Had the Chiefs won on Saturday, coupled with losses by San Diego at Detroit and Denver at Buffalo, Kansas City had a chance to win their second consecutive AFC West title.
But that didn’t happen thanks to a horrific offensive game plan, Dwayne Bowe’s drop in the end zone in the first half and two long bombs that took advantage of KC’s pitiful deep secondary. So with the Chiefs out of the playoff chase, it’s time to get realistic about the future of this football team. That means Chairman Clark Hunt needs to hire Jeff Fisher as Kansas City’s next head coach.
I’ve seen all I need to see in regards to interim head coach Romeo Crennel. He’s a great defensive coordinator. He’s been the primary reason the Chiefs have six wins to this point in the season. But going forward, he’s not the right fit at head coach.
If you want to be the permanent head coach, you don’t allow your team to lose it’s fifth straight to Oakland at home. It’s harsh, but Crennel failed his audition to become the next head coach of the Chiefs.
Defensively, his talents are unprecedented. There isn’t a better coordinator at the NFL level than Crennel. As a head coach, he’s not as sharp. Granted, he’s inheriting the mess leftover by his predecessor, Todd Haley. But had he won on Saturday, I might have felt different.
With rumors already circulating that the Chiefs might have more than a passing interest in Jeff Fisher, it’s time to discuss his hire as a potential reality. In my view, other than Bill Cowher, who reportedly interviewed with the San Diego Chargers last week, Fisher is the only option for the Chiefs.
After continual run-ins with Titans owner Bud Adams, Fisher was let go a year ago. Ever since then, he’s kept an eye open for his next NFL gig.
Should the Chiefs hire him, Fisher will bring a coaching stability to the organization that hasn’t been present since Marty Schottenheimer. Before that, you’d have to go back to Hank Stram as a stabilizing force.
Fisher is in that class, and could spend the next 10 years at the helm of the Chiefs. I believe that’s what Clark Hunt is looking for as he takes a more hands-on role with his football team.
There’s been much said about his unwillingness to spend money, but that won’t be the case in his search for KC’s next head coach. He’s already paying general manager Scott Pioli a king’s ransom, so I can’t see why he would be stingy when it comes to grabbing one of the best coaches available.
Per our source, Hunt is prepared to pay whatever it takes to land one of the premier coaching candidates. That includes Fisher.
But does Fisher want to coach the Chiefs? He’d be a fool not to. Of all the coaching vacancies open now or in the near future, Kansas City is poised for long-standing success. With plenty of starters returning on both sides of the ball next year, a ton of cash to spend in free agency and quite likely a last place schedule in 2012, the Chiefs might even be favored to win the AFC West next year.
The rebuilding process in Kansas City is nearly over. Right now it’s a matter of Hunt, Pioli and, hopefully, Fisher, getting this team ready to take the next step. With the lockout behind us, they’ll enjoy a normal offseason.
The 2011 season should serve as a learning experience for Hunt, Pioli, the coaching staff and most of the players. There’s a fine line between the 32 teams in the NFL. On any given Sunday, any team can beat another.
In Kansas City next season, Fisher could make that dynamic work for the Chiefs and return the franchise to the playoffs.
The organization needs to seize this opportunity, learn from their previous mistakes and charge ahead. The Chiefs need to reward their enormous fan base for their long standing patience and support.
It’s time to bring in the right head coach. Someone with fresh ideas and no ties to anyone else within the organization. It’s time for a new direction.
That means it’s Fisher time in Kansas City.