Renovations in Kansas City: Chiefs Fans Will See a Different Team in 2013
In a widely reported and depressingly telling stat, the Kansas City Chiefs are the first team since 1940 to not hold a lead in regulation through their first seven games.
During that seven game stretch the majority of criticism has been placed on quarterback Matt Cassel, wide receiver Dwayne Bowe, first-year head coach Romeo Crennel and general manager Scott Pioli.
Pioli joined the Chiefs in 2009 after a highly successful nine-year tenure in New England in Player Personnel and brought a new excitement to Kansas City, but that excitement has quickly turned to frustration. A particular group of Chiefs fans took to the air on Sunday express this frustration but did not leave struggling QB and another former Patriot, Matt Cassel, out of the spotlight.
Scott Pioli and Matt Cassel are shouldering the majority of the blame for their 1-6 start and are only two of the high profile employees that may not be back in 2013.
In: Jonathan Baldwin and Greg Jennings
Out: Dwayne Bowe
Dwayne Bowe's talent has never been questioned and many are still holding out hope he is and will continue to be their franchise receiver for the next half dozen years.
With the exception of an injury-plagued 2009 season, the former LSU Tiger has caught at least 70 balls for over 990 yards in each of his first five years, including his breakout 2010 season with 15 TDs and 1,162 yards.
However, lack of chemistry with Matt Cassel and their whirlwind of offensive coordinators coupled with attitude issues has spearheaded this year's trade deadline chatter. History shows similar wide receivers on teams looking for a fresh start are typically dealt on draft day or shortly thereafter for a mid-round selection and Bowe's situation fits the mold.
Second-year wideout Jonathan Baldwin arguably has as much, if not more, talent than Bowe and could certainly become a No. 1 receiver for the next decade. Although Baldwin can stretch the field, a crafty veteran with excellent route-running skills is needed to clear up the box for Charles.
The Packers have relied on Greg Jennings for 6+ seasons to do just that and while they offense has oftentimes stalled in his absences, Randall Cobb and James Jones have proved they can adequately compliment Jordy Nelson.
In: Matt Barkley
Out: Matt Cassel
The Chiefs rolled the dice with the talented, yet raw, Matt Cassel and, while he has occasional moved their offense downfield efficiently, it is becoming evident he is not the future.
Backup Brady Quinn received no chance in Cleveland with a talentless roster and was never given the opportunity in Denver during the Tim Tebow fiasco of 2011. When finally receiving a second chance this season, an early interception and subsequent head injury forced him out.
They should keep Quinn around because he is still young, understands his limitations, and could develop into a serviceable starter with a flexible contract.
However, with an expected top-3 selection in the 2013 NFL Draft, they must take advantage of the one of the best pro-style quarterback prospects of the last decade. Allow Quinn to take over in 2013 while Barkley develops and attempts to become the Chiefs first franchise quarterback in decades.
In: Rick Dennison
Out: Romeo Crennel
Kudos to Kansas City for ousting an overwhelmed Todd Haley last season but shame on them for sticking with the safe candidate. Romeo Crennel had enormous success running a powerful defense in New England during their Super Bowl binge but struggled immensely with an inexperienced Cleveland Browns' roster.
As one of the members of Patriots-West, Crennel won points in the locker room and appeared to have re-energized a tired team late season, evident by their convincing win over the previously unbeaten Green Bay Packers.
Firing a head coach after one season is rarely fair or warranted but he has shown no signs of improvement or even increased camaraderie. Dismissing Crennel and bringing in an offensive mind with experience in a run-oriented offense with an efficiently optimistic quarterback is perfect for the Chiefs.
Rick Dennison, offensive coordinator of the Houston Texans, has run a high-powered attack under Gary Kubiak for three seasons following 15 seasons in Denver in multiple roles. Under Dennison, the Texans lead the league in rushing yards per game while setting multiple franchise records. He can maximize Jamaal Charles' full potential and develop a young quarterback while continuing to compete.
In: Dave Gettleman
Out: Scott Pioli
A wave of New Englanders bombarded Arrowhead Stadium the last four years, as Matt Cassel, Charlie Weis, Romeo Crennel, and Scott Pioli joined the Chiefs. Scott Pioli crafted many near-perfect Patriots teams in the early 2000s as he was an integral part of their three Super Bowl victories.
He was welcomed to Kansas City with high hopes and while a handful of high profile draft picks did pan out, he swung and missed more often than not. These blunders have caused Pioli's seat to be hotter than anyone in the organization and it appears highly unlikely he will receive the widely rumored contract extension for 2013.
With the potential of a rebuilding period awaiting, the team needs a new front office guru and the New York Giants' Dave Gettleman could work wonders with an already-talented roster. Gettleman has been in pro personnel with the Super Bowl champion Giants for 15 years and has been involved with six title teams during his career.
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