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tk13
04-20-2005, 02:47 AM
http://www.kansascity.com/mld/kansascity/sports/football/nfl/kansas_city_chiefs/11436513.htm

Plan D?
Going all out for defense is no guarantee

By ADAM TEICHER
The Kansas City Star


Back in 2002, the high-scoring Colts were trying to fix a defense that collapsed the previous season and cost Indianapolis a playoff berth.

Sound familiar, Chiefs fans?

The Colts' strategy that year for fixing their leaky defense could be instructive to the Chiefs this year. The first six players and seven of the eight drafted by Indianapolis were defenders. The Colts rebounded and made the playoffs.

The Chiefs could do worse things in the draft than follow the Colts' lead. They have 10 picks, their most since 1991, when the draft was 12 rounds rather than seven.

The Chiefs certainly have defensive needs. Not only was their defense the culprit in last year's 7-9 record, but because of poor recent drafts, the Chiefs have only two players they can honestly consider good young defensive players: linebacker Scott Fujita and end Jared Allen.

Fujita's season is threatened by an ankle injury that recently required arthroscopic surgery.

What about trying to net a group of draft picks almost entirely on the defensive side to see whether the Chiefs can fix the problem for years? The idea doesn't seem to have much traction at Arrowhead Stadium.

“Obviously, early in the draft, that's our primary focus,” said Lynn Stiles, Chiefs vice president for football operations. “But there may be an offensive player who can give us something special like Kris Wilson did last year. There may be a heck of a punter. So I don't think you can just say we'll use 10 picks on defense.

“Drafting 10 defensive players doesn't guarantee you anything. Just because you draft 10 guys doesn't mean they're all going to get on the field.”

It doesn't, but drafting 10 defensive players increases the chances of finding some good ones. The Colts in 2002 drafted not only a pass-rushing end in Dwight Freeney, but also a starting linebacker in David Thornton and couple of reserve defenders in tackle Larry Tripplett and cornerback Joseph Jefferson.

The 1996 Chiefs, sensing the creep of age on defense, spent their first four picks on that side of the ball and were richly rewarded with a draft that included safeties Jerome Woods and Reggie Tongue, linebacker Donnie Edwards and lineman John Browning.

By 1997, all were starting for a 13-3 team.

While this year's Chiefs draft doesn't figure to be all defense, it could resemble that of 1996.

“The emphasis will be on defense,” coach Dick Vermeil said. “Once you get going, then you start thinking about taking the best football player. You start thinking about getting better on special teams. But if it's equal, you'd have to draft the defensive player.”

An entirely defensive draft would ignore looming needs on the offensive line. Willie Roaf turned 35 Monday, and another perennial Pro Bowler, guard Will Shields, is considering retirement.

It would also cost the Chiefs the chance to improve at wide receiver, another position on their wish list.

That's worthwhile if it means enriching the defense with some young talent. It's why the idea makes some sense for former Cowboys personnel director Gil Brandt, now an analyst for NFL.com.

“I like that strategy if that's what they need to do, but it can't be a hard-and-fast strategy,” Brandt said. “I'll give you an example of something they don't want to do. In 1975, in the 13th round, we drafted a guy named Herb Scott, who was an offensive lineman. We had a lot of good offensive linemen, and we really didn't need this guy. But he was something like our 73rd-ranked guy. We had to be crazy not to pick this guy. We picked him, and he ended up going to two Pro Bowls. My point is that you can't take a defensive player if you've got an offensive player ranked considerably ahead of him.

“Here's another thing they shouldn't do. Historically, if teams need defense, they put that board together with a tendency to rate defensive players higher. That's real dangerous. Teams get killed in the draft when they force their needs.”

The Chiefs had their chances in recent years to fortify their defense with good, young players. Linemen Eric Downing, Ryan Sims, Eddie Freeman and Junior Siavii; linebackers Kawika Mitchell and Keyaron Fox; and cornerback Julian Battle were drafted in the first three rounds in the last four years.

None has become what the Chiefs envisioned. Downing and Freeman are gone. The others, so far, have been part of the problem, not the solution.

“We've got some guys who haven't lived up to their physical attributes and have to play better,” Stiles said. “I'm not going to say these guys need to take their diapers off, but they need to jump in there and help us out. They need to look in the mirror very hard and ask themselves how long they want to be in this environment.”

ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper said this year is a good one for the Chiefs to atone because it's deep with defensive players. He identified players at all defensive positions whom he projects to someday become solid NFL starters.

“There are a lot of combination guys,” Kiper said, referring to players who could wind up at either linebacker or end. “Trent Cole from Cincinnati is interesting. Ryan Riddle from California is interesting. Brady Poppinga from BYU is another guy. There are a lot of corners in this draft who will help teams.”

Count Alex's Losses
04-20-2005, 02:48 AM
Funniest cartoon EVAR:

http://www.kansascity.com/images/kansascity/kansascitystar/news/defense_in_net042005.gc.jpg

tk13
04-20-2005, 02:54 AM
ROFL Yeah that was a good one, I was thinking about posting it.

el borracho
04-20-2005, 03:02 AM
“Obviously, early in the draft, that's our primary focus,” said Lynn Stiles, Chiefs vice president for football operations. “But there may be an offensive player who can give us something special like Kris Wilson did last year."


What in the world is he talking about. Kris Wilson did nothing for us last year.

elvomito
04-20-2005, 03:48 AM
his email wan't working the day the kris wilson memo was sent out

Marcellus
04-20-2005, 07:24 AM
"his email wan't working the day the kris wilson memo was sent out"

I think what he was refrencing in Wilson being special last year was that they had an opportunity to draft a guy like Kris Wilson even though they did not have a need at tight end. He was too good of a bargain to pass on. It was not refrence toward his play (or lack there of).

They feel Wilson will be special. We shall see.

Chan93lx50
04-20-2005, 07:34 AM
The Jury is still out onf Wilson, we need to see him play a whole season before we make any predictions on his future.

Just wished he was healthly last year when we really needed him

Baby Lee
04-20-2005, 08:28 AM
The Jury is still out onf Wilson, we need to see him play a whole season before we make any predictions on his future.

Just wished he was healthly last year when we really needed him
How in the hell was 2nd TE the difference between success and what we witnessed last season? We were going nowhere with our defense, no matter what we had on O.
A point so glaringly obvious that Priest shut down the season at the 1/2way point.

Coogs
04-20-2005, 10:49 AM
I really wouldn't be opposed to drafting 10 players on defense. We have brought in 3 from the FA market, and most likely a 4th will soon follow in Surtain/Law.

And since we carry roughly 25 players on the defensive roster, I wouldn't mind seeing 13 to 14 new faces with legit chances to make the squad going up to River Falls.

Send out some messages to every single one of last years defensive players that if you don't get your act together, you are out of here. The best 25 are going back to KC with us, salary cap be damn'd.

KCChiefsFan88
04-20-2005, 10:54 AM
I'd rather have quality over quantity.

Besides its not like the Chiefs don't have needs on offense as well, at WR, offensive line, developing a QB for the future, etc.

Coogs
04-20-2005, 10:58 AM
I'd rather have quality over quantity.

Besides its not like the Chiefs don't have needs on offense as well, at WR, offensive line, developing a QB for the future, etc.

We have 50 some WR's on our roster now. Offensive line has Black, Sampson, and Willimas being pretty young. Welbourn and Watters are still young. Weigmann is 29. O-line is not glaring this season.

QBOTF is going to have to happen someday, but there are other menas of getting one of those than the draft.

milkman
04-20-2005, 11:02 AM
We have 50 some WR's on our roster now. Offensive line has Black, Sampson, and Willimas being pretty young. Welbourn and Watters are still young. Weigmann is 29. O-line is not glaring this season.

QBOTF is going to have to happen someday, but there are other menas of getting one of those than the draft.

What the hell are you talking about.
We already have a QBoTF sitiing on an NFLE practice squad!

Casey Clausen is a future PBer! ROFL

Chris Meck
04-20-2005, 01:58 PM
Nope, it's gotta be 'D', all the way-UNLESS, like Brandt says, there's just an offensive player that's rated so highly above any defensive player that it's just ridiculous.

And I'm starting to sour on Surtain rather than Law...if ever there was a year when you NEED that damned 2nd round pick, this is it. I think Law will be ready for the season, and all the extra work a rook might get in mini-camp/ training camp while Law mends would only help.

I don't think Law is going to cost what we all thought; not this late in the offseason, when most teams are going to have to cut some guys come June 1 to be under the cap. Sign Law to an incentive-laden contract and draft best defensive athlete available all the way to Sunday.

Offensively, you have to keep in mind that this is a VERY complicated offense; lots of reads and redirects. I think Parker showed some skills late last season, and a healthy Boerigter (cross fingers) would certainly help. Smith looked good in preseason, but didn't get much PT after-but I would say that again, it's more because of the complicated offense than just a lack of ability. Keep Kennison, cut Morton, start Parker or Boerigter in Morton's spot and work Wilson in. I think we're okay offensively, so long as Roaf and Shields hold up. At least for this season.

Chris