Key Battle Groups in Making the KC Chiefs Roster

 

 

As we approach the final game of the season, the anticipation builds for who will be part of the final 53. Coach Andy Reid has said that the first team won’t play this week. Instead we will see a tune up half for the second string and a fight for your NFL life quarter for the third and fourth string. Having the extra roster spots has allowed a slightly different approach to determining the final cuts.

 

Consider These Key Battles

 

With the exception of the right cornerback position, it seems the starting team has been set since the start of the season. The battles were expected at the second string level and third string/special teams positions.

 

A couple I have had my eye on are the QB, RB, TE, ILB, and DL.  These positions all had a lot of drafting and free agent signing going on with them. However, after this last game with Spencer Ware going down with an injury, I think there is a bit more clarity on who will make the team. Also, it seems Patrick Mahomes has clearly moved into the QB2 position over Tyler Bray. So, not a lot of competition left there either. This leaves us with TE, ILB, and DL to watch this week.

 

Full disclosure on this, I did not watch every down each of the following players paid nor did I research all of their preseason stats.  This is a combination of the snapshots of what I saw in the game and some stats.

 

 

Considering the Tight Ends

I haven’t really been impressed with the group behind Travis Kelce. I was expecting more from Gavin Escobar when we signed him earlier this year, but that doesn’t seem to be panning out the way I thought. Strangely enough, it seem Demetrius Harris is able to catch the ball now. With the way Reid likes to use TEs, we will probably end up with these three and Ross Travis.

 

 

Considering the Inside Linebackers

It seems the front office continues to search for upgrades at this position. Kevin Pierre-Louis, Reggie Ragland, & Ukeme Eligwe were all added to the mix this year. Justin March-Lillard and Terrence Smith are the other two that are still fighting for spots. Other than Eligwe, I am not sure who will make the final cut. I would probably give the upper hand to Pierre-Louis & Ragland, based on their prior experience.

 

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Considering the Defensive Line

The last group I will be watching is our defensive line. We drafted Tanoh Kpassagnon and picked up Cam Thomas in the off season. Rakeem “Nacho” Nunez-Roches is returning for another season, bringing experience in this defense. After that, we drop off to the fringe players that are looking to beat the bubble. Again, I am not seeing any other clear standouts to make the decision easy.

 

With what I see as a lack of depth at these positions, I hope we can identify the players that have enough upside to get some playing time and provide relief for the first string. If we don’t have them, then we are looking at tired legs, beat up bodies, and fatigue going into the last quarter of the season (and hopefully the playoffs).

 

What do you guys think? Are there other position groups we should worry about? Any players, among the 2s, 3s, & 4s, that you see clearly making the roster in these groups?

 

 

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Frank Leggio
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Frank Leggio

Frank Leggio is an operations director living in the Columbus, OH area.He has two sons and a couple of Beagles.He was born in Germany, went to high school in KS and college in CO.
Frank Leggio
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  • Chiefly Bacon

    I’m not really worried about the DL at all. Your first 5 are Jones, Bailey, Logan, Rochez and Kpassagnon. That leaves just one spot for Roy Miller, Cam Thomas and Jarvis Jenkins to fight over.

    • Laurels and limitations

      Some other team already has their hands on the phone ready for whoever gets cut from KC. KC’s d-line is deep…the vultures are hovering, just waiting to get the scraps.

      • berttheclock

        I hope Veach is looking long and hard at the Seattle cuts. They are much deeper, except for offensive line. Of course, KC is not in the best waiver wire position for pickups.

        • Chiefly Bacon

          Depends on the spot. Chiefs are going to cut some pretty decent ILBs. They have a couple of promising safeties who won’t make the roster either. I think a couple Chiefs players probably get picked up on waivers, if they’re not traded.

  • Chiefly Bacon

    I am a little bit worried about CB. Chiefs first three is fine, but among Gaines, White and Acker, we haven’t seen a ton of stellar performances.

    • berttheclock

      Acker has looked tough on several occasions. Now, what may be hard to decipher from this is which unit did he perform well against? That is always a factor if you just look at preseason games.

      • berttheclock

        One point in Acker’s favor is the fact he can play both safety and CB.

    • Merlin

      Has Mitchell even played in the preseason? I am concerned about his availability

      • Chiefly Bacon

        He’s had a hamstring, it could be lingering, or Chiefs could have just been over cautious with him since it’s preseason and the games don’t matter. I’m guessing the latter, but we’ll see.

        • berttheclock

          Just checked. He had one tackle against the Niners. He did not play in the next two.

  • Laurels and limitations

    The o-line is looking to have some battle going on this evening in matter of depth. The Wiz, and Erving contracts are pretty concerning because both payers scare the bejeezus out of me when they line up. Battle, Mama, Person etc. et-set-er-rah maybe a step below the previous two, but it’s a short step. Aaaaaaand, even though we all have Ehinger penciled in as starter at LG, I’m really hesitant to use the pen. We have such a small amount of sample size that it’s hard to make any kind of definite judgement or evaluation since he got hurt so early last season.

    • berttheclock

      I see Battle and Mama as more than a short step below. Both of them appear to be in the bargain basement with a huge hole in the middle of that floor.

      • Laurels and limitations

        hehe, probably very true.

  • berttheclock

    Does anyone think any performance from any player tonight will make any difference as to final cuts? or, do you believe the coaches have already mentally made up their minds?

    • Laurels and limitations

      I think the roster is already set, of course I believe the roster has been set since well into training camp. 1-2 positional slots maybe earned during pre-season but they will be depth and STs slots.

    • Chiefly Bacon

      If someone really lit it up it might make a difference. Mostly, these guys are probably playing for positioning on the depth chart. Big difference in reps between being the 4th WR and the 5th.

      • berttheclock

        Yeah, yesterday, Laddie kicked around the fact that in the last preseason game a couple of years back, Rico Richardson scored a TD in the waning moments. That was not enough for him to make the roster as the coaches thought Frankie Hammond, Jr could help them more.

    • Frank Rodela

      If it isn’t set, which I believe it is, then 51-52 of the 53 are already set.

  • berttheclock

    One thing to keep in mind for the final roster is the Swiss Army Knife theory. The type of player who can help the team in more than one position is going to have the edge over any player who can only help in just one. Of course, QBs are excluded from that. BTW, by accident, I watched a drive conducted by Chase Daniel with the Saints earlier this AM. He still is an excellent backup.

    • Laurels and limitations

      he’s also in a spot to actually fight for a starting gig in the next coupe of years.

      • berttheclock

        BTW, in that drive by the Saints, Daniel used a RB who is only five eight. Darius Victor, an UDFA from Towson State. He looked very quick to hit the holes, plus, to the outside. Amazing how many very low draft picks and UDFAs I have seen in the RB department this preseason have done well. Consider all of the effort put in by the 32 GMs to find talent in the draft and this is what makes such above even more amazing.

        • Frank Rodela

          As you and I were talking about the other day, keep in mind the talent level Victor was playing against when he was looking good

          • ladner morse

            As Reid has said before… your performance is your tape for other teams to watch…. a good game should help them get a job, even if it’s on a practice squad, for the Chiefs or not. And since the Chiefs have 90 to play with, those guys should get more quality snaps playing with the second team, many of whom will be sticking with the team.

          • berttheclock

            It was in the 3rd quarter, so, I imagine it was 2nd teams playing against one another.

  • berttheclock

    One point about the final roster. While, we may not agree with the Erving pickup, but, applaud the Ragland one, it looks as though St Joe provided a glimpse into the mind set of Veach. He opted to not wait until final cut downs, but, he worked two trades and even one during camp to improve what he considered to be areas of problems for the Chiefs. So, he went LB and OL. Obviously, both he and the staff were concerned at St Joe.

    • Merlin

      Those were two positions many of us identified as needs in the draft and were not addressed,

      • berttheclock

        BTW, Mitchell had one tackle against the Niners. Don’t believe he played in the next two games.

  • berttheclock

    Have not checked to see if it has become a done deal, but, apparently, the Steelers have dangled a $27 M deal for Haden in front of his agent. Geez, that money might have been better used by just giving it to the Harvey fund.

    • berttheclock

      Done deal. 3 years.

      • Frank Rodela

        7 Mil this year

  • Chiefly Bacon

    If you could form a 10 man practice squad today (assuming the guys who get cut clear waivers) who would it be? I’d go with 1. Gehrig Dieter, 2.Terrence Smith 3.Leon McQuay 4.Marcus Rush 5. Isaiah Battle 6.Joel Stave 7.Damien Mama 8.Robert Wheelwright 9.Ricky Ali Ifua 10.A RB not currently on the roster (man Devine Redding looks awful)

    • berttheclock

      Should Veach work a trade for Bray, would you move Stave to the main roster or only go wih 2?

      • Chiefly Bacon

        While I don’t think that will happen, if it did, I’d say go with two, or pick another QB up on Waivers. Stave’s accuracy still needs a ton of work.

        • berttheclock

          Just because he was aiming at St Joe and hit Atchison, Kansas does give one pause, eh?

    • ladner morse

      Just unsure about Robert Wheelwright making that list.

      • Chiefly Bacon

        He came too late in the process to do much, but he’s a great athlete and seemed like he had good hands in college.

  • berttheclock

    According to ESPN/NFL, Jon Schneider of the Seahahawks is trying to shop Jermaine Kearse, the former walk on wide out from The Dub. Kearse is very good in the slot. The Seahawks are trying to go a bit cheaper with a couple of younger wide outs. Kearse does not have that big of a contract. Would he really fit the Chiefs this late in the game?

    • berttheclock

      One important factor about Kearse is he is very good in the Fire Drill type use whenever Wilson or Boykin has to scramble. He knows how to find a hole for a throw. He would fit Mahomes II very well in that regard.

    • berttheclock

      Kearse does have an increase for 2018 in his contract and that might have to be reworked by the Chiefs.

      • berttheclock

        There are 12th Man fans who believe Kearse has not been as productive as they wanted him to be and believe he is over paid by the Seahawks.

    • ladner morse

      Kearse’ 14.0 yards per catch over the past four year may be due to the passing skills of Russel Wilson and not Kearse’ YAC… so he might be fool’s gold for whoever snags him.

      • berttheclock

        Part of that is the Fire Drill used so well in Seattle.

        • berttheclock

          However, remember the catch on the left sideline when Nelson had him covered. Wilson dropped the ball over the arms of Nelson.

    • Frank Rodela

      CB Jeremy Lane and RB Alex Collins are also being shopped by the Seahawks

  • larry mckinney

    Seven days. Count ’em, a week ‘o days till kick off!

    • ladner morse

      Til… kick-arss!

    • drwillez37

      Yaaaa baby!!!!!

  • freshmeat62

    Chiefs are going to be letting some good players go, so was wondering if some of the teams at the bottom of the claiming order might want to trade some low rd picks before they hit the wire.

    I’m hoping this is the year they let Gaines go. He hasn’t improved in 3 years and I don’t think he’s going too. To me Acker has done a better job of covering. Granted it’s 2nd and 3rd team players, but if that’s who they pit him against, there’s nothing he can do about that…he’s done the job. Gaines is a pass completion waiting to happen.

    • ladner morse

      Agreed. Gaines MIGHT have a good three-game stretch… then he’ll get hurt.

      • berttheclock

        What further makes this a shame about having so many injuries, is two years ago Gil Brandt listed him as a break out Pro Bowler.

      • freshmeat62

        Besides injuries, Gaines biggest problem is he doesn’t get his head turned to see the ball coming in. He seems to do a decent job of staying w/ his man, if he would just turn his head I believe he could knock so many of those balls down or even intercept. If he could work w/ a coach day after day concentrating on getting his head turned, it might be worth his time. I was hoping a couple years ago that he would do that.

      • Chiefs-Kings-A’s

        Good 3 game stretch? Gaines?
        That’s a stretch

  • berttheclock

    The Chargers are trying to shop their 28 year old six three slot receiver, Dontrelle Inman, the former UVA and CFL star.

    • Chiefs-Kings-A’s

      I wished they were shopping Gordon

      • Frank Rodela

        With Rivers getting long in the tooth, I expect Gordon to be a big part of the transition to who ever is the QBOTF in San….err…L.A.

  • berttheclock

    With so many NFL games on tonight, it means NFL Network is set for two other games. So, back to “watching” this game on FOX Sports/online

    • ladner morse

      I’ll be watching from a hotel room… online as well. Praying that their WiFi is high speed.

  • Frank Rodela

    I wonder if the FO consulted Schwartz prior to trading for Erving. I know that they wouldn’t rely solely on the word of a former teammate, one that only spent one year with Erving when he was a rookie, but I’m sure Schwartz had some useful insight if he was asked.

  • berttheclock

    The Niners just sent a 5th to Detroit for OG, Laken Tomlinson. He had not produced as many thought he might coming out of college. So, did Veach sort of set the market up?

    • Frank Rodela

      I was going to ask the exact same question once I was done writing the post about Vick. Monkey see league…

  • Frank Rodela

    In case you missed it Mike Vick, who spent the summer as a coaching intern for the Chiefs, took a job at FOX to do pre-game coverage. I for one was hoping the former QB would stick with the team in some sort of coaching position, specifically to work with PM2. As expected, there has been a loud out cry for FOX to terminate it’s relationship with Vick before it begins. FOX has come out and said that the outcry was expected, however they would not go back on the deal because of how Vick managed the situation, and what he has done to make himself and his community a better place since the incident. I normally am not one to praise anything the networks do, but you go FOX.

    Speaking of FOX, they will be employing a new commercial strategy this year with using 6 second ads to conform to today’s non-existent attention span. These 6 second ads will be used in conjunction with the former 15 and 30 second ads during commercial breaks, as well as split screen while we wait for teams to get lined up, get ready for the kickoff, change of possession and things of that nature.,

    • berttheclock

      Six whole seconds? Don’t know if I can concentrate that long.

      • drwillez37

        That’s funny….they want us dumb and with the attention spans of fish

    • berttheclock

      What offends me the most about PETA is they have a group of zealots running the organization who don’t want to see anyone even own an animal. Plus, if they had their own way, every pet they were able to pick up would end up being euthanized. Vick’s actions were horrid, but, as you and FOX point out, he has become a completely different individual.

    • Laurels and limitations

      this makes me sad. Someone, somewhere once showed a sporting event with ads running off to the side of whatever game it was. The network minimized the actual action and saturated the rest of the screen with advertisements. This is coming to the NFL, have zero doubt. We can’t see shiznit now, minimized windows will just worsen the situation.

      • berttheclock

        Akin in some respects to trying to watch a game in a crowded sports bar where they are showing all of the action in that time period at the same time.

        • Laurels and limitations

          yup, that’s why I liketo watch from home.

  • berttheclock

    In addition to Schneider trying to shop Kearse, he is, also, putting both Jeremy Lane, CB, and Alex Collins, RB on the block as well. Lane has been trying to play his way back into top shape, but, it looks as though they are going to go with the rookie, Shaquille Griffen, instead. Collins was fighting for the 4th RB spot on the team. He is a tough runner from Arkansas, who, had a solid collision a year ago in a preseason game against Ramik Wilson. Wilson won that, then, was cut, but, brought back. I had suggested last week Collins might be a thought for Veach to add depth.

    • Frank Rodela

      Lane intrigues me. As for Collins, I don’t think there is any room for him in the RB room.

      • berttheclock

        Lane was given a lot of time against the Chiefs. Hey, he, already, has a SB ring and that might inspire the young Chiefs.

  • berttheclock

    Over at AP, they have a short thread up showing Erving arriving in KC as he deplanes from what looks to be a private jet. Also, one of the posters shows another view of him aboard with a very large guy. That same fellow is shown on the first video greeting Erving as he steps onto the tarmac. Don’t know who he is, but, he was wearing red shorts. So, did Clark send his own plane with an escort?

  • drwillez37

    There’s so much head scratching over this Irving pick up but to sum it up Reid and Heck see something they can work with and if they do alone with Ragland we could get quality depth for bargain barrel prices and I’m all for it

    • Frank Rodela

      As I stated below, I’m sure Reid and Heck consulted Schwartz on Erving

  • berttheclock

    Hey Frank Just read an interesting thought by someone who covers the Seahawks. The suggestion is, while, getting rid of what remains of the contract of Kearse is not really that much for them, it would free up some money so they could pay Sheldon Richardson, who they might want to come over from the Jets as their top DT draft choice is injured.

    • Frank Rodela

      In that case, give us Kearse and Lane for 2020’s 7th lol

      • Frank Rodela

        With our luck, even if we got Kearse, we would still somehow be stuck with Wilson

  • drwillez37

    I think tonight will be a good indicator of what we have for all 2nd and 3rd stringers this game I’ll be watching very closely this is the chopping block for 40 something men so leave it all on the field guys!!!!

  • berttheclock

    Finally, found one possible reason for the problems Erving had with the Browns. Over the Plain Dealer, there was a photo of him wearing the jersey the hapless Browns used to have to wear. It was the year someone thought Nike could produce a winning jersey for them. This was the one that looked as though someone had aimed a paint gun at the jersey and splashed it with multiple spots of brown, orange and white.

    • drwillez37

      The Browns is a wasteland for 1st round talent…toe means management and front office is blowing that somewhere if my son gets drafted one day I would do the Manning and force Cleveland to stay away…lol

      • berttheclock

        Going back several years, the Browns still only have 3 former 1st round picks remaining with the team. Since, 2007, I believe they have had 7 such who are no longer with the team.

        • berttheclock

          Saw a comment earlier which said the CFL team which was going to let Johnny Hype try out with them, has passed on the deal.

          • Frank Rodela

            I wonder if the team hadn’t just had the Art Briles debacle, would they have signed Johnny Football?

            More on the QB, I read an interesting CFL rule yesterday. The Tiger-Cats hold the negotiation rights to Manzel which means no other team can talk to him. If, however, Manzel requested a contract, the team would have 10 days to either extend a contract, or let him walk and let one of the other teams, who have said they would sign Manzel, sign him.

          • berttheclock

            At least, Briles lasted all of 24 hours with the Tiger-Cats. The report about Manziel is “there were two many red flags”.

          • Frank Rodela

            Right, but my question is had it happened in reverse, Manziel signing first interest in Briles second, would Manziel have had too many red flags? For all he did, he never ran a prostitution ring for college athletes (that we know of) like Briles (to sum up his time at Baylor)

          • berttheclock

            I thought the Tiger-Cats might hire the former Watergate special prosecutor turned legal eagle for Baylor, who supported Briles strongly, but, was forced out as well.

  • berttheclock

    Speaking of both Jermaine Kearse and the Cleveland Browns, reports out of the Cleveland Plain Dealer by Mary Kay Cabot, says the Browns are very interested in obtaining Kearse as they need depth behind Britt.

    • Frank Rodela

      Just looked at the Depth Chart over there, and outside of Britt and Coleman there is nothing. Bringing Kearse in to play the slot makes a lot of sense for the Browns

      • berttheclock

        I saw a great pass from Kizer to Coleman on the sideline in their recent game. Laser fired on a scramble to his left. The type where you are only left with Oohs and Aahs. However, Britt has been having dropsy problems.

  • Frank Rodela

    Vontaze Burfict suspension for a hit on Anthony Sherman reduced form 5 games to 3.

    Zeke Elliot appeal has been complete, a decision should be released in the next 48 hours.

  • berttheclock

    One other thing which bothers me about Erving is he had two fine offensive line coaches in Cleveland. He broke in under Andy Moeller who has produced quality O-lines where ever he coached. Last year, they brought in Hal Hunter, another respected O-line coach who had come over from the Colts.

    • Frank Rodela

      He will be working with another Heck of a coach in KC. Hopefully the change in scheme will produce a better player than the power blocking in Cleveland

      • berttheclock

        Cue up some Frankie crooning “High Hopes”, eh?

  • berttheclock

    Emergency situation here so I have to run Pat has just run out of cigs and the sales tax for them in Washington is horrendous. Must take her across the bridge to OR-E-GUN which has far lower taxes.

    • Laurels and limitations

      13 bucks a pack in New York, jus’ sayin’.

      • Frank Rodela

        Holy….I thought FL was bad at $6, I load up when I go to GA, where I can get them for $4.50 to $5.

        • Laurels and limitations

          I don’t smoke, hate the things, but I was reading this the other day…craziness.

          • Frank Rodela

            I also hate the things, but can’t permanently kick the habit. Quit for 6 months last year….one bad day and right back to a pack a day habit

          • berttheclock

            Pat has tried several times, but, then, I kept opening my mouth and she had to rush to the store. She claimed something about stress or…………….

          • Laurels and limitations

            I quit when my son was 4, so that was 19 years ago. Before that I was a two-pack-a-day guy. I hated them then also, but I smoked anyway. We were driving with the windows lowered down one day en-route to watch a matinee. Suddenly my kid starts crying, after we pulled over to the side of the road we discovered that the cherry had flown off my cigarette and landed on his stomach- I mean it was burning the crappola out of him. I threw the remainder of my pack away and never looked back. I understand that it was an accident and stuff, but I used it as impetus to quit. I don’t regret kicking them nasty things for a second.

        • berttheclock

          A full carton of the type she smokes goes for just over $63 at the Oregon Costco stores. In Washington, it jumps to over $80.

          • Frank Rodela

            Mine are $58 in Fl and $42 in Ga

  • Frank Rodela

    JJ Watt’s pledge page is approaching $11.4 mil…..give this guy the Walter Payton Award now

    • berttheclock

      Sandra Bulluck just kicked in a Mill.

      • Frank Rodela

        As did Walmart through Ellen Degenerous and $500k from Miley Cirus

        • berttheclock

          At the Costco check out lines, they are asking for donations.

    • Laurels and limitations

      I love that guy, this is truly amazing.

  • Frank Rodela

    I mentioned yesterday that the Donks were shopping S TJ Ward. The latest report on Ward is that if he cannot be traded, he will be released.

    • berttheclock

      Yet another example of the adage of “Never get to be 30 in the NFL with a pricey contract”. Also, another example of Cleveland Browns letting a high draft choice move on. Ward went to the Browns from Oregon as a 2nd round pick in 2010.

  • berttheclock

    Just say NO! Over at CBS Sports/NFL, there is a thread about Riddell experimenting with their “Blaze” color NFL helmets. They did a complete overhaul of every team. For the Chiefs, they changed the basic color to yellow.

  • berttheclock

    Ownership of the Jags and the City of San Antonio have both offered their stadiums for the Texans opener should they not be able to play at NRG.

    • Frank Rodela

      The Texans have said the only way they would agree to moving the game is if there is damage to NRG stadium making it unsafe. They said as long as it is usable, the city of Houston needs the game to take place in Houston as planned for morale. What makes the most sense if they cannot is swapping home dates with the Jags.