Over the course of the past few days, several individuals on our on-line discussions have decided that I should take over the reins as the Chiefs' GM. Despite my protests that I am the wrong man for the job, they have persisted and insisted that I should take the job. I guess I'm stuck with it, so here is my plan to get the Chiefs back to where they should be (and proving beyond a shadow of a doubt, in the process, that I am, indeed, the wrong man for the job).
My first decision is that Herman Edwards will be retained as the head coach. I know this decision will be highly unpopular, but I have real heartburn firing a guy after only one season. That is not to say that Edwards is getting off scot free, however, because I have no qualms about firing someone after two seasons. I want a written evaluation of what went wrong this season, what his plan is to correct what went wrong, and what his master plan is to get the team back into real contention for the title. I want to know why the team can't generate a pass rush. I expect to see an evaluation of his coaching staff and what changes he intends to make (and I do expect changes). I also expect Edwards to master the art of clock management so Dick Curl (a painful medical condition, to be sure) can do something meaningful for the organization (like get me coffee).
Step 2 will be an evaluation of the scouting staff. There is a disconnect somewhere; either Carl Peterson has been overreaching for players or the scouts are not doing a good job of evaluating and projecting. Yes, I realize that trying to evaluate a college player and what he might do in the pros is an inexact science. I recognize that there will always be players that don't pan out. I also know, however, the Chiefs have not done a good job in the past few years when it comes to drafting wide receivers, defensive tackles, and defensive backs.
I don't need to watch film to state with certainty that Ryan Sims and Eric Hicks will not be wearing Chiefs uniforms next season. Others may be joining them. Kendrell Bell, for example, has been a real disappointment but is it him or is it the way he's been used? And what's with Dante Hall? The human joystick spends more time jitterbugging than he spends getting up field anymore. Some current starters, like Sammy Knight, will be demoted.
Then there are the potential free agents to consider. Re-signing Tony Gonzalez is a priority. I'm not so sure about Jordan Black; is he worth left tackle money or not? I'm not convinced he is, but I am worried that some other team might think he is. To me, Black would fit well at right guard and I'd like to move him there when Will Shields retires after the season is over. I would also like to re-sign Ron Edwards and James Reed, but not if I have to pay them as starters. Some sap will overpay for Damon Huard's services, but I'm not that sap (unless Trent Green suddenly decides to retire. He did not look the same after returning to the line up after recovering from the concussion. Was it rust or was it a sign that there is still a problem?) Brodie Croyle may ready to be the number 2 guy, but there is no way he can step in as the starter yet. I may need to find another veteran (and it won't be Jeff George).
Either through free agency or through the draft, I am going to take care of areas that should have been taken care of a while ago. There will be a legitimate wide receiver opposite Eddie Kennison, but it will not be Randy Moss or Terrell Owens (I don't want those locker room cancers anywhere near Arrowhead stadium). There will be at least one quality defensive tackle who can collapse the pocket and keep opposing offensive linemen away from Kawika Mitchell. There will be two legitimate starting-quality safeties. Finally, there will be a legitimate replacement for Willie Roaf at left tackle.
Since the odds of Carl Peterson getting fired anytime soon are slim at best, I will never get a chance to act on my plan. So, I'll do the next best thing: Carl, I'm giving it to you as your Christmas present. Use it wisely, but use it.