Herm's Gone - What's Next?

Herm Edwards is gone. It's no secret that I'm a Herm fan, both as a coach and a person. So, I will cry in my own beer tonight and not rain on the parade many of you are having by preaching from my pro-Herm soapbox. Instead, we'll focus on what may happen in the near future.

Friday afternoon, ESPN reported that Mike Shanahan and the Chiefs are close to striking a deal. This report is believable, not only because it comes from the all-knowing ESPN, but also because it's something we here at Warpaint Illustrated have also been hearing the past few days. Ever since Shanahan was terminated by the Broncos, his name has been connected to the potentially open job in KC. As that potentially open job became a wide open job Friday afternoon, Shanahan's name was right behind it.

Rumor has it, Shanahan has been in Mexico for a full two weeks, and just returned to the US earlier this week. If that's true, it may lend some explanation for the indecision on what to do with Edwards over the last week.

The same intel WPI received earlier this week said Edwards was out and Shanahan was in, but it went a little deeper than just that. It also indicated that Shanahan and Pioli had agreed on the defensive coordinator they'd bring in upon their potential union, and that it was the decision on who would be the offensive coordinator that could slow the process.

Romeo Crennel is the name we heard as the defensive coordinator in conjunction with Shanahan, and that choice seems logical. Crennel worked with Pioli in New England and was in charge of some formidable defenses. He also understands how to work with young talent, since that's primarily what he dealt with in Cleveland as the Browns' head coach.

The snag in the Pioli/Shanahan dealings, (again, according to one source we've talked to) was the offensive coordinator. Well, the Chiefs denied Tampa Bay's request to talk to incumbent offensive coordinator Chan Gailey. That may have raised some antennas, but now it makes sense. The Chiefs didn't deny the Lions, Texans, or Broncos when they wanted to talk to Kansas City assistants, but that's probably because Pioli had no interest in retaining them.

So, if indeed our intel is correct, and Shanahan is hired, there may be a possibility that he'll retain Gailey as offensive coordinator and bring in Crennel as the defensive coordinator. That would give them, by my humble calculations, six Super Bowls by Crennel and Shanahan, Crennel winning three with the Patriots, and Shanahan winning two in Denver and one in San Francisco as offensive coordinator. Mix in Pioli's success in the front office, and there are a lot of proven winners steering the franchise.

On top of being a proven winner, Shanahan would bring supreme knowledge of the personnel in Kansas City. Who could possibly respect Tony Gonzalez more than Shanahan? What other potential coach knows as much about KC's young defensive secondary?

There are decisions to be made in Kansas City, and they start with the players who are already here. Adrian Jones and Jon McGraw are unrestricted free agents, and Jarrad Page, Jeff Webb, and Rudy Niswanger are restricted free agents heading into the full-fledged offseason.

Also, keep in mind what Shanahan has accomplished with mobile quarterbacks. He won two Super Bowls with John Elway and another as an offensive coordinator with Steve Young. He also put together good teams with Jake Plummer and Jay Cutler. All were exceptionally mobile, and so is Tyler Thigpen. If Thigpen looks like any other quarterback in the league, it's Cutler.

Shanahan is still not a done deal, but if he comes to Kansas City, you won't get any complaints from me, and probably not from Thigpen, either. I said I'd stay off my soapbox, and I tried. However, I want you to bookmark this point in Chiefs history. If five years down the road, players like Brandon Flowers, Brandon Carr, Page, Glenn Dorsey, Branden Albert, Dwayne Bowe, and Will Franklin are key members of an elite Chiefs team, remember who brought them here. Remember the man who had the vision, but lacked the time.

WarpaintIllustrated.com Top Stories