The Kansas City Chiefs went from Super Bowl contenders to the laughing stock of the NFL in a matter of a few weeks. These Chiefs have lost 4 of their last 5 including an embarrassingly bad loss to a Giants team filled with UDFAs. Every coach needs talent to succeed, but good coaches are able to bring out the best in their players. By that standard, Chiefs don’t have many good coaches. It’s time to look at a major overhaul of the coaching staff, starting at the top. I’ve dug into coaching candidates to replace some of Chiefs weakest links. Here we go.
Head Coach: Andy Reid: Reid is actually a very good head coach, but he’s not a good Offensive Coordinator, yet he insists on calling plays. If Clark Hunt can convince Reid to completely abandon play-calling and just coach, he’s probably the best coach the Chiefs could find. If Reid refuses to give up play-calling, he will always be holding this team back and, sooner or later, they’ll realize that.
Head Coach: Gary Patterson: Patterson helped build TCU from meh to amazing. He’s a defensive minded coach with a solid resume and is widely respected. Patterson, coming from a college team, would be willing to be more flexible and innovative with the offense, and defense. The downside is he doesn’t have any NFL experience and there would likely be some growing pains.
Head Coach: Matt Nagy: Nagy is apparently on several other teams radar as a head coaching candidate. Reid, himself, reportedly said that Nagy is one of the best head coaching candidates he’s ever had. K.C. could decide to hang onto Nagy and let his mentor go. Reid’s most recently departed disciple, Doug Pedersen, is currently leading a hot Eagles team that looks to be the best in the NFC, if not the NFL. The Chiefs could do worse than give Nagy a try.
Head Coach: Jim Harbaugh: Whether Kansas City could draw Harbaugh away from Michigan remains to be seen, but there may not be a more qualified NFL head coach, not currently in the NFL. Reid is a ‘players’ coach, while JH is more from the Todd Hayley/Bill Belichick style of coaching. Given the lack of effort by the team this year, I wouldn’t mind seeing a guy with a little bit more butt-kicking mentality.
Head Coach: Wade Phillips: Phillips has been a head coach before and didn’t work out the best. That said, Phillips is maybe the most talented DC in the league. He’s good enough I’d be willing to gamble on him having learned a thing or two that would allow him to lead a team. At the very least, he’d improve the defense.
Offensive Coordinator: Daryl Drake: If Andy Reid stays as the play-caller, and Nagy gets a head coaching job elsewhere, the Chiefs should target Cardinals WR coach Daryl Drake. Drake has a long history as a WR coach and is one of the best in the NFL. While he has no experience calling plays, K.C. still has Childress on staff and could split the OC position like they did last year. While Drake learns to be a good OC, he can work his magic on a WR core that’s still young and pliable. In this way, the Chiefs can shore up one of their weakest positions on the coaching staff (WRs coach Greg Lewis) by stealing a quality position coach that would normally be out of reach.
OC Mike Bloomgren: Bloomgren is the Offensive Coordinator at Stanford University. Before that, he was working with their OL and FBs. Bloomgren knows how to build a solid running game, bringing name recognition to RBs Christian McCaffrey and Bryce Love. He has some NFL experience as an assistant OC and likes to do things on offense that are similar to what the Chiefs do (when they don’t suck that is). The man made Kevin Hogan look good enough that Chiefs gave him a shot. That’s an impressive feat.
OC Jim Chaney: Chaney is a spread offense coach who can inject some modern looks into the Chiefs old-school offense. From his time at Georgia and Tennessee, he’s familiar with college offenses and how to bring players along who grew up in those systems. He’s a run first coach who could help coach up the OL and TEs in blocking.
Defensive Coordinator: Chuck Pagano: Pagano’s time as a head coach is likely nearing it’s end. Hey, not everybody is cut out to be the head honcho, but he’s a highly talented DC. His time as a defensive coordinator in Baltimore was a roaring success. He maintained a solid run defense, and vastly improved their passing defense as well. His defense, in 2011, finished 3rd in total yards, 3rd in scoring defense, 4th in passing defense, and 2nd in rushing defense. The year before he took over, as coordinator, their passing defense had ranked only 21st in the NFL. This would be a slam dunk hire, and my first choice for DC.
DC Todd Bowles: Bowles has a history with Andy Reid, and is likely to lose his job as the Jets HC next year. He had a quality career as a DC before taking a head coaching job. While his defenses weren’t quite as dominant as Pagano’s, he’d be a quality option if K.C. weren’t able to woo the future ex-Colt coach.
DC Rex Ryan: Ryan failed as a head coach twice, but he used be a really good DC. Ryan was especially known for his ability to get a team hyped up for a game. While this occasionally backfired, a little passion would be a welcome change for a Chiefs team that often looks less than enthused.
There’s an early look at some coaching candidates. Whether the Chiefs actually have the stones to make these moves, who knows. At any rate, it gives us some possibilities to consider while we wait for the next loss to roll around. It’s not too late for the Chiefs to turn things around this year, but I’m going to expect them to lose every game till they get to the Super Bowl. I’d rather be pleasantly surprised than repeatedly disappointed. What other coaching positions could use an upgrade? What candidates did I miss? Let me know in the comments section.
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