From the FanPosts. - Chris
Since it's a slow news week, I thought I would share a few of my 2011 Kansas City Chiefs predictions.
1. Tamba Hali will move from #2 to #1 in league sacks
Last year Hali had 14.5 sacks second only to DeMarcus Ware's 15.5. It can be argued that Hali had a great season because it was his contract year, but Chiefs fans do not need to be concerned about Hali's performance in relation to a big contract. It doesn't seem like it would be in Hali's nature to receive a big paycheck and then play half as hard. He rightfully places a lot of pride in his motor and consistency. He will be just as tough for blockers to deal with as he has been in the past. Todd Haley has talked with reporters before about Hali's work ethic, saying that when he arrived Hali told him that he ops to have his own off season workout program because the team's OTA's (under Herm Edwards) didn't challenge him. Reportedly, at Haley's request, Hali gave the new OTA's a shot and they were different enough for him.
If the Chiefs play a lot of defensive snaps with another pass rusher like Justin Houston or Cameron Scheffield coming off the other side, it would be harder for teams that want to double-team Hali. As players with pass-rushing skills at other positions such as Wallace Gilberry continue to develop, Hali will be more of a terror for opposing quarterbacks.
Not to mention - Hali's 2010 numbers would be a lot higher if the NFL officials called blockers for holding and facemasks more often in favor of pass-rushers like Hali. It seems that Hali is held on every other play. During the Baltimore game, I could see blatant facemask grabs against Hali from the upper level of the stands. I asked Bob Gretz about this in an "Ask Bob" post in the middle of the season, and this is what he had to say:
"Bob says: Zach, there’s no doubt the league is and has been for several years now done everything it can to keep the quarterback off the ground. They are the glamor boys of the business and fans want to see the top guys playing. They want Peyton Manning and not Curtis Painter in Indianapolis. They want Philip Rivers in San Diego and not Billy Volek, etc. Offensive holding in pass protection is not something that gets called at even 10 percent of the rate that it happens. It’s especially visible with pass rushers like Hali, who get on the outside shoulder of the tackle and bend towards the quarterback. That should be easy to see for the zebras and it is, but they are not going to call it on a regular basis. In the ’10 regular season, the Chiefs were called for 27 offensive holding calls. Unfortunately, that stat is not broken down between run and pass plays or even holding on a punt or kickoff return. But that’s 27 times in 1,063 plays, or 2.5% of the plays."
2. The Chiefs schedule will be very tough, but not AS tough as it seems now
One or two of the good teams that we are set to play will not be AS strong once we play them. Before the season started last year, I thought the San Fransisco and Tennessee games would be a tough wins for the Chiefs, but they dominated. On the other side of that coin, though, is games against then winless Buffalo which was seconds away from an ugly and two losses to Oakland - games that we would think the Chiefs should win.
And of course, there's no getting around that the tough five-game stretch toward the end of the season features five playoff and two Superbowl teams will be very tough, but my prediction (guess) is that the Bears and Jets will be good but beatable (Chiefs will be 1-1 in that two-game stretch) on the road for the Chiefs and the Arrowhead crowd and good play at home will give the Chiefs enough advantage to edge either Green Bay or Pittsburgh at home.
3. Bill Parcells will make an appearance at Chiefs' training camp
If there is a training camp, one day Bill Parcells will be on the field. He'll talk with Todd Haley throughout warm-ups and then stay mostly on the peripheral of the action, talking with coaches and watching with his arms crossed - making observational comments occasionally to assistant coaches that we the fans won't be able to hear very well. After practice he'll jump in a golf cart that Bill Muir is driving and that'll be the last we see of the Tuna. Adam Teicher will be the first one to speak up at the media session, asking Todd Haley if he's made an addition to his coaching staff.