Keeping up with the AFC West Joneses is important every month of every year now especially in the current NFL environment. We’ve all become too aware at how quickly things can change. However, “Jonesing“on the 2013 Chiefs has become more than a common practice, it may be more popular than ever.
Offensive Attitude: Just yesterday (Monday), Rotoworld reported that,
Broncos placed C Dan Koppen on injured reserve with a torn left ACL, ending his season.
Koppen may have graded out low last year by Pro Football Focus but the experience he brings to each play and the coverages he could call for the line were invaluable.
Apparently the progress for the offense has been slow so far this training camp. From the milehighreport.com it was noted that Saturday no big plays for huge gains were executed. It was speculated that,
You can look at it one of two ways: either the offense is still getting in sync, or the defense, particularly the safeties, did a damn good job keeping their opponents in front of them.
Defending the Mountain: On the defensive front, the biggest questions still surrounds who will step in while Von Miller is on a four game suspension to begin the season. The team was already attempting to figure out who would pick up the slack left behind by Elvis Dumervil’s departure so the Broncos may be compromised early in the season on defense.
Drafty Building: The addition of DT Sylvester Williams through the draft should pay dividends this season. However, milehighreport.com says Williams came out of practice with a knee sprain on Monday. Seconds round pick RB Montee Ball should see action early too since they let go of veteran RB Willis McGahee.
Surprise, Surprise: the biggest disappointment of camp so far has been Jake O’Connell because of multiple drops. How strange.
Up, Up and Away: 6 foot, 190 lb. 5th round WR Tavarres King who has 4.36 speed, looks like he’s having a good camp. Just what the Broncos need, another deep threat.
Quarter Horses: The first 4 games of the season for the Broncos include, SB Champion Ravens (home), Giants- 9-7 (away), Raiders- 4-12 (home) and Eagles- 4-12 (home). With 3 of the first 4 at home, it may not matter that Von Miller is unavailable for those games. All Manning has to do is outscore the opponents until Miller returns. Then again, if the Broncos go 2-2 in the first quarter, the Chiefs could be in first place in the AFC West by then.
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Topically, the Raiders aren’t on anyone’s must-watch list except maybe Oakland fans. If they finish 8-8 it would be big news but don’t expect big new out of Oakland this year.
Big News: Perhaps the biggest of what is marginal news out of Oakland this offseason has been the signing of SS Charles Woodson. His 15 year career has been stellar but, Woodson turns 37 in October, only played in 7 games last year and his return to Oakland may simply be seen a return home to the team that originally drafted him.
QB VIP: The most important position on the field will be played by… drum roll please… Matt Flynn. Fox News clarifies that Flynn looks like he’s the odds on favorite in the Raiders first week of camp,
Flynn entered camp with the inside track over Terrelle Pryor and rookie Tyler Wilson to replace Carson Palmer in Oakland and has done nothing in the first week of camp to change that equation.
Unless something amazing happens it looks like Flynn’s first full season won’t measure up to either Carson Palmer, his predecessor or Russell Wilson, the rookie who nudged him out in Seattle.
Quarterflash: The Raiders open the season against the Colts- 11-5 (away), then play the Jags- 2-14 (home), then take on Denver- 13-3 (away) and give it their best shot against the Redskins- 10-6 (home). If the Raiders can get to 1-3 by the end of week four, they’ve got a chance to win as many games as they did last year (four).
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San Diego Chargers
Da Rivers in Da Nile: Guess who turns 32 this year? Not that 32 is old for a QB these days but if Rivers doesn’t get his career turned around soon, I could see him hanging up his helmet in a couple of years. Rivers has been thought to be a top tier QB during his career but, his ability to lead appears marginal and the Chargers will likely be looking for their next franchise QB considering next year’s draft is stocked with blue ribbon QB prospects.
The Right Left Tackle: The Chargers have a competition going on for the left tackle between Max Starks and King Dunlap. One of them will ultimately protect Philip Rivers blind side and hinny. The FanSided web site blotsfromtheblue.com shares the futitiy of that competition,
King Dunlap got out to an early lead in the competition for the starting Left Tackle spot, but it was only a matter of time between him or Max Starks gave up some ground due to an injury. Unfortunately for Dunlap, his (not serious) injury on Monday might be enough to open the door for Starks.
When I think of either Starks or Dunlap having to go against some of the best OLBs in the league like Hali or Houston it seems clear San Diego didn’t solve their LT problem this off season. Well, at least they’re both better than Jared Gaither.
Just Say No to Drags: Chargers rookie LB Manti Teo’ may be ready to play with the big boys by the time the season begins. He’s not only benefited from practicing against the likes of future hall of fame TE Antonio Gates but, he’s been lifting weights and losing 16 pounds in the process. What does it all mean? He might be fast and quicker now than he was just a few short months ago at the NFL combine. UTSanDiego.com says of Teo’,
Sixteen pounds lighter than his peak weight at Notre Dame, Manti Te’o said he’s faster, more agile as a result… the more he goes against NFL opponents such as teammates Antonio Gates and Ryan Mathews, the better he’ll get. Already, he’s learned the NFL game is not so much about pure speed and muscle, as it is about guile and detail.
At least were fairly sure he won’t be mistaking any one’s gender… as long as they keep him off the phones.
The Southwest Quarter: The Chargers begin the season against Houston- 12-4 (home), then play the Eagles- 4-12 (away), then take on the Titans- 6-10 (away) and go against Dallas- 8-8 (home). I can easily see the Chargers going 2-2 in the first four. If they get lucky and sweep their two games on the road, 3-1 is possible. The Chargers usually do start the season fast. Their problem is they just can’t finish. We’ll see if anything has changed with the changing of the guard.
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Kansas City Chiefs
Revamping Camp: Fresh off a visit to St. Joe last Saturday my mind is still buzzing with positive memories of the day. During I was struck at how many different situations the Chiefs practiced and how thorough this HC seems to be about making sure that happens.
No Frills Drills: The second football field — the one not used for the main drills — was being used by the QBs and the DBs to practice catching the ball and going for the INT once the ball is in the air. Now, there were no wide receivers in this drill. The DBs were told what route the QB was throwing, then would backpedal while keeping his eyes on the QB, then break on the ball when it left the QBs hands. The QB would go through his count and snap the ball, take his 3 or 5 or 7 step drop and that was the DBs cue to turn and cover the imaginary WR. During the first part of the drill Eric Berry dropped the first 3 balls thrown his way as did a couple of other DBs. Once they were ten minutes into the drill a ball was rarely dropped. In fact, after the first 3 drops by Eric he didn’t drop another one.
Run Baby Run: Another positive drill had the running backs finishing their carries all the way to the end zone. If a RB had a good carry and broke into the open they were encouraged to run it all the way into the end zone. That practice has to have all the running backs constantly envisioning TD runs… and can that be a bad thing? I think not. This same practice was observed for wide receivers and kick returners.
Ignore the Pain: About an hour into practice on Saturday, Alex Smith threw a pass and appeared to hit his hand on someone’s helmet or pads and was shaking his hand as he returned to the huddle. He was taken out right away but when the Chiefs changed the next group two minutes later he was right back in there with no apparent side effects. We’re still learning what kind of guy Alex Smith is but he appears to be making all the right moves so far.
Practice Squad Material: TE Demetrius Harris looked really good on Saturday. He looked fast and caught the ball and kept moving well into his routes. At 6-7 and 230 lbs with a lot of natural athletic ability I’m hoping there’s a place on the Chiefs roster for him. Even if it’s the practice squad.
Game Simulations: The use of a horn to denote the ends of practice periods, like it was the end of a quarter of a game, had the whole Chiefs squad huddling up as a defense and as an offense. Next, they’d begin a new set of drills which every player ran too. It seems brilliant to me. Reid doesn’t waste his time asking players to play hard, just fast. Game speed fast. And they do. I’m impressed.
Quarter Time: In the first quarter of the season the Chiefs first play the Jags- 2-14 (away) then play the Cowboys- 8-8 (home) then comes the Eagles (away) and go against the Giants- 9-7 (home). Maybe I’ve had too much Andy Reid punch but, I think the Chiefs can be 3-1 at the end of four. Hopefully the worst they finish at that point is 2-2.
Keeping up with the: For those wondering how many Joneses are on the AFC rosters. Here’s the breakdown:
Donkeys: 0 Joneses
Faiders: 2 Joneses
Bolts: 0 Joneses
Champs: 1 Jones
How about you Addicts? What are you Jonesing for this season?