Chiefs Roster Talk: Stars, Black Holes, and Gumby Lives

Stars

I was watching the Science channel recently and they said that the universe is run by stars, depends on stars and is basically a star system. I thought… how much alike the NFL is to the universe.

Since a number of analysts have been touting the Chiefs roster and even projecting them as Super Bowl candidates, I thought it would be appropriate to take a look at the Chiefs’ starting roster from a “star” point of view… to see if the top of their depth chart holds up to the same standards as… say… the universe.

Stars on Defense

Defense is where the Chiefs will continue to shine this year and they have decidedly more star power there than on the offensive side of the field.

OLB Tamba Hali
It all begins with Mr. Hali. Since it’s become such an aerial occupation, anyone who can ground the pilots, is top priority and the Chiefs have one of the best “grounders” in the league. Or you could say Tamba has become a master air traffic controller. No doubt about it, his star will be shining bright this year.

ILB Derrick Johnson
Mr. Johnson is just coming off of his first Pro Bowl year and looks to only improve. He’s a star all right and an under-appreciated one at that. I say he’s better than Ray Lewis at this point.

S Eric Berry
Even if Mr. Berry comes back slowly, 80 percent of Eric Berry is better than 90 percent of any of the other safeties out there. According to Romeo Crennel, Berry was a star from the second set of downs he played in his very first practice.

CB Brandon Flowers
In my opinion, Mr. Flowers has been a star for the past couple of seasons. With the exception of the first Denver game last season, I’d say he played at a Pro Bowl level. Pro Football Focus says he’s the third best in the league. If you’re third place in a four man race, that’s not too good but, if you’re third place out of 64 corners or more… you are a star.

Emerging Stars
LB Justin Houston and S Kendrick Lewis have the potential to reach “star” status and, with four other solid stars on the defensive side of the ball, Houston and Lewis look to build off of their presence. I don’t know if CB Stanford Routt will be a star this year. Could be. We’ll see.

Stars on Offense

This was a very good offseason for the Chiefs, offensively speaking… no offense intended.

RB Jamaal Charles
With Mr. Charles returning, the whole Chiefs offense looks to improve over their 2010 performance two years hence. Charles is a catalyst and when he begins to snap off big chunks of yardage it changes everything an opposing defense is doing and making them more predictable. He’s a game-changing star. Plus, he says he’s ready to punish some people. Let the punishment begin.

WR Dwayne Bowe
I don’t want to get in the middle of a contract debate about Mr. Bowe here but, it should be noted that he is a legitimate big time star. Is he top five in the league? No but, I’d say he’s top 10 and when you’ve got 64-plus receivers out there all trying to be the best that they can be, it’s crystal clear to me that the Chiefs offense “needs” Dwayne Bowe. He’s been making star quality catches for the Chiefs for four years and now has discipline and maturity on his side. In any event… I believe he’ll be starring for the Chiefs this season.

RT Eric Winston
When Eric Winston signed with the Kansas City, it was the best day of the offseason for me — besides the draft, because that’s like three days of immersion in this Addict’s drug of choice. Back to Mr. Winston: he’s a star and a star who’s recognized for being one of the best at his position by critics and peers all around the league. I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again… I wouldn’t at all be surprised if the Houston Texans struggle in the running game at the beginning of the season because of the loss of Winston.

Emerging Stars
WR Jon Baldwin is on the cusp of really goodness. Who knows, maybe he’ll be great someday but, for now, I’m ready, based on his OTA performances, to announce that he’s an emerging star. I think it would be unwise to count on him to step right in and replace someone like Dwayne Bowe so, I hope the Chiefs don’t ask him to do that quite yet. Perhaps he’s capable of doing that someday but, let’s not get the cart before the ass’s horse. I see LT Branden Albert much as I see Brandon Flowers: they’re both very, very good but, since there are so many others at their respective positions who are great, it diminishes their superior contributions, if only in the media. RB Peyton Hillis has had both a great season and a bad season but, I think he’ll return to stardom this year for several reasons. Two good reasons include his re-acquaintance with his 2010 offensive coordinator, Mr. Daboll and, the saving grace of JC.

Both of Kansas City’s kickers have shown flashes of stardom and should at least be considered above average. In Dustin Colquitt’s case, way above average and based upon what his little brother is doing in Denver, I see no reason why Dustin can’t attain star status this year. I say ‘trust in Dustin.’ Well, you don’t have to… I just wanted to say ‘trust in Dustin’ cuz it sounds cool.

Black Holes

I know that when I say “Black Holes” half of you are thinking about the cosmos, the other half are thinking about the pa-Raiders, and what I’m actually referring to is, neither. Last season the Chiefs most glaring weakness was… depth. It was the “Black Hole” of the Chiefs season. Old news, I know, but, not in light of all the depth they have this season. Light is a good word too because of the number of “star” quality players the Chiefs have on their starting roster.

To give credit where credit is due we must say that GM Scott Pioli has helped the Chiefs emerge from this Black — don’t say Sabby Piscitelli ever again — Hole.

Now, when things go bad and the Chiefs need a player to step up — or step in — it will be because Pioli has provided solid quality back-ups to do just that. I just wish it hadn’t taken three years for him to do it… but, let’s not go there.

I know it’s been suggested that the Chiefs should sign another TE, someone like Visanthe Shiancoe or Jeremy Shockey. However, let’s not assume Steve Maneri can’t do the job. ;~)

The signing or drafting of these players has made the Chiefs nearly “Black Hole-less” this year:

S Abram Elam
TE Kevin Boss
RB Peyton Hillis
DE Ropati Pitoitua
RB Cyrus Gray
QB Brady Quinn
OL Jeff Allen
OL Donald Stephenson

Thanks for beaming us up, Scotty!

Gumby Lives

Talk about flexible. If they could make a doll out of the current Chiefs roster it would look a lot like Gumby. Don’t know Gumby? He’s that super flexible rubbery green cartoon character from decades ago who could be tied up in a knot, if you wanted to.

Flexibility? That seems to be a major theme of this regime’s Chiefs.

What do they like about Peyton Hillis? That he seemed to turn into a nut job last year? Nooo. They like the fact that he can, run up the middle… run outside… catch the ball… and block for other backs like a fullback.

He’s the perfect example of the types of players the Chiefs have been bringing in to monopolize the roster. It’s almost as if there’s now an unwritten rule: if the player we’re signing isn’t a “star” then they should be a Gumby (flexible). Here’s a look at a few of the Chiefs’ current Gumby’s:

Steve Maneri- once an OL and now a TE. He may have even started out as a TE so, this is a return to his roots. Plus, I understand he had one of the better catches of OTAs.

Javier Arenas- he’s all over the field: slot DB, replacement DB and returns kicks. Excellent all-round dude.

Jeff Allen- Allen played the Tackle position in college but, the Chiefs project him to Guard. He can do both.

Rob Bruggeman- plays Center and… apparently he allows people to use his face as a punching bag.

Kevin Boss- above average blocker and above average receiver.

Travis Daniels- he’s all over the defensive backfield.

Rodney Hudson- Chiefs second round pick last year plays Guard and Center.

Amon Gordon- he can slide inside or out along the defensive line.

Dexter McCluster- can go as a RB and is now also considered a WR and has been counted on for two years to help return kicks.

And the list goes on and on….

Do you recall how the Patriots used Julian Edelman to play both offense and defense last year? This is an important element of the New England system now. And… Scott Pioli is doing his best to make sure the Chiefs roster is filled with players who are that multi-talented as well.

Okay, Addicts in the closet… come out, come out, wherever you are! What do you think of the 2012 Chiefs roster?

 

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