I’ve been sitting on this for the last two weeks, reading all of the other posts, hearing a lot of good input and opinions and of course, some far out crazy ideas. I’m trying to put together an outline that will make some sense for our beloved Chief’s.
It seems like football teams are always either “rebuilding” or “ready to challenge” for a Super Bowl run. Our Chief’s have shown tremendous improvement over the last three years and I give a lot of credit to Pioli and Haley for filling in the holes and developing the players that we already had. Sure, there were probably a few mistakes along the way but now (except for QB, the biggest piece of the puzzle), we have a solid team that should be competitive for the near future. However, there is still a lot to do.
Here’s our current realities as I see them: For our Chief’s to be able to win the AFC West we have to consider the minds we have in Pioli, Crennel and Cassel that will be going up against the minds of Elway, Fox and Manning. We’ll be OK against the Raiders and Chargers IMO but against the Broncos, on the surface we have some very serious competition. When it comes to analyzing the games how do Crennel and Fox compare, Elway and Pioli, and Manning vs. Cassel? Maybe not too well.
However I’m still an optimist. Right away, we, the Kansas City Chief’s, are going to have a problem dealing with Denver’s passing offense. That’s a given but we counter that by having one of the finest young backfields in the NFL and I have tremendous faith in what they will be able to do. That will be our #1 job in facing the Broncos under Manning, to contain as much as possible their passing O. To counter that our D has to dominate their running game and our running game must be as good as there is in the league. And remember, Denver was, with Tebow, one of the top running games in the NFL, so it’s not going to be easy. We’re close on both sides of the ball, and with the addition of Winston and then DeCastro at the #11 pick I think our rushing O will be awesome
Now, defensively, we’ve all seen tremendous improvement but our greatest need seems to be NT. We really need to be able to shut their running game down, and I mean completely or Manning will be able to really give us problems. I’m sure hoping that we’ll be able to pick up an experienced FA NT until we can develop our own draft pick. I don’t believe that a rookie can come in and make enough difference.
So, we need a good rotation at NT, a couple more good RB’s IMO and depth at CB and S. We do have most of the players that we need but we do still have some holes and depth to fill.
Here’s my assessment of our needs in order of importance:
(1) We need a franchise QB. I believe it’s pretty simple. In today’s NFL, a team getting to the Super Bowl, IMO, without one has less than a 10% chance and that’s assuming that all of the other pieces are in place. As it stands right now, I don’t think that we fans have any choice. I don’t believe (as in Gretz’s article last week) that Pioli ever really intended to give Cassel any true competition unless a situation just fell into our hands. His statements, IMO, were made to just pacify us fans for another year or so and though I might not agree with all of the methods, I do admire how the Redskins, the Broncos, the Seahawks and even the Cowboys (Orton) went out and got the QB's that they felt they needed. I never bought into the “competition for Cassel” and feel that those who did, are very gullible. For now, the team, the fans and ownership are stuck with and “will live and die” this year with whatever we can accomplish with Cassel.
(2) To me this is pretty simple: We need one more key player to make our OL elite and to that I say …..draft DeCastro. For an example, last year if the center and guard positions would have had bigger, better players, the Raiders would not have blocked two field goals in a row and the Chief‘s would still have won the conference and made the playoffs. And, just food for thought, I’ve always wondered why, on field goals, that teams don’t use big D-linemen in the middle for blocking. They would sure clog things up better. Any thoughts?
(3) We really need a quality nose tackle. Maybe through FA, maybe Powe, but whatever, the Chief’s need to be able to “shut down” Denver’s rushing attack and put pressure on Manning. If we don’t at least split our games with Denver under Manning, we will be kissing the playoffs goodbye for the next several years. I’m very much an optimist but also a realist, the AFC West is getting much tougher and the conference will not be won by any team that loses twice to another. The latest power rankings pick the Chief’s third behind Denver and San Diego and that’s probably pretty realistic unless we able to dominate in one or two other areas.
(4) Beyond DeCastro, I’m not all that particular with who we draft. Most likely, we won’t get anyone that is going to step right in as a starter. However, I do believe that we need another “rush linbacker” to relieve and back up Houston and Hali, we could always improve our other MLB, and hopefully we can find another NT (I like Poe but not in the first round and it does appear that there might be a few other NT’s with good upside). I also feel very strongly that we need even a couple more good RB’s. It’s a great RB class and if one of the top 4, 5, 6 or 7 are the BPA, I’d say go for it and I really would like to see Turbine from Utah as a Chief. He just might be the real sleeper in this RB class. Naturally, we could always use another good back up CB and S. It is very pleasing to be looking at a couple of holes and depth to fill rather than almost the entire roster like three years ago.
Those are my primary needs in my order of importance. With all of the new members on AP, the opinions are really flowing and as a fan of more than 40 years, sometimes I wonder where all of these ideas come from but together, we just want our Chief’s to be successful.
P.S. I read nearly all of the posts and I’m still surprised at how many of the new people still support Cassel and Pioli so highly which is admirable but I guess they are just more patient than I am. Just remember, the majority of the real stars on this team were not drafted by Pioli, they were already here (Charles, Bowe, Flowers, Johnson, Hali, Albert, etc.) and Haley (whether you liked him or not) really did a lot to help develop of them. In addition, this years FA class so far, would only be mediocre at best so far if it wasn’t for the unusual situation where Houston cut Winston, and we were able to sign him, plus the fact that you fans actually played a big part in getting him to sign with KC with all of your texts, etc, so at least IMO, Pioli still has a lot to prove. He’s done some very good things but not all by himself and he’s left us in a position where if Cassel does not improve and perform this year, we’re still not any better in our conference than we were last year (and we do play a last place schedule).
One last thought: Should the Chief’s gamble in the later rounds and take Vontaze Burfict if he is still available? I’ve tried to read as much as I could find on him and wonder if between Johnson and Crennel, they could get him to reach his potential. I believe that our D is very strong and a closely knit unit. You always wonder if a guy like Berdict would be a cancer on this team but I really don’t think he would be. He obviously loves football and the Chief’s, including Crennel of course, have some strong personalities and I really think that they could get top potential out of this guy. What do you all think?