Now, Coughlin and Turner have their teams one win away from the Super Bowl. Their success should give Chiefs fans hope for what Herm Edwards will attempt to do next season.
That might be a stretch for some, but to say I'm shocked about the sudden rise of the San Diego Chargers and New York Giants is putting it mildly.
Sunday, Turner led the Chargers into Indianapolis and beat the defending Super Bowl Champions. This was accomplished without the services of Antonio Gates, LaDanian Tomlinson and Philip Rivers for much of the game. All three started, but Tomlinson and Rivers did not finish the game. Gates had only two receptions.
What Turner did this year after the Chargers started 1-3 is one of the more improbable seasons in NFL history. Remember, Norv entered this season with the label of a post-season choker and supposedly lost his football team in the first quarter of the season. Somehow he found them again and motivated them enough to defeat the Colts yesterday.
The Chargers proved they're one of the NFL's most resilient teams. They won their playoff game not necessarily on talent, with but heart. With their wounded soldiers on the sidelines, the backups and veteran playmakers stood up and weathered Indy's best shot.
Later on in Dallas, the Giants knocked off the NFC's top seed, holding the Cowboys to two touchdowns and stifling Tony Romo. New York's defense played with heart and guts, and that made Tom Coughlin the toast of New York this morning.
What the Giants did the last two weeks in Tampa Bay and Dallas is nothing short of amazing, especially when you consider the fact Coughlin had to beg to retain his job at the end of the 2006 season. Not many people believed New York could go on the road with Eli Manning and knock off two teams with good defenses.
Coughlin is considered to be one of the toughest and most stubborn coaches in the game today. He does things his way and demands so much of his players that for the most part, they hate him.
That's something the Chargers and Giants share in common, but the other thing that has haunted Coughlin and Turner is the fact they've been regarded as terrible game managers and previously struggled in the playoffs.
Sound familiar? In Kansas City, the players don't hate their head coach, but game management issues and playoff struggles have haunted Herm Edwards in New York and in Kansas City.
What we learned Sunday is that it's about the talent you acquire and the backups you groom to step in during big games. Ask the average NFL fan to name the top defensive players on the Giants and outside of defensive end Michael Strahan - who was on the sidelines in the fourth quarter - they'd be hard pressed to name four of them.
Edwards has never been worried about his players giving it their all on the field, but there's a clear talent void when you compare the Chargers and the Chiefs. That's why the upcoming NFL draft is so important to the future of this football team.
That approach paid off in San Diego and New York, where the Chargers and Giants have made good personnel moves the last several years. Meanwhile, ownership backed the head coaches, if only for one more season. The Chiefs need to do the same.
The playoff runs we witnessed the last two weeks from San Diego and New York can happen in Kansas City. With hard work and a little luck, anything is possible - including a playoff game at Arrowhead next season.
Head Coach Herm Edwards is expected to interview Jacksonville Jaguars quarterbacks coach Mike Shula today. He appears to be the leading candidate at the moment.
Edwards has already interviewed former Georgia Tech head coach Chan Gailey and UTEP offensive coordinator Eric Price. We're told the Chiefs want to hire the new OC by Wednesday and announce the remaining members of the offensive staff before this weekend's Senior Bowl.
Stay tuned to Warpaint Illustrated for all the latest news on the Kansas City Chiefs.
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