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Old 01-21-2006, 09:19 AM  
AirForceChief AirForceChief is offline
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Dean's Take On The Offense

Dean: Beat will go on for KC offense

By Rick Dean
The Capital-Journal
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The expression began back in medieval days, one suspects.

The king is dead, the commoners used to say. Long live the king.

It was their way of saying that life goes on. That when one king passes, another arises immediately to take his place. The circle remains unbroken. (An exception might be made for the great kings of modern times, Elvis and Martin Luther King. They will never be replaced. But I digress).

Such commoner thoughts come to mind these days when considering the circumstances surrounding the departure of Al Saunders as the Chiefs offensive coordinator.

Rick DeanSaunders was the king of NFL offenses during his five-year tenure in Kansas City. The Chiefs led the league in total offense in each of the past two seasons. Their 380 yards-per-game average also was a league high over the 2001-05 stretch of the Dick Vermeil era.
Like many other people, I hoped unrealistically that Saunders could continue his reign in Kansas City under new head coach Herman Edwards. But you knew that wasn't likely to happen.

Even if he swallowed his pride and returned to a team that twice passed him by for its head coach position, Saunders was always going to be a man in demand for positions elsewhere. He interviewed for five vacant head coach spots in the past three weeks before opting to direct Joe Gibbs' offense in Washington for a reported $2 million annual salary -- almost doubling his Chiefs' salary.

Edwards needed more stability in the first year of his four-year contract with the Chiefs. He needed continuity in his coordinator positions, and Saunders couldn't promise that. In their first conversation last week, each coach knew a change would be in their own best interest.

It should have been a sad but amiable parting.

Instead, it got ugly Friday when Carl Peterson sought out reporters to deny published reports saying in 2003 he promised Saunders -- then under consideration for head coaching positions with the Oakland Raiders and the University of Nebraska -- the Chiefs' job upon Vermeil's eventual retirement.

"There's no way I could promise him that because we have a very important diversity policy in the NFL," Peterson said of the Rooney Rule that requires NFL teams to interview minority candidates for head coaching positions. "Al knew I was going to pursue that policy as well as anything else to find the best candidate."

Frankly, this is a he said/he said issue for which I have little appetite. I believe Saunders was given reason to believe he would be Vermeil's successor. I also find it credible that Peterson -- knowing he faces heavy league fines in promising a job without minority interviews -- told Saunders only that he would be considered for the position.

However it came down, the king is dead. Long live the king.

The sense here is offensive line coach Mike Solari will be a capable replacement as the Chiefs' offensive coordinator.

The architect of Kansas City's potent running game of the past five seasons with Priest Holmes and now Larry Johnson, Solari brings a quiet competence respected throughout the Chiefs locker room.

His command of the passing game may not be equal to that of Saunders, but with the help of quarterback coach Terry Shea -- an offensive coordinator at Chicago last year -- and veteran quarterback Trent Green, the Chiefs should have a passing attack every bit as capable as the one Saunders fielded in the past five seasons.

Elvis may have left the building. But the beat will go on for the Chiefs.

Rick Dean can be reached at rick.dean@cjonline.com.
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Old 01-21-2006, 09:21 AM   #2
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The point about needing continuity, and the fact that AS will be interviewing for head coaching jobs for the next several years, really make the hire of someone other than AS much more bearable.
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Old 01-21-2006, 09:27 AM   #3
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As if Solari won't be in demand if the Chiefs are #1 in total offense...

And Peterson's minority interview thing is the lamest damn excuse I have ever head. It's a ****ing technicality. And even if you believe the league should have that policy, it obviously has to be waived in cases where someone has been hand-picked to take over. Peterson is such a prick. I can't believe DV was friends with that piece of shit. He probably isn't, anymore.
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Old 01-21-2006, 04:26 PM   #4
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Unfortunately the real king (Carl) is not dead. He signed a contract for 5 more years!
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Old 01-23-2006, 06:40 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick Dean
The sense here is offensive line coach Mike Solari will be a capable replacement as the Chiefs' offensive coordinator.

The architect of Kansas City's potent running game of the past five seasons with Priest Holmes and now Larry Johnson, Solari brings a quiet competence respected throughout the Chiefs locker room.

His command of the passing game may not be equal to that of Saunders, but with the help of quarterback coach Terry Shea -- an offensive coordinator at Chicago last year -- and veteran quarterback Trent Green, the Chiefs should have a passing attack every bit as capable as the one Saunders fielded in the past five seasons.
There's the same sense here at the moment.
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Old 01-23-2006, 07:05 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FringeNC
As if Solari won't be in demand if the Chiefs are #1 in total offense...

And Peterson's minority interview thing is the lamest damn excuse I have ever head. It's a ****ing technicality. And even if you believe the league should have that policy, it obviously has to be waived in cases where someone has been hand-picked to take over. Peterson is such a prick. I can't believe DV was friends with that piece of shit. He probably isn't, anymore.


If he had "waived" that policy and we lost draft picks because of it, you'd be here calling him a prick.
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Old 01-23-2006, 07:10 AM   #7
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I don't doubt that KC will have SOME drop-off in production, but I find it hard to believe that the return of "MartyBall" is around the corner.

It seems like half the talking heads in KC have already convinced themselves that KC will have NO offense next season because AS is in DC.

Looks like there's something to Whitlock's article from this weekend.
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