This seems to be the mantra of the remaining Hermheads as they struggle to defend the indefensible. As they retreat from the crumbling “he improves the defense” stick wall, they franticly work on building the “he can identify and develop talent” straw house as their last bastion. But where does the latter argument come from? What is the evidence? Ignoring the fact that this “ability” is but a small part of what is necessary to be a good head coach, is there any proof whatsoever to this claim that Herm excels at identifying and developing talent?
I’m at a loss as to what people are basing this on. It can’t be his time with the Jets. Although I’m not that familiar with the Jets players, there’s nothing about their Herm Era Drafts (2001-2005) that says they’re anything but average (or worse). In fact, only 12 players from those five draft classes are still with the team (only two more than the same period of Vermeil drafts and the Chiefs, where we traded a lot of top picks away). I also can’t imagine people are basing this off his free agent acquisitions while with the Jets, because the team only got worse, in general, under Herm and continues to struggle mightily to this day. That is, unless you think his talent development was undermined by his horrid coaching – which just emphasizes the fact that he should be in player development or an assistant rather than a head coach.
So if it’s not his time with the Jets and these Herm supporters insist that he should remain as head coach, they must be basing their argument on his time with the Chiefs, as it’s his only other head coaching experience. But what about the last two decades under Herm, or I mean last two years (it only seems like 20 years), has told you that he has an unmatched eye for talent and development?
Is it his draft picks? First off, I don’t think you can draw many conclusions on draft picks after just 1.8 seasons (or 0.8 seasons). However, even if you insist on instant draft grades, I don’t see anything exceptional about Herm’s two drafts with the Chiefs. There have been 14 picks. Marcus Maxey and Justin Medlock are long gone. Tre Stallings and Michael Allan are practice squad fodder. Jeff Webb and Bernard Pollard’s ceilings keep getting lower. Brodie Croyle, Turk McBride, DeMarcus Tyler, and Herb Taylor remain unknowns at this point. Kolby Smith now looks like the 5th round pick that he was. Tamba Hali had an impressive rookie season, but now opponents are choosing to run at him and he often seems indecisive and out of position. The best pick so far has been Dwayne Bowe, who was a pretty safe first round pick that many draft experts agreed we should take.
So who does that leave? Jarrad Page. Are people claiming this supposedly indispensable “talent” of Herm’s based on this one pick? This one single player who has provided a very high return for a 7th round pick? While that was a good hit (so far), it’s not uncommon. Teams routinely get production from their late round picks, or even from undrafted college free agents. Just look around the league and you’ll find plenty of them. Tom Brady was a 6th round pick. We didn’t even make the best pick in the 7th round of 2006 by choosing Page. That distinction would have to go to the Saints with their choice of Marques Colston. In fact, he was picked AFTER Page in the 7th round that year.
So still lacking any evidence, these Hermheads must be referring to Herms Free-Agency and roster handling with the Chiefs. Choices like Damon over Trent, Drummond over Hall, Medlock over Tynes – wait a minute, those were all horrible decisions. Then how about Chris Terry, Kyle Turley, and two 6th round picks to shore up our offensive line? A disaster. Ty Law, James Reed, Napoleon Harris, Ron Edwards? Eh, they’re so-so. Donnie Edwards has been huge, but he’s Carl Perterson’s guy, not Herm’s by a long shot. Ah, Alfonso Boone. That’s been a pretty good pickup. So because of Alfonso Boone, Herm is the perfect fit to rebuild this team – or so the Hermheads seem to be telling us. What a joke.
So I beg any of you Hermheads out there to send me ANY proof or evidence of Herm’s superior abilities in improving this team, whether it be improving the defense or his supposed unequalled ability to scout and develop players. I’m entirely serious in this request. I would love to hear some good reasons and evidence, because without them my mind remains continuously “blown” by the fact that some people still think Herm is the right choice for this team. So if you are willing, please either email me at email@example.com or post at the “warpath commentary” section of the “talk about it” link below. I would love to hear from you and I’ll analyze any rational pro-Herm arguments in my next article.
One extra bit. I know it’s been talked about many times at this site before, but man, Herm just doesn’t care about the offense. You ask about it, and you get something about the defense… almost every time. Here’s one of the most blatant examples in Herm’s postgame comments this week (according to the transcripts at www.kcchiefs.com):
Q: But then you got the nice drive, but again…
EDWARDS: “Yeah, they made plays in the passing game. When we blitzed them we
didn’t get there; when we had to cover them we didn’t cover them; and when we
had the ability to tackle them we didn’t tackle them.”
VLTC: I think the question was regarding our one scoring drive on offense. Herm ignores it. This has become a constant for Herm. I want to know why the media keeps letting him get away with it without criticism.