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Old 09-07-2009, 05:14 PM  
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Gretz: Analyzing The Chiefs Opening Roster

Analyzing The Chiefs Opening Roster
September 7, 2009 - Bob Gretz |

Todd Haley says the Chiefs have the “right 53″ to head into the 2009 NFL season.

Time will tell if this roster is right or wrong when it comes to producing victories for a franchise and its fan base that is starving to celebrate winning again.

One thing is obvious as the Chiefs get ready to kickoff the ‘09 season in Baltimore – this team does not have enough good players. As we go through the roster position-by-position, player-by-player, it becomes abundantly clear that the Chiefs have few strengths and plenty of weaknesses.

Here’s our view with an evaluation for each position, ranked from poor at the bottom, to average, good and finally very good at the top. One hint: the Chiefs don’t possess a position group that ranks as very good.

QUARTERBACKS
(4): Matt Cassel, Brodie Croyle (above right), Matt Gutierrez and Tyler Thigpen.

* Lost: Damon Huard, Ingle Martin
* Added: Cassel, Gutierrez
* Analysis: The QB position is improved, even with Cassel starting the season with an injury. He’s shown in his time with the team that he has all the intangibles anyone would want from their franchise quarterback. But he remains an unfinished product, with plenty of mistakes to make and learn from. Croyle’s future is likely not with the Chiefs but he can be a competent backup; plus he took some big shots during the pre-season and got up every time, so hopefully for him his streak of bad luck with injuries is over. Thigpen is a fish out of water with the drop-back offense.
* GRADE: Average.

RUNNING BACKS (5): Jackie Battle, Jamaal Charles, Mike Cox, Larry Johnson (right) and Dantrell Savage.

* Lost: 0
* Added: 0
* Analysis: One of the stronger positions on the ‘09 roster, the Chiefs corps of running backs has a lot of different styles. If Johnson can remain healthy, he should be the leading ball carrier. But if Charles can hold on to the football, he’ll get more and more opportunities because he’s one of the few weapons the offense actually has. Battle combines speed and power, while Savage is all guts in moving the ball. Cox has gotten better as a blocker, but he should continue to rent rather than buy.
* GRADE: Good.

WIDE RECEIVERS (5): Dwayne Bowe, Mark Bradley, Terrance Copper, Bobby Engram and Quinten Lawrence.

* Lost: Devard Darling, Jeff Webb.
* Added: Copper, Engram, Lawrence.
* Analysis: This is one position where Pioli/Haley failed to upgrade the personnel level. Copper is another version of Darling, but without the speed. Engram is much better than Webb, but he’s 36 years old and can’t provide help on every down. Lawrence has speed, but he’s inconsistent in everything else, especially catching the football. If the rookie grows up, he can be a factor and lift this group. We all know Bowe as a good receiver and Bradley as average.
* GRADE: Poor.

TIGHT ENDS (3): Brad Cottam, Jake O’Connell and Sean Ryan.

* Lost: Tony Gonzalez
* Added: O’Connell, Ryan.
* Analysis: Now the Chiefs find out what it’s like to have a normal NFL tight end position, without the receiving talents of a guy like Gonzalez. Right now Ryan is the starter and he’s certainly earned that with his play. His strength is as a blocker. Cottam’s training camp and pre-season were a disappointment as he was not able to elevate his game and grab the starting job. O’Connell has battled injuries and showed good hands.
* GRADE: Poor.

OFFENSIVE LINE (8): Branden Albert, Andy Alleman, Mike Goff, Ikechuku Ndukwe, Rudy Niswanger, Ryan O’Callaghan, Wade Smith and Brian Waters.

* Lost: Damion McIntosh, Herb Taylor, Tavares Washington, Eric Ghiaciuc, Barry Richardson.
* Added: Alleman, Goff, Ndukwe, O’Callaghan.
* Analysis: Pioli/Haley certainly can’t be accused of standing pat on the offensive line, as they released four blockers from last year and also one of their own UFA signees in Ghiaciuc. The left side of the line is set up pretty well with Albert and Waters. At center Niswanger is average. It’s the right side that’s had the most problems and it appears that Goff and Ndukwe will start there. But you can bet those starting spots will be very fluid, especially with Alleman and O’Callaghan in the house.
* GRADE: Poor.

DEFENSIVE LINE
(6): Glenn Dorsey (left), Ron Edwards, Wallace Gilberry, Tyson Jackson, Alex Magee and Tank Tyler.

* Lost: Alfonso Boone, Derek Lokey.
* Added: Jackson, Magee.
* Analysis: There are high draft choices in this group, but none have yet shown themselves to be a top flight NFL defensive end or nose tackle. Dorsey was OK in the pre-season, Tyler was inconsistent and Jackson and Magee played like rookies, meaning some good, some bad. Gilberry probably improved the most among the D-Linemen.
* GRADE: Average.

LINEBACKERS (10): Monty Beisel, Jovan Belcher, Tamba Hali (right), Derrick Johnson, Corey Mays, Turk McBride, Andy Studebaker, Mike Vrabel, Pierre Walters and Demorrio Williams.

* Lost: Rocky Boiman, Donnie Edwards, Pat Thomas.
* Added: Beisel, Belcher, Mays, Vrabel, Walters.
* Analysis: What a mixed bag the situation at linebacker! Vrabel has been a good addition if only for his brain and leadership. Now, he must stay healthy, something that becomes harder and harder for 34-year old veterans (see Donnie Edwards.) The transitioning trio of Tamba Hali, Turk McBride and Andy Studebaker has responded well to playing in a two-point stance, rather than with their hand on the ground. It will be interesting to see how opposing offenses try to take advantage of their lack of pass coverage experience. Mays was the find of the off-season and Williams rise from the rehab team to the starting lineup is remarkable. Just as remarkable is the fall of Johnson to a third-team spot, behind even rookie Belcher.
* GRADE: Average.

DEFENSIVE BACKS
(9): Mike Brown, Brandon Carr, Ricardo Colclough, Brandon Flowers, Maurice Leggett (left), Jon McGraw, DaJuan Morgan, Jarrad Page and Donald Washington.

* Lost: Bernard Pollard, Travis Daniels.
* Added: Brown, Washington.
* Analysis: On paper, this is the strongest position group on the team’s roster. On the field, it will be interesting to see if they live up to their notices. The quartet of corners in Carr, Flowers, Leggett and Washington is young and very athletic; Flowers may have been the best player in training camp. There’s turnover at safety, with McGraw and Brown now starting in place of Paige and Pollard. Don’t be surprised if Morgan gets some playing time back there as well.
* GRADE: Good.

SPECIAL TEAMS (3): P Dustin Colquitt, LS Thomas Gafford and K Ryan Succop, with returners Charles, Lawrence, Leggett and Savage.

* Lost: Connor Barth.
* Added: Succop, Lawrence.
* Analysis: Colquitt was one of the most overworked punters in the NFL through the pre-season, as he ranked in the top 10 for punts, gross average and net average. He ranks as very good. Succop has shown a powerful leg and had he not missed a 28-yarder, there would be a great deal more excitement about him. Gafford is a serviceable snapper. The return situation remains hazy and unproductive; the field apparently has been narrowed to four guys. Lawrence is a rookie and the other three combined have eight NFL punt returns for a 2.1-yard average and 46 kick returns for a 22.9-yard average.
* Grade: Average.
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Old 09-07-2009, 05:24 PM   #2
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Old 09-07-2009, 05:31 PM   #3
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average.
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Old 09-07-2009, 05:35 PM   #4
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average.
Would be a massive improvement.
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Old 09-07-2009, 05:48 PM   #5
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Would be a massive improvement.
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Old 09-07-2009, 05:59 PM   #6
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That's what I was thinking. My hatred of Hermen F'n Edwards grows with every passing moment. I can't believe I ever gave that moron the benefit of the doubt.
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Old 09-07-2009, 06:29 PM   #7
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Translation: Have plenty of Guinness (or whatever your drink of choice may be) on hand - it's gonna be a long season. However, Peterson is gone and Herm (sucks big cock and should be run over by a bus) Edwards is nothing but a bad memory.
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Old 09-07-2009, 06:33 PM   #8
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Old 09-07-2009, 08:41 PM   #9
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That's what I was thinking. My hatred of Hermen F'n Edwards grows with every passing moment. I can't believe I ever gave that moron the benefit of the doubt.
It wouldn't have mattered. I NEVER gave Herm any benefits and HATED him every second he was HC. I still suffered through 3 seasons...
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Old 09-07-2009, 08:54 PM   #10
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Not good enough to come into baltimore and win!
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Old 09-07-2009, 08:59 PM   #11
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Not good enough to come into baltimore and win!
No shit, dumb ****.
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Old 09-07-2009, 09:00 PM   #12
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Not good enough to come into baltimore and win!
you dumbass everyone is predicting a victory for KC......
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Old 09-07-2009, 09:01 PM   #13
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Ravens favored by 10 and 1/2 already....
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Old 09-07-2009, 09:02 PM   #14
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Ravens favored by 10 and 1/2 already....
go steelers.
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Old 09-07-2009, 09:03 PM   #15
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Ravens favored by 10 and 1/2 already....
If you put the over/under on # of Chiefs points vs. the number of murders Ray Lewis got away with by being a snitch ass ****, I'd still take the under.
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