|04-28-2007, 01:28 AM|
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Teicher: Hermís vision...
Chiefs coach Edwards gets opportunity with this draft to start building a team to fit his image.
By ADAM TEICHER
This yearís draft is about so much more for the Chiefs than the opportunity to acquire seven rookies.
Itís about truly making this Herm Edwardsí team.
Longtime franchise building blocks such as Trent Green, Will Shields, Dante Hall and Greg Wesley are either gone or on their way out. This draft, which begins today and concludes Sunday, is about finding franchise icons to replace them.
ďWhen you draft, youíre not just drafting for this year,Ē Edwards said. ďYouíre drafting for down the road, too. Iím anticipating what weíre going to look like two years from now. Itís going to be three drafts, and then youíre going to find out what you are.
ďYou have to have a plan of what youíre trying to become. Thatís a process. Thatís not going to happen in one year. The first step we took was last year in the draft. We got some young players with potential. Three or four of them could end up starting for us this year. We have to have another good draft like that.Ē
The Chiefs were unable Friday to complete a trade that would send Green, their starting quarterback for the last six years, to the Miami Dolphins. That doesnít mean the deal is dead.
The sides inched closer to an agreement, with the Dolphins offering a sixth-round pick for Green and the Chiefs indicating they would accept a fourth-round choice. Finding middle ground might not be as simple as it sounds. The Dolphins donít have a fifth-round pick.
A trade could hinge on whether the Dolphins are able to select Notre Dame quarterback Brady Quinn with the ninth pick of the draft. If Quinn is gone by the time Miami picks, it could increase the pressure on the Dolphins to acquire Green.
The Chiefs werenít in any mood to agree to Miamiís offer. They appeared ready to hold on to Green even after the draft if the Dolphins donít sweeten their offer.
Whether or not the Chiefs trade Green, they are facing a transition unlike any other in recent years. The shift started last year when they hired Edwards, but they didnít have the player loss of recent months.
They have obvious holes to fill, most notably at cornerback. Starters Ty Law and Patrick Surtain are aging, and the Chiefs have no reliable reserve.
Other positions of need include defensive and offensive lines and wide receiver.
The outlook at several positions has been altered by developments of recent days. At running back, the Chiefs are increasingly concerned that Larry Johnson might hold out of training camp if the parties canít agree on terms of a new contract.
The recent retirement of Shields and worries over the recent behavior of Chris Terry made the offensive-line positions a greater priority. The Chiefs tentatively gave Terry the starting spot at right tackle, but he hasnít been a regular participant in their offseason program and recently missed a probable-cause hearing in Georgia stemming from an alleged altercation in February between Terry and a woman at an Atlanta-area bar.
Defensive end is more urgent after the Chiefs learned Friday that Jared Allen would be suspended for the first four games this year because of a violation of the NFLís substance-abuse policy. Allen, unhappy with an offer for a long-term contract, asked the Chiefs for a trade and said he wonít sign a new deal with them next year, when he can be an unrestricted free agent.
Thatís a lot to accomplish in seven draft picks.
ďYouíve got to protect yourself on both sides of the ball up front,Ē Edwards said when asked what would make this a successful draft. ďIf you draft guys there, you know youíre solidifying an area that you need to solidify. The most important areas of your football team besides the quarterback position are the lines on both sides, offensively and defensively.
ďYou have to draft offensive linemen and defensive linemen every year. Thatís how you build your football team. Thatís how you stay young at those positions. Are we going to look at some offensive linemen (in the draft)? Absolutely, just like we did last year. Are we going to look at some defensive linemen? Absolutely.Ē