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Old 11-12-2012, 06:57 AM  
Coogs Coogs is offline
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Mellinger: Change Hasn't Helped Chiefs

Change hasn’t helped Chiefs



By SAM MELLINGER

The Kansas City Star

PITTSBURGH -- The Chiefs’ nationally televised night of reckoning is exactly 11 months in the making. Last Dec. 12, Scott Pioli sat in front of reporters and television cameras and the eyes of fans across the Midwest to say he had fired Todd Haley. The only coach Pioli had ever hired was now out the door, and with him was supposed to follow the drama and tension that built up between the two men.

Pioli was effectively blaming Haley for the Chiefs’ problems. He thought a change would bring calm, cohesion, success.

“This decision was going to be made at some point,” Pioli said then.

Those in Chiefs management talked constantly about consistency. They still do. The relationship between Haley and Pioli had turned toxic, and the general manager essentially pulled rank on the head coach. The Chiefs needed to move on. Much as it’s hard to remember now, the NFL consensus was that they would. And quickly.

The Chiefs were 5-8 then, with four of their six most important players suffering season-ending injuries. This was before the Chiefs became a national punchline, back when lifelong football men thought this coaching vacancy was a great opening. Just a year removed from a division championship, a roster full of young and developing stars — including the ones coming off surgeries — promised that the next coach would inherit a better team than Haley left behind.

“Our goal is to build a team that can consistently compete for championships and one that our fans can be proud of,” owner Clark Hunt said back then.

It all seemed so plausible. The Chiefs’ future still looked bright. A rehab here, a draft pick there, sprinkle in a free agent or two and, voila, the Chiefs were on their way.

So what the holy heck happened?

The problems

Pioli declined to talk for this column, and it’s important to recognize that everything from here on down is a big wad of hindsight. Maybe you always thought of Matt Cassel as a bad starting quarterback, but nobody predicted he would have more turnovers than 28 entire teams entering this past weekend’s games.

Maybe you thought the Chiefs wouldn’t live up to being a trendy pick in the AFC West, but nobody predicted they’d be in the discussion of worst teams in recent league history.

So it’s best to keep in mind that the view of what the Chiefs did or did not do back then is altered by the prism of today’s embarrassing reality, and that nobody saw this coming.

Still, a careful examination of the personnel and coaching moves Pioli’s Chiefs have made can help us understand how a team goes from promising to pathetic with such striking speed.

Combined with insight from football minds outside the Chiefs organization, a triumvirate of failure emerges: Crennel isn’t up to the task and the Chiefs made a critical error at quarterback, and Pioli’s drafts and other acquisitions are inadequate to make up for it.

The coaching

The Chiefs have not scored a touchdown on an opening possession in any of Crennel’s 11 games in charge, and have been outscored a combined 133-29 in the first and third quarters this season.

Second-guessing coaches is one of the easiest things to do in football, but even ignoring occasionally sloppy game management and sketchy fourth-down decisions, Crennel has shown precious little consistency.

Jamaal Charles got 39 touches against the Saints, but only eight against the Raiders. Crennel explained Charles’ overuse against New Orleans as an all-out effort to win the game, and the underuse against Oakland as Peyton Hillis doing well and the Raiders being too good against the run. But Hillis actually had fewer carries than Charles, and the next week Oakland gave up 251 yards rushing and four touchdowns to Tampa Bay rookie Doug Martin. The Raiders entered the weekend ranked 22nd against the run.

Crennel admitted a mistake by firing himself as defensive coordinator last week, but he never should’ve held both jobs in the first place, considering his own personal experience in Cleveland, the Chiefs’ struggles when Haley tried to double as offensive coordinator, and the NFL’s long history of head coaches struggling when trying to call defensive plays.

But here’s a scary fact: As Crennel decides to spend more time with the offense, his defense is giving up more yards per play than the 2007 Patriots, who set the league’s all-time scoring record.

It’s also a rotten look that Crennel justifies his two biggest moves as head coach — switching quarterbacks four weeks ago and giving up the DC duties last week — as messages delivered.

And it’s still hard to forget that before signing Brady Quinn, Crennel didn’t bother to ask for input from offensive coordinator Brian Daboll, who had more recent and direct experience with the journeyman backup.

The quarterback(s)

The quarterback problem is obvious, and has been dissected since Pioli tied himself to Cassel four years ago. Still, it’s worth remembering that Pioli publicly stated that his top priorities included improving the quarterback competition for this season. Instead, he lessened it.

Even after Clark Hunt told the world the Chiefs would pursue Peyton Manning, the team couldn’t even get a visit from the former Colts star.

Then they let Kyle Orton go to Dallas for a less competitive situation and a contract the Chiefs could’ve easily bettered, and decided against seriously pursuing even underwhelming options like Jason Campbell or Chad Henne, who’ve at least experienced a modicum of NFL success.

So while it’s true that only a liar would tell you he thought Cassel would be this bad, it’s also true that a year after being exposed with Tyler Palko as the backup when Cassel was hurt, Pioli essentially made the same mistake — after vowing to fix it.

The drafts

The last piece is just as important. Four years into the job, Pioli still hasn’t assembled enough components to make up for the shortcomings of the quarterback and head coach. A small bit of this is bad luck — Hillis’ high ankle sprain and Kevin Boss’ concussion, for instance — but more of it is in miscalculations, such as how Stanford Routt would handle a major switch in scheme and too many empty draft picks.

Reasonable minds can disagree on the exact number, but four years of drafts have produced only about four above-average players: Jon Asamoah, Eric Berry, Justin Houston and Kendrick Lewis. Just as damning is that the further back you go — presumably, the more accurate the assessments can be — the worse the drafts look. All that’s left of Pioli’s first draft is No. 3 overall pick Tyson Jackson and kicker Ryan Succop.

Over that same time, division rivals have picked up as many or more impact players, including stars like Von Miller in Denver. The Broncos have been especially better in trades and free agency. Pioli has been able to find placeholders in Kelly Gregg and Casey Wiegmann, but there have also been too many misses — signing Routt and letting Brian Waters go, to name just two.

The reality

No team could overcome the amount (and timing) of turnovers the Chiefs have had this season. But bad luck can only account for some of it, and as long as the Chiefs remain in denial about that, the longer they’ll go before getting better.

For instance, it’s fair to say that a turnover here or there, and the Chiefs might have a better record. They outplayed the Ravens, for instance, and deserved to win that game.

But whether by ego or delusion, any time spent cursing those ifs is time spent ignoring the simple truth that they’ve been so thoroughly bad that they’ve trailed by at least 17 points in all but one game.

It’s denial, and it’s impossible to justify.

Even when they don’t turn it over, the Chiefs averaged fewer yards per play than all but five teams entering this week’s games. They obviously can’t catch the 0-16 Lions of 2008 as the objective worst team in NFL history, but by certain advanced metrics, they are building a case as the most uncompetitive team since the merger.

In other words, the players and coaches Pioli thought could make the post-Haley Chiefs one of the NFL’s better teams this season instead will tonight present a historical failure to their old coach and the nation’s largest weekly television audience.

The memories

The painful but undeniable truth for Pioli and Crennel is that the reasoning used to fire Haley 11 months ago is only stronger to do the same to them now. The same problems they cited with Haley are still here, only worse.

Hunt, back then: “It is clear to me we are not making enough progress.”

Pioli, back then: “It was an accumulation of information and thoughts, and we finally got down to talking about where things were and thought this was the best decision in order to create more consistency and progress.”

Considering that the Chiefs were less than a season removed from a division title at the time and that their window to win with this core group diminishes the older guys like Tamba Hali and Derrick Johnson get, the team has neither time nor a credible call for patience on its side.

Hunt effectively doubled down with Pioli 11 months ago, and at the time it was a reasonable move. Most around the league thought the Chiefs could be competitive, and quickly, with the right men in place.

Less than a year later, the team is very obviously still lacking the right men.

Read more here: http://www.kansascity.com/2012/11/11...#storylink=cpy


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That a'boy Sam! Keep the pressure on!
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Old 11-12-2012, 07:06 AM   #2
KC Tattoo KC Tattoo is offline
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The only headline I want to see is ~ Pioli is removed from duties as general manager of the Kansas City Chiefs. Every thing else is just redundant.
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Old 11-12-2012, 07:10 AM   #3
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I disagree with this article. We were spinning our tires with Haley. Romeo and Pioli aren't the answers but, Happy Gilmore ****ing sucked as a coach imo.
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Old 11-12-2012, 07:22 AM   #4
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I disagree with this article. We were spinning our tires with Haley. Romeo and Pioli aren't the answers but, Happy Gilmore ****ing sucked as a coach imo.
I could give you a serious counter, but seeing as how this post is coming from the village idiot, I won't bother.
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Old 11-12-2012, 07:23 AM   #5
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Hunt, back then: “It is clear to me we are not making enough progress.”

Pioli, back then: “It was an accumulation of information and thoughts, and we finally got down to talking about where things were and thought this was the best decision in order to create more consistency and progress.”
Oh there's consistency now!
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Old 11-12-2012, 07:24 AM   #6
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I could give you a serious counter, but seeing as how this post is coming from the village idiot, I won't bother.
It would all be hypothetical because he is long gone. It's not easy for a HC to get fired before the end of the year. When it happens, it's for good reason.
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Old 11-12-2012, 07:27 AM   #7
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It's been Romeo defense that has been getting it's ass handed to it.


We fired the wrong coach am convenced we fired the wrong coach.
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Old 11-12-2012, 07:30 AM   #8
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Play good football and make it a good process. Why is this so difficult?
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Old 11-12-2012, 07:33 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Woodsponge Chuckpants View Post
It would all be hypothetical because he is long gone. It's not easy for a HC to get fired before the end of the year. When it happens, it's for good reason.
Haley wanted a good qb and the GM being and egotistical maniac are sure good reasons

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Old 11-12-2012, 07:40 AM   #10
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Haley wanted a good qb and the GM being and egotistical maniac are sure good reasons ugh
^
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Old 11-12-2012, 07:45 AM   #11
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Haley wanted a good qb and the GM being and egotistical maniac are sure good reasons ugh
Exactly. Haley was delt a bad hand by the GM. He had nothing to work with in Cassel or Tyler ****ing Palko. He still managed to get leads and win a few games wich I think is a marvel in itself. Pioli was is the biggest problem with the Chiefs from the day he was hired.
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Old 11-12-2012, 07:48 AM   #12
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"Maybe you always thought of Matt Cassel as a bad starting quarterback, but nobody predicted he would have more turnovers than 28 entire teams entering this past weekend’s games."

Maybe not this PARTICULAR stat, but I was metaphysically certain that the biggest difficulty for the Chiefs would be EVER getting good enough to overcome how bad a QB Cassel is.
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Old 11-12-2012, 07:50 AM   #13
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I hope Haley puts 100 on the Chiefs tonight, just so Bob spongetard pees his pants and cries all night.
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Old 11-12-2012, 07:51 AM   #14
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Exactly. Haley was delt a bad hand by the GM. He had nothing to work with in Cassel or Tyler ****ing Palko. He still managed to get leads and win a few games wich I think is a marvel in itself. Pioli was is the biggest problem with the Chiefs from the day he was hired.
Actually hiring Todd Haley was one of Pioli's few decent moves.
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High Tech is Sorcery and the people who are really powerful are literally telling people to commit crimes using the psychic interspace created by the WWW and Wireless. They are controlling peoples actions like drones . The two things are deeply intertwined. The more man's brain interfaces with machines the creepier it gets. They use brains separate from a human body in a supercomputer and you have The Image of the Beast. The military has been doing this since the 50s
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Old 11-12-2012, 07:58 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Woodsponge Chuckpants View Post
I disagree with this article. We were spinning our tires with Haley. Romeo and Pioli aren't the answers but, Happy Gilmore ****ing sucked as a coach imo.
Last season, without Jamaal, Berry & Moeaki, Todd Haley won more games than this team has won since he left. The season before, Haley engineered a division title.

Spinning wheel = you
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