Life is good. The Chiefs are 10-3 and atop the AFC West, another Star Wars movie has come to bless us all, and Christmas is right around the corner. I won’t let the fact that it’s a billion degrees below zero outside get me down. In celebration of how good life is, let’s have a mailbag with Mrs. MNchiefsfan gracing us with her presence, shall we?
@RealMNchiefsfan what's the market like for a guy like Poe? There aren't too many teams who run the 3-4 So will that push $ down in contract— Dylan Miller (@chiefscrazy) December 16, 2016
You know, that’s a tough question. I don’t think the 3-4 issue is going to help the Chiefs negotiate with Poe, because he’s got a skillset that could readily fit into a 4-3 defense as well. In fact, it would help if he were MORE of a traditional 3-4 NT, because their options are inherently limited.
Here’s the thing with Poe... he’s not great at anything. He’s solid against the run (contrary to a lot of what I’ve seen on here, Poe has done a pretty consistent job this year eating blockers and staying strong at the POA any time I’ve turned on the film), and he’s solid as a pass rusher, and he’s got incredible endurance... but he’s not GREAT against the run and he’s not GREAT at rushing the passer.
So it’s tough to say he’s a guy who will command top dollar on the open market, because that’s generally reserved for guys who are great at rushing the passer. However, the paragraph above isn’t necessarily a condemnation of Poe, because it also lays out his value: versatility.
See, there are quite a few really good run defenders in the NFL. There are fewer pass rushers on the interior, but they’re out there too. However, there are very few players who are, at the same time, solid pass rushers AND solid against the run. And Poe isn’t just a guy who can shoot gaps as a run defender, either. He can hold at the point of attack.
In other words, no matter what the down and distance, Poe is a plus player to have on the field. That’s pretty rare. So I think he’s going to command good money. That said, I’ve always been of the opinion that Poe isn’t viewed as highly around the league as he is by Chiefs fans, so I don’t think he’s a bank breaker. I expect he’s a guy that you’ll need to pay 10-12 million bucks a year, maybe a bit less. But all it takes is one bidder to fall in love to drive that price up steeply.
@RealMNchiefsfan To what extent can teams control their own playoff success? Is it all skill, or is it just getting into the dance + luck?— Patrick Lynch (@pwlynch) December 15, 2016
I think it’s all about getting to the dance and being talented enough to have a puncher’s chance. We’ve all seen teams get hot that were absolutely NOT the best team in the league week in and week out, but walked away as Super Bowl winners.
Also, health plays a huge role in all this. We saw that last year when the Chiefs went to New England down Maclin, Houston, Charles, and Ware. Teams that can stay relatively healthy (which, at the end of the year basically means “your core guys are all right”) have a huge advantage.
Another big issue is matchups. Some teams just don’t match up well against others. For example, I’d rather face almost any team in the playoffs besides the Steelers again because I think they’re designed to take advantage of the Chiefs’ weaknesses on defense. Matchup is everything in the NFL, and sometimes you’re better off having the “superior” team win against an underdog because you match up better against the first team. Who you play matters, and you can’t control that.
So yes, it’s a lot of skill (it’s tough to beat playoff-caliber teams 3-4 weeks in a row), but some luck involved as well.
Hey, SPOILERS AHEAD for Walking Dead fans (you knew someone was gonna ask)
@RealMNchiefsfan @MrsMNchiefsfan be honest u cheered when Spencer died didnt u— Countryboi567 (@Countryboi567) December 15, 2016
You know, I kinda felt bad for the guy. Being called out for your biggest weakness (lack of courage) by a guy you thought you were impressing in front of a huge group of people is bad enough. Getting gutted like that? Yikes.
A lot of people have complained about the first half of this season, but I personally have enjoyed it. They’ve basically created a world that’s absolutely dominated by Negan, which was kind of the point. The situation looks pretty hopeless, and for the first time in a while you don’t feel like Rick and company can just shoot (or slice) their way out. I’m excited on where things go from here.
@RealMNchiefsfan @MrsMNchiefsfan contract extensions! Nacho, Jones, etc. to replace Poe or Mr. X replacing Berry? ..Or just SB win in 16?— KC (@willadsen8) December 16, 2016
We talked about Poe above. I think that Eric Berry has proved his worth multiple times over this season, both as a leader and as an impact player. I think he’s gonna get paid by the Chiefs and be around for a while.
As far as Poe goes, I think it’ll depend a lot more on price. If they can get him for a not-ridiculous amount of money I believe they’d definitely like him on the roster. However, given Britt Reid’s apparent ability to coach up anyone into at least performing decently, and given Dorsey’s eye for defensive line talent, I don’t think they will be desperate enough to fork over big money.
I hope they keep both, but I think a lot will depend on performances down the stretch. If Poe continues to play decently but quietly, I don’t think he’ll be out of reach by a long shot. Berry will break the bank either way but is worth every cent.
@RealMNchiefsfan @MrsMNchiefsfan Poe or berry? Wings or brats? 2 kids or 3 (age gaps?) and...how do you stand the cold up there?— Steven (@mshp797) December 16, 2016
Let’s cover the last three ... wings over brats all day for this guy. I love good wings. Of course, it’s been well established on this site that I don’t have a great pallet, so my opinion may not be relevant here.
Definitely go with three kids or more. It’s chaos, man. I can’t recommend it enough. And I’d recommend a 2-2.5 year gap between kids. That generally means you can avoid having multiples in diapers at once, and they’re close enough in age to run around and be friends. BUT ... there’s enough age gap that you’re not caring for a pair under two at once. Because believe me, you do not need that in your life.
And the cold is easy: just don’t go outside for too long. You get semi-used to it, except for those days it gets 10 or more below zero. Nothing can prepare you for that, and you never, ever get used to it. Those are the times you leave your car running for half an hour before even THINKING about going somewhere because by the time you make it to the car you’re half frozen.
@RealMNchiefsfan @MrsMNchiefsfan the perfect place for a second honeymoon is?— A.K.A James (@tiagosouza1983) December 16, 2016
I’m gonna punt this to Mrs. MNchiefsfan:
There are two types of girls in two different stages of life. You’ve got those who are looking for themselves and for adventure and to create experiences for themselves, and then you’ve got those who want to do something that’s legitimately life-changing.
When I went to Europe and it was beautiful, and interesting, and just overall wonderful. It was such a great trip and something I will absolutely remember. But I went to Kenya for a mission trip and walked away with a changed life. And so you have to ask yourself ... do you want to do something you’ll remember forever, or something that will alter you forever? Believe me, more girls than you think will chose the second one.
(looks at that answer)
Yeah, sure, that works for me. I was gonna say Kansas City to watch the Chiefs and eat BBQ, so what do I know?
@RealMNchiefsfan @MrsMNchiefsfan what happened to Spencer Ware in the passing game??— Brad McC (@colmby) December 16, 2016
The short answer is “I’m not sure.” However, I have a few thoughts on this.
The first is simply one of volume. In Andy Reid’s offense you’re going to have 5-6 throws a game reserved for WR screens. Then you’ve got Travis Kelce’s targets. Then you’ve got Tyreek Hill’s targets. Now you’ve got Maclin’s targets, and Conley’s targets. Then you’ve got the 6-8 plays a game that Reid seems to draw up for role player types. Suddenly you’re at the end of the game and Ware hasn’t been thrown the ball. Kelce and Hill’s roles in the offense have increased, and someone had to pay the price.
Also, it’s no secret that teams are gunning for Reid’s screen game. I think Ware’s role has been reduced to an extent as that occurred, because the opportunities just aren’t there as much as Reid moves away from things that are expected.
On a final note, I’ve written recently that Smith is doing a better job reading the field deep to shallow rather than the other way around. While that’s great for Kelce, Hill and other receivers, that’s going to mean fewer checkdowns.
Regardless of the reason, I hope they figure it out soon, because I really like what Ware does in the passing game.
@RealMNchiefsfan @MrsMNchiefsfan whats the missus' HOTTEST TAKE, Chiefs related or not. Need some— Alex (@AC_Alex) December 15, 2016
I think players should be penalized more for doing stupid dances when they accomplish something on the field. It looks so ridiculous and cocky, and it would be great if they got rid of it. People argue that we want the players to celebrate and be themselves, but they’re NOT being “themselves,” they’re showing off to try and project something. Probably because they’re insecure, or they just see everyone else do it. So they act stupid and cocky, then MY kids act stupid and cocky after they do things. Seriously, you’re a grown up.
At least get rid of big celebrations except for touchdowns. You’re dancing because you gained 10 yards. That would be like me doing some kind of dance after making lunch. I’ve done it a billion times. No one is impressed.
OR, they should change the rules to where if you dance after a non-touchdown, defenders are allowed to keep trying to tackle you until you stop dancing. That would make things more interesting and show who is really willing to pay the price to show off.
I have no words. Let’s move on.
@RealMNchiefsfan @MrsMNchiefsfan What's a hot go to item for my wife's stocking this year?!— Shane Thornton (@MrT24KC) December 15, 2016
(grabs notepad to write down ideas, then panics realizing there’s barely more than a week until Christmas)
Gift cards may be the way to go, because guys like to think they know... but you really don’t know. Not all girls like that, but a lot of us are really OK with the idea of buying our own stuff. BUT ... you need to combine that with taking care of the house for a day (and, like, actually taking care of the house and kids, not just keeping it from catching on fire and keeping the kids alive) while she goes and gets what she wants. Because really, a lot of the time we just want some rest and some help.
Either that, or a way to eat whatever we want and not get fat. We would love that.
Crap, I thought I was gonna get out of this without it being hinted to me that I need to help watch the kids more often. Thanks a lot Shane, jeeze.
@RealMNchiefsfan is 39 just the next Marcus Cooper or the real deal? I know there's not much film, but....— Lou (@LouMcGopher) December 15, 2016
I reviewed every snap that Terrance Mitchell took in coverage against the Raiders, and there was a lot to like about what he did.
I won’t delve into the film here since I did in that article, but a game and a half is never enough to tell everything you want to know about a player, particularly a corner. Marcus Cooper looked like a revelation until Peyton Manning found out he couldn’t handle certain routes (though it’s worth noting he’s doing all right for himself in Arizona).
So what I look for are traits. And Mitchell has some useful traits (aggressive press, contests the ball well, good footwork). The key will be after 4-5 games when opposing quarterbacks and coordinators have some film on him. Will they discover a big weakness to exploit? Or will he continue to hold up well. Only time will tell, but so far he’s passed a couple of tough tests against good receiver groups.
And for those who believe he’s doomed because he bounced around the league a little, keep something in mind: some players a pretty scheme-specific, and just need to find the right place to flourish. This can especially be the case with corners, where assignments can vary a great deal depending on the defense. So I’d keep an open mind and give him a few more games to see if he keeps it up.
Man, we’re gonna end up with 3,000 words if I’m not careful, still a lot to go. I’m gonna try and shorten these answers up (I’ll let you all finish laughing hysterically at the idea of me being succinct).
@RealMNchiefsfan @MrsMNchiefsfan IMO KC could stand to benefit from mixing in a little more read/option & designed QB runs. Thoughts?— Adrian Perez (@ajp1128) December 15, 2016
I’m not sure I’m crazy about that idea, though I do think the read option would help open up the run game a bit. However, Smith has definitely been more hesitant to run since getting hurt (or not hurt, or whatever it was that happened). Additionally, he’s FINALLY doing a better job with keeping his eyes on his receivers rather than tucking and running at the first sign of trouble. I’d just as soon call more plays that reinforce that habit than encourage him to become run-happy again.
@RealMNchiefsfan What made you both become a Chiefs fan?— Patrick Kelly (@ThePatK) December 15, 2016
Like many Chiefs fans my age, I was dragged into the kingdom by Montana Magic. My family lived in the KC area while my dad attended seminary, and since he was unable to watch his precious Vikings on Sunday (and he loved hard-hitting defense), my dad adopted the Chiefs. So, naturally, did the rest of us. We spent some great days watching that ridiculous defense do it’s thing, and I was forever hooked when Joe Montana hit Willie Davis on the right side of the end zone on Monday Night football.
My wife? Well, she married me, and she meant it when she said “for better or for worse.” Sometimes that means being a Chiefs fan.
@RealMNchiefsfan @MrsMNchiefsfan who will have the better career Tyreek Hill or Chris Jones??— Josh Miller (@Ferrari247X) December 15, 2016
I find this question really interesting, because Jones and Hill have something in common: both are players with a freakish physical trait that makes them stand out, even among other NFL players. With Jones it’s his ridiculous strength, which allows him to throw aside offensive linemen with more ease and regularity than almost any other player I’ve ever seen. With Hill, it’s his absolutely blazing speed, which reminds me of DeSean Jackson.
For either of them, the sky is the limit if they are willing to learn the tricks of their trade and don’t just lean on their remarkable physical abilities to be “good” players without putting in the time to be great. For Jones, that means working on pad level and play recognition. For Hill, that means refining his route running.
I think Tyreek Hill has the potential to be an upper-echelon wide receiver if he’s willing to put in the work, and I think he’ll be a good player even if he doesn’t (he already is a very capable deep threat). But I give Jones the edge here. I think, with his strength alongside his impressive athleticism, he could get to the point that he’s considered one of the best interior defenders in the league, right up there with Aaron Donald. And no, I’m not kidding at all. He’s that good already, one of the best interior pass rushers in the NFL. Now all he needs to do is put in the work. And I think he will.
@RealMNchiefsfan @MrsMNchiefsfan do u think it was more scheme or Alex in the beginning of the year? Both are more aggressive now it seems— Tony Toni Tone (@HopOff_MySack) December 15, 2016
While I have serious issues with some of Andy Reid’s play calling earlier in the season, I think it was more Alex. In multiple games I saw him missing open receivers down the field or throwing inaccurate passes (it seems like a while ago, but Alex’s accuracy was really down earlier in the year).
I DO think that both Reid and Alex have gotten more aggressive as the year has gone along. Travis Kelce’s refined route running (I’m not exaggerating when I say no one can cover that guy) and Tyreek Hill’s unexpected emergence as a deep threat have allowed them to take advantage of defenses in a way they either couldn’t or wouldn’t earlier in the year.
So while blame goes both ways (and some on the receivers and OL as well), if I were to attach a percentage I’d put 50 percent on Alex, 35 percent on Andy and 15 percent on the line/receivers (yes, those numbers are totally made up. Yes, I’m certain someone will get upset with them anyway).
@RealMNchiefsfan @MrsMNchiefsfan Jamaal Charles, will he come back and will he be a core component of our offense?— Jeff (@doyouhadoop) December 16, 2016
@doyouhadoop @RealMNchiefsfan @MrsMNchiefsfan Follow up, are you emotionally prepared for it if not?— firstname.lastname@example.org (@KCChiefsFan1983) December 16, 2016
Heh, the answers are yes and no, respectively.
Am I thinking objectively on this? No, I’m really not. Jamaal Charles means more to me than any other current Chief, even DJ (and I HEART Derrick Johnson, guys). I just refuse to believe that he goes out like this. Just once, I want the fairy taleending for my team. I want Jamaal to come back and finally be healthy and add that missing dimension to the offense. I want him to FINALLY have a chance to perform in the playoffs and get the accolades he so desperately deserves.
I still believe, even if I shouldn’t. And that feels like a good place to call it a day. Thanks for the mailbag, folks.