More of the Same for Defensive Staff

For at least one more season the Chiefs look like they will keep the same defensive coaching staff that has ranked at or near the bottom of the pack the last three seasons. Despite the fact that Kansas City finished the year next to last this year in yards allowed.; Dick Vermeil won't make any staff changes.

Speculation was running rampant that some of the position coaches on defense would be let go but in an off-season that should include major change on defense; it seems the Chiefs are content with the position coaches who failed for the third season in a row to make an impact on this coaching staff.

That's not a good sign for Chiefs fans who were hoping for some change on a staff that clearly was unable to get its players to perform at a higher level or at least one that made them competitive.

On Tuesday, Chiefs' head coach Dick Vermeil and President/General Manager Carl Peterson met to discuss the future of the coaching staff. They agreed to upgrade the personal in the defensive backfield, which was dead last in the NFL in yards allowed. That's a given and the most obvious need this team needs.

Kansas City has not played average defense since Vermeil arrived in 2001. In fact the defense has regressed each season under Vermeil. The defense allowed 103 more points than in 2003, 330 more yards, and 17 less turnovers.

"The only way any football coach is evaluated is on how many games they won," Vermeil said. "Since we won only seven games, everybody on this staff, including me, is evaluated as below average. An 8-8 record would have meant we were average."

Two coaches that have become under the most scrutiny are defensive backs coach Peter Giunta and Vernon Dean. They coached defensive backs Greg Wesley, Jerome Woods into their worse seasons as pros, and have not developed William Bartee or Julian Battle into the type of corner backs that can play consistant defense.

"Peter Giunta is no more guilty now than he was 100 percent responsible for the Super Bowl championship defense and the secondary he coached with the Rams," Vermeil said. "They coached the players we give them to coach to the best of their ability. Do I blame them if a guy blows a coverage or breaks down fundamentally? No. If I thought they were doing a poor job of that, I would handle that. But I don't think that's true."

Vermeil will have to make a coaching change on the offensive side of the ball; tight ends coach Keith Rowen left to become offensive coordinator for the Arizona Cardinals. The Chiefs will replace him with a former Bears coach Terry Shea.

With the entire coaching staff entering their final season under contract, the Chiefs are going to stand pat with the same coaches on defense who were unable to get this unit to play at an NFL level. Last year this organization made a mistake with its personnel and now it appears that it's making a similar mistake by not shaking up the coaching staff.


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