We lead off today’s Morning Fix with a post from AA staffer Ladner. He is releasing a two-part series, the first of which was released last night. Be sure to check it out. Part 2 is now available in the featured section on the main page.
Job one has always been to win the AFC West. Six games with the division foes tell a huge story about how the Chiefs have done in any given season. We writers here at AA spend a lot of our time focusing on the Chiefs so, let’s take a moment and talk about the strengths of the three other AFC West foes or what you could call the AFC West Fear Factors.
Bill Williamson, who covers the AFC West for ESPN, recently published his own list of the top 40 players in the division. Interestingly, according to Bill, the Chiefs have 9 of the top 18 players in the AFC West. However, the top two belong to the Broncos. Winning the division may come down to which team has the greatest number of players to be feared. So, let’s take a look at who the Chiefs should be preparing for… and which players are sooo good, they represent some Fear Factors of their own.
Ryan Lilja is no longer a Chief. He played center last season when Rodney Hudson went down. He “retired” this offseason although there were a few rumors that he could possibly return. All is quiet on that front so I’ll assume he’s staying retired until we hear otherwise.
Jeff Allen filled Lilja’s spot at guard when Lilja went to cover center for Hudson. He was a rookie who had his growing pains as they all do. The hope with him is that he continues to develop. A second round pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, Allen will be competing with Geoff Schwartz for the other guard position. Schwartz is a veteran, coming in this offseason with 19 career starts under his belt. That battle for the guard spot opposite Asamoah will be one of the better ones this summer. I’m looking forward to it.
There aren’t a lot of people outside of Kansas City who could tell you much about Kansas City Chiefs right guard Jon Asamoah. Very few people would know about the former University of Illinois offensive lineman who was drafted in the third round (No. 68 overall) by the Chiefs back in 2010.
That should change this season.
Asamoah sat his rookie season behind one of the most storied offensive lineman in Chiefs history, Brian Waters. Then the Chiefs made the decision to let Waters go and move on with Asamoah as their future right guard. He’s proven that was the right decision.
In one of their “Secret Superstar” articles, Pro Football Focus’s Mike Renner described Asamoah as a promising player.
There was an interesting bit of information from ESPN’s Ron Jaworski last week when he was describing when new Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith is most effective. Here’s what he said.
“Smith has been outstanding out of multiple tight end personnel over the last couple of seasons. No quarterback has thrown the ball more with three tight ends on the field. You don’t see that very often in today’s NFL.”
It’s probably not a coincidence then that John Dorsey and Andy Reid have been very active this year in finding tight ends both in free agency and in the draft. It would appear Smith is most effective in the passing game when the tight ends around him are also strong receivers. Vernon Davis made his career off of this fact.