Hello kiddies, and welcome to another delightfully dreadful tale about a team that was lost and in disarray, but then found their way...or did they? In tonight's eerie offering, we'll look at a diabolically dangerous defensive dilemma, and a Mustachio'd Mephisto of mercurial proportions. Hold on to your seats fright fiends, this could get ugly! AAAGHAahaaahahahahahahahahhaahahahah!!!
*In case you didn't know, the man pictured above was the Emmy nominated, critically acclaimed, late owner of the Oakland Raiders, Al Davis.
Legend has it that not so long ago, there was a team poised to be on the verge of spoiler success. A sleeping giant that would awaken to wage war in the West, and compete for the coveted goblet of silvery status. What happened next was a nightmarish landslide into a quagmire of woe and despair. The skies grew dark with the banners of mutiny and malice, revolt was on the thinly pursed lips of every fan, and Aiken_Drumm's optimism shrunk three sizes too small. Making this drought, the worst of them all. But in the distance a dim light did gleam, a Mustachio'd Mephisto arose out of a brackish green, chained to him hopes, remained to be seen.
I think it's safe to say that while everyone is, as Phil Robertson puts it, "happy happy happy," that Pioli and Co. are gone, some of us still question 'What's around the river bend?' Enough has been said about Andy Reid over the past few days to sink the Titanic twice. So I don't feel the need to regurgitate his biopic/philosophy here all over again. If you're looking for that, check here, here, and here.
Okay, now that that's settled, let's talk about one of the scariest propositions since Al Davis's face (see picture at top of post for reference).
THE TRANSITION TO THE 4-3
"Oh my! That is scary", you might be saying to yourself. "What would we do, how could this happen, will Tambahawk and DJ Smackdown ever be able to cope?"
You are in luck! I can answer a few of those questions, with varying degrees of heaping speculation! First, we wouldn't have to DO anything (and I say that with 100% certainty and zero specualtion) because, believe it or not, we have no say in how this team operates, works, functions, moves, or grooves, and that probably won't change. Ever. How could this happen is the more interesting question to ask yourselves. And as far as Tambahawk and DJ are concerned, well, they're still under contract and getting paid, so they'll have to run with whatever happens. Business of the beast.
HOW COULD THE TRANSITION TO THE 4-3 HAPPEN
We've seen several names get flung around, and mostly the people flinging them are like monkies tossing poo, hoping it'll stick somewhere so they can brag later "Called it!"
(oddly that looks a lot like AP did right after we drafted Dontari Poe...)
Monte Kiffin is a name that keeps seeing some wall splatter in the barrage of poo slinging. And not just because of his defense at USC (or his questionable head coach of a son). Before Kiffin quit the pro's to go to Fast Times At Lane Kiffin High, he was considered one of the preeminent names in defense around the NFL.
PFT says Kiffin, at the time was, "...the most respected defensive strategist in football."
Monte Kiffin is known for being the co-founder, and a master, of the Tampa 2 cover scheme (both Kiffin and Tony Dungy were the leader's of the Cover 2 system in Tampa Bay, which is how it got it's Tampa 2 name) and operates usually out of the 4-3 formation.
I'm not saying Monte Kiffin is going to be the Chiefs next DC (somehow I still wish RAC City would be brought back but I think that's wishful at best), but someone of 4-3 status definitely could be considering the model Andy Reid's previous team used for the past Fourteen years.
WHAT IS THE TAMPA 2?
Not to be confused with Tampon, the 4-3 Tampa 2 places emphasis on stopping the run...with it's defensive tackles. It utilizes its defensive ends to get to the passer, and using the linebackers and secondary to blanket the field in zone coverage. It's designed to shut teams down that are trying to come from behind, and when it works, it really works.
But that also means you have to score points to get this thing to work. In several articles discussing Andy Reid, that point has been brought up excessively (you can read about that in the links I posted at the beginning of this post). Reid's offenses score points. A lot of points. They have ranked notably among the top 10, to top 5 in scoring. So this defensive system makes a lot of sense in that respect.
However, teams have changed with the times, and as the Tampa 2 has hardly ever evolved since 1996, the game in itself has. Teams that faced off against the Tampa 2 began to figure out how to play against it, gashing runs up the middle, using heavy receiver formations, attacking the deep middle of the field, and executing mid -ranged routes over the top of the linebackers.
This defensive approach is a questionable venture for any team due to the huge amount of blitzing and risks it takes. It is the very definition of high risk high reward. However, it can and does work. Again, when it works, it works great. The question now is, do we have the personnel to run this kind of a system?
Enter Glenn Dorsey. Under Herm Edwards, the Chiefs drafted what many thought to be the second coming of Warren Sapp. A 4-3 juggernaught that hated QB's and feasted on the fresh meat of dying or dead offensive lineman and/or players. Sounds a lot like the Glenn Dorsey we all know doesn't it?
While Dorsey may not have panned out to be that defensive monstrosity we were all led to believe, its not all his fault. Under Scott Pioli the team dynamic changed and the defense went to the 3-4, turning the flesh-ripping, face-eating carnivorous DT Dorsey, into a less flesh-ripping, face-eating DE herbivore. I can't say how well Dorsey will do in a 4-3 after all this time (not that he was killing it back in the Herm days either), what I can say is that if we make that transition, the Ripper may just come back!
Tyson Jack-reacher-son as many of you know him, may be on the verge of a defensive breakthrough. Just in time for him to get switched to a 4-3 defensive tackle. Shame. The underachieving, yet consistent run defending champion of draft ire, took some big steps to becoming a sound and proficient 3-4 defensive end this past season. He does not fit the mold of what a 4-3 defensive end should be, but he would fit beautifully as a run stuffing bull in the middle. Jackson, Dorsey, and Poe/Powe all have potential along the line as DT's.
At defensive end, things get tricky. We don't have a lot of depth at this position for the 4-3, so help would have to be brought in. We do however, have Tambahawk and the Houston Rocket. Both of these fine specimens would fit the role of (and probably rule at) pass-rushing artists. The portraits they could paint with the blood of the slain QB's would be tapestries that even Chris Sembower would be jealous of. And so violently disturbing that the NFL may become the gateway to the gladatorial arena of the ancients, chew on that Hunger Games! Tambahawk to the face!
Derrick Johnson was an underachieving first round pick until the 3-4 was implemented. Now he's a god of the gridiron. I'm afraid this move would have the most impact here. DJ can play middle linebacker and he has the tools to be great, but he seems to play so much better when he has someone playing beside him. I don't know what to think about this move for him. It could go either way.
Outside linebacker. We have Andy Stoudebaker. Yep. If we were in the Dark Ages, this guy would be a bard. We'd need a lot of help in this department.
Secondary. Eric Berry has the skill set and familiarity with this type of D that I think he would be fine, maybe even better than he has been. Flowers played in Herm's 4-3 cover 2 and did well so he would be another quality starter. The rest though were drafted to play Press/Man coverage. Need an example? Just look at the Nnamdi Asomougha of the Oakland Raiders (press) and compare him to the Nnamdi Asomougha of the Philadelphia Eagles (cover 2). Nuff said. We may need some help here as well.
RANDOM PIC OF THE DAY!
(The Swedes know what they're doing)
Who knows what will happen? I'm predicting not the Mayans, but for the rest of us, this becomes a painstaking, long waiting game. And after the Peyton Manning debacle last season (I still haven't forgiven you weatherman) I'm officially sick of waiting games.
If the 3-4 we know goes the way of the Buffalo (and Al Davis, as pictured above, too soon?), Free Agency will play heavily into our offseason. Guys like Matt Shaughnessy, Osi Umenyiora, Dominque Rogers-Cromartie, Jairus Byrd, and Brent Grimes are all slated to become UFA's (and could still potentially resign with their respective team's), but the draft may have to address many of these positions, unless they want Hali out in coverage...and then sanity would come into question.
Whatever we do, whatever the choice, I do like the record and status that Reid (the Mustachio'd Mephisto) carries with him. I like the group of people he seems to be surrounding himself with. And I like that Clark Hunt wasn't BS'ing, and went after the top coaching candidate on the market.
I'm proud of Clark and thrilled that he's investing this much effort into his team. Almost makes me think he cares about the properties he owns. Weird. Here's to a Happy New Year and a hope that the worst is behind us! Peace!
GO CHEFS!.......................................................................................great coogli-moogli...