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View Full Version : No Will? There's Still A Way


Count Zarth
05-23-2007, 08:12 PM
http://chiefs.scout.com/2/646014.html

2006 was difficult for Chiefs fans. Treated to years of spectacular offensive line play, they watched pass protection and run blocking drop off last season. The results were not pretty.

Kansas City quarterbacks were sacked 41 times a year ago, the highest mark allowed by a Chiefs’ offensive line in quite some time. You have to go all the way back to 1992 to find a larger number, when poor David Krieg was pummeled 48 times behind a line that surprisingly included good players such as John Alt, Dave Szott and Tim Grunhard, but I digress.

So it’s not surprising the outlook for 2007 is one of doom and gloom – for the offensive line away. With the retirement of Will Shields, most fans have understandably adopted a negative view of the immediate future up front.

But in my opinion, the sky isn’t falling, and Chiefs quarterbacks won’t be falling on their backs so often in ’07. Given the talent acquired, I don’t see any way the offensive line performs as poorly as it did in 2006.

I’m going to make a guarantee right here and right now – KC quarterbacks won’t be sacked 41 times in 2007, and the Chiefs will average better than 4.18 yards per carry as a team.

Let’s take a short trip down “offensive line lane” and examine the reasons why.

Left Tackle

2006 Starter – Jordan Black – 13 sacks allowed, 5 penalties, 40 yards
2007 Starter – Damion McIntosh – 5.5 sacks allowed, 3 penalties, 25 yards

You can easily argue that no position on KC’s roster was upgraded more than left tackle this offseason (although replacing Kendrell Bell with Donnie Edwards comes close). There’s simply no way McIntosh is capable of playing as poorly as Black did last season.

As everyone knows, Black is out of position at offensive tackle. McIntosh came out of the womb ready to stone defensive ends, and has played practically his entire career at left tackle.

But don’t tell that to some fans. I’ve heard McIntosh referred to as a “marginal replacement” for Black. Some media sources even referred to Black as a “key loss” during free agency this offseason, and one went so far as to proclaim McIntosh a downgrade, citing Black’s “athleticism” as evidence.

This is simply ludicrous. McIntosh might not be Willie Roaf, but Jordan Black might be the worst starting offensive tackle in all of football. When you consider the Dolphins attempted 591 passes last season (fourth-most in the league), the 5.5 sacks McIntosh allowed are a pittance compared to the whopping figure Black gave up (and the Chiefs were 27th in pass attempts).

Now factor in the amount of help the Chiefs gave Black with tight ends throughout the season. They might as well have slapped an offensive lineman’s number on Jason Dunn’s back last year. I don’t think McIntosh will require that kind of support – I watched him closely on NFL Network last week against the Chicago Bears, and he did a fine job against Alex Brown – all by his lonesome.

Bottom line – Brodie Croyle and Damon Huard will sleep easier this season with the big Jamaican getting their backs. I-65 is permanently closed in Kansas City (re-routed to Houston).

Left Guard

2006 Starter – Brian Waters – 2.5 sacks allowed, 3 penalties, 20 yards
2007 Starter – Brian Waters

I thought I had heard the silliest criticism of KC’s 2007 offensive line when listening to people compare Jordan Black and Damion McIntosh, but I was wrong. No, I actually read one Chiefs fan refer to Brian Waters, a Pro-Bowl offensive guard, as “another year older and getting slower.”

This is just ridiculous, folks. Waters is in his prime and is one of the top five guards in the game today. He’s not declining in the least. And this year, he won’t be compensating for a horrible player lined up next to him.

Remember how well Waters played when he squatted in the grass next to Willie Roaf? These were the years of Waters’ ascension to dominance. I think the Chiefs will have a very good T-G combination on the left side this year with McIntosh and Waters. Nothing else really needs to be said.

Center

2006 Starter – Casey Wiegmann – 1.5 sacks allowed, 1 penalty, 5 yards
2007 Starter – Casey Wiegmann

This is undeniably the weak link of KC’s future offensive line. Wiegmann is obviously declining as an NFL player at 34 years of age, and is woefully unsuited for the type of offense the Chiefs want to run. He’s undersized, and gets eaten alive twice a year by San Diego’s Jamal Williams.

I was begging the Chiefs to take Hawaii’s Samson Satele when he was on the board in Round 2 of the NFL draft back in April, but they passed. At 311 pounds, Satele would have been an ideal fit in the power running game the Chiefs plan to implement this year. Clemson’s Dustin Fry (324-pound center), a favorite of Warpaint Illustrated draft guru Mike Campbell, also floated around until the fifth round. Either of these players would have fit nicely in Kansas City.

Maybe the Chiefs are hopeful second-year man Rudy Niswanger can steal Wiegmann’s job in training camp, but I imagine we’ll see another year from the veteran.

The good news – KC’s guards won’t need to help out the offensive tackles as much this season. That means they can give Wiegmann some more help inside, when he’s matched up against a large defensive tackle.

Right Guard

2006 Starter – Will Shields – 6 sacks allowed, 0 penalties
2007 Starter – John Welbourn – 5 sacks allowed, 2 penalties, 10 yards

How do you replace a future Hall-of-Famer? You don’t, not immediately anyway, but fortunately the Chiefs won’t really have to do that this year.

Six sacks? Come on folks. I realize everyone loves Will Shields, but the big guy was declining. He was clearly at the end of his NFL rope. The Chiefs will miss him, but John Welbourn started 55 games at left guard in Philadelphia. He’s not going to start whiffing on blocks now.

I wouldn’t be too concerned about Welbourn’s 2006 stat line. Five sacks in only nine games doesn’t look good on paper, but most of those were allowed when Welbourn played outside. The Chiefs were desperate for bodies at right tackle when Kyle Turley and Kevin Sampson both got hurt early in the season, and Welbourn was in no shape to come back and play at a high level immediately after his suspension, anyway. At one point, he gave up a sack playing left tackle.

Here’s something positive – when Welbourn played at guard in 2006, the Chiefs dominated opponents in the running game – 186 yards rushing against St. Louis, 200 yards rushing against Oakland. I have a feeling the Chiefs won’t miss Will Shields as much as some people think they will – at least not immediately.

Right Tackle

2006 Starter – Jordan Black, Kyle Turley, Kevin Sampson, John Welbourn – 11.5 sacks allowed, 7 penalties, 49 yards
2007 Starter – Chris Terry - 0 sacks allowed, 0 penalties

First – a quick explanation on the stats. By my count Jordan Black gave up 4.5 sacks on opening day at right tackle. Kyle Turley and Kevin Sampson gave up 2.5 and 1.5 respectively on the season. I figure three of Welbourn’s five sacks came from the right tackle spot. That gives us a season figure of 11.5, approximately. Ouch.

I’ve penciled in Chris Terry as the starter, even though likely the Chiefs have not. His legal problems in Atlanta appear to have been smoothed over since we’ve not heard anything concerning them in weeks now.

I’m hopeful Terry can win this job in 2006 because in limited does at right tackle last season, he was extremely solid. He’s probably got the quickest feet of any offensive tackle on KC’s roster at the moment. And of course, he was part of two great offensive lines in Carolina and Seattle earlier in his career.

If Will Svitek wins the right tackle job in training camp and preseason, so be it. Either way, the Chiefs will be much more stable at the position than they were a year ago. Week-to-week continuity is the single most important factor in offensive line play, and the Chiefs just didn’t have it a year ago with a constantly shuffled deck along the offensive line - egregiously so at right tackle.

***********************************************************

I hope I’ve convinced you that this offensive line is in far better shape than it was a year ago. But in my mind, the single biggest reason why the line will play better this year is preparation. When Willie Roaf suddenly retired before training camp last year, the Chiefs were left scrambling. They were forced to go out and sign a 265-pound offensive tackle.

That’s not the case this year. They have a plan (which began last year when they signed Chris Terry midseason) and are clearly executing it. Now, let’s just hope everyone can stay healthy – including the quarterbacks.

PinkFloyd
05-23-2007, 08:16 PM
REPOST !!!!!!!!!!!!









Just kidding GoChiefs... It was interesting...

CoMoChief
05-23-2007, 08:20 PM
Brodie Croyle is a rookie pretty much, he's gonna hold the ball longer. He's gonna get sacked alot this season. Our Oline may be a little upgraded than what it was last season, but our offense is going to suck.

Ultra Peanut
05-23-2007, 08:25 PM
Who writes your headlines?

Delano
05-23-2007, 08:29 PM
Who writes your headlines?

I was wondering if these folks think headlines that contain word games actually induce people to read the article. A foolish headline like this turns me off, unfortunately.

Count Zarth
05-23-2007, 08:40 PM
Who writes your headlines?

George Plimpton.

Count Zarth
05-23-2007, 08:41 PM
Brodie Croyle is a rookie pretty much, he's gonna hold the ball longer.

Why? How can anyone hold the ball longer than Trent friggin' Green?

If memory serves, Croyle was known for getting rid of the ball quickly in college. I'd like to hear what htismaqe has to say about this.

BigRock
05-23-2007, 09:00 PM
Who writes your headlines?
Someone who reads that 365 site. This article is a month old...

http://www.realfootball365.com/nfl/articles/2007/04/chiefs-shields-johnson190407.html

unlurking
05-23-2007, 09:31 PM
I was wondering if these folks think headlines that contain word games actually induce people to read the article. A foolish headline like this turns me off, unfortunately.

Unfortunately?!?! Thank your maker. I unfortunately, made it to the much over-used superiority complex that is, "but I digress". I wish I had stopped reading at the headline.

Count Zarth
05-23-2007, 09:34 PM
I unfortunately, made it to the much over-used superiority complex that is, "but I digress". .

LOL

Superiority complex? You give me too much credit...

I didn't watch the Chiefs much in 1992, so can anyone explain why Krieg got nailed so much?

unlurking
05-23-2007, 10:01 PM
LOL

Superiority complex? You give me too much credit...

I didn't watch the Chiefs much in 1992, so can anyone explain why Krieg got nailed so much?
Not a superiority complex about football, but about communication in general. That quip SCREAMS, I can babble on and people will listen to me no matter what I say. Overall, I actually really enjoy reading most of your articles (as of late). You bring about issues that most other writers don't have the creativity to think of, which is very refreshing. My problem is with your over use of colloquialisms and catch phrases. You speak with a very "down to earth" tone, and with commoner aspect (not a bad thing, very connecting to the reader), but then you throw in a line like that which gives the stoic and stuffy impression of an arrogant bow-tied pipe smoker.

The sad thing is, you put so much research into your articles (which is apparent and I applaud you for), and then you ruin the whole connection with your reader using such a manufactered phrase. I honestly did stop reading after that line, even though I was interested after your statistics regarding sacks.

Basically what I am saying is, I ENJOY reading articles from people who are talking TO me, not AT me. You have a lot of promise, don't become another Whitlock!!!

Ultra Peanut
05-23-2007, 10:04 PM
Someone who reads that 365 site. This article is a month old...

http://www.realfootball365.com/nfl/articles/2007/04/chiefs-shields-johnson190407.htmlhttp://superpsi.googlepages.com/biz2ohsnap.gif

Logical
05-23-2007, 10:12 PM
LOL

I think about half the references are to things I have said. I should have shared the byline.

Demonpenz
05-23-2007, 10:13 PM
LOL

Superiority complex? You give me too much credit...

I didn't watch the Chiefs much in 1992, so can anyone explain why Krieg got nailed so much?


I wish I could nail dave krieg. Sexually

Phobia
05-23-2007, 10:16 PM
Someone who reads that 365 site. This article is a month old...

http://www.realfootball365.com/nfl/articles/2007/04/chiefs-shields-johnson190407.html

Ouch. Embarrassing.

Count Zarth
05-23-2007, 10:22 PM
Not a superiority complex about football, but about communication in general. That quip SCREAMS, I can babble on and people will listen to me no matter what I say. Overall, I actually really enjoy reading most of your articles (as of late). You bring about issues that most other writers don't have the creativity to think of, which is very refreshing. My problem is with your over use of colloquialisms and catch phrases. You speak with a very "down to earth" tone, and with commoner aspect (not a bad thing, very connecting to the reader), but then you throw in a line like that which gives the stoic and stuffy impression of an arrogant bow-tied pipe smoker.

The sad thing is, you put so much research into your articles (which is apparent and I applaud you for), and then you ruin the whole connection with your reader using such a manufactered phrase. I honestly did stop reading after that line, even though I was interested after your statistics regarding sacks.

Basically what I am saying is, I ENJOY reading articles from people who are talking TO me, not AT me. You have a lot of promise, don't become another Whitlock!!!

All hope is lost, I'm afraid. Jason Whitlock is one of my heroes. Fortunately, so is Rick Gosselin.

I personally don't see much wrong with using manufactured phrases such as "but I digress." They're a handy way of communicating what you want in a concise and shortened manner. I'm just trying to say "I'm ending this aside because it doesn't follow the main thread of the editorial."

But at least I'm not using "time will tell." :Lin:

By the way, I love monocles. Did you see today's Wall Street Journal? Balderdash.

Taco John
05-23-2007, 10:24 PM
Why do all Chiefs analysis pieces focus on why even though things look disasterous, you're still going to be awesome this year. It's like a never-ending theme.

Count Zarth
05-23-2007, 10:24 PM
LOL

I think about half the references are to things I have said. I should have shared the byline.

You're a bright shining star.

Phobia
05-23-2007, 10:26 PM
Why do all Chiefs analysis pieces focus on why even though things look disasterous, you're still going to be awesome this year. It's like a never-ending theme.
It's the Carl Peterson mystique.

Count Zarth
05-23-2007, 10:27 PM
Why do all Chiefs analysis pieces focus on why even though things look disasterous, you're still going to be awesome this year. It's like a never-ending theme.

The short answer is that I don't see a whole lot of reasons to scream "WE'RE F*CKED!" at the moment. It's certainly not the 2003 offseason, i.e. throw money at Hicks and Bartee.

By the way, I did criticize the Chiefs for not drafting a center and admitted Wiegmann was a weak spot. I also criticized the Chiefs' lack of production at cornerback last season a few weeks ago.

unlurking
05-23-2007, 10:32 PM
All hope is lost, I'm afraid. Jason Whitlock is one of my heroes. Fortunately, so is Rick Gosselin.

I personally don't see much wrong with using manufactured phrases such as "but I digress." They're a handy way of communicating what you want in a concise and shortened manner. I'm just trying to say "I'm ending this aside because it doesn't follow the main thread of the editorial."

But at least I'm not using "time will tell." :Lin:

By the way, I love monocles. Did you see today's Wall Street Journal? Balderdash.
Let me put it this way, do you use that phrase in every day conversation? People reading sports columns are looking for someone to talk to them about stuff they may not know. They aren't looking for a "lecture". Conversationalist journalism is perfect for sports articles.

Jason Whitlock "could be" a good journalist if he weren't such a pompous ass. His only fans are those who hate Carl as much or more than he does. Yes, he does piss people off, which increases readership and publicity, but do you want to be that kind of a joke in sports journalism?

Count Zarth
05-23-2007, 10:34 PM
Let me put it this way, do you use that phrase in every day conversation? People reading sports columns are looking for someone to talk to them about stuff they may not know. They aren't looking for a "lecture". Conversationalist journalism is perfect for sports articles.

I wasn't trying to lecture anyone. How would you have moved on from the discussion of the 1992 offensive line?


Jason Whitlock "could be" a good journalist if he weren't such a pompous ass. His only fans are those who hate Carl as much or more than he does. Yes, he does piss people off, which increases readership and publicity, but do you want to be that kind of a joke in sports journalism?

I'm a total sellout, dude. Sorry to disappoint. But, I'm not really interested in pissing people off, at least.

unlurking
05-23-2007, 10:46 PM
I wasn't trying to lecture anyone. How would you have moved on from the discussion of the 1992 offensive line?

Something like this?

"You have to go all the way back to 1992 to find a larger number. Then, poor David Krieg was pummeled 48 times behind a line that surprisingly included good players such as John Alt, Dave Szott and Tim Grunhard, so it’s not surprising the outlook for 2007 is one of doom and gloom – for the offensive line away."

You tried using a segue, when one was not really necessary. Your discussion read right into the next topic. (And yes, I did have to go back and read beyond "digress".)

I'm a total sellout, dude. Sorry to disappoint. But, I'm not really interested in pissing people off, at least.

If you're not interested in pissing people off, I'm guessing you probably want them to read your articles and come away with an "interesting, this dude gets it" type of opinion. Not disappointed at all. Most people want to be liked, only a few people are like Whitlock, and get off on being an ass. You do enough research, and envision enough creative angles that you can offer a totally refreshing perspective. All I'm saying is, try to write like you speak, it will make you seem more like an "everyman", and allow you to connect better with your reader. Obviously clean up language and correct spoken grammatical slang, but SPEAK to your reader.

Count Zarth
05-23-2007, 11:16 PM
Yeah, you're right. I dunno. I like using "but I digress." :(

Can you cite some other examples? Get back to me on a PM or something. Here's a link to my past work:

http://search.scout.com/a.z?s=115&p=4&c=1&search=1&sskey=%22C.E.+Wendler%22&sssiteid=115

Logical
05-24-2007, 12:11 AM
I’m going to make a guarantee right here and right now – KC quarterbacks won’t be sacked 41 times in 2007, and the Chiefs will average better than 4.18 yards per carry as a team.

Really jumping out on a limb on that sack bet, given we will likely throw at least 33% less if Croyle does take the reins. On the other hand I would probably take that bet on 4.18 ypc as with the increased running and emphasis on a power running game I expect the ypc to drop under 4 this year. Total rushing yards will go up but it will be based on a much larger number of carries.

Count Zarth
05-24-2007, 12:23 AM
Really jumping out on a limb on that sack bet, given we will likely throw at least 33% less if Croyle does take the reins. On the other hand I would probably take that bet on 4.18 ypc as with the increased running and emphasis on a power running game I expect the ypc to drop under 4 this year. Total rushing yards will go up but it will be based on a much larger number of carries.

33 percent less? LOL

You're predicting the Chiefs will throw the ball 300 times next year? I bet you have to go back to a 12-game schedule to find a team that did that. The 2000 Ravens threw the ball 500 times. The 1986 Giants threw it 472 times. Both were extreme smashmouth offenses. Even the 1992 Chiefs threw it 413 times.