Yes, we all know that Alex Smith is an upgrade over anyone the Chiefs have had quarterbacking them in years. However, in the NFL you don’t go from being a 2-14 team to a 5-0 team without having made many changes. Obvious to all was that changes had to be made. However, when such a high number of your changes turn out to be great additions… those great additions should be duly noted: all 8 of them! Yes, there’s been even more changes than that but these 8 players have stood out in a big way during the first 5 games of the year.
How did this happen?
Who did the Chiefs get to turn the tides?
Of course the real answer is Andy Reid and John Dorsey but, fans don’t really want to spend their time cheering for them come game day. Plus, it’s the faces of Andy, John and Alex that have been plastered all over the Chiefs world wide web every day since each of their arrivals.
So, here’ are the other great new faces the Chiefs have brought in… and which have gotten them over the top… filled the holes in the bucket… and helped make the winning difference between this year’s and last year’s teams.
The (Duck Dynasty) Beard lives! 15 receptions in just over three games. 180 total yards with catches of 23, 22 and 25 yards in three different games this season and more importantly, McGrath has been clutch. It seems that just when the Chiefs need a big play, McGrath comes through. The man with the beard has brought consistency, big catches… and personality… to a TE position that has been ravaged with injuries this year as in recent seasons.
2) Akeem Jordan
The Chiefs have a defense to be proud of in 2013. They are first in rushing points allowed and sport a top ten defense in many categories. While Akeem Jordan (20 tackles, 1 fumble recovery) won’t likely be making the Pro Bowl he’s solidified the inside linebacker position next to Derrick Johnson (35 tackles). Jordan’s job is to fight off blockers and allow DJ time to get to the RB and he’s do his job. If you could somehow excuse the 264 yards rushing Philadelphia game with Sean McCoy, Michael Vick and the crazy offense of Chip Kelly which came early in the season for anyone to properly scout, then you’d see that Akeem Jordan is an important part of the Chiefs defense which is holding their 4 other opponents to a mere 78 rushing per game.
3) Marcus Cooper
What can you say about this young man. He appears to be the future of the CB position for the Chiefs for the next ten years to come. Plus, he nearly whipped the Tennessee Titans by his lonesome. His recovery of a fumbled-then-kicked punt in the end zone set the defensive tone (you have to give Cyrus Gray his props on that play because he’s the one who pushed the Titans player into the punted ball). Cooper then finished up the game with a terrific interception by jumping up over the Titans receiver and then he arm wrestled it from his arms. He may yet turn into the best off season addition of all.
4) Anthony Sherman
The Chiefs are 12th in the league in rushing in no small part due to Anthony Sherman. The holes he opens for Jamaal Charles are huge and he consistently gets the job done. The Chiefs haven’t had a fullback this good since Tony Richardson. The important part is… he is a difference maker. I didn’t like the trade at first that brought him to K.C. and shipped CB Javier Arenas to Arizona but, Sherman has been a tank and provided an occasional relief valve for Alex Smith with 8 catches on the year.
5) Donnie Avery
The beneficiary of all the Bowe double coverage is Donnie Avery. Three years ago when the Chiefs went up against the Ravens in the playoffs the Ravens doubled Bowe and there was no one else who could step up and make a big catch and consequently the Chiefs were one and done. This year Donnie Avery is making teams pay and Avery is the one reaping the rewards. Avery has by no means been perfect but he’s not reminded anyone this year of the dropsys he’s had in years past. In fact, his down field receptions are the ointment that heals the “Alex Smith won’t go long” wound.
6) Quintin Demps
Quintin Demps has had two interceptions, one in each of the past two games. Add his 57 yard kickoff return earlier this year to those stats, along with 9 tackles and 7 passes defensed and you have one heck of an addition to the family. Demps is an NFL journeyman whose continued to work on his game and raise his level of play. He’s not only spent time in Philadelphia and Houston but, played for the Hartford Colonials of the United Football League in 2010. When Demps came out of Texas-El Paso in 2008 he had 4.35 40 speed and was drafted in the 4th round by the Eagles and Andy Reid. His reunion with Reid has been pretty much a picnic for Chiefs fans.
7) Geoff Schwartz
An NFL team can’t survive without players like Geoff Schwartz. Call him “super-sub” on the offensive line. You certainly can’t win your first five games of the season unless you have offensive linemen like Schwartz who can play a number of positions along the line and play them well enough for there not to be a big drop off in productivity when the starter goes down. The Chiefs didn’t have Schwartz last year and it was only Donald Stephenson who came through when called upon. Having solid starting offensive linemen is one thing… but to have players who can give them a spell and still succeed is invaluable. Schwartz not only makes my list of the greatest 8 new faces thus far but I think he’s good enough to be a regular starter.
8) Sean Smith
On Sunday in Tennessee the TV announcers called Sean Smith the Chiefs best corner this year. I can’t argue with that. Now I don’t believe that Brandon Flowers is made to cover the Dez Bryants of the world and I’m not sure Sean Smith can either, but his presence for the Chiefs has forced teams to deal with more direct pressure on their QB because Smith’s man usually doesn’t need to be doubled. Having a second corner who plays at Brandon Flowers level has helped to turn this defense into the beast it is becoming.
Last year I kept wondering how great this team could actually be if they had just a few more pieces to the puzzle. Now, I’m wondering about how much better they can be by just staying together for another year.
So, what do you think Addicts? Is there a face you’d like to invite to this party?