Future In Limbo For Edwards
Jarrett Baker - Getty
Jarrett Baker - Getty
Warpaint Illustrated Publisher
Posted Jan 13, 2009

With Tuesday afternoon’s news that Chiefs Chairman Clark Hunt hired New England Patriots V.P. of Player Personnel Scott Pioli to become his new General Manager, everyone believes that Head Coach Herm Edwards is set to be fired. Should he instead be given a chance to finish the job he started?

There is no doubt that if Edwards had been more forceful when he was hired in January of 2006 that things would be a little less volatile at the moment for he and his entire coaching staff. With Pioli’s hire and the Chiefs’ poor record over the past two seasons, Edwards’ future is in question.

Once the story hit, speculation ran rampant that the Chiefs might pursue several candidates with a wide variety of experience – former Denver Broncos Head Coach Mike Shanahan, New York Giants Defensive Coordinator Steve Spagnuolo, Iowa Head Coach Kirk Ferentz, Oklahoma Head Coach Bob Stoops and Baltimore Ravens defensive coordinator Rex Ryan.

But what about Edwards, who valiantly tried to restore order to an organization that had lost it’s way on the field? Before Edwards arrived in Kansas City, Dick Vermeil left the cupboard bare, especially on defense. The Chiefs had no identity on defense even with the addition of Gunther Cunningham. Edwards, a Cover Two specialist, tried to implement a defensive scheme that unfortunately didn’t fit the personnel. After three years, it still hasn’t worked.

The same can be said for KC’s offense. Edwards inherited one of the best offenses in the league, but was stuck with a first-time offensive coordinator in Mike Solari, who never adapted his game plan based on what opposing defenses were throwing at him.

Last year, it went from bad to worse in regards to the entire team. The Chiefs overhauled the age on the roster, but traded Jared Allen and added two scoops of rookies in hopes of breaking a nine-game losing streak.

But still, nothing worked for Edwards. He had to overcome one distraction after another, from injuries to his top two quarterbacks (Brodie Croyle and Damon Huard), Tony Gonzalez’s trade demands and Larry Johnson’s off-the-field issues.

Still, to his credit, the players never quit. The Chiefs came close to winning seven games they instead lost by seven points or less.

Because of that, Edwards is now facing a one-on-one with Scott Pioli on Wednesday to discuss his future.

Fortunately, Edwards has a strong relationship with Pioli’s former boss, Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick.

What does Pioli think of Edwards? My guess is that he has a lot of respect for him as a person and a head coach. Per an NFL source that spoke with Warpaint Illustrated, Pioli never demanded at any time that Edwards be fired before he considered taking the Chiefs’ job. That shoots down a report that hit sports talk radio last week in Kansas City.

It remains to be seen if Edwards is part of KC’s future or not, but Wednesday might be his last day on the job. Pioli must decide one way or the other with the Senior Bowl around the corner and head-coaching candidates going fast.

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