As we continue to look at the "State of the Safety" this week at Arrowhead Pride, we address one of the common refrains heard around these parts. Namely, we seek to answer the question: "Where is the help?" Many of us love the changes this off-season has brought to the Chiefs -- from the additions to the coaching staff to the fantastic backfield addition of Thomas Jones. And rightfully so, as many NFL analysts are convinced the Chiefs are headed in the right direction.
However, many defensive issues still loom, as the Chiefs were caught with their pants down toward the end of the season. Case in point: giving up record-setting running yards to the Browns formerly unknown Jerome Harrison. Or perhaps the season ending game versus the Broncos, where even though the Chiefs won, they gave up 30 first downs and over 500 yards. It was a sign that major help was needed at every position on the defensive side, and it's to that end that many wonder why the Chiefs haven't grabbed any help in the secondary.
Many point to this as the chief (pardon the pun) evidence that Tennessee safety Eric Berry will be the prized choice at the top of the NFL draft in a few weeks. Perhaps this is so, but could there be another reason that KC hasn't signed anyone from the outside? Maybe Scott Pioli is inactive in this realm because the help we need is already on the roster.
Obviously, there's the return of Jarrad Page from injury, and there's strong hopes from many fans that he provides the help needed at one position. Mike Brown hasn't resigned and who knows if that will happen. DaJuan Morgan still sits there as a third round pick that has yet to break through. But what about another idea? What if last year's cornerback choice in Donald Washington could make the switch to safety?
Then again, it was Washington's incredible athleticism and big-play ability that got him here in the first place. Various scouting sources noted his ability to stop the run and he's a strong hitter whose athleticism can create turnovers all over the field. At 6'0", 197 lbs., he's nearly the exact same size as Ed Reed (5'11", 200 lbs), Bob Sanders (5'8", 201 lbs) and Brian Dawkins (6'0", 210 lbs), so his size is nearly ideal for the safety spot, and several scouting sources also noted his ability to quickly grasp the game -- making such a transition possible.
There's been much discussion on the need for a playmaker at the safety position, and that's exactly what most draft pundits and scouts described as the key asset for Donald Washington -- his athletic ability to make the big play. He returned both collegiate interceptions for touchdowns and had tremendous results in both the broad jump and high jump at the combine. Of course, this doesn't mean that outside help isn't necessary, as everyone would agree that the Chiefs should seek help at safety in the draft. But with the depth the Chiefs have at cornerback, perhaps Washington's best possibility of breaking through on the field could be at the safety position.