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Old 11-07-2012, 12:50 AM  
Tribal Warfare Tribal Warfare is offline
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Covitz:With Routt gone, nickel back Arenas is the next man up at cornerback

With Routt gone, nickel back Arenas is the next man up at cornerback
By RANDY COVITZ
The Kansas City Star
Now it’s cornerback Javier Arenas’ turn to step into the hot spot of the Chiefs’ defense.

With this week’s unexpected release of veteran Stanford Routt, who was signed as a high-dollar free agent to replace the even bigger-dollar departure of Brandon Carr, Arenas has shifted from his nickel back spot and sits squarely on the pressure-packed position of right corner.

“It’s a different monster out there,” Arenas said of moving from covering slot receivers to taking on the primary receivers on the outside. “I’ve been in the NFL for three years. … I can get it done. I know I can. It’s not like I’ve never played on the outside before. I’m excited about this opportunity.”

In his only start last season, Arenas, as the nickel back, matched up against New England’s slot receiver, Wes Welker, and held the NFL’s receptions leader to two catches for 22 yards, though the Chiefs lost 34-3.

“I’ve had some of the best receivers in the slot on third down,” Arenas said. “They come in there sometimes, too. It’s not going to be brand new …”

Playing on the outside, Arenas, who stands 5-foot-9, will be taking on some taller and faster receivers. Last Thursday night at San Diego, when Arenas started in place of the injured Routt, he was beaten on consecutive plays for gains of 16 and 12 yards by San Diego’s Malcom Floyd, who is 6-foot-5.

“He’s a great receiver, but you have to control those guys, get your hands on those guys, and if you play off (in a zone), you have to play the right technique,” said Arenas, a second-round draft pick from Alabama in 2010. “The other night was my first go-around; I got a good feel, I got a chance to get out there …

“I had a couple of balls caught on me and had a chance to come up and make a couple of tackles. I got my feet wet. It’s the NFL. Those guys are going to make plays, too. I just want to dive in and do all they ask of me and play to the best of my ability.”

Opponents tend to attack the Chiefs’ right cornerback and nickel back because of the presence of Brandon Flowers on the left side. With Arenas starting in place of Routt last week, Travis Daniels moved into the nickel spot and was beaten handily by the Chargers’ Danario Alexander, the University of Missouri product who was playing in just his second game with San Diego.

“Wouldn’t you?” Arenas said of teams picking on the right side. “It’s a spot where you’ve had guys in and out. You had a great guy in Carr there, you had a real good corner in Routt, and now you’re going at me.

“Flowers is an outstanding cornerback (who has) proven himself year-in and year-out. You have to look for the weak points in the defense from your perspective, which would be the other side.”

Statistics could bear that out. According to Pro Football Focus, teams completed 25 of 39 passes against Routt (64 percent) for 491 yards and three touchdowns. Of those 491 yards, 267 came after the catch, highlighted by a spectacular 62-yard catch and run by Tampa Bay’s Mike Williams.

Meanwhile, quarterbacks have completed 72 percent of their passes against Arenas with a whopping 137.3 passer rating, according to Pro Football Focus.

It may be that Chiefs coach Romeo Crennel made the change because of what happens after the catch rather than merely receptions.

“He’s a very competitive player,” Crennel said of Arenas’ play at San Diego. “He was off a little bit too far at times, and they completed a couple balls in front of him, but he made tackles. He came up on the run support and made tackles on the run support, so I think he represented himself pretty decently.”

Monday night’s opponent, the Pittsburgh Steelers, features two of the most dangerous and speediest wide receivers in the NFL, in Antonio Brown (42 receptions, 499 yards, one touchdown) and Mike Wallace (39-525-5, including an 82-yard TD). Brown’s status for the game is in doubt — he has an ankle injury — but Wallace, a 2011 Pro Bowl starter, averaged 21.0 yards per reception on 60 catches in 2010, and 16.6 yards on 72 catches last year.

Arenas squared off against Wallace, who played at Ole Miss, three times in college, so he knows what kind of size (6-foot) and speed he’s going against on Monday.

“I guarded him on a go route, and I was running with him, and I felt his speed,” Arenas said. “The ball was underthrown, so he had to slow down a little bit, and I made a play on the ball. So I do understand his speed.”

Unlike in college, Wallace doesn’t have to worry about too many underthrown passes from Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.

“With a different-caliber quarterback throwing to him, that makes a huge difference, of course,” Arenas said, “because if he has two steps on a guy, he’s not slowing down for that football. But I covered him last year … I covered the other guys last year playing against them. It’s a different game, a new year, but this isn’t a new walk for me.”

Arenas, who has been the Chiefs’ primary punt returner this season and ranks ninth in the NFL with a 10.0-yard average, hopes to maintain that job, even though he’ll be playing full-time on defense.

“I think it will help me more on returns,” he said. “Being out there, playing that position will give me a good opportunity to get into the game. I’ll be warm going out there.”
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Old 11-07-2012, 01:42 PM   #46
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Originally Posted by BossChief View Post
Changes I would make for the second half of the season if I were Romeo:

Move Berry to FS...he isnt playing well at SS, shake it up a little and use him the way he was used at Tennesseee before Monte got there. Let him use his speed and playmaking ability.

Start Jalil Brown at RCB and let him sink or swim and leave Arenas at nickel...I think Brown has the talent to play and needs to make mistakes and learn from them. That's a big part of the position. He needs a proper evaluation and he is healthy enough to give you that.

Start Powe at the nose...when the kid has played, the defense has showed well. time to see what he can do with an increased role so we can evaluate him for next year.

Bench Jackson and start Smith in his place...this should go without question. Smith was a top ten player at DE in 2010 for us. Jackson will be gone next year, time to let other players get on the field and get some experience in real action so they know what to prepare for during the offseason. Smith and Bailey should probably be splitting reps at DE.

Start Poe at RDE...even if Dorsey is healthy (which he isnt) he wont be back next year and this year is all but done. Time to get the guys PT that will be here next year.

Blitz Houston 15-20 times a game...if not more. Make teams gameplan for him FFS HE IS ONE OF OUR BEST WEAPONS....USE HIM.

Start Stanzi at quarterback...Not because Im a Hawkeye homer or a Stanzi fan...but because Cassel and Quinn will be gone next year and Stanzi deserves a proper evaluation period to identify if he can play at this level or should be selling insurance this time next year.

Cut Peyton Hillis...he wont be back next year and Im tired of guys missing games for hangnails and blisters. **** this guy.

A fan on a message board shouldn't have to point this kind of shit out to you guys.
Every single word of this, with special emphasis on Stanzi & Hillis.
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Old 11-07-2012, 02:07 PM   #47
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Originally Posted by Sorter View Post
Arenas on Mike Wallace=
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Old 11-07-2012, 02:17 PM   #48
DaneMcCloud DaneMcCloud is offline
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Originally Posted by scott free View Post
Every single word of this, with special emphasis on Stanzi & Hillis.
Why would anyone advocate that Ricky Stanzi, the guy that's never played a down in the NFL, start, in Pittsburgh, on a Monday night?

Dick LeBeau and the Steeler defense would eat him alive.
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Old 11-07-2012, 02:19 PM   #49
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Originally Posted by DaneMcCloud View Post
Why would anyone advocate that Ricky Stanzi, the guy that's never played a down in the NFL, start, in Pittsburgh, on a Monday night?

Dick LeBeau and the Steeler defense would eat him alive.
Because he's basically been on Chiefs welfare the past 2 years. Might as well work for that paycheck.
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I have completely given up on Alex Smith as a qb. Its painful to watch. Like, worse than watching Colt McCoy.
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Alex Smith is awful.... there, I said it
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Old 11-07-2012, 02:27 PM   #50
themanwithnoname themanwithnoname is offline
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Originally Posted by DaneMcCloud View Post
Why would anyone advocate that Ricky Stanzi, the guy that's never played a down in the NFL, start, in Pittsburgh, on a Monday night?

Dick LeBeau and the Steeler defense would eat him alive.
Because that's almost certainly going to happen regardless of who is the QB.

Plus it'd be great to see Romeo just send a big **** you to Pioli as well.

Who ****ing cares at this point?
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Old 11-07-2012, 07:46 PM   #51
Easy 6 Easy 6 is offline
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Originally Posted by DaneMcCloud View Post
Why would anyone advocate that Ricky Stanzi, the guy that's never played a down in the NFL, start, in Pittsburgh, on a Monday night?

Dick LeBeau and the Steeler defense would eat him alive.
I get what you're saying, yes, a real trial by fire.

But the way i see it, this guy was, ostensibly, drafted to play QB in the NFL and he's been in training for two years... to me its a sink or swim proposition, sure he's going to lose and take some lumps, but thats the whole point.

Its time to see what he has and doesnt have, that'll be even easier than normal to discern against a top defense, i dont care if it ruins his football confidence for life... if it does, he wouldnt have been any damn good anyway and we would know it and could move on.

Honestly, can he TRULY be any worse than what we've already been subjected to?
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