Warpaint Roundtable – Regular Season Week 3

This week our crew discusses Herm's gameplans, when Kansas City will earn their first win, if any players have trade value this offseason, and how the Chiefs will approach free agency next year.

Do you think the players still believe in Herm's game plan, or are they sick of it like most of the fans are?

Nick Athan: The players for the most part are 100 percent behind Edwards. The problem is that it's just not working because this team is so dependent on young players. They are a work in progress and I could argue, though I won't today, that this team is getting better.

The veterans must stand taller. A perfect example is quarterback Damon Huard - he has to carry his team this week and set an example for the young players. The fans are tired of the losing, but I can't say Herm is the entire problem. The players believe in him. As far as the fans, that's a work in progress.

Michael Ash: I doubt it's much of an issue for the rookies. But for the players who were here last season, it's probably hard to believe in much of anything when you've lost 12 games in a row.

C.E. Wendler: It's a good thing the Chiefs have so much youth, because like Nick said, the veterans don't seem to buying into what Herm is selling. All you had to do was look at the facial expressions of Larry Johnson, Damon Huard and Tony Gonzalez a week ago.

On the flipside, the young players do appear to have confidence in the coaching staff. All you had to do was look at Turk McBride on the sidelines in the closing minutes of the Atlanta debacle. His body language communicated that the only person he was disappointed with was himself.

Personally, I don't see a huge issue with the gameplans so far. The results look bad, but when Tyler Thigpen is your quarterback, there's not a whole lot you can do. As I wrote earlier this week, with Huard under center we need to raise our expectations. Five straight punts – or was it six? – is not acceptable.


Who could be traded this year for picks in the 2009 Draft? Patrick Surtain, Larry Johnson, Damon Huard, Tamba Hali, Jarrad Page?

Nick: Surtain won't be around next year, nor will Huard, and Johnson is debatable. In regards to Hali and Page, I'm told that the Chiefs hope to get both signed to long-term contracts before the end of the season. I'm not sure I'd do it with Hali, but Page is someone this team can count on for a long time.

Michael Ash: Numerous players could be traded for draft picks, but there's no one on the roster that would bring the sort of haul that the Jared Allen trade did. Frankly, the Chiefs would be lucky to get a fourth-round pick for most of the players on the current roster.


Does Damon Huard have trade value?
Jamie Squire

The Chiefs' best shot at getting an extra first-rounder – their only shot, probably – would be if some contending team lost their tight end or decided they needed to spark their offense. Then they might be willing to pay through the nose for Tony Gonzalez.

But no other Chief would be worth too much. That includes Larry Johnson, as most people overrate his trade value. He's got a huge contract and hasn't looked the same since his 400-carry season. Which team is going to give up something significant for him?

C.E. Wendler: As Nick indicated, the Chiefs don't want to trade Hali or Page. Surtain and Huard have little trade value, and may retire anyway. Johnson is essentially un-tradeable if you're the Chiefs.

Like Michael said, there aren't many veterans on this team worth much in the trade market. If the Chiefs are going to strike a deal for more draft picks next April, it will probably include a trade down from their own first-round pick.


If the Chiefs have a bad year do you think they'll be forced to spend a lot of money in the off season?

Nick Athan: The Chiefs have over $33 million in cap room, and they must spend some cash this offseason - they could be fined for not spending enough money. Herm Edwards will shore up some holes but keep in mind the Chiefs will likely draft the top quarterback in April, and that'll cost them about $35 million in guaranteed money, not to mention a total package in the $70 million range.

But I believe the free spending won't occur until the following spring, to coincide with the opening of the new Arrowhead in 2010. The real question is who is going to be in charge of making those decisions.

Michael Ash: Forced why? To placate the angry fans? No, I don't think they'll be forced to. I would hope the Chiefs would be smarter than that. And I would hope the fans would be smarter than wanting to see the team spend money just for the sake of spending it. Look at the Raiders -- are they getting their $120 million worth from Javon Walker and DeAngelo Hall?

C.E. Wendler: It really depends on which players pan out this year. If Devard Darling or Will Franklin flourish, there won't be a huge need for a free agent wide receiver. If Barry Richardson or Adrian Jones are playing competent football by December (we'll assume Richardson will get some late-season snaps since Damion McIntosh has been so horrible), the Chiefs may not need to go after free-agent linemen.

On defense, the Chiefs will have a need for linebackers unless Pat Thomas pans out. Will a third corner emerge to complement Brandon Carr and Brandon Flowers? Will a Chiefs defensive end ever sack the quarterback?

Actually, there seems to be quite a few questions in the lineup. Count on the Chiefs signing at least a few free agents to compete for starting jobs. I doubt an enormous spending spree takes place, however.


When do you foresee the Chiefs first win? It's difficult to even guess looking at the schedule.

Nick Athan: If they don't get consistent quarterback play it's not going to happen anytime soon. The Chiefs dropped the ball by not cutting a deal with Chad Pennington. Where the quarterback position is concerned, once again the team just didn't make the right call.

In hindsight, the Chiefs should have cut a deal with Pennington, named him the starter, made Brodie Croyle the backup, and worked him into the games. If that had happened, the Chiefs would be playing for first place this weekend. So to answer your question, it might be weeks before the Chiefs win a game.


Will the Chiefs beat Brian Griese and the Bucs?
Jonathan Ferrey

Michael Ash: Tony Gonzalez said earlier this week that you never know when the light bulb will turn on for all the young players. It'll happen at some point – the Chiefs could end up going out there one week and surprising everyone in a game nobody thought they could win.

While I'm not predicting a win this week, I wouldn't count out the first one coming against Denver. The Broncos have been scoring a ton of points, but their defense has been atrocious. Those sorts of teams often drop games they have no business losing, especially on the road. Chiefs fans know that better than anyone.

C.E. Wendler: Let's take a look at the schedule. We can't really sit here and say the Chiefs have a chance against the Broncos or Panthers the next two weeks. The Chiefs might give the Titans a game at home the week after their bye, but a win is out of the question. Meanwhile, the Jets look improved this season.

How about the Tampa Bay Buccaneers? There's a team with its own problems at the quarterback position. Heck, the Bucs are throwing the ball to Ike Hilliard and Antonio Bryant these days – not exactly a scary combination. Throw in the fact that Tampa Bay's normally dominant defense hasn't come out of the gates on fire this season, and I can see a more experienced, hungry Chiefs team beating them at Arrowhead.

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