OK. I’ve patiently waited for the pain of the loss to the Ravens to wear off. It won’t, but life goes on. Now, attention turns to the off-season, and what this team needs to be an even stronger presence next year.
First, the open position of OC needs to be addressed. HC Haley has expressed some small interest in taking over the job himself. Well, Coach, to do so, you need to do only two things. First, HC Haley announces that the new OC is one Todd Haley. Second, HC Haley tenders his resignation as HC of the KC Chiefs. He should’ve learned last year that he can’t successfully handle both jobs. Pick someone you can live with, Coach Haley, & then leave him alone. Need I remind you that you’ve run off two OC’s in two years? That would make Al Davis proud. Once the Chiefs have an OC, Haley needs to try this. On game day, he should put a rubber band on each of the four fingers on his left hand. Then during the game, every time he changes a play the OC has called, he takes a rubber band off a finger. When he’s out of rubber bands, he changes no more plays. Also, he shouldn’t be allowed to talk to the OC for two hours after the game (or at least until he can speak to him in a civil fashion).
As for the team in general, last year we got faster. This off season the focus should be on getting bigger and more physical on both lines. The only justification required for this step would be to watch the replay of the second Chargers’ game, both Raiders’ games, and the play-off game vs. the Ravens. We were physically man-handled at the line of scrimmage, on both sides of the ball. Also, considering the strength of this coming year’s schedule, this would seem a necessity.
In addition to strengthening the lines, we must find a WR opposite Bowe. The Raiders and Ravens showed the league how to beat us. Physically intimidate us on the line, and double Bowe. We had no answer to doubling Bowe. Considering that Chambers was inactive for the Ravens’ game, replaced by Kevin Curtis, who was only signed three days earlier, the #2 WR is a priority.
How should the Chiefs address these items? IMHO, I doubt that we draft more than two players who will have impacts similar to this season’s rookie crop, considering that we aren’t drafting at #5 this year. If Pioli can somehow finagle another pick in the first three rounds, that would be great, but that remains to be seen. We need to have a productive FA period. First, let’s not lose any of our key guys. Second we need to spend some $ this year. So far, there have been many names bandied about as potential FA’s. Until we see an official list, we’re just going to have to guess at who will be on the list. Two names I have seen that I’d like to see Pioli sign, if available, were Jacoby Jones, WR, from the Texans, and Jared Gaither, OT, from the Ravens. Gaither, obviously (he was on IR this yr), would have to pass a strenuous physical before throwing any $ at him. If he were healthy & available, he’d supply significant size & talent at the RT position. Jones is just about ready for a break-out year. Frankly, I’ll be surprised if Houston lets him leave. Add to this list Aubreyo Franklin, the NT form SF. He’d supply veteran presence at the position. If we were able to add a quality WR and an OT through FA, then we could concentrate on other needs in the draft. First, I doubt we’ll get a WR who can step in right away and take the pressure off Bowe. With Bowman staying in school, the top WRs should be gone by #21. In the early rounds, I’d like to see us address (assuming we sign a WR in FA) the Center position, ILOB, and a NT. I’ll leave it up to Pioli to decide which rounds. The fly in the ointment in my version of the off-season is the health of Cam Sheffield, and whether or not the coaching staff thinks Studebaker is ready to be the #1 OLB. If neither of these guys is deemed ready, then OLB becomes an option.
OK. That’s my vision of this off-season, & I’m stickin’ to it (for the next 36 hours or so).