There's nothing like a little mailbag action to allow me to take a breath between big film review projects. You know how this works. You ask questions (sometimes after I ask you to ask me questions), I provide answers that are somewhat coherent. We shall dive right in today .... ya'll sent me some great questions (so many, in fact, that I won't be using them ALL today. So if yours doesn't appear, don't be sad. It's coming soon!).
@RealMNchiefsfan what can we expect out of Eric Fisher in year 4? And should we pick up his fifth-year option?— Alex Loves Baseball (@AC_Alex) April 9, 2016
I can't say for sure at this point. He's on the list for guys I'll be doing a full-fledged film review on, but at this point I'm pretty sure he played well last season. If I'm Chiefs GM John Dorsey (again, this is all subject to change once I look at the film), I'm looking to try and lock Fisher up long term now. His price is likely only going to go up from here.
That said, it could be Fisher is going to make a bet on himself and look to either get a giant contract or hit the open market. Since he's already made plenty of money he can afford to take that risk (as opposed to, say, an Allen Bailey, who had never been given a big payday and so had less "I'll risk it" leverage).
It'll be interesting to see how they proceed with him. If they aren't trying to extend him now, it's a decent sign they're still not sold on him being worth big money.
@RealMNchiefsfan also, general TWD season finale discussion. I'm not picky— Alex Loves Baseball (@AC_Alex) April 9, 2016
All right, it's been nearly a full week since the walking dead season finale aired, so I'm willing to talk about it. I won't do actual spoilers, but read at your own risk.
I liked it. The last ten minutes were about as tense and well-done as I've seen on television for quite some time. Jeffrey Dean Morgan (predictably) hit it out of the park as Negan. Intimidating, charismatic, magnetic, clearly crazy yet NOT quite crazy... he destroyed that scene.
I also really admire the way they slowly crumbled Rick's (and, by extension, the rest of the group's) confidence as the episode went on. It would've been easy to do a big, sudden scare to have the Rickettes realize they were in over their head. Instead, they spent a full hour letting the air out of their tires until Rick was left with nothing. Just... nothing. The guy who had finally become uber-decisive and ruthless enough to lead in a post-apocalyptic world was stripped of the very thing he'd been trying so hard to grab onto for the last few years; control. It was very, very well done. I prefer a slow burn to a quick "gotcha" any day.
Lastly, the cliffhanger. Lots of people were TICKED. For me, it's more of a shrug. That's how television works, people. I was never one of those who was certain the finale would contain "that" scene everyone was waiting for. Personally, I think the full fledged scene (the vast majority of you know what I'm talking about) will be how they open season 7, and it's going to be every bit as brutal as the bloodthirsty masses hope.
Season 6 wasn't as good as Season 5, but it was still very, very good. Come at me, TV "Golden Age" fanbois who think Mad Men was the greatest show ever!
@RealMNchiefsfan 2 things. 1 if you were Denver's GM, how much would you pay to extend Von Miller (or would you at all)?— Adam (@01lowbird) April 9, 2016
I can't stand Von Miller. His whole schtick bothers me. I don't like his face, the way he talks, or any other thing about him outside of the respect he gives Derrick Thomas.
That said, the man is one of the best four pass rushers on earth, and his ability to get FAST pressure better than anyone in the league is incredibly valuable. He's the type of defender you're gonna have to pay $20 million a year to keep. And it's actually worth it.
If you don't have a great quarterback, the next best way to win in the postseason is being able to STOP great quarterbacks, or at least offenses that lean heavily on QB play. Guys like Von are the way to make that happen.
Still hate that guy, though.
If forced to choose, Houston out for the year or Alex Smith out for the year (No Chase anymore, Ford or Murray/Bray)?
Now this is an interesting question.
Of course, on one hand, Houston is one of the best 2-3 defensive players in the league. He's an absolute monster whose presence changes games against both the pass and the run. Smith, in the meantime, even as Smith 2.0 (the nickname I gave him last year as his play unexpectedly kicked up a notch, in case you're new here), is a good but not great player.
On the other hand, quarterback is far and away the most important position on the field. You downgrade your play there from good to below average or bad and your team suffers a great deal of harm.
On the other, OTHER hand, you've got the "if your QB isn't a great one, you best be able to stop great QB's" argument I just made with regards to Von Miller. I like Smith, but he's not a great QB. Hence, the Chiefs' best hope for being genuine Super Bowl contenders lies very much in the hands of guys like Justin Houston.
Here's a related mailbag question I got that settles the score for me.
@RealMNchiefsfan How much confidence do you have in Aaron Murray?— Nick French (@nickfrenchphr) April 9, 2016
You know what? I have virtually no confidence in Aaron Murray.
Did he look improved last preseason? Absolutely! Does that mean much to me at all? Well ... no. It really doesn't. When you come down to it, Murray is who he is... a mid-round QB project who hasn't shown he's capable of playing QB at even a subpar level in real NFL game conditions.
That settles it for me. When Chase Daniel was the backup the Chiefs had a known not awful commodity to come in at QB. He was a big step down from Smith, but he was competent enough to not sink the team. With him gone, we have no idea if the Chiefs have a quarterback like that on the roster.
Smith, for all his well-known and much-argued-about limitations, is a very competent quarterback with a total unknown at backup. Houston, in the meantime, has some depth backing him up and we know the defense can play at a pretty high level without him.
As much as it hurts, I choose to lose Houston over Smith. I hate it when ya'll make me think about icky stuff like that. Let's call it a mailbag here, and we'll do this again soon.