Full disclosure necessitates that I begin this post by not only admitting that I am a Chiefs homer (in good company here), but that I am a Mizzou homer as well. To some that may endear me, to others the opposite will be true. However, putting aside our collegiate allegiances, I simply ask that you consider this idea...
Following our last preseason game when the news broke that Moeaki was done for the season and Cassel may be questionable for week one, there was a tendancy among many Chiefs fans to hit the panic button. Afterall, we hadn't seen our team exactly thrive offensively in this preseason, and now we could potentially be down three important pieces (if you count Baldwin) in our passing game. Additional concern comes from the running game (our bread and butter) struggling in the preseason (albeit in very small samplings).
So, with our number one draft pick hurt, our third best offensive weapon done for the year (behind Charles and Bowe), without having seen a great chemistry develop between our QB and our new FA acquisition (Breaston), it seems the biggest question marks (and worries) are on the offensive side of the ball. In Monday's Press conference with Coach Haley, he was asked specifically about losing Moeaki....Here is what he had to say....
"Our guys, we need to step up. When those things occur, somebody needs to step up and take over that position and allow our team to keep moving forward, and that’s what’s going to happen."
The problem is that the two "guys" he is speaking of are Leonard Pope and Jake O'Connell. I would feel better if we would have signed Todd Heap or Zach Miller, but that is neither here nor there. The problem is that while Pope provides above average blocking (like Moeaki), he is not an offensive threat in the same way Tony was. I don't see us lining up Pope on the outside as a receiver. I am not sure that O'Connell is scaring anybody either. Cody Slate actually had better preseason numbers than O'Connell.
Let me be clear...I do not think we can replace what we lost in Moeaki with anyone currently out there on the market. However, could we come close if we didn't have the expectation that the answer was one person instead of two (or more). As previously stated, I believe that Pope is a capable blocking TE. I don't think we have a huge drop-off in that area. So how are we going to replace the offensive numbers Moeaki accumulated. Especially the 3rd down, chain moving catches? Do we have to throw out all the plays which had Tony lined up at receiver because we don't have the personnel for those packages anymore? Perhaps you have a suggestion for an offensive weapon at TE that you would like to suggest (do that in your own post... or just criticize mine...that will be more enjoyable). As for me, I couldn't help but notice that the Cincinnati Bengals slipped a pretty good receiving TE onto their practice squad. His name.... Chase Coffman.
The knock on Chase is that he played in the spread offense at Mizzou where he was utilized more as an offensive weapon than an in-line blocker. Fine...what if we didn't ask him to be an excellent blocker, because Pope is playing in obvious running situations. There is no denying though that Chase has awesome hands and some ability after the catch as well. Check out this highlight video of him at Missouri...(does the one handed catch at 1:40 remind you of anyone?)
At 6'6 and 250 lbs, Chase has the ability to provide mismatches for his team with smaller DBs. Perhaps he could supply some of the offense that we are missing in Moeaki. So why isn't he on the Bengals roster? As mentioned, Chase still needs to develop into an adequate blocking TE. His current skill set is purely as an offensive threat. The problem is that the Bengals already have a pretty good offensive threat at TE in Jermaine Gresham. So they have tried to slip Coffman onto the practice squad and develop him for another year, which makes him eligible to be signed by any other team in the league. Could Chase help us? Watch the film? Do you have a better idea?