Just like many Whitlockites, it is easy to pick out negatives about the Chief’s or to lesser degrees, most NFL teams. (He’d probably be calling for Belichick’s job after last night and I’d strongly bet that Belichick wouldn’t pay any attention to him) Just keep in mind that someone like Whitlock could find fault with anyone that didn’t cater to him and his stupid questions and comments.
I’m reviewing in my mind some of our discussions dating back to last Spring and I’m seeing many positives. They are (1) the offensive line is definitely looking better (two sacks vs. Oakland), (2) we are finally over the LJ chapter and based on watching Charles vs. Oakland, the future just could be very bright; (3) the receiving corps is really showing a lot of improvement and (4) in many ways, this team is playing with a much more discipline and intensity as evidenced in the lower number of penalties.
During training camp and Spring training, most opinions had the feeling that the Chief’s receiving corps was terrible and that we would need to spend a first day pick here next year. There’s always room for improvement, but I could see us going into the next season with this same group and feeling very comfortable. Chambers seems to be a great addition along with Long, Bradley and Wade. I’m sure that Pioli and Haley will continue to try to upgrade this area but it’s no longer one of the biggest problems and may even develop into a strength.
We’ve all moaned and groaned about our Offensive line but we are seeing improvement. We just may have found our RT, we’ve developed some depth and there is no doubt that we’ll still be drafting in this area. Depending how much longer Waters plays, I’m sure that Pioli and Haley are making certain plans here that will eventually build us a high level unit. Bring on the draft.
NOTE: I have a new respect for Waters and wonder if others have seen the same things. As we’ve known and as he has done for years, this guy does come to play. I have this awesome image of him being downfield (one of the earlier games) after an interception return and just “launching” his 320 body and helping to knock the player out of bounce. (If anyone has a video of that, I’d love to see it again). Then yesterday, he’s the one that is all the way downfield recovering that fumble that no one else could get their hands on. These are very impressive plays for a guy his size and age and also an indication that he could still play for a couple of years. I don’t watch him much during the games, but he might still be playing at a pro level.
I like our running back situation and do hope that Koby Smith can get back to the player that he was. I’d also enjoy seeing what Javarris Williams can do. RB seems to be an area where teams can always pick up another pick if someone falls to them but the Chief’s seem to be in pretty good shape here.
Like Coach Haley keeps saying, this is a process and I can see where there is progress. Actually, one of my concerns right now is Cassel. I really like him and I do believe that he can become a premier QB. With all the pressure and hits that he has taken, to me he sometimes seems almost “shell shocked.” And, who would blame him. And, he and Haley are in the process of developing a football relationship that will take time. Cassel protects the ball well and has hung in there under very tough conditions but as the big picture comes together, I believe that he will be better for the experience and that the chemistry that is being built between Haley and his players (Cassel, Bowe, Charles, and others) will be a winning combination that we will all appreciate. (Well, except Whitlock)
And, last thoughts: With what I’m seeing above, I’m hoping that the Chief’s will pick up at least 2-3 quality free agents and then, naturally, have a fantastic draft. There are not the holes that were here last Spring, not as many key spots to fill, therefore, with free agency and the draft, the cohesion that is being built and with a chance to bring in some other coaches, this will be a much, much better team in 2010. Remember, everything started late last year….Haley’s hiring, hiring the other coaches, etc. That won’t be the case this time.