Would You, Could You, Chiefs Fans?

1 Feature From The Bleachers

It’s time again to play… Would You? Could You?

Like any other fan in the Addict, I dream dreams for the Chiefs of uber-superstar acquisitions, multiple Hall of Fame draft classes and decidedly dominating dynasties… among other dreams that I shouldn’t get into here.

Yes, I have spent a lot of time in the land of “what if?” Like, I used to think about… what if the Chiefs hadn’t drafted Mike Cloud… they could have had Joey Porter. Instead of Sylvester Morris… they could have had Laveranues Coles. And, instead of Eric Downing… they could have had T.J. Houshmandzadeh. I know, I know… that was a dark period in my dream life.

Now, my “what-iffing” is all about the Chiefs’ future. So, let’s play…

Would You? Could You?

Could you imagine a sweeter moment in the past season than the Chiefs play-off clinching 56-31 victory over the Oakland Raiders?

After the game, Clark Hunt said, “There’s something about having the opportunity to make the playoffs and seizing it, and I was proud of the way the guys did it today.” This was the game when it seemed like every time Jamaal Charles touched the ball… he scored! Why, because he scored 5 TDs that day. 5 TDs. I can’t wait until the day when the Chiefs turn their Raider killing energy towards their play-off opponents and begin to rule the postseason. However, for me, there’s just not a sweeter feeling… from the moment I pull on a Chiefs jersey to the moments I’ve walked into Arrowhead stadium… than the feeling of beating the Raiders and a 56-31 win hit that spot! Do you have a “sweetest moment” of this past season?

Would-You-Could-You-Chiefs-Fans-May-20121Would you be in favor of the Chiefs signing free agent WR Jeremy Maclin when free agency begins?

Missouri product Jeremy Maclin has been a star in this league at WR and since he came into the league in 2009 he’s averaged 836 yards a year even though he didn’t play at all last season because of a torn ACL. The Chiefs would never offer Maclin a contract unless he passed their physical but an ACL is still an ACL and the Chiefs may be better off looking for their impact WR in the draft because this draft is loaded with quality WRs. If the Chiefs offer Maclin a contract it’s going to mean they aren’t going to be able to take action on any other impact players in free agency because Maclin will not come cheaply. While John Dorsey made so many good moves last offseason, the way he handles navigating financial waters this offseason will tell the whole story as to the Chiefs success during the 2014 season. Jeremy Maclin may be the perfect compliment to Dwayne Bowe and he may be a perfect fit for Andy Reid’s system, hitting the ground running but, he’s not the best financial fit so I’m not in favor of going after him.

Would you want the Seahawks CB Richard Seymour on the Chiefs squad after he embarrassed himself so badly immediately following the NFC Championship game?

While I really have a distaste for “sore-winners,” which seem to permeate most of the teams in the NFL right now, if that bad attitude is what it takes to get the Chiefs to a Super Bowl Championship game… I say… forget about it. I’ve spent my life teaching children and a good deal of that, while academic, is helping our young minds to understand… socially appropriate behavior. Yesterday, while driving home from school (work) I had the “good misfortune” (there’s no other way to say it) of hearing young children imitate the interview between Erin Andrews and Richard Sherman. While disgusting… I offer it below to show just what a negative influence a sports figure’s uncontrolled impulsivity can be. And shame on the person who thought it would be funny to teach this to young kids and then glorify it by YouTubing it!

Would-You-Could-You-Chiefs-Fans-May-20121Could you support the Chiefs moving Dontari Poe to DE this year if they can find a dominating NT who can cause havoc in the opponents backfield?

It’s been suggested before to take Poe and move him outside to DE. At least for some of the game. However, to do that the Chiefs would have to solve the NT position all over again. I recently watched film on a player named Aaron Donald from Pitt plus, he’s having a great week at the Senior Bowl and if you can tune into the game today at 3:00 on the NFL Network channel I’m sure you’ll catch him there. DraftTek.com ranks him 53rd overall but, CBSSports has him at #20 and I’ve heard it suggested that he could make his way into the top ten. He’s short at 6-1, 288 but I don’t know if I’ve ever seen any prospect handle the player in front of him and move past him to get into the backfield as well as Donald. Yes, he’s been criticized for being short and not being able to stand tall and knock passes down but if he (or another player like him) can provide that push up the middle consistently, then other teams would be forced to double-team Dontari Poe on one side of the field opening the door for either Tamba Hali or Justin Houston because teams have been able to double Poe on the inside and then double Hali or Houston outside. The Tyson Jackson-Mike DeVito pairing at DE have never provided that kind of push so finding a player who can get into the backfield up the middle will cause all sorts of problems for the Chiefs opponents. If the Chiefs can make that happen, whoever the Chiefs get to play CB in coverage are going to look a lot better. In this highlight video of Aaron Donald, be sure not to miss him tackling both the QB and the RB at the same time (about 50 seconds in). One last word on Aaron Donald. I’ve never seen a defensive lineman take better angles to the quarterback and he has the supreme ability to control his body to swing around, change direction and not lose any speed doing so. When he breaks free from the offensive blockers his acceleration is amazing (4.82 40 yard dash).

Would you admit that on the Chiefs defensive, that the defensive line needs to be fixed first and foremost?

For reasons listed above, the Chiefs need to fix their defensive line first and foremost this offseason. That may mean they use their first round pick in the NFL draft to accomplish that task. However, if the Chiefs try to go cheap and use free agency they could end up with Cedric Thornton from the Eagles. Thornton is only 26 years old but is a huge (6-4, 310) run-stuffing DE/DT who can play inside or out. I wouldn’t expect him to outperform incumbent Tyson Jackson, who is still a possibility to return, but only if the Chiefs can sign him to a much reduced contract. I’m convinced the defensive line is the first unit to fix on the whole roster and following is the priority list, as I see it, for the whole defense:

A) DL unit

B) DB unit

C) LB corp

The next position player that needs to be addressed is Free Safety. A Free Safety with exceptional cover skills will change a lot about the Chiefs defense but until the Chiefs can get their defensive line shored up with a new player who can be a disruptive force in the opponents backfield, then settling on a new Free Safety, no matter how good he is, won’t make much of a difference.

Would-You-Could-You-Chiefs-Fans-May-20121Would you, could you, be interested in signing CB Antonio Cromartie?

There’s a Bob Sutton connection from Sutton’s days with the New York Jets and Cromartie would probably come cheap. He turns 30 in April and only had a base salary of $840,000 in 2013 but, if he’s wanting  big payday he would definitely not be worth it. However, Cromartie is the larger CB type the Chiefs seem to be coveting these days at 6-2 and 210 pounds. Antonio Cromartie would also be one of those players who would come in and not have to struggle learning the defensive playbook and could take over the leadership role, should the Chiefs choose to cut ties with Dunta Robinson, which I’m hoping they do asap.

Would you have…. during the 2013 offseason season… signed or traded for QB Nick Foles if he’d become available?

Be truthful now… did you ever want him back then? Of course it makes no difference now… except to say, some of us had good judgement back then… but it’s time to stand up and be counted! Well, I wanted Foles when he came out of college and if you think Andy Reid, who drafted Foles, is surprised that Foles is doing so well, then you might want to consult the North going… or the South going… Zax. Either one.

Would-You-Could-You-Chiefs-Fans-May-20121Would you say the “least improved unit” on the Chiefs roster in 2013 is the defensive backs?

I have them ranked like this, in terms of their poor performance and their importance to the team:

1. DBs, 2. WRs unit, 3. TE unit, 4. LBs unit, 5. Punters/kickers unit

Yes, the defense started out great this year but the descending play of Brandon Flowers and 25th ranked passing defense overall makes this unit the least improved and most disappointing on the Chiefs roster. Next, WRs had no one step up next to Dwayne Bowe and Bowe had an off season. DL, WR and Safety are the greatest needs as I see it and unless the Chiefs get another WR that can make his own move to get open, then the offense is going nowhere in 2014. The next position player who could help the Chiefs move forward in 2014 but didn’t in 2013, is the TE position group. Obviously, Anthony Fasano must play up to his potential and 2013 third round selection TE Travis Kelce must stay on the field, stay off the IR and make good on his contract before the Chiefs offense is going to improve in 2014. The Chiefs linebacking corp stayed basically the same. Akeem Jordan was not a step up and may be replaced this offseason. Punters and Kickers remained as advertised: excellent… but not big improvements none the less.

Would you say the “most improved unit” on the Chiefs roster in 2013 wss the QB unit?

I have them ranked like this, as the “most improved units” based upon their performance and their importance to the team in 2013:

1. QB unit, 2. OL unit, 3. DL unit, 4. Kick return unit., 5. RBs unit

Adding Alex Smith was “the one” biggest positive improvement on the Chiefs roster this season. I know some will argue this… but their arguments seem to be based on old facts and figures and those making that claim seem unwilling to be persuaded by the performance of Alex Smith this season. After all, he is in the Pro Bowl. BTW… I count myself as one of those who started out as a non-Alex Smith supporter who became persuaded as time has passed this year. I hope other fans come along as well because offseason conversations about using any resources in getting another QB are misinformed and misplaced. The offensive line started out slowly but became an important force in guiding the Chiefs late in the season. Now, even if Pro Bowl LT Branden Albert does leave via free agency, which most expect him to do, the other available OL are strong enough to deal with such a loss. When Glenn Dorsey was replaced by Mike DeVito and Dontari Poe improved by leaps and bounds and Tyson Jackson had his best season, the defensive line became a strong point for the defense. Special teams coach deserved every penny the Chiefs paid him this year and the return unit has become a top ten unit in the NFL. The late season play of Knile Davis and the excellent year that Jamaal Charles had places the RB unit on the improved list of units for the Chiefs this year.

So Addict fans, would you, could you, disagree with me? Naw, I didn’t think so.

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  • berttheclock

    Two of your sections sort of coincide. The one of “What ifs” in player selection and your Richard Sherman section. You do realize Richard Sherman was still on board when Pioli took Gabe Miller, eh? The video may not be fine for school children, but, I would have loved seeing his passion and tremendous defensive play with the Chiefs. It shows what scouting can accomplish. I don’t know whether Pioli sent anyone to the Pro Day at Stanford to see Luck, but, many teams did. The Seahawks sent their scouts, but, realizing they were not going to be able to obtain Luck, they concentrated on the other Cardinal players and that is how they discovered both Sherman and Doug Baldwin. They did their homework very well. Plus, ironically, they did pick up Gabe Miller for a while, when, he was added to their practice squad.

    Poe would be a terror at DE, if you could find a NT, such as you discussed above. Great idea, Laddie.

    Interesting in your best and worst areas of the Chiefs, the offensive line did not come into play. Remember, for the first part of the season, that was considered by many to be the worst unit. With the fall off in the defensive backs department, that unit sort of faded from discussion.

    • ladner morse

      OL was #2 in most improved… you must have missed it.

      • berttheclock

        Hmm, I must have been zigging when I should have been zagging. Dang speed reading problems, once again.

  • Aaron Martin

    Wow, I’ll keep this short. Definitely up for Poe at DE and bring in Donald, he’s a beast, can you even imagine our DL then????? I love Sherman, I love his play and attitude, hell, interview me right after my team won a softball game (men’s league..very competitive..lol) and I act the same way so I cannot blame him on that. Would not take Maclin, love’em but I think there are other options.
    And I agree on the rest.

  • freshmeat62

    Would I want Richard Sherman after his little tirade – heck yes. After all, other than being loud and boisterous, did he really say anything that offensive? Really, I’m asking, did he say anything offensive, because I didn’t understand a word he was saying. Even in reruns, I can’t understand him.

    Poe to DE – Yep, specifically LDE so that when he was making his charge the QB is looking directly at him. That Manning quick step, becomes the Manning quicker step. I believe upgrading the pressure put on the QB, is the area that would improve the Chiefs the most, even more than improving the secondary. I think Sutton should be able to improve the secondary just by changing some schemes to account for the pick plays that killed them this year. Of course having a FS, any FS, will be helpful.

    As for the area improved the most this year – although the QB play improved, I think that had more to do w/ the play calling of Reid opening up his play book a little more each week as the season progressed and he gained more confidence in Smith. I think the biggest improvement came in the o-line. By the last few weeks, the o-line was protecting pretty well, usually giving Smith a nice pocket, and they were blocking for the run better. But they’re still not Roaf, Shields, Waters, etc.

  • Jason Seibel

    Laddie, great stuff as usual! I love Saturday mornings because A: I don’t have to go to work and B: I always look forward to your posts. I’ll go right down your list:

    1. While that moment of beating the Raiders to get in the playoffs was sweet, my “sweet moment” was actually that first Raiders game because it was my first ever trip to KC and thus my first ever live Chiefs game. I wasn’t disappointed.

    2. I wouldn’t be opposed to Maclin if the price is right. Dorsey and co. is going to have to find the perfect mix of FA, Draft and restructuring in order to build this team in the offseason. The cap needs some massaging, and if Maclin fits into the scheme, I’d say go for it. He’s a damn sight better than Donnie Avery

    3. I don’t think Sherman did anything wrong. Was he loud and boisterous and obnoxious? Maybe. But he just made the play that sent his team to the Superbowl. And he’s never hid who he is. And he made the play against a guy he clearly doesn’t like and who doesn’t like him. Watch the Sound FX with both of them mic’d up. He clearly tries to congratulate Crabtree who pushes him in the face. I’d take him on KC’s squad in a heartbeat.

    4. Before watching this video if you would have recommended to me that the Chiefs take a D lineman in the first round I would have laughed you right off of AA. But DAMN…I want this guy. The thought of the Chiefs front 7 including him and Poe makes me salivate. And you hit the nail on the head. It wouldn’t matter who the Chiefs put in the secondary, they’d all be pro bowlers because of the rush on the QB. The “Bring Donald to KC” movement starts now!

    5. I think that it’s a toss up between the D line, the free safety and the WR position. They are all in the greatest need of a tune up. Curious to see how Dorsey makes all those pieces fit.

    6. I’m willing to give anybody a shot if the price is right. DRC is still a good CB in this league. Is he Revis or Sherman? No, but he doesn’t have to be. I’d bring him in and see what he can do.

    7. I was not on the Foles train over Smith at the beginning of the season, but I wasn’t against it either had the Smith trade not worked out. I wanted Smith before the 49ers went to the Superbowl last year and I’ve never been quiet about that.

    8. The DB’s got exposed for what they were when the rest of the NFL figured out the Chiefs pass rush scheme. They need help that hopefully they’ll get with a successful off season.

    9. Quite obviously bringing Alex Smith, while not the sole reason, was a huge reason the Chiefs went from 2-14 to 11-5. Anyone who disagrees is wrong.

    Great post, Laddie! Loved it!!!

    • ladner morse

      3. Well, I didn’t state this but, Sherman’s comments were part of his his extended behavior which included the choking sign. I was thrilled when the NBA banned the throat slit sign players were making. Do you want player flipping the finger or faux shooting a gun at opponents? I’d think not. This is over the line taunting.

      Too many people in this day and age are missing the point of the “trickle down” effect. The problem is… these days, because of the social media, the trickle isn’t a trickle its electricfyingly fast fast. If you have children or grandchildren then you understand the importance of making good decisions about who they spend time with and who you allow to influence them.

      4. The “Bring Donald to KC” movement sounds great. However, it probably started at the beginning of this, Senior Bowl, week. MY hope is that he lasts until the #23 pick.

      • berttheclock

        Did you read he picked that up from Reggie Miller? Remember Sherman grew up in LA and a lot of players followed Miller’s career. But, I sort of liked his GWB imitation of “Hellava game, hellava game” to Crabtree and patting him on his rear end.

        • ladner morse

          You can’t scream at the top of your lungs trashing an opponent and make the choking sign… then pat that same player on the butt and congratulate them 20 seconds later. It comes across as disingenuous and is further evidence that he is an impulsive and out of control sick person who is now being made a hero.

          The number of his peers who stick up for him is sickening… but I understand that.

          The number of well meaning fans who come from good upbringings who support him is perpetuating his comments and deeply disturbing. Beyond that, level headed fans who back him is frankly a sociological trend that is ominous. The growing number of people not getting this… is burdensome. Why, because I can see that there is a time to care… and I can also see that now, so many… don’t.

          • KCMikeG

            You hit the nail on the head!

          • berttheclock

            Laddiie, I have really enjoyed your threads, but, it is time for me to say Bye Bye to Arrowhead Addict. I never thought a football sports blog was going to turn into a moralistic diatribe site. One great thing about playing the horses at Santa Anita is I don’t have to listen to preaching. By the way, you are absolutely wrong about Sherman being disingenuous. He was outspoken in not liking Crabtree in the the first place, so, his patting him on the behind and telling him “Hellava game” was purely being sarcastic. His choke sign came after he was shoved in the face mask and directed to the Niners’ bench and, especially, “Superman” Kaepernick. But, I will bid you Adieu and all of Arrowhead Addict because I really don’t care to read anymore from the Southern Baptist hour from Dallas.

            Better days to all, and, especially, to you, Laddie. I am sorely disappointed. I had really held you on a very high pedestal.

          • kcpauly

            Nice Read once again Laddie, That Donald is a freakin’ beast lets get him, I am sad to see Bert go as I always like his insight, but if that is what happens for you being honest, and truthful, then so be it, as it is the stupid argument that all these Sherman supporters use as to why they like his stupid tirade, because he was honest and truthful, and as for me I think he acted like an idiot, and I agree with you about the acceptance from our society, and even glorifying this kind of ridiculous behavior, I totally would not like for this idiot to be a part of our team, and for the record, if every other person on AA left I would still be here for some Southern Baptist hour, maybe more of our collapsing society could take heed to some preaching, I got your back Bro
            Go Chiefs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

          • ladner morse

            The most important part of this situation is that bert decided he couldn’t stick around to hear me moralize any more than I did. Ironically, he decided to share how he felt before he left… but I guess he couldn’t stand up to his own standard. Really, bert has been a big pat of this Chiefs community and many of us have greatly enjoyed his unique renderings. No doubt he will be dearly missed… but that’s his decision.

            BTW… I have never been in a Southern Baptist church… in fact, I don’t go to church… but after 36 years of teaching kids there, is just no way for me to separate the kid advocate in me, from the fan in me. What are we… if not our value system? Here… as would be the case on any web site… we will differ in our views and the most important part of that for me is allowing others to disagree with me… even if it means they can not stick around to hear my opinion any longer. My best wishes to bert.

            Also, thanks a ton for your support pauly… it was difficult to go thru having bert walk away. There were aspects of my writing that only he understood… and vice versa.

          • kcpauly

            I was mainly kidding,about the SBC as I am not per say a Southern Baptist either, but I recognize the moral decline in our society, and I think it is great that you have the balls to stand up and be honest about what you feel, when so many won’t, I too do not come to sports sites to be preached at, as sports is really a way to get away from all the serious issues in life and forget for just a few moments all my problems and cares and just worry about one thing:…….GO CHIEFS!!!!!!!! but I do appreciate the honesty whether or not I always agree with it or not, hell I don’t agree with half the stuff Micah says but greatly enjoy friendly banter with him.
            Go Chiefs!!!!!!!!!!

          • ladner morse

            Well said. I agree completely.

    • berttheclock

      Not that talking to players at the Combine really indicates various wishes, but, have you read Terez Paylor at the Star who has written more than once that the management of the Chiefs did a lot of talking to bigger corners? Seattle began the bigger is better routine as Chancellor, Sherman and Browner all were much taller than the hard hitting Earl Thomas. I view Thomas and Berry as two of the best safeties in the game. I have read nothing about the Chiefs saying anything about the five ten dynamo corner from Michigan State. Wonder if they are going to follow that bigger is better path?

  • Tristian Shelley

    Yes on sherman no on cromartie because sherman can play both man and zone and always locates the ball which none of our dbs do well except flowers but not consistently. The most important thing as a db is locating the football. I play in a league and im about to break the season record for picks because yes I play my technique well and dont give up big plays but I always know where the football is no matter what the situation..man zone quarters or whatever but I study tape of Tarrell Brown and Richard Sherman because they play better than any 2 corners in the league. Any ways im in favor of poe to DE for sure and yes on Maclin. How much does Reid believe in what he has on the roster? He could go get Maclin but he is coming off a major injury so he could still draft a receiver in the first round of the draft. Im gonna day this..I think it sends a message if Reid took defense first in the draft that he dosent want to just win on the offensive side of the ball but a balanced team like Seattle has. No I wouldn’t take foles because he is a system guy clearly and he had the benefit of the top rusher in the league on his team so his numbera in addition to the first year in that system which the nfl had not seen before are inflated. When teams took mccoy away (see both dallas games 2nd half of arizona game minnesota and Washington game plus NO game) Foles couldn’t beat you by himself. I dont want that dude. I agree with the most improved list but I still say proper coaching can negate some of the problems withour DBs. Lets be honest
    Even the very best pass rush dosent get there or close 60% of the time so they still have to have cover skills. In practice I would have guys do more one on one drills where there is no pass rush and that will prepare you for elite QBs. Its coaching moreso than anything

    • berttheclock

      Speaking of Tarrell Brown, isn’t he a FA this off season? I was reading an article at sfgate/niners blog where the writer did a break down of the Seahawks and Niners as far as who is signed and who will be a FA. Not many FAs on either team and Doug Baldwin of the ‘Hawks is a Restricted FA. But, Brown is a couple of years younger than Cromartie, isn’t he? But, Whitner at safety might be too pricey.

      • Tristian Shelley

        He is a free agent and if the chiefs got him itd be great. Whitner is a liability in coverage although having him would allow us to play berry at free safety more so then the safety problem would instantly be solved

    • KCMikeG

      Can’t tell you how many times I was screaming “Look for the ball, look for the ball!!” Sure way to get a PI call is not turning your head to play the ball.

  • Josh Landers

    Why not keep Poe and dt and move Donald to de? I don’t think Donald has the size to play nt in a 3-4 in the nfl. Senior bow, may

    • ladner morse

      Donald is a super penetrator… but, I’m not sure he could set the edge like a DE must do.

    • berttheclock

      Jay Ratliff was three inches taller, but, weighed less by about four pounds. Ratliff compensated for his lack of bulk by being very quick and knowing how to use leverage. From what I have read, Donald says his strengths are that same combination of quickness and leverage.

      However, when, he played in KC, Dorsey was considered to be too small to play NT, however, due to injuries, SF was forced to play him at NT and he played very well. Remains to be seen what will happen next year when the injured players return.

  • Chris Tarrants

    Personally I want a guy like Sherman on our defense! I want that in your face, hard core passion. I don’t want to see the okie dokie going through the motions to get my paycheck people that we have had. I agree that it needs to be PG as far as cutting throat signs but that passion can’t be taught. He reminds me of Ray Lewis and we all know that Lewis was the heart and sole of that defense for over a decade

    • KCMikeG

      And a criminal. Thankfully it appeared, after slipping out of the murder charge he was facing by pleading guilty to obstruction of justice and rolling over on his two friends, that he found God and turned his life around. You can have the in your face attitude without the selfish, immature, unsportsmanlike behavior of Sherman. The two aren’t mutually exclusive. Think Lynch, Atwater, Tatum, Polamalu, Singletary, Page, Eller, Lanier, not Suh, Romanowski, T.O. or Dobler.

      • ladner morse

        Mike… excellent post!!!!!

        • KCMikeG

          Thanks Ladner! Dorsey is bringing in the right type of players into a solid foundation of men of character. Not just winners but a team we can be proud of how they represent our storied franchise. Jamaal could be one of the loudest, smack-talking, it’s all about me players in the NFL based on what he has accomplished on the field under the choatic situations he has weathered for many years. Instead he speaks softly and carries big stats. I’m Proud of our players.

  • KCMikeG

    Excellent post as always Ladner! totally agree on the sweetest moment being the playoff securing beat down of the faiders in their black hole! I wouldn’t touch Sherman with a 10 foot pole and am disgusted by his behavior in the “heat of the moment” = excuse as he has continued the behavior days later name calling and insulting Skip Bayless. Not that I like Bayless but it was his worst display yet. Sadly his selfish, unsportsmanlike behavior has stolen the attention from the rest of his team. I also liked Foles as a potential draft pick and was surprised Reid didn’t go after him last year instead settling for Daniels.

    I have been back and forth on our greatest need and am currently locked in on Safety. We need a center fielder with lightening speed/ability who can read QB/routes and blow up the WR as the ball arrives. Time and again Lewis was totally fooled or was late to the dance. If he did show up in time it was never with a crushing blow. His poor play cost us more games than anything else.

    I know that many, myself included, have longed for a WR opposite Bowe. But here’s the deal breakers for me with drafting a WR at #23 or paying Tate in FA because I’m with you on NO Maclin. The most important factor that I consistently see overlooked in these discussions is Reid’s offense has historically had the RB or TE as the #1 or #2 receiver in yardage totals. Charles being our leading receiver is proof that Reid will continue that trend. Until this year Charles has never been higher than the #3 in receiving yards and was #5 behind Baldwin in 2012! If Fasano had stayed healthy or Kelce hadn’t gone on IR I would bet dollars to doughnuts (And I LOVE doughnuts as much as Homer Simpson) that one of them would have been our #2 in yards and will be next year.

    This brings us to the huge mistake that was the $56M contract for Bowe. I have loved what Dorsey has done but overlooking the history of the key targets in Reid’s offense and grossly over paying Bowe was a huge mistake. Many complain that it is Smith’s fear of throwing into double teams or tight windows that held Bowe back – bull. Reid wanted Smith because he is the perfect QB for his system because he doesn’t risk turnovers, throws to the open man and checks down as the system is designed. If Bowe was worth $56M then he would beat double teams, go up and get the ball and get separation so As11 could target him more. Bowe has already admitted he was heavier than he should have been this year which slowed him down and was “tired” in the play off game. Seriously tired? Gets his big payday and isn’t in top shape when he shows up and doesn’t work hard enough to get there during the season. Never have I heard Megatron or Josh Gordon, who have put up games twice Bowe’s 150 yard effort, complain about being tired. So we are left with either Bowe gets his act together, shows up in shape and acts like he is getting paid big or my hope (sorry but as hard/bad as it is to wish ill will on anyone) is he gets nailed on the pot charge and we have an out in his contract so we can move on. More than likely this won’t happen so hopefully someone has a stick up his rear already getting himself in shape. Bottom line on the WR position is we don’t have the money to spend in FA because of Bowe’s huge salary but do we really need to? Look at the performances of AS11 and our passing attack as the offense gelled last year. Scoring points wasn’t our problem. We have a number of developing potential starters in Jenkins & Williams (both who have history with AS11 and certainly wouldn’t have been brought in if AS11 didn’t think they had big upside. Plus McCluster will be a bigger part next year and Hemingway will be a good #2 if they give him enough snaps.

    I like what you are saying about the DL needing a better player than TJax and DeVito and the value of the inside pressure benefitting our coverage group but not big on moving Poe as he was regarded as one of the best in the NFL in only his first year in Sutton’s system. Here is what makes DL a step lower than DB for me. As fast as Peyton and Rivers got the ball out last year it won’t matter how good our pass rush is so having the CB’s playing aggressive at the line, jamming receivers and having Berry and a #1 round draft pick safety as I described is the only way to defend against this attack. I guarantee you every team we are playing next year will see how the quick release killed us and will attack us the same way. Sutton tried to combat this by rushing fewer and blitzing less but we didn’t have the coverage skill players to play that way and that combined with injuries to Hali & Houston sunk us defensively. Lewis, Robinson, Demps, Jordan, Hali and even DJ are not good in coverage. Houston is the only LB on our team with coverage skills. With a #1 FS drafted to replace Lewis and a better DB added in FA like your suggestion in Cromartie to replace Robinson and a healthy Commings and Flowers (contract renegotiated?) with Smith and Cooper as our starters I believe we will have the quality of coverage to allow our pass rush to succeed.

    Agreed on least improved rankings but would add a caveat that we need to bring in serious competition for Succop. He is a liability beyond 40 yards and a failure beyond 50. Time and again we didn’t even try what would have been game winning FG’s or 50 because he is terrible, 25% 1-4. This was our 3rd worst area of performance next to Lewis and Bowe that cost us games and will continue to without a change.

    The most improved list I would agree with QB as #1. Smith was the best possible choice, will only get better and will continue to benefit the team for years to come. I would move ST’s to #2 though and Tob deserves a raise! Not just the TD’s but the great field position achieved from aggressive returns and excellent kick coverage. #3 OL and I am comfortable with Albert moving on in FA with the development of Stephenson and counting on a healthier, stronger, better prepared Fisher. At #4 I would go with RB’s. Charles was fantastic, Davis is better than any #2 RB we have had for years and stepped in the SD game and the Colt playoff game and proved he is ready. I see more of a time share there this year. Sadly I think Cyrus Gray has huge potential but can’t get on the field with the talent ahead of him. Mark my words if we let him get away he will show up somewhere else and be their version of Priest Holmes who was lost on the bench in Baltimore before becoming our super star. DL comes in at #5 as DeVito was a step up from Dorsey and Jackson improved but much of that is due to Poe’s development.