Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports
Hello Addicts! Debbie Downer here with an important message: the Kansas City Chiefs secondary is really bad. How bad is it? It is bad enough to be responsible for the second largest comeback defeat in NFL playoff history. It is also responsible for the amount of trolling I received from all my friends who are fans of lesser teams such as the New York Giants, New York Jets, and Buffalo Bills.
I consider the secondary to be made of five parts. These parts are the two cornerbacks, the two safeties, and the nickelback. For those of you who are not exactly familiar with defensive schemes, a nickel back is a third cornerback usually put into place on passing situations. It is not referring to an atrocious rock band that no one likes. The current players in the Chiefs secondary are: Brandon Flowers, Sean Smith, Kendrick Lewis, Eric Berry and Marcus Cooper. Of these five there are only two who should be playing starting roles on this football team. One of these five I believe needs to be moved into the slot. Let’s get on with it shall we?
Good news everyone, Kendrick Lewis is an unrestricted free agent. This means we don’t have to see his sorry butt in Kansas City anymore. I will admit one good thing about him. He is an overachieving fifth round pick. That is about it. Kendrick Lewis runs a forty yard dash time in the 4.7 range. This is unacceptable. Any free safety in the NFL needs to be able to run down a long ball and break up a pass or intercept it. A fast safety is also important because he needs to be able to be the last line of defense before the end zone. This means that if an opposing player is running down the sideline with no one to beat but the free safety, the safety needs to be able to take the right angle and get there before the player running with the ball gets past him. Kendrick Lewis can do none of these things, but I know who can.
Look to none other than 2013 fifth-round pick Sanders Commings out of Georgia. Commings, who was sidelined for most of the 2013 season because of a broken collarbone suffered on the first day of training camp, has the tools to be the new free safety the Chiefs have been looking for. There are a lot of things to like about this guy. My favorite thing is his 4.41 forty yard dash time. Commings has the speed the Chiefs have been looking for at the free safety position. Also, he is extremely versatile. Should the Chiefs decide to look to the draft or free agency for their free safety woes, Commings can be a nickel corner for this secondary if need be. Another great thing about Commings is that the Chiefs don’t have to pay him a large sum of money! Teicher wrote his rookie report on Sanders Commings in his latest blog post. He believes that Sanders Commings has the chance to compete for playing time. I not only think he will compete for playing time, but I think he will be the starting free safety when all is said and done for 2014.
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
The next issue falls to the Chiefs current cornerbacks. In the past, Brandon Flowers has been thought of as a great cornerback and pro bowl snub. This year, he finally maked it to Hawaii, but did not deserve it whatsoever. Flowers was banged up for a good chunk of the year with a knee injury, but underperformed and still hit the Chiefs cap with $10.5 million. My thoughts are to move Flowers to the nickel corner/slot corner position. He seems to be able to match up physically with the players that line up on the inside. This depends on if the Chiefs stick with their man-cover defense. Until Flowers shows he can once again keep up with the opponents’ top receivers that is where he should be.
Despite his poor second half showing, I believe Marcus Cooper is the future solution at one of the outside corner positions. In weeks four through nine Cooper showed that he has outstanding potential. He has the size, at 6’2″, 192 pounds to compete. Against Oakland he had five tackles, four passes defensed and an interception. In 2014 Marcus Cooper should be opposite Sean Smith as the starting outside cornerback. I feel that Cooper was just suffering from some rookie blues and that with a year under his belt he will succeed in 2014 as a starting cornerback.
My only other possible suggestion could be to look to the draft to somehow improve this unit. At 23 there are many options the Chiefs could go with. My current favorite it attempting to trade down to acquire a second round pick. If they cannot do that there are many Chiefs fans who like Calvin Pryor from Louisville. Since HaHa Clinton-Dix, the top rated safety from Alabama, will most likely be off the board by the time the Chiefs pick, Pryor seems to be the fan favorite.
Addicts, this secondary isn’t working, but I, Debbie Downer shouldn’t have to tell you that. I have proposed solutions to the Chiefs secondary woes, but at the same time the Chiefs need to realize that what they have in the secondary isn’t working. It is time for change in the defensive backfield for 2014 and so, to you Addicts I say, “Out with the old and in the new.”