Similar to how families save can foods for storms, or grandparents save money for rainy days, I saved two Chiefs games to the DVR, in preparation for the long offseason. During the season I was quite disappointed with the product the Chiefs put on the field. I found myself rarely pleased at how the team played, and the outcome. However, there were two games that really put a smile on my face.
Of course i’m speaking of the Pittsburgh Steelers game, and the second Denver Broncos game. Both games pleased me, but for different reasons. The Pittsburgh game gave us a sneak peek at the progress being made. Before that game, it was hard to see and recognize it. I knew that the progress was there, but that game solidified it for me. The second Broncos game showed me that the Chiefs have a bright future, and Haley and Pioli are on the right track. That game showed the heart and desire I had been waiting for. For the first time, all facets of the team worked together, and fed off of each other. That game spoke to me. It told me that we might have something special here. After the break, i will break down what i saw. From the good, to the bad, i will explore it all. Some of it might surprise you too...
Glenn Dorsey: Some fans, and media recognize DE Glenn Dorsey as a bust. Well i’m here to say, that is far from the truth. Dorsey has come a long, long way. He is our second best defender (behind Flowers), and he has achieved that in two years. Every day, rumors circulate about a possible trade involving Dorsey. Even I am guilty of mentioning a trade from time to time. After watching footage, and paying closer attention to him, we cannot trade Dorsey. He is VERY stout against the run. At times during the Pittsburgh game, Dorsey was asked to play NT in the 34 defense, DT in the 42 Nickel, and DE in the 34 defense. What I saw was a wide bodied player who used his hands extremely well, and couldn't be moved off of his spot. On two occasions, Dorsey played NT and, boy oh boy let me tell you, he took on two blockers and anchored like a pro bowl nose tackle. I had to rewind the play 2-3 times, because i couldn't believe what I was seeing. His hand placement, and technique were awesome. Dorsey also gets good pressure on the quarterback. If the Chiefs had a suitable nose tackle, those pressures would equate to more sacks. After watching closely, Dorsey proved to me that he is the truth. I think the Chiefs have something special with him, and he could be a pro bowl caliber player in no time.
Derrick Johnson: During both games, you could easily see why DJ wasn't a full time player. You could also see why many fans wanted to see more of DJ on the field. He is the epitome of what Todd Haley describes as a yo-yo player. During the Pittsburgh game, DJ missed many tackles, and was burned in coverage a few times. He looked very unsure of himself, and didn't play with speed. He often let the ball carrier come to him, instead of attacking. On the other hand, DJ made some very nice plays, both in the Pittsburgh and Denver game. We all know about the two interceptions for touchdowns, so I wont go in depth about that. In the Denver game, what I saw was a inside linebacker who played without thinking. He blew up plays, missed far less tackles, and played great in coverage. Besides the two interceptions, DJ recorded 4 pass deflections. DJ also showed the ability to blitz up the middle. He has a way of running over a running back, or squeaking by a lineman, to cause havoc in the back field. Despite his inconsistent play at times, DJ still has a lot of upside. I think Haley was the right kind of coach to hold DJ accountable, and to a higher standard. Often it is not the student who cannot learn to read, it is the teacher who cannot teach the student to read. I think DJ is a product of poor coaching since he entered into the league. If he is in a Chiefs jersey in 2010, hopefully Haley, Crennel, and Gibbs can harness his talent, and unleash him on the rest of the league.
Brandon Albert: It really burns me when I see analyst mocking the Chiefs to take a OT with the 5th overall pick in the 2010 draft. The popular reasons being, Brandon Albert hasn’t panned out well, and is more suitable to move to his original position, left guard. The second reason being, the Chiefs can move Albert to right tackle, and start the rookie at left tackle. Lets attack the first notion. During the Pittsburgh game, Albert was excellent on the blind side. All game he faced the 2009 sack leader, James Harrison, and the exotic zone blitz of the Steelers. Now, Albert did give up two sacks in this game, but let me explain why. Consistently, Albert used Harrison's speed against him, pushing him behind Matt Cassel on 5 and 7 step drops, giving Cassel the opportunity to step up. On two occasions, he blocked Harrison out of the play, and Cassel held onto the ball for far too long, allowing Harrison to scramble and get back into the play to make the sack. Both sacks were tallied under Albert, but it was obviously Cassel’s fault. During the replay of the play, CBS announcer, Rich Gannon stated that Cassel must get rid of the ball. Similar to how a defensive lines must get to the quarterback, because defensive backs cant cover forever, the same goes for the quarterback. Offensive linemen cannot block forever, therefore the quarterback must have an internal clock, and get rid of the ball. During the Denver game, Albert showed why we selected him in the 2008 draft. Going up against Elvis Dumervil, Albert stepped up to the challenge. He shut down Mr. 18 sacks, allowed zero pressures, and one tackle. During that game, he also threw the key block that sprung Jamaal Charles for 50 yards, In the final four games of the season, Albert gave up zero sacks. Albert is definitely a bonafide left tackle in the NFL. He is very athletic, has an exceptional punch, and kicks out very well. In 2008 he gave up 4.5 sacks, and was dominant, and showed that dominance in the last half of the 09’ season. He doesn't need to play left guard, because Brian Waters still has a few years left in him. He also doesn't need to make a switch to right tackle because frankly, Ryan O’Callahan was our BEST lineman last season. I wish analyst would do research before speaking out on Albert and our 5th overall pick.
Overall Defense: I believe the Chiefs defense led the NFL in forcing three and outs in 2009. After watching both games, I realized why, and noticed something interesting, and encouraging about the defense. They start games fired up. When they have momentum and play with high energy and confidence, they are very good. They fly to the ball, shut down the run, and coverage is much better. The only thing is, that energy usually wears off around possession three. The Chiefs lack a leader on the team, a guy who can lift the spirits of guys, and keep the energy high. Currently the Chiefs have a bunch of followers, waiting to be led. If a vocal leader can be brought in for the 2010 season, it will do great things for the defense.
Corey Mays & Demorrio Williams: Man, these guys are bad. Lots of fans like to blame the poor play of our inside linebackers on the terrible nose tackle play. While that is the case sometimes, for the most part, our inside linebackers are terrible. Williams and Mays made crucial mistakes in both the Pittsburgh and Denver games. Often Mays would shoot the correct gap, and miss the tackle. I saw at least four missed tackles in the Pittsburgh game alone. Williams over runs plays, and misread runs, and is often fooled on counters and traps. Both these guys are little, and have no business playing in the 34 defense. Both of these guys needs to be replaced, if the Chiefs want to have success.
I saw a lot more while watching both games, but I wont go in to detail because there obvious. I list them below:
Matt Cassel - Has a nice pump fake. It helps move safeties and linebackers, and should be used more often.
Mike Brown - Slow and takes poor angles, which make him look slower. He is the safety that needs immediate replacing, not McGraw.
Jon McGraw - Is not that bad. He is a thumper, takes proper angles, and actually diagnosis's plays fairly well. He isnt a burner, but he overcomes that with his intelligence. If the Chiefs can find a new strong safety, i think the safety position would be ok. Of course i would like to make a play for Antrel Rolle, to play free safety for us lol.
Tyson Jackson - Against pittsburgh, he still looked like a lost rookie. Hand placement and technique was not there, and he just looked like he was doing too much thinking. Against Denver, you could see the improvement. I saw exactly why the Chiefs selected him in the 1st. I have no concerns about Jackson for the future. He will become apart of the defensive foundation.
Ryan O’Callahan - Was definitely our best, most consistent offensive lineman. I want to see him back and in the starting lineup for 2010.
Todd Haley - Despite the scrutiny, hes a very good play caller. Definitely has a good feel for the game.
Brandon Carr - I dont know why this guy cant turn his head around. He never gets burned. He is always right there with the receiver to either make the tackle, interception, or deflection, but he cant turn his head around. Someone teach this guy to turn his damn head around.
Here is what I consider the Chiefs biggest needs for 2010 (in order), and players who can remedy them:
1. NT - Dan Williams, Terrence Cody, Cam Thomas, Torrel Troup
2. OLB - Brandon Graham, Ricky Sapp, Koa Misi, Eric Norwood
3. SS - Eric Berry, Nate Allen, Morgan Burnett, Larry Asante
4. OC - Kevin Mawae, Casey Weigman, Maurkice Pouncey, JD Walton
5. WR - Anquan Boldin, Dez Bryant, Golden Tate, Mardy Gilyard, Arrelious Benn, Jordan Shipley
7. TE - Ben Watson, Bo Scaife, Jermaine Gresham, Ed Dickson, Aaron Hernandez
8. 0G - Stephen Neal, Vladimir Ducasse, Mike Johnson,