Warpaint Roundtable – Offseason Edition V

This week we discuss the draft, KC's future defensive coordinator, the scheme he will run, and Anquan Boldin.

Do you think the Chiefs should trade for Anquan Boldin or draft Michael Crabtree? We need another receiver!

Nick Athan: No question they should try and make the trade for Boldin. Randy Moss went for a fourth-round pick, but the Cardinals won't part with Boldin outside of a first round pick or a package of players. Larry Johnson? The problem is that Arizona might not feel too comfortable trading Boldin. They just lost their offensive coordinator and the Chiefs might be soon raiding more of their staff.

Crabtree, outside of Curry, would make the most sense for the Chiefs. The offense will struggle unless they find someone who can challenge Dwayne Bowe at the wide receiver spot. He's not yet a number one receiver, based on his drops a year ago, and the Chiefs must find someone who is better at route running, catching the ball and stretching the field.

Michael Ash: Trading for Boldin would make absolutely no sense. He's a good player, there's no doubt about that, but he's a possession receiver. That's not a bad thing by any means, but the Chiefs already have two: Dwayne Bowe and Tony Gonzalez. Why should they surrender draft picks to add another one?

Consider Boldin's behavior during the NFC Championship game, in which he complained about his playing time and left early after the biggest win in Arizona's history. Does that really sound like the sort of player Scott Pioli wants to bring to the Chiefs?

What the Chiefs need is a receiver with some speed to compliment Bowe and Gonzalez. They need someone who can stretch the defense and make big plays downfield. Michael Crabtree doesn't fit that mold, a notion he's supporting with his decision not to run at the NFL Combine. Have you heard of any evaluations that consider Crabtree on the level of Calvin Johnson, Larry Fitzgerald or Andre Johnson? For a team with as many needs as the Chiefs, he doesn't make much sense, either.

C.E. Wendler: Yes, the Chiefs need as many receivers as possible. First, let's bring in Matt Millen to advise Scott Pioli. Once the Chiefs are finished trading for Boldin and drafting Crabtree, they should deal next year's first-round pick for Torry Holt. With that many targets, the quarterback will be irrelevant, and so will the defense. The Pistol offense, led by Tyler Thigpen, will outscore everyone.

With the combine upcoming, and varied speculation about what the Chiefs might do with the #3 overall pick, what are your thoughts and feelings about what the Chiefs should do with our first-round pick?

Nick Athan: The Chiefs should draft Wake Forest linebacker Aaron Curry to begin the conversion to a 3-4 defensive scheme. Of all the available picks in the top five, he's the surest bet. If the Chiefs plan to address their quarterback situation by trading for Matt Cassel or making a run at a veteran like Donovan McNabb or Carson Palmer, they're going to be tempted or give the illusion that they're interested in Matt Stafford or Mark Sanchez. But Scott Pioli might want to trade the pick and pick up an extra second and third-rounder. But if all else fails, Curry makes sense.

Will the Chiefs draft Aaron Curry?
Chuck Burton - AP

Michael Ash: Since it appears the Chiefs will have a chance to grab one of the draft's top two quarterbacks, I'd like to see them go in that direction. Obviously, though, it'll all boil down to how they evaluate the players.

Pioli and Haley aren't going to draft a quarterback just because people think they should - they'll draft one because they believe he's a franchise-caliber player. Ultimately, I want them to draft whoever they think will be the best possible addition to the Chiefs.

C.E. Wendler: To be honest, I feel the same way I did a year ago. Whoever the Chiefs draft will be just fine with me. Michael Crabtree? Another receiver wouldn't hurt. One of the quarterbacks? Exciting. Michael Oher? People will scream about investing too much into the offensive line, but it's hard to complain about having a pair of talented bookend tackles. My personal preference, of course, is Matt Stafford, who is so reminiscent of Jay Cutler.

What defensive scheme should we run? 4-3.....3-4?

Nick Athan: The Chiefs don't have the personnel to run a 3-4, but don't have the personnel to run a 4-3, either. However, we know Pioli is a 3-4 guy and if reports are accurate that either Crennell or Gibbs might end up as the new defensive coordinator, then you can bet a 3-4 is coming.

Fortunately, with so much cap space the Chiefs can sign the two linebackers they need. They might have to overspend to get it done, but they have the money. Either way this isn't going to be a short term fix. Regardless of scheme or coordinator this defense is at least two years away from being a top unit, and that's what it's going to need to be if the Chiefs want to experience playoff success.

Michael Ash: The Chiefs pretty much have to run a 4-3 until further notice. They don't have the defensive line or linebackers to play a 3-4. If the plan is to ultimately switch to a 3-4, it probably won't happen overnight. It may take a season or two before enough players who fit that scheme can be added to the roster.

C.E. Wendler: We may see a lot of hybrid looks from the Chiefs next year, perhaps similar to what the Denver Broncos did last season in a fruitless attempt to solve their defensive problems. Kansas City's defense will most likely struggle regardless of the scheme, so why not start moving toward that 3-4 if that's the preference? If Pioli finds a 330-pound nose tackle via the draft, he'll need to start learning the ropes immediately.

When do you think Haley and Pioli will hire a defensive coordinator and who do you think it will be?

Nick Athan: From what we're hearing it could be middle of the coming week. Haley must get his coaching staff in place before the NFL Combine begins. It's imperative that he begins the evaluation process on his own players and also defines his offense and defense. Pioli drafts players to fit a system and right now nobody knows what that system is. With the Chiefs' recent cuts at the coaching position, you have to wonder if this is just the beginning.

Will Romeo Crennel be KC's new defensive coordinator?
Tony Dejak - AP

Either way, Haley needs some veteran coaches around him. with the weakened state of the candidates at the moment, I'm not sure how strong a cast he'll be able to find. All he has to choose from are the coaching outcasts from other clubs, and that might prove problematic going forward. He might hire some stopgaps and hope for a better class in 2010.

Michael Ash: I'm sure they'll hire one soon, but when they feel like announcing it to the rest of us is anyone's guess. I have no insight on a potential hire, but bringing in a coach like Romeo Crennel would inspire confidence. A few of the retread names that have been floated, like Jim Haslett, wouldn't be too bad. There are also some lesser-known names that are intriguing, like Eagles' secondary coach Sean McDermott.

C.E. Wendler: For all we know, they already have in the form of Gary Gibbs. Adam Schefter reported Friday that he'd been hired by the Chiefs to either be defensive coordinator or linebackers coach. Considering the secretive nature of the operations at One Arrowhead Drive these days, it's entirely possible Gibbs is KC's new defensive coordinator. Failing that, I can't see how it can be anyone but Crennel. How can you pass up a coach who coordinated Super Bowl defenses?

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