Chiefs ready for a change

Chiefs fans are begging for a different leader after 1-10 record.

By Dylan Gehlbach

“Clearly there are things we need to fix, things we need to change, things we need to improve upon. And it starts with me,” Scott Pioli told the Associated Press back in mid-October.

You said it, pal.

The Chiefs are now sitting at a dismal 1-10 on the season after failing to score a touchdown at home against rival Broncos and they now own the worst record in the National Football League. Two years ago, the Chiefs were looking great, ending the season with a 10-6 record with only one home loss. Many of the promising players of that season (Tony Moeaki, Brandon Flowers, Eric Berry, Brandon Carr…) were very young. Kansas City made it to the playoffs without giving Jamaal Charles the majority of rushes, giving most of them to Thomas Jones before discovering their obvious strength. With young talent and players like Dwayne Bowe and Jamaal Charles about to make their mark in a new season, the sky was the limit for the 2011, fresh off of their first division win since 2003.

Unfortunately, the Chiefs were not good in the 2011 season. Not good at all.

Kansas City lost key player Jamaal Charles, tight end Tony Moeaki, and stud safety Eric Berry in the first few games. Not a great start, but this is where good teams rally around their quarterbacks to find them wins in trying times. At least, that’s what good teams do, because good teams have good quarterbacks. The Chiefs did not. The Chiefs had Matt Cassel.

Cassel was a decent enough quarterback in the 2010 season. He made few mistakes and let his team’s strengths carry them to the playoffs in the AFC West. It doesn’t take much of a quarterback to do that. With good players on the sideline for the Chiefs, it was time for Cassel to prove that he was the type of quarterback that could win games for his team; he would have to be. With good receivers like Dwayne Bowe, Steve Breaston, and Jon Baldwin, the task was possible.

But things went south quick for Cassel. Cassel got banged up in the season and ended up with a quarterback rating of 76.6% over nine games; nothing that could lead a team to a division win in the NFL. The truth was exposed, and so was Cassel as a subpar quarterback.

No, I’m not here to rag on Matt Cassel. He works hard, he is a leader, and I respect him for that, but Cassel is not a starting quarterback for an NFL team that can win. The 2011 was a prime example of this. Everyone around the league noticed this, except for perhaps one person. This is where Scott Pioli comes into play.

Scott Pioli has made some questionable moves as the Chiefs’ GM. His relationship with fans has never been good and he has made maddening draft picks that did not pan out well for the Chiefs. All of that I can understand, but it has put him in a considerable amount of hot water with Chiefs fans that are tired of losing. The biggest issue that I have with Scott Pioli, and ultimately the thing that will lose him his job this season, is that he has no idea who the quarterback of future is for the Chiefs.

After Matt Cassel’s dismal 2011 performance that led the Cheifs to an ugly 7-9 record, Pioli had no problem with having Cassel as the starting quarterback for the 2012 season. Not only that, Pioli still showed confidence in Ricky Stanzi as the future quarterback of the franchise. That’s not what Chiefs fans want to hear. I could understand if there were no good quarterbacks to sign in the off season, but Peyton Manning was up for grabs in the Chiefs’ price range!

A banged up Brady Quinn is now the starting quarterback for the Chiefs, the worst team in the NFL. The Chiefs would have to win two of its last five games to have any chance at not getting the first pick in the draft. With a weak class of quarterbacks in the draft this year, the Chiefs will most likely end up picking up someone like Matt Barkley; a good college quarterback, but not quite good enough to make it in the NFL. And let’s face it, a good quarterback is needed to win in the NFL so the sad story continues…

“It starts with me,” said Pioli. It would be incredible (and very disappointing for Chiefs fans) if Pioli was not fired at the end of the season. A new GM will come in, and he will have the tough task of turning around a damaged Chiefs franchise and finding them a quarterback.

Whoever that may be, I wish him good luck.

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