Chiefs Free Agent Preview

The fact that Kansas City Chiefs Head Coach Herman Edwards is a former NFL scout should raise the expectations for Chiefs fans when it comes to personnel matters. With the start of free agency less than 24 hours away, the Chiefs need to make even more decisions that could provide more help on the defensive side of the ball.

One would expect a coach with his resume to put an end to the Chiefs recent first day draft blunders, reduce the amount of free agency failures, and put an end to hanging on to players with marginal talent simply because they meet the desired personality profile. Unfortunately, looking at it early on, this doesn't seem to be the case.

While Coach Edwards was quick to clean house on the defensive coaching staff he's yet to follow suit on the personnel side. Even though Gary Stills, Dexter McCleon, Shawn Barber, and Eric Warfield were released from their contracts last Thursday it was a far cry from where the Chiefs need to be. This is especially true when you consider the team is moving towards a cover-two defense that will require a complete reorganization of the Chiefs defensive line.

Eric Hicks, John Browning, Junior Siavii, and Ryan Sims are nowhere close to being the kind of players the Chiefs are going to need to effectively run Bud Carson's cover-two defense. Some of you might better remember that defense as Pittsburgh's "Steel Curtain" which featured "Mean" Joe Green, L.C. Greenwood, Ernie Holmes and Dwight White as the down linemen.

If that dates back too far then the "Tampa Two" is a little more recent. This is the Tampa Bay defense that eventually became the 2002 Super Bowl Champions. The primary reason for their success was none other than the relentless front four of Warren Sapp, Simeon Rice, Anthony McFarland, and Greg Spires. (With John Abraham, Shaun Ellis, Jason Ferguson, and Dewayne Robertson the New York Jets had one of the better cover-two defenses in the league under Coach Edwards).

After seeing the examples above it is painfully obvious that Kansas City has a great deal of work to do on defense and with Jared Allen as the only real pass rush threat on the defensive line acquiring two additional pass rushers should be their main priority.

With that being said ten year veteran La'Roi Glover should have been at the top of their list. Glover's resume of 71.5 career sacks would have been a welcome addition to the Chiefs porous defense but rather than address their most dire need the team chose to spend their money elsewhere.

While the Chiefs were busy hanging on to overpriced veterans like Will Shields, John Browning, William Bartee, and Eric Hicks the St. Louis Rams stepped up and inked Glover to a three year deal. Although it would have been painful seeing a player Will Shields end his career with another team it will be even more painful to see the Chiefs defense get picked apart as it reverts to it's 2002 form.

Thanks to John Welbourn the Chiefs could have gone in to the 2006 season without Will Shields on their roster. What they couldn't do however was miss out on a player as talented as Glover because the odds of them taking two players of his caliber in Aprils draft are slim to none.

To make matters worse it appears the Chiefs have convinced themselves that Kendrell Bell can put his hand on the ground and be one of pass rush specialists they're in need of. Somehow they happened to miss last season and have failed to realize that Bell is an inside linebacker. Not a defensive end, not an outside linebacker, but a between the tackles linebacker that plays the "A" and "B" gaps. The mere fact that he's still on the team is puzzling to say the least.

Regardless of what happens in today's owners meetings or how many additional dollars end up being added to the cap the Chiefs appear to be nothing more than observers in the 2006 free agent market. Their reluctance to make the painful yet necessary moves to become active players in free agency will undoubtedly come back to haunt them. This team isn't good enough to stand pat.

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