Jeff Herr, a finalist in the 2011 Big Gig Contest on 610 Sports Radio, was born and raised in Kansas City. Following the Chiefs, Royals, and Jayhawks all his life has led him to blog about all three extensively at the-jeff-report.blogspot.com. He has also spent time covering the Royals for the blog site kingsofkauffman.com as well as serving for a period as the lead editor of throughthephog.com a blog covering the Kansas Jayhawks. When not writing about the local sports scene, he pays the bills by serving as an accountant.
Jeff Herr: Chiefs moves are too little...too late
by Jeff Herr,posted Nov 5 2012 5:26PM
Good news: This past weekend gave Chiefs fans the first of two consecutive weekends without a loss.
The bad news: this loss just got shifted to Thursday and next weeks game is shifted to Monday. With Todd Haley chomping at the bit to make his old team realize their mistake by firing him, the Pittsburgh Steelers will most likely turn it up to 11 on their way to a predictable rout of the Chiefs that will drop them to an inexplicably awful 1-8.
Speaking of “rout,” in a move that reeks of Lindsay Lohan-like desperation the Chiefs decided to cut ties with cornerback Stanford Routt. Yes, the same Routt the Chiefs signed to replace Brandon Carr. The same Routt who many thought (truth: myself included) would end up being a wash in his replacement of Carr. Oh, and also the same man who the Chiefs thought was worth six million dollars per year even though they could have had Carr for an extra four million. Apparently, the Chiefs would have rather saved the money. They did, and they also saved themselves the trouble of having Routt for a full year.
This move comes hand in hand with head coach Romeo Crennell “stepping down” as defensive coordinator to focus on being head coach full time. In his stead, Gary Gibbs will take over helming the defense. Let’s remember that Crennell is the very same coach whom Pioli spent his entire media tour over the bye week telling everyone how he still has as much confidence in him as the day he hired him. Despite that fact, Crennell appears to have little confidence in himself anymore. This either shows that Pioli is so out of touch with his head coach he has no idea of his limitations, or shows that he was wrong to allow Crennell to be head coach and defensive coordinator at the same time, possibly costing the Chiefs this season. Either of those is a fireable offense.
This is the type of thing that children do. When you broke a window growing up, the first thing you did was look for an excuse. “I’m sorry dad, I the wind took the baseball and blew it right into the window. I swear! It’s not my fault!” Quite simply, you looked for anyone and everyone to blame for your mistake, so you avoid as much trouble as possible.
Pioli has gone around and told everyone he has interviewed with recently, “it all falls on me as the general manager.” As far as Chiefs fans are concerned, those are just words.
If you took a look at Twitter during any presidential debate this year, what did you see? Everyone who was watching and tweeting would demand proof of the candidates facts or ask for more information. Why do you think [insert current policy here] is bad? How do you plan to lower taxes? At this day and age of information overload, promises and empty buzz words aren’t enough anymore. As citizens and as fans, we deserve more.
Pioli has refused to give that to us. All he’s stated is how everything falls on him. We’ve heard it all before. Fans want to know how he’s going to fix things.
Well, if that was the message sent, and the “Save our Chiefs” movement would say that it was, then Pioli received it. Or at least what mangled mess of a message was left when it got to him. As Pioli prepares to defend himself to his increasingly frustrated owner, he is positioning his argument. The cutting of Routt and changing of defensive coordinator responsibilities is simply Pioli trying to stack the deck in his favor. This makes it easy to point to what caused this situation and how he deserves a chance to fix it.
Pioli continues to show his cluelessness. For the man that was supposed to be an organization building savant, Pioli has shown increasingly less touch with his franchise and its suffering fanbase.
It seems Pioli continually fails to realize what is all too clear to the rest of the sports world: his method is not working. This being his fourth year in charge Pioli has had three years to look at what he’s done. For a man who has a supposedly measured and analytical approach, he doesn’t use that method for evaluating himself.
After the Todd Haley situation blew up in his face he could have looked at himself and wondered what he did to hurt that situation. Instead, he hired somebody who he knew wouldn’t question him and would more or less be a puppet for Pioli to micro manage every part of this organization into failure.
This season was beyond the saving point long ago. This franchise has been torn down to the lowest it's ever been. But it can be saved. The time for internal change of coaches responsibility and cutting players of “questionable character” has passed. This organization needs sweeping change and it needs to start with the top. Clark Hunt needs to remove Pioli and Crennell and find a way to fix an organization that has been broken for over half a decade now.
It starts with Hunt realizing there is no roadmap to success. You can’t do it cheaply, even if you don’t have to spend the most money. You can’t do it the same way other teams have, even if you can take their advice and guidance. Dynasty’s aren’t copied in this league, they’re built.
The biggest failure of this organization has been its inability to address the most important position on the field internally. We’ve all heard that stat that the Chiefs haven’t won a game by a quarterback they drafted since 1987. Even more remarkable might be that Brodie Croyle was given 10 chances and didn’t come through once.
This franchise has been content with re-treads and cast offs because they thought they were just good enough to keep this team competitive, give the fans hope, keep the butts in the seats, and do it on the cheap. There is no cheap way and there is no easy way to being the Pittsburgh Steeler or the New England Patriots. Everybody else can see it. The Chiefs need to finally realize this, and maybe then this organization will be headed in the right direction.