I know, I know. Defense is the need.
All season long, the evidence was clear enough that we needed major help along our front seven. The pitiful league record in sacks is enough to declare the lack of a legitimate pass rush as not only major need, but our sole priority for some. And the defense only continues to keep us all up in arms.
3-4 vs. 4-3. Who still fits? Who doesn't? How will Dorsey handle the transition? How was Dorsey mishandled? The failures of Gunther vs. the arrivals of defensive coaches we don't particularly care for either. Hopefully Crennel can help some here.
Hell, how often does a group of fans argue over the status of a DL coach (Krumrie, anyone?).
But let me say this: KC needs a wide receiver more than anything else.
The thought of Aaron Curry in Chiefs colors for life is certainly a fantastic thought and one that I would not be frustrated with should that come true. But what I'm realizing is that some particular football-oriented planets are aligning in such a way that we could take a different direction and still come out okay.
Some things to consider:
1. Tony Gonzalez might be gone. Increasingly, the chatter continues from this future HoFer whereas at one point in time, we never heard any negativity from him. A locker room spoiler, we cannot tolerate and Piolo knows it (see Deion Branch, Asante Samuel). But we cannot throw Thigpen (or anyone else) to the wolves by not offensively preparing for the loss of our number one target and most reliable receiver.
2. Allow us to hide Bowe. I don't want to slam Bowe. I think he's phenomenal and will only get better. But there are facets to his game that certainly need work and having Gonzalez around allow us to keep defenses honest in that way. Grabbing another complementary receiver preps for Gonzalez's departure either immediately or in the near future (next couple years).
3. Special Teams. This is most important. Possessing a game changer on special teams can absolutely alter everything in a game, where momentum is king. We knew it when we had Dante Hall in his prime. When Devin Hester touched the ball over the last couple years, Bears fans still had hope. Few men can give a team that hope, but when you can, you appreciate it for all its worth.
Jeremy Maclin seems to be that man. He's absolutely electric, can still contribute in major ways on offense and use him in end-arounds and specialized offensive plays suitable for him. And yet we also still have the offensive playmakers so we don't have to call him "savior" and place that pressure upon him.
KC hasn't enjoyed a return for a TD of any kind since October, 2006 when Hall took one 60 yards. That's two and a half seasons since our special teams could alter the face of a game for us.Of course, special teams is not the end all we once thought it was three or four seasons ago (when pundits were saying how the best teams got it done on special teams). But an electric player like Maclin changes everything.
Even if we end up with Curry or a DL (Raji?) in the first round, there are six WRs available that scouts insist deserve first round consideration - Percy Harvin, Jeremy Maclin, Michael Crabtree, Hakeem Nicks, Darrius Heyward-Bey and Kenny Britt. Of course, many of those will get taken, but the NFL is won in the trenches and teams know that. So I can't imagine all six get taken with a team's first round pick.
This means someone like Nicks ends up sliding to the top of the second round. And it means we add a Boldin-styled receiver who might not fly past defenders with his top-end speed but who can run crisp routes and catch anything with the best of them. Paired with Bowe and possibly Gonzalez and you ensure the continued development of our young offensive players as well as the ability to stay competitive within games as our defense develops (remember, it will take several games - preseason and regular - to understand the game plan, make adjustments and get comfortable).