Yardbarker Horiz

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Kansas City: Pioli Dealing With Unrest

Chiefs running back Larry Johnson is not subtle.  Nor does he conduct himself at all times as a perfect gentleman.  Nevertheless, it appeared that somehow Coach Todd Haley had reached an understanding with Johnson which put LJ on the path of a model teammate.  That is, until Larry blew up his career with Twitter.

Pioli spent his 2009 bye week suspending, then reaching a settlement with Johnson and his agent regarding the one-game-but-two-paychecks suspension (settlement was that only one paycheck would be lost -- a little weak for Pioli considering the player called his coach "unqualified" and used derogatory slurs publicly).

The Chiefs came out of the bye to lose at Jacksonville, dropping the Chiefs to 1-7.

The next day, Larry Johnson was cut from the Chiefs roster.   

Johnson was 75 yards away from becoming the all-time yardage leader among Chiefs running backs.  Is this the only scourge on the roster?  Is more bloodletting needed to bring order in Kansas City?

The Chiefs are a non-factor in the NFC West as well as the NFL in general having not won a playoff game in over 15 years (how long? . . . since Joe Montana was QB!).  With apathy having set in long ago, the Chiefs fan base is angry but exhausted.

Pioli still has years of work ahead of him to shake off the cobwebs in the Chiefs organization.  And then will have to win back a fanbase which is more tuned in to college sports than pro sports. Only Cleveland and Jacksonville appear to be bigger challenges.  Which franchise will win a playoff game first?  Answer:  get to .500 and then we'll talk.

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