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Tribal Warfare
06-13-2008, 12:02 AM
http://www.kansascity.com/sports/chiefs/story/662001.html


Chiefs hope youth, speed can offset loss of Allen
By KENT BABB
The Kansas City Star

ST. JOSEPH | Nearly two months after the Chiefs traded Jared Allen, they’re finished trying to find his replacement.

Simply, there won’t be one.

“We’re going to miss Jared,” coach Herm Edwards said Thursday after the Chiefs’ final offseason practice. “You don’t replace Jared Allen with another guy. Jared Allen was a special player, but I think with that being said, we’ve got enough players where we can do some things to create some problems.”

After Allen’s departure, the Chiefs looked away from the defensive line for strength. For all the attention directed toward the Chiefs’ overhaul on offense — with a new coordinator and a new scheme and new names for this and that — Kansas City’s defense will have a different look, too. The Chiefs added speed to last year’s aging secondary, shuffling older players out of their plans.

It added an infusion of youth, and with that youth came speed. Both will allow the Chiefs to play more man-to-man coverage than they did last year. Edwards estimated Thursday the secondary played zone all but “4 percent” of the time last year.

“It’s a speed thing,” Edwards said.

The Chiefs improved their speed by drafting three defensive backs, including cornerbacks Brandon Flowers and Brandon Carr. Carr on Wednesday became the first of the Chiefs’ 12 draft picks to sign a contract, agreeing to a three-year deal.

The draft squeezed cornerback Ty Law out of Kansas City and reminded Patrick Surtain he’s not a young man anymore.

“They call me ‘Old man Pat,’ but I roll with it,” said Surtain, who will turn 32 next week. “I’ve got to show these guys how an old man plays.”

Surtain said the move toward man-to-man coverage suits him better than zone, which depends on a strong pass rush to work.

“We were kind of an old team the last couple of years, and this year, we did a whole 180,” Surtain said. “I like it.”

The Chiefs hope the secondary isn’t the only group to make a difference. Allen’s production — he had an NFL-best 15 1/2 sacks — is unlikely to be replaced, at least immediately. But Edwards and coordinator Gunther Cunningham had to outfit a defensive line, Allen or not.

They moved Tamba Hali to Allen’s spot at right end and Alfonso Boone to the left side. Rookie tackle Glenn Dorsey is expected to start immediately, likely alongside veteran Ron Edwards or Turk McBride.

McBride was a rookie last year, and he admitted this week that there were times he and the defense acted on instinct instead comfort. He said it mostly was because he was still studying the scheme and that meetings and cram sessions didn’t always soak through.

“We were just lining up and going,” McBride said. “I can concentrate on doing something extra now. We’re young, but as long as we get it in our minds that we can’t be stopped, knowing that we’re going to go out there and stop the offense — we’ve got the ability to do that without thinking so much.

“If we go hard, we’re going to be a tough D-line to beat.”

The Chiefs still have questions at linebacker, but Cunningham spent much of the last two weeks’ practices praising Derrick Johnson. The Chiefs also signed Demorrio Williams, and they hope he emerges during training camp as a suitable starting option.

No, there might be no one who truly replaces Allen. Edwards said the team has accepted that and moved on.

He’s not the only one who noticed.

“When I first came out, I took a look at our line, and everybody was new,” McBride said. “It was all new faces. We still have some guys from last year, but it’s like a new team.”

Rausch
06-13-2008, 01:54 AM
I love this.

Gun isn't a huge zone guy. You know, deep down, he wants a D that can play bumpNrun and rush the passer. Hard to play that way now but you know this slow easing into more man gets him a little stiff.

I think pairing Gun with Herm is a great idea. Gun is a great game day DC and motivator but his talent scouting and choice of FA's has been total $#it. It's horrible. Consider that we're looking at 3 new starters on defense as a good thing, and yet our defense was solid last year. When you consider how much suck our offense generated I want to name it the "Alamo D."

Yes, we need a potent offense, but the defense needs to combine talent and confusion as well. We were not difficult to predict on D last year. It was pretty damned vanilla on both sides of the ball. That said, our D was still respectable.

And as far as the "is the JA trade a + or a -" everyone seems to think we traded Allen for Albert. Nein. I could be wrong but it seems 1 Arrowhead was happy to trade down, gain picks, and select albert and another player later in the first (likely flowers) if we don't make the trade. If that's the case we likely take Albert higher and pay him more, take Flowers higher and pay him more, pay JA a huge FT number for only one year, and don't gain that extra 3rd.

The Allen pick is exactly what gave us the cushion to take the BAA (Dorsey) and flat out luck us into getting the guys the Org. seemed to want anyway much lower than expected. Keep in mind that flowers was considered a bottom 10 first round pick before his shat 40 time. On top of that reaching isn't exactly something Carl is afraid of. I'd argue the JA trade saved us cap on two rookies as well as adding Dorsey and an extra 3rd.

For a guy that would have been gone, likely for nothing, next year anyway...