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C-Mac
04-07-2005, 11:02 AM
RAND: Much-improved defense taking shape
Apr 07, 2005, 3:36:52 AM by Jonathan Rand



The Chiefs’ defense already looks substantially different – and better – than it did at the end of last season and they haven’t even found their right cornerback yet.



The acquisition of defensive end Carlos Hall, a restricted free agent from the Tennessee Titans, isn’t as notable as that of linebacker Kendrell Bell or safety Sammy Knight. Yet, Hall should fill a significant role and send a significant message.

At the very least, he’ll upgrade the Chiefs’ depth at defensive end. Jared Allen had an exceptional rookie season at right end but will have a better chance of repeating that performance if he’s challenged by Hall, a fine athlete who’s started 31 games in three seasons at Tennessee.

Considering the Titans had the 27th-ranked defense in 2004 and considered Hall expendable for a fifth-round draft choice, you wouldn’t expect him to move out Allen or left end Eric Hicks. Still, Hall’s presence will be a good reminder for the incumbents to take nothing for granted. That pressure was missing a year ago when the Chiefs elected to change their coordinator instead of personnel despite a dismal defensive season in 2003.

The Chiefs already have improved each of the three areas on defense and have done it with a look to the future as well as this year. It’s encouraging to see them acquiring players who can upgrade their defense for several seasons instead of seeking quick fixes from descending veterans just to give Dick Vermeil a happy sendoff.

Bell and Hall are 26. Knight is 29 and will turn 30 in September, but that’s not old for a strong safety. And each need addressed by the Chiefs in free agency means one more need they can fill in the draft.

The Chiefs’ free-agent class already is clearly better than the one of 2003, when they also tried to address needs in each defensive area. The Chiefs added end Vonnie Holliday, linebacker Shawn Barber and cornerback Dexter McCleon, who came billed as a nickel back but earned a starting spot.

That trio hasn’t worked out. Remember, however, that none came to Kansas City with a Pro Bowl berth on his resume while Bell and Knight each claim one. If the Chiefs can add a top-flight cornerback – free agent Ty Law and Patrick Surtain remain available – there would be no comparison between their defensive upgrades of 2003 and 2005.

The free agents of 2003, intentionally or not, seemed intended to bring the Chiefs’ defense up to a level of mere respectability. It seemed logical that a middle-of-the-pack defense, combined with a superior offense, would produce a Super Bowl contender.

The free agent class of 2005, though, seems intended to make the Chiefs’ defense better than respectable. Throw in a top-tier cornerback and you’d have a unit with every chance to become one of the league’s 10 best.

Nearly every free agent, of course, comes with question marks, which is why every coach and general manager would prefer to have 22 homegrown starters. You can bet the Chiefs did their homework every bit as carefully with their free agents of 2003 as they’ve done with their current signees.

It would take some astonishingly bad breaks for them to strike out on most, much less all, their free agents again. Here’s betting that they won’t.

Chiefs Pantalones
04-07-2005, 11:02 AM
GIVE ME A BREAK

Chiefs Pantalones
04-07-2005, 11:02 AM
If we get one more re-post, I'm gonna go nuts. ROFL

siberian khatru
04-07-2005, 11:03 AM
Elton John just landed on the moon!

C-Mac
04-07-2005, 11:08 AM
OK...I give up.
It would be handy though, if we all got in the habit of clicking the little Chiefs football icon, ect. to act as a flag for those of us who make such untimely reposts.
:D

Chiefs Pantalones
04-07-2005, 11:10 AM
OK...I give up.
It would be handy though, if we all got in the habit of clicking the little Chiefs football icon, ect. to act as a flag for those of us who make such untimely reposts.
:D

ROFL

I don't speak for everyone, but I really don't mind, I just think it's funny.

buddha
04-07-2005, 12:29 PM
C-Mac, unlike some of these guys, not everybody has time to see every single post on this site every day. I hadn't seen this column by Rand, and I appreciated it being posted. BTW, this statement was a bit over blown:

"The free agent class of 2005, though, seems intended to make the Chiefs’ defense better than respectable. Throw in a top-tier cornerback and you’d have a unit with every chance to become one of the league’s 10 best."

I'd love to believe that's true, but does anybody believe that? If the Chiefs had the 10th best defense in the league, I'd do handsprings...and I'd start making reservations for the Super Bowl now. I just happen to think that we're more than three free agents away from that lofty position.

htismaqe
04-07-2005, 12:39 PM
C-Mac, unlike some of these guys, not everybody has time to see every single post on this site every day. I hadn't seen this column by Rand, and I appreciated it being posted. BTW, this statement was a bit over blown:

"The free agent class of 2005, though, seems intended to make the Chiefs’ defense better than respectable. Throw in a top-tier cornerback and you’d have a unit with every chance to become one of the league’s 10 best."

I'd love to believe that's true, but does anybody believe that? If the Chiefs had the 10th best defense in the league, I'd do handsprings...and I'd start making reservations for the Super Bowl now. I just happen to think that we're more than three free agents away from that lofty position.

We were something like 19th last year, and that's with the worst pass defense ever.

I think a guy like Patrick Surtain could easily get us to top 15 all by himself. Adding Knight puts that over the top, IMO.

I'm not counting on it by any means, this is the Chiefs we're talking about. But if we were to add Surtain after adding Bell and Knight, and they were all to stay HEALTHY, it's definitely possible.

Fire Me Boy!
04-07-2005, 01:08 PM
We were something like 19th last year, and that's with the worst pass defense ever.
Our d-line was the strength last year, but really the reason we were good on the ground is because everybody knew they could vitimize us through the air. Why waste time?

And I, too, appreciated this thread... I hadn't seen the earlier one.