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November 29, 2004

The Chiefs Lose Again! « Kansas City Chiefs »

Maybe I should just change the category of these posts to "The Chiefs Lose Again!" [grin]

Okay, here's some thoughts on the loss:

First, it looks like the professional writers are starting to catch on that the offense is really the ones we should blame:
Article 1.
Article 2.

But there were some good things coming out of the loss. Even besides having that much higher of a draft pick...

First, I think Dick Vermeil is perhaps a little too loyal to his veterans. What I mean is, we've had problems tackling all year, right? Well, did you notice significant missed tackles leading to breakaway runs by Ladanian Tomlinson yesterday? Me, either. Nor any short passes turned into highlight-reel long gains because of defenders bouncing off of WRs like pinballs. Qinton Caver wasn't judged good enough to start at LB, but I saw him make at least 2 good tackles. Willie Pile played decently at defensive back, and made some good tackles. Shaunard Harts didn't let anyone holding the ball get past him. Warfield and Bartee aren't afraid to make tackles, too. Benny Sapp made a good tackle in a difficult open-field situation last week. We've got a number of young guys who need a little more experience to increase coverage skills, but who can all hit, hit hard, and not miss. They need to be on the field. I'd rather lose because our guys can't play quite fast enough than lose because we don't wrap up and make stupid mistakes of alignment and so forth.

Jared Allen is going to be a monster. He's on pace to be the first KC rookie to crack double-digit sacks, I think ever. He came from a small Division I-AA school, so I can't wait to see what happens with another off-season of strength and speed training. Look what it did for Eric Hicks: a skinny undrafted free agent became a solid starter...

Lionel Dalton is a penetrator. He's doing good stuff there. Hopefully he has a year or two left in his tank, because we have enough problems in other places that I don't think we can afford to retool the D-Line.

It looks like Chris Bober is better than John Welbourn. I wish we hadn't waited until game 9 to learn that. There wasn't a veteran loyalty issue there, so why didn't Bober get the chance to start earlier when Welbourn was struggling? Based on this game against San Diego, Bober might be better than the departed JJohn Tait. (Whom we haven't appreciably missed, as I predicted)

I think we might be set at WR for next year, as long as Boerigter is fully recovered from his knee injury. Johnny Morton is having an excellent year, and is the #2 WR in the league for 3rd/4th-down catches that go for TDs or 1st Downs (according to a graphic in the game yesterday). But he's not consistent enough for a #1 WR, maybe because age has made him lose a step. Kennison may be done, as well. I think Morton should be the #3/possession receiver that can move the chains on 3rd down. I think Hall should play fewer snaps, so call him the #4 WR. So who gets to be #1-2? I think Boerigter showed signs of being ready for #1 before he went down with the knee injury. I think either Richard Smith or Samie Parker should be ready to be #2 by the start of next season. Kris Wilson should be ready to kick major butt next year, as well, as a WR-type threat at the #2 TE position, just like Tony Gonzalez. Just like TG, Wilson can catch, run, and block quite well, so we should be more potent next year, barring injury.

We've got 3 good RBs, too, it seems. I would keep Holmes on the roster as the red-zone back, and let Blaylock run between the 20s. I saw him lay a crushing block on a blitzer yesterday, and at the same time saw Larry Johnson whiff on one. Blocking is something a RB can improve on, but I think he showed enough running skills that we might be able to get a good 2nd round or maybe even a low 1st round pick for him, if a team is desperate enough. depends on the prospects in the draft. But Blaylock's ability obviates Johnson, and we could use the cap room.

So in the draft this year, I'd go all defense. Draft more CBs, LBs, and DTs to increase the competition on the defense. If you can cut someone like Jerome Woods (who seems to have gotten too old to play well anymore) and save their salary cap number, that just increases the money you can put into a veteran WR or O-Line player like another Roaf.

I think we've gotten some bad bounces this year. How can Hall fumble on the 5? He should have had two touchdowns, and that would have been enough for the win. But with the way the year is going, fine, let's get our bad luck out of the way this year. How can a near-interception by Warfield turn into a catch for a positive gain??? ...the same way a Delhomme prayer flung up as he was being sacked can be caught for a TD instead of interception going for a TD the other way: The Football Gods have been against us this year, I'm convinced of it. I can't figure out why: we haven't changed our uniform into something modern and garish. Although looking at the Broncos Super Bowl win in the league's ugliest uniform, maybe we should....

Okay, that's it for today. I'll muse more and share more thoughts with you later this week.

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