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Coogs
05-20-2005, 07:33 AM
Posted on Fri, May. 20, 2005







chiefs notebook


Linebackers going places fast chiefs notebook


The Chiefs may or may not be improved on defense this season, but one thing was evident from this week’s practice sessions: They are much faster, particularly at linebacker.

“We have defensive speed over there,” coach Dick Vermeil said, “and it’s glaring.”

Veteran Kendrell Bell and rookie Derrick Johnson cover ground like no Chiefs linebacker since perhaps Donnie Edwards and maybe even longer. Bell caught everyone’s attention in Wednesday’s practice when he came across the field and chased down Priest Holmes on a screen pass.

It’s early in the offseason to make any final decisions, but the Chiefs privately are impressed enough with both players that they’re already thinking Shawn Barber and Scott Fujita could have trouble getting their starting jobs back.

Barber and Fujita, the incumbent starters at outside linebacker, will miss the offseason practices because they are rehabbing from surgeries.

■ OFFENSIVE-LINE SHUFFLE: The Chiefs are used to fielding a star-studded offensive line, but they were plugging holes at practice this week. Willie Roaf, Will Shields and Brian Waters are absent from practice, leaving only center Casey Wiegmann and right tackle Jordan Black as the remaining starters.

Kevin Sampson was in Roaf’s place this week at left tackle, John Welbourn replaced Waters at left guard, and Chris Bober filled in for Shields at right guard.

■ HALL SITS IT OUT: After his solid collision with linebacker Keyaron Fox a day earlier, Dante Hall sat out Thursday’s practice because of a bruised knee. Vermeil indicated Hall may miss all of next week’s three practices and perhaps more.

His absence leaves the Chiefs temporarily short-handed at wide receiver. Because Hall, Richard Smith, Marc Boerigter and Chris Horn are injured — plus Johnnie Morton excused from practice and facing a likely June release — the Chiefs were down to only five practicing receivers.

Rookie free agent Nathaniel Curry took advantage by making the most of his chances. Curry made a spectacular one-handed catch of a Todd Collins pass.

HC_Chief
05-20-2005, 07:40 AM
It’s early in the offseason to make any final decisions, but the Chiefs privately are impressed enough with both players that they’re already thinking Shawn Barber and Scott Fujita could have trouble getting their starting jobs back.

That would mean Mitchell at MLB. :grr:
Luckily, this is a KCStar article, so I'm not really worried about it... they have their heads up their ass.

ct
05-20-2005, 07:54 AM
Kawika may be just fine between Bell and DJ. Unless he is totally clueless in TC and/or pre-season games, I'm not too worried about Mitchell starting in the middle. I think he'll perform well.

morphius
05-20-2005, 08:02 AM
Kawika may be just fine between Bell and DJ. Unless he is totally clueless in TC and/or pre-season games, I'm not too worried about Mitchell starting in the middle. I think he'll perform well.
Exactly. Plus he will have a decent LB next to him to tell him where he needs to improve, versus just hoping that the coaches do a good job at it.

HC_Chief
05-20-2005, 08:05 AM
Mitchell is slow, misses tackles, and looks lost on pretty much every down. Other than that, yeah he's great. :rolleyes:

Bell should be MLB with Fujita and DJ at OLB on opening day.

whoman69
05-20-2005, 08:06 AM
I still believe that if we want to put out our three best LBs, that is DJ, Bell and Fujita.

BigChiefFan
05-20-2005, 08:15 AM
Mitchell hasn't played well enough to start, but you could see improvement in his play last year. I've got hope he can man the position. I'm pulling for him because I believe Bell would be a better fit as an OLBer.

SNR
05-20-2005, 08:19 AM
From what I can see, Mitchell is just a stupid MLB. Not at all as smart as Maz was. He's lost all of the time.

Hopefully that won't be the case this year

MOhillbilly
05-20-2005, 08:19 AM
the only improvement i seen in mitchel last year was that you could see his # after he ran up after a tackle instead of being so far outta position that you had no idea where he was.

he sucks.

HC_Chief
05-20-2005, 08:21 AM
the only improvement i seen in mitchel last year was that you could see his # after he ran up after a tackle instead of being so far outta position that you had no idea where he was.

he sucks.

Or chasing a player 80yds downfield after he misread the screen. :grr:

tyton75
05-20-2005, 08:23 AM
If Mitchell can't hack it.. I think I would be content at giving Scanlon a shot.. or even Boomer... All you really need in the middle is a guy who loves laying the wood to people..

they aren't asked to cover too much... stuff the run and call the right defense.. and go play smear the queer!

morphius
05-20-2005, 08:23 AM
Mitchell is slow, misses tackles, and looks lost on pretty much every down. Other than that, yeah he's great. :rolleyes:

Bell should be MLB with Fujita and DJ at OLB on opening day.
I'm not impressed at all with Fuji either, hell, none of the LB's we had were that impressive. Plus Fujita is injured and isn't going to be in sync with these other guys any time soon. As far as I'm concerened, all the LB's we had out there last year were just as bad as the rest, basically flip a coin.

MOhillbilly
05-20-2005, 08:25 AM
If Mitchell can't hack it.. I think I would be content at giving Scanlon a shot.. or even Boomer... All you really need in the middle is a guy who loves laying the wood to people..

they aren't asked to cover too much... stuff the run and call the right defense.. and go play smear the queer!

I dunno a MLB who can cover the middle by reading and reacting to what the O is showing is nice.

jAZ
05-20-2005, 08:32 AM
People here don't seem to know that Gun pointed out that Bell never played MLB. IIRC, he played RILB at Pittsburgh. I don't think Bell has ever been the play-caller for a defense, but THAT I'm not so sure of.

Gun has made everything we/he wants happen in this offseason.

He moved Bartee to S
He moved Stills to LB
He got 2 top tier LBs (Bell, Johnson)
He got a Pro-Bowl CB
He got a Pro-Bowl S

Now Carl and Dick certainly had something to do with these moves, but they all came at the request of Gun, I'm sure.

Point is, that I trusted Gun before... I trust him even more today. If he says Mitchell @ MLB and Bell at RLB, then I'm all for it.

BigChiefFan
05-20-2005, 08:38 AM
the only improvement i seen in mitchel last year was that you could see his # after he ran up after a tackle instead of being so far outta position that you had no idea where he was.

he sucks.
He made some plays. I admit he looked very lost out there at times, but I do recall a fumble recovery for a TD towards the end of the year. I think he is improving.

MOhillbilly
05-20-2005, 08:40 AM
He made some plays. I admit he looked very lost out there at times, but I do recall a fumble recovery for a TD towards the end of the year. I think he is improving.

true enough.

Chiefnj
05-20-2005, 08:43 AM
Gunther doesn't have much of a choice but to play Mitchell in the middle.

Right now the healthy guys who could possibly start are: Fox, Johnson, Mitchell and Bell.

Bell played RILB for Pitt which Gun has said is equivalent to OLB on KC. The guy excelled when healthy at that position. Why not keep him there instead of moving to MLB where he might not be the perfect fit?

Second, if Bell were moved to the middle, there isn't anyone healthy to play his outside spot. Fuj can't play right now.

One of the biggest problems that Gunther will face this year is getting new players and old players playing new positions comfortable with their spot and with each other. Having three healthy guys play it from the get go makes sense rather than hoping Fujita can play in the future and switching everyone up.

There has been a lot of changes in the back 7:

OLB: Fox or Johnson will start. (new player or new starter)
MLB: Mitchell (same)
OLB: Bell. (new player)

LCB: Surtain. (new player)
RCB: Warfield (new position)
SS: Knight (new player)
FS: Wesley (new position)

Mr. Laz
05-20-2005, 11:00 AM
Kawika may be just fine between Bell and DJ. Unless he is totally clueless

kinda gave the solution to the whole issue right there

shaneo69
05-20-2005, 11:01 AM
Gunther doesn't have much of a choice but to play Mitchell in the middle.

If Bell were moved to the middle, there isn't anyone healthy to play his outside spot. Fuj can't play right now.

Fox?

Rain Man
05-20-2005, 11:04 AM
He made some plays. I admit he looked very lost out there at times, but I do recall a fumble recovery for a TD towards the end of the year. I think he is improving.

I will agree that Mitchell looked much better in the last few games.

TRR
05-20-2005, 11:10 AM
Gunther doesn't have much of a choice but to play Mitchell in the middle.

Right now the healthy guys who could possibly start are: Fox, Johnson, Mitchell and Bell.

Bell played RILB for Pitt which Gun has said is equivalent to OLB on KC. The guy excelled when healthy at that position. Why not keep him there instead of moving to MLB where he might not be the perfect fit?

Second, if Bell were moved to the middle, there isn't anyone healthy to play his outside spot. Fuj can't play right now.

One of the biggest problems that Gunther will face this year is getting new players and old players playing new positions comfortable with their spot and with each other. Having three healthy guys play it from the get go makes sense rather than hoping Fujita can play in the future and switching everyone up.

There has been a lot of changes in the back 7:

OLB: Fox or Johnson will start. (new player or new starter)
MLB: Mitchell (same)
OLB: Bell. (new player)

LCB: Surtain. (new player)
RCB: Warfield (new position)
SS: Knight (new player)
FS: Wesley (new position)

Gun has a ton of options. Fujita will be healthy by training camp, if not sooner, and Key Fox is looking good as well. Mitchell is getting the starting spot by default. He is not earning it at all.

Kendrell Bell played all 4 LB spots in Pittsburgh, and even played some rush end. Bell played almost his whole career in College (Juco/Georgia) at MLB. Bell will produce at any LB position.

ROYC75
05-20-2005, 11:36 AM
Gun has plenty of options to use. The biggest obstacle is the injuries at this time. Right now he is just working guys into spots to learn the scheme, rest assure he has a good idea of what he wants to do with them.When TC rolls around, the injury issues will be much clearer and the positioned players will start to take place.

Chiefnj
05-20-2005, 11:42 AM
Fox?

Fox is starting on the other side ahead of Johnson. It probably makes sense to keep him there because historically there's a 50-50 chance Johnson will be a holdout for a little while.

TRR
05-20-2005, 11:43 AM
Gun has plenty of options to use. The biggest obstacle is the injuries at this time. Right now he is just working guys into spots to learn the scheme, rest assure he has a good idea of what he wants to do with them.When TC rolls around, the injury issues will be much clearer and the positioned players will start to take place.

I agree. Like Gun said, everyone has a floating depth chart at the moment.

I have a hard time believing Scott Fujita will sit the bench if healthy. I think Fujita will through a wrench in the position chart.

BIG_DADDY
05-20-2005, 11:57 AM
Anybody else concerned about our WR's being this banged up before the season even begins?

Tuckdaddy
05-20-2005, 11:59 AM
What the hell is FOX doing hitting Dante!

TRR
05-20-2005, 12:01 PM
Anybody else concerned about our WR's being this banged up before the season even begins?

No.

shaneo69
05-20-2005, 12:02 PM
Anybody else concerned about our WR's being this banged up before the season even begins?

Yep, we may be forced to bring Morton back again like we had to last year when Boe got hurt.

ROYC75
05-20-2005, 12:04 PM
What the hell is FOX doing hitting Dante!


This is just a guess......... I bet he didn't mean to !

With the LB positions being crowded, he wanted to make a showing he could cover well and got to close in his coverage .

TRR
05-20-2005, 12:06 PM
This is just a guess......... I bet he didn't mean to !

With the LB positions being crowded, he wanted to make a showing he could cover well and got to close in his coverage .

Hell, I'd rather see Fox put a hurtin' on Dante than get run over by him. (Kawika Mitchell).

Chief Faithful
05-20-2005, 12:12 PM
Would it surprise anyone if the opening day starters are Fuj, Maz, and Bell?

TRR
05-20-2005, 12:16 PM
Would it surprise anyone if the opening day starters are Fuj, Maz, and Bell?

Yes it would. I'm rooting for Maz to be the 3rd MLB, but I don't see him starting. Although, I would be in favor of anyone besides Mitchell at MLB.

BigChiefFan
05-20-2005, 12:17 PM
Would it surprise anyone if the opening day starters are Fuj, Maz, and Bell?
Yea. That would surprise the Hell out of me. I don't see Maslowski being healthy enough to make the team. I also believe DJ is too talented to not be an opening day starter.

Stinger
05-20-2005, 12:25 PM
What the hell is FOX doing hitting Dante!

Inocent accident. They both went after the ball and collided knees I believe.

buddha
05-20-2005, 01:15 PM
Gunther has already told us why Bell won't play MLB. Simply put, he is too valuable to a defense when he can get loose and create havoc in the backfield. MLBs aren't those kinds of guys. Bell on one side, DJ on the other, and find a vet on 6/1 for the middle.

TRR
05-20-2005, 01:18 PM
Gunther has already told us why Bell won't play MLB. Simply put, he is too valuable to a defense when he can get loose and create havoc in the backfield. MLBs aren't those kinds of guys. Bell on one side, DJ on the other, and find a vet on 6/1 for the middle.

There will be no veteran LB brought in. Gun told us there will be a floating depth/position chart through training camp. That's all he told us. Bell will get reps at MLB before it's all said and done IMHO.

All Gun has said is that no position is settled, and he will not pigeon hole any player on the defense into one position.

buddha
05-20-2005, 01:32 PM
There will be no veteran LB brought in. Gun told us there will be a floating depth/position chart through training camp. That's all he told us. Bell will get reps at MLB before it's all said and done IMHO.

All Gun has said is that no position is settled, and he will not pigeon hole any player on the defense into one position.

TRR, I wouldn't bet a nickle on your first statement. If our situation there doesn't improve, I guarantee you they will try to find a one-year stop gap guy after 6/1. Bell may get reps at MLB, but Gun went out of his way to say that he has never played the position before and he then intimated that it might take him away from doing what he does best...make penetration into the backfield.

I agree with your last statement and I'm sure KC will find a way to get the three best guys on the field at LB. However, I have no faith in KM and I don't think he's the answer at MLB.

TRR
05-20-2005, 01:46 PM
TRR, I wouldn't bet a nickle on your first statement. If our situation there doesn't improve, I guarantee you they will try to find a one-year stop gap guy after 6/1. Bell may get reps at MLB, but Gun went out of his way to say that he has never played the position before and he then intimated that it might take him away from doing what he does best...make penetration into the backfield.

I agree with your last statement and I'm sure KC will find a way to get the three best guys on the field at LB. However, I have no faith in KM and I don't think he's the answer at MLB.

No, I don't believe Kawika Mitchell is the answer at MLB either. But between Mitchell, Grigsby, Maz, and Scanlon, I don't think anyone else will be added. I think you'll be holding your breath for a long time.

I think you read into Gun's statement. All he said was that he played at RILB at Pitt, and that Bell would start out there in KC...BUT, there would be a floating depth/players chart.

The best 3 LB's will be on the field regardless of position.

TRR
05-20-2005, 02:13 PM
Q: Where do you anticipate working Kendrell Bell, at Shawn Barber’s spot at ROLB?

CUNNINGHAM: “You know he (Bell) has never played in the middle before. I don’t think a lot of people realize that he was the right inside linebacker at Pittsburgh. That’s the equivalent of where Anthony Davis used to play. When I got enamored with Kendrell Bell when I was in Tennessee and he single-handedly took apart our offense. That’s what he is. He’s a powerful, explosive blitz guy. He played really as a right linebacker in Pittsburgh. What I don’t do to do is to get anybody to trap me into saying ‘he’s going to be this.’ We’ve got D.J. (Derrick Johnson) here, we’ve got Kendrell Bell, we’ve got Keyaron Fox, we’ve got Kawika Mitchell. We’ve got to see all these things. Through the OTAs we’re going to have a floating depth chart and position chart."

buddha
05-20-2005, 02:44 PM
You know he (Bell) has never played in the middle before. I don’t think a lot of people realize that he was the right inside linebacker at Pittsburgh. That’s the equivalent of where Anthony Davis used to play. When I got enamored with Kendrell Bell when I was in Tennessee and he single-handedly took apart our offense. That’s what he is. He’s a powerful, explosive blitz guy. He played really as a right linebacker in Pittsburgh.

TRR, I remember that quote well. And I think the part you bolded supports everybody's point that the three best LBs will be on the field. However, the first half of the quote doesn't support your supposition that Bell will end up in the middle. Once again, anything is possible, but I'd put my money on Bell at one of the OLB positions. Care to wager a sweatshirt of the winner's chosing on that? :)

TEX
05-20-2005, 02:53 PM
Gunther has already told us why Bell won't play MLB. Simply put, he is too valuable to a defense when he can get loose and create havoc in the backfield. MLBs aren't those kinds of guys. Bell on one side, DJ on the other, and find a vet on 6/1 for the middle.

Yep. That's the way I see it as well.

Thig Lyfe
05-20-2005, 03:54 PM
No Mitchell No Mitchell No Mitchell Nooooo Mitchell!!!!

TRR
05-20-2005, 03:56 PM
TRR, I remember that quote well. And I think the part you bolded supports everybody's point that the three best LBs will be on the field. However, the first half of the quote doesn't support your supposition that Bell will end up in the middle. Once again, anything is possible, but I'd put my money on Bell at one of the OLB positions. Care to wager a sweatshirt of the winner's chosing on that? :)

I don't have any clue whether or not Bell will line up at OLB, MLB or CB. What I do know is that Gunther Cunnignham never said, "Bell is an OLB...and that's final." That's all I'm disputing.

Pitt Gorilla
05-20-2005, 04:02 PM
Mitchell is slow, misses tackles, and looks lost on pretty much every down. Other than that, yeah he's great. :rolleyes:

Bell should be MLB with Fujita and DJ at OLB on opening day.
Uh, Mitchell is not slow. He may stink, he may not, but he is not slow.

Pitt Gorilla
05-20-2005, 04:04 PM
What the hell is FOX doing hitting Dante!
Playing defense?

shaneo69
05-20-2005, 04:04 PM
I think we will be switching to a 3-4 in order to get all these LB's on the field at the same time. Bell can go back to his old RILB position, where Anthony Davis used to play. Put DJ in DT's old position, Fox in Donnie's old position, and Fuj in Wayne Simmon's old position. There, problem solved.

|Zach|
05-20-2005, 04:08 PM
I don't think we have a good enough interior line to run a 3-4. You need a stud DT to make that work and I don't see one on our team.

shaneo69
05-20-2005, 04:14 PM
I don't think we have a good enough interior line to run a 3-4. You need a stud DT to make that work and I don't see one on our team.

Other than N.E.'s, most 3-4's, like Pitt's and Balt's have 3 DT's who do nothing but occupy blockers so that the LB's can make plays. In a 4-3, the D-line is expected to make plays, but Hicks, Sims, Browning, Dalton, and Siavii do not make plays. So maybe they'd be better off in a 3-4 where they just need to occupy space. This would limit Jared Allen to a pass-rushing, 3rd down specialist, but the guy sucked against the run last year anyway.

|Zach|
05-20-2005, 04:17 PM
Other than N.E.'s, most 3-4's, like Pitt's and Balt's have 3 DT's who do nothing but occupy blockers so that the LB's can make plays. In a 4-3, the D-line is expected to make plays, but Hicks, Sims, Browning, Dalton, and Siavii do not make plays. So maybe they'd be better off in a 3-4 where they just need to occupy space. This would limit Jared Allen to a pass-rushing, 3rd down specialist, but the guy sucked against the run last year anyway.

I agree that is their main job...that is also a very very hard job. I don't think our DL is up to it. I hope im wrong. I am all for whatever makes our D better.

Keeping those guards from getting to the second level can be a tough task.

TRR
05-20-2005, 04:17 PM
It wouldn't be a secret if KC was switching to a 3-4 Defense. They'll run the base 4-3, but I do remember Gun saying something about a 3-4 package at times this season.

Maybe Nick Athan knows more, you know he attends practices and interviews coaches. Plus, nobody on this board knows who he does and doesn't know.

shaneo69
05-20-2005, 04:24 PM
I agree that is their main job...that is also a very very hard job. I don't think our DL is up to it. I hope im wrong. I am all for whatever makes our D better.

Keeping those guards from getting to the second level can be a tough task.

Hey, don't be such a doom & gloomer. ;)

|Zach|
05-20-2005, 04:25 PM
Hey, don't be such a doom & gloomer. ;)
heh, I will look into it.

Mr. Laz
05-20-2005, 04:29 PM
I think we will be switching to a 3-4 in order to get all these LB's on the field at the same time
sounds like a good idea


but it's waaaay too aggressive for the chiefs

Chris Meck
05-21-2005, 12:02 PM
uhhh....no.

Luzap
05-21-2005, 03:04 PM
uhhh... really no.

Tribal Warfare
05-21-2005, 04:38 PM
That would mean Mitchell at MLB. :grr:
Luckily, this is a KCStar article, so I'm not really worried about it... they have their heads up their ass.



Grigbsy 3:16

Boomer shall rescue us from utter dismay like a crazy whiteboy.

htismaqe
05-22-2005, 04:56 AM
We may use some sets that look like the 3-4 (Falcon, anyone?) but Gunther is a 4-3 guy, plain and simple.

Gaz
05-22-2005, 06:02 AM
I am just thrilled that we have enough competent LBs to generate a LB controversy.

Personally, I expect to see Mitchell at MLB, with Bell & Johnson on the outsides.

xoxo~
Gaz
Maintaining his childlike faith that Gunther will sort it all out.

tiptap
05-22-2005, 08:59 AM
When the 3-4 made the rounds 20 years ago it was all the rage. At the time offensive lines had good sized tackles and even guards but the center on offensive lines tended to be smaller. So putting your biggest tackle NT over the center presented a big mismatch and forced one of the guards to help the center (even the Chiefs put a defensive player over the center for this reason). This left 3 offensive lineman against two defensive tackles. If one of those defensive players was able to occupy two offensive players than this did open play for the LBs in the 3-4. The result of this defense was that the centers started being as big as guards so that they could match up the NT.
Today's 3-4 still requires occupying all 5 offensive lineman with just 3 very active defensive tackles. I don't see the Chiefs fitting that type of play.

milkman
05-22-2005, 01:25 PM
I am just thrilled that we have enough competent LBs to generate a LB controversy.

Personally, I expect to see Mitchell at MLB, with Bell & Johnson on the outsides.

xoxo~
Gaz
Maintaining his childlike faith that Gunther will sort it all out.


I really don't understand this blind, or "childlike" faith in Gun that people have.
Gun's years as DC in KC was notable for his consistent inconsistency.

I thought that he would have a positive impact on this D in his first year back because of that fact.
But I really have very little faith in Gun's talent evaluation.

I really think that the defensive talent that Gun had to work with in the mid 90s was a result of Marty's talent evaluation.

Marty can't coach in the playoffs, but he does have an eye for D talent, IMO.