I need to begin by saying that I am not a Kansas City Chiefs fan. However, I am from Kansas and my girlfriend lives about 5 miles away from Arrowhead. When I turn on sports radio, I am forced to hear shock jocks complain about Scott Pioli and Brady Quinn and Matt Cassel and every other Chiefs failure. What has become increasingly clear to me is that the Chiefs are a dysfunctional organization both in football operations and in the front office. They need someone to tell them what not to do with the #1 overall draft pick and the cap money that they do have this off season. While it would be nice if they would fire Scott Pioli, it doesn’t look like that is happening right now, so I’ll have to assume he and some unnamed coach will be making these decisions.
Whoever does end up pulling the trigger needs to make sure that Matt Barkley is not the target. We have seen this movie before. It’s entitled “Carson Palmer: 8-8 Noodlearmer”. Many in the scouting community assume that Barkley has worked himself entirely out of the first round but this is the same front office that gave a USC backup big time money. Barkley is not the type of quarterback who can make all the throws and is cerebral enough to own an entire offense. To me personally, he is much more Christian Ponder than Andrew Luck. The Chiefs have had enough years of mediocrity or downright terribleness. Whoever they select with the first pick needs to be someone the new head coach has a distinct plan with, but also, has faith in. Choosing Barkley means more screen passes to Dexter McCluster and targets for castoffs like Steve Breaston or Terrance Copper.
Another popular rumbling by Chiefs fans has been the signing of Alex Smith, assuming that he is cut by San Francisco after the season. In my mind, there is only one way this is successful. They would have to draft a Wide Receiver like Justin Hunter or Corradelle Patterson in the first round, resign Dwayne Bowe, sign a top dollar free agent like Mike Wallace and that still might not be enough. Smith’s success was due to brilliant coaching and surrounding him with bit players who fit a specific role and fit it well. You can’t have Alex Smith throwing to Devin Wylie or handing off to Shaun Draughn and expect offensive success. So much would have to go into the signing that it would most likely not be worth it. I can see how signing a proving winning quarterback could have appeal, but this could very likely end up being Matt Cassel part two.
More than anything, the Chiefs cannot make the mistake of hiring a defense-first coach. It simply won’t work. The defense is fine and has enough playmakers and skilled guys to make it one of the better in the league. This was a team that beat the 13-0 Green Bay Packers in 2011 and held several high powered offenses in check. What ails the Chiefs is offense. A signing like Lovie Smith would make a splash, but it wouldn’t have the type of on field impact that Chiefs fans would want because Lovie’s skillset does not translate into offensive success. They should be aiming at someone like Ken Whisenhunt or Dirk Koetter, a coach who has an innovative offensive system and can correctly use players and their skillsets. There should never be a game where a coaching staff allows Jamaal Charles to have underneath double digit carries and it happened multiple times in 2012. Hiring a defensive guy leaves the Chiefs open to the same mistakes that they have been making for years.
Lastly and most importantly: The Chiefs cannot draft a defensive player in the 1st or 2nd round. Just cannot be done. Not with the holes on the team and not with public sentiment about the team. How Hunt or Pioli can take themselves seriously as football men and put out the product they did this last year, we will never know; what we do know, is that they would have to be totally asleep at the wheel if they do not get offensive players with their first several draft picks and if a quarterback who is not on the roster is under center for the first game in 2013. To do that to a fanbase that is already on the edge would not only be a miserable football decision, but a terrible business decision as well.
If you have any other suggestions, please tell me in the comments!