Is it just me, or…
… or does anyone else think of Pac-Man devouring Pinky, Blinky and Inky at will when thinking of J.J. Watt going up against Laurence Duvernay-Tardif or Mitch Morse in the middle of the Chiefs offensive line. While that may be just a tiny bit of an over-characterization I am also feeling much much better about the offensive line in 2015 vs. the OL in 2014.
Donald Stephenson appears to have awakened his inner beast these past couple of weeks and if he plays like this all year long it will be an upgrade over how Eric Fisher manned that position last year.
Ben Grubbs vs. Mike McGlynn at left guard is like going from… 1950’s style Godzilla production with a man wearing a latex costume vs. the modern Dreamworks computerized approach to the making of Transformers. IOW… Grubbs is a slight upgrade [Insert laugh track].
We’re going from Rodney Hudson to Mitch Morse at the Center position and while the advantage appears to clearly go to Hudson at first glance, the long term upside of Morse reminds one of Maurkice Pouncey who made the Pro Bowl in his rookie year (I’m not predicting that outcome but he has that certain, je ne sais quoi, about him).
Right Guard is being nailed down by emerging second year man Larry Duvernay-Tardif who began the preseason games with a great tackle of Jamaal Charles but showed enough progress to make last year’s rookie starter take a seat. That may not be saying much but in the long haul LDT should become much more than Zach Fulton was.
Eric Fisher may be the best right tackle the Chiefs have had in ten years… as long as he carries the progress he’s made over with him from left to right. He is certain to be miles better than Ryan Harris was in 2014.
A facet of this game I’m not hearing anyone address is the overall scheme Andy Reid will most certainly be enacting to combat the presence of someone like J.J. Watt. If anything, Reid has a tendency to over prepare so you can be sure there is a specific plan for how to deal with Mr. Watt.
So, the next question is: who does Andy Reid have at his disposal to counteract the wily wares of Watt? The Chiefs have an elite fullback by the name of Anthony Sherman ready to do his own thing, which includes keeping his quarterback vertical. While Watt is the best at what he does… it should be made clear, so is Sherman.
While it would be great to leave Sherman in for 100% of the Chiefs offensive downs and sit back and feel assured that he’ll take care of Watt… that’s not going to happen. Using Sherman can only be considered “Part of the Plan.” Paying homage to Dan Fogelberg whenever possible.
Double-teaming Watt will be the meat and potatoes of how the Chiefs offset Watts’ influence early in the game along with quick slants and outs, screens and running right at him. If the Kansas City front five can successfully ram the ball down the throats of the Texans defensive line, including J.J. Watt, then they’ll have won over half the battle because you can expect Andy Reid to throw the ball as much as he ever has during this coming season. Why? Because of their offseason investments in vaunted WR Jeremy Maclin and 3rd round pick Chris Conley who they moved up to grab (who also averaged 17 yards per reception in college) plus the development of UDFA Albert Wilson from last year’s draft.
Andy Reid has hinted that he won’t be focusing on one guy like Watt but everyone knows that 53.9% of Houston’s sacks came from him. No way head coach Andy Reid, defensive coordinator Bob Sutton and Company aren’t over planning for that.
Next: POE plus... is it just a National Media Daze, or what?