Peyton Hillis has been all over AP this past day and a half, mainly because he's the most notable free agent Pioli is ever going to sign. But, the fact that the Chiefs haven't even looked into any FA QB's and have only looked at RB's, O-linemen and tight ends gives me a few options to play with. 1. The Chiefs are planning on sticking with Cassel and running, running, running the ball. They will have Charles coming back, along with FB/RB Peyton Hillis coming in to brutalize some defenders. Many of us are hoping for Tolbert as well, but as the clock ticks that's looking more and more unlikely.
Not only is KC investing in backs, they've talked to the likes of Eric Winston (who I am literally PRAYING for him to sign a deal here, like long term) about joining the Chiefs. Winston is regarded as maybe the best RT in the league and one of the best run-blockers in the league. They also picked up Kevin Boss, who is a very respectable blocking TE for use in a two TE set. Not to mention we moved 290 pound Steve Maneri to TE.
Unfortunately for Kansas City, guess who's gonna be slinging around the rock in 2012?
So if we want this offense to be anywhere near elite, we're gonna need to pound the rock, effectively. Like #1 rushing attack in the league, 1978 Patriots effectively. Cassel has a nice crew of receivers to help him out, and he can actually get into the endzone unlike a few QB's we had this season. A wrecking-ball of a backfield to keep defenses honest and to help utilize a play-action and even Cassel can succeed. The thing is, we don't exactly know the state of our backfield right now. The only three RB's (FB's and HB's) on the roster are Hillis, Charles and McCluster, with McClain in San Diego and TJ and Battle probably leaving as well. Yeah... running back is a problem again. But who are some RB's who are available to us this offseason? Here is a small list I compiled.
If Hillis is used as a fullback:
As I said before, this is not looking as likely as it did this morning. But I can dream, dammit! Besides, he reportedly left without a contract but was said to still be well in the mix for the Chiefs.
Can you imagine that backfield? Defenders don't know who's getting the ball, but either way they're gonna be in pain. When the play's over. It doesn't matter your opinion on the two, there's no denying that when it comes to sheer truck-stickery those two are easily in the top five. They may not be the most athletic but we've all seen them mow people down.
But despite both being powerful runners, they are nowhere near identical in style, so it's not as predictable as you might think. Tolbert is this short, squat little meatball whose running is all based on low pad level, center of gravity and leg drive. The Hilldebeest's (Like that? I've been working on it. Just potential nicknames) style is based around pure violence and upper body strength, allowing him to force defenders who try to hit him too high into the dirt.
So what? I have a man crush on Robert Turbin, come at me. Don't act as though you don't. There's nothing to dislike about him! He's 5"10, 230 pounds, ran a 4.4 and bench pressed 225 28 times, best results for an RB at the combine. He ran for over 1,500 yards in 2011, and has the perfect running style and speed to compliment Jamaal, not to mention he'll probably be available in the 4th round. Also, look at this quote, by him. This, translated into ArrowheadPride-ese basically means "I am a perfect fit for the Kansas City Chiefs.
"My answer is -- and other people tell me this -- I do a good job doing everything,'' Turbin said. "Running the ball, pass blocking, run blocking, running routes. I can run any play. I don't want to be a guy who can just run inside zone and power.''
Sorry I don't have more, but with Hillis gone and me REALLY not liking a Richardson drafting, there's not a lot for me to say. Maybe Brandon Jacobs... meh. Michael Bush would be pretty sweet but he's an unlikely signing. Chris Polk, Vick Ballard, LaMichael James, Doug Martin or even Lamar Miller.
If Peyton Hillis stays at halfback...
Just hear me out. A lot of people don't care about him, a few people don't even know who he is but he's something else. When it comes to pure physicality and insanity, he's up there on the all-time chart. His blocking is fearsome (he was lead blocking for NFC rushing leader LeSean McCoy every handoff...), his hands are pretty good and to top it all off, he was one of the most dangerous runners in college when he was in school.
Some background, he was vital to a very successful 2007 West Virginia team, in which he blocked for a solid Ben Tate. Also, he ran for over 1,000 yards during his college career (but has gotten around 6 carries in the NFL, so I want to see what he can do). He went to the 2008 draft where he and our very own Peyton Hillis battled it out to see who would be view as the top fullback prospect in that draft. Both were viewed as tough, physical, and versatile fullbacks who could run, block and catch well. They both had knacks for sheer brute strength, as Hillis was known for dragging his pickup around the Arkansas campus during college and Schmitt was voted the Nation's Top Workout Freak by Sports Illustrated in 2006.
Ultimately, Schmitt won the battle between the two. He got picked in the 5th round, 163rd overall by the Seattle Seahawks while Hillis got picked in the 7th round, 227nd overall by the dreaded Denver Broncos. Hillis had undisputably had a better career, but why not bring the two together? That's a pretty bulldozing backfield, ain't it?
Yeah! STEALING FROM THE ENEMY! They take Le'Ron, we take right back, like a boss. Unfortunately for us, that'd be quite the drop off... or is it really?
Hester was another one of those college bruisers turned NFL blockers. He was quite the force his senior season, running for over 1,000 yards and a bunch of receptions to boot. But aside from a few short-yardage carries (BTW, he's pretty successful at doing that. If my math is correct, he's never failed to convert anything less than a 3rd and 1), teh Chargers massively under-utilized him by using him as a punching bag for bigger linebackers. His size is not ideal for a fullback, at 5"11 and 235 pounds, but he's worth a look.
Chad's a pretty one-dimensional guy, and he knows it. He's a 6'2, 260 pound fullback from Clemson University who has done nothing but terrorize defenders with his pancake blocks for every year he's been a Tiger. Problems? That's the only thing he's done. He's gotten like 1 career carry for 1 yard, and catches maybe 5 passes a season. Not exactly a Pioli-like signing, as Pioli loves versatility. But he did do a pretty sweet job blocking for C.J Spiller, so maybe Scott will overlook that.
His Pro Day was ok. He had a strong showing at the bench press, as expected, with 28 reps. But his slow 4.85 forty yard dash time and average cone and shuttle times will bring down his stock. But if we want a guy who is going to block, block, block, and block some more while Hillis, Charles and Dex rack up the yards then I wouldn't mind him.
Shane is probably, along with Mims, the biggest question mark for us Chiefs fans. Can he play at this level, is he physical enough, why was he picked over top fullback prospect Henry Hynoski? These are all interesting questions that I would like to see answered.
His college career was as unspectacular as it was dominant. He went to Yale (So he's gotta be smart, plus one for Bannon) and played in the Ivy league, where he played fullback/tight end/H-back. Just because he was way bigger than most of the 220 pounds Yale linebackers, he was able to dominate while blocking and even pick up a few receptions. But NFL defenders aren't ivy league linebackers.
Pre draft he was unheard of. But the fact that he reportedly put on about 30 pounds of muscle in just a few weeks in order to be seen as a better prospect (Weighed 240, is now somewhere around 270) and the fact that despite all the weight he ran something like a 4.65 did get him some attention from a few teams, most notably our Chiefs.
Preseason didn't tell me a lot, as it really can't. He's not a good runner, a decent receiver and a pretty thunderous blocker... against backups, not starters. I'd really like to see him get promoted to the active roster and have him start a game or two, see what we have with him paving the way.
Some other guys that we could look into are Lawrence Vickers or Bear Pascoe.
Vickers did a solid job blocking for Arian Foster, and has some experience with Hillis, lead-blocking for him in 2010. Pascoe may be cut from the Giants, and though he beefed up to 283 pounds in order to fit the Giants TE scheme, he could play fullback.
That is my list of guys who I would most like us to sign/draft. But if we sign Winston and draft DeCastro, I don't care if Mary Poppins is in the backfield, she's going for over 1,000 yards!