KANSAS CITY, Missouri - Former Kansas City head coach Dick Vermeil expects better things from the Chiefs this year, but admits things don’t come overnight.
“I think they’ll be better,” Vermeil said. “I don’t want to put too much pressure on them.”
Vermeil, who won a Super Bowl with the St. Louis Rams in 2000 before his five-year stint as the coach of the Chiefs (2001-2005), says for him, it was always the third year of his tenure when things started to turn around.
“Here, 13-3, win nine straight. The Rams, it was a World Championship. The Eagles, it was our first playoff. It takes time.”
If that philosophy works out, the Chiefs have another full season before they completely turn things around. Coach Todd Haley enters his second year in Kansas City and comes off a 4-12 season.
But Vermeil says they weren’t as bad as their record. “They lost some games last year they had no business losing.”
Vermeil says if he was coaching the Chiefs, he’d try to build some confidence in his team by keeping the starters in for longer than normal in the preseason.
“It’d be great to see them win some preseason games now, and almost do it on purpose, and gain some momentum going into the season.”
Vermeil, who has been out of football since retiring from the Chiefs, says the thing he misses most about coaching in Kansas City is Arrowhead Stadium.
“That’s a great (game-day) atmosphere,” he said. “The coaches come in early, at 9 o’clock in the morning, the barbecues are already going, the smoke is filling the parking lot.”
Vermeil called it an atmosphere that couldn’t be matched anywhere else in the NFL.
Vermeil is in town for the 15th Annual Kansas City Festival of Food and Wine, where he will be touting Vermeil Wines, the company he has spent most of his time on since leaving football.
Click on the video above to hear Vermeil talk more about his wine and more about what he thinks about the Chiefs.