Hunt backs Edwards, says Chiefs focused on youth

Chiefs chairman Clark Hunt today enthusiastically embraced coach Herm Edwards and his plan to rebuild the Chiefs through the draft and with young players.

“I’ve spent a great deal of time thinking about where we are and how we got here and where we go from here and I do think we have the right coach in coach Edwards to help rebuild the team,’’ Hunt said, making his first public remarks since the Chiefs finished 4-12, their worst season in 30 years.

“Philosophically, he and I are on the same page, which is to build the team through the draft and develop a young franchise quarterback along the way. I want our head coach to share that philosophy. He likes to and will play young players. It’s one thing to say you want to build a team that way, but if you’re not willing to develop and play those players in a relatively short time frame, you don’ really know about them when their contract comes up. With Herm, those players are going to play and we’re going to know about every one of them.

“I fully appreciate that the team Herm inherited was an old, veteran team. In fairness to him, he needs to be given the opportunity to build the team in his image. That’s what he’s doing. Unfortunately, it doesn’t happen overnight. It does take several years. I’d like to think coach Edwards is someone who could be here for a very long time period.

Hunt wasn’t as enthusiastic about the future of general manager Carl Peterson. When asked why Peterson was returning for another season, his 20th with the Chiefs, Hunt said, “Continuity there is very important for us this season. As I analyzed the situation, stability in the front-office gives Herm and the team the best chance for success in 2008. Carl obviously has a great long-term track record as general manager. Carl has turned around a bad football team before. He’s done it several times, including here in Kansas City, so he knows how to do it. He and Herm work very well together.’’

When asked whether Peterson would be allowed to finish his contract, which runs for two more seasons, Hunt said, “That’s a decision we’ll make down the road and not something that’s appropriate to comment on now.’’