For Chiefs Hopefuls, It’s Nightmare Or Nirvana

1 Feature From The Bleachers

Nightmare Or Nirvana. That’s what it is for the Kansas City Chiefs hopefuls today: nightmare or nirvana. There’s an old song that says, “The first cut is the deepest” but today the players hoping to make the Chiefs final roster would probably tell you, “The last cut is the deepest.” After all, who wants to be the last man cut. To be that close to your dreams and have them vanish. Ouch. On the other hand, being cut at all… is going to hurt. Period.

Today has been popularly known as cut down day but it’s a bit ironic that it’s called that when today is also the day so many players find out that their dream has come true.

Yes, this is the day that young men all across America have spent years dreaming about. To make it onto the roster of a National Football League team. I had that dream once myself but the road ended many years ago with two knee surgeries. But today, yes this very day, is all about the men who will come to don the red and gold for the next year and gain the privilege of calling themselves a Kansas City Chief.

I have my own list of hopes about who will make the Chiefs final cut. However, I’m plenty aware that along with being one of the last men standing means — especially in the age of Dorsey — that you are “one claimed player off the waiver wire” away from getting in your car at Arrowhead for the final time.

Nevertheless, here are four guys who I’m pulling for and four I’d like to see getting in their cars… or on their little mopeds… and heading for Hwy 40.

 

Someone I’m pulling for is:

WR Albert Wilson

Albert Wilson appears to be a lock to make the roster but a month ago when I visited the Chiefs training camp we weren’t so sure. In the first half hour I was there Wilson went up to catch a ball along the side line, on an out pattern, and the ball hit him in the hands but fell out of bounds. Albert got up and slammed his both hands down on the ground twice in a bit of a fit. My first take was that I liked his passion but someone pointed out that we don’t need players who have those kinds of fits. I should point out that I didn’t see Albert Wilson drop a ball the rest of the day and he’s had a very consistent camp and it looks like he’ll get a chance to be the Chiefs regular kickoff returner at the beginning of the season.

 

Someone I’m not pulling for is:

WR A.J. Jenkins

A.J. Jenkins reminds me of Matt Cassel. Mr. Inconsistency. Yes, Jenkins made perhaps the most stunning catch of the preseason in game four but his overall play has been so up and down that it’s disturbing that the Chiefs may want to keep him. They may feel some kind of duty to keep him on the roster since they basically traded contracts for first round talents (and I use that term legally only) with San Francisco for Jon Baldwin. I sure wanted to believe the Chiefs could salvage something from their first round pick three years ago when they selected Baldwin but if they keep Jenkins it will mean one of the young hopefuls will be going home and that would be a shame because there are a number of players that deserve to be on the roster more than A.J..

 

Someone who I’m pulling for is:

DB DeMarcus Van Dyke

Look, an official 4.25 40 yard dash at the NFL combine is going to get you some attention. It did from the Raiders who seem to go googly eyed when they see it and then throw draft picks at it before they know what they’re really doing. So, with the 81st pick of the 2011 draft the Oakland Raiduhs selected Van Dyke with their third round pick. However, DeMarcus didn’t stick there and he spent two undistinguished years with the Steelers and now he’s perhaps on his last leg of a chance in the NFL with the Chiefs. I have to say I’m a bit mesmerized by his speed too but it looks like he’s learned some skills since his days with the Raiders and I’ve seen him make several plays this preseason where he was able to get to balls and defend them by knocking the ball away at the last second. With 25 games of NFL experience he may be an asset in the locker room as a veteran, although, as of yet, unproven. I like what I’ve been seeing out of Van Dyke lately and I’m hoping he learns enough to end up blanketing receivers at Arrowhead some day.

 

Someone I’m not pulling for is:

DB Justin Rogers

Rogers was a 7th round pick of the Buffalo Bills in the 2011 draft. Pro Football Focus says of Rogers performance in 2013,

Justin Rogers allowed 462 yards and five touchdowns in five games before being benched and released midseason.”

Personally, I haven’t seen much from Rogers so I can’t say I’m so much against him as I can that he hasn’t made me want to see more of him.

 

Someone I’m pulling for is:

LB Nico Johnson

I know, I know, I’ve not been the strongest Nico Johnson supporter in the past but the last couple of preseason games Nico has taken a step forward. A big one. In the past I’ve criticized Nico for giving up too much ground before making a hit. I’ve also pointed to a weakness he has in coverage. However, not all LBs are created equally and the Chiefs need young strong run stoppers as much as they need LB who can cover. Would you prefer to have a LB who can do both? Of course, but how many of those guys are out there and it’s been refreshing to see Nico laying some wood to the opposition lately.

 

Someone I’m not pulling for is:

LB Frank Zombo

I don’t get him. Maybe what I mean is, I don’t understand how he’s stayed on the Chiefs roster for as long as he has. I was disappointed with his performance last season as as sub LB and I haven’t seen him make enough plays this preseason in the games he’s been in to believe it’s worth keeping him anymore. I think the Chiefs will keep him because he’s a Dorsey guy. I am so incredibly tired of the Chiefs doing the two-step with guys who don’t perform on the field but… the player has a tie to the GM… so they keep them. Please, set my people free… let Zombo go.

 

Someone I’m pulling for is:

OL Laurent Duvernay-Tardif

First of all, how can you not like a guy who has a name that sounds like a sexy women’s perfume from a foreign land? It’s also kinda like naming your son “Sue” isn’t it? However, this man sized man’s man is not only extremely bright but he seems to have made a great deal of headway in figuring out the pro game. Enough to start? Not nearly but I’m hoping the big boys upstairs want to keep this emerging wonderkid around long enough to see what he can become. I’ve been a big fan of his from day one… even when I witnessed him getting pancaked and all jammed up in camp in July. Just remember this guy had about as much football experience as Demetrius Harris did when he came to the Chiefs a year ago. Come on, he’s like the new ride at the carnival, let’s get on now and see if this one turns out to be epic. Could be ya know.

 

Someone I’m not pulling for is:

RT Donald Stephenson

I don’t really mean I’m not pulling for him… but… I’m very disappointed in this Blue Springs Missouri product. I was worried when the Chiefs drafted him that exactly something like this would happen. He probably would have been better off being drafted by a team far, far away from his home town just 10 minutes east of Arrowhead. Familiarity often breeds contempt and now I’d have to say Stephenson has been resting on his laurels far too much and he hasn’t challenged himself enough to change his life and grow and become a man. My own daughter graduated from a Blue Springs High School and I have this to say to you Donald, “You did not do us proud.” I hope he can get things turned around. Now, I’m just not betting on it. Not by the looks of his preseason game four performance. Should the Chiefs keep him? They will.

 

What do you say Addict Fans? Who are you pulling for? Anyone you’re hoping is cut?

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