Chiefs Have Big Decision to Make

Chiefs Have Big Decision to Make

After Sunday's 7-3 victory over the Denver Broncos, the Kansas City Chiefs missed the playoffs thanks to a pair of blocked field goals a week ago against Oakland. Had they scored a single field goal in one of their four possessions in Raiders' territory, Romeo Crennel would have locked down the head-coaching position and the Chiefs would have been AFC West Champs.

That didn't happen so now what?

One thing is certain. With the Chiefs' 7-9 record, they'll finish last in the AFC West and they'll pick 11th or 12th in April's NFL Draft. Will that be enough to get a franchise quarterback? It's doubtful.

But at hand now is finding the next head coach of the Chiefs. Based on his 2-1 record after the organization fired Todd Haley, Crennel will get his shot to become the next head coach in Kansas City.

However, is it the right move? That's a hard one to answer.

If the Chiefs are going to move forward as an organization and take advantage of a weak AFC West, they need to hit a home run with their next head coach.

To me, that means chairman Clark Hunt needs to get a deal done with Jeff Fisher. I've already been on record that he is the best candidate to take the Chiefs back to an era where AFC West championships are the norm in Kansas City.

His hire will do for the Chiefs what it did for Carl Peterson when he hired Marty Schottenheimer. But it's not going to be easy to persuade Fisher to take the job.

The Chiefs wouldn't be in this position had they defeated the Oakland Raiders a week ago. But they are and it's for that reason that they need to go outside of the comfort of the "Chiefs and Patriots Way" and get the best coaching candidate on the market.

I made a comparison a few weeks ago when the University of Kansas shocked the football world by hiring Charlie Weis as their new head coach. Now the Kansas City Chiefs need to do the same thing.

Not many people expect Hunt to be able to convince Fisher to come to the Chiefs. But he did manage to get Pioli from New England even though the odds were stacked against him.

Those same odds are even greater this go around. Fisher will come with a high price tag and will want the final say over personnel. That puts Hunt and Pioli in a tricky situation. However, it's not different than it was in New England when Pioli and Bill Belichick won Super Bowls together.

That's all that matters now. It's not that Pioli can't work with Fisher, but I'm sure he'd prefer to work with Crennel. Either way, Hunt can fuse any differences.

If not, he'll have to concede the fact that the best man for the job doesn't want to coach in Kansas City and that means going back to drawing board.

Should Fisher pass on the job or take a job with the Miami Dolphins, Hunt could go after Brian Billick or choose Brian Schottenheimer. Either would be good candidates in my view. And for the record, so would Crennel.

The good thing is that the Chiefs' job is a good one. In fact, it's probably one of the best job openings in the NFL. Sure, San Diego is slightly more attractive because they have a better quarterback. But Kansas City has a good owner, a loyal fan base and a treasure chest of dollars to spend in free agency.

But to maximize those items, they need the right head coach. What Hunt and Pioli can't do now is choose the wrong one.

Season tickets sales are eroding, the fan base is getting smaller and the harsh reality is that a blocked field goal, despite a million other obstacles, sank KC's AFC West hopes. So Hunt has to knock this one out of the park.



WARPAINT ILLUSTRATED MESSAGE BOARDS:
Should the Chiefs hire Fisher?


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