Thursday, September 06, 2007

Chop Till You Drop 2007

Go Chiefs!

The new NFL season is almost upon us. Through the wonders of the internet I have been following the fortunes of the hometown Kansas City Chiefs – even after the season ended in January.

First we have the draft. Watching the shenanigans surrounding football transfers one cannot help but speculate that the FA and FIFA could do worse than model the movement of players from one club to another on the NFL draft. Chiefly because the purpose of the draft is to even things out – to ensure that the clubs operate on a fairly level playing field when signing players. Why this should be so alien and contentious to the FA is a mystery?

The Chiefs drafted well – even though they had none of the very top picks. They took Dwayne Bowe in the first round – a big, fast, athletic wide receiver. What Trent Green wouldn't have done for one of those in the past 3 or 4 years! Too late for Trent now – he's traded to Miami. The offensive and defensive lines were strengthened. Absolutely essential – the quarterback, the running backs and the receivers get all the column inches – but knowledgeable people know the game is usually won or lost in the trenches. Chiefs grabbed defensive end Turk McBride in Round Two. Turk looked good in the pre-season and should contribute to a solid defensive line this season. Tank Tyler, a defensive tackle was the third round pick. They should both strengthen an already good set of linemen.

So, where are the problems? In the backfield, that's where the problems are. Larry Johnson finally signed a new contract but missed most of the pre-season. He will have to be eased into the season instead of hitting the ground running. Backups look ordinary. Chiefs are trying to make a full back out of a lineman. They think it will work. It might. If not? This brings us straight to the nexus - quarterback, or lack thereof.

Coach Herm Edwards made no secret of this desire to unload Trent Green. Green had been the shining light in the Chiefs offence for many years until he got hit once too often in the head and lost confidence. Whether he can regain it in Miami is problematical. His transfer saga went on too long. It could have only unsettled the team. When he left Edwards made no secret that the job was Brodie Croyle's. Young guy, he's the future franchise quarterback. His backup was to be last season's backup, who ended up playing a lot when Green got crocked, Damon Huard. Just one problem. At the end of an uninspiring pre-season, Edwards suddenly realised Croyle was not ready and handed the job back to Huard. This could be a disaster and it's not hard to imagine the Chiefs taking some time to get untracked this season.

The fact is the Chiefs do not have an established franchise quarterback. This usually spells disaster. The season opener is at the Texans. Not exactly a powerhouse football team, thought there are no easy games in the NFL. Come Monday morning we should have a much better idea of how the season is going to pan out. Super Bowl? Not likely, but, then again, not impossible. That's Chiefs football!

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