Tuesday, August 21, 2012
The good news for Chiefs fans is that Hali only received a one-game suspension. Often, the NFL doles out a four game suspension (or longer) for a substance-abuse violation. The bad news is the one game Hali will miss is a big one – the season opener against a talented Atlanta Falcons team. The Falcons have been a playoff team for the past two seasons, and should give Kansas City all it can handle to start the season. Even worse, the team is missing Brandon Flowers and Kendrick Lewis, and it is unknown when the two defensive backs will return. A depleted secondary and the absence of the team’s best pass rusher could be a recipe for disaster for Kansas City.
Since the team drafted him in the first round, Hali has been a consistent force for Kansas City. In his career, Hali has 266 tackles and 53.5 sacks, as well as 22 forced fumbles. His last two years have been his best, with 14.5 sacks two years ago and 12 last season.
It is unknown who will replace Hali in the starting lineup. Andy Studebaker is the most likely replacement, as he has been a reliable backup for the team over the past four seasons and knows the defense well. The other option is Cameron Sheffield, who hasn’t seen much playing time in his three year career. Neither player is known for his ability to pressure the quarterback, which will make second-year player Justin Houston’s play even more important. Houston showed the ability to get to the quarterback in his rookie season, and the Chiefs will need him to step up and play well with Hali sidelined.
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Thursday, August 4, 2011
This has been a long time coming for Hali, who has quietly developed into one of the best pass rushers in the league. Hali led the AFC with 14.5 sacks last season, and has been extremely consistent since being drafted 20th overall from Penn State in 2006.
The deal was absolutely necessary for Kansas City, and the Chiefs were smart to lock up Hali for the rest of his prime. The team doesn't have much of a pass rush without Hali - Wallace Gilberry placed second on the team in sacks last season with seven. As we learned last season, teams cannot reach the Superbowl without a strong pass rush, and a player like Hali makes the entire defense better.
Hali could join the team's practice today, as could Gilberry, who also recently signed. Kansas City has signed all of its top defensive players but two - CB Brandon Carr and rookie LB Justin Houston.
Friday, May 20, 2011
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.
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
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.