Why the Chiefs Will Have a Losing SeasonSeptember 11th, 2009 by Lee Eldridge
I’m an optimistic guy, and I love my Chiefs. But this is the first year in a long time where I would predict a losing season, and be content with a losing season. Here’s why:
1 – Transition to the 3-4 Defense – It takes time to make a transition from a 4-3 to a 3-4 defense. Time to implement. Time to learn. And time to acquire the right players to fit the scheme. This is at least a two year process. Though I’ve been surprised by the play of the defense in the preseason. It’s possible that the Chiefs could make this transition quicker that I had anticipated. At least transition from a bad defense to a middle-of-the-pack defense this year.
2 – Inexperience – Not only is much of the team young and inexperienced, so is the owner, the GM and the head coach. Hopefully they all grow up together. And quickly.
3 – Tony Gonzalez – Though it was the right move for the long-term, it certainly hurts the offense in the short-term. He’s still the best tight end in the game. He’s a role model. Nobody outworks Tony. He’s the only player the opposing defense had to account for. He’ll be missed.
4 – Pioli’s Long-term View – General Manager Scott Pioli isn’t looking for the quick fix. This won’t be an Atlanta Falcons type turnaround. He avoided overpaying in free agency to fill needs. If he follows the “Patriots Way”, Pioli will build through the draft. He’ll make some smart trades. And he’ll fill some holes with lower-tiered free agents and aging veterans. Maybe make a splash in free agency once every few years.
5 – Youth – Here’s the crux of why the Chiefs haven’t been very good the last couple of years. The “good” teams have a group of talented players in the prime of their careers. Young veterans. Players who are 25-30 years old. The Chiefs had none of that last year. From the five drafts during the Vermeil years, the players who should have been hitting the prime of their career, the Chiefs were left with Larry Johnson, Derrick Johnson and Dustin Colquitt. That’s it. Five drafts. Three players still on the team. Draft failures have left the Chiefs void of talent at too many positions, and was by far the biggest reason why Carl Peterson had to go.