Arrowheadlines: Chiefs News 3/24 - March 24, 2012 by indyfootballreport

Photo

Good morning! A light day for Kansas City Chiefs news. Enjoy.

With the team’s decision makers headed this weekend to Florida for the NFL’s annual March Owners Meeting, the pace will likely be slow early next week as well. In the last three days, the Chiefs have had just two visitors according to the NFL: unrestricted free agents WR Jerricho Cotchery and CB Chris Carr.

All Quite With Free Agency & Chiefs from Bob Gretz

Before Kansas City signed a single free agent, I asked fans a question. Do they trust Pioli and do they think Pioli will make the Chiefs better?…

…It’s amazing what Week 1 of free agency did for Pioli. Fans went from being upset to instantly saying nice things about Pioli. Sometimes fans are impatient, but how long has it been since Kansas City won a playoff game? Like the Kansas City Royals, the Chiefs could also say it’s time.

Pioli Deserves Some Trust from The Examiner

An Idaho native who was adopted and raised by his grandparents, McClellin grew up on a little farm that sat on Chicken Dinner Road, just off the Snake River in what they call the Treasure Valley of Idaho.

From out of this remote corner of the football world, McClellin heads to the NFL and he could be a defensive end, outside linebacker or inside linebacker.

Top 100 Prospects – No. 82 LB Shea McClellin from Bob Gretz

Has Scott Pioli transformed the Kansas City Chiefs? It’s a simple, straightforward question. Has Pioli improved the Chiefs in a positive way? Isn’t that the best question to ask when evaluating him? By looking at each position on the team you may find the answer is a resounding, yes!

Scott Pioli: The Transformer from Arrowhead Addict



Arrowhead Pride

Arrowheadlines: Chiefs News 3/18 - March 18, 2012 by indyfootballreport

Photo

Ouch. Okay kids, let’s do this so I can go back to bed. Here is your Kansas City Chiefs news.

The Chiefs filled two of their biggest roster holes Saturday, signing veteran right tackle Eric Winston to a four-year contract and agreeing to terms with backup quarterback Brady Quinn. Financial terms were not disclosed for either deal.

Winston may be the Chiefs’ biggest free-agent prize so far, following previous additions in running back Peyton Hillis, tight end Kevin Boss and cornerback Stanford Routt.

Chiefs Pick Up QB Brad Quinn, Tackle Eric Winston from KC Star

Winston was in the fourth year of a million, five-year deal when he was cut by the Houston Texas to save salary cap space. He instantly became the most coveted right tackle on the market, and Kansas City quickly swooped in to line up a visit.

Their likely sales pitch include a chance to block for one of the most dynamic running backs in the league in Jamaal Charles, play for a team on the rise, and sample some of the world’s best barbecue – Winston tweeted during his visit on Friday that Chiefs brass had taken him to Fiorella’s Jack Stack Barbecue for lunch.

Kansas City Chiefs Sign Free Agents OT Eric Winston, QB Brady Quinn from SportingNews

Winston’s arrival doesn’t just fill a need for the Chiefs. It patches a gaping hole. The Chiefs entered free agency with offensive tackle undoubtedly ranking as the club’s biggest need from both a talent and depth perspective. Prior to signing Winston, the Chiefs had just two tackles under contract for 2012 and neither had NFL experience playing on the right side.

With Winston, the Chiefs are getting a player who’s made 86 career starts and is still in his prime at 28-years old.

Chiefs Sign T Eric Winston from The Mothership

Quinn, once selected 22ndoverall by Cleveland in the 2007 NFL Draft, reunites with former Browns head coach Romeo Crennel in Kansas City.

The Browns traded up to select Quinn out of Notre Dame. If they hadn’t, former Chiefs President and General Manager Carl Peterson was prepared to make Quinn a Chief.

Instead, the Chiefs chose WR Dwayne Bowe.

Chiefs Agree To Terms With QB Brady Quinn from The Mothership

Manish Mehta of the New York Daily Newsreports that Cotchery is scheduled to visit the Kansas City Chiefs on Monday and Tuesday.

Jerrico Cotchery To Visit The Chiefs Early Next Week from ProFootballTalk

And then there’s the personal work on his ACL that has occupied his time, which he estimates is “80 or 85 percent” done.

“I’m really excited about where I’m at, ahead of schedule,” Berry said. “Right now, I feel very comfortable with where I’m at, running, cutting, starting to do plyometrics as well, and the process is going really well.

Love Affair Between Eric Berry And Vols Still Going Strong from Go Vols Xtra

That road led to western Kansas and a semester at Dodge City Community College, but he didn’t play football there, ultimately ending up at the University of Louisiana-Lafayette. But it’s there in the Ragin’ Cajun program that Bentley showed the NFL he deserves serious consideration on draft day.

Top 100 Prospects – No. 87 CB Dwight Bentleyfrom Bob Gretz

Free agent running back Mike Tolbert is visiting the Carolina Panthers this weekend, a league source said Saturday.

Tolbert, 26, who played four seasons in San Diego, visited the Kansas City Chiefs last week and also has drawn interest from San Francisco and Pittsburgh.

Source: Tolbert Visits Carolina Panthers This Weekend from The Rock Hill Herald

What should have been the charming story of Peyton Hillis, the everyman running back voted onto Madden NFL 12‘s cover, turned into a farce by year’s end. Hillis bickered with Browns management over his contract, which was off-putting to Browns fans, who are noted for their loyalty. He sat out a game on the advice of his agent, which further soured their opinion of him, and last week he signed with the Kansas City Chiefs. He is the first Madden cover star to be traded in the offseason following his appearance.. He becomes the second athlete to change teams in the offseason immediately after his appearance, though Favre’s switch to the Vikings involved retirement and a return late in training camp.

Ten Disasters Under The Covers Of Sports Video Games from Deadspin

Some teams paid a premium to persuade players to make quick decisions, even though both sides might have been better served by taking their time. The Vikings spent as much as million for tight end John Carlson, who caught just 31 passes for the Seahawks in 2010 before missing last season with a shoulder injury. Carlson was in Kansas City, preparing for a meeting with the Chiefs, when Vikings officials called him with an offer so good that he canceled his plans and flew to Minnesota. Carlson arrived at Vikings headquarters and signed a five-year deal that guarantees him million.

Shopping Fast Doesn’t Necessarily Mean Shopping Well from The New York Times

Khaled: I like what the Kansas City Chiefs did on a number of levels, but any time you turn one of your biggest weaknesses into a strength, you’ve done very well. That’s why they did at the right tackle spot by swapping Barry Richardson for Eric Winston.

Nathan: I’ll go with Peyton Hillis to the Chiefs. If both Hillis and Charles can return to their 2010 form, then that offense can be very dangerous. I think that move can help the team win the division in 2012.

Free Agency Day 5: 5 Questions, 5 Analysts (3/18/12) from Pro Football Focus



Arrowhead Pride

The Kansas City Chiefs Need Peyton Manning - March 2, 2012 by indyfootballreport

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - OCTOBER 09: Peyton Manning of the Indianapolis Colts watches his team warm up before the NFL game against the Kansas City Chiefs at Lucas Oil Stadium on October 9, 2011 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

Sometime in the next week, Peyton Manning’s future will be determined. He will either remain with a horseshoe adorning his helmet or start looking elsewhere to resume his illustrious career, all of this with the caveat of health.

If Jim Irsay decides not to saddle up and spend million, Manning will hit the road and become the most accomplished free agent in NFL history.

It’s easy to narrow down the teams that will have interest in Manning, but none of them make as much sense as Kansas City. We’ve all heard the scuttlebutt. Washington needs a quarterback (among 52 other players), Miami has a billboard and great weather, Seattle has a gaping hole behind center, and New York only has a beleaguered Mark Sanchez.

The Chiefs not only are a better fit than all of them, but Manning and Kansas City need each other. The same can’t be said for the other suitors.

Washington is in a rebuilding phase. The Redskins can add Manning and are still arguably the worst team in their own division. It’s a hard sell that Manning will go to a team likely to never win while he’s there. At his age, it’s all about having a chance to win another Super Bowl now.

The Dolphins have a solid defense and a few playmakers but lack a real foundation on offense. Brandon Marshall is the definition of mercurial and while Reggie Bush is certainly a respectable back, he’s far from a star. It also stands to reason Manning won’t want to share a division with Tom Brady.

Seattle has already come out and said they’re not interested in a short-term answer at quarterback. It’s possible to make an argument for the Seahawks with Marshawn Lynch, Sidney Rice and Zach Miller on the team. However, the rest of the team is remarkably average and again, it’s tough to see Seattle making a serious run at the Super Bowl in the next few years.

New York is nothing more than a pipe dream. The Jets have major cap issues and would Manning really want to deal with that soap opera all season? No more needs to be said, this isn’t happening.

Now look at Kansas City. Matt Cassel has a large contract, but with the amount of cap space the Chiefs have it can be absorbed. Kansas City also has the talent to make a Super Bowl run without any major improvements.

Jamaal Charles, Dwayne Bowe, Steve Breaston, and Tony Moeaki are more than any of the teams above can offer…by a mile. If the Chiefs solidify the right tackle position, Manning is playing behind a good line and on the most loaded offense in the AFC. Who else can compete with that type of ability? Jonathan Baldwin and Dexter McCluster weren’t even mentioned above, and they would definitely be a top target on any of the other suitors.

Defensively, Kansas City has freakish athletes dotting the landscape. Tamba Hali, Justin Houston, Derrick Johnson and the entire secondary are elite (sans Stanford Routt, who’s no bum). For once in his career, Manning wouldn’t have to score 27 points per game to secure a win.

The biggest question mark is how Manning feels about Romeo Crennel as a coach. Then again, is Crennel really a lesser coach than Pete Carroll, Joe Philbin, Mike Shanahan and Rex Ryan?

Shanahan did win two Super Bowls, but has done nil since John Elway. Ryan has made it to AFC Championship games in back-to-back years, but he’s a loose cannon and seemingly on a sinking ship. Considering how well Crennel has game-planned Manning, maybe No. 18 feels like Crennel can get the job done.

The pieces are in place for Manning to come in and put the Chiefs over the top. If he ends up signing on the dotted line to play at One Arrowhead Drive, the AFC West goes through Kansas City without a shadow of a doubt. Heck, Manning’s presence makes the Chiefs odds-on-favorites to see the Big Easy in February.

The last time Kansas City saw the Super Bowl was the 1969-70 season. Wasn’t that game also played in a place named New Orleans?

Poll
Does Peyton Manning make Kansas City a Super Bowl favorite?




  820 votes | Results



Arrowhead Pride

2012 NFL Mock Draft: Another Offensive Tackle For The Chiefs - February 22, 2012 by indyfootballreport

Photo

A month ago, Don Banks of SI.com put out a 2012 NFL mock draft that had the Kansas City Chiefs selecting DT Devon Still. Today, Banks’ latest mock draft has the Chiefs selecting OT Jonathan Martin out of Stanford.

Here’s what he said:

The Chiefs have to upgrade at right offensive tackle, and Martin is the most obvious direction to head with both Kalil and Reiff already gone. An inside linebacker like Boston College’s Luke Kuechly or a defensive tackle like Memphis’ Dontari Poe would fill other areas of need with players who will wind up with grades in the top 15-20 range.

In this scenario, both Matt Kalil and Riley Reiff are off the board, which leaves Martin (and Mike Adams out of Ohio State) as the next best offensive tackle.

This jives with Adam Teicher’s suggestion this morning that the Chiefs should draft an offensive tackle. You’d get a right tackle for next season and some insurance for the season after that depending on how Branden Albert’s contract situation plays out.

One interesting situation that presents itself in this mock draft is Texas A&M’ QB Ryan Tannehill being available at the 11th pick. I’m not saying the Chiefs should take him but, in this scenario, the Seattle Seahawks are right behind the Chiefs. They very well could take a quarterback, which makes the Chiefs position one spot ahead of them potentially desirable for a trade down. Something to remember is that teams will trade up for a quarterback. Maybe not many other positions, but a quarterback they will.

Any strong feelings one way or the other on the Chiefs trading down?



Arrowhead Pride

Breaking Down the Chiefs: Tyson Jackson - February 13, 2012 by indyfootballreport

Photo

We’ve been here before, even though it seems like forever ago. In case you don’t remember me, I’m MNchiefsfan, and I talk about the Chiefs sometimes

I’m going to cover a LOT of territory here, so no time for a decent intro (or even really an intro. I’m going to do more like an “in”). How do bullet points grab you?

- I’m breaking down some Chiefs players this offseason

- I’m doing this because before we really know what we “need” or what to expect next season, we need as much information as we can get on the guys we currently have playing for us.

- I base these breakdowns off basic stats, ProFootballFocus stats and game tape. A lot of game tape. At least a couple hundred snaps or I don’t do the post (hence the amount of time between this post and the last one).

- I end each breakdown with a scale of 1 to 10 of “Replacement Need”. 1 is a guy like DJ, who I wouldn’t trade for anyone else in the league at his position. 10 Is a guy like… well, I don’t want to hurt feelings. So I’ll say it in code. 10 is like a guy whose name rhymes with Carry Prichardson (What do you mean my code sucks?).

- This is not for a more casual fan. This is long, in depth, and as detailed as I can possibly get. I’ll try to lighten it up with a joke or two along the way, but this is for the hardcore fan that wants to know EXACTLY what T-Jax did this year. If that ain’t you, move along (although I don’t know how many fans like that are here on AP…)

Today’s focus… Tyson Jackson. Yeah, we’re going there. (h/t to Steve and Kalo for both helping me with my research process. You guys are men among boys. And h/t to NFL Rewind for allowing me to watch hundreds of snaps over and over. If you want to talk with authority about a player, you REALLY need to be able to do the legwork. All right, enough h/t love. Let’s do this)

First and foremost, let me kill an old argument (or at least wound it critically)

I find very few arguments more ridiculous than the old, “he’s terrible because he was taken too high. I expect more from a top 5 pick.” That bugs me on many levels.

First, after a player has been in the league for 3 years, who gives a crap where he was taken in the draft? What matters is his production on the field. If a guy is producing for us, I don’t take into account his draft position when I decide how I feel about him as a player. Because ALL that matters is what’s on the field.

Second, using that argument leads people to not do real legwork, and pigeonhole a player in a certain light. Nothing’s worse than willful ignorance.

Finally, the argument itself is insane. Does anyone here like Belcher better than DJ? I mean, Belcher was undrafted and is a “kinda OK” starter! All DJ does is dominate, but isn’t that what a 1st round pick is SUPPOSED to do? Sounds crazy, right? Except it’s the same logic used when criticizing T-Jax for his draft position rather than his play. So just to be clear, this is about Tyson Jackson as a 3-4 defensive end for our team, not Tyson Jackson as a 2009 draft pick.

So what do the basic stats tell us?

Let’s make this quick, because basic stats don’t mean much with 3-4 DE’s. However, it’s an encouraging start for T-Jax. He had the 2nd most tackles in the league at his position with 46 solo (behind Calais Campbell’s 55). He also had 12 assisted tackles to bring his “total” up to 58 (again, second to everyone but Campbell, who had 62 total tackles). Not too shabby T-Jax.

The more depressing part? He had exactly 1 sack this year. That’s just gross, as 20 other 3-4 DEs in the league had more. Yuck. Icky. Ew.

What do these stats tell us? Well, not much by themselves, honestly. They DO tell us that Tyson Jackson had a lot of tackles for a 3-4 DE, but woefully few sacks. So that’s where we’re at.

Now we’ve consumed the appetizer, let’s get to the “meat”

What do PFF’s in-depth stats tell us?

Short answer: a lot more. We’ll do this in several Parts…

First of all, we see that T-Jax was second in the league at his position in total tackles despite having played fewer snaps than all but 1 other 3-4 DE that’s in the top 10 in tackles. In fact, he played over 400 fewer snaps than Calais Campbell and 200 fewer snaps than J.J. Watt, the #1 and #3 tacklers in the league. That’s both impressive and a little sad. Impressive because he was able to produce such a high number of tackles on fewer snaps, but sad because it shows he’s a player with a limited role.

Next, we see that of his solo tackles, 40 of them were “stops.” What’s a stop, you ask? I’m glad you did! It is a “solo defensive tackle made which constitutes an offensive failure, including sacks.” What does that mean in English? Think of it as a “stuff” where a couple of yards or less are allowed. And out of 46 solo tackles, T-Jax made a “stop” nearly 90% of the time.

This is valuable information because it offers an instant counter to this argument made by a person who doesn’t do their homework before spouting off opinions…

“Yeah, T-Jax had a lot of tackles, but they were all 5 yards downfield after he got shoved out of the play.”

Looking at the actual statistics, we see this is CLEARLY not the case. So next time someone attempts to throw that kind of misinformation out there, kindly point out to them that not only was T-Jax 2nd in the league in tackles, but he was 2nd in the league in “stops” as well. When they say, “what the hell is a stop?” you can just laugh at them and tell them to do a little more legwork before trying to act like they know something about T-Jax (moments like that are fun. No need to thank me for helping you achieve one. It’s my job. Or volunteer duty. Or whatever it is a contributor here is supposed to do).

So where are we at? OK, still on PFF stats.

Next, we take a look at his overall “ratings” as a 3-4 defensive end. PFF creates these rankings based on watching every snap played. A player with a 0 rating is “average.” A player above or below is above or below average (duh moment of this post).

There are 19 3-4 DE’s in the league that PFF rates as “above average.” Ranked number 11 is Tyson Jackson. Not bad, but hardly exceptional. So what about the details?

On the positive side, Jackson is ranked 6th in the league against the run. Excellent stuff, especially considering the number of double teams he receives (which I’ll delve into later, in the “game film” section). On the negative side, he’s in the bottom 10 in the league at rushing the passer.

Looking further at T-Jax’s limitations when rushing the passer, we find that he had (in addition to his lone sack), 1 QB hit, 4 QB Pressures, and 2 batted passes. He was called upon to rush the passer on 225 plays. So in other words, when asked to rush the passer, Jackson (by PFF stats) made an impact play 3.5% of the time. Yikes.

So we see a similar pattern to what we saw with Glenn Dorsey in my last breakdown: Tyson Jackson is excellent against the run, and lousy when rushing the passer. However, there ARE differences. While Dorsey’s “rating” of rushing the passer is a -10.7, T-Jax is sitting at -5.4. So while T-Jax is bad at rushing the passer, he’s much closer to the “average” rating than Dorsey. Against the run it’s a flipped script: Dorsey has a 16.1 rating and T-Jax has a 10.0 rating.

Additionally, the “impact play” numbers are different. While T-Jax’s % of plays made when rushing the QB is certainly poor, it’s 2% higher than Dorsey’s. Maybe that’s irrelevant to you, but to me an extra half dozen impact plays matter. You never know when a game will be won or lost on a single impact play.

(For the record, I know this is a post about Jackson and not Dorsey. However, given the two play the same position on our team and are somewhat similar players, the comparison becomes necessary when evaluating how badly we need one player vs. the other).

So we’ve gone about as far as we can based on PFF stats. We see that T-Jax make a ton of stops, is solid against the run, and bad at rushing the passer (though not quite terrible like Dorsey is). These are things you likely knew or at least suspected, but now at least you have some statistical validation for your views.

Now, it’s time for the main course and the MOST important aspect of evaluating a player: game tape.

Now, I went back and forth between the idea of breaking down every single game or giving an overall impression. I chose the latter, because I believe it’ll be less repetitious and let’s face it, we’re already at 1600 words here. You’re welcome! So I’m going to do this in list form, with no general rhyme or reason with regards to the order.

-Just finishing the Detroit/Buffalo games. Let me tell you, those games were WAY more on our offense than our defense. And our secondary was worse than our line. Man those games sucked to watch again. Just disgusting stuff. I hope to never see the Chiefs dominated like that again. All right, back to T-Jax…

-It’s fascinating watching T-Jax rush the QB. And I don’t necessarily mean that in a good way. Whenever he simply gets his hands on the blocking lineman (or linemen, in some cases) and PUSHES, he’s able to move towards the QB with simple brute strength. A much better bull rush than I expected, given how poorly he rates as a pass rusher. The problem? He doesn’t go to the bull rush nearly often enough. He often tries to go outside as if he’s Houston or Hali. The only problem is he’s not even close to fast enough to get around a blocking lineman. He ran himself out of a lot of passing plays like this.

-A corollary to that last observation: T-Jax gets double teamed enough when rushing the passer to at least make a difference (as in, he pulls blockers away from other guys). It happens almost exclusively when he uses his bull rush and tries to force his way to the QB. When he does this, another lineman or RB often move move over to help out the guy T-Jax is matched up against. Again, he’s GOT to use this more often. He gets more of a pass rush against double teams using this method than he does against a single blocker when trying to use “finesse.”

-T-Jax is strong. And not just “bulky” strong the way Dorsey is. He’s got incredibly strong arms. When he stands up and gets his hands on opposing linemen, he’s consistently able to stand them up and hold the spot WHILE keeping his head up and looking for the runner. He does this very nearly as well when doubled as he does when singled. Very impressive. Kalo noticed something similar, and was kind enough to offer his thoughts:

“Watch his anchor and hand placement right off the line. You see Gregg and Dorsey bend backwards at the waist too often and fold back over their knees. This is due to lack of arm strength/length and them trying to compensate and get closer to the player(s) trying to block them. Tyson most of the time has an upright (but low) position, and he uses his arm strength/length to keep multiple guys at bay. He typically doesn’t throw his body into a block until he recognizes where the play is going. He’s getting very good at disengaging from a blocker when the play is away from him, and even better at throwing himself into a double team while moving laterally to form a gigantic wall and shut down the running lane.” (Kalo quote)

-Quick side note… Chris Collinsworth is painful to listen to as an announcer. Sure, that’s not about T-Jax, but it’s worth noting. Does he have some football player’s version of “little man syndrome?” Because I’ve never heard someone try so hard to sound old school and tough. I ended up muting the one game because I just couldn’t take it anymore.

All right, let’s take a break here for a second. Stand up, move around, stretch a little. Maybe go get a drink of water or something. Good. Ready for more film study? Great! And here we go…

-Here’s a fascinating tidbit I found (with Kalo’s help, and confirmed by what I saw): The Chiefs use T-Jax in coverage sometimes. I swear, they do! Well, ok, not TRADITIONAL coverage, no. But I saw on over a dozen plays T-Jax “jam” the TE or even (a few times) the RB as they were trying to get into their route. An interesting tactic, and extremely effective from what I saw: in the plays I saw it happen, not once did the TE/RB get into their route. I hope they incorporate that more next year (which they should, given T-Jax’s limitations as a pass rusher and the trouble TE’s give us).

-T-Jax’s biggest weakness as a run defender is a tendency to get Too low and allow a lineman to take him out of the play by essentially “sprawling” on him in the same fashion an MMA fighter would to avoid a takedown. That’s a problem, and one he needs to work on. I’d see it happen once or twice a game. It would hurt him when doubled as well, and the times I saw him get pancaked by doubles (it happened. Not often, but it happened) seemed to be a result of that kind of mistake.

-T-Jax sees quite a few double teams, relatively speaking. It’s not every play, but it’s pretty close to every other play. The bad news is he’ll sometimes allow himself to get washed out by double teams. The good news is he generally doesn’t, and can consistently (when he gets his hands up and on both linemen) keep both blockers at bay long enough to locate the play. Very encouraging, and a world of difference from the way I saw Dorsey handle double teams.

-Matt Moore TORE US UP. That’s about all I got out of the Miami game. Maybe Brian Daboll will end up being a good hire? He sure schooled RAC in that game…

-That Broncos game still ticks me off. 2 passes completed and they win???? Sheesh. This game is commonly pointed to as proof that our run D can’t get it done, so I watched every snap of this particular game. Here’s an interesting tidbit: 50 of their rushing yards came on two plays, both of which were plays in which Moreno bounced to the outside (after having no room inside) and Studebaker failed to set the edge properly. I’m not gonna hammer Andy here, but crap those two runs hurt. Without those two runs (which were both COMPLETELY preventable) the Tebows average just a little over 3.5 YPC that game. Not nearly as bad as I thought it’d be, and T-Jax played a fine game (insert someone saying, “no way! Look at all those yards!” here. Seriously, go watch every snap, then get back to me. I’ll be waiting for your apology).

-Another thing to note in the Denver game: those runs by Moreno were the end of Studebaker’s time as SOLB. Houston replaced him, our run D tightened up, and Houston proceeded to take all but ONE defensive snap the remainder of the year. And after Houston was in, Denver stopped even trying to run at him and T-Jax. Which became a pattern as the season wore on. I’ll again quote Kalo, who had something to say on that last point (By the way, if you don’t know who Kalo is, he’s a guy here who watches every defensive snap. Like, repeatedly. And also knows way more about defense than me or most other people I’ve spoken with on the subject). And I quote…

“You don’t run over his side of the ball. Everyone starts trying to run over the right side of our defense. They run into Tyson and Houston a couple of times for little/no gain, and they bail on it because the weakside is an open door.” (Kalo)

-This observation was confirmed by my study. Even before Houston became a full time player, teams tended to run a lot more at Dorsey/Hali than at T-Jax/Studebaker (unless they were going outside). After Houston became our full time SOLB? Forget about running the ball to that side. It just didn’t happen. Teams just went left because yards could be had there. But T-Jax and Houston are a phenomenal duo against the run.

-It’s worth saying one last time… Tyson Jackson gets double teamed quite a bit more than Dorsey. And what’s more, he performs well against those double teams the majority of the time. Not to say he doesn’t sometimes get run over or washed out of the play. He does. But way more often he holds his ground and forces runners to move laterally away from him.

“Replacement Need” Rating: 2

After watching the Chiefs this season, I was pretty sure he was our best lineman, and had surpassed Dorsey to an extent. After watching what ended up being over 500 defensive snaps of both players, I’m not longer “pretty sure.” T-Jax is a better run defender and not nearly as pathetic a pass rusher (although he’s still lacking in that department).

He’s got great arm strength, keeps his head up, can handle double teams most of the time, rarely gets pancaked, and plays with WAY more of a mean streak than I realized. I’d never thought of T-Jax as a “mean” player. But after watching him exclusively, he really gets fired up out there. His primary weakness against the run is one of technique (as I said, he’ll get too low and allow a blocker to basically lay on him).

It was as a pass rusher, however, where I was the most surprised. It’s not that he literally CANNOT do it (which seems to be the case with Dorsey). Rather, he’s only got one way of doing it (the bull rush), and he uses that move only a quarter of the time (if that). The rest of the time he looks like a wannabe OLB out there. And he’s nowhere NEAR fast enough to pull that off. If he quits fooling around with finesse stuff he could actually contribute to the pass rush a little bit.

He doesn’t rate a 1 the way DJ or Hali would (since I wouldn’t replace those guys with anyone in the league). However, he’s a keeper. His principal weakness is that pass rush. He’s GOT to work on that. Maybe we’ll get lucky and he’ll read this on AP. Here, just in case, I’ll do this…

Tyson, please stop trying to use “moves” when rushing the passer. It doesn’t work. You’re a bull, man. You can help this team WAY more by pushing the pocket back rather than going for the actual sack yourself. You know those faster guys on either side of you? Hali and Houston? Let them take the sacks and the glory. Believe me, we’ll still know you’re doin’ work in there. But it’s time you stop trying to act like Dwight Freeney out there and start acting more like Haloti Ngata. It’s your best bet to become a guy who is an asset on passing downs.

Also T-Jax, while I’ve got you… talk to Pioli and RAC about getting us a legit, powerful NT (no offense Gregg. You played hard but wore down, big fella). Then on passing downs, you and _______ (insert legit, powerful NT name here) just do one thing… Push. The Double-H’s will take care of the rest.



Arrowhead Pride

Finally Working Chipotle Into Our Chiefs Coverage - February 1, 2012 by indyfootballreport

We don’t do a lot of giveaways or things like that around here but this one fits in nicely with what I truly enjoy: Chipotle Burritos.

Yes, I’m a huge Chipotle fan and eat there regularly so I was very pleased when the folks at Chipotle offered up 10 free burritos to one of our readers. Their angle for the big game is they’ll just give out some free burritos instead of spending tons of money on an ad. So, on gameday, if you pick up one of their burritos in a box, half your order of six or more is free.

But the more pressing issue is that I have 10 free burritos to give away to one of you.

Here’s how we’ll do this: Give us your greatest Chiefs memory in the comments. The person with the most recs (recommended) by 7:00 p.m. (Arrowhead Time) tonight wins the burritos. And you should also be available via email for me to reach you.

(Note: To “rec” something…if you’re a registered user, click “actions” and then “rec”.)



Arrowhead Pride

More Josh McDaniels Talk (Chiefs Haven’t Talked To Rams Edition) - January 7, 2012 by indyfootballreport
As usual, the NFL coaching rumor mill is a cluster-you-know-what and we’re seeing contradictory reports.
On Thursday, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported via a “well-placed league source” that the Chiefs have reached out to the Rams seeking permission to speak with Josh McDaniels.
Also on Thursday, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that the Chiefs have not reached out to the Rams seeking permission to speak with Josh McDaniels.
Wait, what?

Exactly.
Bryan Burwell, Thursday afternoon: “A well-placed league source says both the Patriots and Chiefs have reached out to the Rams to seek permission to talk to McDaniels, but no word on if the Rams gave it.”
Jim Thomas, later on Thursday afternoon: “Goodbye Josh from Stl. Pats move fast on McDaniels. Rams signed permission form only 1 hour ago. Kansas City yet to request permission.
Some Post-Dispatch-on-Post-Dispatch crime here.
More importantly to us, the KC Star’s Adam Teicher is reporting the Chiefs have not made a move to talk with McDaniels so it sounds like that’s the accurate take. The Star’s Sam Mellinger previously reported McDaniels would not be interviewed for the head coaching job in KC (but potentially could for offensive coordinator). The current signs point to McDaniels landing in New England but we shall see.
And Teicher’s story this morning talks about Jack Del Rio interviewing in KC but we’re told he will not be the next Chiefs head coach. (Hope this isn’t my Nick Saban moment.)



Arrowhead Pride

Chiefs’ Dwayne Bowe Suffered Possible Concussion Against The Broncos - January 2, 2012 by indyfootballreport

Photo

Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Dwayne Bowe had a terrific first half against the Denver Broncos catching six balls for 93 yards. He was clearly Kyle Orton’s No. 1 receiver but he wasn’t able to help in the second half after he went down with a possible concussion.

Bowe caught a pass and hit the ground in what looked like a routine play. But he was slow to get up and the trainers came out to check on him. He walked to the sidelines under his own power.

Following Sunday’s game, Romeo Crennel said “they wouldn’t let him go back into the game“, meaning the medical staff. Players have to pass a concussion test if there’s concern they suffered one during a game. Bowe apparently wasn’t allowed back in.

The Chiefs season is over so the possible concussion doesn’t matter at this point (assuming Bowe recovers).



Arrowhead Pride

Packers lose to Chiefs – ugh! - December 20, 2011 by indyfootballreport

The headline here says it all for those in Packers nation.

But you know what? I’m a bit relieved. No more of this unbeaten talk, time to hunker down, regroup, heal and go out next Sunday and get home field advantage against division rival … [visit site to read more]

Packers lose to Chiefs – ugh!Lombardi AveLombardi Ave – A Green Bay Packers Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and more.

Lombardi Ave

The Kansas City Chiefs In Transition (Again) - December 15, 2011 by indyfootballreport

Photo

So there it is. The Chiefs have now had 5 different head coaches in the last 13 seasons. That’s changing coaches on average, every 2.6 years. Haley was par for the course (pun intended). So how does it make you feel Chiefs fans? Feeling GOOD about our chances now? Looking into the future with a clear view of where this team is headed and how we’ll get there?

For those of you that said no, I have to agree. In fact, I have a lot less of a sense that this organization knows what it is doing right now than I have since Vermeil left. While I don’t necessarily agree with the firing of Todd Haley, I can agree that the performance of the team this season was well below it’s potential. The question is WHY. Since the two people who know why Todd was fired (Hunt and Pioli) aren’t talking, I think it’s safe to say that we will truly never know exactly why it happened in the way it happened. Truth be told, it doesn’t really matter.

It’s unfortunate for Haley, the team and the fans that were looking forward to bringing back a winning tradition to Kansas City. What Clark Hunt has now done is at best, set that goal back at least another season. I mean, come on–the odds of a new head coach making it to and winning the playoffs, with all the changes that would indicate, probably isn’t too high. At worst, we could be looking at another 2-3 year window of ‘inconsistent’ play on the field followed by the firing of another Head Coach and presumably it’s General Manager. If that happens my friends, Clark Hunt may create the reputation of an owner who is simply too impatient for coaches in this league to work for. If we reach that low point folks, well it just might be that we won’t see a winner in KC for a long, long time.

For better or worse, Todd Haley was brought to KC to be the agent of change. The team had gone downhill steadily from the time that Dick Vermeil left town. Vermeil came in and put together an offense that could score points and brought in vets to shore up the team to be able to get them on the win now page. It worked. The team was competitive during the regular season, actually winning 13 games in it’s best one. Problem is, that team simply wasn’t quite good enough to get over the hump and win playoff games when it counted. Marty had much the same problem. Something was missing in the recipe. The product was really good, it just wasn’t unique.

Todd Haley was the guy that provided resurrection of the dream. The dream that we could rebuild what had been left in KC and turn it into something special again. At no time in my memory of the Chiefs did this team have greater potential than when Todd Haley became the HC. This was true for me because of everything that happened after that. Bringing in Weis and then Crennel. WOW, what a combination! Haley had just had his own trip to the Super Bowl with a struggling team and now we bring in guys with enough rings to choke an elephant and a GM whose reputation preceeded him! Fabulous! Let’s get it done.

What stopped it from happening? I would say that many things played a part, but from the get go this group of change agents set themselves up as the KGB. They refused the kind of access that the local press had become used to under previous regimes, and it’s not hard to believe that they resented it. Why do you suppose that so much of what was printed in the local media was so negative about the team? Even during last season when the team won 10 games, the top stories were usually about Haley being a monster who couldn’t get along with anybody. I believe that it was the bias caused from limiting the press access. They didn’t like it and they looked for every possible angle to pry the lid off with negative stories. The thinking here is that if you tell a one sided story long enough, eventually the silent side MUST speak out to balance the books right?

It didn’t, and hasn’t, yet happened. All of the the things that have been printed or aired about Hunt, Haley and Pioli since the beginning are still there, creating this very negative view point about who these guys were and what they were doing. Since they decided not to discuss their plans (rightfully so, I would say) then the only thing left to do is look at performance. This is as it should be. The performance wasn’t there and the press (and a lot of the Chiefs fans) were right there waiting for their pound of flesh. Time to pay the piper. The chickens have come home to roost. Time to fish or cut bait.

Well, last Monday, that press and the fan base finally got a reaction from Clark Hunt. He fired the head coach. In mid-season, while the team was still mathematically alive in the playoff race. That is not something that is regularly done, and in this case, it smacks to me of panic. Panic on the part of a new owner who bought in to his new GMs plan, hook, line and sinker. I think that Clark Hunt, being a businessman, had a lot to do with this decision. I think he is upset with where the team is, and I think he is also upset with Scott Pioli.

I know that this wasn’t addressed in the press conference, but I have been in situations similar to what happened to Coach Haley in my life and I recognized some of my (and other actors in those interactions) actions and reactions in their words and posture in that presser. They were loath to give a reason that made sense for the Haley firing. Hell, the initial press release didn’t even use the word ‘fired’, it said Haley had been relieved of duties as HC. What? Were they thinking of keeping him as OC? I seriously doubt that was the case.

The unsupported and purely hypothetical truth in my mind is that they both very much liked Todd Haley and did not like the step they took. If you will recall, Scott Pioli said that Todd Haley was not a ‘mistake’, when asked that question by some of those in the media. He went on to say that Todd Haley was a very good football coach. You don’t say those things if you don’t really believe them. You say them so as not to detract from that person’s contributions to the organization even though those contributions did not achieve the desired results. I believe that they took this step because Clark Hunt needs to find out what he has in Scott Pioli.

When you get to the level that Pioli has in an organization, you become the face of that organization to a degree. The ownership literally trusts you with their business. You become the person who makes most calls on a day to day basis. You have a large degree of autonomy in doing that. The word trust, doesn’t even begin to describe the necessity of this type of relationship. Why do you think Lamar Hunt held onto Carl Peterson so long? He trusted the man. Even with all his warts. That is the ideal relationship that an owner is looking for and often times they will overlook some transgressions on the part of that person if they feel like they can trust that person.

I think Clark is trying to find out if that relationship exists between him and Pioli. From an owner’s perspective, this relationship must exist before they can give full authority to that manager. Given all that has transpired here with Haley and Pioli and all the rumor and inuendo surrounding the leaks in the Chiefs organization, Clark Hunt is now searching for who it is that he can trust.

That is all well and good, but the downside is that the team will suffer for it until the situation is resolved. Todd Haley was a victim of a sick organization. The inability to win games this year and be consistent was the reason given for his departure. Whether or not you like Todd Haley, the poll that Joel took about whether or not Todd should have been fired was very interesting. Nearly half that took the poll thought Todd should have stayed. I think the reason for that is that the extenuating circumstances that helped cause this season’s roller coaster type highs and lows were REAL. Yes, every team has to try and overcome injuries, but on a team with so little depth, to lose THOSE particular players was truly a season changing event. The eventual loss of Matt Cassel should have been the get out of jail card for Haley, not the final nail in the coffin. I believe that in a situation where the front office had more stability and a longer track record, Todd Haley would still be the HC until sometime next season to see what he could do in a more ‘normal’ year.

Anyway, I’ve gone on long enough. Many here routinely talk about posts being too long so I am trying to keep mine shorter. I have less confidence in the short to medium term success of this team BECAUSE of firing yet another HC. The last five have averaged 2.5 seasons. That just isn’t enough to get a real fix on how good (or bad) that coach is going to be. Particularly when it’s that coach’s first time in the big chair. Hunt should have known that going in. If he wasn’t convicted of giving a new Head Coach his due in the beginning, he shouldn’t have given him the job to begin with. That’s called setting someone up to fail. It’s not good business. Don’t think it’s been lost on the young NFL minds laboring away right now for those HC jobs either. It might be just a little harder to draw the best coaching talent when they realize that they have about two and a half years to prove it or get canned. From the outside looking in, it also doesn’t help attract coaches when there is a perception that the organization is not professional and well run. Right now, given the fact that they fired the HC under questionable circumstances and are getting sued for age discrimination in their front office, it could be argued that the Chiefs organization is sick.

Romeo Crennel. I love me some Romeo–as DC. Romeo may well have learned something during his last try at HC. Maybe he’s the answer. Just remember, that Romeo had four years in his first attempt at HC to prove himself and he, like Todd Haley, only had one winning season. He, like Todd Haley, won 10 games in that season. Unlike Todd Haley, Romeo’s win percentage for those four years was a dismal .375. Todd’s was .422. Based on performance, we just traded down. Tell me, if the Chiefs were to beat the Green Bay Packers on Sunday, would that be Romeo’s team or Haley’s team? I’m just curious because we spend a lot of time talking about how the current team is really Herm’s team and how Herm’s team was really Vermeil’s.

I really wish Romeo luck and I think he’s a good coach. We could easily do worse. The problem is, Nero is fiddling while Romeo is burning…I wonder how long before the fire is out.



Arrowhead Pride

« old entrys