Breaking Down The Chiefs: Second Down

Adam SteevesCorrespondent IAugust 26, 2009

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - AUGUST 21: Quarterback Matt Cassell #7 of the Kansas City Chiefs stretches against the Minnesota Vikings at Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome on August 21, 2009 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Vikings defeated the Chiefs 17-13. (Photo by Scott Boehm/Getty Images)

This is the second of four articles written to outline the Chiefs off-season and training camp.

This is first down

Second Down

There are seven things that every Chief fan should know about their Kansas City Chiefs. Seven things have happened that will change the landscape of Chief Nation.

1. Out with the old, in with the new.

What did Carl Peterson accomplish in the time he was here? Nothing! It was either a great defense or a great offense, it was never balanced. The new front office will and has a new objective. Scott Pioli has said, "We do not want to me good for one year, we want to be good for twenty years." That is commitment I want on my side.

2. Trading Tony Gonzalez was and is still a good deal.

I understand that Tony is a folk hero to many in Chiefs Kingdom, but it will be all right. Todd Haley's offensive game plan does not include a pro bowl tight end. Had Tony still been here this year, he would have had a sub-par year, by his standards. Tight ends in Pioli's offense are blockers and occasionally the fourth option.

3. Trading for Matt Cassel and Mike Vrabel will go down as the best trade in the history of the Chiefs.

How many starting quarterbacks have the Chiefs had over the past ten years? Too many. Trent Green was the closest thing we have had and how many years was he with the team? Matt Cassel gives youth and stability to a position that needs stability. He will not be the best quarterback in the league, but I believe he will be consistent and effective.

Mike Vrabel was a great pick up for an entirely different reason. He has been called the hardest working player in the league. The Chiefs have youth and with youth comes immaturity. The younger players need a leader. He will lead by example and he will show the youth that hard work and pain will lead to great things. Todd Haley will run a tight ship and Mike Vrabel will be his first officer in the locker room.

4. Attitude Reflects Leadership

New leadership has invoked a new attitude. Todd Haley will be a successful head coach. The attitude at which his teams will play with will demand respect. You will either do it his way or not at all. He refers to the football as his football. "Don't you ever drop my football!" The response was, "Yes, sir."

5. Will the true Larry Johnson please stand up?

Watching Larry Johnson this off-season is like watching an episode of "To Tell The Truth." Is this the new Larry or is the disgruntled one the real LJ? Is Larry playing for his contract or is Larry buying into the new system. Only time will tell. Truthfully, I am shocked he is still on the team with the current contract. At the very least, I expected them to negotiate a new deal, one loaded with "attitude" incentives.

We need Larry to be a team player. If LJ can be even a glimpse of what he has been, we will be much improved on offense.

6. Don't worry about the defense.

The cycle that is the Kansas City Chiefs tells us that it is the defense's turn to shine. The Chief's teams over the past twenty years have been either all offense or all defense. Quick, someone name the last year the Chiefs were in the top ten in offense and defense? You can't, because it hasn't happened in years.

The defense will run a hybrid 3-4/ 4-3 / 2-5 / ??? defense and it will confuse opposing quarterbacks enough for them to get to the quarterback now and then. They will not have to send cornerbacks so they will be able to stay in coverage and not allow the big play.

7. This regime will be successful.

The Kansas City Chiefs will be in the playoffs and will be in contention for a super bowl over the course of this regime. The Chiefs are on the way to becoming an elite franchise. It is a work in progress and it will not happen over night, but they are on their way.


Are you ready for third down? Third down will look at position battles and who will make an impact this year.