clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Chiefs Mailbag: Offensive line, kids' movies, player value

Another week brings another mailbag filled with non-informative writings.

Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

We've made it past the draft and into the true doldrums of the offseason. We've got a brand new crop of rookies to dissect and a quarterback to fight about, but it's going to be awhile before much "new" news hits Chiefs Nation. I've already taken a look at the film of our first two draft picks, Dee Ford and Phillip Gaines. For those interested in such "informative" writing, feel free to go there and never look back.

Today it's time to go back to the mailbag, and if I say anything informative it'll be on accident. I've got some longish mail questions today, so let's dive right in.

Let’s say, for arguments sake, the average NFL team throws the ball 30 times per game. Over the course of 16 games that is 480 pass attempts. If a DE/OLB has 16 sacks in a season everyone wants to sign him to a $100 million contract. If an OT gives up half that number, 8 sacks, we are calling for his replacement. I need to know what the logic is here. A DE/OLB that is successful 3.3% of the time is a multimillionaire. A tackle that is successful 98.3% of the time is out of the league. Please advise because I would think a zombie could be successful 3.3% of the time and all we would have to pay him is the scraps from a local BBQ joint.


Dewey Oxburger

That's an interesting question, and one that I admit vexed me for quite some time. After all, it would seem like a much more "productive" offensive lineman is getting penalized for being more successful than his pass rushing counterpart. After some thought, though, I realized we were looking at this the wrong way. We were using raw stats as opposed to comparative stats.

Think of it along the lines of fantasy football. When you draft a player, the raw number of points he puts up isn't the most important aspect of where you should draft him relative to other players. Let's say you are faced with this choice in the 1st round: A quarterback who is projected to score 300 points or a WR who is projected to score 250 points. On its face, the decision is an easy one and you take the quarterback.

But it's not that simple. Because by passing up on the 250-point WR, you passed up on a receiver who is likely going to outscore every other WR in the league by a pretty substantial percentage. The quarterback, on the other hand, will likely be outscored by at least 2-3 other quarterbacks and won't be THAT far ahead of 3-4 others. In other words, you could have drafted that same quarterback in the 3rd or 4th round, whereas the WR (and anyone within 80% of his production) will be long gone by then.

Why am I talking about fantasy football? Well, partly because I miss it so, so, so much. But also because it's the same type of situation with your pass rusher/left tackle comparison. For starters, including only sacks isn't the right way to go. Hits and hurries matter a great deal.

LT #1: 5 sacks, 18 hits, 60 hurries

LT #2: 8 sacks, 4 hits, 30 hurries

I promise you that you'd rather have LT #2 on your team, because he allows more plays to go by without letting the defense adversely affect the play. The same applies for a pass rusher. Give me the guy with three fewer sacks but is terrorizing the quarterback all day over a guy who gets there a couple more times but affects way fewer plays.

So with that out of the way, why the difference in compensation? It's simple, because we're not comparing tackles to pass rushers, we're comparing them to other tackles. Even an aggressively mediocre tackle can keep the QB clean the vast majority of the time. And the reverse is true of pass rushers; most can't get to the QB 16 times in a season.

You're not paying for raw numbers, you're paying for what the player does in compared to other guys at his position. Supply and demand, and whatnot.

Who's the "surprise cut" from the 53 Man Roster this year?  SOMEONE is gonna get the hammer ... happens every year with every team:  the Grim Reaper comes around asking for a guy to step into Coach's office and oh yeah, bring your playbook ... any thoughts?  usually it's someone at or near the bottom of the depth chart, but on occasion ... you know how it goes, right?  (damn I miss #54)  ... Cyrus Gray?  Rok, maybe (with the addition of Fulton, or Kush?  nah, he's C and we need a backup there) ... Nico?  just wonder what name we all know will be gone by the end of August

Wolf aka UPS!

It's almost without question that someone is going to get the ax this year that we weren't expecting.  The question becomes a matter of who. I'm not all that sure there's going to be any genuinely "shocking" cuts, but I'll name a couple guys and try to be at least kind of controversial with one.

Cyrus Gray

No one has plugged harder for The Virus than I have. I stand by the idea that his film shows a rare ability to cut, as well as very good speed and a natural movement that just can't be taught.

But the reality is Gray is currently third on the depth chart behind two firmly entrenched players. The other reality is that he got his shot in the playoffs. I was convinced that he would finally get a chance to prove himself ... and Gray proceeded to do nothing with that shot, unless you count slowing down on a route rather than completing it (thus costing the team a touchdown) to be something.

I think Gray is done here. De'Anthony Thomas is likely going to be all over the field, but he can fill the role as emergency running back. We also have several UDRFA's who intrigue me (like James Baker, who I'll look at in more depth at some point). I just don't see it. Gray has potential, but it's never reached results and he's at a crowded position. I think he'll be gone.

Mike DeVito

DeVito is a player I really like. He's a rock on the line, solid against the run and a smart veteran player. However, I don't see him fitting into the plans of the defense if they decide to move more often to a 2-4-5 look (which I think, or at least I hope, is coming). He doesn't bring much of anything when it comes to rushing the passer at this point, though he's stated publicly he'll be working on that aspect of his game.

Here's the issue; DeVito represents over 2 million dollars in cap savings this year if cut, as well as 4 million next year. The Chiefs have devoted money to Vance Walker (a superior pass rusher in my opinion and by the numbers) over that time, and there are other players who that money could go to.

IF the Chiefs decide that they want to spend most of their time in nickel/dime packages (a very real possibility), they could well decide that Allen Bailey (who has developed into a solid run stuffer) is good enough to take up DeVito's snaps in the base 3-4 defense. If we end up in a 2-4-5 or 1-4-6 over 60% of the time (which I'd prefer, given our current personnel and the need to rush the passer), DeVito's cap hit goes from very reasonable to pretty excessive.

I don't see it as likely, but like I said, he's my "unexpected" cut. It wouldn't work if it's a guy we'd expect.

Ptsshhh, child please. All I know about Kate Upton is that she needs attention enough to get her picture taken for a living, then gets mad that people objectify her. No thanks. I wouldn't date her regardless.

Doubtless, many will question the honesty of this response, knowing that Mrs. MNchiefsfan is always watching. But it's the truth. I'm at the point of my life where any woman who seems like drama is automatically off my radar. I'm too old for that stuff.

Frozen was okay as far as kids' movies go. Pretty cutesy and whatnot, catchy songs... basically, everything you'd expect from a Disney flick.

My only question is this; do all men in modern Disney movies have to be completely helpless OR bad people? I get it, I get it. For years, Disney (and Hollywood in general) portrayed women as helpless and needing a man to be complete. That's obviously stupid, and so now the pendulum swings in the opposite direction. But it's still irritating. Show me a kids' movie where both men AND women are just, you know, equal. That'd be terrific.

That said, that "Let It Go" song might be one of the catchier songs of all time, and the snowman who loves heat is pretty funny. I just don't see what made it so much better than a zillion Disney movies I saw as a kid. People are acting like it's some kind of phenom, when it's really inferior to almost every other Disney movie ever made. Don't even try to say it's on the level of Aladdin or The Lion King. Also, it's time I move on from this subject before you guys make me turn in my man card.

Worst kids' movie I've seen lately? Freebirds. Good Lord, that movie is terrible. Cars 2 was pretty bad also. But again, it's time to move on. Especially because the last question I'm using today is a long one.

Seth, could you explain what the deal is with our O-Line turnover? I keep trying figure out the thought process of the FO, but I always seem to end up going, "Huh?"

When Reid/Dorsey took over, they got rid of Winston. OK. Not a scheme fit. Fine. Next they franchise tag Albert and pay D-Bowe gobs of money (5yr 56M, 26M guar.). This is where I get confused. Why? If Andy Reid rarely has a single WR catching most of the balls, why did they see fit to pay that kind of money to a WR? They paid, what, top-5 WR money for a player that, in Reid's system, wouldn't be a focal point. That left us using the tag on Albert, basically renting his services for a year. Knowing they're going to lose him the following year they use the #1 overall pick on his eventual replacement.  We just let our 2008 #15 overall pick walk so we could spend the #1 pick to replace him. If they'd have paid BA and tag'd Bowe we could have used that pick on another position.

Now, after finding a quality player in Schwartz on the junk pile last season, they lose him on a very reasonable contract (4yr 16.8M, 6.2M guar.)...another hole. Jon Asamoah is also allowed to walk (5yr 22.5M, 8M guar.)...another hole. Albert ended up signing for 5yr 46M, 25M guar. I'm not a cap wizard, but it looks like they could have paid all three linemen with what they paid Bowe. If they'd done that, they could have kept the continuity of a developing line and used the #1 overall pick on another player (I'd have gone with Star Lotulelei at the time), and this year we wouldn't have to be concerned about trying to replace two more linemen.

Developing chemistry along the line takes time (several years), and we seem to be shooting ourselves in the foot by letting quality players go, forcing us to expend draft picks on replacements and time on regenerating chemistry. Is there a reason I'm missing, or does it all come down to Albert wanted way more in 2013 than he eventually signed for this year? Even an extra million a year doesn't seem like a lot if you take into consideration the #1 overall pick would have been available for use elsewhere.

The only consolation I see is that we'll acquire a few comp picks as a result, but letting a quality 1st round player who's proven himself in NFL games go for a late 3rd round (at best) draft pick seems like a poor trade.

Steve The Hedge

Man, that's a lot of very, very legitimate criticism of how Dorsey has handled our offensive line situation. What really stands out is the huge contract given to Bowe while solid OL are allowed to walk away. Here's my basic theory regarding our current line situation.

It would at least appear that Dorsey and Reid have some confidence in the young guys they have in-house, including Rishaw Johnson. And while it's true that our offensive line is going to look pretty different this year, it's not as though it's going to be a bunch of definitively new players. If the OL starts out Fisher/Allen/Hudson/Johnson/Stephenson, you're looking at an OL that consists of 5 players who have been with the team for over a year, and a group that consists of every player having at least one start in this system.

I'm not saying that to indicate that I believe our OL will be amazing, or that I'm not at least somewhat concerned with our line for this year. All I'm saying is this idea that our line is TOTALLY inexperienced or "new" isn't entirely true. Call it glass half full of me (and you're probably right), but I believe the line has potential to be decent right out of the gate. We'll see.

As far as the money decisions go... I have no idea why they paid Bowe so much money. Here's hoping this next season makes us say, "oh, OK, that's what he was supposed to do in this offense." The playoff game showed that Bowe can be highly productive if he's used correctly and Alex Smith is willing to trust him. Smith isn't a guy who makes contested throws often. If Bowe has earned his trust, I expect his numbers to go up. Whether it'll be enough to justify that contract I have no idea.

At the end of the day, though, I think the reason Asamoah/Schwartz/Albert are gone is that Dorsey viewed them as replaceable. That's really the only explanation. Dorsey has shown he's willing to fork out large sums of money. But in this case, he said "pass." That tells me he genuinely believes the OL I detailed above is going to be good enough without us having to pay relatively large contracts to veterans (regardless of how reasonable those contracts are).

If I'd had my way, I sign Albert for $9 million a year, franchise Bowe for one year, draft Sheldon Richardson at No. 1 overall, then snag Bowe's replacement this year. That's what I would've done. But like you said, there's no way of knowing if Albert would have been willing to stay in KC for that amount. Could be he wanted to go to Miami all along. All we know is Dorsey is trusting the youngsters in the trenches. Here's hoping he's right.

Next mailbag, I'm going to be examining how the AFC West stacks up in Westeros.  If you want to be a part of such mindless time-wasting, email mailbag questions to, or tweet to @RealMNchiefsfan

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Arrowhead Pride Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your Kansas City Chiefs news from Arrowhead Pride