Following todays performance and in the spirit of offseason fun let's take a 'different' look at the holes on our team and a 'creative' solution.
What we know:
1. The Chiefs run defense needs help
2. The run defense starts with the D-Line
3. The run defense ends with the LB's. (read further before you begin your reply)
4. Our NT isn't getting the job done
5. Our ILB/MLB isn't getting the job done.
6. Page needs some help at safetly that will be both a long term, and talented player
7. DJ has pass cover skills, big play ability, and youth
8. DJ likes to roam and hide and use his athletic ability to make plays.
9. DJ roams and hides way to much as a run stopper. He doesn't have gap dicipline.
What you should see comming by now:
As we look back at last season we see Glenn Dorsey, Tamba Hali, and Turk McBride all completely re-evaluated buy the coaching staff. They each, through scheme change or necessity, were moved to someplace else on the field outside of what was considered their natural position. Dorsey and Hali have both made marked improvements over the 2008 season playing in a new scheme in a new position. 2 out of 3 aint bad.
The biggest area of need for the Chiefs is right down the middle of the field. We're soft in the belly and consistently give up yards to both the inside run and the underneath passes and crossing routes. It's fairly obvious that we need to improve play at the NT spot in order to free our LB's up to make plays. IF the RB gets past the line then we need massive improvement with a gap protecting LB that is diciplined enough to stay in their gap and stop the run before it's already 4-6 yards down the field. A safety that can pass protect and put on big hits vs. runners would be nice, but if the safety is making the majority of the stops in the run game then we've already given up too many yards. In base defense the safety should not even be considered part of the run protection, rather just a last resort when all else has failed.
Against the middle pass and crossing routes were very weak at safety. Teams have burned the Chiefs all year by throwing the ball behind the LB's and in front of the safeties. We simply do not have the ball hawk defender in the backfield that makes a break on the ball and makes big plays. Page has been out with injury and we've marched a small batallion of guys in to try and play the position next to Brown all year long. We need Page back on the field, but Brown is not the long term solution for our team. What we want is a ball hawk player that can roam the backfield and make plays on the ball. That player has to have good accerleation (not necessairly top speed) and big play ability to interfere with the receivers and defend the pass in the middle.
With so many holes to fill, is it really out of the question for the Chief's to take a player like DJ (big play ability, ball hawk that makes things happen, shakey against the run, strong agaisnt the pass) and MOVE him to a different position. Given what we know about DJ's abilities and tendencies, doesn't he look to be much better suited to playing that roaming safety we so badly need? I believe it would give us a CHANCE to kill 2 birds with one stone:
Bird 1) A major flaw at run stopping ability at the LB position. A hole so big that DJ sits on the bench on obvious running downs because he simply cannot be trusted to play 'team defense' and 'gap protection'. He's GOING to fall back on his athletic ability and roam the field weather we like it or not. He's already proven this. It HURTS us in the running game, and puts a talented athlete on the bench.
Bird 2) A major hole at safety where we need a field roaming, ball hawk, big play making, pass defender in the middle.
If we moved DJ to the safety position and then concentrated our high draft picks (through trades or spending them) on NT, LB's, and OL would we be better off than we are now? Can DJ handle the safety position? Are we better off with DJ on the bench on running plays, another hole to fill because of it, and going after a safety early draft? What position do YOU think DJ's natural talents are better suited for? With a better NT, a true MLB run stuffer, and a new C and RT are we a good enough team that we can afford a 'struggling to learn' DJ for 1/2 a season at safety?
We need SOMETHING to talk about now that the off-season has officially started. Obviously I have my own opnions on each of those questions (and they would probably supprize you) but I prefer to hear what YOU think.
Let the offseason discussions begin: