Corral the Grumbling

This week might be the biggest challenge yet for Chiefs head coach Herm Edwards. Over the last three weeks, his team has cornered the market on carryover. In NFL terms, that means repetitively doing things that prevent you from winning football games. It can start with one bad play that leads to another, resulting in a single loss and culminating in a losing streak.

To avoid a fourth straight loss and change the ugly locker-room tone that was apparent this week, Edwards needs to make some hard choices.

The sign of any good coach is getting the best out of every player regardless of their talent level. Look no further than the biggest game at Arrowhead Stadium this year.

Jayhawks head coach Mark Mangino has put together one of the better coaching staffs in the Big XII. It's taken time to build, but Kansas is now reaping the benefits because Mangino took over a horrible program that's now two games away from playing for the National Championship.

Meanwhile, Tigers head coach Gary Pinkel also had to make some tough decisions with his coaching staff. He gambled by taking advice from a high school coach concerning his offense, eventually resulting in the innovative, spread-formation attack that now flourishes.

The bottom line is that both men weren't afraid to make hard decisions with their respective coaching staffs. In college you teach and hope your players on both sides of the ball begin to execute what's been taught since the spring.

Edwards and his staff have tried to do the same, but the difference in the NFL is that eventually, for a variety of reasons, the players stop listening. That's the primary reason why Kansas City's roster has been overhauled the last two seasons with more draft picks and veteran free agents.

When a team loses three games in a row, the players begin to grumble amongst themselves. A select few air their frustrations in the media.

In college, a three-game losing streak means either your team is bad, or you can count on being at home for Christmas with no bowl games under the tree. The losses don't mean as much.

Heading into Raiders Week, this Chiefs team is reeling. As a result, Edwards has spent the last three weeks planning for the 2008 season. He's already made decisions on which players he's going to cut once the season ends, and KC's losing streak has also given him insight as to which coaches truly understand what he's trying to accomplish in Kansas City.

He needs to find a new director for the offense. That situation will unfold the exact way Edwards wants it to at the end of the season - change is coming one way or another.

In the meantime, Herm has to corral the damage in the locker room. The three-game losing streak has bred some ugly malcontents. For the most part, tight end Tony Gonzalez was quiet in the locker room on Sunday, but you could see the frustration in his eyes.

Gonzalez's complaints are legit, and the sad part about all of this is there's more than enough talent on defense to win the next six games. But offensively, the coaches aren't demanding enough of themselves.

That should be the focus this week. If the reports about Priest Holmes are true and he's out – possibly for the remainder of the season – then what will the Chiefs do? Kolby Smith will receive extensive work and you might even see Boomer Grigsby tote the rock once or twice against the Raiders.

There's so many issues to work out this week. Somehow, the offensive staff must rise to the challenge.

In the meantime, Edwards must do what he can to teach his players to overcome adversity. There will still be grumbling as the Chiefs hit the practice field on Wednesday.

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