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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, 07:51 AM   #2
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Called Bolton a Hitchens clone.

Says letting Breeland go was a mistake.

What a dogshit article
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Old 10-13-2021, 08:11 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Superturtle View Post
Called Bolton a Hitchens clone.

Says letting Breeland go was a mistake.

What a dogshit article
Well, Bolton is getting exploited in coverage...and in the run...I can't tell if him or Hitchens is out there. Neither can stop anything. Hell, are our LBs allowed to tackle? They both disappear. DO WE ACTUALLY EVEN SEND THEM INTO THE FIELD?
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Old 10-13-2021, 08:30 AM   #4
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After reading that I was pretty confident if I looked at his article history I would find something saying the exact opposite of this article and what do you know.

Let me present to you the article the same dude wrote September 9th going into the season without Willie Gay.

Its called "The Chiefs defense can survive without Willie Gay".

The entire premise is we are better at every level of the defense with more depth.

So sorry if I think Justin Wiggins writes like most of CP posts. His articles have no more depth or nuance than anyone here.

Quote:
By Justin Wiggins - September 9, 2021

When someone mentions the Kansas City Chiefs, the first thing that comes to mind is their ridiculously talented offense led by quarterback Patrick Mahomes and head coach Andy Reid. Who can blame them? Every Chiefs highlight for the past three seasons has pretty exclusively featured Mahomes throwing absolute bombs to his litany of weapons at awkward arm angles that make everyone over the age of 30 wonder if they should grab some ice for their own shoulders after simply watching.

However, for perhaps the first time in the Mahomes era, it’s the defense that has grabbed the fair share of headlines during this year’s camp and preseason. Now, before we go any further, this is not an indictment of the offense. Reid and offensive coordinator Eric Bienemy still have that locomotive churning along at full speed, but the defense has not backed down this summer.

Day after day the defense showed up in team drills, and that momentum carried over to the three preseason games. In those games, the first-team defense played a total of nine drives and allowed just three points, an opening-drive field goal from the Vikings in the final contest. The praise has come pouring in for the usual standouts, like defensive tackle-turned-defensive end Chris Jones, cornerback L’Jarius Sneed, and All-Pro safety Tyrann Mathieu.

It’s the lesser known commodities that have also turned heads this past month. One of those players, second-year linebacker Willie Gay Jr., finally displayed his ability to be an every-down linebacker capable of chasing down opposing tight ends and running backs all over the field, a type of talent missing from the middle of the Chiefs’ defense since the departure of Derrick Johnson following the 2017 season.

Mahomes and the high-powered offense finally had a defense that can run with them. That was until the Chiefs announced on Sept. 2nd that Gay would be placed on the injured reserve, shelving the Mississippi State product for the first three weeks of the season at a minimum. Gut punch.

Chiefs fans saw the potential of Gay in this defense towards the end of last season. Drafted in the second round of 2020, Gay was brought along slowly by defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo throughout his rookie campaign, steadily increasing his snaps until week 16, when he finally played half the team snaps, producing nine tackles and a forced fumble against the Atlanta Falcons. Then came week 17, when Reid rested most of his starters with the No. 1 seed in the AFC locked up. Gay suffered a high ankle sprain in the first quarter and couldn’t finish the game, missing the first two playoff contests. He later tore his meniscus in a practice leading up to the Super Bowl in Tampa Bay, ending his season.

Days later, the football world watched (and Chiefs fans cringed) as Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ running backs Leonard Fournette and Ronald Jones combined for 196 total yards, while tight end Rob Gronkowski Hulk-smashed multiple footballs into the end-zone turf during his two-touchdown performance in the Super Bowl. It was clear the Chiefs just didn’t have the ability to match up with the Bucs’ runningbacks and tight ends up and down the field, and Tampa Bay knew that.

Fast-forward seven months, and many of the Arrowhead faithful harness the same fears with Gay on injured reserve. Can the Chiefs’ defense survive without him? The idea of facing Baker Mayfield, Lamar Jackson, and Justin Herbert in a row in the first three weeks doesn’t help either. PANIC! EVERYBODY PANIC!

Take a deep breath, sit down, and relax with some of your favorite Joe’s Kansas City BBQ. It’s going to be alright. This defense is far better equipped to handle the loss of their star linebacker this time around.

The depth on defense for Kansas City this season is vastly better than it was last postseason without Gay. The defensive line was far from consistent, the linebackers were over-matched in roles exposing their weaknesses, and the secondary was missing a key contributor. Today, all three levels of the defense are better equipped to help fill the hole left by Gay Jr.’s absence, specifically due to three key additions.

1. JARRAN REED, DT
When Reed refused a contract restructure with the Seattle Seahawks in March, the line of teams attempting to sign the former second-rounder was long, as it should be for an interior lineman coming off a 10.5-sack season. Reed fielded multiple offers but in the end turned down more money for the opportunity to play alongside his old Seahawks teammate, defensive end Frank Clark, and perennial All-Pro Chris Jones. In fact, the Reed addition was even more welcomed by Jones, as his desire to switch positions from defensive tackle to defensive end was now made possible. Moving Jones to the outside opposite of Clark and pairing Reed with emerging young interior talent such as Derrick Nnadi, Tershawn Warton, and Khalen Saundersgives Kansas City the deepest defensive line they’ve had in years. Adding another three-down force like Reed inside allows the linebackers behind him a clearer lane to the ball carrier, which is welcome news to the linebackers replacing some of Gay’s snaps who are undersized, such as Ben Niemann and Dorian O’Daniel.

2. NICK BOLTON, LB
When Bolton was drafted out of the University of Missouri in the second round of the 2021 draft, many penciled him in as the eventual replacement for starting middle linebacker Anthony Hitchens once his contract expires after the 2022 season. Until then, he could provide depth. Most were hoping that added depth wouldn’t be tapped into by week 1 already, but here we are. However, Bolton brings a skillset neither Niemann nor O’Daniel possess: size and power in defending the run. Deploying Bolton in early-down situations can help replace the missing production Willie Gay Jr. brought in the run game. As for his missing value in the passing game….

3. JUAN THORNHILL, S
I know, I know, Thornhill isn’t exactly an addition to the roster, but his 2020 season was marred by a lingering ACL tear in his knee from the 2019 postseason. He never was the same explosive center fielder in the free-safety position we saw from his rookie campaign. This preseason, however, all signs point to Thornhill returning to form. How does this help fill the void left in Willie Gay’s absence?

Spagnuolo’s defense relies heavily on three safety sets, and when Thornhill was demoted from the starting lineup last year, too many players were slotted out of position. Daniel Sorenson was asked to cover tight ends and some slot receivers – definitely not his forte. Meanwhile, Mathieu was needed more often than not to patrol the middle of the field, again not his most impactful position. With Thornhill back at free safety, Mathieu can spend more time in the box, picking up the toughest assignment between the tight end and slot receiver, leaving Sorenson to the second option. Simply adding Thornhill into the mix allows for the defense to make up for Gay’s absence in obvious passing situations.

Losing a defender who can impact the game as much as Gay does can be devastating, and to last year’s defense it at times was. But with a shrewd free-agency signing, solid draft pick, and returning talent from injury, the Chiefs’ defense can weather the storm in the beginning of the season until their promising young linebacker returns.

JUSTIN WIGGINS

This dude is obviously just a watch and react emotionally writer, he is probably somewhere here on CP.
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Old 10-13-2021, 08:36 AM   #5
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I have to disagree with the Breeland part, and part of the Nick Bolton part. Bolton isnt an athlete but has appeared more instinctive thus far. Breeland has been worse than sorenson for Minnesota. The Chiefs appear to have Bellichecked him, let a guy go that was about to fall off.
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Old 10-13-2021, 08:45 AM   #6
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Old 10-13-2021, 08:47 AM   #7
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Justin Wiggins is a ****ing idiot.
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Old 10-13-2021, 08:50 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marcellus View Post
After reading that I was pretty confident if I looked at his article history I would find something saying the exact opposite of this article and what do you know.

Let me present to you the article the same dude wrote September 9th going into the season without Willie Gay.

Its called "The Chiefs defense can survive without Willie Gay".

The entire premise is we are better at every level of the defense with more depth.

So sorry if I think Justin Wiggins writes like most of CP posts. His articles have no more depth or nuance than anyone here.




This dude is obviously just a watch and react emotionally writer, he is probably somewhere here on CP.
Exactly… Sounds like a a lot of guys here… We got spoiled the last three years and now we have to go though some adversity just like the other teams… Poor us.. SFC…
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Old 10-13-2021, 08:50 AM   #9
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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.
This is 90% of the problem and the easiest to fix.
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Old 10-13-2021, 08:51 AM   #10
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Sadly accurate article.

Brett Veach is running this franchise into the ground right in front of our eyes.
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Old 10-13-2021, 08:51 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Superturtle View Post
Called Bolton a Hitchens clone.

Says letting Breeland go was a mistake.

What a dogshit article
Bolton probably is a Hitchens clone. Maybe with a little more downhill aggression.

The issue I have is that it's not really the insult the guy thinks it is. Hitchens is a starting NFL linebacker. He may be past his sell by date at this point, but Hitchens has had a 7 year NFL career as a starting interior backer and has been typically solid (with a pretty rough year there in the mix when he first got to KC).

Bolton would be fortunate to have the kind of career Hitchens has had. And the Chiefs, if they can get Hitchens production on a minimum contract for 3 seasons after this one, will have used a 2nd rounder extremely well.
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Old 10-13-2021, 08:54 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by DJ's left nut View Post
Bolton probably is a Hitchens clone. Maybe with a little more downhill aggression.

The issue I have is that it's not really the insult the guy thinks it is. Hitchens is a starting NFL linebacker. He may be past his sell by date at this point, but Hitchens has had a 7 year NFL career as a starting interior backer and has been typically solid (with a pretty rough year there in the mix when he first got to KC).

Bolton would be fortunate to have the kind of career Hitchens has had. And the Chiefs, if they can get Hitchens production on a minimum contract for 3 seasons after this one, will have used a 2nd rounder extremely well.
Don’t you know? We should have 3 Fred Warners by now along with 2 Ed Reeds and 4 Darrell Revis type CBs.
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Old 10-13-2021, 08:55 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by comochiefsfan View Post
Sadly accurate article.

Brett Veach is running this franchise into the ground right in front of our eyes.
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Old 10-13-2021, 09:00 AM   #14
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I think the hardest thing to swallow about what is happening with the defense is that it is so mind boggling that they are this ****ing bad.

They are basically the same unit as last year. Who did we lose? Wilson? Tonah? That isn't changing much imo.

So that leaves Sorenson in a starting safety role and physically declining and moving CJ to the outside. Spags must have implemented something new that the defense is too confused because they are always lost constantly you can tell pre snap.

Still you would think the regression would not be 8 yards per play avg bad. Like historically bad.

Will they put CJ inside and give Thornhill majority snaps? That is the big question, I am not optimistic about that. Spags better figure it out quick because although there is still a lot of season left, but we can't really lose many more games at this point.

The offense minus the TO's are still really good and should be better with the Gordon addition and also I Think with CEH out it will be better not worse. There is still hope to turn it around.
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Old 10-13-2021, 09:02 AM   #15
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Casino cash: $26984
A bit revisionist, don't you think? We all thought we were headed back to the Super Bowl until a couple of weeks ago. One would think that clear errors by the FO would be more obvious in the offseason.
Posts: 46,739
DaFace is obviously part of the inner Circle.DaFace is obviously part of the inner Circle.DaFace is obviously part of the inner Circle.DaFace is obviously part of the inner Circle.DaFace is obviously part of the inner Circle.DaFace is obviously part of the inner Circle.DaFace is obviously part of the inner Circle.DaFace is obviously part of the inner Circle.DaFace is obviously part of the inner Circle.DaFace is obviously part of the inner Circle.DaFace is obviously part of the inner Circle.
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