Would You, Could You, Chiefs Fans?

 


Like any other fan in the Addict, I dream dreams for the Chiefs of uber-superstar acquisitions, multiple hall of fame draft classes and decidedly dominating dynasties… among other dreams that I can’t get into here.

I have spent a lot of time in the land of “what if?” Like, I used to think about… what if the Chiefs had drafted Dan Marino instead of Todd Blackledge… semi-useless thoughts like that. Now, my what iffing is all about the Chiefs future.

Also, I’m wondering what would you do?

Would you, could you…
 Consider drafting a CB and moving Brandon Carr to Safety?

Carr’s cover skills at safety would be terrific and the total cover combination of Berry, Carr, Flowers, Lewis, Arenas and whoever we draft ought to be dynamic. Carr’s size (6-0 and 207), knowledge and instincts would serve him well in such a transition.

I don’t get the feeling that taking a QB high in the draft is going to be a priority now that we’ve stepped far enough away from the 0-3 hole of just a month ago. Consider that Andrew Luck, Landry Jones (OU), and Matt Barkley (USC) are all rated very high, and all of the other position players will get bumped down the draft board because of their presence. The top rated cornerbacks are Morriss Claiborne (6-0, 173, LSU), Dre Kirkpatrick (6-2 ½, 190, Alabama), Janoris Jenkins (5-10, 177, N. Alabama) and Alfonso Dennard (5-9 ¾, 204, Neb). Scouts Inc. rates them all in the top 20.

If any of them falls to the Chiefs (who I suspect will pick somewhere in the 20s)… would you, could you… draft them? With the idea of moving Carr to safety?

Would you, could you…
Change offensive coordinators next season?

The idea of Matt Cassel having to adjust to another OC yet again seems like pure craziness. However, does anyone really think Bill Muir is cut out for this? Is this “three cooks in the kitchen” approach to play calling… and getting the play into Cassel… really working?

Is Bill Muir going to even stick around longer than a second year anyway? After all, Muir turns 70 years old next season and I’m not in any way hinting that he can’t do the job because of his age. Lord knows I’ve dealt with enough age discrimination situations myself so, you can be sure I wouldn’t do that to Muir… but, people who hit 70 often do think about moving on to retirement and if Muir is going to do that then how much better off would the Chiefs be going ahead and making that move after this season instead of waiting until next year?

Defensively? I’m tickled with the coaching arrangement. However, the offensive coordinator situation, including the play calling and more specifically, getting the play into the QB, needs to be addressed. If they can resolve that without making an OC change more power to them. If not, let’s get on with it.

Would you, could you… make an OC change after this season?

Would you, could you…
Allow the players to celebrate more than is now the NFL policy for the simple reason that if the league is going to make every touchdown review-mandatory, can’t they give the fans a little something to watch?

The delays that have taken over the NFL game are disturbing, to say the least so, I don’t think it would be out of order to allow the players who score the chance to show us what they’ve got in the entertainment department. I didn’t used to like the celebrating at all but, I’ve gone to Hang-ups Rehab… and maybe Goodell should too. Beats sitting on our hands for two minutes for seemingly a half a dozen times a game.

Talk about momentum killers. That’s maybe my biggest criticism of the downtime that comes from having every TD reviewed… it kills the momentum that teams can gain as a result of having just scored. Maybe an extended time to celebrate can help sustain the roll a team feels like they’re on.

 Would you, could you… allow the players to celebrate more?

 

Would you, could you…
Open up the offense and support a down field philosophy with the Chiefs going deep several more times per game?

One aspect of the Monday night game that I haven’t heard talked about much is the gloriously balletic Jonathan Baldwin TD. I waited long enough for that hallelujah moment. Now, I’d like to make it a chorus we sing over and over again, each and every game. To do that the Chiefs will have to use at least one play out of a specific set of downs and I’d like to see them do that once every quarter.

This is not only going to keep the defense honest but, it’s going to create space for every other skill position player to do their dirty work. If the opposing safeties can’t crowd the line of scrimmage then the Chiefs tight ends, wide receivers and running backs will get a lot more room to roam.

In the NFL… a lot more room… is often times just inches or seconds. For a player like Jamaal Charles, a few more inches is the difference between a 4 yard gain and a breakaway TD. Ahhh, visions of next season.

Would you, could you… open the offense up?

 

 Would you, could you…
See Jamaal Charles (25) and Jackie Battle (26) splitting the RB time next season as the Chiefs two featured backs?

It’s still midseason and I want to see how Battle will do the rest of this year but at this point I’m not in favor of the Chiefs shopping around for another RB to pair with the speedy one. I’m pretty sure Thomas Jones is done. Of course Pioli has a tendency to keep aging players who are leaders around too long so, the only reason the Chiefs would want to bring him back is for his leadership… then maybe he can get the chance to beat up our premiere draft choices next year too. :)

 

It’s hard not to see a backfield with Jackie Battle and Jamaal Charles in it for the Chiefs. There may be some veteran FARBs (Free Agent Running Backs) out there this coming off season but, I have high expectations for Charles and Battle.

Would you, could you… make Charles and Battle the RB tandem next year?

Would you, could you…
Pull for the Raiders to beat the Chargers this weekend, even though it keeps them in first place?

The Broncos are now just a game out of first place and come to Arrowhead with renewed confidence after a strong game in Oakland. However, it’s not the Broncos I think will be giving the Chiefs a run for their money in the division race. It’s San Diego. So, I’ll be rooting for the Oakland Raiders this weekend when they play the Chargers.

I must confess right here, I have come to detest the Chargers more than any other team in the AFC West division. GM A.J. Smith is someone I’m not a fan of. His treatment of people is very poor.The hiring and firing of Marty Schottenheimer, the way he moves players through the organization like cattle and even his recent comments in response to ex-Charger LaDainian Tomlinson was distasteful. Also, I’m not a Phillip Rivers fan. I see he has above-average potentials but, he’s such a head case that I believe the Chargers will never win a championship with him.

The Broncos are  entertaining me these days. The Tebow-nanza is just that, a real Ponderosa tension builder. It’s a train wreck without all the messiness. Sooner or later the Broncos will find out that you can not run a college offense in the NFL. It would delight me if they found that out this weekend. Watching the Donks beat down the MIB on Sunday in Oakland was my weekend moment of bliss. The fact that they did it with a good ole college try plus a few outdated college moves, made that game silly fun to watch. The real drama and dilemma for John Boy Elway is, does he have a quarterback on his roster who can play in the NFL? Of course, for those who live in lower elevations, the answer is obvious. For Elway, and coach John Fox, who must also appease the masses of fans who are blind to Tebow’s honest inadequacies, the question is a PR nightmare. In any event, I’m definitely entertained.

As far as the Oakland Raiders are concerned, I’m dispassionate. Their history of penalties makes watching them play a horribly painful exhibition of high schoolish foibles. Al Davis is gone and so is the mystique.

Consequently, it’s the Chargers who are the only real opponent in the AFC West.

 

Would you, could you… cheer for the first place Raiders this weekend?

Would you, could you…
Award the mid-season team MVP to Tamba Hali?

I was originally going to make a case for Derrick Johnson but, Tamba Hali is still playing at a level clearly above anyone else on the team. So much so, that I can’t justify it. DJ should be considered for a Pro Bowl but, he may not be for a couple of reasons. One, there are so many other top quality LBs in the league who are not only high profile but, play in big cities. Two, if Derrick can’t play at Hali’s level then it’s too easy for voters to rate him down. Aside from the poor coverage on TE Anthony Fasano’s TD, Johnson has played great ball this year. In fact, I’d say it’s his best year yet. I’m just not sure he’ll make the Pro Bowl.

Hali, on the other hand, is beastly. His +11.4 Productivity Grade compiled by Pro Football Focus and pointed out in Patrick Allen’s post called, “Who is Rushing the Passer for the K.C. Chiefs?”, clearly shows he is in a league by himself when it comes to getting to the quarterback. Who’s the next closest Chiefs defender when it comes to rushing the passer? You guessed it, Derrick Johnson. However, his +1.1 Productivity Grade doesn’t come close to Hali’s. Mind you, Johnson is not always asked to put pressure on the QB but, he’s the only other Chief, besides Hali, who has a positive grade in this department. This makes it crystal clear how important it is for the Chiefs to address, “who is rushing the passer” as Mr. Allen has pointed out in his post.

Derrick Johnson has only been used to rush the passer 43 times but he has been fairly productive when he has. Considering the success the defensive line has in moving the offensive line around to play stout in the run game, it might benefit the Chiefs to send Johnson after the QB more often. ~ Patrick Allen

 Derrick Johnson’s overall play has been wonderful but, nothing like Tamba Hali’s.

Would you, could you… give the mid-season team MVP to Tamba Hali?

Would you, could you…
Make one of the following a top priority this off season?

1. Re-signing Bowe, Carr, McClain, Gilberry, Colbert, Gregg and Pope. Not making these players a priority: Belcher, Richardson, Jones, McGraw and Weigmann.
2. Signing or drafting a top level ILB and demoting Belcher or releasing him. Free Agent ILBs who will be availbale include: Curtis Loftin (ATL), Stephen Tulloch (DET),  Dan Connor (CAR), and E.J. Henderson (MIN). These players may not be a perfect fit but the Chiefs must upgrade at ILB if they wish to compete with the big boys of the league. I don’t think many ILBs start right away coming out of college so, I’m not going to list a bunch of college ILB prospects. However, the best three are commonly thought to be: Vontaze Burfict (AZ State, some think he’s Zeus but, I see cracks in the statue), Luke Kuechly (B.C., all around excellent game, I prefer him over Burfict), Dont’a Hightower (ALA, 6-4, 260, excellent run stuffer, suspect in coverage).
3. Signing or drafting a top level LT, who will play RT, and then demoting or re-utilizing Richardson (LT backup) and Gaither (RT or LT backup). Free Agent OTs who will be available include: Demetrius Bell (BUF), Brandon Keith (AZ), Kareem McKenzie (NYG), and Levi Brown (AZ). Top OTs coming out of college in 2012 include: Riley Reiff (Iowa, projected in the top 20), Barrett Jones (Alabama, can play both tackle positions), Mike Adams (Ohio State, 6-8 320, he’s big), Nate Potter (Boise State), and Matt Reynolds (BYU).
4. Signing another pass rusher opposite Tamba Hali. Maybe Houston will come through eventually. Maybe Cameron Sheffield will come through eventually. However, we’ve been talking about this for years and still no results. Remember Hali had eight sacks his rookie season. Houston has none so far. So, you might think… the difference is, Tamba was starting across from Jared Allen? Well, Houston is starting across from Hali. Two good pass rushers on the same roster makes all the difference. We need to see some progress from Houston here in the last 8 games or we will need to go shopping.

I know the season is only half way over but, would you, could you… anticipate making any of these a top priority at the end of this season?

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