Chiefs: Super Bowl Week, Prospects And Predictions

Before we all succumb to the deluge that has already begun in New Orleans, the site of the NFL’s annual penultimate event, let’s take a look at some issues we in Chiefs nation care a little more about. Like, who the Chiefs will be selecting in the draft.

“Super” Player Personnel Acquisitions
Analyzing the Chiefs needs is one way to determine who the Chiefs should select. Taking the so-called “best-player-available” while ignoring team needs is another way to determine who the Chiefs should select too.

The Chiefs seems to be set at the kicking positions so we can bypass that conversation… for the most part. Some have suggested that Ryan Succop at least needs some competition.

On Defense the Chiefs were 12th against the pass last year and 27th against the run. So, one response to that might be to make sure you draft a run stuffing DT and an ILB who is a thumper but, I have yet to find the ILB thumper in this draft.

Yes, the Chiefs definitely need the ILB but I’m not sure they’ll be selecting the DT  high in the draft either because 3 of the last 5 first round selections by the Chiefs have been DL and it’s hard to believe the Chiefs new leadership would ignore that fact.

On offense the Chiefs were 5th in the league in rushing and we all know the main reason for that: Jamaal Charles. The passing game? Dead last, with the emphasis on the dead.

The only possible solution for this abysmal finish in the passing game is of course, the passers who have been doing the passing, or I should say, not passing, the ball to the receivers.

If you look to Dwayne Bowe’s stats and recognize he’s been one of the top receivers in the league over his 6 years in the league, you can see how much more the Chiefs need for a QB really exists. He’s averaging 955 yards per season along with 13.5 games a season even though he’s he’s been forced to finesse footballs from the likes of Matt Cassel, Brady Quinn, Damon Huard, Brodie Croyle and Tyler Thigpen in what is likely the worst 5 to 6 year stretch of QBs in Chiefs history. You’d have to go back to the late 80s to find a worse stretch.

Even so, if Bowe continues his pace, he’ll become the KC Chiefs all time leading wide receiver in a year and a half. Fans may be taking him for granted but, one great priority this offseason must be to re-sign Dwayne Bowe. What most fans are unaware of is that Bowe is already the Chiefs all-time yards per game leader at 65.1 YPG over Fred Arbanas who went 61.4 YPG. No one else in Chiefs history has even broken the 60 YPG barrier. Of course Arbanas caught his passes from Hall of Famer Len Dawson but, Bowe has accomplished his feats even in spite of catching balls from really bad QBs.

Not only will the Chiefs need to make sure the new QB is in place but, that this QB has more than Dwayne to throw to. I was appalled when Andy Reid suggested that the “QB of the future” might already be on the Chiefs roster. However, it’s not hard at all to believe that most of the WRs who will be playing across from Bowe next season are already on the roster.

Back Drafting Continuum
One of the reason’s I was enamored with Todd Haley when he was here was because of my admiration for his father, Dick Haley. Dick was the director of player personnel in Pittsburgh from 1971 to 1990 and was “the” important cog in bringing all that talent to the Steelers in the 1970s and especially the famous 1974 draft picks of Lynn Swann, Jack Lambert, John Stallworth and Mike Webster. I thought, erroneously so, that some of that knowledge about seeing into the souls of prospects would have rubbed off on Todd but, it’s old news now: Todd is not his father.

In fact, I’ve long thought that there was some magical potion or mystical formula for determining which players might excel at the NFL level — and it now appears — there is not. From 1981 to 1990, in the ten years following the Steelers 1970s glory days, their overall record was 77-75. A little too pedestrian to ignore… just as we should not ignore their successes of the 70s.

Now, I have come to believe it’s all about the people themselves. Not necessarily their skills, although that’s certainly critical but, I’m talking about what kind of people work well together.  Like a family. Not a dysfunctional one of course but, one that really loves being together and knows how to relate.

Is there any proof to this theory? None whatsoever. However, if the Vermeil led Chiefs didn’t win a  single playoff game during his tenure… at least the time they spent together was filled with warm, enduring and memorable experiences, not only for them but, for Chiefs fans as well.

Personally, I miss Dick Vermeil, and I always found him to be personable and emotionally present, as well as a brilliant offensive mind but, someone who always knew how to get the best out of people. Maybe that was because, he saw what was best — for them. And he wasn’t even afraid to approach the most high profile players and, tell-em-like-it-is! Even if that meant saying, “take the diapers off.”

Andy Reid strikes me as someone special like Vermeil, in his own charming and disarming way. I’m hoping he and his new cohorts can produce some memorable moments on and off the field.

Ravin’ Lunatics
On and off the field — hmm — this is the big reason I can’t cheer for the Baltimore Ravens. I have a hard time even thinking about watching any of the Super Bowl festivities leading up to the big game: because of what Ray Lewis has done… off the field.

On the Sunday evening following the Ravens convincing win over the Patriots, Wes Welker’s wife posted the following on Facebook,

Proud of my husband and the Pats. By the way, if anyone is bored, please go to Ray Lewis’ Wikipedia page. 6 kids, 4 wives. Acquitted for murder. Paid a family off. Yay. What a hall of fame player! A true role model!

For his part in the death’s of Jacinth Baker  Richard Lollar, Lewis received a year’s probation and a $250,000 fine by the NFL. Barely a slap on the pinky considering the Ravens re-signed Lewis just 2 years later to a 50 Million dollar deal in 2002.

If someone like Ray Lewis doesn’t sicken you — well it’s hard for me to fathom people not being sickened by him even though, I know there are so many who idealized him.

Lewis pleaded guilty in relation to the case: for obstruction of justice, a misdemeanor. He originally was charged with two counts of murder but struck a deal with prosecutors in exchange for his testimony against two of his companions

Faithful to the very end — TO HIMSELF. A misdemeanor? Wowzah.

If fans can agree that Pete Rose doesn’t deserve to be in the Hall of Fame because he bet on the game he played… why is it so hard for fans to accept that Ray Lewis never deserves to be in the Hall of Fame for his role in the murders of Jacinth Baker and Richard Lollar? Weigh the difference between the two: betting vs. murder. Hmm, why is that one so hard to objectively adjudicate or eugenically assimilate for football fans.

I abhor what Michael Vick allowed to happen to the dogs he raised for fighting but, it’s nowhere near to how horrible I feel each and every time I see Ray Lewis. Shouldn’t we, as a society, say that… killing humans is worse than killing dogs? Let it also be noted: Michael Vick did his time.

Yesterday, in a Sports Illustrated article by David Epstein and George Dohrmann, Ray Lewis was implicated in the use of PEDs (performance enhancing drugs) which he denies of course. At first, Lewis promises an organization called  SWATS (Sports With Alternatives to Steroids) to share the secret of his recovery with the whole world, in exchange for his receiving the product free of charge and then when he’s all healed up (taking only ten weeks to heal from an injury that usually takes up to a year to heal), he says he does admit taking it but, denies that any real assistance came from the product. It appears the Lewis legacy is lousy with lies.

Lewis deserves the moniker: murderer and master manipulator. He just so happened to have money and lots of it… and just because he had money he could weasel out of a murder rap… which he’s been rewarded handsomely for with adoring fans and a media following fit for a King. Now, we get to hear about his exploits as a motivational speaker throughout his retirement. If Ray Lewis wins another Super Bowl as he exits the league, we will all have to endlessly suffer the insufferable and most news outlets will happy to help us out with that.

First Round Doppelgangers
Since the Chiefs will have the second pick in the second round, they are in a prime position to move back into the last half of the first round and select two first rounders that way. What the Chiefs would have to give up to make such a move, I don’t have the foggiest, but, it’s doable.

The Chiefs could take care of two major needs in this draft by making this happen: a QB and a CB would click the ticket.

If the Chiefs do move on up, they might find CB Xavier Rhodes who appears to do best in the bump and run. He also does a great job extending his 6-1 frame to bat down passes at the last second. He’d be great to pair with Brandon Flowers.

If not the QB-CB combo then, the question is what two position combinations will it be? Perhaps it could be…

LT Luke Joeckel + QB Mike Glennon- not my favorite combo.
DT Star Lotulelei + ILB Manti Te’o- assuming he remains a first round graded talent by then. This would leave the QB position unaddressed high in the draft.
OG Chance Warmack + QB Tyler Wilson- an intriguing combo if they don’t take Geno #1.
CB Dee Milliner + DT Jesse Williams- I like both these gentlemen to flourish in the NFL. This is the all-Alabama combo. This would also leave the QB position unaddressed high in the draft.

There are many doppelgangers to be had. Do you have any suggestions if the Chiefs go this route and take, two in one?

A Whack-a-mole Prediction
The Baltimore Ravens have etched a wide trough to the Super Bowl ploughing through Indy, Denver and New England. Frisco, who had a first round bye, whipped up on Green Bay and then the Falcons, in their own house, to land in the grand prize game.

The Ravens strengths are just that: strength. They know how to bully an opponent black and blue. However, the 49ers talents are: they are talented. Very.

Beating the Ravens… will come down to out-finessing them since the 9ers should have no problem matching the Ravens strengths. To beat the Frisco kids… will take more. It will be like hitting the Whack-a-moles at Chucky Cheese. When the Ravens are able to cover one very talented 9er… another one will pop up and hurt them.

The San Francisco 49ers are too talented all over the field for the Ravens to win this one.

My Prediction: San Francisco 49ers 35, Baltimore Ravens 24.

So, what’s your prediction?

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