Last season the Chiefs had six Pro Bowl players and went 2-14. They had six Pro Bowl players and never even held a lead for a second of their first eight games.
Two seasons ago they won the division and went to the playoffs but still got punched in the mouth in their final two games including an embarrassing blowout loss to the Ravens at Arrowhead in the playoffs.
The Chiefs have shown glimpses of being a good team but had major flaws: bad quarterback play, bad coaching, and perhaps worst of all, they were “soft”.
The Chiefs had addressed the coaching and quarterback problems prior to the draft. Andy Reid may not be perfect, but his track record compared to Romeo Crennel is off the charts. The Chiefs may not have an elite QB but Alex Smith, Chase Daniel, and Tyler Bray are definitely a step up from Matt Cassel, Brady Quinn, and Ricky Stanzi.
So coaching and QB play are going to be better this season, but you don’t go 2-14 and go without having a single lead for half the season strictly because of the coach and QB. Good teams, playoff teams, Super Bowl caliber teams have players that refuse to back down, refuse to quit, that punch back when they get hit in the mouth. They don’t ever quit. They don’t ever lay down.
That’s what has been SO hard for me to stomach as a KC fan the past few years. There have been times where I watched my team get punched in the mouth and they just laid down and took it. They had no answer. They had no fight. They were the scrawny kid on the playground getting pushed around by the big bad bully. I can take losing a game where both teams duked it out and the other team just made a few more plays. It’s disappointing, but there’s no shame in that. But when I went to the 2011 season opener and saw my team get curb stomped 41-7 IN ARROWHEAD by a bad Bills team, that was embarrassing. When I sat in the nosebleed seats and watched a REALLY bad Raiders team walk into Arrowhead last season and physically dominate KC on both sides of the ball I literally felt sick to my stomach, because it looked like the players had given up.
That’s why I love this draft class. That’s why every time I saw someone on twitter saying we should have drafted (insert name of flashy big name player here) instead of the guys like Travis Kelce, Nico Johnson, and Mike Catapano I shook my head. We have flashy players. We have Jamaal Charles. We just haven’t had enough power up front to always open up holes when the game was on the line. We have Tamba Hali and Justin Houston who can sack the quarterback. We just haven’t had the guys to stuff the run on first and second down to consistently force QBs into third and long situations. We have a shut down CB in Brandon Flowers. We just haven’t had an answer for TEs running wide open underneath.
We have the flash. We’ve lacked the guys willing to do the dirty work. We’ve been missing the guys with the guts, the heart, and the fight to make sure the “pretty boys” get on Sports Center.
I heard Eric Fisher’s coach from Central Michigan call him super competitive and “nasty”. That doesn’t sound like someone that will just accept getting pushed around.
I watched THIS video of Travis Kelce where he says things like:
“I like to get after it.”
“I like to play physical.”
“You’ll see me playing all the way to the whistle, sometimes that gets me in trouble but (smirks) I’ll leave it at that.”
You can’t watch that video and tell me this guy is going to be okay with a team coming into his home stadium and embarrassing him.
I hear people HATING on Knile Davis like he was the worst pick in the history of the NFL draft. The man is 230 lbs and runs a 4.3 forty! If they can fix his fumbling problems he can team with Charles to just wear defenses out. And those of you that are actually using Shaun Draughn as a reason that we didn’t need to draft a RB need to just stop. Seriously, stop it. You’re embarrassing yourself.
Another group of fans that dumbfound me are the ones that whined and moaned about the Kelce and Davis picks because of “this huge hole” at ILB, then complain that we reached for Nico Johnson. You know why Derrick Johnson has been able to rack up so many tackles the last couple of seasons? Because Jovan Belcher was constantly taking on blockers to free him up to get to the ball. You know who is possibly the best ILB in this draft at taking on blockers? NICO JOHNSON. You know who can help KC make stops on first and second down so that we can use Hali and Houston to rush on third and long? NICO JOHNSON. Will he have to come off the field on passing downs? Yes, but teams need a guy to stuff the run when the time comes. The Chiefs now have that guy on the roster.
What’s that you say? You’re upset with the Johnson pick because KC needs someone that can cover TEs. I’m glad you brought that up, that leads me to….
Sanders Commings. Commings is big and strong enough to play safety. He also has 4.4 speed. That means they can use him in a variety of ways. They can have him cover WRs or TEs. He can play in run support or drop back and play center field (literally, he was drafted to play center field in MLB). He’s part of the solution to some of KC’s recent problems that they have simply lacked answers for.
Eric Kush is a blue collar, underrated, small school center who can help push Rodney Hudson and provide depth in case Hudson has any more injuries.
Andy Reid called FB Braden Wilson the best blocking FB in this draft. That’s a guy that can help JC (and Davis) get the hard yards when the game is on the line. A guy that can turn 3rd and goal on the one yard line into a TD instead of a FG. He’ll do the dirty work.
Then there’s Mike Catapano. A favorite of mine. HERE‘s a video of him doing MMA training in the offseason (look at the guns). The NFLDraftScout scouting report says:
Well-built with very good muscle definition and plays as strong as he looks, manhandling blockers and tossing them with ease. Plays fast at all times with a motor that never quits. Makes up for lack of great leverage with his hustle and effort.
NFL Draft Bible’s twitter account had my favorite observation on this guy:
Sometimes its good to have a guy on defense who is just crazy. Hear Catapano fits the bill.
These are guys that can make the Chiefs better. They may not all fill up a stat sheet. They may not be guys that get on Sports Center or are even noticed at all by casual Chiefs fans, but these guys may just be the ones to do the dirty work that has been missing around Arrowhead for far too long.
That’s why I like this draft class.
That’s why I don’t care what grade ESPN may give it.
I’m not surprised that nationally nobody is talking about it.
It’s not that kind of draft class and I’m fine with that. It doesn’t mean these guys won’t help the Chiefs win. These may be just the kind of guys that have been missing in KC the last few years.
So fine, you want me to “grade” this draft class before any of them play a snap.
I’ll happily give it a “D” for dirty.
As always, thanks for reading and GO CHIEFS!!!!!!!!!!!!