View Full Version : Adam Best coins KC's D-line nickname...

Hammock Parties
05-02-2007, 04:44 AM

Tamba, Tank, Turk and, err, "Tanked"

By Adam Best

Last season, the Kansas City Chiefs ' defensive line resembled a taco -- once you took care of the hard part on the outside, the middle was easy to devour.

Chiefs starting defensive ends Jared Allen and Tamba Hali were insanely productive -- the duo registered 138 tackles, 15 sacks and eight forced fumbles. These numbers are especially staggering considering that Hali was a rookie, and that the play of the defensive tackles and other ends was suspect at best.

Help for Hali and Allen, however, is on the way.

In last weekend's draft, the Chiefs selected former Tennessee DE/DT Claude "Turk" McBride with the 54th overall pick and ex-N.C. State DT DeMarcus "Tank" Tyler with the 82nd choice. Using early draft choices on each of these players shows just how much the Chiefs believe in both McBride and Tyler. In fact, the Chiefs think so highly of these two rookies that they dumped two former defensive line starters on Tuesday -- cutting aging DE Eric Hicks and trading disappointing DT Ryan Sims to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers .

McBride was considered by his coaches as the MVP of Tennessee's defensive line last season, where he played every DL position, using his energy and high motor to excel at each. His uncanny versatility will be vital for the Chiefs. Not only will he provide a formerly nonexistent pass rush from the DT position, but he will likely also start at DE to open the season during Allen's four-game suspension for multiple DUIs. Considering that Allen has been widely irresponsible off the field, and that he has requested to be traded this offseason, McBride also figures as a possible long-term solution at the DE spot opposite Hali.

Even though McBride played more DT in college, many believe that at 6-foot-2, 278 pounds, he is undersized for that position. And considering McBride's speed -- he ran a 4.8 at the combine, and he possesses good field speed as well -- DE probably will be a more natural full-time position. He has some durability concerns, but he actually is much less injury-prone than college teammate DT Justin Harrell -- the player whom the Chiefs' brass was scouting when it discovered McBride. Harrell, by the way, was the 16th overall pick, selected by the Green Bay Packers .

Tyler, on the other hand, is a prototypical space-clogging DT. He didn't earn his nickname of "Tank" by accident, either. Standing 6-3 and currently tipping the scales at around 320 pounds, he has the size to take on double teams. He also has the strength -- he benched 225 pounds a combine-high 42 times. Tyler -- not unlike Allen, Hali and McBride -- also has a mean streak that even the foulest of insults couldn't have provoked from the docile Sims. There are some character concerns -- he's been arrested for assaulting a police officer at a nightclub and suspended for an on-field spitting incident -- which may have prevented Tyler from being drafted as early as the late first round.

That being said, if he can stay out of both head coach Herm Edwards' doghouse and the jailhouse, he could be the Chiefs' best defensive tackle since Dan Saleaumua.

The other DTs -- James Reed, Ron Edwards and the recently signed Alfonso Boone -- and DE/DT Jimmy Wilkerson are also likely to contribute. There has even been some talk that blitz-happy defensive coordinator Gunther Cunningham will use linebacker Kendrell Bell, whose specialty is rushing the quarterback, as a down end in passing situations.

Considering all the additions, quality holdovers and subtractions, the Chiefs' defensive line could be among the league's elite in '07. Supported by improved linebacker and defensive backfield units, the line should be able to stuff the run and put ample heat on opposing quarterbacks. Down the road, Kansas City's D-line could even become special. That is if Tamba, Tank, Turk and "Tanked" (Allen) can stay healthy, out of trouble and on the field.

Thig Lyfe
05-02-2007, 06:19 AM

05-02-2007, 06:48 AM

Are you saying Booo or Booo-urns??