As can be seen by most of my posts, I'm usually what is referred to as a reactive commenter. My posts usually lean toward a negative slant. More often than not I react to something someone else said and point out or argue the other side of the coin. Therefore, you may read me as a negative person or someone that is not positive about my team and the direction it's headed in.
Allow me to take this opportunity to state publically that there is no truth to that stereotype where I am concerned. I am anything but negative about my Chiefs. From the retirement of Carl Peterson to the firing of Herman Edwards to the accusation of Pioli, Haley, and Matt Cassel I see nothing but positives. More importantly, with the few offseason moves that the Chiefs have made so far I also see nothing but positive. There is a lot of negative talk about the activity level of the Chiefs so far in the offseason and I don't think it is either warranted or anything to worry about.
A quick review of a few of offseason moves:
Carl Peterson, Herman Edwards, Gunthar Cunningham, Damon Huard, Quinn Gray, Donnie Edwards, Patrick Surtain, and a few other coaches as well as a pot smoking TE.
Scott Pioli, Todd Haley, Clancy Pendergast, Gary Gibs, Maurice Carthon, Ronnie Bradford, Joel Collier, Steve Hoffman, Matt Cassel, Mike Vrabel, Travis Daniels, C.J. Jones, Robertson, and I'm sure more to come.
The biggest thing I have to be positive about are the few players we have signed in FA. QB Cassel, LB Vrabel, WR Jones, DE/LB Robertson, CB Travis Daniels. Why, you ask, would I be positive about those signings? Where are the rest of the big name, can't miss, superstar players that we have let get away?
My answer to that is - Who cares!!
What we are seeing is something unprecedented during the tenure of the last 2 coaches in KC. We are seeing a move that you might even let slip by your eyes if you haven't taken the time to think about it. We are seeing a team being built with a definite philosophy and direction in that the big picture is being focused on.
Dick Vermeil decided the best way to build a team was to go all out on offense, and boy was that ever an exciting few years. Points flew up onto the board in almost no time. Every single offensive play had the potential to end in a TD. Unfortunately, no thought what-so-ever was put into the defense. The end result was a team that could rack up 30+ points a game, but couldn't hold their opponent to less than 36.
Then came Herman Edwards, the defensive backs guru, the orchestrator of the of cover 2 defense, the savior that would put the defense back where it belonged (or so he thought) in the annals of Chiefs history. Draft pick after draft pick were tossed into righting the ship on the side of the ball that would keep us in the game. Speeches at team meetings and in front of the press told us that our team should be able to win games by putting 20 points on the board. The defense was going to save us and prove that you didn't need to score a lot to win; you just needed to control the clock and run the ball, play it safe and don't make mistakes. All we had to do was to keep the opponents score low and put just enough points on the board to win. Unfortunately, everyone could predict every move that we were going to make on offense. Worse still, that powerful shut down cover 2 defense never did emerge. It was time to rebuild the team through the draft, starting with a whole new backfield of players and limping by with Brodie Croyle as the QBotF. That managed to work out even worse than the Vermeil era, and it was far less exciting to watch too.
2 coaches, 2 systems, 2 plans; 1 result - Losing game after game by just a few points and never managing to put together a playoff win.
In steps Scott Pioli and a new thought process; build a team, not just one side of a team. What, you ask me, am I talking about? What have we done so far that would lead you to believe we are building a team? Well, let me shine a light on it.
Haley comes to the Chiefs as an expert offense coach. We've seen what he did in Arizona, and we've heard the new GM tell us how we are building an aggressive offense. Matt Cassel took fully 70% of his snaps as a starter in a spread offense. It's no coincidence that he's now a Chief. That spread attack is exactly what the Chiefs will be implementing. Knowing that we're going to run a spread our fearless leader and GM has went ahead and signed us another receiver, C.J. Jones, as well as a QBotF that can toss the ball around the yard. The coach, QB, and adding more receivers all add up to more spread sets and less predictability. The offense will be heading in the direction of excitement. We will move the ball around and let everyone touch it. Between Bowe, Bradley, Gonzalez, Jones, Franklin, and speedy RB Jamal Charles we should see some excitement on our offense again.
Here's the best part:
If your offense runs the spread a lot, and you put a lot of point on the board that means that your defense is going to have to play a lot of nickel and dime coverage. Assuming you are successful in putting points on the board and taking leads in a game the one thing you cannot afford to do is give up a lot of points just as quickly. This was the mistake last year. As good as the youngsters Carr and Flowers were you can't play nickel without a legitimate 3rd starting CB. You're going to have to play a lot of nickel to cover the pass when you have a lead, and you can expect to play some dime coverage also. Pioli paired his new WR and QB with Travis Daniels. A new CB and someone that has 26 starts in the pros (which makes him the veteran in the backfield) joins the Chiefs to play in the nickel defense. Legget is still around and he may slide into dime coverage when necessary, but we have a legit 3rd CB for all that nickel coverage we will be playing.
Our team has actually thought this out. Spread offense = points (if run right), points = leads, leads = opponent passing a lot to stay in the game, opponent passing a lot = nickel coverage, and nickel coverage = a need for a legit 3rd starting CB. Holy hell!, look at that!! We've actually got a real system planned out to allow the defense to compliment the offense. We aren't going to sacrifice 1 side of the ball so that we can strengthen the other. For the first time in a long time I can honestly say that I'm positive about the decisions being made for the future of the team.
We added a QB of the offense that can bring a winning attitude to the field. At the exact same time we added a QB of the defense that can pave the way for our new to come system on that side of the ball too. A legit signal caller for both sides of the ball, and character guys that can lead to boot.
That's right folks, the 34 is coming. It may take a few seasons before we are fully vested in it, but it's coming none the less. The 43 defense, specifically the cover 2 version, was designed to shut down the west coast style offense. There is nothing wrong with that, except that more and more teams are shifting out of the west coast system and integrating more parts of the spread. The 34 defense is much stronger against the spread offense than the 43 cover 2. I could EAISLY write a 20 page document explaining why this is true, but for the sake of this post let us just say it like this. The 34 has a better chance of putting athletic guys in coverage on athletic guys, and also has more ability to mask blitzes and coverage schemes. Once again we see this new system of team building. Complimentary pieces.
First we compliment the new spread with the nickel package guys. Then we go out and compliment the new QB with the a defensive QB on the other side of the ball, and we're going to compliment the new spread offense with a defense designed to stop the spread! It's a brand new world Chiefs fans. How can you not be excited and positive about the direction of the team?
For the first time in a long time I can honestly say I'm excited about the future of my team. I actually believe we may have a chance to win a super bowl while I'm still alive. Someone has finally brought a SYSTEM to our team, not just 1 side of the coin! Brace yourself Chiefs fans, it may take a season or 2 to get all the pieces in place and the machine oiled up and firing on all cylinders but it's coming Chiefs fans; A winning team in KC!!