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Old 06-23-2005, 06:59 AM  
AirForceChief AirForceChief is offline
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Rand On Chiefs Need for BACKUP CB...

RAND: Chiefs need a cornerback…and some perspective
Jun 23, 2005, 4:30:37 AM by Jonathan Rand



The Chiefs’ biggest worry right now is finding a backup cornerback. As the old Saturday Night Live joke went, it’s always something. Especially in the NFL.



I mentioned recently that head football coaches are the world’s biggest worriers. That’s partly the nature of the beast and partly because any football team can always stand improvement. That’s been especially true since free agency started a dozen years ago. Now, even championship teams have shaky spots.

Yet just the fact that the Chiefs’ biggest need is for a backup cornerback tells you how much they’ve upgraded their defense since the end of last season. What do you think coach Dick Vermeil would’ve told you had you predicted that by late June his biggest headache would be finding a cornerback to step in for Eric Warfield, should he be suspended four games for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy?

More than likely, Vermeil would’ve suspected you of violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy, too. Remember, the Chiefs ranked 31st in total defense and had more pressing needs than seemed possible to address in one offseason. But the Chiefs apparently have addressed them all in the draft, a trade and free-agent signings.

The Chiefs back in January weren’t worried about finding a backup cornerback. Their top priority was finding a Pro Bowl-caliber cornerback to start opposite Warfield. They needed more oomph in their pass rush and more speed and surer tackling at linebacker. For goodness sakes, they even needed another starting safety after Jerome Woods and Greg Wesley experienced disappointing seasons.

By filling all those needs, the Chiefs now have a defense that should rise at least to the middle of the pack. The probable absence of Warfield for four games and the season-ending injury to Julian Battle, who was projected to step in for him, should not change that outlook.

First off, Battle still is trying to prove himself as an NFL cornerback. Secondly, losing a starter for four games because of injury or suspension is no shocker in the NFL. Only extremely fortunate teams go through a season keeping all starters in the lineup on either side of the ball.

The New England Patriots won the last Super Bowl despite a patched-up secondary that should have been easy pickings for any rival cornerback. But it wasn’t, thanks in part to a very strong front seven and excellent coaching. One mark of a championship defense it that it’s overpowering in enough areas to hide or overcome one soft spot.

The Chiefs’ pass rush from their seven should be stronger now. Sammy Knight, the new strong safety, has a big-play history. Because they acquired Patrick Surtain from Miami, the Chiefs still will have a big-time cornerback on the field even with Warfield out. So the cornerback who steps in for Warfield shouldn’t experience as much duress as the Chiefs at that position over the past few years.

You can’t blame Vermeil for worrying about the likelihood of going without Warfield into a brutal opening stretch of the Jets, Raiders, Broncos and Eagles. But if the Chiefs can’t get by with a backup cornerback for those four games, then their defense hasn’t improved as much as we think.

The opinions offered in this column do not necessarily reflect those of the Kansas City Chiefs.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

My only problem with this is that Rand dosen't clarify, or maybe emphasize, that unlike most situations where your looking to improve your depth with a quality backup, the Chiefs need another starter at CB. We know Warfield will be out for a number of games. It's like knowing a certain position will have an injured starter. It is NOT the normal 'worry' that coaches do...
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Old 06-23-2005, 07:04 AM   #2
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I also disagree with the proposition that having Surtain on the field will but the opposite CB in a position of LESS "duress"...The fact that Surtain is out there will mean the opposite CB will become a target. That CB will be targeted until he shows he's competant. I was already concerned about how Warfield would hold up as a #2 CB this year. My theory being that as our #1 last year he didn't get targeted as often as he would opposite Surtain. Last year the drop off in talent between Warfield and whomever was getting burnt on the other side of the field was a no brainer for offensive coordinators...just throw it against #2 and watch the yardage pile up. We could be in a similar position this year.
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Old 06-23-2005, 07:24 AM   #3
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Old 06-23-2005, 07:48 AM   #4
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There is no doubt that we need better depth at CB (even if Warfield wasn't suspended), but I think people are a little too freaked out about the situation. I catch myself doing it too, but when I step back and think about what the team has done in the off-season we should be alright with all of the other changes we've made.

#1 CB - Upgrade
#2 CB - Upgrade with Warfield - No worse than last year without.
SS - Upgrade
FS - No worse, probably better with the competition
OLB - Upgrade on both sides
MLB - ?, probably no worse. Hopefully competition will bring out the best
DE - No worse, probably better with Hall coming in during passing situations
DT - No worse, probably a little better with some experience in Guns scheme
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Old 06-23-2005, 08:36 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kc rush
There is no doubt that we need better depth at CB (even if Warfield wasn't suspended), but I think people are a little too freaked out about the situation. I catch myself doing it too, but when I step back and think about what the team has done in the off-season we should be alright with all of the other changes we've made.

#1 CB - Upgrade
#2 CB - Upgrade with Warfield - No worse than last year without.
SS - Upgrade
FS - No worse, probably better with the competition
OLB - Upgrade on both sides
MLB - ?, probably no worse. Hopefully competition will bring out the best
DE - No worse, probably better with Hall coming in during passing situations
DT - No worse, probably a little better with some experience in Guns scheme
Excuse me. Such optimism will not be tolerated here.
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Old 06-23-2005, 09:07 AM   #6
kc rush kc rush is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by htismaqe
Excuse me. Such optimism will not be tolerated here.
Sorry, I'll go to the corner now.
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Old 06-23-2005, 09:21 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AirForceChief
Because they acquired Patrick Surtain from Miami, the Chiefs still will have a big-time cornerback on the field even with Warfield out. So the cornerback who steps in for Warfield shouldn’t experience as much duress as the Chiefs at that position over the past few years
ya... cause we all know how much "duress" Warfield prevented McCleon and Bartee from getting last year.
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Old 06-23-2005, 09:22 AM   #8
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Old 06-23-2005, 09:24 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by htismaqe
Excuse me. Such optimism will not be tolerated here.
and if it was pessimism you'd be demanding factual verification in triplicate.
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Old 06-23-2005, 09:27 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Laz
and if it was pessimism you'd be demanding factual verification in triplicate.
Of course.
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Old 06-23-2005, 12:10 PM   #11
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AirForceChief,

You expressed an opinion about how well Rand clarified/emphasized the fact that Warfield is expected to miss 4 games from the get go, so I can't say you are wrong, but I disagree. I think he made that issue pretty clear. Maybe we just don't agree on how big of a deal it is to begin with.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AirForceChief
I also disagree with the proposition that having Surtain on the field will but the opposite CB in a position of LESS "duress"...The fact that Surtain is out there will mean the opposite CB will become a target. That CB will be targeted until he shows he's competant. I was already concerned about how Warfield would hold up as a #2 CB this year. My theory being that as our #1 last year he didn't get targeted as often as he would opposite Surtain. Last year the drop off in talent between Warfield and whomever was getting burnt on the other side of the field was a no brainer for offensive coordinators...just throw it against #2 and watch the yardage pile up. We could be in a similar position this year.
By improving the #1 CB spot, the defense will be better able to do some things with other players to help out the #2 CB. The most obvious thing they could do is to help out the #2 CB with either a safety or a linebacker. Both of those positions have theoretically been improved this year too. With guys like Bell and Johnson at OLB, we can hope to have an improved pass rush too. Not only should the Chiefs be better able to help out the #2 CB, but most of the players that would be called upon to do so are better then their counterparts from last season.
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Old 06-23-2005, 12:35 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by patteeu
By improving the #1 CB spot, the defense will be better able to do some things with other players to help out the #2 CB. The most obvious thing they could do is to help out the #2 CB with either a safety or a linebacker. Both of those positions have theoretically been improved this year too. With guys like Bell and Johnson at OLB, we can hope to have an improved pass rush too. Not only should the Chiefs be better able to help out the #2 CB, but most of the players that would be called upon to do so are better then their counterparts from last season.
Egg-zactly.
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Old 06-23-2005, 01:30 PM   #13
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Quote:
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The New England Patriots won the last Super Bowl despite a patched-up secondary that should have been easy pickings for any rival cornerback.
Double - j00 Tee Eff ?
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Old 06-23-2005, 01:44 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AirForceChief
I also disagree with the proposition that having Surtain on the field will but the opposite CB in a position of LESS "duress"...The fact that Surtain is out there will mean the opposite CB will become a target. That CB will be targeted until he shows he's competant. I was already concerned about how Warfield would hold up as a #2 CB this year. My theory being that as our #1 last year he didn't get targeted as often as he would opposite Surtain. Last year the drop off in talent between Warfield and whomever was getting burnt on the other side of the field was a no brainer for offensive coordinators...just throw it against #2 and watch the yardage pile up. We could be in a similar position this year.
It's very likely that Warfield will get picked on more this year than last year. He will probably not have as good a year this year as he did lat year, and his actual skills or lack thereof may be more exposed this year.

On the other hand, I expect the #2 cornerback spot to be greatly improved over the last several years. The same with the nickel.
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Old 06-23-2005, 02:31 PM   #15
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