Monday, September 19, 2016

Chiefs Prospects 2016 Season

Chop till you Drop!
I have been tardy.  I usually do my Chiefs analysis and forecast for the season before the season starts.  I've been busy.

Perhaps it is no bad thing.  Two games into the season gives me an opportunity for the scales to fall from the eyes and a more realistic mood to prevail.  Two games in and the tribe are 1-1.  They beat San Diego (a division rival) and lost to the Texans.  The first game saw a great comeback and the second almost no offence at all in a 19-12 defeat.

As usual, the rock is on Alex Smith's shoulder.  He was brilliant in Week One and very ordinary in Week Two.  Consequence?  We are one and one.

What are the Chiefs up to on offence this season.  They brought in Nick Foles to back up Smith.  Chase Daniel was the back up but went in free agency.  Foles is a proven NFL QB with the Eagles.  Hit me with a brick, but I can see a scenario where Alex Smith doesn't perform and Foles is at the helm.  An NFL back up QB is always just one snap away from starting no matter what the coaches say to the media.  Forget what Andy Reid says if he thinks Smith is not doing it he will change to Foles.  They have kept Tyler Bray as third QB.  Someday my dream will come?  He has the size, the arm and is getting the experience.  He may well be the future.

Running backs should be the strength of the team.  Anthony Sherman is a mainstay at fullback.  Jamaal Charles is still a class act.  Spencer Ware is getting a lot of snaps.  Chacandrick West is a capable back-up.  Knile Davis has slipped down the pecking order, but still has a role in kick returns.  The problem is Charles has yet to play.  Ware and West have shared the work and whilst both are capable, Charles has really been missed.  If the running-back-offence starts to click when he does then fine.  If not – big trouble.

The wide receiver corps has been revamped. (About time too!)  Jeremy Macklin leads.  Chris Conley is now a second year receiver.  Tyrek Hill is listed but is really a kick returner.  The rest?  De'Anthony Thomas who has mysteriously been inactive for the first two games, Demarcus Robinson, a rookie and Albert Wilson a 200 pound 5' 9” receiver (very out-of-date in the NFL).  You can still make a case that this group is not going to scare anyone and not going to help Smith very much in his quest to become an elite QB.

How about the O-line.  Lots of folks are very big on this group.  I wish I could join them.
The eight listed linemen have a grand total of 17 years of NFL experience.  That's not a lot.  Eric Fisher is now a very solid tackle.  He is moving forward from the burden of being a Number 1 pick in the draft.  The Chiefs apparently love Mitchell Schwartz who was a free agent signing.  The Canuck Duvernay-Tardiff is flavour of the month.  Unfortunately, in game two Parker (rookie starter) and Tardiff were injured and inactive.  The Texans pass rush had a field day.  When they are all healthy we'll see.  I'm not convinced that this is their year.  Maybe in 2017-18 but not today.

Turning to the defence which, as everyone with a brain cell knows, is what wins titles and Super Bowls.  What was a strength is now just about average.  Justin Houston is injured and will not return for some time.  Tamba Hali is just about past his sell by date.  The corners look just about Ok with Marcus Peters a stand-out.  The D-line should be good but has struggled to create any pass rush.  On a one to ten grading system they get about a 5.5.  This will not be good enough for the play-offs and may not even be good enough to get them there in the first place.
Special teams are very good.  Santos kicks as good as most.  Tyrek Hill may get you some touchdowns on punts and kick-offs.

The coaching is what it is.  There is no pressure real on Andy Reid.  They are stable.  They have good, experienced and capable coaches on the staff.  They need to earn their money now.  Anyone can coach an exceptionally good team.  Can they make winners out of some mostly average talent?  We'll see.

Saturday, September 03, 2016

NHS Budgets - Junior Doctors

Money Talks - Bullsh** walks - as usual.

I'm back. After the summer break wherein readers were deprived of both my expertise and sterling wit, I renew my efforts with both humility and verve.

The Junior doctors are striking in a series of five-day walk-outs. Patient care will suffer as sure as eggs are eggs. What's it all about?

Firstly, it is essential to remember that no system of health care can possibly function without the consent and support of the health care professionals involved. That's the bottom line. The NHS could not have come into being were it not for many compromises made to keep the doctors on-board. ( Most serious was the opposition of doctors who disliked the idea of becoming employees of the state. Doctors were in an extremely powerful position, as without them the National Health Service (NHS) could not operate, and the government was forced to make a number of compromises. General Practitioner (GP) surgeries remained private businesses that could be bought and sold, and the NHS effectively gave these practices contracts to provide health care. Only the most senior doctors in hospitals (consultants) were allowed to continue private treatment. Similar compromises were worked out with dentists. Aneurin Bevan conceded these points in order to make the NHS work, but he was not happy with them. ) - The Cabinet Papers

Even today the NHS can not possibly function without the doctors being extensively involved.

For some reason, known only to the government and Jeremy Hunt, this fact has been conveniently forgotten. The government has imposed a new contract on the Junior doctors and they don't like some of the provisions. The government's goal of creating a seven day service cannot be done without the doctors and their good will. Somebody has forgotten to line up the ducks.

What are they up to? Why pick a fight you can't win? It's the old story, money talks and bulls**t walks.

The government knows very well that you can have any sort of NHS you are willing to pay for. They are just not willing to pay for it. So, they need to increase the work load of doctors and the new contract is the way they have chosen to accomplish it.

In response. the doctors are trying to occupy the moral high ground. They need to convince the public, whose support they still have, that this is nothing to do with money. This is, of course, nonsense but they keep pushing it. Their support among the public is slipping. If the planned 5 day strikes go ahead they will soon lose the support altogether.

Any light at the end of the tunnel? Well, not all doctors are quite so convinced that the new contract is the work of the devil. Cracks are appearing in the support of the various Royal Colleges to which the doctors belong. Time is running out.

Very soon, some people are going to die who might have lived. Where will the blame be apportioned? The Government? The BMA?

One thing is probably sure – the bean counters (the real culprits in the piece) will get off scot free. Money talks . . . .