With rebuilding job incomplete, Edwards wants to return to Chiefs

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Even knowing now that Kansas City's rebuilding program may cost him his job, Herm Edwards insists he would do it again.

"Because it was the right thing to do for the organization," Edwards said Monday, one week after his future was thrown into doubt by the abrupt resignation of president and general manager Carl Peterson.

"I said that from the beginning," Edwards said. "I said when you do something like this, you're doing it for the right reasons. That was something I thought about, something we all thought about, and it was the correct thing to do."

As owner Clark Hunt begins his search for a new general manager, the Chiefs (2-13) prepare to close out the worst season in franchise history on Sunday at Cincinnati.

Edwards, who launched the rebuilding project with Hunt's blessing, said he has no idea if this will be his final game. He's made no attempt to hide the fact that he hopes to come back and continue the program that this year included 18 rookies.

"Absolutely. There's no doubt about that," he said.

When announcing Peterson's resignation, Hunt spoke supportively of Edwards. Hunt said the decision on a head coach would be his but that the new general manager would have "significant input."

The Chiefs were a franchise-worst 1-7 at home. Starting on Oct. 26 with a four-point loss at the New York Jets, they've been competitive in all but one outing. Eight of their losses, including Sunday's 38-31 setback to Miami, have been by seven points or fewer.

"I think if you go back and look at how we've played, I think from the Jets game, we've played pretty consistent," Edwards said. "And that's what you want to see in a young football team."

Other problems included the four-week absence of top running back Larry Johnson, who was benched three games by the team for disciplinary reasons and suspended one game by the league.

"I think we've done a good job in this sense, of dealing with all the adversity that's happened around this team," Edwards said.

"When you go into a season where you're going to try to rebuild and play as many young players, you can't take account of the things that are going to happen along the way. When you think about all the things that have happened to this football team, whether it be on the field or off the field, the changes we had to make on both sides of the ball due to injuries, I think for the most part, we've handled it the best way we knew how as a football staff."

Edwards said he's confident he and his staff have done a good job.

"I just believe it's a young team. It's gained a lot of experience. A lot of players have gained a lot of playing experience. That's probably the biggest thing, and with that are going to come errors," he said.

So does he have a sense that this could be his last game?

"No, not at all. I don't think about that at all," Edwards said. "I think about preparing for this week, and that's it."

One criticism that has not been leveled at Edwards or his coaches is lack of effort. Even when they were blown out, the Chiefs have played hard.

"They continue to play with tremendous effort. They don't always do everything right, but I think the effort's been there for the most part," Edwards said. "And that's what you hope for as a coach."

A persistent problem, even after the quarterback situation stabilized and the team became competitive, has been weak second halves. Typical was the Dolphins game. At halftime, the Chiefs led 28-24. But they scored only three points in the second half.

"You can only do so much. You can't control how they play on the field. They've got to learn how to do that," Edwards said. "I think a lot of them have gotten better. But I think when you have so many young players playing, there's always going to be errors made.

"I think we played with tremendous energy in the first quarter and second quarter," he said. "And then in the third and fourth quarter we get a little bit, `Oh, boy.' And I think that's just part of growing up and maturing."

Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press

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