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KC Chiefs mailbag: Jamaal Charles, parenting advice, zombies and more!

Long-winded responses to questions that could be answered in much simpler fashion

John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

It occurred to me yesterday I haven't written anything of any kind in a while. So it's time to end that streak. BUT... I also have nothing on my mind that feels pressing enough to write a column. Either that or I'm lazy. It's definitely one of the two. At some point I'll have to make more lists and make some predictions, due to the interweb law that such columns must be written by football blogs at least 100 times every offseason. But instead, how about I just take a break from all that thinking and let you come up with the topics?

Also, I'm giving an internet (and thus eternal) shout-out to Isabelle Grace, who was born last Saturday and managed to completely steal this guy's heart in the span of a minute. Daddy loves you, Isabelle! And I'm really sorry to 16-year-old you who reads this and realizes that Daddy was still really, really immature when you were born.

(Also, dear future Isabelle, please know that when you say, "I love him and there's nothing you can do about it," you're completely wrong. I'm (hopefully still) a public defender, sweetheart. That means there are meth-heads who owe me favors. It sure would be a shame if that d-bag got himself stabbed in the eye. I feel as though we've wandered past the line, though...)

Anyway... MOAR MAILBAG!!!!

Given the extraordinary talent that Jamaal Charles possesses (which Andy Reid) absolutely cannot be oblivious to), do you see AR using JC differently than he typically uses his RBs?


That's a tough question to figure out. First of all, it's a completely overhyped meme that Reid never runs the ball. As Bill Barnwell talks about in his exceptional discussion on Reid's legacy with the Eagles here, Reid's offenses passed the ball (on average) 57% of the time. NFL offenses last year passed the ball 56.4% of the time. So... yeah. It's not as though we're suddenly going to arena league football here. It's a notch above what you'd see in the average NFL offense. Pretty sure that leaves plenty of chances for JC to run the rock. LeSean McCoy ran the ball a shade under 17 times per game last year. That sounds just about right for JC)

Second of all, I WANT Reid to use JC similarly to how he used Shady. Dude was targeted by Reid's QBs 5.5 times per game last year. I've been DYING to see that with JC. The guy is deadly fast, has great hands, and is a natural playmaker. I want to see him getting passes in the open field as part of the game plan, not just as a desperation dump-off on 3rd and 25. Let's make DC's sweat a little bit wondering what we're going to do with our All-World RB.

All that said, I can see Reid going a slightly different direction with his offense this year. It just makes sense given the personnel that we have. Considering the heavy focus on TE's and FB's (as well as the drafting of a RB in the 3rd round) it seems (at least on the surface) there is a possibility we'll see more of the running game. I expect to see JC getting roughly 16-20 carries per game, with 5 or so passing targets on top of that. And I think he'll have a career year in that scenario.

So I guess what I'm saying is... who cares if Reid uses JC the way he used Shady? Not this guy!

Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

MN, so there's a zombie apocalypse.

Hold up a second. Let me just pause right here before we get to the rest of the question. I absolutely, always, without a doubt, under every circumstance, will put a question that begins with the phrase "zombie apocalypse" in the mailbag column. It's like leading off with a home run. Great stuff. Anyway, back to the question...

You have the option of getting into a late-90s Honda Civc sedan, or a late-90s Chevy Silverado pickup, but obviously you can't drive both. The Silverado has more zombie-squishing torque, but the Civic has better gas mileage, breaks down less, and has a better Kelly Blue Book resale value. What's it gonna be? Don't forget to double-tap those suckers.


First of all, John, you should write my column. I'm 99 percent sure it would be better. I might just start emailing you questions and taking credit for whatever awesome things you say. Second of all, I can't believe you're not an Arrowhead Pride member (at least not from what I'm recognizing from the email). If you're not, I'm begging you to join. Please. We need you.

To get to the question, though, I gotta give you the classic legal response... it depends. I mean, there are so many variables there.

Am I in a large group or on my own? If I'm on my own, am I on my way to find people? And if either of those questions are answered with a "yes," what type of people are these? Are they people I want to protect or people I want in the back of the truck swinging sledgehammers and axes at the zombie hoards? Where am I trying to go? Is it early in the zombie apocalypse or late? How is the world doing overall? Those are just a few of the questions that need to be answered here. Without knowing specifics, let's figure out the strength of each vehicle.

The sedan (as mentioned in John's email) is more reliable. I'll be able to go farther. And if I'm traveling with my family or a group that otherwise needs more protection (in the form of more available seating that isn't, you know, open to walkers), they're obviously safer in the sedan than the back of a truck. And really, when we're talking about late-90's automobiles, they're going to have some mileage on them. So a vehicle that doesn't break down as much is CRUCIAL (nothing bums one out more than a breakdown in the middle of a zombie pack, amirite?). All in all, this is probably the choice for a guy who is trying to escape to the country. Think Rick in season one.

The truck, on the other hand, is all about offense. Get six solid guys / gals in the back of that thing with sledgehammers, pickaxes, or axes, and you're not wasting a single bullet all day. This is the direction you go if you're already set up somewhere safe (well, as safe as it gets in a zombie apocalypse) and you're looking to either go on a supply run or just clear out a few dozen zombies.

While we're on that subject, why is no one on "The Walking Dead" more concerned with clearing out zombies? I mean, think about it. At this point it seems like offing lone walkers (and even packs smaller than 10) is no problem for a guy with a decent handheld weapon. How is no one having a conversation resembling this...

"Hey, I've got an idea. Let's make sure we kill every single walker we see. All the time. Also, seeing as we've got gobs of spare time and are now awesome at killing walkers, how about we start purging the earth so we don't have to worry about them as much?"

Seriously, I can't be the only person who has thought about the math involved here. Zombies don't reproduce, right? In a war of attrition, the side that can replenish its ranks is GOING to win. I mean, how many times does an unexpected walker have to chew someone apart before the idea of getting rid of them permanently takes root?

So with that in mind, I'm going with the truck if my family is safe (or dead already) and the car if I'm trying to get them out of trouble. I cannot say strongly enough how much I enjoyed thinking about that for twenty minutes.

John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

Ok, our very first little Chiefs fan will be joining the family in late June. This year, I have a feeling that we will not be attending the regular 3-4 Chiefs games that we normally do. I'm sure I'll be forced to watch most games on the tube with a baby bottle in one hand and a daddy bottle in the other.

I do believe we will get a chance to attend ONE GAME this year and it has to be the most exciting game of the year! Please tell me which game we should attend and why leaving the couch (and baby with Grandma) will be a decision we will not regret. AND, if you're feeling saucy, predict what our record will be at that point in the season entering into this game.

Luke G.

First of all, I'm ALWAYS feeling saucy. Second of all, there is absolutely no reason you should skip out on ANY Chiefs games you'd normally attend (if you're from the KC area and it's not a big trip) . I say this as a parent who loves his kids more than anything on the planet: you absolutely should not skip those games, and it's more than OK to leave your kid with Grandma more than a few times. It's SO important to a marriage to get some alone time after that first kid. Because it's a game changer (congrats by the way, and welcome to the good life). Go to the normal amount and don't feel guilty about it!

All that said, I'm certain you'll ignore that advice, because all first-time parents do. So my advice to you would be to go to the first Raiders game. Division rival games are always a big deal, so there's that. Also, given that five games will already have passed by this time, you'll at least have an idea what to expect from our boys. Further, it's early enough in the season that despair won't have taken hold if things are going poorly. Finally, Oakland is one of the worst teams on our schedule and you've got a better chance at a fun win (cue someone chiming in with, "well, they did sweep us last year." Yes. Yes they did).

That's the game I'd pick if I had the option. Again, though go to more than one game. It'll really be OK. I promise!

As far as a record prediction, that one's rough. I'm in the "I think Alex Smith could do very well for us" crowd, so I can see us at 4-1 at this point with the Giants as our lone setback. Of course, given our record last year it's tough to take anything for granted. For now, I'm going to go with "kinda/sorta optimistic" and say we'll be 3-2, at that point and 4-2 after beating the Raiders. Because seriously, screw the Raiders.

Peter Aiken Getty Images Sport

MN, if I go boar hunting with my bros, and I snag the biggest boar, do I deserve some type of compensation?


Are these your brothers or your bros? In either event I can see them at least throwing down a hunskie for something like that, right? But in the case of your brothers maybe something a little more serious, like you become your father's sole heir. That seems like something that should happen if you're boar hunting (very "Game of Thrones-ish" of you). And with your bros, if you want to up the ante, just agree that whoever kills the biggest boar gets to punch everyone else in the stones as hard as he can. Because that's the type of thing bros do, and it's a shame to leave it out of so fine a tradition as boar hunting.

Hey MN, what's the over/under on someone else besides Jon Baldwin starting at number two WR? Week 8? Week 3? Never? Honestly, I would not be surprised if he's a breakout 1,000-yard guy this year. But I'd also not be surprised if he's cut just before Labor day.


I'd put the over/under at Week 1 and take the under. Sorry, Jon, but I saw you in person. And I watched the film. You don't run good routes. You're slow in and out of your breaks. And you get jammed way too easily by guys you ought to be able to just chuck out of your way (there is no excuse for a guy his size getting thrown off by 190-pound CBs).

Now hey, I'm no WR coach. And Baldwin proving me completely wrong, seizing the number two WR spot, and turning his career around with a thousand yard season isn't TOTALLY out of the question. But here's a list of things that would surprise me LESS than Baldwin having a thousand yard season...

1) Alex Smith completing 67 percent of his passes or better

2) Tyson Jackson having seven-plus sacks

3) My five-year-old beating me at Wii boxing (closer than I'd like to admit already)

4) Dexter McCluster having 80 catches in 2013

I could go on. But seriously, I just don't see it. Remember the column when I went back and watched 300+ Dex snaps to see if he was getting screwed over by our awful QB play (he was)? Well, it's not like there were never any snaps where I watched Baldwin. The guy just does not get open. Now to be fair, a dude his size doesn't need separation the way Dex does. But he is noticeably not quick.

And Donnie Avery, while no world-beater, isn't as much of a scrub as some like to make him out to be. Yes, he had an awful drop rate last year. Over the course of his career, though, he hasn't been nearly that bad. Take a look at some Andrew Luck highlights. Avery makes more than a couple appearances stretching the field. He can take the top off the defense, something Baldwin can't do. Throw in the fact that Avery is a guy brought in by the new regime and I think it's his job to lose.

Thearon W. Henderson Getty Images Sport

Why do you hate "Mad Men?"


This is from a buddy of mine with whom I've wasted way too much time arguing about the fact that "Mad Men" is ridiculously overrated (which it is). Seems like as good a time as any to record my answer for posterity's sake. I've mentioned it previously in columns and so should give my definitive answer. It's not really the fact that I find it too slow (not to be confused with "patient" or whatever). Nor is it the fact that it doesn't have zombies (I can forgive this) or Matt Saracen (a little harder to forgive, but whatever). In fact, I don't HATE that show at all.

But for me, the big problem is that at the end of the day I could not care less about a single character on "Mad Men." You can't name a character there I'd have a problem with them killing off or getting beaten up or cheated on or whatever bad things happen to people in the advertising world. Seriously. I wouldn't care. Especially when it comes to ol' Don Draper himself. It's not that I hate him or anything. I nothing him. if they based an entire episode around him getting fired, evicted, then killed, I wouldn't bat an eye. And I can't really enjoy a show, however well acted (and really, I think the acting is seriously overrated by those who feel "Drive" was somehow deep because people didn't talk much and stuff), when I don't care at all about the characters.

And that's that. It's like "Breaking Bad" but not nearly as interesting. And now that I've managed to tick off 99% of people who watch television, let's call it a day, shall we? Next mailbag maybe I'll hate on "Arrested Development" (kidding, kidding. Calm down. Although it's inferior to "Better Off Ted," but whatever, I don't want to get internet lynched).

(Email me mailbag questions at or tweet them to @RealMNchiefsfan #mnmail. I defy you to better John's question above. Or even ask about football)

More from MNChiefsfan:

Getting to know Travis Kelce in 11 minutes

The debut Chiefs mailbag

Breaking down Alex: Doubter to a believer

Chiefs free agency: Cheers and jeers

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