Justin March was over aggressive
In camp, inside linebacker Justin March was heavily hyped to take over the vacancy left by a Josh Mauga injury. What we saw on Saturday however was a lack of responsibility at the position. Linebacker is a tough position to play. They have to read a play and react to it quickly to prevent a gain of more than 2-3 yards. Several times in the game March would overreact to a counter on a run play and leave his assigned gap. Derrick Johnson was then slower in getting to the ball carrier and corners and safeties had to make the tackle.
Just so we all understand, unless a safety is up in the box or blitzing, it’s never a good thing for him to make the tackle on a run play. The Rams’ running game gashed the Chiefs consistently. Although the defensive linemen took the blocks to free the linebackers, March drifted into the line and left his responsibility. I am willing to say that March may not be out of the starting lineup just yet. Because of the situation he was placed in, sometimes hype and pressure can get a guy to try to do more than he should.
March has one of the best inside linebackers in the league as a mentor right now. There shouldn’t be any panic on whether he can learn the job. If he can start to take each play at a time and not let mental errors pile up in pressure situations then he may yet take Mauga’s starting position.
Trade bait at running back
This may be more of an obvious narrative but the Chiefs have a true stable of running backs. These guys can all read the blocks, hit the hole, and break away from initial contact. Darrin Reaves was a particular bright spot in an ugly second half for the Chiefs. Reaves carried the ball well and made the cuts that turned 4-yard gains into 8-yard gains. If that sounds familiar it’s because the Chiefs have four other guys that can do the exact same thing.
The Chiefs will have to reduce the amount of players they have at the position some time soon. There should be no reason to outright cut any of them. There are a lot of running back hungry teams out there with which to work a trade. The Chiefs could deal both Charcandrick West and Knile Davis with the idea of getting draft picks. They could even fetch a serviceable backup for the secondary or offensive line.
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