Kansas City’s 2009 Offense; What To Expect.
For those of you who are Fantasy Football Fanatics, first and foremost, a Kansas City player is probably not your first choice, or second, possibly not even your third. (Ok, so maybe it depends on when and who you pick) but there’s no need to fear Chiefs fans, there are some gems in the Offense.
Personally, the most interesting question on the offense is the Quarterback position. Many know of the trade by the Chiefs to acquire QB Matt Cassel, who may an amazing arrival in the absence of Tom Brady after the MCL and ACL tear, but let’s not forget the man who was behind the Center last year, QB Tyler Thigpen. Personally, I never understand one bit as to why the Chiefs even went for Cassel. Cassel, like Thigpen, was a 7th round pick, but let’s look at the QB’s stats last year by comparison.
Tyler Thigpen – 14 games(12 starts) 230/420(completed/attempted passes) 18 TD/12 INT with a QB rating of 76.0
Matt Cassel – 16games(15 starts) 317/516 (completed/attemptedpasses) 21 TD/11 INT with a QB rating of 89.4
Now, for the real issue.
Tyler Thigpen’s offense was based on this. A RB who could be playing past his prime,(Larry Johnson), a 2nd year WR who was the basis of the offense (Dwayne Bowe) a Hall of Famer caliber TE, who is on his last leg’s, (Tony Gonzalez) and an Offensive Line that needs some serious help.
Matt Cassel’s? He [had] Wes Welker, Randy Moss. That alone should be enough to make any QB good, right? No. On top of that, he’s got an offensive line that had it’s LT(Might Light) LG (Logan Mankins) and C (Dan Koppen) all make the Pro Bowl the season before. Not to mention that the Patriots have some serious depth in the offense. Let’s not forget players like Jabar Gaffney, who had 36 catches for 450 yards and 5 TD’s the year before as a #4 WR. Also with that the Patriots have some serious depth at RB. None of the players may be Pro Bowlers, but they are formitable back-ups. Players such as Kevin Faulk (who could be compared to LT as far as a receiving RB goes) Sammy Morris (he had a 4.7 YPC average on only 156 carries and did have 7 rushing TD’s) they also have former dual threat LaMont Jordan, and let’s not forget they do have former first rounder Laurence Maroney, if only he would stay healthy.
To me, I dont see why you even trade for Cassel. It is likely that Cassel will start over Thigpen, but what did he prove in one year? He wasn’t in Kansas City and play with the [statistically] 24th overall offense and 31st overall defense. Cassel had the 5th ranked offense and 10th ranked defense! It’s not too hard to succeed when you have Moss and Welker to your sides.
What’s worse is the thoughts of how Cassel will do in Kansas City. LJ is still asking to leave town, and Jamaal Charles has not shown (in my eyes) that he’s ready to carry any part of the load (as far as carries go) and unlike Thigpen, Cassel won’t have as many weapons, especially since the trade of TE Tony Gonzalez to the Falcons.
With that said, the question is, what does the future hold for the Chiefs? First and foremost, I think the Chiefs can get by if they can re-build the OL. Personally, I dont think spending their 1st and both 2nd round picks(they acquired a 2010 2nd rounder from the Gonzalez trade) will fix the offense if they go TE WR RB. I think they need to use 1 on the OL, then 2 on the defense. Right now the OL looks like this.
LT – Brandon Albert ; LG -Brian Waters ; C -Rudy Niswanger ; RG – Mike Goff ; RT – Damion McIntosh ;
Brandon Albert (who was a first rounder last year) is probably the main gem here. He’s actually learning the LT position in the NFL(he was placed their as a rookie) and did fantastic last year. (He was drafted as an OG actually) Brian Waters, a 4 time pro bowler, still has “it” and is still playing at a high level, but the problems continue after that. Center Rudy Niswanger is probably a back up at best on any other NFL team. Mike Goff was a nice signing, but Goff’s play is seriously degressing. Goff’s play, especially in the run,was elite when he helped the Chargers run game excel to #1 in blocking in 06, but in 07, it fell to a mere 25th. Goff is not great in the pass game, but still solid. He is a short term answer, but at 33, he’s not exactly their for the long haul. McIntosh from whatI have seen (and even heard from Chiefs fans) is nothing short of horrible. From what I saw, he’s got bad movement in pass block, doesn’t create holes for the runners in the run game, and even for a man his size(6’5″ 325 lbs) doesn’t play with a mean streak (or “attack” at the line of scrimmage, which isn’t something you want in a RT or a LT).
So what good is their to look at? Although Gonzalez is gone, this could give Brad Cottam time to shine. Although he doesn’t possess the average build for a TE, Cottom at 6’7 and 270 lbs. will give Cassel a great red zone threat, especially with his good receiving ability. Let’s also not overlook the fact that Cottam is actually pretty fast for a TE(especially someone at 6’7″) Unfortunately, Cottam is merely invisible in the blocking game as a TE. Of course, the Chiefs still have a top WR in Dwayne Bowe. In order to offer him some help, the Chiefs did sign Bobby Engram at WR, but Engram too is also a short term answer, as he is already 35. The upside?he did had 94 catches for 1147 yards in 07. Larry Johnson is still a Chief, but as mentioned earlier, he has been degressing since his 2005 and 2006 season’s. It seems like the RB issue could be the killer in the Chiefs (and Cassel) because Cassel did have a great running game (10th overall in the league) to bail him out in 08.
Personally, I dont think the Chiefs will “WOW” anyone offensively. Jamaal Charles could really help out LJ and make the combo a good RB duo if he can step it up, and Engram needs to help out Bowe so the offense can get started.
Two things for this offense to look forward to? Steals. I reviewedsome profiles and a video of both OT Colin Brown (5th rounder) and Quinten Lawrence (6th rounder) and I think the Chiefs have two serious steals here. Colin Brown (from Missouri) played in a serious pass-happy offense (where noteable players WR Jeremy Maclin, QB Chase Daniels and TE Chase Coffman where from) so Colin Brown knows how to protect a QB. His run blocking game is questionable, and may not be as strong as he should be for his size, but their is still room to add to his size. He’s also versatile, meaning he can play at other spots on the OL. Word has it he’s spent alot of time at Center, and even RG. 6th rounder Quinten Lawrence seems like someone that should have went alot earlier in the draft. It’s believed a leg injury as a senior was the reason he dropped, but either way, the Chiefs are happy to have this speey WR. Lawrence, who posted a 4.28 40 time, has good hands, and is very big for a small WR. Word has it that this kid is not afraid to get hit, or hit someone (Hines Ward anyone?) Even better news, Lawrence can return. Lawrence may need time to adjust to the NFL, but someone tells me you will see him very soon.
From an Optomistic look, the offense is turning around. It may take a few years, but the Chiefs have a good future in from of them offensively.| Bowe, Cassel, Chiefs, Thigpen