A Notion on the Offense – 4 Solid Play-Makers and one Emerging
The 2017 Chiefs offense ranked 15th over-all. That is good comparing the previous 5 seasons. My notion is that without making a move at all, the offense will improve. Patrick Mahomes taking over the helm calling signals and passing the ball will not be a negative, rather a positive. If that is true then the various component players will expand their role and more closely align themselves to their potential.
This includes Mahomes himself. He fulfills expectations and more, becoming a top threat on offense — but essentially adding himself to a ever growing list of NFL level play-makers for the Chiefs.
A Notion About a Receiver Heaven for Mahomes
I took a close look at who are the play-makers on this offense: Ty Hill – WR, Travis Kelce-TE, Kareem Hunt-RB and now adding Patrick Mahomes – QB. I like #2 RB Ware both as the #2 ground threat but he also is a threat as a receiver . This is a pretty good group of skilled players, a TE and WR with 1,000 yard seasons? A rookie RB who won the rushing title out of the gate, who is an excellent receiver with 450 yards receiving.
Fulfillment of expectation and becomes the “emerging play-maker” for Mahomes
The depth is deeper than you think here with WR Chris Conley because when he gets open, Mahomes will see him and get the ball to him. Conley has all the tools and he will become the WR that his measurements showed before he ever took a snap in the NFL. Demarcus Robinson and Bert Wilson as well with Chesson given snaps to break him in. It is my view that Mahomes will make the numbers for Conley and Robinson stand out — because these WRs are getting open. Robinson had his break-in season. I look for both of them to be able to react to Mahomes when things go awry… they will find a hole and be ready to make a catch — outs, ups and crosses. I am really looking forward to this from the aerial frame of reference. As much as I hate to say it, Bert Wilson became a contributor of note in 2017. Instead of being released, his performance in 2017 probably earns him a spot among the receivers. Our #2 TE remains static among a group of three but it could be that an UFA who was added in January might make a difference in the person of Jace Amaro. If Amaro shows and struts a bit, it could be that Demetrius Harris is released. I do know one thing about Harris though — he gets interfered with a lot and the balls fall to the ground. He gets no support from the zebras at all.
The offensive line should be healthy and stable – not great, not really, really good, just stable. Cameron Erving: my notion is he comes correct and wins the position as the emerging talent on the OL
Eric Fisher, Mitch Morse, LDT, Mitch Schwartz with Cameron Erving: that’s my starting 5. But deeper into the look at Guard we have good competition for the starting job left of Morse at Center. This can’t be bad: Bryan Witzmann, Parker Ehinger are looking to fend off Erving and both have about one season as a starter.
The questions that will remain?
Who will be the Swing Tackle. Jordan Devey is really the only OT that we can consider right now. Still, this is a good group of men for the front 5. The problem areas that exist are indeed related to the Sw/T. The next thing that must be decided is whether to retain Fulton or not? He provides a backup center role but also can fill in at Guard. Fulton is best at the Center position but unless Morse is a no-go for 2018, Fulton has no starting role. He also would have to have his contract extended — so, is he worth that money? My view does not include Zach Fulton so if he is released then the Chiefs must come up with a solution post haste. I can see releasing Fulton. He really doesn’t have the feet for the offensive line. He is coming to the 2018 season as his 5th year.
The Chiefs have experienced depth behind the starting five I have illuminated. Brian Witzmann, Parker Ehinger and that is four solid top level players who make a difference in the 2018 season. Brett Veach closed a huge hole in the defense with the Al Smith trade — it brought Fuller and a 3rd round pic to the secondary and immediately solved much of the problem with the secondary? Back to that in moment but this notion is about OLB and that means Dee Ford. Over on defense the Chiefs are blessed with play-makers: Justin Houston, Chris Jones, Eric Berry, Deuce-Duece and now we are adding Fuller. That is a total of 9 play-makers and I am quite sure that if Fuller lines up outside they are going to start by throwing away from Marcus Peters — BUT IT WON’T WORK.
OLB #2 and the Rumor Mill Entry:
Dee Ford cannot pass the physical
This one, Taz will appreciate touching on this again. I don’t think Ford is gone. Why? Because Berry is back, we now bookend CBs outside. Nelson can stay at home in the slot, and the Berry/Parker combo in Center field clicks with what is being done in front of them. The truth about this remains to be seen but if Dee Ford cannot pass the physical it is sort of a moot point, he is going to be a Chief one more year. It is this OLB position that I think Veach is working on as I am writing this piece. How that is interesting that it came up, because as was bandied about ArrowheadOne, the import is related to guaranteed money as opposed to passing the physical, being activated and released at the same moment. This would be a proper end to a failed #1 pick. But what if the truth actually lies elsewhere? But what if the problem isn’t just Dee Ford? The past two seasons he has played without benefit of a NT performing at a high level. He had to substitute for his counterpart, Justin Houston who went through his own problems with injury.
Meanwhile, the front three suffer attrition with the departure of Poe as well as Jaye Howard.
Sutton Could not Stop the Bleeding
The Chiefs have needs elsewhere which includes the 3-4 D and NT both. They have experienced depth players but the trenches are what make things work. Another way to look at it: Chris Jones is a solid play-maker on one side but Allen Bailey was rehabbing on the fly. There was no Poe in the middle and Bennie Logan could not get the job done like Poe. I’ve already covered how I would like to solve this problem and that is to get the NT out of the way with a Free Agent signing. They need meat and muscle and a man weighing in at 320 pounds. Veach will have to spend some coin to get this done but with the trade of Al Smith and releases of Darrelle Revis, the Chiefs cleared $20M of cap space and are now sitting at $12M+ available. There are more releases to come. I am sure when it all said and done, Veach will have the monies left over for signing the rookies and $5-10M beyond that. He will still have room to make a dent in what seemed like a myriad of defects.
By the way, this is not a critique of Logan as a football player. It is my view that he was miscast as a nose tackle — at least for how the Chiefs needed to use him.
The Notion About the Draft
The Chiefs pick 22nd in the 2nd round. We need a replacement MIKE and that means right now. He should have been drafted 2 years ago. In the three-part piece we published last week I think I found a fit in ILB Josey Jewell. I’ll leave that there as if it were a solved exposure. Beyond that in the draft, we need find a QB #2 We will need to look very closely at Jace Amaro, TE who is now signed with the Chiefs. At the same time, is the right OLB there? Some have suggested Lorenzo Carter but, is he a true #2 round pick? Is it more important at this point than to replace DJ?
Myself? I would like to add another CB with length, perhaps a safety who could be Ron Parkers replacement now or in a year or two. Get younger, leaner and open up the cap if it’s there for the taking? Since he is a lower rated player, does Veach make that selection or is that too far afield for round 2: pick 22? However: the Chiefs have to find a replacement and there isn’t one who will fall to the 22nd pick: round 2, unless it’s Lorenzo Carter. Hmmm. So, rather than Carter, my notion is that Veach will keep Dee Ford and go with it one more season. Maybe with all my interrelated pieces of the problem the solution is more soluble than previously thought. Brett Veach is focused on the task at hand — get the defense up to snuff. David’s last notion? I am not as good as any of those men in charge. I am not privy to inside “Stuff.” I am over-reacting and the team is better than I think it is. Andy Reid is truly a great coach and his coaching tree for winning the Super Bowl just doubled as Pederson is the 2nd HC to win it.
For two seasons the complete defense has fallen far off the 2015 level of play. The Chiefs know it, and they manage it appropriately. Sutton had nowhere to go. I was amused at Paylor’s mail bag. He wrote in response to one query that Bob Sutton will come correct and would be back to his aggressive set up because he had Fuller and other players who fit and resolved much of the problem. He would not use the “Bend Don’t Break” defense because with 3 players added to solve problems — and Fuller — he won’t have to fight Deuce-Deuce about it and that would be a good thing.
David Bell – sitting in the snow in Idaho
*NSLU: No Stone Left Unturned
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