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Old 12-26-2012, 07:14 AM  
KCChiefsFan88 KCChiefsFan88 is offline
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USA Today: A Season to Forget in KC

Nothing new in this article, although it does put a national spotlight on SOC. Also Bill Polian is quoted giving his thoughts:

http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports...eason/1791101/

Season to forget for the Kansas City Chiefs

Steve Wieberg, Special to USA TODAY

KANSAS CITY — He has known good times and bad — a fair share of bad — in eight years in a Kansas City Chiefs uniform, but Derrick Johnson has seen nothing like this.

Has anybody in the 93 seasons of the NFL?

Johnson and the Chiefs play Sunday at the Denver Broncos, the final game of a season that might be bearable if it were merely forgettable. Can't throw. Can't protect the ball. Can't score. They've been beaten eight times by more than two touchdowns and, at 2-13 overall, are a loss to the Broncos away from equaling the worst record in the franchise's 53-year existence.

Gloom turned to horror Dec. 1. Linebacker Jovan Belcher shot his girlfriend to death at their home, drove to the Chiefs' practice complex and, in front of general manager Scott Pioli and coach Romeo Crennel, pointed a .40-caliber handgun at his temple and pulled the trigger. He was laid to rest three weeks ago today.

"Definitely one of the toughest seasons in history — for anybody," says Johnson, the team's leading tackler for the third consecutive year and one of its two longest-tenured players.

Adds defensive end Shaun Smith: "There are times when you get free time, when you're in the hotel room or just sitting around, and a thought will come across your mind like, 'Wow, I'm really going through this.'"

There will be more tumult during the offseason. Crennel has had little more than a year as Kansas City's head coach, and his record over tenures with the Cleveland Browns and Chiefs is 28-53. Firing him would mean a third change for the Chiefs in four years, but do they have a choice?

And who will make that call?

Owner Clark Hunt, the son of Chiefs founder and pro football pioneer Lamar Hunt, must evaluate Pioli and a four-year résumé that includes apparent whiffs on two coaching hires (Todd Haley before Crennel), a gaping hole at quarterback and scarce returns on four drafts: two touchdowns rushing, nine more receiving, 29½ sacks, 14 interceptions and five fumble recoveries in 63 games. The lone quarterback taken in those drafts, Ricky Stanzi in the fifth round in 2011, has yet to take a game-day snap — even as Matt Cassel and Brady Quinn floundered this season.

Pioli joined the Chiefs in 2009 after winning three Super Bowls with the New England Patriots from 2000 to 2008.

"I think everybody knows going into the NFL that you have a lot of turnover and if you're not doing well the ship gets blown up," says punter Dustin Colquitt, like Johnson nearing the end of his eighth season with Kansas City. "Everybody's on the hot seat. Everybody is. I may not be here. I know that."

Crennel has been deflecting speculation about his future for weeks. Pioli and Hunt have been quiet on the subject and declined interview requests from USA TODAY Sports.

"Every franchise, they evaluate themselves in the offseason and figure out what they need to do to improve," Crennel says. "And I think we'll do the same thing."

Fans growing impatient

The Chiefs have one consolation, accorded annually to the worst of the NFL's worst: They're positioned to get the first overall pick in the April draft if they lose Sunday. But their cursed season extends even to the draft.

Were this a year ago, the Chiefs could select a franchise-saving quarterback in Andrew Luck or Robert Griffin III. The incoming class holds no such guarantees at the sport's most critical position, whether the choice is Southern California's Matt Barkley, West Virginia's Geno Smith or some sleeper further down the menu of prospects.

Luck, last year's top overall pick, walked into Arrowhead Stadium last weekend and beat the Chiefs 20-13, lifting the Indianapolis Colts from a 2-14 record in 2011 to 10 wins and the playoffs.

"What you have to do in the Chiefs' situation is you can't force what's not there," says former Redskins and Houston Texans general manager Charley Casserly, a television analyst for CBS Sports. "If you have to come back and play with Brady Quinn next year — it appears he's ahead of Cassel right now — you build your team up around him. Maybe you get fortunate enough to draft a quarterback in the third round, fourth round, who's better than you think. And you just go on."

If so, then shakily. A long-loyal fan base in Kansas City appears to have hit the wall.

Paid attendance at Arrowhead Stadium, once upward of 79,000 a game, averaged less than 66,000 for the last four games of this season. Actual attendance was noticeably lower. A couple of fans started a grass-roots movement, Save Our Chiefs, that has called for the firing of Pioli and other changes and spelled out its frustrations on banners flown over the stadium on game days.

Controversy erupted in October over whether there were cheers for Cassel's forced exit from a loss to the Baltimore Ravens with a fourth-quarter concussion. He had drawn boos before the season even started when fans let him have it at the start of a celebrity softball game that was part of baseball's All-Star Game festivities in Kansas City in July.

Come September and opening day, the Chiefs were blitzed in the second half by the Atlanta Falcons and fell 40-24. They didn't even have a lead in a game until Week 10 against the Pittsburgh Steelers, the longest such streak in NFL history.

The latest loss, to Indianapolis, laid another layer of frustration. Jamaal Charles ran for 226 yards and Peyton Hills for 101, and the Chiefs outgained the Colts 507-288 overall.

"Just another way, unfortunately, to lose a game," veteran offensive tackle Eric Winston said.

"When you're not able to win, you always wonder about yourself, about, 'What do I need to do more? What haven't I done?'" Crennel said a few days earlier. "When you try different things and you still don't win, it kind of wears on you a little bit."

The Chiefs were seen as contenders in a weak AFC West as the season kicked off, largely because of their defense and the returns of Charles and several other key players from injuries. But they spit out 29 turnovers in their first eight games.

Cassel, the four-year incumbent, and Quinn, the former Browns and Denver Broncos quarterback who has started the last five games, have thrown for a combined eight TDs with 20 interceptions. Kansas City has scored two touchdowns in its last three games, on 80- and 86-yard runs by Charles. And its 13.9-point scoring average is the NFL's lowest.

Gantlet of affliction

All of that paled, of course, when Belcher took the life of his girlfriend, 22-year-old Kasandra Perkins, and then ended his own. Police have closed the case of a shocking but straightforward murder-suicide. Belcher's mother, who had moved in with the troubled couple and was in their three-bedroom home when Perkins was killed, continues to care for their 3-month-old daughter, Zoey.

Countless other teams have seen the bottom drop out on the field. Several have dealt with untimely death, including the Dallas Cowboys, who lost linebacker Jerry Brown when teammate Josh Brent wrecked the car they were in a week after the Belcher incident. But perhaps none has played out a more tortured season, running a similar gantlet of affliction.

"I'm a strong believer in, 'Whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger,'" Johnson says. "If this doesn't make us stronger right here, I mean, what will?"

Says Smith: "You have to have a good support system to deal with everything. No matter what all is going on, I get to go home and see my kids and it's, like, release. All my problems are out the window. I don't care about anything else."

Smith is in his second tour with the Chiefs after starting 10 games in 2010 as they finished first in a weak AFC West and went one-and-done in the playoffs. A franchise that played in two of the first four Super Bowls in the 1960s hasn't won in the postseason since 1993, a stretch of futility matched only by the Cincinnati Bengals and Detroit Lions.

Resigned to change

Bad as its record is, this team has assets. Linebackers Tamba Hali and Justin Houston have combined for 19 sacks, anchoring the defense with Johnson. Charles turned in his third 1,000-yard rushing season in four years.

Dwayne Bowe, whose season ended with a rib injury vs. Cleveland three weeks ago, remains a top receiving target — though he'll be a free agent after spending this year as team's franchise player.

"I don't know that there's a fundamental problem there," says Bill Polian, a former NFL team executive who is now an analyst for ESPN, "other than the quarterback position."

Polian, who helped build Indianapolis into a powerhouse before being fired after last season, could be a successor to Pioli. Hunt has given no indication where the team will go from here and said little publicly beyond a few remarks after the Belcher incident.


Both Pioli and Crennel drew sympathy as eyewitnesses to Belcher's suicide — he thanked them for everything they had done while ignoring their attempts to calm him — and admiration for their handling of the aftermath.

The Chiefs rallied briefly, beating the Carolina Panthers 27-21 as Quinn played the best game of his six-year NFL career. Critics backed off … for maybe a week.

"They did a great job in that situation, and they're to be commended for it," Casserly says of Pioli and Crennel. "But if you're thinking, 'Should that be a reason I keep him in the job?' absolutely not.

"You're human. Yeah, it would make it harder because of what they did and how they made you proud that they were in your organization when handling that crisis. My feeling is that the change shouldn't be made."

Crennel concedes, "This team has not met expectations, me included." And with 60 minutes of football left in the season, many of his players seem resigned to change.

"When you're having a losing season, everybody's job is in jeopardy. Players and coaches," Johnson says. "You never want to be in this situation, but these are the cards dealt for us."
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Old 12-26-2012, 08:51 AM   #16
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"Every franchise, they evaluate themselves in the offseason and figure out what they need to do to improve," Crennel says. "And I think we'll do the same thing."


Why are these idiots talking this way? Who do they think they're fooling?
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Old 12-26-2012, 09:01 AM   #17
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"If you have to come back and play with Brady Quinn next year — it appears he's ahead of Cassel right now — you build your team up around him. Maybe you get fortunate enough to draft a quarterback in the third round, fourth round, who's better than you think. And you just go on."
That strategy would sell a lot of season tickets -- send out the renewal forms hyping Brady Quinn as the savior.
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Old 12-26-2012, 09:12 AM   #18
Goldmember Goldmember is offline
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Originally Posted by Chief Gump View Post
Who the **** is this moron? Is he serious? How does he even have a job being an analyst?
He's all about the Suck for "insert name here" in 2014.
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Old 12-26-2012, 09:14 AM   #19
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No mention of Daboll - who is worse at his job than Pioli and Crennel are at theirs. Hard for anyone to be THAT bad - but he is.
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Old 12-26-2012, 09:17 AM   #20
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I disagree with the headline. This is a season to remember.
I agree. This is the season we might look back on and say "this shit turned the tide in our favor finally". I hope so anyway...
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Old 12-26-2012, 09:28 AM   #21
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What if the Chiefs draft a QB and he refuses them? Can't say I'd blame him. Would you want to go to this train wreck of a team?
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Old 12-26-2012, 09:43 AM   #22
CoMoChief CoMoChief is offline
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Like DJ should be worried at all about his job
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Old 12-26-2012, 09:45 AM   #23
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dont chiefs fans wana forget every season?
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Old 12-26-2012, 09:49 AM   #24
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No mention of Daboll - who is worse at his job than Pioli and Crennel are at theirs. Hard for anyone to be THAT bad - but he is.
He isn't worth mentioning. He's essentially a football dingleberry.

When RAC is gone, Daboll will go with him.
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Old 12-26-2012, 09:57 AM   #25
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Casserly and all of these other bafoons don't know what's going on in Kansas City because they don't CARE about what is going on here.

Nobody is their right ****ing mind would mention something like going into next year building the team around Brady Quinn.

If this was the Jets, the whole team would already be fired.
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Old 12-26-2012, 10:12 AM   #26
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I like Casserly, as he is entertaining; but, I just lost all respect for a man that could even conceive of a possibility that a team could enter a year with Brady Quinn as a starter. You could have ten additional first round picks in the upcoming draft and it would not matter if Quinn was your QB.

Polian, who I fear is just another Pioli riding on the coattails of Peyton Manning, is correct that our team has no "fundamental" problems other than QB. We could use an upgrade at several positions, but there is no gaping hole anywhere. His observation is a thoughtful one, unlike Casserly's. I'll just assume that Charlie has not been following the Chiefs at all this season. It is the only way to make sense of a comment of trollish proportions.
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Old 12-26-2012, 10:12 AM   #27
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I heard a great comment on one of the 810 podcasts this week talking about Romeo. They said that "every player" on the Chiefs loves him and that's a big problem. When did everyone love their boss? Bosses make you do things you don't like to do like extra practice time or hard drills and the fact may be that Romeo is too soft and more like their friend then their coach.

That could explain a lot and another reason he's gottas go or step back into a D coordinator for a new coach
Precisely why Haley got the best out of guys. This board had people bitching about how much the players hated Haley, but if you remember players hated Coughlin too.......what's he done? Two super bowls later....

Players almost always play well for coaches that are hard asses, and always play like shit for "player coaches". It's human nature. A coach that breaks his foot off in a players ass will always get that guys best effort. Romeo is a solid d-coordinator. Has a head coach? Not so much. I personally didn't know it was THIS bad.
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Old 12-26-2012, 10:14 AM   #28
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Best thing that could happen to this franchise whats happening this year. Thank God that we didnt finish the season 9-7 or 10-6. Its a step back before a big leap forward possibly.
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Old 12-26-2012, 10:15 AM   #29
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The USA Today article is helpful to our cause to sack Pioli and his circus. I hope Clark gets a chance to read it. Maybe we fans need to send him plenty of copies of the article.
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Old 12-26-2012, 10:17 AM   #30
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Best thing that could happen to this franchise whats happening this year. Thank God that we didnt finish the season 9-7 or 10-6. Its a step back before a big leap forward possibly.
As crazy as that sounds, I agree. We would never get a franchise QB unless there was a complete meltdown. We've had a complete meltdown and the QB situation has been showcased. Even a negligent owner has to sit up and take notice and fix the fundamental flaw in our team. As for Pioli, to get rid of teh Executive of the Decade, there needed to be an epic failure. That's what we got.
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