Although it's not always visible, there's apparently a plan in place for the Chiefs according to team chairman Clark Hunt.
"When I became chairman of the club five or six years ago, what I mentioned at the time was I wanted us to be a team that drafted well and developed the players that we drafted," Hunt said.
And, that was it, the sum total of Hunt's vision for his team or at least all that he was willing to share with the media and ticket buying public.
Whether there is a real vision or plan is hard to believe given the way the last year or so has gone around the franchise. Details on the Chiefs road map are never discussed. Hunt wants to draft well and develop the talent the team selects into contributing players. OK, that's good; it's a plan 31 other teams in the league share.
What about beyond that? What about when those draft choices are developed into contributing players? Are they allowed to walk, or are they paid the going market rate for their services? And what happens when amidst all those developing players, there are holes in the roster that must be filled. Is the team's vision to do that as cheaply as possible, or to sign the best player available? How tight are the purse strings on items other than players? Is there enough money in the club's vision to pay for high caliber assistant coaches, or trainers, workout specialists all those people? Is there enough money available to pay for talented scouts and personnel people to evaluate those draft choices that are so important?
Five years after he took control of the franchise, Clark Hunt hasn't provided much in the way of answers or explanation of his vision.
If the draft is the lynchpin to everything, that puts a lot of pressure on the personnel department and the person making the selections. That batting average has to be far higher than normal. With seven rounds each year and say seven picks per team, the average club will get short-term contributions from five choices and long-term contributions from two or three. The Chiefs would have to score short-term from six and long-term from three or four, or better than 50 percent. Those are tough odds year after year after year.
Those types of questions get a mouth of football speak and are never really addressed. This is where the secrecy of the Chiefs organization under Hunt and Pioli hurts them. It's hard to convince a lot of people to invest in something they don't quite understand because they've been given so little information. Most ticket buying decisions are made on whether the team wins or loses, but a significant segment of fans will hang on through tough times if they've been clued in to the road map the team is following. A map to the Holy Grail is easier to find than a document that outlines the direction of the Clark Hunt Chiefs.
Right now, the Chiefs have two issues leading directly back to Hunt. First, it's the murkiness of the franchise's vision or plan. Second, is the impatience Hunt has shown over the last six years with his head coaches. Herm Edwards moved forward with his desire to go with a young roster in 2008 because he thought he had Hunt's support. Edwards told him there would be some temporary pain. Hunt couldn't handle that (2-14 in 2008) and swept out the old regime.
Todd Haley won several coach of the year honors in 2010, taking his team to a 10-6 record and an AFC West championship. Then 13 games later, after an unusual offseason with an owners' lockout and a host of injuries to key players, Haley gets dumped with a 5-8 record.
That brings us to Crennel, who signed just a three-year contract as head coach, not four like Haley signed in 2009. For his sake, Crennel hopefully has an idea of Clark Hunt's vision for his team. And hopefully, the new head coach understands that vision seems to change when things get tough.
In the amended words of a football legend, Romeo, you'd better just win baby! There's no room for building here. Just ask Herm and Todd. Turns out the vision wasn't quite in focus for them.
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