So here we are again, another offseaon filled with questions, comments and concerns about our Chiefs. I often wonder what goes on inside the mind of Scott I wish I had more hair Pioli, but I digress. Over the past week since free agency began many Chiefs fans have gone through the realm of many different emotions regarding players who hit the open market. Some have gone for big money, some for location and some for the best fit and chance to win now. As fans each year we wish we can kill it in free agency, because it is the first small step in the journey to the season.
Now many of you know we often don't go big in free agency for two reasons. 1.The owner doesn't like to spend big money and 2.The owner doesn't like to spend big money. However, I think the value of adding certain players is more pressing than giving big money to a Carl Nicks or another high priced free agent. Especially as this team is curently constructed with the massive depth issues that faced us last year going into this offseason. I exclude Peyton Manning in this because he never wanted to come here, why? haven't a clue. I've detached myself emotionally from his decision and am ready to move. In my mind Pioli has executed the offseason perfectly so far by providing depth at key positions, (RB,RT,TE,Replacement for CARR,Backup QB). Go back and watch the tape last year these are all areas that killed this team last year except for Carr. Now in a conference call on Monday, Pioli said they are not done looking at free agents. 3 guys to keep in mind are
He is a 26-year-old Guard from the Carolina Panthers who is much better at pass blocking than in the run game. He averaged only 1 pressure given up per 28 dropbacks in 2010. He was let go because a hip injury forced him to miss the entire 2011 season. Now the reason I have Schwartz on the list is because I believe Pioli is going to address the guard position either through free agency or in the 2nd round of the draft, but more on the draft later. Another reason for a guard is becuase the surprise cut that happens every year will happen to Ryan Lilja during or before training camp. WHY Ryan Lilja you ask, becuase he is in the final year of his contract and his play has decreased over the past year. Pioli wants a younger offensive line for the future and saying goodbye to Lilja is a start.
Leonhard as many of you know torn his patella tendon in his right knee in the game against the chiefs last season and is currently a free agent. This type of injury requires up to 6 months of recovery but he should be ready by training camp. The one remaining need that sticks out right now is depth at the safety position and with a pickup like this it would make us all forget Piscatelli. Now will he be content with being a backup situational type player or does he want to go somewhere and start. That's the question I have to ask myself.
Garay comes from San Diego and is a true nose tackle that is good in the run but can also get to the quarterback. Also with a man that big he can wear any hair style he wants.Now as we continue with are journey to the start of the season we first must encounter the draft. My favorite offseason event of any sport, I absolutely the love the first day of the draft. Mainly because you can be assured of at least one group of fans for one team yell WHO!!! through the t.v. when their pick is announced, I love that. But, we are here to focus on the chiefs and what they will be doing in the first round. Now I must say that I am looking forward to this draft more so than the others in the Pioli era because this is the first year that the first round is truely wide open.
In 2009 it was about finding the next Richard Seymour to pair wirh Glenn Dorsey. In 2010 it was about team speed and taking the best football athlete available. Last year it was about needing a receiver to help Bowe. Now this year all of the sudden with the Winston signing it's open season, a myriad of options are at the chiefs disposal with the 11th pick. They don't have to draft a tackle and can really do one of three options. 1. Take Decastro, 2. Take Kuechly or 3. Move down and acquire another pick then take best player available for the chiefs system. I wont have a mock draft up probably before a couple days before the draft, because it is absolutely pointless to do one before the end of free agency and also players can be released between now and the draft that can help a certain team. So with those three options on table what do you do? I'll leave that up for debate. Now I no some of you are probably saying hey Mike, What about Dontari Poe as an option especially with a need like nose tackle. That is a good question and here's the answer HE'S NOT A NOSE TACKLE. Huh? Yes, Remember Joel posted an article about this not to long ago. Also, he struggled against bad competition in a weak conference against bad o-lineman. I don't care how fast he runs of how high he jumps if the production isn't there and he wasn't dominant in a bad conference against inferior competition then it is not worth the risk of a first round pick. First round picks are about being sure you have to be sure on a player for the investment in your football team. So that is why I laid out the three options I gave because they are the most likely. What will happen in the first round no one knows, which is why I look forward to it so much. I'll have a first round mock up near the draft but in the meantime we go on in the journey.
By now the the draft is done the schedule is out and the chiefs have... (2 primetime games). I know I wish we could get more too, but I think our bad play last year will hurt us in terms of primetime coverage. I do know we will get at least 1 primeimte home game i'm almost sure of it. Broncos vs Chiefs at arrowhead just sayin... But, as we complete our journey to the start of the season chiefsnation will have many questions. Is Denver really going to win the division as everyone's favorites? How will Peyton Manning look? Can we stay healthy this season? Will Matt Cassel go back to 2010 form? Will Scott Pioli slip on a candy wrapper and fall down the stairs?
These are all vaild questions, and the truth is no one knows. As in life, football has many twists and turns. The one analogy that I have is, it is like a roller coaster. There are thrills and spills that spin you around and around up and down back and forth until you get off and realise it was just a ride. So I say let's enjoy the ride to the start of the season and embrace the unknown. Who knows maybe we might be in for a surprise or two.