There's No Reason To Celebrate

Chiefs Nation pumped its collective fist, jumped in the air, screamed, got drunk, fell down, stood up again and partied like it was 1989 when it heard Carl Peterson would have to buy a ticket to attend future games at Arrowhead Stadium Monday afternoon. Yes, Peterson is out as KC's General Manager/President/CEO/Draft Bust Artist/Leather Jacket Model, but is all this celebrating really appropriate?

That's the question I was asking myself as I sifted through the fallout from the announcement that Peterson had resigned Monday afternoon. That's because when the news hit, my reaction was fairly tame.

There's no question Carl Peterson has been a problem over the last decade. We don't need to recount all the failed draft picks, wasted free-agent signings and contract negotiation headaches. It's all been well documented.

But I'm hearing about Chiefs fans immediately wanting to buy season tickets. Some of you are calling for Arrowhead Stadium to be packed this Sunday against the Miami Dolphins, as a way of thanking Clark Hunt for Monday's "Arrowhead Intervention."

Whoa, now. Don't pop the champagne just yet. You'll waste it, Chiefs fans. Clark Hunt still has more pink slips to hand out before we can truly sit back, sigh in relief, and say, "Now we're getting somewhere."

As big of a problem as Peterson was, the last few years there's no question he wasn't the only one at fault. Yes, I'm talking about Herm Edwards.

In my mind, Peterson's resignation came about Monday at least in part because he hired Edwards, and in fact thought he was such a hot head-coaching candidate that he gave up a draft pick for his services after a 4-12 season. One farcical 9-7 playoff season with Dick Vermeil's leftovers followed by a 6-24 stretch later, can anyone really argue that Herm Edwards was the right hire?

Sure, there are tons of fans angry and ready for Herm to hand in his resignation papers right along with Carl. But we've also heard plenty of support from Hunt in favor of his head coach.

By accepting Peterson's resignation, isn't Hunt kind of recognizing that hiring Edwards was one of Carl's biggest blunders?

We don't need to go over all the close games that the Chiefs have lost in the fourth quarter the last two seasons under Edwards. Herm's post game press conferences after such debacles, in which he has repeatedly placed blame at the feet of his players for simply failing to "make a play" with the game on the line, always felt like he was passing the buck.

In the NFL, coaching has to make a difference when the games are close. The talent level across the league from team to team is too similar. Great head coaches do their best work in the fourth quarter when the game is on the line. Instead, we've seen Herm blow timeouts, put the game in the hands of the league's worst defense, and most recently, run Larry Johnson behind Wade Smith and Adrian Jones as if they were Tim Grunhard and Will Shields in their prime.

In light of all that, there's no reason to celebrate until Herm is riding shotgun with Peterson and they're both on their way back to California.

Carl is on his way out, and that's a step in the right direction. Unfortunately, cutting off the head of the snake isn't enough. The rest of the body is still wriggling over at The Truman Sports Complex, threatening to blow more games in the fourth quarter. And when April arrives, who knows – there are any number of rookies coming out in the draft who might be the second coming of Bernard Pollard, Turk McBride or Tamba Hali.

So sit tight, stay away from Arrowhead this weekend and pray that the new general manager Clark Hunt eventually hires has the good sense to realize just what Herm Edwards truly is – the head coach who finally lost enough games to convince Carl Peterson to leave Kansas City after 20 years.

Heck, for that, perhaps we should be thanking Herm? In any case, look at it this way - Dr. Frankenstein is gone, but his monster is still roaming the sideline at Arrowhead Stadium.

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