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Old 04-09-2009, 11:15 PM  
Raised On Riots Raised On Riots is offline
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A counter: Dodging a pass rusher and Aaron Curry's knockout punch
by Kent Babb

It wasn't until I looked yesterday at the Chiefs' would-be depth chart that I realized how bad their defense really was last year and could be again in 2009. There are holes throughout the front seven, and really, none of them have been addressed thoroughly in this often-productive, occasionally confusing offseason.

My persuasive and always charismatic colleague Adam Teicher is right: the Chiefs do need a pass rusher. They need a player who can fill holes, stuff rushing lanes, chase the quarterback and look like someone might, once and for all, scare away the ghost of Jared Allen. But that's not the whole story. There is a more pressing need in that defense that must be addressed immediately.

Adam and I have publicly been on opposite sides of this debate before, him saying the Chiefs need a pass rusher more than a linebacker, and me taking the opposite side. There's no doubt the Chiefs need someone who can get the quarterback, but here's all I had to see yesterday when I looked at how Kansas City's linebackers would set up if the season started tomorrow (and, for now, we'll pretend like the Chiefs are going to run the 3-4):

LOLB Monty Beisel or Tamba Hali
LILB Demorrio Williams
RILB Derrick Johnson
ROLB Mike Vrabel

Disagree with that setup? Well, pick and choose from the remaining Chiefs linebackers and set your dream linebacking corps from the following names: Weston Dacus, Curtis Gatewood, Corey Mays and Darrell Robertson.

Yep. That's the situation.

Now, keep in mind when looking at that proposed starting unit that two players are new to the Chiefs and that Hali hasn't played linebacker in his three previous NFL seasons. With his build, it's hard to imagine he'd immediately be effective as a starting linebacker unless he spent this offseason getting faster and working on his coverage skills.

That's why it is absolutely essential that the Chiefs stick with their No. 3 pick -- unless some lopsided trade is proposed that gives the team two first-round picks, and then we'll talk -- and select Aaron Curry, if he's available. He gives a tremendously weak unit an instant upgrade and injects a likely superstar into the corps for several years. Curry's presence would begin a chain reaction that would improve the other linebackers.

OK, so I'll grant that selecting a linebacker doesn't solve the pass rushing issues. Curry wasn't a sacks machine at Wake Forest, and there's no real reason to think he'd ever have 15 sacks in an NFL season. But my argument here is that, believe it or not, the defensive line needs far less work than the linebackers. Glenn Dorsey should blossom this year, at least based on the team's expectations, and if he does, that gives the line a star that the linebacking unit just doesn't have. If Tamba Hali, Tank Tyler or Turk McBride improve and one of them emerges as a very good lineman, the Chiefs line is at least halfway there. And in the NFL, sacks fall at least as much on the linebackers' shoulders as on the linemen. Without solid linebackers, the linemen are naked out there, and I don't know anybody who finds anything appealing about that.

The Chiefs aren't looking for quick fixes here. And there's what my economics teacher taught me would be an opportunity cost with selecting a pass rusher in, say, Everette Brown or Brian Orakpo, both terrific players clearly. That cost would be that, for another year, the linebackers go essentially untouched. And as you look at that proposed starting lineup above, remember these facts:

Hali has no NFL experience as a linebacker, and the Chiefs might need him more on the defensive line. Beisel and Williams have struggled at times. Johnson hasn't played up to expectations and is entering his fourth season. Vrabel is about to turn 34, one year younger than Donnie Edwards was last year when he began to break down and became a detriment.

It's time to address all those concerns and one important unit. It cannot wait any longer. The Chiefs can add a pass rusher in later rounds and hope he turns out, or wait until next offseason to add a star in free agency. With help, the remaining defensive line could be serviceable. But unfortunately for the line, that help comes from the linebackers.

An upgrade is long overdue. Curry's the choice here.
http://chiefsblog.kansascity.com/?q=node/763
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Old 04-09-2009, 11:16 PM   #2
Count Zarth Count Zarth is online now
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Quote:
LOLB Monty Beisel or Tamba Hali
Indeed, "LOL" backer.
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Old 04-09-2009, 11:18 PM   #3
Mecca Mecca is offline
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I'd like my time back after reading that.
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Mecca has just been standing around suckin' on a big ol' chili dog.Mecca has just been standing around suckin' on a big ol' chili dog.Mecca has just been standing around suckin' on a big ol' chili dog.Mecca has just been standing around suckin' on a big ol' chili dog.Mecca has just been standing around suckin' on a big ol' chili dog.Mecca has just been standing around suckin' on a big ol' chili dog.Mecca has just been standing around suckin' on a big ol' chili dog.Mecca has just been standing around suckin' on a big ol' chili dog.Mecca has just been standing around suckin' on a big ol' chili dog.Mecca has just been standing around suckin' on a big ol' chili dog.Mecca has just been standing around suckin' on a big ol' chili dog.
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Old 04-09-2009, 11:22 PM   #4
Count Zarth Count Zarth is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kent Blabb
An upgrade is long overdue. Curry's the choice here.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Ash
So, please, lets stop all the Curry insanity. Hes a fine prospect. But if he was half the player some seem to think he is, with the weak state of the top 10, hed be long gone by the time the Chiefs make their pick.


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Old 04-09-2009, 11:24 PM   #5
DaneMcCloud DaneMcCloud is offline
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Someone in KC, please give Kent Babb a good, old-fashioned cock punch.
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Old 04-09-2009, 11:24 PM   #6
Raised On Riots Raised On Riots is offline
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Originally Posted by Mecca View Post
I'd like my time back after reading that.
C'mon Maihn, that's high-dollar "frustration comedy" you just can't buy!

(or would even want to)
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Old 04-09-2009, 11:25 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by DaneMcCloud View Post
Someone in KC, please give Kent Babb a good, old-fashioned cock punch.
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Old 04-09-2009, 11:25 PM   #8
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I must have never looked at "Kent's" first name. Just read Babb and thought it was a woman.

He writes like a bitch.
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Old 04-09-2009, 11:27 PM   #9
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That's why it is absolutely essential that the Chiefs stick with their No. 3 pick and select Aaron Curry, if he's available. He gives a tremendously weak unit an instant upgrade and injects a likely superstar into the corps for several years. Curry's presence would begin a chain reaction that would improve the other linebackers.
Curry will make Monty Beisel the new Merriman.
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Old 04-09-2009, 11:28 PM   #10
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Aaron Curry really is Jesus I'm now convinced.
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Old 04-09-2009, 11:29 PM   #11
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Curry will make Monty Beisel the new Merriman.
Curry will be so good that Bobby Sippio will be re-signed and lead the league in TD's and yardage.
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Old 04-09-2009, 11:33 PM   #12
Raised On Riots Raised On Riots is offline
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Aaron Curry really is Jesus I'm now convinced.
Between guys like Babb and the local radio scene, I'm surprised 95% of the fan base isn't walking around sporting custom-fitted drool catchers.
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Old 04-09-2009, 11:55 PM   #13
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So is the writer saying that Curry = Jack Bauer/Jesus? Or is he saying that it LB is a position of need and Curry justifies the #3 pick? Whatever. It seems to me that the "transition" to the 3-4 is going to be REAL slow as we don't have the personnel for it. So many needs, so few picks...
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Old 04-09-2009, 11:57 PM   #14
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Between guys like Babb and the local radio scene, I'm surprised 95% of the fan base isn't walking around sporting custom-fitted drool catchers.
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Old 04-10-2009, 12:19 AM   #15
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He even got the linebacking crew depth chart wrong. Lets see here, DeMorrio Williams as a MLB? Oh please. He is a pass rusher in a 3-4 set. Hell he played DE in Atlanta some and did at Nebraska as well. I know Monty Beisel played DE at K-State but he is a MLB now.
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