The good news is for Chiefs fans, though we’re going to banter about the Chiefs opening day loss for another couple of days, Kansas City wasn’t completely woeful on Sunday. There were some bright spots but there was also some rough spots that the coaching staff and management will have to correct before they shuffle off to Buffalo next Sunday.
So what has to be done?
1. QB Matt Cassel - Call me impressed with his performance on Sunday. Yes he wasn’t ineffective in the second half but his first half performance was outstanding.
Yes there’s a but coming.
What I’d like to see Cassel do is to be quicker at the line of scrimmage. If Kansas City is going to continue to use the no-huddle offense as they did against Atlanta, he needs to have a quicker pace at the line of scrimmage.
For those of us old enough to remember the offensive magic of legendary Chiefs quarterback, Len Dawson, he caught many teams napping with some quick snaps and that’s what Cassel needed to do in the second half on Sunday when Atlanta was pinning their ears back in attack mode. In the future, that might give the Chiefs offense some advantages in the weeks ahead.
2. DE Allan Bailey - For the life of me, I don’t understand, unless he was injured, why the Chiefs didn’t make active last years third round draft pick. Bailey is the teams best pass rusher outside of Tamba Hali and Justin Houston. Sure he’s one-dimensional player who can basically be on the field in passing situations but so is Tyson Jackson when its a running situation and he still plays.
Now I’m not sure had he suited up Sunday against Atlanta that he would have been a game changer but he needed to be on the field. And quite frankly, he needs to be on the active roster going forward.
That is unless the Kansas City Chiefs are on the verge of signing veteran, defensive end Shaun Smith. Which after Sunday’s horrific play by the Chiefs defensive ends, needs to happen.
3. NT Dontari Poe - He has to stay in the starting lineup. Though his stats were a bit light he took on the Falcons double-team on every snap he played for the Chiefs on Sunday. In fact, he might have been the teams most consistent defensive player outside of Linebacker, Derrick Johnson.
I know he’s getting a crash course on defense but he doesn’t seem to be too overwhelmed at the moment. Granted the Falcons offensive line, despite the fact of their success on offense, really isn’t that strong. So can we really judge his performance.
Then again had the Chiefs mounted any pass rush on Sunday, my guess is the Chiefs might have been in this game in the fourth quarter. And that would have been thanks to the space eating body of Mr. Poe.
I know that Head Coach Romeo Crennel, will want to give the starting nod to Anthony Toribio but that would be a mistake in my view. Just leave the kid in the middle of the defense and sprinkle him some rest with Jerrell Powe and call it a year at that position.
4. GM Scott Pioli - This has to be an active week for Kansas City Chiefs General Manager. I already mentioned the possible addition of Shaun Smith to the team but Kansas City needs to add some veterans and make some roster moves.
Now that the first week of the season is near its conclusion. Any veteran players, who signs and NFL contract going forward do not have those contracts guaranteed for the remainder of the season.
Basically these players become weekly rentals. That means they can sign guys, cut them and dump unproductive players at will without a big cash layout. And should they want to sign even better ones at some point, it won’t cost the organization anything to repeatedly tinker with the 53-man roster.
After Sunday’s game it was clear the Chiefs need help at cornerback, safety, and in my view, the offensive line. KC’s line ran out of gas in the second half and they could have used a bit of rest - especially if the Chiefs are going to keep the pace up with a no-huddle offense.
Either way though this roster needs to dump some of the players that were unproductive on Sunday and at least replace them with moderately better talent. Kansas City can’t afford to start the 2012 with two losses.
WARPAINT ILLUSTRATED MESSAGE BOARDS:
What would you fix about this football team before the Bills game?
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