I am sure I can speak for every Chiefs fan on here when I say this is the worst season I have ever had as a football fan. First , my MU Tigers decided the grass was greener on the other side of the fence and jumped ship to the SEC. They then proceeded to get their asses handed to them on a weekly basis. Then , my Saints went through an exhausting , year long bounty scandal that saw its Head coach, GM and interim coach suspended for various parts of the 2012 season. Not only that, Drew Brees has looked like Jeff George out there , turning the ball over at an alarming rate. For the first time since Brees has come to the big easy , I am questioning how good a QB he really is. As of right now, Sean Payton looks like the more valuable piece to that relationship.
And of course we have our Kansas City Chiefs. Anything that can go wrong , has done so with this team. from cheergate, to the blowout losses, to the tragic murder/suicide involving Javon Belcher, we have seen it all this year. Because this ream is losing and losing badly on Sunday, everything now gets put under the microscope. No matter how big or small the controversy might be , chances are it will get dissected by the media and fans alike. That is the price of failure in professional sports.
When is a controversy not really a controversy?
They say that winning covers up everything that stinks. If you win , everything you do is genius. if you lose, everything you do is moronic. And Scott Pioli and Romeo Crennel have done plenty of moronic things this season. In fact, they are too numerous to even mention. But the problem becomes when we as fans criticize every move they make. As if every decision is an uneducated misfire. That is when we start to pile on these guys. And when we pile on just to pile on, it takes away credibility of the real decisions that need to be questioned. It is a slippery slope we all walk with this team. Just like every decision Bill Bellichick makes isn't a work of genius, every decision Pioli and RAC make isn't idiotic
So that brings us to our latest (non) story regarding the (non)controversy regarding Steve Breaston and playing time. Because we are losing , it becomes a story. But I find it kind of funny that when we had a similar situation with Chris Chambers being benched in 2010 , not a peep from anyone about him not being on the field. Because in 2010 we were winning games. And why mess up a good thing , right? Even though it was an almost an identical situation to now. We had no number two WR and the coaching staff benched a player that had been productive a year before. Not a word from fans and the media because we were WINNING. But now because we are a terrible football team ,it is the end of the world that Breaston isn't active on Sunday. Never mind the fact that he has produced absolutely nothing in the games he has played in. And as Nigerian Nightmare so eloquently put it in another thread( I am paraphrasing here) fans want Rick Stanzi to start, they want MOAR Cyrus gray, MOAR Donald Stephenson, MOAR Patrick Demarco. Yet at the same time they complain that Breaston is benched in favor of younger players at WR. Well said NN, well said.
There are plenty of reasons to be upset with this current regime. In my opinion , this is waaaaaay down on the list , if it is even on the list. Be that as it may, it has become a big story this week after a he said/she said back and forth, in which Breaston said''you can't fight city hall''(great quote BTW) and RAC responding saying that Breaston didn't know the offense. This led to a back and forth between reporters and Romeo that was the best sound bite all year. So why is Breaston not playing? What is the deal? It is a non issue as far as I am concerned. But many people are upset with the fact he isn't playing. So lets try and figure it out shall we
In general , I don't believe in conspiracies. I'm not a grassy noll guy, black helicopter guy, new world order guy. I don't have tin foil on my head or a secret bunker stashed with canned food and guns in preparation for the Apocalypse. Some people are and more power to them. They can be doomsday preppers all they want, it isn't my thing. Even though one of my best friends believes that the govt. of the United States is preparing to round up people into secret camps.What is this , Red Dawn?
So when I hear people say that Pioli is benching Breaston because he was Todd Haley's guy, I kind of laugh a little bit. Because wasn't he the guy signed him? Wouldn't that make Breaston Pioli's guy also? The latest conspiracy theory is that this is punishment because supposedly Steve talked to Todd Haley at the Pittsburg game and Pioli took notes of who interacted Haley at the game. First of all, I doubt Pioli cares about something like that that. Number two, I doubt that a guy whose job is on the line is going to sabotage the season, IF he believes otherwise that Breaston can help this team win.
I believe that this is strictly performance based. I believe that something is wrong with the guy and he can't perform physically . But before we go that route, let's ask ourselves just how good this guy really is
The Greg Olson effect
What is the Greg Olson effect? It is something I came up with to describe a player that is living off a reputation he didn't earn. Whether it was what college he went to, production he had once upon a time ago, draft status, name recognition etc.. Because we know a player, because we see him every Sunday, because we break down his game film and see him in our community, we automatically think that he is better than what he really is. I see this all the time with players on this team. People want to argue with me on here that Dexter McCluster is a stud. Even though no one outside of KC knows who the guys is. To be fair , this is not a shot at our fanbase. So don't rush down after this statement and type some misguided response after reading this. Don't be ''that guy''. Truth be told, you can say that about every fanbase in every sport. But I think that is part of the reason people are upset. They think he is a very productive player , when in reality , he is much closer to average.
How good is Steve Breaston?
So just how good is Steve Breaston? Has he been given a raw deal here like many allege? To answer that we must first go to his years in AZ , more specifically 2008-2010.
In his three seasons with the Cardinals, he averaged 60 receptions for 815 yards and 2.3 TD's per season. His beat season came in 08 where he had 77 catches for 1006 yards and three TD's. That was when he had Kurt Warner throwing him the ball and Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin drawing coverage from opposing teams two best corners.
In his debut in 2011 he had 61 catches for 785 yards and two TD's. You would say that is a decent season when you consider the turmoil at QB and OC. In all reality those are pedestrian numbers . He only had five or more catches three times in 2011. He only had one game of a hundred yards of more receiving. He scored only two TD's all year , both of those were in the same game against the hapless Colts. He caught 60% of passes thrown his way. That is average. He averaged 12.9 YPR on the season which is meh. His season was just OK . He was far from the impact player that many people claim that he was.
This year he has been targeted 15 times and caught 7 balls. Even when he is on the field he isn't catching passes thrown his way
Injuries and the 30% rule
So that brings us to the reason why he is being benched this year. In my opinion, Breaston is done. He has lost a step and a half and has gotten old, yes, old this year. I know he is just 29 years old. But he has struggled with knee injuries for quite a while. His final two seasons in AZ , he missed four games and was on the injury report 21 times with knee injuries. It got so bad that in 2010 the medical staff had to drain his knee every week in order for him to be able to walk. There was a reason why AZ didn't even offer him a new deal. He had bad knees and now they are shot. Don't forget, he was on the injury report twice this year with knee issues. That is something that has been overlooked on here
Everyone ages differently. Take myself for instance. I am 33 and don't look a day over 21 ;). All kidding aside, Steve isn't a T.O or a Randy Moss or an Andre Johnson. He is not a big, physical freak type of athlete that can rely on his size to get open. He needs his speed to get separation .And when he doesn't have that anymore, he is just a guy.
It is like the thirty percent rule. What are you if you lose thirty percent of your production/skill. If you are T.0. and you are in the 95% range to start with, when you lose thirty percent you are still a 65% player. Buy if you are a Steve Breaston and you are 65% player to start with and you lose thirty percent, you are a 35% player. That is what we are seeing on the field when Breaston plays. He is now a below average guy out there.
As Joel pointed out, his last game he played in 74% of the teams snaps. He had one catch for thirteen yards.
So as you can see , I think that this is one of the rare decisions that you can't hang over this organizations head. I think it is probably the right call. Just like Ricky Stanzi has to be the worst QB of all time, Breaston must be done. Because if you can't beat out Terrence Copper for playing time , there is something very wrong with you beyond politics. There is plenty of things to blast RAC and Pioli over. I just do not think this is one of them