With the Broncos and Chiefs set to end the 2012 regular season, Joel Thorman from Arrowhead Pride was nice enough to take time out ans answer some questions on what might be the most disappointing season in Chiefs history.
MHR - With all the preseason optimism, what went wrong for the Chiefs in 2012, and who is most responsible?
AP - Turnovers. Turnovers, turnovers, turnovers. I could point to Matt Cassel / Brady Quinn, injuries, the head coach and a number of other things but really the Chiefs just crapped the bed with turnovers early in the season. Their turnovers came in ridiculous numbers -- 3, 3, 3, 6, 4, 2, 4, 4 in the first eight games. By that point, the season was over and the motivation to play was waning. Turnovers crushed the Chiefs early in the season.
MHR - Either, Neither or Both: Romeo Crennel and Scott Pioli are fired at the end of the season.
AP - Both. It's just hard to make the case to bring them back when the Chiefs have gotten worse over the last two years. The Chiefs said they would address the quarterback situation in the offseason but then brought in Brady Quinn. From my view, they didn't make much of an effort to upgrade the quarterback, instead opting to stick with Matt Cassel to start the season. Three of the Chiefs four worst point differentials in franchise history have come under Pioli. They get blown out -- a lot. Pioli doesn't have the personality that connects with fans so he has a short leash. Crennel's time in Cleveland appears to be the rule, not the exception. I'm just not sure what advantage Crennel as the head coach brings. I'd count on both being out, but no one really knows what will happen.
MHR - If one or both do get fired, who do Chiefs fans want to see them replaced by?
AP - We're not really to that point yet. There's a Bill Polian rumor floating around, but I'm not sure if he would be the best fit. I'd like to get a general manager who excels in the draft because that's where you make your money. The Chiefs got the biggest GM on the market back in 2009 with Scott Pioli, so it's frustrating knowing that the Chiefs could again get the hot name and nothing may change. I'd like a head coach who excels with quarterbacks because that's so important to the Chiefs right now with the No. 1 or No. 2 pick coming up. Bruce Arians over in Indianapolis seems a little more intriguing after this season.
MHR - It's obvious that the Chiefs need to find a solution at quarterback. Unfortunately right now it doesn't look like there is a blue-chip prospect early in the 1st Round. Is Alex Smith an option? Who else?
AP - The first round quarterback is the first option. Whoever it is, the Chiefs have to make that pick. From there, I'd like to see the Chiefs pair the rookie with a veteran quarterback who can provide real competition. Alex Smith could do that. Shoot, if it was just as a stop-gap, I'd take Kyle Orton again. The emphasis, though, is going to be on that first round quarterback, regardless of who is paired with him.
MHR - What direction do you see the Chiefs going with the #1 pick?
AP - Quarterback. Has to be. I know there's not a consensus top quarterback right now but one will start to separate as the Combine and pro day workouts come along. The Chiefs have to draft a quarterback in the first round. Right now, I'd take Geno Smith. But I reserve the right to change my mind about a dozen more times.
MHR - While not nearly the same thing, the Broncos dealt with plenty of tragedy in the recent past (Darrent Williams murder, Kenny McKinley suicide, etc). I feel those tragedies lingered with the team and had a lasting impact. Do you feel the Jovan Belcher tragedy could have an impact on the Chiefs moving forward?
AP - It has to. You can't go through something like that and not have it linger. I don't know what kind of impact that will be but these players will carry that with them for the rest of their lives.
Many thanks to Joel for taking the time! Check out anything that is everything in Chiefs football over at ArrowheadPride!