Josh McDaniels now joins the list of failed Bill Belichick disciples. In fact, he is easily the biggest failure to date.
Romeo Crennel, Charlie Weis and Eric Mangini managed to destroy the Browns, Notre Dame and the Jets respectively.
As we now know, Crennel and Weis are classic examples of coordinators that are brilliant at their specialized positions but not at being head coaches. We could go back through time and find dozens of cases just like them. For further proof, check Buddy Ryan.
The Chiefs, however, took a different approach. They went to the top. It had long been speculated that Scott Pioli was an integral part in the building of the Patriots dynasty. That's what the Chiefs needed first, someone to build this team from the top down.
Others said it was all Bill Belichick. As romantic as that sounds, it's impossible. He and Scott Pioli built the Patriots. This is not to suggest that the entire Patriot organization revolved around Pioli, which has become more clear from this past year's developments.
The Chiefs didn't need to start in the middle with a head coach. They needed a GM.
Kansas City does in many ways operate like the Patriots in behavior, culture and philosophy. I have no problem with that. I would if they hired Matt Millen and operated the "Lion Way."
What the Chiefs have done is impressive by anyone's standards. They turned previous under-performing draft picks into above average players or even stars in some cases. They traded for a quarterback that Scott Pioli obviously knew a lot more about than most of you.
Additionally, do not underestimate the "throw in" of Mike Vrable in that deal. He has meant more to this team than you can imagine. He is a professional in every sense of the word, and the exact type of player this team needed.
He also hired a coach, which seemed like a disaster at first, into a Coach of the Year candidate. Pioli's second draft has been spectacular at the very least.
I'd like to think of all of this as the "Chiefs Way." This is Scott Pioli's team, not Bill Belichick's. I think this has helped drive him, and it is paying off.
Regardless of what happens for the rest of the 2010 season, Chief fans have every right to have real optimism for the first time in many years.
Each week they make strides, and they will continue to do so every year. They are well on their way to becoming an elite team in the NFL.