Following the unfortunate news that KC Chiefs starting pass rusher Charles Omenihu would be missing the Super Bowl due to a torn ACL that he suffered in the team's AFC Championship victory over the Baltimore Ravens, the Chiefs will be down a key piece on defense in the biggest game of the year.
Omenihu had really come on late for the Chiefs, recording 7 sacks in just 11 regular season games, and he had a strip sack on Lamar Jackson in the AFC Championship shortly before coming out of the game. Omenihu was widely seen as Kansas City's second-best pass rusher next to Chris Jones and the Chiefs used him both off the edge and from the interior, so they'll have to find creative ways to fill his snaps and bring pressure.
One move a lot of people have already suggested the Chiefs could make, is to bring back veteran pass rusher Frank Clark, who was previously part of Kansas City's Super Bowl 54 and Super Bowl 57 runs. On the surface, it makes sense given Clark's supposed playoff track record and his knowledge of the Chiefs system. Clark is a free agent right now after being released from Seattle before the end of the season and available for the Chiefs to sign.
Not only are Chiefs fans trying to connect the dots here, but Chris Jones has also been adamant on social media about the team bringing Clark back in to play alongside him. There's a clear familiarity and on-field chemistry that Jones has with Clark that he feels like the team is missing.
The KC Chiefs don't need Frank Clark.
While the team likes him and there is a lot of familiarity and playoff experience that comes with Clark , the Chiefs shouldn't sign him for the Super Bowl for a multitude of reasons.
Firstly, assuming Frank Clark is even in football shape, he would still not necessarily be in game shape for the Super Bowl. Not to mention learning any new wrinkles in defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo's scheme is going to be a challenge.
There are a lot of hurdles Clark would have to clear to be of any impact for a game that is happening in less than two weeks. It doesn't make a ton of sense given there are other veterans that have been here all year long and a highly touted rookie in Felix Anudike-Uzomah who could potentially get the call-up.
The more logical and realistic approach for the Chiefs to have in the wake of the Omenihu injury is to move guys around and increase snap counts for players who have already appeared this postseason. For example, Mike Danna can probably expect an expanded role. Danna can also play on the inside and allow the team to move Chris Jones to the edge some more.
Where the Chiefs are going to miss Omenihu the most is in the pass-rush department. They have guys who can come in and replace 20 or so pass rush snaps that Omenihu would've gotten. Even Anudike-Uzomah showed some juice off the edge early in his rookie season and can play a specialist role. Malik Herring, too.
Additionally, with two weeks to prepare for the Super Bowl, the defensive line will be well-rested and ready to play more snaps than they're used to. Omenihu is a big loss no doubt, but Kansas City has guys they can say, "Hey, we just need you to go in there and rush the passer" a few times to replace those snaps.
The Chiefs could also bring up Mike Pennel once again and have him play more so Chris Jones can play additional edge snaps. Again, there are a lot more logical answers to solving the pass rush issue that would be way easier to do than any Frank Clark signing.
That brings us to the next reason why the Chiefs shouldn't bring back Clark. If Kansas City is looking for pass rush help, Frank Clark should be the absolute last resort for that.
Let's take a second to be honest about Clark and the player he is at this point. After being cut by the Chiefs last offseason, Clark had two short stints in Denver and Seattle. In those two short stints and 8 games played, Clark recorded 2 combined tackles 0, sacks, and 0 QB hits. In 85 pass rushing snaps with Seattle, Clark only generated 3 measly pressures.
So, in conclusion, two teams that were absolutely desperate for pass-rush help and defensive leadership decided Clark wasn't even worth keeping around for a full season. Clark has now been cut three times in the last calendar year.
People will likely try to emphasize that he turns it on in the playoffs and that may have been true with the Chiefs because Clark was making almost $30 million and was never getting cut by Kansas City in the regular season, but when Clark was playing just to stay on a roster in Denver and Seattle he made little to no impact. It is more likely that Clark's playing days are over than it is he can help out a team desperate to get to the quarterback.
Sure, maybe Clark has more value to the Chiefs than any other team because of the chemistry and the situation, but if we're talking about making a real impact in the Super Bowl, the Chiefs have better options already on the roster to help with the loss of Charles Omenihu.