Grading the Chiefs: Part 3 – Herm and Carl

Tuesday we graded the offense. Wednesday we graded the defense. Today it's time to hand out marks to the two most important students in the class – head coach Herm Edwards and general manager Carl Peterson. As always, grades are curved based on pre-season expectations.

HERM EDWARDS – Incomplete

Does a head coach who just finished 4-12 while fielding the worst offense in franchise history really deserve anything other than F? Where the 2007 season is concerned, yes, Herm Edwards deserves a grade of incomplete. I don't believe Edwards was in full control of his football team this year.

Herm was forced to start 2007 with an old quarterback surrounded by a terrible offensive line. These components were led by an offensive coordinator who has already been fired. You can blame Edwards for all of that if you want, but I won't.

Carl Peterson sat next to Herm at Thursday's press conference and took the blame for entering 2007 with KC's over-the-hill linemen. We all know Mike Solari was Peterson's hand-picked successor to Al Saunders. Finally, there's no clear indication about who picked Damon Huard as starting quarterback entering 2007, but there was no lack of support for the veteran from Peterson during HBO's Hard Knocks.

Those three elements conspired to doom Kansas City's offense in 2007. When the Chiefs couldn't run the ball, it threw Herm for a loop. I believe his approach to coaching an NFL team is totally dependent on a successful running game. He's helpless without one.

Look at his history. Every year Edwards has fielded a 1,000-yard rusher, his football teams have gone to the playoffs (save once). The two years Herm couldn't find a feature back to last the season, his teams went 4-12.

If we're going to examine the job Edwards did in 2007 in a vacuum, give him a pass. This was the last year of the Carl Peterson show. Next year and beyond, it's the Herm Show. How his hand-picked offensive coordinator deals with rebuilding the offense will have a huge impact on Edwards' 2008 grade.

CARL PETERSON – A+

According to ESPN.com, the Chiefs ranked fourth in league attendance this season. What more can an NFL owner ask from his general manager?

Chiefs fans may not agree with the grade I've assigned, but it's time to rebuild the fan base anyway. Plus, I like the King. He signed my favorite player, Larry Johnson, to a long-term deal last offseason. I can't ignore that, especially after I complained about it all last August.

Yes, Carl was wrong about John Welbourn, Chris Terry, Kyle Turley and the state of the offensive line before the season began. That makes two of us. If I fail Carl over that, I'd have to resign my post here at Warpaint Illustrated for predicting last May that the Chiefs would field a dominant ground game and surrender less than 41 sacks. Heck, I argued in favor of re-signing Kyle Turley.

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