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Old 04-04-2008, 09:13 AM  
vailpass vailpass is offline
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Chiefs Go Backward to Go Forward-good read on Chiefs and AFC West

K.C. goes back, to go forward
Edwards, Chiefs plan to build through draft
By Jim Armstrong
The Denver Post
Article Last Updated: 04/04/2008 04:06:35 AM MDT

PALM BEACH, Fla. Herm Edwards is a football coach, not a spin doctor. Ask him if the Kansas City Chiefs are rebuilding and, unlike so many others who prowl Sunday's sidelines, he doesn't cringe.

"No doubt," Edwards said. "You can call it rebuilding, blowing it up, whatever you want to call it. We're starting, not from ground zero, but close. . . . That's why we didn't dabble in free agency a whole bunch (of late). We're going to build a football team."

With patience. Through the draft. Just like San Diego did. The rest of the West appears wider than ever. The Chiefs, Broncos and Raiders are playing catchup.

It's easy to see how San Diego has done it. They parlayed the first pick in the draft in 2001 and 2004 into cornerstone players such as LaDainian Tomlinson, Shawne Merriman and Philip Rivers.

Moral to the story: Sometimes, in the NFL, you've got to be really bad to become really good. It's a fact of life borne out not only in San Diego, but in Indianapolis, where the Colts' wretched ways earned them the first pick in the 1998 draft, which they used to select one Peyton Manning.

Until this offseason, the Chiefs wouldn't go there. For years, Kansas City president Carl Peterson refused to settle for anything less than a run at a division title. If the roster had a hole or two, an aging free agent would be signed. But after more than a decade of disappointments they haven't won a playoff game since 1993 the Chiefs have undergone a seismic philosophical shift, willing to take steps backward and rebuild.

It's new territory for a proud team, but, having seen things play out in San Diego, the guardians of the Chiefs' flame conceded that the franchise needed a change.

"You hate to have to go through what we did last year (4-12), but even if we had had a better record, we were still committed to doing what we're getting ready to do," Edwards said at the NFL owners' meeting here. "Even if we were 8-8, we're committed. We're almost left in a position where we have no choice. We have to go this way."

Chasing the Chargers

Then you have the other two teams trying to catch the Chargers. The Broncos are in a similar situation to the Chiefs, coming off a 7-9 season and having missed the playoffs the past two years.

Instead of patching holes through free agency, as they attempted to do a year ago, the Broncos have adopted an austerity program. After signing a handful of lesser lights on the market, they'll rely on the draft to get better. And, just as the Chiefs are, they're in a better position to get help on draft weekend than at any point in recent years.

Kansas City will select fifth, the Chiefs' highest selection since Peterson's first draft in 1989, when he grabbed Derrick Thomas at No. 4. The Broncos will pick 12th, a quantum leap from their usual perch in the 20s. Only once, when the Broncos traded up two years ago to take Jay Cutler at No. 11, has a Mike Shanahan-coached team drafted higher.

The Raiders, meanwhile, have taken a different path. They draft fourth overall, so they figure to improve there. But they've also spent heavily in free agency and the trade market, re-signing defensive tackle Tommy Kelly and acquiring safety Gibril Wilson, wide receiver Javon Walker, offensive tackle Kwame Harris and cornerback DeAngelo Hall. Bottom-line price tag: more than $200 million, $50 million-plus guaranteed.

Many NFL personnel people are questioning the Raiders' spending spree, particularly the six-year, $55 million deal given to Walker, he of the chronic knee problems.

"One of the questions is going to be did we overspend?" Raiders coach Lane Kiffin said. "I don't know that you can figure that out right now. A lot of that is going to have to do with how these players play.

"We have a very interesting and very tough job ahead of us to mesh all these players together. You've got a bunch of different personalities, some guys who've had some issues in the past at their different places. So I look forward to the challenges."

The challenges facing the three have-nots in the West are matched only by the AFC East teams that don't employ Bill Belichick and Tom Brady. For proof, we take you to the standings, where the Chargers are 25-7 over the past two seasons. The Broncos are 16-16, the Chiefs 14-18 and the Raiders 6-26.

State of the West

While Edwards is blunt about the Chiefs' plight, Chargers coach Norv Turner is diplomatic about the state of the division.

"There's a perception that our division is down, but I just don't see it that way," Turner said. "I see everyone getting better. In our division, the history is so competitive. It's hard to play in Denver, it's hard to play in Kansas City, and it's hard to play in Oakland. I know how it tilted last year and which games determined it, and there were some awfully close football games that ended up allowing us to win the division."

Awfully close? Maybe Turner didn't glance at the scoreboard after playing the Broncos. The Chargers punked them 41-3 at Invesco Field, during which half the stadium emptied at halftime. Nothing unusual there. The Broncos in their last four games vs. the Chargers have been outscored 147-53.

The Chargers own the division, all right. Just ask Shana-han.

"We know how good San Diego is," Shanahan said. "San Diego, per player, is probably as good as anybody in the National Football League. Personnel-wise, I would say they're right at the top, No. 1, and that's saying a lot. Anybody who plays San Diego, your offensive line better be pretty good or else you're in for a long day."

Jim Armstrong: 303-954-1269 or jmarmstrong@denverpost.com
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Old 04-04-2008, 09:15 AM   #2
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Huh, that's funny. I just read on here that the Chargers are pretty average.
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Old 04-04-2008, 09:19 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Brock View Post
Huh, that's funny. I just read on here that the Chargers are pretty average.
Well if you read a football opinion on the Planet then it must be true.

The author of this article writes for a Denver paper but seems to have a more positive view of Herm and Carl than many KC fans.
Do you think that is because he is not emotionally involved and therefore can be more objective or do you think he is a Bronco fan who knows that Carl & Herm are the best thing Denver could ask for in a rival organization?
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Old 04-04-2008, 09:26 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by vailpass View Post
the Chiefs have undergone a seismic philosophical shift, willing to take steps backward and rebuild.

I truly hope Carl stays true to this vision. Ryan in 08!!!
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One of the best plays Matt has ever made.
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Old 04-04-2008, 09:31 AM   #5
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Huh, that's funny. I just read on here that the Chargers are pretty average.

The planet is chaulk full of retards, geeks, and idiots.
and you're numberal uno on that list, dick.
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Old 04-04-2008, 09:32 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by vailpass View Post
Well if you read a football opinion on the Planet then it must be true.

The author of this article writes for a Denver paper but seems to have a more positive view of Herm and Carl than many KC fans.
Do you think that is because he is not emotionally involved and therefore can be more objective or do you think he is a Bronco fan who knows that Carl & Herm are the best thing Denver could ask for in a rival organization?
A little of both.
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Old 04-04-2008, 09:34 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by CrazyCoffey View Post
The planet is chaulk full of retards, geeks, and idiots.
and you're numberal uno on that list, dick.
Your potty mouth is impressive. I can see that "University" of Phoenix education has served you well.
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Old 04-04-2008, 09:35 AM   #8
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Your potty mouth is impressive. I can see that "University" of Phoenix education has served you well.

I was lying...
I've lied alot here - I mean, I'm starting to fit in.
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Old 04-04-2008, 10:31 AM   #9
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The stress of this draft is tearing us apart!!! We're tearing each other apart! Cant we all just get along?
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Old 04-04-2008, 11:04 AM   #10
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Solid. I happen to think that both Denver and KC are going about things the right way -- young players, no overpaid free agents, getting rid of cancers. The end result will take time. Unfortunately, Denver won't settle for "mediocrity," and we know Chiefs fans are about ready to nuke One Arrowhead Drive, so it's difficult to say how long these true rebuilding projects will last.
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Old 04-04-2008, 11:07 AM   #11
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"Moral to the story: Sometimes, in the NFL, you've got to be really bad to become really good."


Well, we certainly have the right combination (abomination!) of GM and head coach to accomplish part one of that plan.
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Old 04-04-2008, 11:12 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by lj4mvp View Post
Solid. I happen to think that both Denver and KC are going about things the right way -- young players, no overpaid free agents, getting rid of cancers. The end result will take time. Unfortunately, Denver won't settle for "mediocrity," and we know Chiefs fans are about ready to nuke One Arrowhead Drive, so it's difficult to say how long these true rebuilding projects will last.
I would think Clark has to decide.... if the stadium is half empty in Dec and Chiefs heading for another 4-12 year. Money may be spent to get some vet talent.
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Old 04-04-2008, 11:47 AM   #13
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Old 04-04-2008, 01:25 PM   #14
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Thanks for the article VP.
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Old 04-04-2008, 01:35 PM   #15
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Here is my problem.

Herm indicates that the team was "committed to rebuilding" even if they had a better record?

Really?!!?? Is that why we had 10-12 weeks of "we're not playing the young guys because we're still contending for the division"?

If the Chiefs had finished 8-8, there is no way, going into a renovated stadium that CP wouldn't have brought in some FAs to make fans think they could be 11-5/10-6 next season and buy tickets.

I don't buy that for a minute.
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