The weight of a losing season is equivalent to that of earth upon the shoulders of Atlas. A bone-crunching abomination that falls upon an entire football organization who struggles to hold steady in the face of icy finger pointing, wallet draining empty stadiums, and the unsportsmanlike chastising of commentators.
With a record that currently stands at 2-12, the Kansas City Chiefs must weather criticism that resembles not “light showers,” but a Class Four hurricane. Team owner Clark Hunt said today that “he can’t go for that.”
Circumstances have brought about the resignation of President, CEO, and General Manager Carl Peterson at the completion of the season. The next decision for Hunt is what else needs to be changed?
In all likelihood Herm Edwards’ time in Kansas City beyond this next year, the final of his current contract is likely to end. However, being the consummate devils advocate allow me to defend Herm.
When Vermeil left the Kansas City Chiefs they were a franchise that had found ways to make the playoffs, but never ways to win once they were there. This is because to extend the success of the franchise throughout the '90s the Chiefs stopgapped problem positions with aging veterans via free agency.
This is not a bad idea if you have key holes to fill on an otherwise strong team, but the best teams build from within their organization. The Patriots are the best example and the Eagles provide another very good one.
Where as, when Dan Snyder, owner of the Redskins went on a spending spree a few seasons back picking up Bruce Smith, Deion Sanders, and other vets in the same offseason contributed to miserable team performance. The Cowboys face a similar problem this season.
Soon aging veterans dominated the Kansas City roster, and the offensive line saw the retirement of both Willie Roaf (a stop-gap free agent who was sorely missed despite only four seasons as a Chief) and Will Shields, both likely future hall-of-famers.
Trent Green joined Steve Young in the frequent concussion club, Priest Holmes suffered a spinal injury, and the franchise took a tailspin as it lost talent left and right. What talent could the team buy up now?
With Herm Edwards came a new approach, going young and building through the draft. Herm has done that this last offseason. This is his first year that he’s not playing the game with somebody else’s pieces.
True, this year doesn’t look great in the morning paper division standings, but only the foundation is laid. You don’t bring in a new architect once the I-beams are in place. Herm just received the clay. Let’s see how he does with the potter’s wheel.
To Herm’s credit, he has shown open-mindedness. This team was meant to feature a power running attack, but given the emergence of Tyler Thigpen as a viable weapon and starting quarterback, the team has implemented the spread offense to some success.
Kansas City is accumulating talent and learning how best to utilize pieces who if they prove worthy of dawning the red and gold can stay a part of the team for many years to come.
Edwards has a fighting chance to stay with the tribe, too. If the team should greatly improve next season to not only appear in, but win in the playoffs Edwards and the coaching staff could see several more years of employment in the show-me state. I could go for that.