With the NFL Season officially over and the Giants once again defeating the Patriots in the Super Bowl, I can safely look forward to the Chiefs off-season and the start of the 2012 NFL season and the bright spots that are there.
The first thing the team needs to do is finalize the coaching staff. The last position of need is the offensive coordinator. The Chiefs have already brought in and interviewed the likes of Jim Zorn and Al Saunders. The current water-cooler gossip now is that the Chiefs will most likely sign Brian Daboll. "Who is that?" might you ask, but let me explain. Daboll was the OC for the dolphins last season, but before that he played in Cleveland and...wait for it....New England. He has ties with Scott Pioli and Bill Belichick. He also has experience with Romeo Crennel and Matt Cassel. His numbers in Miami are not that impressive, but consider that he helped Reggie Bush reach career best's last season, and the Dolphins offensive unit was more productive as the season wore on. Potentially a bright spot since Cassel will already have some familiarity of the new system, should help ease the transition to a new coordinator and play-caller.
Secondly, for most people the off-season begins with the NFL draft in late April and there is also time for free agent signings. Before the Chiefs can begin to look at the free agent market, they have some key free agents of their own that they need to sign. I could see them putting the Franchise tag on Bowe and watching the development for 1 more year. While he shows flashes of brilliance, his attitude and commitment to the game has been questioned. The Chiefs MUST resign Carr. With Carr and Flowers, the Chiefs have developed one of the most underrated CB tandems and with Berry coming back after an injury, Lewis having a very good 2011 campaign and Arenas developing as the nickle DB the secondary is shoring up nicely and the Chiefs will only need to add depth. There are also some key-guys that helped contribute to the success of the 2011 season and those guys need to be around in 2012. Guys like Belcher, Gilberry and Battle. There are a few other guys that "could" make the roster, but there are a lot of 30's somethings whose better days are far behind them. Now is the time to trim the fat and keep only those who can still produce results.
The Chiefs also have some glaring needs on both sides of the ball along the lines of scrimmage and, in my opinion, should look to the free agent market for skill players in the trenches. If this team is serious about winning now, they need to get someone who can be productive now. Then draft your rookies and have them teach the system. Let's start with the most glaring need and that is the O-Line, specifically the RT position. The current line of Albert (27), Lilja (30), Hudson (22), Asamoah (23), Richardson (25) is fairly young. I replaced Wiegmann (38) with Hudson because I think he is going to be release. Hudson has shown that he is capable of replacing him last season, and I believe that he will replace him in 2012.
Of the available OT's, the biggest name is former Raven/Chief Jared Gaither. I has happy to see the Chiefs bring him in but was surprised to see them waive him a few weeks later. I know he has had back troubles, but when he went to the Chargers, he seemed to play extremely well, and helped solidify that offensive line. I think we made a mistake in letting him go. After him, the market dries up, and the Chiefs will need to look towards the draft. Next we move to the interior with a OG. The available market is slightly deeper here, and with guys like Carl Nicks (NO) and Ben Grubbs (BAL) on the board, then the Chiefs could make a move, but I just don't see them pulling the trigger here either.
Moving over to the other side in the market, taking a look at the biggest need there is the NT position. I think Gregg did a good job last season, but with his age, will not be around another. Of the available free agent NT's one name shines, and that is the name of the Dolphins NT Paul Soliai. He is only 28 and at 6-4 and 355lb. he is the prototypical NT. He was franchised by the Dolphins last year, and I think the Chiefs need to pay him what ever he wants. Then you can move to the outside to the DE position with Dorsey and Jackson. Both players are average, and neither can really get pressure on the QB. I also know that in a 3-4 defensive system, which the Chiefs run, the D-Lines first job is to clog the running lanes and demand double teams that will free up the LB's to get the sacks. So while the numbers are not supposed to be gaudy, I still think that they both under performed. The players to target from free agency are Williams (Texans), Avril (Lions) and Mincey (Jaguars). All of those players are free agents, however, I do not expect either of those teams to let those players walk. Those are the biggest needs that could be filled through the free agent market. Having said that, would I be opposed if the Chiefs wanted to add depth or add an All-Star player if available. Absolutely not! The Chiefs need to add depth in case of injury, just as long as they do so with the salary cap in mind and don't overspend for any one player.
Next comes the NFL draft. Like I mentioned before, they will need help along the line of scrimmage on both sides, then they need to add depth at LB, DB, RB. The Chiefs might target a OT like Reiff from Iowa if he falls to them or Martin from Stanford. Either of those 2 guys can step in at RT immediately. If they get their OT in the first, they will look to get their NT in the second. With guys like Poe (Memphis) 6-5 350lb. or Ta' amu (Washington) 6-3 341lb.,either of those guys has the size and talent to step in and take over immediately. If the Chiefs want to go another direction and take OG DeCastro (Stanford) and they could plug him into that young O-Line and keep Hudson at center. Then you would help solidify a line with plenty of youth that is built for the next decade! Then in the second draft your NT or pick up a OT like Adams (Ohio St.) 6-7 323lb. or Sanders (Florida St.) 6-6 308lb. The point I am trying to make is that there are a few players that the Chiefs could target in the first few rounds that would greatly improve the play along the offensive and defensive lines. Both of these improvements are critical if the Chiefs want to return to their winning ways and frequent the post season.
The biggest and brightest spot(s) are starting a new season with a new coach in Crennel and having your starters return from 2011 season ending injuries. While they may not return with the speed or intensity as before their injuries, they are still far better than their 2011 replacements. The Chiefs saw late improvement from Houston, and with Houston and Hali getting after the QB from the edges, they need to have the NT to generate pressure up the middle and force hurried throws and sacks. With Balwin healthy, the Chiefs aerial attack could look far different than its 2011 version. Getting Charles back in the back field and having a complement of Battle and either Jones/McCluster or a rookie, the RB core could be dangerous. Getting Moeaki back would add another weapon to Cassel. Getting another pass catching TE would help vault Kansas City into the realm of the dual TE teams such as the Patriots, Giants and Saints. Getting a talented group of healthy DB's could improve the secondary to elite status. Kansas City has play makers, there is no question about that, getting a few more complementary pieces to go along with them is the question. Making the plays when necessary, and winning the tough games. One thing proven my the Giants this year, getting a win in the trenches and up front, goes a long way to make the opposing QB feel uncomfortable. With a healthy team coming back together and new talent along both lines, we could potentially see this Kansas City unit be competitive for a while, dare I say win Championships...just maybe!
After today's loss....I believe Haley's days are numbered here in KC. Let me throw out some numbers, then I will explain what they mean. The unlucky numbers are 22, 20, 6, 9, 32, 20.4, 4! With those numbers, everybody wins....everybody except the Chiefs. The Chiefs need some serious help across the board, and it can start up front on both sides of the ball. Never mind the "Suck 4 Luck" campaign, Andrew Luck would not last on this team, and I will explain why!
The first number represents the number of sacks we have given up so far during the 2011 season. We have given up 22 sacks which ranks us as 12th most sacked team in the league. The average number of sacks for the top 5 QB's is 9. (Brady-4, Brees - 6, Rogers - 9, Rivers - 4, E. Manning - 7). I know Matt Cassel is not the most prolific passer in the game, but we never asked him to be. But how can we expect him to make the tough throws when we need him to, when is either on his back, or being chased from the pocket. Richardson is not the answer we need at RT, and honestly, we should have moved Albert over to RT and used Gaither as LT, but injuries plagued this team from the start of the limited preseason, and has not let up since. Both Lilja (30) and Wiegmann (38) are over 30, and their better playing days are behind them. Of the other 5, Albert is the oldest at 27, Gaither (25), Richardson (25), Asamoah (23), Hudson (22). There is time for them, but is there enough talent among them to produce an O-line like we haven't seen since Roaf, Water and Shields were road pavers for the backfield and a line that allowed the QB plenty of time to make his reads.
The next set of numbers flips the line of scrimmage. This year, the Chiefs have only accounted for 9 sacks. That is good for 10 best!!! Just kidding, that is the league worst. So far this year, the average of the 32 teams is 20.4 sacks...the next worse team has 4 more sacks than the Chiefs! Of those 9 sacks, 6 are from Hali, Gilberry, Gregg and D. Johnson each have 1. What happened to Houston, Studebaker, Sheffield, Belcher, T. Jackson or Dorsey? This team has the depth to rotate in fresh legs...but apparently those legs, when fresh, are still no better than the worn out legs of my 76 year old grandfather! Over the last 3 season under Haley, they Chiefs have managed a whopping 70 sacks. While that may seem like a lot, that equals roughly 1.7 sacks per game, considering that the league average is close to 3 a game...we are behind the curve...just a bit!
This team needs an overhaul along the front 5 on offense and the front 7 on defense. We have to find a compliment to Hali. I know Houston has the talent, and with a full season under his belt and a longer off-season to prepare, we may see some changes. But during this off-season, the Chiefs should target players along those positions early and often. Then during the free agency period...add some more talent at those positions. Without a sold O-line, no QB is going to last in this system, and without a consistent pass rush, the secondary will receive no help!
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Veteran's day is upon us and it is time for those to honor veterans whether they be young or old.
It has seem that people the last decade have really taken an appreciation for veterans and given them the respect that they deserve. It would seem like it should be that way but it hasn't always been that way for some reason. Yeah more then half the veterans might not of actually put their life on the line but 99% of people don't even serve in the armed forces, so take that into consideration when you might see someone who did serve but didn't do much and you jus blow them off or show them disrespect.
When I was was younger it just always seemed like the only veterans I possibly knew we're my grandpa's age when in reality they are all over the place and as I get older I find that out more and more each year but a lot of them don't always go on and on about it. They figured they were just doing their job and why should they receive praise for that.
I am a lot like that. I personally served six plus year in the Marine Corps Reserves with a year of that being activated during Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. I didn't do hardly anything besides what was asked of me and I tend to not go out seeking rewards or praise for what I did. I most times don't really know what to do when somebody finds out I was a vet and thanks me for my service because as soon as they do my mind immediately goes to the men and women that actually gave their lives for our country.
Even people like my great uncle who survived the attack on Pearl Harbor when he was stationed on the U.S.S Oklahoma and was thrown from the ship during the attack as he was headed towards church service. He was also later involved in the Midway Conflict. he survived all that was just recently passed away this year.
It is people like him that all of us, even other veterans, that I think we should be celebrating and honoring the most. But that isn't the way things work and it is still a great honor to be recognized on days like this.
This is starting to look more like a nightmare than a bad dream. How can the division champion from 2010, fall this far, this fast?
The game started and I could immediately see the effects of not having Berry in the game. McGraw picked off a bad pass and then coughed it up before being down....in effect giving the Lions a fresh set of downs, which they turned into points! It also helps that the chiefs gave the Lions a free 30 yards with back-to-back personal fouls.
Then on the next drive, KC was moving the ball fairly well on the stout Lions defensive line...that's when things got really bad...After 4 rushes for 38 yards, Charles took a hand off to the right and tried to get to the marker, but not only did he not get the first down, but he also tore his ACL on the play when he stepped on the marker and slipped. That drive resulted in KC's only points a 33 yard field goal from Succop...be fore warned...the next 53 minutes of football were pretty brutal.
The chiefs forced the Lions to 3 punts on their next 3 possessions, which was an improvement over last week and KC, on their next 3 drives, missed a FG, wanted to try for a 4th and 1 but had too many men on the field, then went 3 & out.
The following drive we saw Stafford hit Scheffler for a big 36 yard TD. The sad news was that covering him was Flowers. Why was Scheffler so open, I dont know, but I know that he then okey-doked Lewis for the score.
KC got the ball next and and the 4th play, Cassel fired it into Bowe, who has reverted to his old way, and the ball bounced off his hands, and was picked off. Stafford and the Lions turned that pick into 3 points. On the next drive, on the 3rd play, Cassel fired a pass to Urban, the pass was behind the player, and Cassel knew it as soon as he released it. The ball was picked and turned into another 3 points. At the end of the half, KC had one chance to heave the ball down field to attempt a hail mary pass, but Cassel just ran around the pocket for what seemed like 10 seconds. The Chiefs went into half down 20-3.
The second half was not much better. To summarize, the Chiefs ran 29 plays...7 passes, one of which was fumbled by McCluster and recovered by the Lions, 13 rushes, 4 incomplete passes, 1 sack and fumble and 1 more interception, along with 3 punts. The Lions ONLY managed to throw up another 28 points on the Chiefs.
There were 6 turnovers in the game along with 8 penalties for 70 yards.
There is no point in handing out individual grades, when the entire team deserves an F for that performance.
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This was not a game...I am sure of that. This was just another scrimmage game, right?
Apparently, the Chiefs did not get the memo that the NFL season actually started today. They opened their 2011 NFL season, with the worst home-opener loss in in 35 years! That is ridiculous! The final score was 41 - 7, but that is not even the worst of it!
How does the #1 rushing offense from last year, only run the ball 18 times the entire game? Why are we throwing the ball more than 2 times as we are running it? Maybe they should rethink the strategy of bringing in a MMA trainer to teach hand eye coordination and bring in a wrecking ball to teach how to tackle! How many yards after initial contact did Jackson have? I am sure it is upwards of 75% of his total yards.
This was a team, Organization, failure! From every aspect of this game, there was nothing positive to come from it! Cassel was 22/36 passing with 119 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT, and 2 Sacks. The RB committee had 18 carries for 108 yards, 0 TD's, and 1 Fumble. The WR's were caught 22 of the 36 targets, for 119 yards, 1 TD. The biggest disappointment from the WR's was...you guessed it...D. Bowe! He only caught 2 of his 8 targets for a very pedestrian 17 yards. Looks like he is back to his old ways, which is good...if the team never wants to be competitive again!
You can argue that KC had to throw the ball because they were down a ton, but here is my reply to that;
In the first quarter KC ran the ball 5 times for 33 yards. The threw the ball 7 times for 9 yards, gave up 1 sack and of those 7 passes 3 went incomplete and 1 went for a 6 yard loss! How do you lose 6 yards on a PASS...aren't they supposed to go forward?
At the end of the quarter they were down 14-0. No need to panic just yet! But they panicked anyways! They came out in the second quarter and ran the ball 7 times for 47 yards. Charles also coughed it up with a fumble. They also threw the ball 12 times for 64 yards, gave up another sack and scored near the end of the half. Of the 12 passes, 3 went incomplete, but no negative passes, but it hurts that the sack was for a loss of 12 yards!
They go into half down 20-7, they have only ran the ball 12 times and threw it 19 times, with 6 of those being incomplete. Now they can start to throw more often...but still have to mix in the run to keep the defense honest!
They come out in the third quarter and they NEVER ran the ball! There were only 9 pass attempts, 4 of them being caught by the ground (incomplete), and 3 of them going for negative yards! Are you serious? 2 plays in the 3rd quarter for 14 positive yards, and not one of them was a run? That was the game killer. By the end of the 3rd the score was 34-7, and the Bills would go on to add another TD before it was all said and done. There was also an exchange of interceptions in the 4th, but not worth mentioning because the entire 4th quarter was "garbage time".
Cassel was inaccurate on a lot of passes, the RB's looked timid, the WR's dropped some passes, but for the most part (excluding Bowe) caught the balls thrown their way!
If I had to grade this performance as a whole and as parts, the WR's would get the best grade of a C+. If you remove Bowe from the list, they would be better, but as a unit they were only average. Pope also dropped 3, including a potential TD, but Pope is not a pass catching TE. That was just a bonus!
The RB's get a C. I don't know if it was play calling or what, but the RB's as a unit looked slow. They looked tired, and they looked unprepared! Charles coughed it up again. On the bright side, they only had 1 rush for negative yards, but that play calling was just awful. Maybe not their fault, but their speed and intensity sure was!
The defense, QB, and the staff all get F's. The defense could not tackle Jackson, they could not stop Fitzpatrick from picking them apart, Berry went down with an injury, McGraw and Piscitelli got exposed on more than one occasion. There were blown coverage's all games, and only 1 sack. I thought Houston/Scheffield were supposed to compliment Hali?
This team had the city's hopes that there would be some resemblance of improvement and growth from last year, but it looks more like a complete meltdown and recession to the 07'-09' season! Hopefully, things get straightened out, and the play calls get fixed....otherwise..."With the first overall pick of the 2012 NFL draft, the Kansas City Chiefs select...(insert player, coach, coordinator here)"
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Now that the season is finally here, I can start my season predictions. Last year, I predicted the Chiefs to go 9-7 and take 2nd in the division. Many people thought I was crazy, but the only games I missed were the SF game and the final OAK game. Every other game I got correct, so 14 of 16 (88%), that's pretty good in my book!
This year, there are a lot of people that are really high on the Chiefs...unfortunately, I have agree with them. The team has made small positional improvements, but I believe those improvements, made a large team improvement. The loss of Moeaki hurts and with Richardson on the RT position, and Cassel nursing a rib, and Baldwin with a hand injury...things could either turn out fine, or get horribly ugly real fast.
I believe that the defense as a whole was average last year. They ranked 14th, 17th, and 14th respectively in Total Yards per game, Passing Yards per game, and Rushing Yards per game. I think with a healthy defense and a second year in R. Crennels defensive scheme, they should only get better. I dont like to take a bunch of stock on preseason action, even more so this year. Teams did not have the adequate time to work on different looks sub packages, so they used the preseason to do so. Obviously, they found what worked and what didn't. I see them breaking into the top 12 in overall defense and rushing defense, and I see them being no lower than 14 in passing defense.
The offense is "said" to regress a little with Weis gone from play calling duties, but I think Bill Muir is more than adequate to replace him, especially with Zorn as the QB's coach. Bill was the OC for the 2002 SB Champ Buc's and Zorn was also with the Seahawks as their QB coach from 1997-2007 which included their SB run in 2005. He, helped Hasselbeck reach franchise marks with 3 consecutive 3000 yard seasons, and single season highs in attempts, completitions, and yards. He left there and did a short stint at WSH as head coach, to only go back to QB coach in BAL to help Flacco reach career highs in 2010. So these 2 gentlemen, know what they are doing, have proven they are good at their jobs, and should serve Cassel and the offense just fine.
Now on to the more important subject, predicting the games for the entire season;
There schedule is BRUTAL! But if they want to contend with the likes of SD in the division and NE, IND, PIT, NYJ…then they need to show up and play. They may not win any of the big games, but they need to at least be competitive. My breakdown of the season is listed below. 6 of the teams they play this year made the playoffs last year (IND, NYJ, PIT, NE, GB, CHI), 4 of them advanced to the conference championship (NYJ, PIT, GB, CHI);
Vs. BUF – Should be able to handle the Bills in the season opener in KC. Had difficulties last year keeping them in line and almost lost in OT. BUF has also improved on the defensive side of the ball, but I just believe that KC's team will win this tough season opener. (Record 1-0)
@ DET – Detroit is going to have a great defensive line this season. But I am glad to get them early, and hopefully we can squeak one out against an offense that finished just below average last year. We will need to target the secondary so the running game can stand a chance. For as much as people talked last year about Suh and Vandenbosch, they still only ranked 24th in rushing DEF. (2-0)
@ SD – For some reason, SD always plays well…maybe it has something to do with the guy they have as a QB. I think their reign as AFC West champions is nearing an end, but they will be tough none the less. (2-1)
Vs. MIN – They lost some talent on both sides of the ball, but they still have AP (All-Day) running that ball. This will be a test for our defensive line and linebackers more than anything else. McNabb is not the answer, but he can still sling the ball. (3-1)
@ IND – This game is a swing for me. Manning may be out of this game, or he may be ready to go. If he is out, then Chiefs win, if he is in they lose a close one. Remember they lost last year on a Bowe dropped TD pass. Dont think Bowe has forgot about it! For now, I expect Manning to play, but look for an update before the actual game(3-2)
@ OAK – OAK will be a different team this year…they have regressed, and I think KC will take full advantage of it. OAK has lost both Nnamdi and Miller. They should be able to scorch the field with Ford, and Heyward-Bey...might actually catch some balls, but their biggest weapon is still McFadden. (4-2)
Vs. SD – 2 times in 5 weeks. That should be plenty of time to fix our mistakes we made in the first game, and KC will be loud again for another Monday night game against a divisional rival. Maybe this is just a homer pick, but the Chiefs at home on Halloween...stranger things have happened. Arrowhead will be just freakishly loud, and Rivers and Co. will have a hard time hearing plays and effectively communicating. (5-2)
Vs. MIA – MIA has lost its running game with Brown going to PHI, Bush is a joke. They have no QB to speak of, no WR to really target. Their defense is getting older with Taylor and under experienced with several rookies and young players. (6-2)
Vs. DEN – A 3 game home stand. Would be nice to win them all. DEN is playing the QB shuffle, and I think they are still rebuilding. (7-2)
@ NE – A return for Pioli and Cassel. Should be a good Sunday night game, but tough to beat NE in Gillette Stadium. (7-3)
Vs. PIT – I remember in 2009, Haleys first year, KC beat PIT with a horrible team 27-24. Luck…sure, but with a team like PIT , you just never know. Arrowhead will need to be loud to make this game closer, and if they are 6-4 going into this Sunday night game, then they should be victorious after all is said and done. But for some reason I just cannot pull that trigger this time. (7-4)
@ CHI – I remember a few years ago CHI was the defense that people talked about…then AP and MIN made them look silly in 07’? Then they have never been able to recover completely. Culter is 1 near hit away from retiring, and hopefully Hali and ? (Whoever is on the other side) can send him off right. (8-4)
@ NYJ – This is an unlucky draw for KC. They drew the AFC East at exactly the wrong time. NYJ should completely obliterate the Chiefs, and this game will be hard to watch. (8-5)
Vs. GB – The defending SB Champs come to town. What a stretch, @ NE, PIT, @ CHI, @ NYJ, GB, could that 5-game stretch be any harder? I believe GB is poised to make another deep playoff run. Maybe not a SB, but in the NFC Championship for sure. (8-6)
Vs. OAK – KC gets to get some revenge on OAK from last years loss in Arrowhead. The Chiefs should be in or near the drivers seat in the AFC west, and look forward to KC getting an early Christmas present. (9-6)
@ DEN – For the season finale we go to DEN. Division rivals on 3 holidays this year. And we will win all of them… KC finishes the season 10-6.
Now that I have ran through the entire season, and see the chiefs as a 10 win team, and seeing that schedule, 10 wins seams like a lofty accomplishment. There are a few games that could fall the other direction, such as the BUF, DET, SD, CHI games, and then they would be a 6 win team. There are also games that are very winnable such as IND, SD,PIT...which would make them a 13 win team...so average it out (6, 10, 13) Just under 10 wins. Will give them the benefit of the doubt, and say 10-6.
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With the 2011 season about a month away, I took a look at some things you should keep an eye on this season. There are several players that can make a serious push for their teams record books, and for the NFL's too. Without further adieu;
- L. Fitzgerald needs 293 receiving yards to claim the teams top spot. He also needs 2 TD's to claim that milestone too.
-M. Turner needs 10 rushing TD's to be the teams #1 rushing TD scorer.
-R. White needs 1271 receiving yards to take the top spot.
-S. Smith needs 372 receiving yards to be the all-time Panther leader.
-D. Driver will take the #1 position in receiving yards this year with only 42 yards.
-A. Foster only needs 5 rushing TD's to claim that spot. Keep in mind that Houston has only been a team since 2002.
-M. Jones-Drew needs 9 rushing TD's to be the Jag's #1 guy.
-A. Peterson needs 1062 rushing yards and 1 rushing TD to put his name in the Vikings record books.
-C. Portis needs 649 rushing yards to be the Skins' all-time leading rusher.
Now for the league records;
T. Gonzalez needs 259 receiving yards to move to #14 all time, ahead of Art Monk. He can also move ahead of Issac Bruce for #9 all-time if he hauls in 4 TD' receptions.
-P. Manning can move to #2 all-time in TD passes and pass Dan Marino with just 22 end zone catches.
-T. Brady can move ahead of J. Montana, D. Krieg, V. Testaverde, J. Unitas, W. Moon and J. Elway with 40 TD passes. This would make him #5 all-time. He could pass everyone except Elway and move to #6 with 31, move to #7 and behind Moon with 30, #8 and behind Unitas with only 15.
On a sadder note. Miami Dolphins RB R. Williams left the team just short of 2 team records. With 302 rushing yards and 6 rushing TD's he would have been #1 all-time in the Dolphins franchise.
First things are draft picks. Kansas City has managed to sign, as of 8-2-11, 8 of their 9 draft picks. I see at least 4 of them as potential rookie starters. The others will fill holes, be a rotational player and add much needed depth. The one holdout is Justin Houston. He was the Chiefs' 3rd round pick, but he has first round talent, but due to a failed drug test, many teams passed on his talent.
With the new CBA comes a rookie pay scale that is long over due. There is no longer a reason for a rookie drafted to hold out for a bigger paycheck, because it is NOT coming. The contracts are set lengths of 4 years with the first round picks having the optional 5th year, and then there is a cap. For instance the #1 overall pick is Cam Newton, he has a 4 year contract of $22 Million, all of which are guaranteed, so roughly $5.5 Million a year. Still a pretty sizable paycheck. Last year, the player who had the same size contract was the #14 overall pick, Earl Thomas S - SEA. I believe that this is a good move for the NFL and all the players involved. Why pay the big bucks to someone who is unproven and may not produce results....*cough* Jamarcus Russell *cough*!
Then we move on to our own Free Agents. Currently the only players that KC has cut are Chambers, Bates, Cottam and Waters. Waters was probably the biggest shock of all for most of Chiefs Nation, but Asamoah is ready to step in and take his place for the next 10 years. I have no doubt that he is ready to play. Everyone else was expected or not much of a shock because of who was drafted or who was re-signed/signed.
Of our remaining FA's yet to sign, there is C. Anderson, B. Carr, C. Mays, R. Niswanger, B. Croyle, K. Curtis and T. Castille. I only see them signing 3 of them, and that being Carr, Mays and Niswanger. B. Carr is a must keep for the Chiefs. He has really helped the Chiefs secondary become one of the leagues best despite their age and experience. Mays and Niswanger will most likely be kept but will be fighting for a back-up position. We have lost a few players such as Leggett going to DET, but the biggest loses are Edwards going to CAR and Smith going to TEN. The departure of Edwards and Smith opens up a huge whole in the center of the defensive line. I still think that KC could add a player here from the FA market, but with that list becoming smaller each day, that option is becoming less likely. Is Pioli and company trying to groom Powe or Torbino to fill this position and learn from a veteran guy like Gregg? Look for KC to snatch up a few players once team have to start cutting players from mini camp and get down to the mandatory 53-man roster.
Then we added several players from outside the team. Including Breaston WR (ARI), Gregg DT (BAL), Markhausen WR (CHI), Siler LB (SD), and recently Manno WR. I believe that the Breaston, Gregg and Siler picks are all smart picks. I have not heard anything regarding Markhausen, and have heard very little about Manno except his YouTube page where it shows his stats where his 40yd dash time is 4.46 which would have tied for 7th among WR's at the combine. He is 6'-0" and 195lb with at 37in vertical. He would most likely play a Welker/Edelmen type player...fast and more of a possession receiver.
The team still has plenty of cap space and could sign a few more veteran players. Look for KC to snatch up a few players once team have to start cutting players from mini camp and get down to the mandatory 53-man roster.
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The Chiefs have been quietly adding talent and not fishing for the elite player. They are being smart in the first year of the newCBA and I believe it will pay dividends for them later in this new deal as more details are learned.
On Monday at 10AM, teams could begin signing their own drafted players and Undrafted Rookie Free Agents. Here is who has been added so far:
DL Brandon Bair (Oregon), 6'-6" 276lb. 40yd: 4.92s. In 2010 he recorded 45 tackles and 3 sacks. He is a big guy with some decent speed. He will most likely split time with Dorsey and Jackson as a DE in the Chiefs scheme.
TE Charlie Gantt (Michigan State), 6'-5" 260lb. 40yd: 4.85s. In 2010 he recorded 24 receptions for 301 yards and 3 TD's. The TE has good speed and great size. His numbers are not terribly impressive and look for the Chiefs to use him more as a run blocking TE.
OL Chris Harr (Tennessee-Chattanooga), 6'-6" 260lb. 40yd: 5.12s. A converted TE in college. I see this pick as a depth pick since he can be used as either a Guard or Tackle in Kansas City. Look for a trick play or 2 where the OT goes and makes a TD snag.
OL Mike Ingersoll (North Carolina), 6'-5" 303lb. 40yd:5.06s. Another converted TE in college. This is the same as previous pick by I dont see as much flexibility. Maybe only used as a Guard in the Chiefs line-up.
LB Amara Kamara (Temple), 6'-1" 240lb. 40yd: 4.75s. Talk about some speed for a bigger guy. In 2010 he recorded 55 tackles and should be able to have enough speed to cover sideline to sideline if not sent on a blitz. Look for the Chiefs to use him as a DE/OLB to help put pressure on QB's.
OL Butch Lewis (USC), 6'-5" 295lb. 40yd: 5.12s. More depth as a offensive linemen. I like how the Chiefs are adding depth at that position with rookies, and building for the future. Could play either Guard or Tackle.
OT David Mims (Virginia Union), 6'-8" 335lb. 40yd: 5.32s. Talk about massive frame. I don't know if Cassel will be able to throw over this guy. This guy has the flexibility and technique to be a great addition to the Chiefs as a Right Tackle.
DL Lucas Patterson (Texas A&M), 6'-4" 295lb. 40yd: 5.10s. in 2010 he recorded 50 tackles, 3 sacks and 1 forced fumble. He can play DE as of now, but add 15-20lb. on to that frame and you may have a solid NT.
WR Josue Paul (Central Connecticut State) - Scott Pioli Alma-Mater, 6'-1" 190lb. 40yd: 4.51s. I could not find any stats from 2010 but this has hidden gem written all over it. Could easily challenge for a slot position or a 4th WR position, but most likely a KR/PR.
DB Demond Washington (Auburn) 5'-9" 182lb. 40yd: 4.45s. In 2010 he recorded 48 tackles, 1 sack, 3 interceptions. He also led the SEC and was 6th in the NCAA in 2009 with an average return yardage of 31.1yd. In 2010 he recorded over 1000 return yards. Could play some Nickle sets, but I see primarily as a KR/PR
I like what the Chiefs have done with the rookies, and I believe that most of them will make the starting roster. Some good depth was added along the offensive line, and more KR/PR weapons were added. I think the idea of having McCluster return kicks and be a WR was a bad idea. Let the man do 1 position and 1 position only. Either WR or KR/PR. All that high speed contact will take a toll on his little frame. Why do you think Charles sees so few touches early on in the season. They are trying to save him for later and try to make a push for the post season.
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One of the biggest concerns for the chiefs is along the line of scrimmage, on both sides of the ball.
First they need to draft someone to play OT. The revolving door of B. Richardson/R. O'Callahan is not going to cut it anymore. We need a full time right tackle, or an all-pro left tackle and move B. Albert to the other side. We only allowed 32 sacks in 16 games in the regular season which is roughly 2 per game. Then we had Baltimore come in during the playoffs and we gave up 3. We could easily cut our sack total down to 1.5 per game and save Cassel 8 unnecessary slams to the ground with a tackle upgrade. Both D. Free of DAL and M. Yanda (BAL) re-signed with their 2010 teams. There is still the possibility of a W. Colon (PIT) or T. Clabo (ATL). Colon is coming off an Achilles injury and Clabo is coming off a pro-bowl which my inflate his stock. Both are an immediate upgrade.
On the other side of the ball we need to add a solid prototypical, pro-bowl talent NT. Not an average, or okay guy who can play 2 downs then gets gassed. We need someone who demands a double team 3 for a 3 down series and who clogs up that middle so our LB's are free to make the big hits. B. Cofield just agreed to terms with Washington so he is off the board, but there is still the possibility of A. Franklin (SF). He is coming off of 2 great years where he amassed 75 tackles, 2 sacks, 4 passes deflected and an interception. Combined, both Edwards and Smith had 88 tackles, 3 sacks, 4 passes deflected and 0 interceptions. At 6'-1" and 315 lb. he would fill a great need and would help solidify the defense as a whole. Maybe keep both Edwards and Smith as rotational players, but if we had to dump one I would say let go of Smith. I would also not put it past the Chiefs to target B. Mebane (SEA) with his 80 tackles, 2.5 sacks, and 2 passes deflected in the same time frame.
We could also use some help at the OLB position. Hali is on the right and Vrabel is on the left....as in he left to go coach at Ohio State. That leaves Studebaker. While I believe he will do fine, I would feel more comfortable if we replaced Vrabel with a more seasoned player and still allowed Stud. to grow. M. Lawson (SF) is available. He is coming off a so-so season. He is not a great pass-rusher, he only had 2.5 sacks in 2010, but he is a very complete player. The Chiefs may pass on him because they need to apply pressure to QB's. We had 39 sacks (9 behind the leader PIT), which is a far improvement from the 08' campaign where we only had 10. Maybe the target a DE to play the OLB position such as J. Babin (TEN) or R. Edwards (MIN). Both are coming off a 15+ sacks, and 55 and 71 tackle performances respectively since 2009. You know what they say..."Speed Kills", and having a Babin/Edwards on one side and Hali on the other...the opposing QB's better hurry and dump that ball.
Another concern that the Chiefs need to field is just backup players along the O-line. It is an aging line with Waters (34), Wiegmann (38), and I will include Lilja (29) because of his leg injuries. Maybe target Guard H. Dahl (ATL) or J. Blalock (ATL). KC also drafted R. Hudson from Fl. State and he can play either G/C. I just think that they need some depth because age and injuries can derail an O-line and if we want a repeat division championship, we need to keep our offense intact.
After that there are several spots where we can use some depth or an upgrade it the fit is good, but there are other more crucial needs. We might look at adding another ILB to play along D. Johnson and J. Belcher. Maybe a S. Tulloch (TEN), but he might be better suited for a 4-3. FS is another potential need. I like J. McGraw and I like K. Lewis. Maybe look at a D. Landry (BAL) or D. Manning (CHI) or M. Huff (OAK). Both are good compliments to E. Berry, but may only serve as a slight upgrade from what we have now.
Then we have the "Dream" picks. It would be nice to add these guys, but the Chiefs don't look to be in the market to sign any of them...but we can wish!
WR's S. Rice (MIN), B. Edwards (NYJ). TE Z. Miller (OAK). CB's N. Asomugha (OAK), J. Joseph (CIN). There are a few more, but none of which are a the tops of their respective positions.
Keep an eye out for my next few posts which I will cover Kansas City Chiefs current moves and signings and discuss the season and predictions.
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