Posted by: pberry | January 21, 2009

How do you fix the worst defense in the NFL?

The Detroit Lions agreed to terms with Kansas City Defensive Coordinator Gunther Cunningham to take the same role. Cunningham served as the Chiefs DC from 1992-2000 when he took over as head coach. He was replaced by Dick Vermeil and later returned to his role as DC under Vermeil.

I like Gunther. I like his passion and his aggressiveness. Herm didn’t care for his mouth, but I think a defensive coach needs a little of that (as long as he can back it up). His defenses under Marty Schotenhiemer flourished. Neil Smith. Derrick Thomas. James Hasty. Dale Carter. And those were just the big names. He had a whole host of defenders that played at a level even Steelers fans could appreciate. They were tough and fast. They were the defense that single-handedly destoryed Ryan Leaf’s career forcing three fumbles and two picks in his third professional game. They were the defense that went 13-3 with Steve Bono under center. This was a defense that allowed the offense to be mediocre and still win tons of football games. And the whole time, Gunther was there calling the shots.

When he became head coach of the Chiefs, I thought it was a good move. After two seasons, he was 16-16 with no playoff appearances. The team seemed to lack the same fervor they’d had under Marty. Dick Vermeil was hired to rebuild the Rams offense in KC. But the defense was horrible, so they brought Gunther back to be the coordinator in 2004. Again, I thought it was a great move. “He was a bad head coach,” I’d say. “But you can’t argue with the defense he produced in the 90s.”

Maybe you could argue after all. Since that time, his defenses have ranked near the bottom of the NFL. Since 2004, the Chiefs used eighteen draft picks on defensive players. Jared Allen is the lone superstar in this group. I’m so glad they’ve buil….what’s that? Oh.

Save a few secondary players in the past two years, the player development has been an utter disaster has been an utter disaster. The first rounders (Hali, Johnson and Dorsey) each came in with great promise but have not developed in the slightest. The defensive line has been awful. The linebackers were worse and that’s supposed to be Cunningham’s specialty. The secondary is starting to come around, but when you’re dead last in sacks, it’s hard to keep the receivers covered.

File:Bill Cowher.jpgMaybe Steeler fans could appreciate that 1990’s Chiefs defensive because it was their team’s defense. Bill Cowher was the Chiefs DC when they drafted Thomas in 1989 and helped develop him (as well as Neil Smith who was drafted in 1988) throughout his stay until he left for Pittsburgh in 1992. Maybe Gunther was playing with Cowher’s players. Maybe he needed a great defensive mind like Marty working over him. Maybe the tradgic death of Derrick Thomas was too much for him. Or maybe he’s just lost ‘it’. Whatever it is, Gunther has coached the best and worst defensives in team history.

How do you fix the worst defense in the league? You bring in the coach of the second worst defense. Good luck, Detroit.

How do you fix the second worst defense in the league? Hire that guy over to the left. I know he’s not ready. But when he’s ready, we better have the truck full of money waiting.

Blogged with the Flock Browser

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: