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Herman Edwards = Tony Dungy ?


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Chiefs steal play from Colts

Jan. 6, 2006

The Kansas City Star, Mo.

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - There's virtually no mystery to what is driving Carl Peterson's desire to hire Herm Edwards as the replacement for Dick Vermeil.

Peterson is an uncomplicated general manager working in a copycat league.

Bill Polian, the general manager of the Indianapolis Colts, is the best GM in professional football. He's been chosen NFL executive of the year five times. He built the Super Bowl Buffalo Bills. He jumped to the expansion Carolina Panthers and quickly turned them into a Super Bowl threat. And now, this season, Polian has constructed the most complete football team of the salary-cap era.

Bill Polian is the football man Carl Peterson wishes he was.

Well, in 2002, shortly after firing Jim Mora primarily because the Colts had one of the league's leakiest defenses and one of its most explosive offenses, Polian hired Tony Dungy to lead the Colts one week after Dungy had been fired by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Dungy, a defensive-minded coach, had been canned by the Bucs because he was perceived to be an ultraconservative offensive coach with poor clock-management skills.

Polian didn't care about Dungy's perceived shortcomings. Polian cared about Dungy's high character, uncanny ability to lead men and "Cover 2" defensive genius. Polian figured that Peyton Manning and holdover offensive coordinator Tom Moore could keep Indy's offense rolling and Dungy could fix the D.

Polian was right. Dungy, Manning and Moore are the new envy of the NFL, replacing Belichick, Brady and Weis.

Peterson is hoping that Edwards, the recently disposed Tony Dungy disciple from the Jets, can team with Trent Green and a yet-to-be-hired offensive coordinator and duplicate Indy's success.

It's a beautiful plan ... as long as Edwards buys in, Peterson retains offensive coordinator Al Saunders or lands a suitable replacement and Peterson gives Edwards the freedom to build a defensive coaching staff to his liking.

You see, things work in Indianapolis because Dungy totally trusts Manning and Moore and because Dungy has shaken his Marty Schottenheimer offensive instincts. Dungy coaches without ego. He lets Manning and Moore do their thing without worrying about who gets the credit.

Edwards is a lot like Dungy in many respects. They're both high-character individuals with strong faith. But Edwards is a bit more unpredictable, more volatile. Dungy never raises his voice. Edwards doesn't mind getting sassy with the people who challenge his decisions.

Having said all of that, Edwards is far too intelligent not to recognize the similarities between his situation and Dungy's. Edwards is too smart to screw this up. He's leaving a team that finished 4-12 and needs to be rebuilt, and joining a 10-6 squad that has a chance to compete next season.

The key will be talking with quarterback Trent Green and landing the right offensive coordinator. In my opinion, there are three options:

1. Al Saunders: He's likely going to get a head-coaching job somewhere else. Maybe the Chiefs could pay him $2 million a year to stay on as offensive coordinator. But I'm not sure Saunders and Green have the same type of chemistry as Moore and Manning. Saunders and Green don't have an equal partnership. Saunders believes in his system more than he does his personnel.

2. Norv Turner: Green absolutely loves Turner, who was just fired as head coach of the Raiders. Green credits Turner for being the guy who believed in him when no one else did when Green entered the league as a late-round draft pick. Turner was the coordinator of the Jimmy Johnson/Dallas Cowboys Super Bowl teams. There are a lot of similarities between KC's current offensive personnel and the personnel on those Dallas offenses-punishing, run-blocking lines, Jay Novacek and Tony Gonzalez, Emmitt Smith and Larry Johnson, Troy Aikman and Green.

3. Mike Solari: Kansas City's offensive-line coach has earned the right to be a coordinator. He has the necessary intellect and temperament to be a play-caller. The only thing I question is whether his relationship with Green is deep enough to handle the kind of autonomy Edwards will need to give the offense.

I'm leaning toward Turner but would be satisfied with any of the three.

It also will be interesting to see what Edwards thinks of defensive coordinator Gunther Cunningham. Edwards, an assistant under Dungy at Tampa Bay, prefers the "Cover 2" scheme, which requires the safeties to hang back and the corners to cover the short zones. It's quite a bit different than the blitz-happy, man-to-man schemes that made Cunningham famous in KC in the 1990s.

Well, anyway, I can't say that I disagree with King Carl's plan. If he pulls this off-puts together the right coaching staff-I'll hold off on my "Dethrone the King" campaign for at least another year. I'm excited about the hiring of Herm Edwards


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That is the worst article I have ever read. They are two totally different men aside from their skin color.

Agreed. Dungy was smart enough to leave Tom Moore and Manning alone when he took over Indy. Din't try to reinvent the wheel when things worked on that side of the ball. Edwards came to the Jets and immediately wanted to implement his "systems"-WCO and Cover 2, personnel be damned. And while he's cordial and polite with the press, I doubt Dungy ever spent 2 hours of any work week talking to reporters. Description of most successful NFL coaches seems apt-Dungy will talk to you for a few minutes and only through the screen door.And that's how it should be; I really don't think it's anyone's business what these guys do outside of their work. Even when it got very ugly in his last days in Tampa, he was grace and class all the way. While everyone has sympathy for the death of his son, he has never spent his day worrying about the press and himself. And he doesn't have a list in some desk drawer with his enemies written on it like Edwards. He couldn't care less.

And what ever happens to Dungy and the Colts, God bless him and his family. To go through burying a child must be unimaginable grief. To go about your business as he has the last few weeks speaks volumes as to the quality of this man.

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That is the worst article I have ever read. They are two totally different men aside from their skin color.

Not true, they both like to talk alot when things are going well and cry like bitches when things aren't going so well.

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Difference, AIK, is that Edwards is not too smart and can screw this up. Everything's peaches&cream today. Wait until he starts getting the big ideas he had here in KC how he wants the offense and defense run his way. And struts around with Peterson's backing as if he knows what he's doing. We haven't heard what Cunningham or Saunders are doing. Wait until the Chiefs are 2-5 and Edwards starts his "gelling" rap, as if training camp was just an inconsequential field trip.

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