Chiefs Need New Blood, Not Mike Shanahan, to Replace Herman Edwards

After just six measly wins in his last two seasons in Kansas City, head coach Herman Edwards was justifiably showed the door by new Chiefs GM Scott Pioli. The move completes Kansas City's house cleaning after the end of the failed Carl Peterson era.

The team needed a change, and with the vacancy at the head coach position, now is the time for Pioli to truly leave a mark. For Pioli, a veteran in the NFL where he has been in charge of Player Personnel for four different teams at three different levels within their organizations, his expertise in choosing a successor to Edwards can only help.

However, the word out of Kansas City Friday night has revolved around Mike Shanahan stepping in. Shanahan was fired in Denver last month, where he failed to make the playoffs for three years running. Yes, he would bring a high profile boss to the city, but is Shanahan really what the Chiefs need? No.

If Pioli wants to lead the Chiefs in a new direction, he should start off by not making the same mistakes that Carl Peterson has made. He needs to go after some new blood. Bringing in an aging high profile, and formerly successful head coach exploded in Peterson's face with his signings of Dick Vermeil and Herm Edwards.

While Vermeil coached the Chiefs into mediocrity for all but one 13-win season, Edwards absolutely flopped. When are NFL general managers going to learn that coaches have gotten fired for a reason? Edwards failed in New York with better players, and so it was inevitable that he would repeat his poor performance in Kansas City.

New blood is what the NFL needs, and lately it has been the cause of many teams' success. This year's Super Bowl will see two sophomore coaches, and ex-coordinators in their first head coaching jobs, as both Mike Tomlin and Ken Whisenhunt were sensational hires.

Baltimore turned around quickly in 2008 under John Harbaugh, and the the Miami Dolphins shocked the world by making the playoffs under new head coach Tony Sparano.

It's a trend that is revitalizing the game, making it younger and boosting energy throughout. The Jets caught on this year with former Ravens defensive coordinator Rex Ryan, and so did the Broncos with Shanahan's replacement, 32-year old Josh McDaniels.

With all these recent success stories with new blood, why would the Chiefs make the deadly mistake of rehashing Mike Shanahan whose success is almost exclusively linked to the Hall of Fame play of John Elway.

Just like Edwards, Shanahan would inherit a poor, quartbackless Chiefs team, one that finished six games behind the Broncos in 2008. If he can't win with Jay Cutler and Champ Bailey leading his team, how can Shanahan lead a potential raw talent like Mark Sanchez to glory?

Pioli needs to follow the new trend of new blood, and not the age old trend of head coach roulette.

So who would fit the bill for Kansas City? Todd Haley, the Arizona Cardinals offensive coordinator. He's fiery, tempered, innovative, and would bring a youthful exuberance to the Chiefs. He's worked with difficult personalities like Terrell Owens and Keyshawn Johnson, so he's well suited to coach the frustrated Larry Johnson and get the most out of him.

Should the Chiefs draft Sanchez, Haley could groom him like he did with Tony Romo in Dallas, and Sanchez's former teammate Matt Leinart in Arizona, not to mention Kurt Warner. Also, Haley brings with him the experience of working under Super Bowl coaches Bill Parcells, Lovie Smith and Ken Whisenhunt, and worked with Pioli with the New York Jets from 1997-2000.

Todd Haley is the man for the job in Kansas City.

Scott Pioli, the decision is on you, and you can make the choice you feel best fits your team's needs. But before you do, take into account the successes of new coaches. And please, don't forget that coaches are fired for a reason.

Photo: NY Daily News


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