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Old 01-04-2005, 01:26 AM  
2bikemike 2bikemike is offline
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Draft could help Chiefs turn up the pass rush

Posted on Tue, Jan. 04, 2005



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Draft could help Chiefs turn up the pass rush

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Let's say you're suddenly in charge of rebuilding the Chiefs' defense, and your work begins right now.

Where do you start? You've got the 15th overall pick in the NFL draft next April, and you might even have a little bit of room under the salary cap to sign one or two free agents, though that too often has been wasted money in these parts.

But let's start with the draft. Granted, the Chiefs' secondary is among the weakest in football. But one of the reasons it has been so exposed is because the Chiefs' front seven is pitiful. If you're game-planning against the Chiefs' front seven, who would you absolutely have to account for, in terms of double teams?

No one.

The lack of consistent pressure up front exposes even good secondaries, let alone mediocre ones.

So let's start up front. There could be some intriguing talent still on the board at No. 15, perhaps guys like mammoth 6-foot-7 defensive tackle Chris Canty of Virginia, or speed-rushing defensive ends like David Pollack of Georgia and Marcus Spears of LSU. Two other speed rushers on the end also could be there Wisconsin defensive end Erasmus James and Boston College defensive end Mathius Kiwanuka.

Kiwanuka looks like a blend of the Dophins' Jason Taylor and the Packers' Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila.

And yes, the Chiefs need some playmaking linebackers. Unfortunately, the experts say this is not a particularly deep draft at linebacker. Clemson's Leroy Hill is undersized for an inside linebacker at 205 pounds but is a fabulous blitzer, recording eight sacks. Texas stud Derrick Johnson probably will be long gone by the time the Chiefs draft.

And if you're looking for something in the second round, some scouts have hinted that Missouri's James Kinney (6 feet 1, 233 pounds) could be a sleeper.

If you're insistent on a defensive back in the first round (against all sound judgment), then you might still have Michigan's shut-down cover Marlin Jackson on the board. Jackson, at 6 feet 1, 199 pounds, has speed and hits hard. But even he won't be able to stay with an NFL receiver for the six or seven seconds that opposing quarterbacks have had to throw against the Chiefs' front seven.

***

If you feel like spending Lamar Hunt's money, and provided there's room under the cap, there will be some playmakers on the unrestricted free-agent list for 2005. Sports Illustrated's Peter King projects the Chiefs to take a run at Steelers linebacker Kendrell Bell. But Bell is injury-prone, and that's the last thing the Chiefs need to invest heavily in.

The top defensive end out there is John Abraham of the Jets, but he could easily turn out to be another Vonnie Holliday a guy who offers up one great game followed by months of disappearing acts.

Here are some of the other top defensive players who will be unrestricted free agents: Buffalo nose tackle Pat Williams, Colts middle linebacker Rob Morris, Jags strong safety Donovan Darius, Broncos defensive end Reggie Hayward, Eagles defensive tackle Corey Simon and Patriots corner Ty Law.

And, in case you're dreaming, how about another weapon for Al Saunders? Try Pittsburgh wide receiver Plaxico Burress.

***

By the way, a huge thumbs down to CBS for not getting out of commercial fast enough to catch Dante Hall's kick return before the half. Here's the sad thing: Those kind of network missteps used to be unpardonable sins, but the truth is they happen so frequently now (ESPN did the same thing regularly during its bowl coverage) that it's hardly newsworthy anymore.

ESPN, CBS and Fox are far more interested in pleasing their advertisers or showing off some silly new graphic or cutting to shots of the boys in the booth or going down on the field to their babbling sideline reporter than they are of actually paying attention to the game. In other words, your needs as a viewer don't exactly rank as high as they once did.

To reach Jeffrey Flanagan call (816) 234-4492 and leave a message or email to jflanagan@kcstar.com
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Old 01-04-2005, 02:12 AM   #2
HolmeZz HolmeZz is offline
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I'd take Kendrell, I don't really care about him being injury-prone. He's young and due to stay healthy.
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Old 01-04-2005, 07:24 AM   #3
htismaqe htismaqe is offline
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I'd take Kendrell, I don't really care about him being injury-prone. He's young and due to stay healthy.
That's brilliant.

He's had a rash of injuries so he's "due" to stay healthy?
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Old 01-04-2005, 07:28 AM   #4
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That's brilliant.

He's had a rash of injuries so he's "due" to stay healthy?
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Old 01-04-2005, 07:33 AM   #5
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I think Sly Morris is "due" as well, hope we bring him into camp.
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ESPN, CBS and Fox are far more interested in pleasing their advertisers or showing off some silly new graphic or cutting to shots of the boys in the booth or going down on the field to their babbling sideline reporter than they are of actually paying attention to the game.
Talk about hitting the nail on the head. Someone needs to tell these morons that there's a football game going on during their television broadcast spectacular. How do I rep the writer?
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Old 01-04-2005, 07:47 AM   #6
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SARCASM ALERT!!!

Oh yes I agree. The pass rush is certainly our biggest problem on defense. Its certainly not because any QB in the WORLD can lob a blind pass to their WRs and complete the pass 70% of the time against our secondary.
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Old 01-04-2005, 07:49 AM   #7
htismaqe htismaqe is offline
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Originally Posted by blsilks
SARCASM ALERT!!!

Oh yes I agree. The pass rush is certainly our biggest problem on defense. Its certainly not because any QB in the WORLD can lob a blind pass to their WRs and complete the pass 70% of the time against our secondary.
Understand this -- we can sign the best CB's in the league and still have a bad defense if we don't correct the pass rush TOO.
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Old 01-04-2005, 07:57 AM   #8
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Our problem on defense is that we play good untill we decide to give up a big play here and there. We are DEAD LAST in the NFL in yards per pass against us at 6.3. We are second to last in passing yards against us per game at 377.9. For those who want to argue that "oh but people are always passing against us bla bla bla" well we are 4th in the NFL in least amount of passes attempted against us. This means that our secondary "don't do nothing but give up big pass plays". Now maybe a better pass rush might help get some presure on the QB and maybe force him to make a mistake here and there, but BLOWN coverage all over the place certainly makes things easier for them even if they have somebody in their face. Lets face it, they are NFL QBs and are professionals. They can handle presure.
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Old 01-04-2005, 07:58 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by blsilks
Our problem on defense is that we play good untill we decide to give up a big play here and there. We are DEAD LAST in the NFL in yards per pass against us at 6.3. We are second to last in passing yards against us per game at 377.9. For those who want to argue that "oh but people are always passing against us bla bla bla" well we are 4th in the NFL in least amount of passes attempted against us. This means that our secondary "don't do nothing but give up big pass plays". Now maybe a better pass rush might help get some presure on the QB and maybe force him to make a mistake here and there, but BLOWN coverage all over the place certainly makes things easier for them even if they have somebody in their face. Lets face it, they are NFL QBs and are professionals. They can handle presure.
So you're suggesting cutting off the nose to spite the face?

Look, I'm not suggesting we should upgrade our secondary. But to think that's the only probelm with our defense is short-sighted at best.
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Old 01-04-2005, 08:26 AM   #10
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Im just saying that if our pass rush fails, (because of the current secondary that we have) we are screwed because we have no talent in the secondary. You are right in saying that we need a better pass rush but we need a better secondary more in my opinion.
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Old 01-04-2005, 08:29 AM   #11
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Im just saying that if our pass rush fails, (because of the current secondary that we have) we are screwed because we have no talent in the secondary. You are right in saying that we need a better pass rush but we need a better secondary more in my opinion.
When looking at priorities, I firmly believe that being strong up front is FAR more important than having all-pro's in the secondary.

Looking at the rosters of all Super Bowl participants in the last 30 years would say I'm right.
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Old 01-04-2005, 08:34 AM   #12
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Well actually the teams of late had ALL AROUND good defenses which I don't have a problem with the chiefs trying to go out and get. Patriots, BUCs, Baltimore, all good defenses at the time they won the superbowl.
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Old 01-04-2005, 08:39 AM   #13
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We need all around good. We need leaders in the front, leaders in the middle and leaders in the back. Look at the 90s. We had Derrick Thomas and Neil Smith on the pass rush with Dan Saleaumua getting good presure on the center of the line. We had Donnie Edwards holding down the middle. We had Dale Carter has our "so called shutdown CB". We have nothing like that now.
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Old 01-04-2005, 08:51 AM   #14
htismaqe htismaqe is offline
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We need all around good. We need leaders in the front, leaders in the middle and leaders in the back. Look at the 90s. We had Derrick Thomas and Neil Smith on the pass rush with Dan Saleaumua getting good presure on the center of the line. We had Donnie Edwards holding down the middle. We had Dale Carter has our "so called shutdown CB". We have nothing like that now.
Dale Carter was not a shutdown corner...he got burned quite often.

James Hasty was a shutdown corner, and even with him, we were near the bottom of the league in 1998-1999-2000 in passing yards/TD's...because we had little to no talent up front...

Yes, I agree we need "all around" good. But if you're going to load up, the front 7 should be the 1st priority. Look at the Panthers, or Patriots -- hell even the Bucs (after Donnie Abraham) have had a cavalcade of stars at the other CB position.
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Old 01-04-2005, 09:02 AM   #15
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Fine you win but they better load down heavy because Hicks is finished, Fujita is over-rated, Sims was a bust, Siavi is still a work in progress, Holiday never plays because hes always breaking a nail, Barber is only one man, and we have NO middle linebacker.
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