Pendergast's Departure Opens Door for Hall Of Famer Thomas

Derek EstesCorrespondent IJanuary 29, 2010

CANTON, OH - AUGUST 2: The bust of Emmitt Thomas of the Kansas City Chiefs is on display during the Class of 2008 Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Ceremony at Fawcett Stadium on August 2, 2008 in Canton, Ohio.   (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images

The Ax has made another visit to Kansas City

This time, it finished the job it started with the hiring of Romeo Crennel, with the dismissal of Clancy Pendergast.

With the hiring of Crennel and offensive coordinator Charlie Weis practically in writing by the time Kansas City put the finishing touches on Denver on Jan 3, the fate of Pendergast had been a bit cloudier.  Some expected a quick release, while others (including yours truly) suspected only a demotion, keeping Pendergast on hand to coach the secondary.

But not everything works the way you think, and now Kansas City is in need of someone to continue grooming their relatively young cornerbacks and safeties into the formidable secondary the Chiefs have lacked since the days of Albert Lewis, Kevin Ross, and Deron Cherry.

That man should be Emmitt Thomas.

With his contract expired in Atlanta, Thomas is the perfect fit, and Scott Pioli should be more than ready to welcome him home.

And Kansas City should be a town where "Home" is an appropriate term.  Thirteen years in Chiefs red, one AFL Championship and the first of his three Super Bowl rings give him a permanent place in this town of fountains and BBQ.  And he was a premier talent in the secondary, earning five Pro Bowl appearances—and that was when going to the Pro Bowl meant something.

More than that, though, Thomas has the coaching credentials to bring it all together.  Thomas was coaching pro football before Deion Sanders tried out for junior varsity, and hoisted his first Lombardi Trophy as a coach before Darrelle Revis played Pop Warner.  Joining him in the 2008 Hall of Fame class were Darrell Green and Art Monk, whom he coached for nine and eight years, respectively.

Thomas coached two of the greatest of all time, earning two Super Bowl rings in the process.  In Kansas City, he could do it again.  A player and coach of his caliber is just what the Chiefs' secondary needs to bring it all together.  And his earlier experience coaching receivers as well can do nothing but help a position group which led the NFL in dropped passes last year.

Let's hope the Chiefs open the door to Thomas.  There is no team in the NFL more fitting, and no franchises who need him more.