Kansas City Chiefs: 7 Holes That Must Be Filled in 2012 Offseason
With Romeo Crennel now the head coach of the Kansas City Chiefs, he and general manager Scott Pioli must spend the next two months constructing a strong coaching staff and planning what they want to do with their roster.
The Chiefs know that as a 7-9 team, there are holes than must be addressed in order for next season to be a success.
The positions you will see listed here are spots where the Chiefs may try to improve on by getting a player who plays that position through the draft or free agency. The Chiefs must also find some now assistant coaches to help complete their team.
As of now, Matt Cassel and Ricky Stanzi are the only quarterbacks under contract. The idea of bringing back Kyle Orton is an option. But it is doubtful by Week 1 of the 2012 season both Cassel and Orton will be on the same team, as one of these players would be too expensive to have as a backup.
Lots of fans are hoping the Chiefs trade up and take a chance at Andrew Luck or Robert Griffin III.
The Chiefs have some options to explore at this position. But in the end, it is possible they might not have to look far.
Backup Running Back
Today in the NFL, teams no longer operate with one dominant running back carrying the football. Teams have multiple tailbacks who share the backfield and keep each other fresh.
Dexter McCluster lit up in the second half of the 2011 season by showing off some of his rushing abilities. Can he carry that over into 2012 and become a reliable running back in the NFL behind Jamaal Charles?
I suggested last week that the Chiefs should go after Mike Tolbert, if he does not re-sign with the Chargers. There is nothing bad about having three running backs. As long as the Chiefs can find a way to keep all three of them active and fresh, the Chiefs could find themselves on top of the league in rushing.
Like the quarterback position, it is possible the Chiefs see their backup running back on the team right now and won't make much of an effort to sign someone else in the offseason.
I haven't heard anyone say that the Chiefs should not seek a new right tackle this offseason. Barry Richardson could be on the chopping block after a bad season.
Richardson didn't do any favors for the quarterbacks and running backs who played for the Chiefs this past season. With the Chiefs drafting either 10th or 11th, depending on whether or not they win the coin flip against Seattle, they could find a good offensive tackle with their first pick.
The defensive end position in the 3-4 system is not the most thrilling position to play. Players of this position don't normally succeed in terms of earning double-digit sack totals.
However, defensive ends like Glenn Dorsey and Tyson Jackson are considered one of the worst in the league today.
Despite playing in a 3-4 system, defensive ends, like Stephen Bowen, Haloti Ngata and Darnell Dockett still manage to beat offensive tackles and earn some sacks or chase down opposing quarterbacks. The Chiefs have a defensive end of their own, Wallace Gilberry, who is more worthy of starting but it seems is not getting the nod from the coaches.
While outside linebackers Tamba Hali and Justin Houston still found success, the defense could be a bigger force if their defensive ends managed to escape opposing offensive tackles from time to time.
It is a toss-up as to whether or not Jovan Belcher will return as the starting inside linebacker for the Chiefs. He had a career-high in tackles this past season, but there might be more viable options out there when it comes to putting an inside linebacker to play alongside Derrick Johnson.
If the Chiefs are able to find a better linebacker to replace Belcher, they might be in the running for having the best core of linebackers in 2012.
NFL Network's Jason La Canfora reported that it is likely that Bill Muir will retire. Even if Muir plans to continue coaching, he should not be retained as the offensive coordinator.
While Muir has spent decades coaching football, there is a reason why last year was the first time he was ever the play-caller.
Hue Jackson, who was recently fired by the Oakland Raiders, would be a great fit as an offensive coordinator, unless he finds a head coaching job elsewhere.
With Romeo Crennel now the head coach, who will take his spot as the defensive coordinator? The Chiefs have two good candidates in linebackers coach Gary Gibbs and defensive backs coach Emmitt Thomas.
With Crennel and Scott Pioli not willing to comment on the search for a coaching staff, it is hard to predict who they might bring in. For now, keep an eye on Gibbs, who seems to be the top candidate.