Clark Hunt, the Architect of the New KC Chiefs
There is a difference between winning "a" Super Bowl and being part of the Fraternity that is known as the NFL Elite Class.
We all know who they are, though some will certainly debate a few. The Patriots, Colts, Cowboys, Eagles, Steelers and a few others that are on that cusp, and some dropping from it.
These teams are pretty much locked into the playoffs year in and year out and are always in the conversation when it comes to the Super Bowl.
I'm not suggesting the Chiefs have every piece they need, or they will be in this class this year, but next year, could very well be.
It has been about 15 years since the days of DT, Neil Smith and company when the Chiefs were even mentioned, but here's why they'll be back, and maybe at the top of the class.
Scott Pioli: GM of the KC Chiefs
Scott Pioli's first year was almost as difficult as Todd Haley's. There were complaints about the way he was handling some players such as Brian Waters and being unavailable and bringing the "Patriot" way to Kansas City.
Personally, I had no problem with that. It seemed better than bringing the "Lion" way to KC. Plus, when you hire someone into a top management position you hire them because of their expertise in what they've done.
You don't hire a man like Scott Pioli and then tell him what to do.
Another one of the knocks I heard was that Bill Belichick was really the man that did everything. I think we're starting to find out that may not be true if you look at the direction of the two teams, especially when it comes to this past draft.
I have tremendous respect for the New England organization, but I believe Scott Pioli had more to do with it than most thought.
KC Head Coach, Todd Haley
After the 2008 season Todd Haley was one of those hot Offensive Coordinators because of the work he had done with the Cardinals and their offense, not to mention his background.
Admittedly, I knew little of him until that year, like many fans. However, we learned a lot very quickly. Needless to say many fans wanted the big name, especially Bill Cowher, which is more understandable in Kansas City than many places because of his years there.
I did not believe that Clark Hunt and Scott Pioli would hire some young coordinator just because he was the "Coordinator Du Jour". It turns out that the relationships go back further and he knew, as is becoming clear in many of his decisions, what he was doing.
Haley's first year was essentially a disaster. Not a Josh McDaniel disaster, but a disaster nonetheless.
He made some tough, but very good decisions like releasing Larry Johnson and basically changing the culture in the locker room. The Chiefs are being made of up of exceptional football players, but they must be exceptional people as well and I think people vastly underestimate the value in that.
Haley was a rookie Head Coach, acted like a rookie and made rookie mistakes. In one year his maturity and progress has him on pace for Coach of the Year.
Another one of the knocks on Haley was that he had too big of an ego to bring in someone older and more experienced than Charlie Weiss.
Once again, Haley's maturity showed. He knew he could not be an Offensive Coordinator and the Head Coach so Scott Pioli, I'm sure brought in Charlie Weiss and Haley appears smart enough to learn from one of the very best in the game.
Right now the Chief roster may have more offensive weapons on it than the Patriots did in their early days when they won their first couple Super Bowls. Those teams were certainly good offensive teams, but it was their defense that was their strength.
The did have Tom Brady, which has not hurt them.
Through the first three games you can see how Weiss is going to bring this offense along with it's young players and as the season develops, so will this offense.
Well, speaking of those Patriot Super Bowls that were more defense than offensive oriented, instead of just adding the Offensive Coordinator from those days, why not throw the Defensive Coordinator for good measure?
I think to a person, fan and media all would agree the most improved, and surprisingly improved area of the Chiefs is the defense.
Many people were upset that the Chiefs did not do more to upgrade their personnel on defense. Once again, a solid foundation of management and coaches is becoming clear of how important they are to the back bone of an up and coming "Elite Team".
They added, who in my opinion will become one of the more productive and exciting players on this team, and possibly the league in Eric Berry, and he has yet to have a significant impact.
This is a defens that was 30 and 31st over the last two years and couldn't stop my 11 year olds Pee Wee team, who by the way has been shut out in four of five games.
Now, they've given up 38 points in 3 games, and we could even nit pick on a few of those.
The Leader, The Chief QB, Matt Cassel
That's right, Matt Cassel will be an integral part of this team being an elite team in the NFL, bank on it.
I'll admit ever since watching him play in 2008 I've been a Cassel fan, and hoped he'd end up a Chief. I'm sticking with my guns and believe he will be a top ten quarterback in the NFL by the end of this year.
I say this because of careful analysis of films, watching the way he moves, how he's progressed, but mostly because I'm a man and we hate to admit we're wrong.
He has underachieved as a Chief so far, but I heard all the nonsense about he benefited from the "Patriot System", which may be true to some extent, except he still had to make the plays.
Additionally, very, very soon he's going to have a "Chief System", which will allow him much of the same benefit.
He's still a young quarterback and you'll see him evolve every week, like most of this team.
I'm not sure if people understand the impact this man has had on and off the field, or what he has meant to this team. I realize the Patriots are known for getting rid of players, no matter what they mean to the organization a year or two before their playing days are up, but I think this was a mistake.
Vrable is certainly not the same force on the field that he once was, but he's not to be overlooked either.
The term "Quarterback on the defense" is overused, but in Vrables case I think it fits perfectly. He will get in anyones face, defense or offense, and I have no doubt they listen.
I don't know how long Vrable has left, next year maybe, but I would love to see him stay with the Chiefs on their staff.
Eric Berry, one of many great young Chief players
Tyson Jackson, Glenn Dorsey, Dexter McCluster, Tony Moeaki, Eric Berry, Brandon Flowers, Andy Studebaker, Tamba Hali, Dwayne Bowe, Kendrick Lewis, Javier Arenas just to name the young ones, or I should say the youngest.
The oldest person in that group is Tamba Hali at 27 years old. All of these players start or see significant playing time every game and they will almost all just keep getting better.
They are also mixed in with tremendous veterans like Casey Weigmann, Thomas Jones, Mike Vrable and others providing, in my opinion a perfect balance.
There are two others that I believe should be mentioned, together, because they will be a big part of this teams ascension, and they too are young, especially at their positions.
Dustin Colquitt and Ryan Succop. No great team can exist without a great punter and field goal kicker, both of which I believe the Chiefs have.
Peyton Manning at Invesco Field
Todd Haley spent four years working on Bill Parcels staff, ironically at one point working for Charlie Weiss. Two of the years were with the Jets and then two with the Cowboys.
Charlie Weiss and Romeo Crannel won three Super Bowls with the New England Patriots and even thought Charlie Weiss's career at Notre Dame was, huh, less than stellar, one of the many things these men have in common is being in big football games, hostile environments.
A team needs confidence, a swagger and a belief that it can go into any stadium and beat any team any day they want.
You've seen it with Brady and the Pat's, Peyton Manning and the Colt's, the Saints last year, the Giants of previous years, the 1985 Chicago Bears could've invaded North Korea, and many other teams of the past.
This "Tree" of a staff comes essentially from the Parcells and Belichick school, and that's not a bad education.
This Chief team will have that swagger sooner than later.
How many teams, players and organizations have we seen, in all sports shoot themselves in the foot, literally in some dumb ass cases?
You saw it early this year, which I thought was a great sign the minute Bowe opened his mouth that he was told to shut it.
I've always believed one of the reasons the Patriots had success bringing in players that had labels of being malcontents on other teams was not the management, not the coaching staff, but the locker room.
The Chiefs are building the culture where the players are not going to put up with any crap, inside or outside that team that will get in the way of their goal, to the win the Super Bowl (s).
All cities want their team to win the Super Bowl, that goes without saying, but Kansas City has it's own special reasons.
First, Lamar Hunt. I think that is one of Clark Hunt's motivations and dreams, to bring the trophy with his Fathers name on it, and the Super Bowl Tropy, back to Arrowhead.
There is a reason the AFC Championship Trophy is the "Lamar Hunt" trophy. He was one of the primary reasons this league was formed.
However, most importantly, ARROWHEAD.
We know, know there is no harder place for an opposing team to play in when the Chiefs are at the top of their game. Look no further back than Monday Night Football against the Chargers.
It was YOU, the fans that helped stop them at the end of the game.
I've been there so many times when I know we helped the Chiefs win.
YOU, can and will be part of making the Chiefs one of the NFL Elite Teams.