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booger
08-28-2006, 07:27 AM
GRETZ: Along the Lines
Aug 28, 2006, 6:16:28 AM by Bob Gretz - FAQ


They are the engines that drive any teamís offense and defense. They are the big guys in the pit, the offensive and defensive linemen.



As the Chiefs have gone through their personnel meetings in the last week, there have been a lot of discussions about the line situations on both sides of the ball. To get done what they hope to do on offense, the line must play at the same level it has displayed for the last four years. To get done what they want to do on defense, the line must improve its play, especially on the inside.

Hereís an overview of the situation.

OFFENSIVE LINE
There hasnít been a day since June where things have been nice and quiet along the offensive line. This unit was already in transition with the arrival of new coach John Matsko, who took over when Mike Solari was promoted to offensive coordinator.

Then John Welbourn retired, followed by Willie Roaf. Brian Waters was injured in the very first days of training camp and then Will Shields went down with an ankle sprain in pre-season game No. 2 against the New York Giants.

Quite obviously thatís led to a lot of juggling, with Kyle Turley stepping in for Roaf at left tackle and Kevin Sampson reclaimed the right tackle spot he lost last year. At times, Turley has looked rusty after his two-year layoff, but overall his effort has been good enough to hold the job. Sampson has displayed the same skills he showed last year before he was injured in the opening pre-season game: heís a tough, hard-nosed run blocker and sometimes he struggles with pass protection.

Waters is back and Shields is expected to return for the regular season opener against Cincinnati in two weeks. So the Chiefs hope there is some stability in the immediate future. They need it because the second-line guys have not been very impressive. Chris Bober has played a great deal in three games and heís really struggled at guard. Jordan Black has been inconsistent at both guard and tackle. Will Svitek has followed up a strong spring in NFL Europe and looks much more comfortable at tackle than he did last year as a rookie, but heís far from a polished product.

Undrafted rookie Rudy Niswanger has been the surprise of the pre-season and it would be a surprise if he did not make the final 53-man roster. At worst, heís headed for the practice squad. Same for draft choice Tre Stallings.

No one else has left much of an impression. In a time of retirements and injuries thatís a concern.

DEFENSIVE LINE
The Chiefs figure to carry nine defensive linemen, with four ends, four tackles and swing man who can go inside and outside.

Tamba Hali, Jared Allen and Eric Hicks are set outside. Hali and Allen will provide the pass rush. Inside, Ron Edwards, James Reed, Ryan Sims and Lional Dalton appear to have tickets for the opener. Whatís lacking from that group is a real pass rusher at the tackle position. Thatís why as the season progresses, Hali may find himself playing a bit of defensive tackle in pass rushing situations, along with defensive end and the standup linebacker role we saw him in against St. Louis.

The swingman in all of this is Jimmy Wilkerson, who has really had a fine pre-season and seems to be poised to have a big year. If he can continue to provide the push heís shown, Wilkerson will provide some real flexibility to what Gunther Cunningham does with the defense.

The mystery here is Carlos Hall. When healthy, Hall has made contributions and plays. Thereís no doubting his ability. But the Chiefs seriously doubt Hallís availability. Heís spent way too much time sideline with a wide variety of ailments since he joined the team last year. Hall simply canít be counted on and it will be interesting to see if the Chiefs leave a roster spot open for him.

Veteran John Browning doesnít figure into the picture because of back problems that have kept him from practicing for weeks. In his 11th season, Browningís career may be over. Itís become obvious that Junior Siaviiís time with the Chiefs is just about over. Heís spent way too much time watching, rather than practicing over the last six months. When Siavii has worn the helmet and gone to work, his production has been minimal.

The opinions offered in this column do not necessarily reflect those of the Kansas City Chiefs

http://www.kcchiefs.com/news/2006/08/28/gretz_along_the_lines/

Mecca
08-28-2006, 07:32 AM
I'd rather keep Carlos Hall than Eric Hicks.........it's really crappy when guys who do nothing like Hicks are basically guarenteed to make the roster.

booger
08-28-2006, 07:35 AM
Me too. Makes me want to puke.

Chiefnj
08-28-2006, 07:36 AM
Unless Gretz is wrong, I guess there won't be big surprises at cut time.

booger
08-28-2006, 07:37 AM
Only way we would have to keep Hicks is salary cap concerns if we release him. Lew Bush, Jerome Woods all over again.

Mecca
08-28-2006, 07:38 AM
Well I doubt he really know who's being cut so he's guessing but hey like everyone else, it's almost a forgone conclusion Eric Hicks is on the roster. They should cut his worthless ass to send a message to the rest of the roster, talk about a guy who's been here forever not in jeopardy of losing his job all while sucking ass....

jspchief
08-28-2006, 07:50 AM
As much as I hate Hicks, it doesn't do any good to have Hall on the roster if he's never healthy enough to provide anything.

Mecca
08-28-2006, 07:52 AM
As much as I hate Hicks, it doesn't do any good to have Hall on the roster if he's never healthy enough to provide anything.

Hicks doesn't provide anything either.....And Eric Hicks makes way to much money atleast Hall is playing for the league min or close to it.

sedated
08-28-2006, 08:12 AM
...and Eric Hicks are set outside. Hali and Allen will provide the pass rush.

and what will Hicks provide? a cash vacuum? or just worthless play?

Its annoying how, not only are guys like Bell and Hicks still on this team, but they are the #5 and #6 highest paid players.


probably has something to do with that whole playoff win drought thing

CoMoChief
08-28-2006, 08:21 AM
I almost feel sorry for Hicks because he has to know that everyone in the KC area thinks he sucks, kinda makes you think what he's thinking about that.

Having that said he ****ing sucks and shouldve been cut from this team at least 3 seasons ago.

Mecca
08-28-2006, 08:22 AM
Hicks is a servicable backup on a bad defense.....if we ever have any desire to be a good unit guys like Eric Hicks need to hit the bricks.

htismaqe
08-28-2006, 08:26 AM
Carlos Hall isn't playing AT ALL.

MOhillbilly
08-28-2006, 09:11 AM
Svitek made some heads go bop, sampson got pulled w/ 7 minutes left in the 2nd.
the right o-line was horrid till sampson got pulled and svitek came in.
Svitek is a nasty player,he has good feet and hands and excellent vision.
sampson has NO skill what soever.
NONE.


Hali looked good,though id like to see what he can do when he isnt lined up in a 2 point stance that reminded me of Gunthers "falcon" gimmic they tried to use when Smith departed.

reed and edwards showed a decent push at times and in all my opinion on the D played so-so.

MOhillbilly
08-28-2006, 09:17 AM
sims played much better.

Kyle401
08-28-2006, 09:40 AM
Wow, what's with all the Hicks hating? Doesn't anyone value the "QB pressure" anymore?

Chief Faithful
08-28-2006, 09:47 AM
As much as I hate Hicks, it doesn't do any good to have Hall on the roster if he's never healthy enough to provide anything.

I'd rather see Hall on the bench than Hicks on the field. If we have to have a healthy DE let it be Wilkerson or Clint Mitchel as they are fast enough to disrupt the bootleg.

Once I got the torrent and saw the game I was really impressed with Hali, Reed and Allen. Edwards improved from really bad to below average. I'm still holding out hope that Sims will elevate his play and take the starting spot from Edwards. Sims is looking better so hope is not diminished.

On the offensive line I really liked the starting unit. Green had all the time in the world without holding the TE to block. Even the second unit looked ok.

Black looks much better at guard than tackle eventhough it is a big drop-off from Shields. Sampson looked good on the right and Turley looked great on the left. Waters is still the best guard in the NFL.

Svitek is awesome and I have no concerns for him as a starting left tackle. He is also the teams best right tackle. I'm assuming the only thing keeping him out of the starting unit is the lack of quality depth at left tackle. Since I'm in the camp of let the best start I say Svitek should be the starting right tackle and first backup on the left.

Eventhough not on the line I've got to say DJ looked amazing. He is a true all around linebacker that is very disruptive all over the field. He is so flexible and fast he penetrates in traffic down low to make plays in the back field. I don't know of anyone in Chiefs history that I can compare to DJ in ability. I can't wait until his understanding of the game reaches a level where it enhances his physical ability.

MOhillbilly
08-28-2006, 09:51 AM
Sampson looked good on the right and Turley looked great on the left. Waters is still the best guard in the NFL.



come again? wiegman makes black and waters look good. sampson has never looked 'good'.

Chief Faithful
08-28-2006, 09:52 AM
Wow, what's with all the Hicks hating? Doesn't anyone value the "QB pressure" anymore?
ROFL

Never saw a DE put so much pressue without ever hitting the QB. Time and time again I've seen Plummer make a throw on the bootleg just as Hicks was entering into view on the television screen. If Plummer had not moved I'm sure Hicks would have got him before the throw.

Chief Faithful
08-28-2006, 10:02 AM
come again? wiegman makes black and waters look good. sampson has never looked 'good'.

When Sampson engages he moves people, which is what a good right tackle does. He plays the position much better than Black especially in pass coverage. I like Svitek the best because he moves people, but is better when pulling and in open space.

Wiegman is underrated in my opinion and makes Black better, but Waters is top notch. That Noswinger (sp?) has also been impressive.

MOhillbilly
08-28-2006, 10:18 AM
i disagree about sampson.

htismaqe
08-28-2006, 10:20 AM
I'd rather see Hall on the bench than Hicks on the field. If we have to have a healthy DE let it be Wilkerson or Clint Mitchel as they are fast enough to disrupt the bootleg.

If Hall isn't healthy, he's NOT more valuable than Hicks, plain and simple.

As much as I hate Hicks, he's a warm body, and we can't go into the season with only 3 healthy DE's.

Chief Faithful
08-28-2006, 10:34 AM
If Hall isn't healthy, he's NOT more valuable than Hicks, plain and simple.

As much as I hate Hicks, he's a warm body, and we can't go into the season with only 3 healthy DE's.

You can if Wilkerson is the 5th DT. Wilkerson can play DE until Hall gets on the field. My biggest nightmare is Hicks lined-up against Denver the second week of the season.

htismaqe
08-28-2006, 10:41 AM
You can if Wilkerson is the 5th DT. Wilkerson can play DE until Hall gets on the field. My biggest nightmare is Hicks lined-up against Denver the second week of the season.

Um, I counted Wilkerson IN the 3. Who else are you going to keep to get rid of Hicks?

Chief Faithful
08-28-2006, 10:58 AM
Um, I counted Wilkerson IN the 3. Who else are you going to keep to get rid of Hicks?

You are right, Wilkerson makes 3. I would rather keep Clint Mitchell than Hicks. Clint did well against the bootleg in game one.

I'm really hoping Hall plays well Thursday. Realistically, I'm betting Hicks makes the final roster.

PastorMikH
08-28-2006, 10:58 AM
and what will Hicks provide? a cash vacuum? or just worthless play?





A body laying on the ground that the RB has to step over?:shrug:

htismaqe
08-28-2006, 11:30 AM
You are right, Wilkerson makes 3. I would rather keep Clint Mitchell than Hicks. Clint did well against the bootleg in game one.

I'm really hoping Hall plays well Thursday. Realistically, I'm betting Hicks makes the final roster.

Don't get me wrong. I want Hicks gone, probably worse than anybody else on this board.

But the realist in me says that Carlos Hall is not a player that can be depended upon...

ChiefFan31
08-28-2006, 11:56 AM
Carlos Hall isn't playing AT ALL.

That is turning into a pretty large disappointment. The focus/spotlight has not really been on him yet. I think he has gotten a pass, just because we know he has pass rush ability, and on this D-line it is a rarity.

But C'mon now, he has got to get his ass on the field. Especially now that he might be the reason we keep a guy like Eric Hicks who has no business being on this roster anymore IMO.