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Examiner
  • Stephen Brown: Chiefs must establish winning culture

  • A start like this has fans scrambling for answers. It's more than just Matt Cassel.

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  • A start like this has fans scrambling for answers. It's more than just Matt Cassel.
    Everyone figured the Chiefs had the players to win. Romeo Crennel has the Super Bowl experience to coach them to win. Scott Pioli came from a team with multiple Super Bowl wins.
    As far as management goes, the experience is there to win and go to the playoffs. The pieces are in place, but with Baltimore coming to town, Kansas City is 0-2 at home.
    What's missing?
    I have a theory; I think it has to do with a winning culture and the lack thereof. It's the absence of past success. You can throw an engine in a car but it takes more than placing it there to make it run.
    Pioli has positioned players on the roster, but they haven't won. Currently, they're just parts.
    Prior to Scott Pioli, Kansas City's record was 15-33 with Herman Edwards. Since Pioli came to KC the Chiefs are 22-30. Overall, Kansas City is 37-63 since 2006. That's a history of losing.
    Which players do fans look to as leaders that have been in Kansas City since 2006?
    Tamba Hali was drafted in 2006. Dwayne Bowe came in 2007. The 2008 draft had the most players that fans currently see on the roster. Players like Glenn Dorsey, Brandon Flowers, Jamaal Charles and Branden Albert. Seven seasons in the NFL and Hali has seen just one winning season.
    As good as Hali is, what can he tell Justin Houston about winning consistently? Hali can’t, because he hasn't seen it. Only two starters experienced a playoff game prior to 2010, Derrick Johnson and Dustin Colquitt in 2006 with Edwards.
    Johnson has the talent, but like Hali hasn't known winning regularly. There wasn't a culture of winning when Eric Berry was drafted and there still isn't.
    That's a hurdle Scott Pioli hasn't cleared.
    The current players want to win, but they haven't figured it out. If they had Kansas City wouldn't be struggling like they are. Fans wouldn't hear Brandon Albert tell the media about losing focus.
    Since last season, the Chiefs are 3-7 at home.
    This past Sunday, the Chief alumni were at Arrowhead Stadium to watch the game against the San Diego Chargers. Many were unhappy with what they saw, but those watching came from past Chief teams that were good. Some are in the Hall of Fame. They were part of winning cultures and had teammates to teach them.
    Some didn't need it, like Derrick Thomas. Thomas was a man as a rookie, but that's not the norm. Usually it takes a routine of winning that's in place to rub off on the new guy.
    Page 2 of 2 - The heavy hitters on the Chiefs roster today haven't had those elders to instruct them. Nobody on the Chiefs roster knows what it means to win steady as a Chief. What it means to go to the playoffs and win.
    Ever start from scratch? It's not easy. There was no proper change of command. Besides Mike Vrabel, Casey Weigmann and maybe Ryan Lilja, it's been baptism by fire for players like Brandon Flowers and Dwayne Bowe.
    Marty Schottenheimer created a positive culture (62-18 at home) and Dick Vermeil (28-12 at home), but after them nothing.
    I’m not making excuses, but seeing the lack of wins and veteran leadership, I get why Kansas City has struggled to find an identity.
    It's not that Crennel doesn't have the know-how or information but he's not on the field with them. There's only so much a coach can say or do, the rest is up to the players.
    For fans who knew the culture of the ’90s and Vermeil, it's hard. It's tough to experience and endure what we see, Marty hardly ever lost at Arrowhead Stadium, but truth is these players haven't experienced winning big in the NFL.
    Having a better quarterback always helps, but it's not going to solve everything. The present Chiefs need to develop a winning habit. Once they do they can teach the next generation and hopefully that attitude develops and continues like it has for other successful teams.
    You don't know what you don't know. Right now the Chiefs don't know how to win, they're not dependable.
    Will winning start against a hardened playoff team like the Baltimore Ravens? The odds aren't in the Chiefs’ favor, but success needs to start. Pioli's 2012 free agents haven't panned out – Eric Winston hasn't changed things. It's more than just adding parts, but winning comes from the inside.
    When the light does come on, fans will know it. They just hope it doesn't take too long.
    Good day, Chiefs fans!
     
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