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Old 04-07-2005, 09:18 AM  
shaneo69 shaneo69 is offline
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Rand: Gushing over Chiefs 2005 FA class

We'll see.

http://www.kcchiefs.com/news/2005/04..._taking_shape/

RAND: Much-improved defense taking shape
Apr 07, 2005, 3:36:52 AM by Jonathan Rand

The Chiefs’ defense already looks substantially different – and better – than it did at the end of last season and they haven’t even found their right cornerback yet.

The acquisition of defensive end Carlos Hall, a restricted free agent from the Tennessee Titans, isn’t as notable as that of linebacker Kendrell Bell or safety Sammy Knight. Yet, Hall should fill a significant role and send a significant message.

At the very least, he’ll upgrade the Chiefs’ depth at defensive end. Jared Allen had an exceptional rookie season at right end but will have a better chance of repeating that performance if he’s challenged by Hall, a fine athlete who’s started 31 games in three seasons at Tennessee.

Considering the Titans had the 27th-ranked defense in 2004 and considered Hall expendable for a fifth-round draft choice, you wouldn’t expect him to move out Allen or left end Eric Hicks. Still, Hall’s presence will be a good reminder for the incumbents to take nothing for granted. That pressure was missing a year ago when the Chiefs elected to change their coordinator instead of personnel despite a dismal defensive season in 2003.

The Chiefs already have improved each of the three areas on defense and have done it with a look to the future as well as this year. It’s encouraging to see them acquiring players who can upgrade their defense for several seasons instead of seeking quick fixes from descending veterans just to give Dick Vermeil a happy sendoff.

Bell and Hall are 26. Knight is 29 and will turn 30 in September, but that’s not old for a strong safety. And each need addressed by the Chiefs in free agency means one more need they can fill in the draft.

The Chiefs’ free-agent class already is clearly better than the one of 2003, when they also tried to address needs in each defensive area. The Chiefs added end Vonnie Holliday, linebacker Shawn Barber and cornerback Dexter McCleon, who came billed as a nickel back but earned a starting spot.

That trio hasn’t worked out. Remember, however, that none came to Kansas City with a Pro Bowl berth on his resume while Bell and Knight each claim one. If the Chiefs can add a top-flight cornerback – free agent Ty Law and Patrick Surtain remain available – there would be no comparison between their defensive upgrades of 2003 and 2005.

The free agents of 2003, intentionally or not, seemed intended to bring the Chiefs’ defense up to a level of mere respectability. It seemed logical that a middle-of-the-pack defense, combined with a superior offense, would produce a Super Bowl contender.

The free agent class of 2005, though, seems intended to make the Chiefs’ defense better than respectable. Throw in a top-tier cornerback and you’d have a unit with every chance to become one of the league’s 10 best.

Nearly every free agent, of course, comes with question marks, which is why every coach and general manager would prefer to have 22 homegrown starters. You can bet the Chiefs did their homework every bit as carefully with their free agents of 2003 as they’ve done with their current signees.

It would take some astonishingly bad breaks for them to strike out on most, much less all, their free agents again. Here’s betting that they won’t.
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Old 04-07-2005, 09:19 AM   #2
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Huh. I guess I just don't see it.
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Old 04-07-2005, 09:22 AM   #3
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A win in January would be my first litmus test...
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Old 04-07-2005, 09:24 AM   #4
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If and when Surtain is in Red and Gold, I'd be inclined to agree with him. An OLB would certainly complete the package though....
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Old 04-07-2005, 09:25 AM   #5
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Quote:
It’s encouraging to see them acquiring players who can upgrade their defense for several seasons instead of seeking quick fixes from descending veterans just to give Dick Vermeil a happy sendoff.
It's not just DV, it's Green and Roaf and Shields and Richardson and Holmes, all of whom are probably 3 years or less away from retirement. Our O has enough fuel in it for 1-2 more years of high performance. We DO need some quick fixes to get the D caught up as much as possible. Young players are nice, but I wouldn't turn away a quality vet just because he had only 2-3 years left.
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Old 04-07-2005, 09:27 AM   #6
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We don't have a top ten defensive line so I don't see how we are going to end up being a top ten defense overall. Hey, I will be happy if I see a pass deflected once in while. Just stop those 45 yard runs from third string guys that look like Jim Brown when they play against us and I am satisfied.
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Old 04-07-2005, 09:27 AM   #7
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Old 04-07-2005, 09:27 AM   #8
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He's right that on paper everything looks better, and I'd be surprised not to see our D move up the ranks, but Top 10? I'll believe it when I see it.
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Old 04-07-2005, 09:32 AM   #9
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Old 04-07-2005, 09:36 AM   #10
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Well, I'm not THAT excited about the upgrades, but it does look like this is going to pan out to be a good offseason. We must get Surtain, though, and we must make good selection in the first round -- someone on the defensive side of the ball who can start and make an impact. If we do those two things, we should be in as good of shape as we possibly could have expected.
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Old 04-07-2005, 09:37 AM   #11
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I agree with Rand on this one. Most importantly, we really need to send Bartee to the showers!
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Old 04-07-2005, 10:08 AM   #12
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"The Chiefs’ free-agent class already is clearly better than the one of 2003, when they also tried to address needs in each defensive area."


huh? they haven't played a down...we signed a backup DE, not a probowl CB...
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Old 04-07-2005, 10:11 AM   #13
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Rand's optimism is not warranted, improvement is likely but slight is more likely than great.
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Old 04-07-2005, 10:18 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vlad Logicslav
Rand's optimism is not warranted, improvement is likely but slight is more likely than great.

I'm optimistic the Chiefs D won't be WORSE than last year.
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Old 04-07-2005, 10:18 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by KCTitus
A win in January would be my first litmus test...
Exactly

These guys are nice additions, but so was Shawn Barber, VonHolliday, Dexters Laboratory, etc. We'll see what this really means sometime in the 2nd half of the season - when our past D's have absolutely wilted.
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