November 14, 2010; Denver, CO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Matt Cassel (7) reacts after a fumble that was scored for a touchdown against the Denver Broncos in the second quarter at Invesco Field. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-US PRESSWIRE

KC Chiefs Fans: Tell Me I'm Wrong!

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Well, my fellow KC Chiefs fans, welcome to the football dead zone. The stretch between the NFL Draft and the start of training camp is probably the least exciting time to be a die-hard NFL fan and definitely the hardest time to be an NFL blogger. Yes there are some interesting tidbits coming out of OTAs, but until they actually put pads on and hit somebody, everything is pretty much just speculation.

So what can we do to try and get some good old-fashioned football debates going?

Well how about we play a new game called “Tell me I’m wrong!” It’s easy, I’ll make some predictions that I 100 percent believe about the upcoming season and you tell me when you think I’m wrong. Then I’ll respond to your comment and tell you why you’re wrong for thinking that I’m wrong. It will be great, trust me (hey, it’s the offseason, what else are we going to talk about?).

Ready to play?

Here we go……

1. Stanford Routt will lead KC in interceptions.

I don’t think Routt is a better player than either Brandon Flowers or Eric Berry. However, I do think he will be the most thrown at player in the Chiefs’ secondary. My guess is that Routt may not be as consistent as Brandon Carr was, but he will make more big plays. Carr was a great cover corner but he never was a big interception guy (he averaged just two per season over his four years in KC). I think Routt will probably give up more big plays than Carr did, but will help make up for it by coming up with more big plays. Teams will be tempted to test him both because he may give up an occasional big play and because of Flowers’ great coverage skills opposite him. Plus Routt will be lined up a lot against #2 WRs (as opposed to last season in Oakland when he had to cover the other team’s #1). Because of this, I think Routt will be good for about five interceptions this coming season.

Tell me I’m wrong!

2. Amon Gordon will play more snaps at 3-4 NT this season than either of the “Po(w)e Boys”.

When the Chiefs drafted Dontari Poe with the #11 pick, most national commentators stated that Romeo Crennel would plug Poe in at NT from day one. I haven’t ever believed that to be true. I’m not bashing Poe, or even bashing the pick, just the logic that he would walk right in and be the starting NT. The NT in the Chiefs 3-4 is all about technique and leverage. Those two things happen to be two of Poe’s weakest areas coming out of college. Do I think Romeo and defensive line coach Anthony Pleasant can teach Poe the technique needed to be a starting 3-4 NT? Yes. Will it happen in one offseason? Probably not. Poe has been running with the first team nickel package, but is way down the depth chart at NT (even Anthony Toribio has gotten snaps ahead of him). So that leaves KC with either Gordon or last year’s 6th round pick Jerrell Powe as the starting NT to begin the year. I know fans are enamored of Powe, but the Chiefs have shown no signs thus far that they share that infatuation. Gordon was active over Powe all of last season and when the Chiefs base defense took the field for the first time in OTAs it was Gordon that lined up at NT. In addition, Gordon also has the versatility to play the 3-4 DE spots. So if Dorsey or Jackson were to go down mid-game the Chiefs could slide Gordon over to DE and play Dontari at NT (since he will be active for sub packages). The same could not be said for Powe who hasn’t played at all at DE or in the sub package. I won’t be surprised if Dontari Poe is the starting NT by the end of the season, but I still believe that Amon Gordon will lead the team in snaps played at NT when the season comes to an end.

Tell me I’m wrong!

3. Undrafted FA Josh Bellamy will beat out seventh round draft pick Junior Hemingway for the final WR spot.

I stated before that there really isn’t much that you can take from OTAs other than speculation. I think Josh Bellamy may be an exception. In Romeo’s presser following the undrafted player tryouts, Bellamy was the first player he mentioned when talking about players that got his attention. Then in this OTA update by the Kansas City Star’s Adam Teicher it mentions that with Bowe holding out and Baldwin missing a practice, Bellamy got a few reps with the first string (with no mention of Hemingway). Finally, in this locker room interview, Josh Looney talks about how Bellamy has experience playing defensive back and how that defensive experience helps him to excel on special teams. If Bellamy has flashed more as a WR thus far AND has a leg up on Hemingway on ST (where the last WR will see most of their action) I think Bellamy may be the clear favorite at this point despite the fact that Hemingway was drafted and Bellamy was not.

Tell me I’m wrong!

4. Peyton Hillis will finish the year with 100 more touches than Jamaal Charles.

I love Jamaal Charles. I think he is the most talented player on the team. That having been said, he has a small frame for a NFL running back and is coming off major knee surgery. The Chiefs previously were careful with Charles’ workload and that was before his knee injury. When the season begins, I wouldn’t be surprised if Charles only averaged 8-12 touches per game until the Chiefs start to feel comfortable that he is full strength. If the Chiefs are a run first team that could leave a solid 15-20 touches for Hillis. Plus, Hillis has proven in the past that he is a good receiver out of the back field so the Chiefs don’t have to take him off the field in passing downs. If the Chiefs let an ineffective Thomas Jones have more carries than a healthy Charles; I can’t imagine they wouldn’t let a more effective Hillis carry the load while they slowly bring Charles back. Over the course of 16 games 100 touches would only be an average of 6.25 touches per game.

Tell me I’m wrong!

5. Jonathan Baldwin will play well enough this season that the Chiefs will let Dwayne Bowe walk in free agency next offseason.

Part of the “Patriot Way” has always been knowing when to let a player go. Whether it was cutting Lawyer Milloy, trading Richard Seymour, or releasing Randy Moss, the Patriots have never been afraid to move on. Dwayne Bowe is an incredibly talented player who has always had a bit of a reputation as a “knuckle head.” Bowe may be wanting a huge long-term deal like the one Vincent Jackson signed this offseason, but I just don’t see Pioli giving him that kind of money. Listen to Pioli talk about the scouting process they use on draft picks. He always talks about the players’ “make up” and how they will mentally handle the NFL life and having millions of dollars in their pocket. Ask yourself this, would Pioli have been comfortable drafting Dwayne Bowe out of college based on those criteria? I don’t think he would have. The only way I see him giving Bowe big money is if he thinks he has no choice. Enter Jon Baldwin. Baldwin was a first-round pick by Pioli. He missed time last year on top of having a shortened offseason. Already in OTAs he is getting noticed for highlight-reel, big play catches. If Baldwin can carry that over to the regular season and looks like a #1 caliber WR, that is bad news for those wanting Bowe to stay in KC long term. I’d love to see both Baldwin and Bowe in KC long term, but if KC remains a run-first team they simply don’t need two #1 WRs. I think Jon Baldwin will show himself to be that caliber of player this year and give Pioli the leverage to let Dwayne Bowe walk.

Tell me I’m wrong!

6. Matt Cassel will silence his critics (well, at least some of them) by having his best season in KC.

I already made my case for Matt Cassel in my piece last week. The basis of my argument is this: Every time Cassel has had a good run game and at least an average defense he has put up good results. I think he has a chance to have the best defense of his career this coming year and if Jamaal Charles is healthy then KC could very well lead the league in rushing again. Plus, if you look at Cassel’s WRs in 2010 when he put up good numbers and even made the Pro Bowl (as an alternate), they were horrible after Dwayne Bowe. The additions of Steve Breaston, Jon Baldwin, and even Devon Wylie should mean Cassel has a significantly better core of WRs than he did in 2010. Plus, no one can question Cassel’s work ethic and you know that in the face of all the criticism he’s faced he will do everything possible to prove his critics wrong. I believe everything is lining up for Cassel to have his best season in KC.

Tell me I’m wrong!

So there you go, Addicts, I’ve given you loads of ammo to fuel a good debate in the comments section. Surely one of these made you go, “No Way That Happens!!!!” So let me have it in the comments. I look forward to hearing about how wrong I am.

As always, thanks for reading and GO CHIEFS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Tags: Dontari Poe Dwayne Bowe Jonathan Baldwin Kansas City Chiefs KC Chiefs Matt Cassel Peyton Hillis Stanford Routt

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