I was pleased to be joined by Joel Thorman from Arrowhead Pride, our Kansas City Chiefs affiliate, to preview Sunday's game against Cleveland. Joel talked about how the Chiefs went from projected playoff contender to the worst team in the league, whether bringing Romeo Crennel in as head coach was a mistake, how good the defense is, and more.
Chris: "Due to how strong the Chiefs finished the 2011 season, some pundits picked them to be a playoff contender in 2012, and I thought they'd be in the race too. If you could pick one (just one!) major reason why the Chiefs haven't even come close to contending, what would it be?"
Joel: "Turnovers. I could blame the quarterback, I could blame the head coach and the GM, too. But, really, this is all about turnovers. The Chiefs lead the league. It got to a point earlier this season where it was comical how much the Chiefs were turning it over. In the first eight games the Chiefs turned it over 29 times. Think about that. Three and a half turnovers per game. Is that insane or what? No team can win like that. The good news is that the Chiefs have come back to earth in the last four weeks and have only turned it over three times since since, including a no-turnover, one-penalty day against Carolina. I'm hoping that the Chiefs are reverting to the mean in the turnover department and the crazy amount of turnovers is over."
Chris: "True or false: it was a mistake to hire Romeo Crennel after his interim success last season and his previous failure in Cleveland?"
Joel: "True. Based on the first 12 games of the season it's hard to argue otherwise. The Chiefs have won two games. I'll be proud and grateful that Romeo was there last week, being a leader and a rock during a crisis situation for the Chiefs, but his record as a head coach speaks for itself. We all got wrapped up in the emotion last year after he beat the Packers and ended the season on a high note as the interim."
Chris: "What do you anticipate happening to Matt Cassel and Brady Quinn in 2013? If necessary, do you want the Chiefs to draft a quarterback in the first round, or acquire a veteran quarterback?"
Joel: "Yes, yes, yes. The Chiefs need new quarterback life. Matt Cassel has to be gone. He can't stay in Kansas City. Brady Quinn's future probably depends on the coach. Is Romeo here? If so, Brady has a shot at staying. If it's anyone else, I think the Chiefs A.) draft a quarterback and B.) sign a veteran quarterback. Those two things, in my mind, are the minimum you can do. If it were up to me, I'd grab as much QB talent as I could, no matter where or who it is."
Chris: "It seems like the Chiefs' wide receiver situation right now is terrible: Jon Baldwin and Dexter McCluster haven't done much, and Dwayne Bowe never sounds happy. Is there hope for this unit in the future, or do the Chiefs need to wipe the slate clean?"
Joel: "Given the amount the Chiefs have invested in the position it's a huge disappointment. Dexter McCluster has his role and he does decent at it. But Dwayne Bowe and Jon Baldwin are both first round picks. Only Bowe produces. Baldwin, who rarely makes an impact on the game, is taking snaps away from Steve Breaston, who is on a 5-year deal and was the Chiefs second leading receiver last year. There's just so much investment there -- two first round picks (Bowe and Baldwin), second round pick (McCluster)j, 5-year contract (Breaston). Shouldn't it be better? Why is a practice squad guy (Jamar Newsome) playing over a guy you signed to a 5-year deal last year (Breaston)?"
Chris: "Although the Chiefs' defense hasn't done very well this year, they've held teams like Baltimore, Pittsburgh, and Denver to low point totals. Why hasn't the defense been able to deliver more consistently throughout the season like they did in these games?"
Joel: "Because the offense turns it over and gives the opposing offense great field position. That really is the reason. The defense was on the verge of being a top 10 united, ranked 11 last year and 12th the year before that. The offense just screwed them over early in the season. The Chiefs D is starting to come around lately though."
Thanks again to Joel for joining me.