Post Season Post Season

Looking Ahead

The 30-7 final score was not what Chiefs fans were looking for when Sunday began.  However, if you go back to the hundred degree temperatures of August in St. Joe, a loss in the wild card round of the playoffs would certainly have been considered a successful season.  And that is how Chiefs fans should look at 2010.


Change is the one constant in the NFL, and change will come to the Chiefs this off-season.  The team is already dealing with the departure of its Offensive Coordinator, Charlie Weis.  Could the Defensive Coordinator, Romeo Crennel, be moving on as well? 


I wouldn’t be surprised if he left, but I would call it doubtful.  Crennel has the enviable situation of being the coordinator on the side of the ball the head coach does not come from.  There is no doubt Todd Haley gives input into what the Chiefs do on defense, but you have to assume Crennel is mostly left to his own devices.  He is already well paid, and you can assume Clark Hunt would match any offer made for a similar position.  It would seem the only way Crennel would be leaving is if he is offered a head coaching position.


There could be a couple of changes in the rest of the coaching staff.  For example, Gary Gibbs has been a defensive coordinator in the NFL and a head coach in college.  He could be offered a coordinator job or even head coaching position.  Whatever happens, there shouldn’t be a lot of change in the staff.


The first decision for 2011 will be the offensive coordinator.  It will be important for the Chiefs to find someone that can work well with Matt Cassel, but also Todd Haley.  Cassel took giant steps this year and needs to continue to improve.  Finding someone that understands his strengths and weaknesses will be key.  Finding someone that can work well under Haley will be even more important. 


In my opinion, the Chiefs biggest needs are on the defensive side of the ball.  Last year’s draft did a great job of filling the safety position with good young talent.  The two biggest needs are a top flight cover corner and a pass rusher.


So, the first off-season move personnel wise should be to re-sign Tamba Hali.  The Chiefs need another pass rusher on top of Hali.  It is hard enough to find one good pass rusher, you certainly don’t need to be looking for two of them. 


At some point Mike Vrabel is going to have to make the move to the coaching profession.  If the Chiefs could find a good young outside linebacker to provide pressure opposite Hali, they would be filling their biggest need.


Brandon Flowers is a good corner, but not a great corner.  The Chiefs need to find another corner that is at least Flowers equal, if not better.  If the Chiefs had two quality cover people, they would be free to bring more blitzes and leave the corners in man coverage.  Brandon Carr is a good nickel that is being asked to play every snap.  Javier Arenas has a lot of work to do as a corner.  I would be surprised if he is ever good enough to start on a championship defense.


On the offensive side of the ball the Chiefs have to get better on the offensive line.  Brian Waters made his fifth pro bowl, but 33 years old and expensive.  There is a good chance he has played his last game in a Chiefs uniform.  Jon Asamoah played well when he filled in at guard this year and looks like he will be a starter for years to come.


If Waters is not done with the Chiefs, Casey Wiegmann will be.  Asamoah figures to start somewhere along the line in 2011…  while he started at guard a couple of times, he also took reps at center in practice.


Another quality wide receiver is a need for the Chiefs.  Dwayne Bowe has one more year on his contract and the Chiefs will be faced with the question of how he will react to being given huge dollars.  It may not seem like a question at all, but money has changed a lot of players…. And the Chiefs have dealt with a lot just to get Bowe to this point.  The questions around Bowe make it even more important for the team to find another quality receiver.


No matter what the Chiefs do this off-season, they will have a tough time living up to the success of this year.  Next year’s schedule has the NFC North (Bears and Packers) and the AFC East (Patriots and Jets) on it.  The like finishers are the Steelers and Colts.  It will be a great schedule for season ticket sales, but a tough one to get to the playoffs with…  unless the off-season brings some significant talent upgrades.

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    May 03, 2011
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