The spread offense. Everybody is talking about it. I think some locals are down on it because of Missouri‘s lackluster season (Has anybody else just concluded that they played lights out and caught the college football world off guard a year ago?), but both Florida and Oklahoma use it, too. The Patriots used a lot of spread during their historic 2007 season as well. Then there’s our Chiefs; we’ve looked a helluva lot better since we installed the spread and especially the pistol variation of the spread, coinciding with Larry Johnson‘s return.
At first, I was an anti-spread guy when it came to the pros. I’ve softened a little bit on that stance. First off, it’s obvious that Tyler Thigpen is much more comfortable in this kind of offense. The offense line was a five-lane expressway before we implemented the formation. Larry? I think it’s easy for him to get a head full of steam, which makes him extremely difficult to bring down. I also think this offense could potentially extend his career. Tony Gonzalez? More receiving, less blocking. As a result, he’s thrived. Dwayne Bowe has been his usual standout self, occasional drops due to lapses in concentration and all. Mark Bradley has emerged as a legit complimentary receiver.
The other pro is that both Sam Bradford and Tim Tebow run the spread, and rumor has it that we are still thinking quarterback. Don’t shoot the messenger, yo, but we might still draft a quarterback this upcoming spring. If Andre Smith is unavailable, I think anything that early except a QB might be a reach in this draft class. I don’t see a top-five defensive end among the bunch, and I don’t believe top-five linebackers exist. You reach when you pick a LB in the top five. I’ll put it this way; I’d rather have two good quarterbacks than none. Gotta hedge that bet.
One other potential pro is that it could balance out Herm Edwards‘ tendency to be overly conservative. Because the spread is an aggressive formation by nature, conservative playcalling with this formation is counter-productive.
Cons? Well, L.J. isn’t exactly the Wizard of Westbrook as a receiver and Jamaal Charles hands are suspect. I also think it puts you at a disadvantage in the redzone and on short yardage situations, because if you line up in under-center formations after primarily running the spread it telegraphs that you are going to go to the power running game. Especially with Harm at coach. Additionally, if Harm tries to be too conservative late in games he will clip the spread’s wings.
It’s also currently unknown just how effective either Brodie Croyle or Quinn Gray will be in the spread, or if either guy will even be around next year should we stick with the trendy O. Damon Huard‘s done as a Chief, that we know.
Like everybody else, I’m going to keep an eye on Thiggy Smalls these next three weeks. By the end of the season, he will have had basically 10 games in the spread. I think that’s enough of a look for the Addict jury, and the Chiefs, to reach a verdict.
Addicts, should the spread stay or should it go?