Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Experience: That most brutal of teachers

How "young" are the 2-13 KC Chiefs?

Half of the players on the 53-man roster have two years of pro experience or less, including the 18 rookies on the roster.

As a point of comparison, the 13-2 Titans only have six rookies on their roster.

Clearly, the team's youth is one reason for its record this season. [Going back to last year, the club has lost 22 of 24.]

But the decision to take their lumps now -- as difficult as it's been -- was the right one, according to KC coach Herm Edwards.

"This was the right thing to do for the organization. When you do something like this, you’re doing it for the right reasons. That’s something I thought about and we all thought about, but it was the correct thing to do. This is going to be a good football team. There’s no doubt about that.

The experience this team has gained will help them next year. These games we let slip away will be ones that you win.

I believe (the Chiefs are) well-coached. It’s a young team. It’s gained a lot of experience. [Despite the losses and injuries] they continued to play with tremendous effort. They don’t always do everything right, but the effort has been there for the most part, and that’s what you hope for as a coach."

Young teams, regardless of what level they're playing at, are generally at a disadvantage as they simply don't have the luxury of experience on their side.

I recently saw a talented but young group of high school kids get beat by an older, less talented team. This season, we've seen it at the college level (with Tom Crean) and the pro level (with Don Nelson), too.

In the words of C.S. Lewis:

"Experience: That most brutal of teachers. But you learn. My God do you learn."