|01-14-2004, 09:19 AM||Topic Starter|
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Clinton, MO
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Guess what? Gretz call us classless and deranged
An Act of Supreme Loyalty
1/14/2004 6:17 AM
The columnists dissect the 2003 season and take a look at what's ahead for the Chiefs in '04. Read it here in a series of columns beginning next week.
By Bob Gretz
January 14, 2004 (morning)--Last year, Dick Vermeil showed his loyalty to Greg Robinson by retaining him on his coaching staff.
Robinson paid back that loyalty on Tuesday by resigning as the defensive coordinator of the Chiefs.
It was an extraordinary act by Robinson. He put aside ego, all pretense and he fell on his sword for Dick Vermeil. Team and Vermeil came ahead of himself. No small wonder why the head coach was so emotional when he talked about Robinson and why he felt like he let his assistant down.
In more than 25 years of covering the NFL, I’ve never witnessed anything that came close to Tuesday’s morning gathering. The raw emotion was unforgettable. It was a window into the world that Vermeil has created with his football team. It was a window into the world of coaching and all the twists and turns that make the business so exciting and so heart breaking.
First, Robinson did the right thing in offering to resign. Secondly, Vermeil did the right thing in accepting. After everything that happened with the Chiefs in 2003, the focus was entirely on Robinson and the defense. It would have been impossible for this organization to make enough changes in other areas to overcome the negativity that would have surrounded Robinson’s further employment.
There’s no question the defense was broken. Robinson and the defensive staff tried their best, but in the end it did not come together on the field. Last year, Robinson was handicapped by a defense that had few talented players. This season, the talent level was improved, but it still wasn’t enough.
What was missing was a defensive mind-set that’s absolutely imperative to success in the NFL. Yes, football today is more complicated than it was years ago. Defenses must react to offenses, they must take part in the chess game.
But they must do it with an attitude that was seldom evident around the Chiefs defense. It was never there in 2002, showed itself early in 2003, but then disappeared, returning just briefly for the Chicago game. For that, the players, Robinson, the defensive staff and Vermeil must share the blame.
Beyond scheme, beyond talent, what this Chiefs defensive unit needs is an infusion of passion. When Vermeil picks Robinson’s successor, that’s should be the most important part of his resume.
There are many people celebrating Robinson’s departure, reveling in kicking a man when he’s down, laughing at the raw emotion he was willing to share on what was probably the worst day of his professional life. If you are one of those people, like the classless folks who started a web site to promote the firing of Robinson, please seek help. You believe the success of the team is more important to you, than the people who give their blood, sweat and tears each and every day to make it work. You are deranged and can not a hold a candle to a man like Robinson.
Anybody who witnessed what happened at Arrowhead Stadium on Tuesday morning should now have a better understanding of what the people who coach in this business put on the line. They don’t always get it right, they don’t always produce.