Mascot Scout rides again (Kansas City Star photo)
Our Kansas City Chiefs, winners of a measly four games last year, have won ten (yup, 1-0) games this year, and have won the AFC West Championship! This is a remarkable turnaround. The ten games is more than the team has won in the past three years.
This is a real tribute to the work put in by the players and coaches--the desire and dedication to improve in all areas of the game. Last year, for example, Head Coach Todd Haley tried also to run the offense. He conceded that it did not work, and the Chiefs obtained the services of Charley Weiss, a fine offensive coach. The Chiefs realized the defense needed both better coaching and players and hired a great defensive coach and drafted some excellent players.
The biggest improvement, not just over last year, but over the course of this year, is the quarterback, Matt Cassel. He has improved so much that it is almost incomprehensible. Given better coaching (they worked endlessly with him on mechanics, to drop back and release the ball quicker on passes) and better surrounding players, Cassel has just bloomed, making good reads and judgments, avoiding turnovers and becoming a leader of the whole team.
Second is the work of the defense. They have occasionally had a klunker of a game, but generally they have been more than adequate. Sometimes bending but not breaking, and sometimes not even bending, they have rose to the occasion many times during the season.
The metro is starting to get excited about the team again--I am seeing more Chiefs garb on folks--not new stuff but the stuff they had back in the 1990s and early 2000s when the team was good before. Now, folks just have to get back into the habit of going to the games--the stadium, while obviously loud and rowdy today, was not full. It has to be full for our home playoff game! (I can't believe I just wrote those words.)
Congratulations to the Chiefs players and staff for a job well done!