Chiefs general manager Scott Pioli is assuring fans they should feel excited about this day, but in reality, how can they be?
"Let us go through the process," stresses new head coach Romeo Crennel.
This thing could work, you know. The pendulum that is the NFL parity-machine is calling for a bounce-back 2012 for the Chiefs, and given the minute success the team has had of late, it doesn't take much to imagine Crennel being crowned as the savior next season.
In truth, however, and what we all should know by now, is none of this has anything to do with the head coach at all, really.
Because, in an ironic twist, Pioli — contradicting what he preaches to his players and coaches — has made the franchise's struggle for success and relevance correspond with his own personal quest to prove his and The Patriot Way's ultimate superiority.
If Todd Haley was the anti-establishment whose demise became imminent after becoming disloyal and overly-obsessed with defying his bosses, Crennel will be the textbook yes-man whose legacy will be defined by Pioli's ability to adjust and delegate.
And, simply put, Pioli isn't showing signs of realizing the error of his ways.
At his introductory press conference Monday, Crennel cowered behind the GM when asked about the quarterback situation and coaching staff. His words were suddenly calculated and redundant — that refreshingly honest interim head coach had already begun to fade.
Take away the big smile, add a scruffy beard ... Something tells me we've seen this act before.
Crennel is a pawn in this, and if he or Pioli wanted us to believe otherwise, the head coach wouldn't have spent his first day on the job preaching the company-line and defending the status-quo mentality that got us here.
None of this is to say Crennel isn't right for the job. It's to say that because of Pioli, he may not be.
But for the new head coach to matter, we can all agree the GM must overcome his own personal demons of preeminence and find some humility in the process.
There's no mystery here. The "window of opportunity" you hear about so often in the NFL will soon close on the Chiefs. The careers of Derrick Johnson, Tamba Hali, Jamaal Charles, and Brandon Flowers could all be squandered if Pioli fails to right the ship soon.
It's no coincidence the cornerstone players the team could least-afford to lose were all here before this regime arrived. Adjustments are needed.
It's been 18 years and six head coaches since the Chiefs' last playoff-victory. Only two other franchises have maintained a longer stretch of irrelevance.
The need for change is obvious. Pioli's shown us no sign of it, yet.