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Old 10-13-2021, 07:46 AM  
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FO and Coaching Staff Have Derailed This Season

https://zonecoverage.com/2021/chiefs...chiefs-season/

Well-written article. I was going to post that it was "a good read", but it won't make you feel any better :

Quote:
By*Justin Wiggins*- October 12, 2021

The Kansas City Chiefs’ dream of a dynasty is quickly falling apart.

On Sunday night in Arrowhead, the defending AFC Champions were embarrassed by the visiting Buffalo Bills, falling 38-20 and officially closing any gap the Chiefs may have had between themselves and what many believe to be their biggest threat in the AFC this season.

Their biggest weakness is evident right now, with the defense off to a horrific start. It’s more than just bad. Frankly, it’s historic. Through five weeks, the defense is surrendering 7.1 yards per play, which is the highest-ever number allowed by an NFL team, according to Pro Football Reference.

But wait, it gets better. The best offense of the past 20 years is undoubtedly the 2007 New England Patriots, who averaged 3.3 points per drive — the exact same amount of points per drive the Chiefs’ defense is allowing through five weeks. Simply put, this years’ defense is turning opposing offenses into the greatest offense our generation has ever seen every week.

Will they maintain this historic pace of ineptitude? Unlikely, but that’s not to say it will markedly improve, not with the results Chiefs fans have endured so far.


However, even with Pro Bowlers across the defense, the blame for this disastrous production does not lie solely with the players. The complete collapse on the defensive side falls squarely on the shoulders of the front office and coaching staff. The countless off-season miscues, paired with a puzzling deployment of players on defense, are the biggest reasons the Chiefs might find themselves wasting a season of prime*Patrick Mahomes.

Over the past two summers, the front office, led by general manager Brett Veach, has doomed this year’s defense by compounding poor draft and free agency decisions. The Mahomes-led offense is so good that they’ve been able to overcome these shortcomings the past couple of seasons. However, constant mistakes from the front office have finally reached a level their otherworldly abilities can no longer sustain.

Let’s take it back two years. Following their Super Bowl win in 2019, the Chiefs found themselves in a cap-crunched world. They weren’t alone; many other teams in the NFL during a tumultuous off-season with numerous unknowns surrounding COVID-19 and its impact on the 2020 season.

Frank Clark*was brought in via trade the summer before and was set to have his cap hit jump from $6.5 million to $19.3 million. Linebacker*Anthony*Hitchens’*contract was also ready to spike from just $5.2 million to $12.7 million. Both players would need to step up and produce on a more consistent basis than they did last year. Neither player performed at the level the Chiefs needed, with Clark tallying just six sacks and Hitchens collecting a measly 78 tackles while continuing to be a liability in coverage.

The draft that summer didn’t help either. The Chiefs selected*Clyde Edwards-Helaire, who has become a replacement-level running back, with their first-round pick when taking a defensive player would have been more prudent. The lack of talent on one side of the ball was evident, yet the Chiefs were still somehow able to overcome those obstacles and returned to the Super Bowl for the second year in a row.

While the defense may not have been the driving factor in their Super Bowl loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the front office knew they still needed to generate more pressure up front while also finding depth at cornerback. Veach and head coach*Andy Reid*expressed a need to get younger and more athletic on defense in the off-season.

In the 2021 draft, the Chiefs selected of LB*Nick Bolton*out of the University of Missouri in the second round. The one knock on Bolton in college was his athleticism — not a great start. The Chiefs were in desperate need of more speed in the middle of their defense to pair with*Willie Gay*Jr., and their top selection in the draft was used on an Anthony Hitchens clone. So much for the faster part of getting “younger and faster.” Bolton has been okay at times in the run game but has been a major liability when asked to range from side to side, a trait they desperately needed.

The only other pick in the draft allocated towards defense was in the fourth round, and defensive end*Joshua Kaindoh*was seen more as a project than an instant producer. The Chiefs left yet another draft with few resources spent on impact players for the defense.

Not only did they fail to address the pass rush or the secondary depth in the draft, the free-agency period was no better. Proven cornerback*Bashaud Breeland*signed with the Minnesota Vikings; in fact, the Chiefs essentially swapped cornerbacks with Minnesota when later in the summer they acquired former first-rounder*Mike Hughes*for pennies on the dollar. Breeland had been a contributing factor for Steve Spagnuoulo’s defense over the past couple seasons, while Hughes found himself quickly out of favor in Minnesota due to his injury history and poor performance. The results have been predictable, with Hughes finding himself abused by opposing quarterbacks all season.

However, Veach did find himself a Pro Bowl-caliber defensive tackle in free agency.*Jarran Reed*was released by the Seattle Seahawks and later signed with the Chiefs on a one-year prove-it deal. Last year, Reed proved disruptive up the middle, leading Seattle with 6.5 sacks and earning his first Pro Bowl selection. Alas, Reed has been a disaster in Kansas City this season, totaling just six tackles and only two QB hurries. Yet another free-agent whiff from Veach and the front office.

The string of misses by the front office has greatly affected the defense this season. But to make matters worse, the coaching staff’s deployment of its resources has been puzzling. While*Dan Sorensen*has been perhaps the worst safety in football so far this season, it’s not his fault that the coaching staff has repeatedly asked the aging vet to cover athletic tight ends and wide receivers. It’s even more perplexing when young, athletic options like*Juan Thornhill*remain on the bench.

Thornhill was drafted in the second round in 2019 as a perfect complement to*Tyrann Mathieu. However, the coaches have been repeatedly trying to fit a square peg into a round hole by placing Sorensen at the deep safety position, and it showed time and time again on national television Sunday. Sorensen was at fault for two touchdowns allowed and still played 100% of the defensive snaps.

On top of the secondary struggling to cover opposing teams, the defensive front remains a mystery when one considers the amount of money that’s been allocated to the front seven. In training camp, Spagnuolo announced All-Pro defensive tackle*Chris Jones*would be sliding out to defensive end this season. While few doubted Jones’ ability to remain a disruptive force on the outside, many questioned whether it made sense to move a player from his most dominant position. The early results of the 2021 campaign are starting to suggest it was a bad idea. Jones has been okay on the outside, but his true value remains as a dominate interior rusher.

GMs and coaches are human, and they are allowed to make mistakes. For most of the past couple seasons, Mahomes and the offense have been great enough to overshadow them. But the front office miscues and downright confusing coaching decisions are piling up, one on top of the other.

The truth is, the margin for error in Kansas City is no longer thin. It’s non-existent.

JUSTIN WIGGINS

Justin Wiggins covers the Kansas City Chiefs for Zone Coverage.

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Old 10-13-2021, 06:23 PM   #46
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Originally Posted by chiefzilla1501 View Post
We have an elite head coach
Really?

How many times do we not seem ready to play? How many cutesy plays kills us? Can a coach be elite when they ignore 2/3rds of the team? This team lacks discipline, focus, intensity an awful lot for having an elite coach. A lot of issues.

Are you sure we don't just have an elite offensive coordinator?
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Old 10-13-2021, 06:46 PM   #47
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Originally Posted by kccrow View Post
Good notes for sure. Missing McKinney, Dugger, Winfield, and Delpit at S, most of which are looking like solid picks but we can agree the Chiefs didn't appear to have a major need at S and especially not in round 1.

The player they probably should have grabbed there was a WR. Tee Higgins, Michael Pittman Jr, Chase Claypool, take your pick. The writing was on the wall with Sammy and any of those was the absolute perfect fit as an X replacement. Higgins was particularly dubbed a 1st round prospect and would look pretty good here.
Absolutely THIS! I could not agree more.
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Old 10-13-2021, 07:07 PM   #48
mschiefs1984 mschiefs1984 is offline
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Originally Posted by JakeF View Post
Really?

How many times do we not seem ready to play? How many cutesy plays kills us? Can a coach be elite when they ignore 2/3rds of the team? This team lacks discipline, focus, intensity an awful lot for having an elite coach. A lot of issues.

Are you sure we don't just have an elite offensive coordinator?
You don't win as he has without being Elite

That being said I think it's becoming clear that he is past his prime. There is no way this team should be on the bottom of the standings.

Also maybe we are seeing part of the reason EB hasn't landed a HC job yet
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Old 10-13-2021, 07:44 PM   #49
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Here's the thing about using the CEH pick for a stud defender. These are the non-safety (we had to be set with Thornhill and Mathieu at the time) defenders chosen between CEH and Willie Gay Jr.:

DE - Yetur Akkub Gross-Matos: 14 solo tackles and 3 sacks in his career so far. PFF grade 55-58.

DT - Ross Blacklock: stats are hard to measure on DTs, but his PFF grade for 2020 was 30.2. Looks like he's doing better so far in 2021.

DE - Marlon Davidson: 7 tackles, 1 sack in career. PFF grade around 60.

DE - Darrell Taylor: zero production in 2020, but is kicking ass in 2021 - 4 sacks, PFF grade 71.5

CB - Jaylon Johnson: PFF grade of 55 last year, looking better this year at 74.

CB - Trevon Diggs: there's your diamond, 9 INTs in career so far, but lol PFF only has him at 62/67.

DT - Raekwon Davis: PFF 71 last year but 28 so far this year

OLB - Josh Uche: PFF 78/61

For comparison, Derek Nnadi had a grade of 75 last year, Ward had 65.

They probably didn't have an idea about Jones moving to DE yet. So they would probably have felt set at DT. Also if they liked Gay Jr. they might not go for LB. So it seems like DE and CB would be most likely.

Taylor was injured so that's a one year wait. The other two DEs have been kinda meh but would still be an upgrade to what we have now.

Trevon Diggs definitely looks like the guy we should have gone for.
CB - Trevon Diggs: there's your diamond, 9 INTs in career so far, but lol PFF only has him at 62/67. Who woulda thunk? WOW!
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Old 10-13-2021, 07:46 PM   #50
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Originally Posted by mschiefs1984 View Post
You don't win as he has without being Elite

That being said I think it's becoming clear that he is past his prime. There is no way this team should be on the bottom of the standings.

Also maybe we are seeing part of the reason EB hasn't landed a HC job yet
Past his prime 5 games after being in the SB in back to back seasons and the AFCCG the previous 3.
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Old 10-13-2021, 07:48 PM   #51
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There's not a single original thought in his article. Cookie cutter af.
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Old 10-13-2021, 09:38 PM   #52
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You know what’s derailed the early part of the season?

Being -7 in the turnover battle.

If we stop shooting ourselves in the foot, things immediately turn around and we resume winning.
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Old 10-13-2021, 09:45 PM   #53
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Old 10-14-2021, 12:06 AM   #54
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I dont like how the Chiefs ignored the DE and CB positions in the offseason.

The Chris Jones DE experiment is currently failing.

I mean....Mike "fucking" Dana leads this team in sacks.

Lots of resources spent on the DL and they can't get to the QB.

The sad and honest truth is....the Chiefs don't do anything well. It's one thing to maybe lean on something you do well and run with that but the Chiefs can't even do that.
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Old 10-14-2021, 12:17 AM   #55
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Originally Posted by JakeF View Post
Really?

How many times do we not seem ready to play? How many cutesy plays kills us? Can a coach be elite when they ignore 2/3rds of the team? This team lacks discipline, focus, intensity an awful lot for having an elite coach. A lot of issues.

Are you sure we don't just have an elite offensive coordinator?
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Old 10-14-2021, 12:19 AM   #56
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Originally Posted by BossChief View Post
You know what’s derailed the early part of the season?

Being -7 in the turnover battle.

If we stop shooting ourselves in the foot, things immediately turn around and we resume winning.
How many turnovers has our defense gotten? I agree with you to an extent but this is a historically bad defense. The offense goes into the game almost knowing 30 points might not be enough naturally they are going to press.
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Old 10-14-2021, 12:36 AM   #57
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How many turnovers has our defense gotten? I agree with you to an extent but this is a historically bad defense. The offense goes into the game almost knowing 30 points might not be enough naturally they are going to press.
Veach needs to sit down with Tyrann and find a way to energize him. He’s the obvious leader of the defense and him not playing spirited football is hurting this defense both directly and indirectly.

We can all talk in circles about the reasons why the defense has taken a step back -and there are lots of reasons- but none more important than not having him breathing fire everywhere and constantly rallying the troops.

These guys are jogging through plays.
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Old 10-14-2021, 01:26 AM   #58
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Our defense is so bad, it's the opposite of oatmeal, it's bad for our hearts. If our defense was a bowl of oatmeal it would be good for something, our defense is good for nothing. Different strokes for that which is brokes.
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Old 10-14-2021, 04:45 AM   #59
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Originally Posted by BossChief View Post
Veach needs to sit down with Tyrann and find a way to energize him. He’s the obvious leader of the defense and him not playing spirited football is hurting this defense both directly and indirectly.

We can all talk in circles about the reasons why the defense has taken a step back -and there are lots of reasons- but none more important than not having him breathing fire everywhere and constantly rallying the troops.

These guys are jogging through plays.
Tyrann is a money first guy. He's as much a leader as he is a social media deva. The only thing that will "energize' him will be the contract he wants. The difference with him, as opposed to a some other guys who were paid, is that Tyrann will play hard after he gets it. Having said that, I would still not pay the guy the kind of money he wants. Don't want tons of dollars tied up at Safety. In fact, this off season I'd look to get rid of all the big contract guys who are under performing and would also consider trading Jones. Not advocating that, but I'd see what I could get for him. If they do decide to keep him, then move him the **** back to DT where he has proven to be an elite talent. They need to completely overhaul the defense. That includes replacing Spags if he can't get this defense respectable. I would not saddle the new DC with big contracts guys who must play because of dollars. With our offense, the defense just needs to be average. That can be achieved in one off season.

For the remainder of this season, I'd move CJ back to DT and bench guys who are playing like shit. Spare nobody in that category. I'd try to generate a pass rush, in some way, and be very aggressive and see if I could create turnovers and make shit happen. I'd look at Spags like he is coaching to save his job. See if he can come up with something to change where the defense is now. The talent is not there to keep doing what he is doing by keeping the same players doing the same things.
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Old 10-14-2021, 05:55 AM   #60
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Originally Posted by JakeF View Post
Really?

How many times do we not seem ready to play? How many cutesy plays kills us? Can a coach be elite when they ignore 2/3rds of the team? This team lacks discipline, focus, intensity an awful lot for having an elite coach. A lot of issues.

Are you sure we don't just have an elite offensive coordinator?
A guy who doesn't prepare his team isn't going to win 75% of his games as consistently as Andy Reid does. Our record in September before this year is absurdly good. So is Reid's record after a bye week. You don't do these things unless you really understand preparation. Andy Reid is an offense genius but cmon, we've seen plenty of coaches just as smart as Reid be dogshit at running a team. Reid is a terrific motivator, he knows how to prepare for a week, and he's one of the most hands on coaches in terms of telling players how to do things better. He isn't just elite, he's one of the best of all time.

We are spoiled of we're going to gripe about Reid not being perfect on terms of preparing players.

That being said if we're talking about this season, I do wonder if he's pretty distracted with the whole Britt Reid thing and I couldn't blame him.

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