Installment 4 is locked and loaded. Here's this weeks lineup.
- The Crennel effect
- Remeber the Unsungs?
- My weekly game preview
How Much is Crennel Actually doing?
A thought crossed my mind the other day. Is this Crennel mind raping two top 5 NFL QB's (Rivers/ Manning) and bullying top rushers (Hillis/ Gore) or is it Pioli and Edwards' talent finally coming to fruition? I excused the notion pretty quickly, because it's obvious Crennels scheming is clearly superior to Pendergast's. Still, let's take a look at Crennel's "finish" products in his last two coaching venues, just for fun.
remember this is all my opinion, this is not statistically based.
New England 2004 Super Bowl Squad
- It's hard to say that Jackson is a better LDE than Warren, however Shaun Smith tips the scales enough to put this tandem in the same field of talent as Warren/ Hill.
- Easy decision. Traylor was serviceable and Wilfork was a beast of a rookie.
- This isn't a knock on Dorsey at all. Richard Seymour at this point in his career was establishing himself as the meat of this defense. Seymour was as complete a 3-4 DE as this decade would see.
The Patriots hold the superior line here. Easy to say Crennel had a lot more to work with in New England than he does in Kansas City. What should be noted however, is that Dorsey and Jackson are both young and we haven't seen their ceilings, but the Patriots having strength at the NT position really puts this out of question.
- McGinest was entering the Twilight of his career at the time and had a lot more weapons around him to help take pressure off of him. That said, Hali is more than on pace this year to beat McGinest's 9.5 sack campaign that year. Hali's bringing the pressure almost all by himself, and is keeping up with (and beating for that matter) rushers with a lot more talent around them.
RILB: Teddy Bruschi ≥ Derrick Johnson
- Johnson has definitely shown that his athletic ceiling is sky high, but his football smarts are lacking (evidenced by notorious inconsistency). Bruschi's athletic ability was lacking but was made up for in intelligence. It's hard to compare the two, but the Raiders are proof that it takes more than being an athlete to be the best.
LILB: Ted Johnson < Jovan Belcher
- Role players, they get the job done but aren't flashy about it.. Belcher gets the nod because he's been fairly consistent while very young and very raw. This was Johnson's last year in the NFL
LOLB: Mike Vrabel(NE) > Mike Vrabel(KC)
- While a nearly dry marker still writes, it's not as pretty as a newer one.
2-2, the talent level in the LB core was not at all similar. However where one team lacked the other team found strength. Slight edge to NE here because they had two pass rushing threats.
- Both shut down corners, very opportunistic, with the ability to cover just about anyone in the league.
- The "greater than" is for Ty Law, the "equal to" is for Randall Gay. If Carr could turn his head around it would just be "="
- This is hard to judge, Harrison was limited to in the twilight of his career, pretty much what Berry is in his rookie season. Berry has Massive potential but if he keeps playing like this.. He'll be a Rodney Harrison type. Great for run defense, sketchy against pass defense.
- Kendrick Lewis has seriously been over achieving. How a fifth round rookie could play this well as a day one starter is beyond me. Eugene Wilson was never really bad, just never all that good. At this point, Lewis is a lot of potential and has more physical tools. If he keeps playing beyond himself like this, this could easily be a "<"
While our secondaries seem about equal on paper thus far, it's hard to judge this group just yet. Going into 2004 these Patriots were entering the twilights of their careers. While these Chiefs are quite literally just getting started.
The Patriots of 2004 trump just about any team when it comes to the defensive line, however if the Chiefs young second and third levels can continue to build off of their performances Crennel may not have that much of a talent gap to bridge. This post in two years (or even the end of the season) quite possibly could be the Chiefs over the Patriots. As for now the edge goes to New England.
2008 Cleveland Browns
LDE: Corey Williams/Shaun Smith(2008) < Tyson Jackson/ Shaun Smith(2010)
- Shaun Smith is playing at as good a level as ever, Tyson Jackson v. Corey Williams pretty much makes it a gimme.
NT: Shaun Rogers/ Ahtyba Runin >> Ron Edwards/ Shaun Smith
- Make no mistake about it this was and still is a top 3 NT rotation for the Browns.
RDE: Robaire Smith < Glenn Dorsey
- At this point, Smith is serviceable and Dorsey is desirable. Both are solid against the run, the difference is Dorsey also pushes the pocket well.
If not for the severe disparity at the most important position on the defensive line (NT), this would have been a runaway for the Chiefs. However, Shaun Smith and Ahtyba Rubin elevated the play of that entire line. Slight edge to the Chiefs however.
ROLB: Kamerion Wimbley < Tamba Hali
- To be fair Wimbley was playing at a decent level. But Hali is insane
RILB: Andra Davis ~ Derrick Johnson
- At the time Adra Davis was playing at a pretty high level, Derrick Johnson could tip this in his favor with a few more solid performances.. As it stands, both do everything Crennel asks of them.
LILB: D'Qwell Jackson >> Jovan Belcher
- Jackson is top three when it comes 3-4 LILB. A far cry from Belcher.
LOLB: Willie McGinest < Mike Vrabel
- Both are old players staring down the end of their careers, Vrabel just offers more in terms of defensive audibles and ability. Not to take away from either aspect of McGinest's game.
I'll give a slight nod to the Browns here.. Having a better old linebacker is nice, but Jackson is so much better at such an important position, it compensates for Wimbley's inferiority to Hali, and whatever ground Davis has to cover to catch Johnson.
LCB: Eric Wright << Brandon Flowers.
- Do I need to explain my opinion here?
RCB: Brandon McDonald < Brandon Carr
- Hey look, turns out Brandon McDonald is a real player! McDonald was a #2 on a talent stricken secondary, and generally didn't do too good a job of it. Carr is at least a solid #2 corner thus far.
SS: Sean Jones < Eric Berry
- Berry is just an all around better player than Jones, even in his rookie season
FS Brodney Pool > Kendrick Lewis
- Pool is capable of playing at a somewhat high level. Although we haven't seen it from Lewis just yet, it looks like he could be at this level as early as the final quarter of the season.
Again, our D line could use some improvement. It's easy to be skeptical about a D line that's been underachieving until this year. After that this is probably the Chiefs show, while I lined up the Chiefs linebackers below the Browns, in collaboration with our secondary, it's no contest.
Remember the Unsungs?
Leading up to the 2009 draft I wrote a series of fan posts that sort of formed into my personal "sleeper" list. Back when Arrowhead Pride was the top hit if you googled "Guppy", and everyone but Buck'O (I think) thought Matt Cassel was going to be a freaking beast. Well, a year and five games later, let's see how insanely wrong I was. Each week I want to let loose on two "unsungs" and where they stand in the league (or out of it).
- I said Maualuga was a legitimate option at #3 for us, he went in the second.
- I said Maualuga was the reason why future bust Brian Cushing would go in the first round. I still somewhat stand by this however, I think Maualuga definitely helped Cushing look a lot better than he actually is. Now in Houston he has Mario Williams, Amobi Okoye, and Demeco Ryans, and PED's doing the same thing.
- I was however right in saying that Moala would suck in the NFL, but still get drafted fairly high because Maualuga made him look better.
- I said Maualuga was tough and wouldn't miss much time. To date he's been fairly injury prone
- I compared him to James Farrior. A pretty accurate comparison IMO
Maualuga would go to the Bengals that year. He's been solid and a force for the Bengals. He would never justify a top 3 pick, but he is a very talented young linebacker
Post 2: Antonio Dixon
I wasn't entirely wrong with this one
- Dixon is what I thought he'd be. A big bodied NT, loads of potential but can't seem to put it together though.
- I compared him to Vince Wilfork. Yeah don't compare anyone but top 5 true NT's to Wilfork ever. In hindsight, not a smart idea. His style of play however, resembles an extremely impoverished 3rd world country beggars Vince Wilfork
- I said he could be a starter if properly developed, that doesn't seem possible at this point. He'll be a solid rotational guy ,he played in every game his rookie year in the league, I won't hold out for him being a starter.
- In a limited role last year, Dixon recorded a sack (more than Ron Edwards), 15 tackles, and a blocked field goal.. Not too shabby for an undrafted player.
- After being picked up by the 49ers, then released in 2009, he claimed his second NFL sack against them this season
Dixon would be picked up shortly after the draft by the 49ers, then dropped and claimed off waivers by the Eagles, where he's been ever since. There's not much on Dixon, he's an undrafted DT. However to this point I feel safe to say I was pretty accurate with this guy. Funny though, two straight "3-4 prospects" for me went to 4-3 teams.
Top Three Reasons the Chiefs Could Lose This Week
1. Arian Foster
If Foster gets going on Sunday it will almost impossible to stop Houston from consistently being in the red zone.
Personally I believe Houston's receivers (RB's and TE's included) are better as a unit than Indianapolis', accordingly we'll have to take the same approach to Houston as we did Indianapolis. The difference here is that Foster is way more talented than Joseph Addai (or his backup for that matter).
2 & 3. Matt Cassel and Dwayne Bowe
Discussed ad nauseam but I have to say it. If Cassel can't deliver a solid performance, and/or if Dwayne Bowe drops easy passes, with the way Houston's run defense has been playing (credit to Pollard) this could end up being a very frustrating game to watch.
The Chiefs NEED to start keeping defenses honest by way of the pass, thus far Cassel to Bowe doesn't seem like it's the answer to that problem
Players That Need to "Win it" for us.
1. Eric Berry
Whether he realizes it or not, Eric Berry is going to decide just how much Matt Schaub and Arian Foster can do to us. Berry is going to need all of his ability and intelligence to be able to bracket Owen Daniels and Kevin Walter in the shallow routes, all the while holding Arian Foster from breaking those big plays that he's grown accustomed to this year.
2. Matt Cassel
Yeah I listed him twice. If Matt Cassel can have a game against a weak Texans squad like he did against a weak 49ers squad this should be a field day for the Chiefs. If we could stretch the field a bit and make some room for Charles and Jones, we control this game.
Still that's a lot to ask from Cassel, given both his talent and that of the players surrounding him.
I don't care what you say, Branden Albert had a good game against Dwight Freeney. Yeah he got beat, but who doesn't get beat by Freeney. He's "the scariest defensive player in the game" quoting just about every super bowl analyst last year. If Cassel steps into the pocket on most of those pressures you're looking at another 2-3 seconds.
There will, without a doubt be some point in the game where the Chiefs are trailing. If Albert can contain Mario Williams on his own, you cripple the rest of the Texans front seven, giving yourself a better shot at coming back.
It's a tall order to ask anyone in the league to contain Super Mario single handedly, but Albert will have to step up to the plate if the Chiefs are to win this.
Things to Watch for
- Brandon Flowers v. Andre Johnson
This will be the biggest test our budding star will face all season. If Flowers can shut down Johnson, there's no reason he can't beast all over what Revis held #1 WR's to last year, with how easy our schedule is.
- Arian Foster and Jamaal Charles
Currently these two are among the top three RB's in the "big play" category. It will be interesting to see what each can do against a solid run defense
- You saw it coming; Bernard Pollard
How could you not? Pollard was dropped last year after complaining that he was being treated like a child. He sat on his couch for a couple weeks before being called up by the Texans. From there he went on to establish himself as one of the better run stuffing SS's in the game.
Do I buy that he's any better in Houston? No. He was just as good in KC, he just has better talent and coaching around him in a scheme that he was drafted to play in. The Texans have been rumored to have been interested in switching to a 3-4. Look for Pollard to struggle again.
On a related note. Wade Smith has been solid for the Texans. He's statistically their best offensive lineman right now. If he keeps playing like this we could see a fourth swing our way via compensatory pick. Between Page (who everyone should be voting to go to the Pro Bowl so we get undeserved compensation for) and Wade maybe we have more grounds to make a trade deadline trade?
This is me hoping for Lee Evans for a fourth.