It’s been a wild week at the Ole K.C. Ranch. Actually, the wildness has been swirling outside of Chiefs central which gives one pause… at least long enough to weigh-in.
So, what are the weighty issues? That’s going to be a bit like a Doc & Marty conversation from “Back to the Future,”
Well, there are some issues with some gravity, that’s for sure.
~ ~ ~
Well Guarded Recipes
How many of you saw Philip Rivers lead the Chargers to a victory over the all-powerful Peyton Manning lead Broncos, in Denver no less? That victory should not only bolster the morale of every coach and player on every other possible playoff team but, it hand signs and hand delivers the text book for whipping the Broncos, which should be available later today on “how-to” dot com.
Not like it was a highly guarded secret of the Kremlin but as Comrade Rivers pointed out after the contest, “It’s not about winning the time of possession, it’s about scoring at the end of long [clock eating] drives.” Which is exactly what happened on Thursday evening.
And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how the real “Cold War” was won. It was pure joy to watch Peyton Manning — moping along the sidelines — freezing his tee-watty off! Isn’t that the ultimate goal: make Manning cold, keep Manning cold, and leave Manning cold.
First, you have to be able to create one first down after another and turn each possession into a long drive. I know many fans have been calling for Alex Smith to throw “down-the-field” but there are inherent problems with that plan, especially when it comes to whippin’ up on some Donkey butt.
Score too quickly and you play right into the hands of the master. It’s like saying, “Hey, I can punch blow-for-blow with Mike Tyson” in his prime. Yea, you can do it but you’ll end up with canvas burns every time. Attempting to out sting a scorpion when you’re not yourself a scorpion will get you stung every time.
That’s what impressed me so much about the Chargers on Thursday because Rivers IS a scorpion too and if he wanted to go toe-to-MMA-toe with Mr. Manning he could have. Somehow, San Diego coaches convinced Philip to forgo his usual “id-quo-pro” personality and super-ego neediness for 3 hours, which was just long enough for the Bolts to bash the Broncs.
Can the Chiefs do the same, if the two teams meet in the playoffs? Yes. However, the key challenge appears to be, 1) pacing drives that make first downs which lead to TDs and 2) holding onto passes, so the clock doesn’t keep stopping.
“Dropsies equal stopsies.”
Every time a Chiefs WR drops a pass they are in essence dropping a victory. By dropping passes the clock stops and that pathology is the ugly “ology” that will be the Chiefs undoing during these playoffs unless they can get Dr. Reid to cure them by then.
For the Chiefs to accomplish what the Chargers did on Thursday evening will take a bit of pride swallowing and irony acceptance from fans as well. Just when it appeared Alex Smith was ready to chuck the ball long with some great consistency and regularity… that’s exactly what he should not do… in order to beat the Broncos! The Chiefs need to do some visualizations and imagine the clock is the best tasting meal ever… and one to be savored slowly.
For the Chargers, fourth year RB Ryan Mathews ran the ball for 127 yards on 30 carries. The more important figure here is the 30 carries. You don’t get to 30 carries unless you’re having some success along the way. Plus… and this is a biggie… he kept his runs in bounds late in the game to allow the clock to drain.
Another successful clock jock is Philip Rivers using nearly every second before having the ball snapped. He really out-Manning-ed Manning.
~ ~ ~
Shanny And Three Shades Of Gray
Can anyone see that “doing what’s best for the team” is different than “doing what’s best for the organization?” One is clearly the responsibility of the head coach and the other the responsibility of the General Manager. If you’re attempting to do both jobs you have been in constant conflict with yourself when making those kinds of decision.
This was the case in Philly for the past several years and now it is also the glass house called the Washington Professional football team.
There are those who erroneously believe that Bruce Allen serves as General Manager there but that wouldn’t be accurate,
“Bruce Allen, who holds the title of general manager, has played only a supporting role. On player-personnel matters, Shanahan mostly receives input from Scott Campbell, director of player personnel, and Morocco Brown, director of pro personnel. Shanahan doesn’t value Allen’s input, some in the organization say, because Allen isn’t considered a strong talent-evaluator. That’s a problem.”
Columnist Jason Reid of the Washington Post makes sure to point out that discrepancy in job “titles” and “roles” in his piece called, “With Mike Shanahan’s Departure Inevitable, Redskins Need to Hire A True General Manager.”
Dallas Cowboys ex-wide out Michael Irvin, now an announcer for NFLNetwork.com has a theory based on race relations,
“You are tearing him down, I doubt that any man can come back from this, walking around three weeks around these guys that you have to lead. And I don’t want to hear about teammates either; we understand as teammates and players, quarterbacks do get special treatment.
“You don’t see people arguing when Peyton Manning or Tom Brady gets (special treatment) — I don’t want you arguing when this kid gets it. He’s the quarterback, and the rest of us brothers have to understand that and treat him as such. I’ve got an issue with all of it. … You think they could do this to Andrew Luck? Let me ask you that, you think they could do this to Luck?”
Oddly enough, Leon Sandcastle look alike co-host Deion Sanders thinks that RGIII “needed some humble pie” and I wouldn’t disagree with him at all. After listening to Irvin for a number of years now I can qualify his statement more as an attempt to fill a void for the lack of anything meaningful to say.
If I’m the coach I’d love to have RGIII on the field whenever possible. As the General Manager I not only want to protect a huge investment the owner has made just 20 months ago but I’d also like to see if the play of backup QB Kirk Cousins can increase his value enough before year’s end to possibly garner the return of a high pick spent on RGIII.
Owner Daniel Snyder should pay more attention to the race of people he’s offending with the team name than creating conflict where none is needed. You either fire Shanny or you don’t.
In retrospect, I’m glad the Chiefs never made that deal.
~ ~ ~
The Playoffs and Showing Your Hand
It’s been suggested that if the Chiefs have to face the Indianapolis Colts in the first round in an either way scenario… then they should not show their whole hand. In other words these fans would like the Chiefs to hold something back in the first game so they can trick them to beat them in the playoff game.
Firstly, I like to quote the great pigskin philosopher, Herm “You Play to Win the Game” Edwards who once said, “You play to win the game.”
I’m a bit old school when it comes to keeping players on the field. I attended a high school in Southern California that was a perennial power for years and the coach would wait until halfway through the third quarter to put his second stringers in and then halfway through the fourth to put the third stringers in. For the most part I think this philosophy is sound because everyone who can play, plays. You always put your best on the field and you give all your players an opportunity if you’re winning so big you can afford to give others on your team field time.
The Chiefs used a similar philosophy this past weekend with Chase Daniel. However, to me it’s as much about developing the younger players as it is about protecting your front line guys.
For the Chiefs and Andy Reid, I think saying that you want to not show your whole hand is also to doubt his creativity. Plus, I often wonder what total percentage of the Chiefs playbook is being used? I’m guessing that it’s about 75% so far this year and with a coach like Brad Childress on staff that playbook is likely ever expanding.
~ ~ ~
“We’re So Sorry, Uncle Albert”
It’s hard to believe the Chiefs season is winding down and the Super Bowl is only 6ish weeks away. However, as soon as three weeks from now many teams will begin the purging process and letting players go. One player I expect to see gone this offseason is LT Branden Albert.
The fate of Albert appears set. Albert is a solid, above average left tackle who I’m sure the Chiefs will attempt to resign to a long term deal for a much reduced rate. If Albert decides to stick around and see where his teammates are headed next year it’s possible he’ll still be wearing red and gold in the autumn. If Albert decides to see what his max potential is with another team, he’ll be gone for sure.
For the Chiefs to franchise tag him again it would cost the Chiefs 11.22 million in 2014. If they can find a trade partner willing to pay that amount, they’d also have to accept another 20% on top of that which would bring Branden’s price to 13.44 million. That’s one hefty sum of money for a LT who is not the best LT in the league.
Both Eric Fisher and Donald Stephenson can and will step in and take over if Albert leaves and then all the Chiefs have to do to not weaken the overall strength of the OL is sign a good free agent or use a third or fourth round draft pick to get one.
Right now, it looks like Stephenson and Fisher can hold down the fort at the corners and Schwartz can move into a starter’s role inside and the Chiefs line will not only be no worse… they just might be better off. They’ll be better off financially for sure.
If the Chiefs did lose Albert, they’d likely end up with the compensation of a 3rd round pick in the next year’s draft.
~ ~ ~
Wide Receiver Speed Help
The Chiefs signed 6-2, 190, WR Jheranie Boyd this week. Boyd ran a 4.36 40 yard dash for the Chiefs in his workout. He chose jersey #81 in honor of Terrell Owens which I’m sure made Andy Reid smile inside.
Jheranie, pronounced “JAIR-uh-nee,” can be a deep ball threat and his hands look good. He was originally signed as an undrafted free agent by Tampa Bay in May but, was released then picked up by Cincinnati, then released again in August.
He played his college ball at North Carolina where he caught 44 passes for 13 TDs and 860 yards. Boyd had a leg injury as a senior and only caught 4 passes and it was anticipated that he’d have done much better in the draft if he’d been healthy or come out after his junior year. So, he could end up being a steal.
At North Carolina’s pro day Jheranie has a 42 inch vertical jump (there are aren’t many of those guys around), an 11 foot standing broad jump, 4.44 in the short shuttle, 7.03 in the short cone drill and 14 reps at 225 lbs.. Gil Brandt had the following to say of Boyd, “Is the sort of speed guy that NFL teams look for.”
The signing of Jheranie Boyd is another peak into the mind of John Dorsey when it comes to evaluating his own current roster. In recent weeks I’ve pointed out that the Chiefs should be looking to upgrade their wide receivers and tight ends as a number one priority this coming offseason. Dorsey looks like he’s getting an early start to his Christmas shopping.
~ ~ ~
Another Draft Pick to Consider
As the season continues to unfold I have often asked myself, who would the Chiefs miss most if they were injured or removed from the roster and the same answer appears all year, RB Jamaal Charles.
When recently perusing the list of possible first round choices I came across the film of a RB who blew me away and I said to myself, “Myself, this guy is good!”
The gentleman’s name is Melvin Gordon III (MGIII), who took over for the record breaking RB Montee Ball at Wisconsin this season. Gordon has 1466 yards in 12 games and averages 8.1 yards per carry. He reminds me a lot of Eric Dickerson who I watched first hand for years but he also reminds me of Jamaal Charles.
Melvin Gordon is 6-1 and 207 with a 4.3 40 time as reported by NFLDraftScout. Although, he looks like he plays faster than that. No, he’s not JC fast, but he pulls away from almost everyone in the open field, which is a place he gets to frequently.
Melvin Gordon is a thrill to watch. He makes one or two cuts at the most and he’s gone. He’s big enough to break tackles and is somewhat of a long strider but his first step is just as fast as I have ever seen. I don’t think I have ever said this when evaluating a possible player to be drafted but here goes: he gives me goose bumps when I watch him. Really. It’s exactly this kind of play maker the Chiefs need to make sure they have on the field at all times to continue to grow and succeed in the future.
The Chiefs already had Priest Holmes but 11 years ago they drafted Larry Johnson in the first round. The Chiefs already had Larry Johnson but 5 years ago (it’ll be 6 years by the time the 2014 draft rolls around) they drafted Jamaal Charles in the third round. The time may not only be right to draft another RB playmaker but you just never want to pass on a special player and I think Melvin Gordon is one of those guys. Gordon hasn’t yet decided if he’s coming out in this year’s draft but, if he does, here’s praying the Chiefs are blessed with his talents.
Yes, I want to see more out of RB Knile Davis. However, I think JC and Davis and Gordon could be a 3-headed beast that prolongs all their careers and pummels opposing defenses for many years to come as well.
Please enjoy RB Melvin Gordon’s following highlights.
~ ~ ~
Kansas City @ Oakland
This game has a similar feeling to the Redskins game. There’s not much to fear in Oakland besides being attacked in the parking lot. Kansas City 38, Oakland 14
Alright Addicts, are there any “issues” you’d like to weigh in on?
Tags: KC Chiefs