I admit that this is bad, but I have been taking a ghoulish delight in the meltdown that is the Kansas City Chiefs this season. Now, this is not because I actually harbor any ill-will towards the team. After all, they aren’t regular opponents of the Browns, and really haven’t done anything particularly heartbreaking against the team. Yes, there was the infamous “helmet” incident, but that was entirely on the Brown’s player, and not something that the Chiefs did.
No, my pleasure is derived from the fact that the Chiefs are proof that people who failed with the Browns previously are, in fact, just not good at their jobs, and that this wasn’t some sort of failure by the Browns to realize untapped potential.
In fact, the Chiefs are practically the Browns v 2.0 right now. The roll call is frightening in terms of who’s migrated over there:
Scott Pioli — GM. He was originally thought to be a top contender for taking over as Brown’s GM, and at the time, was considered to be the best man in the NFL for a GM position. In the end, typical Lerher weirdness took place, with Pioli not getting the job, first being reported as “asking for the moon,” but later reports contradicting such statements. Whatever. As it turns out, it doesn’t look like he was up to the task, as his 4 years have only lead to the current disaster. I will say that Tom Heckett’s time in Cleveland has been far more productive (and, of course, now he may easily be fired at the end of the season due to the new regime, ugh).
Romeo Crennel — When Romeo took over as interim coach last year and won some games, and was then hired on full time, I could see this outcome happening. After all, I saw it in Cleveland: he has a great run, and then just can not keep the team together as a head coach. A great guy by all accounts, but seemingly overwhelmed with how to fix problems on the team.
Brain Daboll — Daboll, as all Browns fans remember, was an offensive coordinator for the first time with the Browns, having previously been a QB coach. He wound up taking a huge amount of flak in Cleveland for the tepid play-calling, low-scoring, and general offensive ineptitude. I don’t think that anyone in the city was sad to see him go. He went on to the Dolphins, and started to have some more success (although the Dolphins were one of the 4 teams to lose to the Browns). But so far his work at the Chiefs has still been as uninspiring as ever. Recently, the big complaint is that he is not getting the ball to his best players — a charge, by the way, that was often leveled at him here in Cleveland.
(By the way, all of the three gents above were part of the Patriots dynasty of the early 2000s, so it’s easy to see why they would all form together again.)
Brady Quinn — 1st round draft pick of the Browns, meant to be Cleveland’s new franchise QB. He came from a winning program, was a Browns fan as a kid, and was instantly loved by the fan base. Unfortunately, he turned out to transition poorly to the pro game, having constant accuracy problems and also injury issues. In fact, even the old Browns motif of the QB controversy is now inherited by the Chiefs: Matt Cassel is benched for mediocre play, Brady is officially given the job for the rest of the season, but then Brady is injured in his first game as a starter, and now Cassel is back as the starter for a couple games. This is exactly the same type of thing that the Browns have suffered through for years with Couch/Holcomb, and Anderson/Quinn. Especially because it was essentially one average QB replacing another.
Peyton Hillis — The breakout star and darling of the fans the year he hit over 1,000 yards rushing, Hillis then followed that up with a year marred by injuries, bad agent decisions, flakiness on a level not seen since a reality TV show, and questionable work ethics. Oh, and fumbles. He did get things together in the last few games of the season, but by then, it was too late. Now, he works on the Chiefs, but still has problems with fumbles and injuries.
For me, the most beautiful moment of this whole ordeal for the Chiefs was this excerpt for the recap of their week 2 game against the Buffalo Bills, which KC lost 17 – 35:
“I thought that we would be better, and we’re not,” coach Romeo Crennel said. “So we have to try and figure out what that is. From what I’ve seen, if we do what we’re supposed to do, then we would be better.”
KC’s offense managed just 71 yards on its first five possessions and then coughed up the ball on its sixth, when Hillis fumbled at the goal line.
“I messed up and let the team down,” Hillis said. “I put the blame on myself.”
I swear, replace the “KC’s” with “Brown’s” and this would have been a word-for-word reprint from a Browns recap of a loss just a couple of years ago.