Craig Glazer Considers The Kansas City Chiefs
TKC NOTE: Tonight our pal Craig Glazer offers insight about the upcoming Kansas City Chiefs football season and the significant challenges that face the team beyond local sports newsie hype.
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This franchise has been anywhere from mediocre to horrible since Marty left. For the younger among you, that would be former head coach, Marty Schottenheimer. I was trying to put my finger on the key reasons why the Chiefs can’t seem to compete at a high level in the NFL. Most would attribute our lack of success to the absence of an elite quarterback, and I agree with that to some degree. However, the Chiefs have done a good job of leasing other team’s good quarterbacks, i. e. Joe Montana, Rich Gannon, even Steve Bono and Trent Green. Bono and Gannon could have taken us to Super Bowl wins in ’95 and ’97. Unfortunately, Carl Peterson fired All Pro place kicker Nick Lowery and replaced him with Lin Elliott in ’95 and benched Rich Gannon for Elvis Grbac in the playoff game against Denver in the ’97 season. If you forgot how that turned out, we lost. I believe both the ’95 and ’97 teams would have gone to the Super-Bowl those years if those events had not happened and we would have won.
No, the Chiefs have not developed a starting quarterback of their own that matters since Len Dawson, who they acquired from the Pittsburgh Steelers. So, while we’d like to develop our own elite quarterback as you can see, a quarterback has not been the number one problem. The Chiefs have also had a penchant for developing outstanding Running Backs over the years; ie Mike Garrett, Joe Delaney, Christian Okoye, Ed Podolak, Barry Word, Priest Holmes, Larry Johnson and Jamaal Charles. We’ve even had outstanding Fullbacks like Wendall Hayes, Kimball Anders and Tony Richardson to name a few. We know about the Chiefs great linebackers over the years from Bobby Bell to Derrick Thomas and Defensive Line stars like Buck Buchanan, Curly Culp and Neil Smith. So, what has this team been missing? NO RECIEVERS. The last great Wide Reciever ended his career in the early seventies, his name was Otis Taylor and that was forty years ago. Yes, we’ve had a couple of decent Wide outs like Andre Rison, Henry Marshall and Derrick Alexander, but usually we got stuck with busts like Lake Dawson and bigger busts like Jon Baldwin who was traded today. Both number one picks and both a waste of time. Pretty hard to win a lot of football games when we have no dangerous receivers. Even your beloved Tony Gonzalez often disappeared in big games and current star Dwayne Bowe has yet to prove himself as anything more than a solid receiver. So, we have identified the main reason our beloved Chiefs have been a no show for a decade and a half. They have no big time receivers in a game that demands them.
Let’s talk about the 2013 Chiefs.
Clark Hunt waited too long to pull the trigger from the poor coaching and terrible leadership of our front office. That would be Scott Pioli. Andy Reid, our new Head Coach, is here because the Philadelphia Eagles were done with him. He had plenty of talent but he stunk up the joint. All I heard about was how great he is with quarterbacks and the new aggressive defense the Chiefs were going to show off. I’ve witnessed two pre-season games, as have most of you. After one good offensive series by Alex Smith and Jamaal Charles against the Saints in game 1, the Chiefs have shown little to be impressed about. The offensive line has been porous at best. Our new number one draft pick, Fisher, seems to injure a new body part every other play. You haven’t even heard Dwayne Bowe’s name as he has caught zero passes from the new quarterback. Other than Jamaal Charles and Anthony Fasano the new Tight End, every other receiver has been either unable to hold onto the football, have been unable to achieve separation between themselves and the defensive back, or they just plain stink. While the Chiefs have an outstanding Running Back in Jamaal Charles, we all know he can’t carry the offense by himself. Alex Smith, our new QB, has looked better than average but you do have to question his arm strength at this point. As far as the defense goes, no one has distinguished themselves as a playmaker. Brandon Flowers and Eric Berry both have been off their game which is over-rated in the first place. The Chiefs had 11 positve defensive turnovers in the last season, the lowest in the NFL.
With less than three weeks before their first game, luckily a ‘gimme’ against Jacksonville, the worst team in the NFL, the Chiefs have established nothing on the field. They have looked no better than they did the last couple of seasons. We all know how that went. Maybe that’s why Arrowhead was empty Friday during the 49’ers game, which we lost.
Bottom line: They look like a four or five game winner so far. What gives them hope is a soft schedule and they have four games against San Diego and Oakland who are even worse than the Chiefs. I am lowering my expectations to six games. Start the parade.