Now is the time for a TO

"They need a TO, baby!" This phrase has been made famous by college basketball icon Dick Vitale. The truth of the matter is that a well placed TO (i.e. time out) can often mean the difference between victory and defeat.

On November 6th, 2005 former Kansas City Chiefs head coach Dick Vermeil used a TO to decide to go for a touchdown rather than a tie against the Oakland Raiders. A good basketball coach will often use a TO to stop the momentum of an opposition on a scoring run. A baseball manager will often use a time out to decide whether or not to pull a pitcher. A good head coach or manager has a feel for when is the right time to call a TO.

Now is the time for the Chiefs to call a TO. Not a time out, but a Terrell Owens. If you listen to the national media, they will tell you that Denver is the team that is best suited for Owens. Having fallen in the AFC Championship game, many believe that Owens may be the one player that the Broncos need to get over the hump.

Many fans around Kansas City believe that the off field antics of Owens raise too much risk the Chiefs to take on. However, a closer look at the Chiefs will reveal that now is the ideal time for the Chiefs to take a major risk.

The reality of the Chiefs roster is that most likely within a week after Super Bowl XLII (2008) the following Chiefs will be retired from the NFL: Priest Holmes, Will Shields, Willie Roaf, Trent Green, Tony Richardson, Jason Dunn, and possibly Eddie Kennison. The Chiefs window is short….very short.

In two years, the Chiefs will be going through a complete rebuilding process on offense. President and General Manager Carl Peterson should pull out all the stops to put the Chiefs in the best position to win a super bowl as possible within that time span.

One of those stops should be TO. If TO's tenure in Philadelphia is any indicator, TO will provide an incident free season in 2006. Given the apparent agony TO went through missing the final eight games of the 2005 season, it is not inconceivable that 2007 would be relatively incident free as well. That's the two years the Chiefs would be looking for.

This is the off-season to mortgage the future. Certainly there is work to be done to clear enough cap space to acquire TO and some defensive talent to field that legitimate contending team. Peterson needs to go for broke. Now is the time to restructure deals that are friendly now and require a penalty later.

Going for it all now won't really put the Chiefs to far behind on their rebuilding. The defense has some relatively young talent on it. Derrick Johnson, Kawika Mitchell, Patrick Surtain, Eric Warfield, Jared Allen, and Ryan Sims should still be playing at a high level.

The Chiefs should be able to add some young talent this year to that group from the free agency, the draft and the current roster (i.e. corner back Alphonso Hodge and linebackers Keyaron Fox and Kris Griffin). Similarly, the offense has young talent that should also be playing at a high level: Larry Johnson, Tony Gonzalez, Brian Waters, Samie Parker, and Dante Hall, as well as the potential of Craphonso Thorpe.

The final reason now is the time for the Chiefs to go all out and to call for a TO is Carl Peterson and new head coach Herm Edwards. Peterson has said that he has likely signed his last contract with the Chiefs. His current contract ends in four years. As stated earlier, after 2008, the Chiefs will be rebuilding. If Peterson is to deliver an AFC championship to Lamar Hunt and Kansas City it will likely happen in the next two years.

The only thing missing from Peterson's tenure in Kansas City is a super bowl appearance. Since Edwards is a protégé of Peterson's he would do well to give Edwards every opportunity to win a super bowl in his first two years. A coach rebuilding a team would be given much more leeway from the Kansas City fan base if that coach has recently given them super bowl memories.

Peterson has said that Edwards might be the right coach for TO.

"I've always felt Herm has the ability to bridge the gap between a lot of players," Peterson said, "whether they're black or white, whether they're offense or defense or special teams, whether they're superstars or backup players. I think that's one of his strengths."

Timing is everything. Knowing when is the appropriate time to take a TO or in this case take a risk is what separates the legends from the could have beens. The Chiefs need to seize this opportunity.

Now is the time to add Terrell Owens to the Chiefs roster as well as two or three talented defensive free agents.

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