In place of Crennel comes Andy Reid, the most accomplished coach available unless Jon Gruden changes his mind and returns to the sidelines. It’s a happy time, finally. The New Chiefs are only a few days old now, but it’s hard to think of how Hunt could’ve better handled his most critical moment of running his family’s franchise, and Kansas City’s most cherished institution other than barbecue.

This is Hunt’s finest hour, an undeniable big-boy move to turn the Chiefs into winners. The free jerseys for season ticket-holders were nice, but this goes much further with fans.

He’s not the type, but now would be a fine time for Hunt to bow.

However this ends up, Hunt has now done his honest best to wipe away the worst and most miserable season in Chiefs history with a hope and credibility that’s been missing for some time.

Reid had his issues in Philadelphia with clock management and big games — and just got fired after going 4-12 — but he also helped the Eagles to sustained success with different rosters that most teams would love to emulate.

If Reid helps drive the Chiefs to the Super Bowl, it would fit the pattern of many football men who found bigger success in their second job. Tom Coughlin spent eight years in Jacksonville before winning two Super Bowls with the Giants. Tony Dungy was fired in Tampa Bay before winning a title in Indianapolis. Gruden failed with the Raiders before winning big with the Bucs. Bill Belichick flopped in Cleveland before becoming the most successful coach in recent NFL history.

All told, seven of the last 11 Super Bowl winners were coached by a man in his second job.

Of course, Crennel was also in his head-coaching sequel, so this can all be picked apart. The Pioli hiring looked awfully good in the moment, too, before Hunt’s handpicked GM became obsessed with too many things that had nothing to do with drafting and signing good football players.

Maybe the new general manager will leave personnel success in his old job the same way Pioli left it in New England. Maybe Reid is a burnout. We’ll get those answers soon enough. In the meantime, we can judge how Hunt approached this week, and in that way the man deserves a standing ovation.

The bet with Reid is that he’s a smart man who’s more in need of a change in scenery than a break from the NFL grind. Hunt made that judgment, and after an apparent nine-hour interview a mistake wouldn’t be for lack of diligence.

Mostly, though, today is about a fresh start. Clean board. Even within the Chiefs’ offices, there was some surprise and concern when Pioli wasn’t fired on Monday. Not everyone hated working for him, you might be surprised to know, but wanting to drop the baggage and shush the noise attached to Pioli was a near consensus.

Pioli may very well go on to success at his next job — he’s a smart man, and respected mind — but it was never going to happen in Kansas City. This has been obvious to most everyone in and around the Chiefs organization for a while, and now that a new GM is on the way, a short delay in firing the old one will likely be remembered as nothing more than a footnote.

Whatever the true reasons were for waiting to fire Pioli, the franchise — and just as importantly, its new head coach — can move forward less encumbered by an ugly recent history.

Whether Reid and whomever ends up as the new GM here work out or not, this is what had to be done for the Chiefs to have a chance. No matter how many protest banners fly over the stadium, Kansas City will always love the Chiefs.

Now they can be loved with more hope than anger.
http://www.kansascity.com/2013/01/04...for-smart.html
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