Showing posts with label Eric Berry. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Eric Berry. Show all posts

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Who Is To Blame For The Chiefs' Terrible Start?

After yet another 0-2 start to the season, Chiefs fans are demanding to know who is to blame for the team’s disastrous start. Kansas City has given up 75 points over the first two games of the season, and looks nothing like a team many thought would challenge for the AFC West division title.

When Kansas City got off to a rough start last season, most pointed the finger at former head coach Todd Haley, claiming he simply did not have his team ready to start the season. Romeo Crennel has received similar treatment from many Kansas City fans, especially because he is a defensive coach. Several media pundits have suggested that Crennel is stretched too thin juggling both the head coach and defensive coordinator positions.

Crennel responded to the criticism yesterday, insisting that the blame rests more on his players failing to execute. Safety Abram Elam and linebacker Derrick Johnson have agreed with Crennel that they need to play better, but both also admitted to the media that communication could be better, and that at times, the players and coaches are not on the same page. If Crennel wants to turn things around quickly, he needs to stop pointing fingers at his players and accept ultimate responsibility for the defense’s performance. Crennel is a lot more expendable than guys like Johnson, Tamba Hali, Eric Berry and Brandon Flowers, especially since this is a second chance for him after his failure as a head coach in Cleveland.

The biggest target for criticism after Kansas City’s start is embattled GM Scott Pioli, who has made headlines recently due to the Chiefs’ refusal to spend money and the stories about his actions told by Haley. Pioli is the ultimate architect of the team, and so far, he has done little to make Kansas City a winner. Many of the Chiefs’ top players were on the team when Pioli arrived, and his biggest acquisition so far has been the signing of quarterback Matt Cassel, who is an average-at-best starting NFL quarterback the Chiefs GM signed to a mammoth contract.

Pioli hasn’t drafted very well either, and the result is that the team lacks significant depth. Kansas City’s horrible preseason record over the past couple of seasons is proof that the Chiefs simply are not very deep, and this ultimately falls on Pioli as well. Coaching and execution play a big role, but you need to have talent on your team to win.

The blame may rest somewhere in the middle of the coaching, players and GM, but one thing is for certain – Kansas City needs to turn things around quickly. If the team drops its next couple of games, the franchise might have to blow everything up and enter yet another rebuilding project.

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Monday, August 13, 2012

Chiefs-Cardinals Game Recap

Football is back, and the Chiefs got their preseason schedule off to a great start with a 27-17 win over the Arizona Cardinals. Kansas City scored touchdowns twice in the first quarter, using a balanced attack to put the Cardinals away early.

The biggest thing Chiefs fans can take away from this game is that Jamaal Charles, Eric Berry and Tony Moeaki all played and looked like their old selves. The team lost this trio to injuries last year, which was a big part in Kansas City’s failure to reach the postseason. Charles took a hit to his surgically-repaired knee on the first play of the game, but appeared fine as he rushed for 12 yards on three carries.

Offensively, the team’s first-string offense looked very good in the first quarter. Kansas City got a huge boost from new running back Peyton Hillis, who broke a long run and continuously found good yardage on his inside runs. Hillis also scored the game’s first touchdown, catching a wheel-route pass from Matt Cassel for an 11 yard touchdown. It appears the Hillis may be able to return to his 2010 form and provide a nice complement to Charles, while keeping the team's feature back fresh. The Chiefs’ offensive line looked great early on, opening up holes for Charles and Hillis while giving Cassel time to find receivers open downfield.

Defensively, Kansas City did not allow a touchdown until after halftime and made a few big plays as well. Newly-signed safety Abram Elam intercepted Arizona’s John Skelton and returned it 37 yards, which lead to a Ryan Succop field goal. The Chiefs also got points following a great special teams play, as rookie Devon Wylie had a long punt return to set up another short Succop kick.

The team has struggled mightily in the past during preseason play, which led to a lot of criticism from the media and fans of former head coach Todd Haley. It was refreshing to see the team look sharp early-on in this one and defeat a weak team at home.

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Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Chiefs Start Minicamp Without Dwayne Bowe

Kansas City started its mandatory three-day minicamp yesterday with one glaring absence: All-Pro wide receiver Dwayne Bowe. The Chiefs’ wide out has yet to sign his franchise tender, which means he is currently not under contract and is not required to participate in these drills.

Bowe is coming off his second consecutive productive season, catching 81 passes last year for 1,159 yards and five touchdowns. Bowe was able to produce despite injuries and inconsistency in the Chiefs’ QB rotation, and he is obviously a huge part of Kansas City’s offense.

There are several troubling factors to Bowe’s current holdout. First, there is no guarantee of when the WR will join his teammates. Bowe could be on the practice field when training camp starts in a little over a month or the day before the Chiefs first game – there is no current time table. Also, Kansas City is installing a new offense under new offensive coordinator Brian Daboll, which many Chiefs players have deemed as being somewhat complex. Hopefully Bowe will be able to join the team soon and have enough time to pick up the new offense. Kansas City cannot afford a repeat of last year, when the Chiefs had an absolutely dreadful start to the regular season, and needs all its players on the same page.

One silver lining of Bowe’s absence is that second year Jonathan Baldwin has been able to receive more reps. Baldwin, last year’s first round draft pick, missed last offseason due to the NFL lock out, and has reportedly made some big strides in training camp.

Several other Kansas City players also missed the minicamp due to injuries. Eric Berry, Jamaal Charles and Tony Moeaki all sat out due while they recover from injuries sustained last season, while rookie WR Devon Wylie missed practice due to an injured hamstring.

Kansas City News, official kc news site with breaking stories on The Kansas City Royals, Chiefs, charity events, the 2012 MLB All Star Game, weather, sports, MU, KU, ufo sightings, dui checkpoints, Kansas City neighborhoods, nightlife, concerts, the Sprint Center, the Power and Light District and current Kansas City news articles.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Where Do Chiefs Players Land in the NFL Top 100

The NFL has announced its top 100 going into 2011, and the list includes several Chiefs players. Kansas City has a total of five players on the list, which is tied for fifth most in the NFL. There are two teams in the league that do not have any players on the list.

There are several picks that make sense, most notably Eric Berry being listed at 93. Berry showed a lot of promise as a rookie, and should be even better next season. Guard Brian Waters checks in at 67, which seems about right for the reliable offensive lineman.

There has been some controversy with Tamba Hali's ranking, as most Chief fans felt he should be much higher on the list. Hali came in at number 64, a ranking that seems a bit low considering he is one of the best pass rushers in the league. Despite registering 14.5 sacks last year for a division winner, the Chiefs' pass rush specialist continues to fly under the radar. Hopefully another monster year will result in Hali getting the recognition he deserves.

Jamaal Charles and Dwayne Bowe are the other two Chiefs players who will be listed in the higher rankings.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Looking Back on Last Year's Draft

With the 2011 NFL draft a day away, the Chiefs could benefit from taking a look at its 2010 draft class. Many experts deemed Kansas City's 2010 draft a success before the rookies strapped on shoulder pads, and the group lived up to the hype. If the Chiefs hope to repeat the success the team enjoyed in 2010 and continue to build a winning foundation, another strong draft is critical.

A team's draft is dictated on who they grab with their first pick, and the Chiefs finally got a game changever with its top selection last year. Eric Berry made an immediate impact for Kansas City, blossiming into a pro bowl safety in his first season. Just imagine if the Chiefs had found two other pro bowlers with its first round picks rather than take Glenn Dorsey or Tyson Jackson. The Chiefs now find themselves without a top five pick, meaning they could take the best player available rather than address a specific need. Hopefully Kansas City finds another player who is ready to make an impact with its top pick, and former first round picks Dorsey and Jackson start to live up to their draft selection.

A team can get good in a hurry if it finds starters in the middle rounds of the draft, and the Chiefs did that last year. Kansas City injected its team with much needed speed by drafting Dexter McCluster and Javier Arenas. McCluster added a playmaking spark to the offense while giving the return game a much needed boost, while Arenas showed the potential to be a solid defensive back and showed flashes of being a dangerous returner as well. Tight end Tony Moeaki also had a successful rookie season and appears to be the Chiefs tight end of the future.

Last year, the Chiefs were able to find quality starters while adding depth, the two ingredients for any successful draft. After years of bad drafts, Kansas City now finds themselves one good draft away from having a talented core of young players mixed with capable veterans. Hopefully the Chiefs will keep the momentum going from last year's draft and hit another home run tomorrow.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Tamba Hali Key to Chiefs' Success

Forget about the potent rushing attack from Jamal Charles, big play ability from Dexter McCluster or the occasional decent play from Matt Cassel. Tamba Hali is the most important piece to the forming Kansas City Chief playoff picture. The former first round pick is entering his fifth season, and after steady production in his first four years, the OLB/DE hybrid is ready to break out and become a star. He will need to, as a pass rush will be sorely needed for the Chiefs if they want to seriously contend for the AFC West title and make a run at the postseason.

Having a game-changing pass rusher is important for any team, and it can be the difference between a team going 7-9 and watching the postseason from home or making it into the NFL playoffs. Growing up in a Packer household, I remember watching Reggie White terrorize defenses during Green Bay’s Superbowl runs in 1996 and 1997. In the title game alone, White sacked Patriots QB Drew Bledsoe three times and was in the backfield all game, ultimately swaying the game. If Hali can step up in big moments and take down the quarterback – as he did against the 49ers on Sunday with three sacks and countless hurries – the Chiefs may be able to sway some big games in their favor.

Hali’s value isn’t only just bringing down the opposing QB for a loss. His presence helps the entire defense, most notably the secondary. With young cornerbacks and rookie safeties, it will be important for the Chiefs to not allow opposing QBs and WRs all day to operate. With a pass rush, playmakers like Brandon Flowers and Eric Berry can
make big plays in the secondary and not get burnt on deep routes. The Chiefs are extremely young on defense, and Hali’s presence can help mask that youth and avoid putting young players in difficult situations.

Tamba Hali will likely never be as dominant as Reggie White, or even as feared as today's star pass rushers like
Mario Williams.His presence is important for a young Chief defense that keeps improving every week., and his ability to pressure the QB could help the Chiefs win some more games. If Hali can build on what he has done already this season and continue to be a force, the Chiefs could find themselves playing in January.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Chiefs 2010 - Projections, Offense, Defense, Schedule

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Kansas City Chiefs News - Chiefs projected to go 6-10 according to NFL analysts

Today NFL expert Pat Kirwan predicted that the Kansas City Chiefs would likely finish with a record of 6 and 10.  He explained that the Chiefs were definitely moving in the right direction but the changes that they have made would not affect the scoreboard that much in the 2010 season.  The Chiefs were 4 and 12 in 2009 and they have made enough improvement to possibly move up to 6 and 10 in 2010.  Many Chiefs fans are hopeful that the team can at least muster up a .500 season at 8 and 8 this year.

What improvements have the Chiefs made this year?

The Chiefs added star running back Thomas Jones, who many feel was a huge mistake on the Jets part for letting him go.  Jones adds a tremendous threat in the backfield and is a perfect compliment to Jamaal Charles as Jamaal is smaller and faster and Thomas Jones is stronger and can be used to punish defenses up the middle.  The Chiefs are looking to try their wings at the Wildcat offense this year involving speedy rookie WR Dexter McCluster, Thomas Jones and Jamaal Charles as the cast.

The Chiefs also added a talented safety in Eric Berry, currently wearing number 29.  Whether or not Berry will make the starting line up is yet to be determined, but you can bet that he will see a lot of playing time when the Chiefs go to the Zone Nickle and the Dime defense strategies.

The Chiefs added Superbowl champion offensive lineman Ryan Lilja to their struggling offensive line.  Lilja is an experienced and capable offensive lineman and he brings a lot of talent to an offensive line that desperately needs a boost.  Lilja is close with co-lineman Casey Wiegmann, who is also a smaller lineman with great ability.

NFL analysts feel that the Chiefs do not have a legitimate threat at the wide receiver position.  Wide receiver Dwayne Bowe has already been in the media this year for a few off color remarks that he made and is not really considered much of a threat to opposing defenses.  Aging Chris Chambers is not considered much of a threat either.  Young rookie Dexter McCluster could provide a spark downfield with his speed but at 5'8" 170lbs you probably won't see him going across the middle.  If the Chiefs receivers are not going to force opposing defenses to take their gameplan focus off the run, then obviously the Chiefs running attack will suffer.

Top NFL analysts are also commenting that the Chiefs are seriously lacking talent on the defensive line and linebacker positions.  The Chiefs were 31st overall against the rush in 2009 allowing 156 rushing yards PER GAME.  That stat has to change or they cannot win.

Even though the Chiefs will do well to end up 8 and 8 at season's end, the Chiefs fans are still very excited and optimistic to see their new team in action.  The Chiefs open their season with an unusual Monday Night Football appearance vs. the San Diego Chargers on September 13th.


Friday, July 30, 2010

Chiefs Sign Eric Berry, Start Training Camp

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The Chiefs training camp may have just started, but the team is about to receive a significant boost to its defense. Top draft pick Eric Berry announced today that he has agreed to terms with the organization, and will be joining his teammates at camp at Missouri Western University located in Saint Joseph, MO.

Chiefs fans have been optimistic about this season all summer long, and the addition of Berry will likely increase excitement and expectations for the upcoming season. By avoiding a lengthy holdout, Berry will have a chance to go through the majority of camp and have a shot to start on a defense that is in desperate need of a playmaker. Berry will join a Chief's defense that is young but has a chance to be much improved, especially considering that most of the team's top draft picks in the past few seasons have been moves to improve a defense that has struggled since the days of Neil Smith and Derrick Thomas.

While some of the expectations set on Berry may be unfair, there is reason for hope that the team as a whole will be better. Matt Cassell showed signs of being worth his contract last season when he wasn't running for his life. The Chiefs now have a potent one-two punch at running back with veteran Thomas Jones and the explosive Jamal Charles. If the team can find consistency at receiver and on the offensive line, and the defense should be better as well. With a young and improved roster facing a schedule that is hardly daunting, the team has high expectations. Berry's arrival should only add to that.


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