Sunday, March 27, 2011

Chiefs Update

With NFL happenings few and far between, there hasn't been much to talk about. But, although it's not big news, there's still news out there, so check out some of these links.

The Chiefs were awarded a sixth round compensatory pick by the NFL. It's the 199th pick in the draft (the same number that Tom Brady was taken at but don't expect lightning to strike twice). This brings the Chiefs total number of picks to eight. 

NFL workouts would have began already if it wasn't for the lockout. But because of the owners and players disagreement, these workouts are now not a guarantee. 

Because of the lack of team workouts and players being able to interact with coaches during this lockout, many questions of Matt Cassel's continued progression have arisen. Coach Haley addressed the importance of Cassel's progression at the NFL owners meeting last Tuesday. Then Matt Williamson and Bill Williamson from ESPN both addressed the concern as well. Matt Williamson's article on if Cassel is the guy for KC is definitely the most interesting, but here's Bill's article as well.

Former Chiefs head coach, Marty Schottenheimer, has come out of retirement to coach football. No, not in the NFL, but in the only football we'll be able to watch next fall: the United Football League. Marty is becoming coach and general manager of the Virginia Destroyers.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Maybe The Kickoff Rule Isn't So Bad

Many of you are probably like me: you hate the new rule change regarding kickoffs and kickoff returns.

If you are unfamiliar with the new rule change, let me sum it up for you. The kickoff will now take place from the 35 yard line instead of the 30 yard line. The kicking team will only get a 5 yard running start, a wedge on the return team remains, and touchbacks stay at the 20 yard line.

The "reasoning" behind this if for player safety and the hard hits taken on kickoff returns.

Well, after thinking about it, maybe this rule isn't the worst thing in the world. Yes, the number of touchbacks taken (the most boring play in football) will increase, and the number of kickoff returns for touchdowns (one of the most exciting plays in football) will decrease, but this might just help out the Chiefs.

The Chiefs aren't the same team they were in 2003 with Dante Hall, where anytime they got a kickoff they could take it back all the way. If this rule change was implemented back then, Chiefs fans would and should have been up in arms.

But this isn't 2003.

Since 2005, the Chiefs have returned two kickoffs for touchdowns. In that same amount of time, the Chiefs' opponents have scored five touchdowns on kickoffs.

Kickoff returns for touchdowns can swing momentum in a heartbeat. They win games. But unfortunately for the Chiefs, kickoff returns for touchdowns have cost them more games then they have won them.

In addition to limiting kickoff returns, the new rule also helps out our kicking game. As Bill Williamson from ESPN points out, Ryan Succop had touchbacks on only 10.3% of his kickoffs last season. The extra five yards should increase this percentage.

So, at the end of the day, the new rule change may be met with scrutiny, but the Chiefs just might benefit from it. Go figure.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

I'll Let You Decide

Which banner do you like better?

It's a simple question and will influence which banner I use in the future. Also, if you have some banner designs of your own, submit me a link in the comment section of the post.

Here we go.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Which Chiefs Team Was Better?

The 2010 team did what no other Chiefs team had done since 2003: win the AFC West. The last time the Chiefs had been to the playoffs was in 2006, when they earned a wild card berth on a miraculous Sunday of losses. Only one win separated these two teams records, and neither team had success once they made the playoffs. So, a question (that really has no effect on no one and nothing but oh well) arises: was the 2006 team better than the 2010 team?

Like I said earlier, the 2006 team did not win the AFC West, but they faced a lot more adversity during the season than last season's team.

In the first game of the 2006 season, two-time Pro Bowl quarterback Trent Green, was viciously knocked out of the game with a concussion. Trent Green was a premier quarterback, and the previously season he lead the team to 10-6 in Dick Vermeil's final season, but could not get into the playoffs.

Remember how nervous we were when Matt Cassel had his appendectomy this season and he missed one game. Try to relate that about how nervous you were when Green got knocked out in the first game of Herm Edward's first season as head coach in KC.

When Damon Huard ran onto that field against the Bengals after Green was taken off the field, I'm sure that I wasn't the only one that declared the season as over. And yet, as Huard as a starter, the Chiefs went 5-3. The Chiefs season was on the fence; it could go either way. When Green returned, many thought that would be what put us over the top.

But Green wasn't the same player that he was. The Chiefs went 4-3 after Green came back as the starter. During those seven games, Green never threw for over 300 yards and only through for over 200 once. In 2005, Green threw for over 300 yards four times, and over 200 yards 10 times (not including his 300+ yard games).

But, thanks to a couple of miracles on the final Sunday of the regular season, all the teams that were ahead of the Chiefs in consideration for the final wild card spot lost, and the Chiefs made it in.

Now, we all know how the game turned out (not well), but think about it now. How well would the Chiefs have done if we had lost Cassel for eight games? Would we have rallied behind Croyle and go on to still have a winning season?

No, we wouldn't have.

How was the 2006 team able to do this? They did with a back up what the 2010 Chiefs did with a Pro Bowl quarterback. They had to have all their players on offense and defense step up, they had to have a greater team effort.

But I'm not going to take away anything from the 2010 Chiefs. Last season's team was known for its rookies, for its youth, for its potential. The 2006 team was known for its veterans, for its experience. It's easier for a team to rally behind a backup quarterback when its players had been there before (like I said earlier, the previous season they won 10 games), and they were expected to be successful.

The 2010 Chiefs were following a four win season and not much hope from its fanbase before the start of the season. What they did surprised everyone, what they did was prove that the Chiefs were back.

So what do you think? Which team was better?

Sunday, March 13, 2011


Tamba Hali is possibly the best player on the Kansas City Chiefs defense. He has been a consistent pass rushing source, and at times, our only pass rushing source. He showed how dominant he can be last season by recording 14.5 sacks.

After not being able to work out a new contract with the Chiefs just yet, the Chiefs decided to make Hali their franchise player for the 2011 season. But as we are about to pay Hali a franchise player type salary for next season, some wonder if Hali has peaked. Some wonder if he will ever have the type of season that he did last year.

So what if he doesn't?

He doesn't have to repeat last season's numbers to be worth the money. And pardon my comparison, but I'm going for it. Derek Thomas, also drafted out of college as a defensive end, put up a ridiculous 20.0 sacks in his second season with the Chiefs. He would never match those same numbers again. The most Thomas would ever finish with after his sophomore year is 14.5. Plus, let's not forgot how he was teamed up with Neil Smith, another dominating force as a pass rusher. Both players enabled the other to be at their best; you can't double team both of them.

Tamba Hali has been missing that other dominant pass rusher like Thomas had, ever since Jared Allen was traded away.

If Hali gets another pass rusher opposite him that can cause disruption, then Hali could conceivably have an even better season than this year. But, even if he doesn't, that doesn't mean he's not worth the money. As long as Hali remains consistent, then he doesn't have to be great. I wouldn't mind Hali never getting over 14.5 sacks if he keeps his numbers up around the 10 mark for the next few seasons.

If the Chiefs could find that complementary pass rusher, that 'Neil Smith' type of player, then I have no doubt that Hali could be that 'Derrick Thomas' like player, even if he doesn't put up the same numbers.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Back At It

Well, I am back from my hiatus of not writing posts. Life occurrences and the fact that there is no free agency has lead me to take some time off from writing. I am back, however, and although I wasn't writing posts, I was still checking up on the Chiefs every day; and I can honestly say that there is not much going on.

Besides Clark Hunt representing the owners, and Mike Vrabel and Brian Waters representing the players in these CBA negotiations, not a lot of action (besides the occasional Pro Day. I have to hand it to the Chiefs, they seem to send scouts to all the Pro Days. No rock left unturned is a good strategy for a team looking to build in the draft and I respect that kind of mentality Scott Pioli has brought to the Chiefs).

Now, since I've had time to think about what my next post is going to be on (just how good Tamba Hali is), I am going to give some quick updates on what's been going on with the Chiefs in the last week.

Some Chiefs have discussed back-up plans to team practices in case there is a lockout. I find this a great idea and it makes me like these young players the Chiefs have even more.

Eric Berry talks about how he could play professional baseball if there's no football this year. If so, maybe the Royals should take a look at him.

Some question if Dwayne Bowe can have the same type of season in the future as he did last season. The argument is a legitimate one, and the comparisons are there. But I wouldn't get hung up about it.

Mel Kiper came out with his Mock Draft 3.0. He once again has Akeem Ayers going to the Chiefs with the 21st pick. Meanwhile, Bill Williamson of ESPN, has his own thoughts about where the Chiefs might go in the draft, along with the rest of the AFC West.

Josh Looney from the Chiefs official website, came out today with a very interesting article about the Chiefs and the upcoming draft and how it's different this year than in the past because of the lack of free agency. Excuse his 1980s video game analogy, and really read what it has to say. Some pretty good stuff.

Alright, that about wraps it up. Come back tomorrow for another post. Hopefully I can get back on schedule.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

What Most People Forgot . . .

Kansas City Star
In light of the almost expiring CBA talks and the possibility of not having a NFL season next year, some people might have forgotten that 101 Sports Writers banquet was tonight. The awards were announced before the end of the NFL season, but the presentations were being held tonight.

Among the winners were players Michael Vick (Eagles), Tom Brady (Patriots), Clay Matthews (Packers), Troy Polamalu (Steelers), and coaches Mike Smith (Falcons) and Todd Haley (our very own Chiefs).

Todd Haley won the award for AFC Coach of the Year from the 101 Sports Writers Association. He was presented the award by his father, Dick Haley. And although Haley missed out on the Associated Press Coach of the Year, it is still a nice tribute to a fantastic year.

Other Chiefs in attendance Jamaal Charles and Eric Berry, the recipients of the individual Chiefs honors of MVP and rookie of the year.

For the full story and quotes, check out the Kansas City Star, who's reporters were in attendance.

Friday, March 4, 2011

The Votes Are In . . .

Exactly 100 votes were cast in my approximately 3 week long poll question on which is the Chiefs' biggest need heading into the draft. The results are as follows:

  1. Wide Receiver -  34%
  2. Offensive Lineman - 20%
  3. Linebacker - 19%
  4. Defensive Tackle - 17%
  5. Quarterback - 10%
If the CBA doesn't get fixed before the 2011 Draft (who knows how many weeks they will keep extending the deadline), then no free agency can occur. Without free agency, we won't be able to get our hands on a proven wide receiver, so finding one in the draft might be the best option.

The rest of the voting was very close, with the exception of quarterback. Our offensive line is getting old, and we still need a good pass rushing linebacker. 

I would like to extend a thank you for all of those that participated.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Chiefs Update

Today, former Chiefs cornerback, Kevin Ross, was named as this year's Chiefs Hall of Fame inductee. He played 10 seasons with the Chiefs. For the full story, here it is.

Assuming that restricted free agents will still exist after the NFL collective bargaining agreement is settled, the Chiefs put tenders on some of their players today. Brandon Carr received a first round tender (meaning if a team was going to sign him, they would have to give up a first-round selection for him), and both Barry Richardson and Wallace Gilberry received second round tenders.

Chiefs players Kendrick Lewis, Donald Washington, and Dexter McCluster, are all planning to return to finish their degrees this summer. They left their schools as underclassmen to enter the draft, but plan on finishing up what they bypassed by entering the NFL before graduation.

Also dealing with Chiefs players, reserve linebacker Cory Greenwood accepted a one-year contract with the Chiefs. Greenwood was the third overall pick in the 2010 CFL draft before turning his eyes to the NFL, in which he had 11 tackles last season (mostly on special teams).

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Draft History 202

AP Photo

Alright, settle down kids, please take your seats. Another semester, another class, hopefully you retained last semester's knowledge over break because if you didn't you might struggle starting off. But don't worry, I'm sure it will all come back to you. Any questions? No? Alright, let's get started on Draft History 202.

Easy question. Who makes the final choice on who the Chiefs draft?

Scott Pioli.

Good. Now a tougher question; does Pioli favor a certain side of the ball, as in offense or defense, with higher draft picks more than the other?

Pioli favors the defensive side of the ball more.

And why do you say that?

In the last two drafts for the Chiefs, Pioli has taken a defensive player in the first round.

You make a very good point, but don't let Pioli's recent actions fool you. Despite the fact that Pioli, at the NFL Scouting Combine this past weekend, said that "the cupboard wasn't bare when Todd (Haley) and I arrived to Kansas City," the fact of the matter was that one side was more bare than the other.

Pioli had a reputation for being excellent with the draft from his days in New England. What most people in Kansas City don't remember is that Pioli was very balanced with his draft picks in the top three rounds. When Scott Pioli took over as the Director of Player Personnel for the Patriots in 2001, a series of balanced draft selections followed.

Between 2001 and 2008, the Patriots drafted in the first round nine times. Of those nine, five selections were for defense, four for offense. In the second round, Pioli selected seven times: four on offense, three of defense. And in the third round, four on offense, three on defense.

These might not be as skewed of numbers as you thought after Pioli came over to the Chiefs in 2009.

Granted, in 2009, the first three picks the Chiefs had went to defense, but the the remainder of the picks went to offense (with the exception of Ryan Succop, the kicker).

But the following year, in 2010, you could start seeing the balanced draft that Pioli was known for in New England. Defense might have been addressed in the first round, but the rest of the draft showed why Pioli is renowned.

So what does that mean for the draft?

That means don't put all your money down on a defensive player in the first round.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

And The Saints Go Marching Out With . . .

Shaun Rogers.

After Rogers was released by the Browns, he visited the Redskins, the Chiefs, and then finally the Saints.

I really thought the Chiefs would get Rogers because of his connection with our defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel. Rogers even tweeted afterward that he had had lunch with Crennel while he was visiting Kansas City.

But, nevertheless, the 31 year old 350 lb defensive tackle (he weighs more than 10 times his age) signed with the New Orleans Saints today. The deal was for one year and $4 million.

Before you get too mad that the Chiefs didn't reach a deal with Rogers, let's look at the price it cost New Orleans. $4 million for a player coming off the worst statistical season of his career. I was a fan of getting Rogers to KC, he would solved some issues with the nose tackle position, but $4 million is probably too much for Rogers (unless you've heard the rumors that KC offered Rogers more money and he didn't take it).

What now for the Chiefs? Tommie Harris and Kris Jenkins were both released this week, both could be free agent pick ups for the Chiefs; however, I seriously doubt the Chiefs would go for these players.

The Chiefs have yet to make a free agent splash before the CBA expires on Friday, don't expect it now and for these players.