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View Full Version : Chiefs Babb bloggin': Maybe the spread shouldn't be dead


LaChapelle
07-05-2009, 12:58 PM
Whether it makes you hopeful or fearful, here's a thought: Maybe the spread shouldn't be dead
Goodness knows we like lists around here, and here comes another one. Listen, we can understand if the idea of spending another year watching the Chiefs lineup in the spread offense is about as appealing as week-old chicken livers. Last year was tough on many of you. We're sympathetic here at Red Zone. Really. We had to watch those games, too.

But there are some good reasons why the Chiefs might need to keep those pages in the playbook in 2009, even if the quarterback is different and comes with a more traditional set of skills than Tyler Thigpen.

Now, in two months of offseason practices, I didn't see the Chiefs practice many plays out of the spread formation. Some, but it was clear that Todd Haley and coordinator Chan Gailey would prefer to at least enter the season using Cassel in a Pro Style, drop-back look. But more and more, the reasons are mounting that Cassel and the Chiefs might need the spread and its quick-release action for the same reasons Kansas City needed it last year. Other NFL teams are embracing the spread/Wildcat formation, so there must be something about the unusual look that gives defensive coordinators a hard time.

So here go the reasons why the Chiefs should consider at least keeping the spread as at least a part-time option:

1) The offensive line could struggle. When the quarterback is ducking defenders, dipping and dodging and running for his safety, talent doesn't mean a whole lot. The Chiefs' offensive line could be a weakness, more so if guard Brian Waters is either gone or his heart is, and Cassel could spend many of his Sundays under heavy fire. Last year's line wasn't great, and the shift to the spread was designed to give Thigpen an extra second or two to scan the field instead of drop into the pocket. Cassel is a more traditional quarterback without Thigpen's scrambling ability -- or Thigpen's occasional preference to tuck and run -- but coaches have to decide whether Cassel will have adequate protection and time to do what they'd like him to. If not, it wouldn't be a bad idea to at least give Cassel the benefit of a few extra milliseconds from the shotgun formation.

2) The Chiefs' offensive playmakers are few and far between. Running back Larry Johnson seems committed to playing his 2009 season in Kansas City, and the Chiefs seem committed to keeping him here. But the sad truth is that Johnson isn't the running back he was three seasons ago. Coaches last year noticed that Johnson wasn't as quick as he once was, and he at times seemed reluctant to hit openings if he knew he'd absorb heavy contact. The spread doesn't do a power running back many favors, and the team's preference of the spread over Johnson last year was a major reason why the running back wanted out of Kansas City in the first place. Even with Johnson's depleted skills, he remains an above-average rusher. But the Chiefs have to decide whether he's good enough to risk Cassel's health and timing to keep Johnson alone in the backfield. The Chiefs don't have another player with every-down rushing capabilities -- Kolby Smith isn't yet healthy, Jamaal Charles is a complementary rusher, and Javarris Williams is a rookie -- so shelving Johnson and again embracing the spread is, if nothing else, an option -- unideal as it is.

3) The receivers haven't proved themselves as elite talents. There's nothing worse than watching an offense performing at its potential, with a poised quarterback and good protection and good receiving routes ... and a dropped pass. The Chiefs' wideouts have their talents, but they're not perfect. Sometimes, they're not even reliable. The spread calls for shorter routes in most cases, giving the receivers less ground to cover and, in some cases, fewer defenders to shake. With fewer responsibilities come fewer chances to ignore something important and focus only on catching the football. Perhaps that is what third-year receiver Dwayne Bowe needs to restore his confidence. Perhaps the spread is just what the Chiefs need to do to jump-start its offense. It has done it before. Why not give it another chance to work its magic?

LaChapelle
07-05-2009, 12:59 PM
Maybe Slash Stewart can make a TC speech to the KC QBs.

JuicesFlowing
07-05-2009, 01:05 PM
Is this a secret man-love note from Babb to Thigpen?

Micjones
07-05-2009, 01:05 PM
This team so desperately needs a real #2 WR.

Losing Gonzalez hurts this team offensively.
Unless Haley can work his magic on a Devard Darling or Jeff Webb.
Or unless Bradley can stay out of the tub and on the field.

JuicesFlowing
07-05-2009, 02:03 PM
This team so desperately needs a real #2 WR.

Losing Gonzalez hurts this team offensively.
Unless Haley can work his magic on a Devard Darling or Jeff Webb.
Or unless Bradley can stay out of the tub and on the field.

I have no idea why he's even on the team still. 31 career games, 36 receptions. 382 yards and 1 touchdown. What are they waiting for out of this guy??

Tuckdaddy
07-05-2009, 02:39 PM
The hell with the spread. We had better run a pro offense an take advantage of the LJ resurection and the emergence of Charles becoming more of a playmaker.

Raised On Riots
07-05-2009, 02:46 PM
The hell with the spread. We had better run a pro offense an take advantage of the LJ resurection and the emergence of Charles becoming more of a playmaker.

Dream on.

Just Passin' By
07-05-2009, 02:50 PM
I wonder how many of these 'reporters' really know the difference between the shotgun and the spread.

DMAC
07-05-2009, 02:56 PM
I could see the spread getting us one more win. And thats all we need to get to the SB.

KcFanInGA
07-05-2009, 10:02 PM
I think we definately need another recieving threat, but I don't see us using the spread too much this year, although we will be using it at key times. I think if Darling can step up, and Bowe fixes his drops (I am confident Haley will get this remedied), with LJ ready to run like he is angry again, we are going to exceed expectations this year. But I expect to see some spread action involving Thigpen in certain situations, and Cassel mainly under center. Should be interesting.

Micjones
07-05-2009, 10:15 PM
I have no idea why he's even on the team still. 31 career games, 36 receptions. 382 yards and 1 touchdown. What are they waiting for out of this guy??

I said the same thing to myself when he was retained this off-season.
He's had EVERY opportunity to move into that #2 WR spot with virtually nothing in front of him until last year and can't pee a drop.

I'm hoping Haley can make something of him, but he had a stud in Fitz already before he arrived in Arizona. Webb's got the talent, but he hasn't shown it on the field.

StcChief
07-05-2009, 10:15 PM
I wonder how many of these 'reporters' really know the difference between the shotgun and the spread.
how many do their home work on anything or just "mail it in" or "wing it" daily.

this is sorry ass journalism, but on par for the industry

Buehler445
07-05-2009, 10:17 PM
I said the same thing to myself when he was retained this off-season.
He's had EVERY opportunity to move into that #2 WR spot with virtually nothing in front of him until last year and can't pee a drop.

I'm hoping Haley can make something of him, but he had a stud in Fitz already before he arrived in Arizona. Webb's got the talent, but he hasn't shown it on the field.

This.

I though Franklin had shown about as much as Webb had, and he had a little more upside (speed).

Webb remains. I don't get it.

BossChief
07-06-2009, 01:15 AM
Franklin wasnt a good special teams player because he was a pussy, Webb is a good special teamer.

Our backups will all be expected to play special teams, and show fearlessness and ability to take coaching to the field effectively.

This place is gonna explode when Dujuan Morgan gets cut...just watch. This is the reason it will happen!

Haley said a few players would go on to good careers, just not here, and this is what he was talking about.

Haly was very serious when he said he will build all three facets of the roster

offense
defense
special teams

people should listen closer.

J Diddy
07-06-2009, 02:08 AM
Franklin wasnt a good special teams player because he was a pussy, Webb is a good special teamer.

Our backups will all be expected to play special teams, and show fearlessness and ability to take coaching to the field effectively.

This place is gonna explode when Dujuan Morgan gets cut...just watch. This is the reason it will happen!

Haley said a few players would go on to good careers, just not here, and this is what he was talking about.

Haly was very serious when he said he will build all three facets of the roster

offense
defense
special teams

people should listen closer.
franklin will be a star

chiefzilla1501
07-06-2009, 03:56 AM
I wonder how many of these 'reporters' really know the difference between the shotgun and the spread.

I also wonder how many Chiefs' fans realize that lots of teams run a variation of the spread that is different from college, but relies on very similar principles.

Micjones
07-06-2009, 06:08 AM
This.

I though Franklin had shown about as much as Webb had, and he had a little more upside (speed).

Webb remains. I don't get it.

Must've been something else unrelated to talent.
His work ethic or attitude perhaps?

At this point I'm willing to see what Haley can make of Webb, but I'm not holding my breath. That guy's stealing a pay check as far as I'm concerned.

Raised On Riots
07-06-2009, 09:26 AM
I wonder how many times we can pointlessly debate the Spread on this board?

Chiefnj2
07-06-2009, 09:45 AM
I also wonder how many Chiefs' fans realize that lots of teams run a variation of the spread that is different from college, but relies on very similar principles.

A 4 WR set with a QB in the shotgun is not the spread. The wildcat is not the spread.

Raised On Riots
07-06-2009, 09:47 AM
http://www.thefoodhall.es/images/dons/Heinz%20sandwich%20spread%20naturel.jpg

chiefzilla1501
07-06-2009, 10:42 AM
A 4 WR set with a QB in the shotgun is not the spread. The wildcat is not the spread.

The whole idea of the offense is to use a lot of receivers to SPREAD the offense out so that you SPREAD the defense out.

Using 4 WRs to SPREAD the defense out is a variation of the spread.
Applying a similar offensive approach but putting a RB in the backfield who is expected to make a snap decision at the line as to whether to run or pass. That is a very similar offense to what they do in college. You had one quote in another thread that was largely flawed because it said the only thing that defines a spread offense is a QB who likes to run--that's BS. And again, I will point you to the fact that Graham Harell ran for negative yards in Texas Tech's spread offense.

No. Neither is an exact replica of the college spread offense. But they are offenses designed to SPREAD the defense out and the intent of the offense is similar. They are variations of the spread. And it's exactly this version of an offense that is quickly gaining a lot of attention from coaches and coordinators.

Raised On Riots
07-06-2009, 11:07 AM
http://www.spicesofindia.co.uk/acatalog/Natco-Bombay-Sandwich-Spread-Big.gif

LaChapelle
07-13-2009, 10:00 PM
Remember when, in recent years, Chiefs fans would go into the season wondering who Kansas City's quarterback would be? The last two years packed the most confusion, but even before that, there was a sense that, well, this is as good as it gets. The Chiefs had Steve DeBerg or Elvis Grbac or Trent Green, and that was fine, but it was tough to envision those players becoming Pro Bowlers.

Now, heck, anything is possible. The Chiefs acquired Matt Cassel in an offseason trade, and, while he could become a colossal disappointment, he also could be one of the best passers in Chiefs history. No pressure.

But if nothing else, Cassel has given the Chiefs hope that a once-rocky position is now set -- if the 27-year-old reaches even the outskirts of his expectations and, more of a question entering this year, stays healthy behind a patchwork offensive line. We'll save the pass protecting discussion for another day, but it's worth mentioning that Cassel's talent will be tough to gauge accurately if he's constantly under pressure. But you knew that.

For the record, Chiefs coach Todd Haley hasn't named Cassel the Chiefs' opening-day starting quarterback. And that's fine. When Denver coach Josh McDaniels named Kyle Orton the Broncos' starter a few weeks back, most surrounding the organization wondered aloud what the hurry was. It was obvious that Orton was the likely starter, but McDaniels essentially kicked the legs out from under Chris Simms and risked castrating Simms' effort entering a pivotal preseason for Denver, too. So it's smart on Haley's part to keep the guessing game going, even though likely backup Tyler Thigpen has said publicly that he expects this to be Cassel's team. Knowing Thigpen as I do, I don't expect that to put a wrinkle in the third-year passer's effort or desire to win his old job back.

That's one thing that struck me last year about Thigpen. He was determined and poised in an impossible situation. Here was a guy who, if you think about it, should never have started an NFL game. It doesn't have anything to do with Thigpen's talent, but it took a series of long shots for him to get that chance. And he didn't look half bad doing it. Most of the time, anyway. When Brodie Croyle and Damon Huard kept disappearing, Croyle with career-threatening injuries and Huard with mysterious issues of his own, Thigpen kept showing up. He thrived in Chan Gailey's spread formation, improving his passes and establishing trust with former tight end Tony Gonzalez. And when Gonzalez wasn't open, Thigpen scrambled for unlikely yardage gains, the Arrowhead crowd holding its breath that, oh boy, Quinn Gray is about to become the Chiefs' quarterback of the future.

Instead, Thigpen stayed healthy. Now he is likely to become what one NFL writer suggests could be the NFL's best No. 2 quarterback. That's something, considering where the Chiefs have been. Depth at quarterback, huh? What a novel concept in Kansas City.

The best part is that Thigpen seems to have the right attitude about what he easily could see as a demotion. He didn't perform so well last year that he was a slam dunk to start in 2009 or compel the Chiefs to avoid scouring the NFL for other passers, but the argument could be made that he earned the right to remain the starter -- or at least get a legitimate shot at the job. But Thigpen sees his role as he should, as Cassel's backup and support system, and he keeps saying how important it is for Thigpen to push Cassel into improving.

Let's not forget, either, that Brodie Croyle remains with the team. He'll enter the season as the Chiefs' No. 3 passer, and that's not a bad third quarterback.

The point is that the Chiefs have something they haven't had in years: a surplus at quarterback. Now we'll see if, for the first time in more recent years, those quarterbacks can stay healthy enough to sniff their potential or their coaches' expectations.

GRADING THE INTANGIBLES

TALENT: B- -- On paper, the Chiefs' drafted quarterbacks look downright miserable. Two seventh-rounders and a third. But considering the flashes each of the team's three likely opening-day quarterbacks has shown, and that's reason for optimism around Arrowhead Stadium.

CHEMISTRY: B+ -- Thigpen could have made the Cassel acquisition a lot more complicated than it has been. He might have had every right to discuss his disappointment publicly, but instead, he has accepted that Cassel is the likely starter and that he needs to be adequately pushed by capable backups.

EXPERIENCE: B -- Starting experience goes a long way, and even though the Chiefs' top two quarterbacks have combined to start 26 games, their experiences in 2008 make them viable and experienced players this season. Remember, Cassel spent several years as New England quarterback Tom Brady's understudy.

OUTLOOK: B+ -- It all depends on whether Cassel can stay healthy and productive behind that line. He seems to have an enormous amount of talent, and his experience with the Patriots last year is reason for optimism. But he'll also be under a lot of pressure, to live up to that nearly $15 million contract, do enough to attract a long-term offer, and make the Chiefs into a legit playoff team.

Submitted by Kent Babb on July 13, 2009 - 1:09pm.
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Raised On Riots
07-14-2009, 09:19 AM
This fucking horseshit again?!

Raised On Riots
07-14-2009, 09:29 AM
Let's just cut to the chase:


That's one thing that struck me last year about Thigpen. Here was a guy who, if you think about it, should never have started an NFL game.

Brock
07-14-2009, 09:34 AM
Let's not forget, either, that Brodie Croyle remains with the team. He'll enter the season as the Chiefs' No. 3 passer, and that's not a bad third quarterback.

How would we know whether he's a bad third QB or not, seeing as how we've only seen him play about a quarter and a half of actual, real football.

Chiefnj2
07-14-2009, 09:38 AM
Babb is still a retard.

acesn8s
07-14-2009, 03:04 PM
I could see the spread getting us one more win. And thats all we need to get to the SB.Just 1 more win is all we need.






And an offensive line. That's all we need. An offensive line and a win. We don't need anything else.






Except WRs. WRs, an offensive line and a win. That is all we need.









And a defense. Defense, WRs, an offensive line and a win. That is all we need. Nothing else!










And a .....