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The Meltdown Lounge>FO and Coaching Staff Have Derailed This Season
rabblerouser 07:46 AM 10-13-2021
https://zonecoverage.com/2021/chiefs...chiefs-season/

Well-written article. I was going to post that it was "a good read", but it won't make you feel any better :

Originally Posted by :
By*Justin Wiggins*- October 12, 2021

The Kansas City Chiefs’ dream of a dynasty is quickly falling apart.

On Sunday night in Arrowhead, the defending AFC Champions were embarrassed by the visiting Buffalo Bills, falling 38-20 and officially closing any gap the Chiefs may have had between themselves and what many believe to be their biggest threat in the AFC this season.

Their biggest weakness is evident right now, with the defense off to a horrific start. It’s more than just bad. Frankly, it’s historic. Through five weeks, the defense is surrendering 7.1 yards per play, which is the highest-ever number allowed by an NFL team, according to Pro Football Reference.

But wait, it gets better. The best offense of the past 20 years is undoubtedly the 2007 New England Patriots, who averaged 3.3 points per drive — the exact same amount of points per drive the Chiefs’ defense is allowing through five weeks. Simply put, this years’ defense is turning opposing offenses into the greatest offense our generation has ever seen every week.

Will they maintain this historic pace of ineptitude? Unlikely, but that’s not to say it will markedly improve, not with the results Chiefs fans have endured so far.


However, even with Pro Bowlers across the defense, the blame for this disastrous production does not lie solely with the players. The complete collapse on the defensive side falls squarely on the shoulders of the front office and coaching staff. The countless off-season miscues, paired with a puzzling deployment of players on defense, are the biggest reasons the Chiefs might find themselves wasting a season of prime*Patrick Mahomes.

Over the past two summers, the front office, led by general manager Brett Veach, has doomed this year’s defense by compounding poor draft and free agency decisions. The Mahomes-led offense is so good that they’ve been able to overcome these shortcomings the past couple of seasons. However, constant mistakes from the front office have finally reached a level their otherworldly abilities can no longer sustain.

Let’s take it back two years. Following their Super Bowl win in 2019, the Chiefs found themselves in a cap-crunched world. They weren’t alone; many other teams in the NFL during a tumultuous off-season with numerous unknowns surrounding COVID-19 and its impact on the 2020 season.

Frank Clark*was brought in via trade the summer before and was set to have his cap hit jump from $6.5 million to $19.3 million. Linebacker*Anthony*Hitchens’*contract was also ready to spike from just $5.2 million to $12.7 million. Both players would need to step up and produce on a more consistent basis than they did last year. Neither player performed at the level the Chiefs needed, with Clark tallying just six sacks and Hitchens collecting a measly 78 tackles while continuing to be a liability in coverage.

The draft that summer didn’t help either. The Chiefs selected*Clyde Edwards-Helaire, who has become a replacement-level running back, with their first-round pick when taking a defensive player would have been more prudent. The lack of talent on one side of the ball was evident, yet the Chiefs were still somehow able to overcome those obstacles and returned to the Super Bowl for the second year in a row.

While the defense may not have been the driving factor in their Super Bowl loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the front office knew they still needed to generate more pressure up front while also finding depth at cornerback. Veach and head coach*Andy Reid*expressed a need to get younger and more athletic on defense in the off-season.

In the 2021 draft, the Chiefs selected of LB*Nick Bolton*out of the University of Missouri in the second round. The one knock on Bolton in college was his athleticism — not a great start. The Chiefs were in desperate need of more speed in the middle of their defense to pair with*Willie Gay*Jr., and their top selection in the draft was used on an Anthony Hitchens clone. So much for the faster part of getting “younger and faster.” Bolton has been okay at times in the run game but has been a major liability when asked to range from side to side, a trait they desperately needed.

The only other pick in the draft allocated towards defense was in the fourth round, and defensive end*Joshua Kaindoh*was seen more as a project than an instant producer. The Chiefs left yet another draft with few resources spent on impact players for the defense.

Not only did they fail to address the pass rush or the secondary depth in the draft, the free-agency period was no better. Proven cornerback*Bashaud Breeland*signed with the Minnesota Vikings; in fact, the Chiefs essentially swapped cornerbacks with Minnesota when later in the summer they acquired former first-rounder*Mike Hughes*for pennies on the dollar. Breeland had been a contributing factor for Steve Spagnuoulo’s defense over the past couple seasons, while Hughes found himself quickly out of favor in Minnesota due to his injury history and poor performance. The results have been predictable, with Hughes finding himself abused by opposing quarterbacks all season.

However, Veach did find himself a Pro Bowl-caliber defensive tackle in free agency.*Jarran Reed*was released by the Seattle Seahawks and later signed with the Chiefs on a one-year prove-it deal. Last year, Reed proved disruptive up the middle, leading Seattle with 6.5 sacks and earning his first Pro Bowl selection. Alas, Reed has been a disaster in Kansas City this season, totaling just six tackles and only two QB hurries. Yet another free-agent whiff from Veach and the front office.

The string of misses by the front office has greatly affected the defense this season. But to make matters worse, the coaching staff’s deployment of its resources has been puzzling. While*Dan Sorensen*has been perhaps the worst safety in football so far this season, it’s not his fault that the coaching staff has repeatedly asked the aging vet to cover athletic tight ends and wide receivers. It’s even more perplexing when young, athletic options like*Juan Thornhill*remain on the bench.

Thornhill was drafted in the second round in 2019 as a perfect complement to*Tyrann Mathieu. However, the coaches have been repeatedly trying to fit a square peg into a round hole by placing Sorensen at the deep safety position, and it showed time and time again on national television Sunday. Sorensen was at fault for two touchdowns allowed and still played 100% of the defensive snaps.

On top of the secondary struggling to cover opposing teams, the defensive front remains a mystery when one considers the amount of money that’s been allocated to the front seven. In training camp, Spagnuolo announced All-Pro defensive tackle*Chris Jones*would be sliding out to defensive end this season. While few doubted Jones’ ability to remain a disruptive force on the outside, many questioned whether it made sense to move a player from his most dominant position. The early results of the 2021 campaign are starting to suggest it was a bad idea. Jones has been okay on the outside, but his true value remains as a dominate interior rusher.

GMs and coaches are human, and they are allowed to make mistakes. For most of the past couple seasons, Mahomes and the offense have been great enough to overshadow them. But the front office miscues and downright confusing coaching decisions are piling up, one on top of the other.

The truth is, the margin for error in Kansas City is no longer thin. It’s non-existent.

JUSTIN WIGGINS

Justin Wiggins covers the Kansas City Chiefs for Zone Coverage.


[Reply]
The Franchise 09:05 AM 10-13-2021
When Veach traded for Clark….I’m sure he was aware that Clark’s play would fall off a cliff AND that the cap would tank because of COVID. Just like I’m sure when he signed Reed this off-season, a move that EVERY talking head fucking loved, he knew that he would basically be invisible.

Now did the DE get ignored? Yes. And that can be put on Veach’s shoulders. But people can stop acting like the stars underperforming are somehow on Veach because he knew it would happen and paid them anyways.
[Reply]
rabblerouser 09:08 AM 10-13-2021
Originally Posted by DaFace:
A bit revisionist, don't you think? We all thought we were headed back to the Super Bowl until a couple of weeks ago. One would think that clear errors by the FO would be more obvious in the offseason.
Who knew Reed was going to bust THIS bad?

Or that Thornhill would languish on the bench in favor of the stuck in molasses coverage skills of Sorensen?

Or that Jones on end would be such an abject failure that no one will admit and then refuse to move him back inside?
[Reply]
DaFace 09:12 AM 10-13-2021
Originally Posted by rabblerouser:
Who knew Reed was going to bust THIS bad?

Or that Thornhill would languish on the bench in favor of the stuck in molasses coverage skills of Sorensen?

Or that Jones on end would be such an abject failure that no one will admit and then refuse to move him back inside?
No one. Which is why this article is dumb.
[Reply]
tredadda 09:16 AM 10-13-2021
Originally Posted by The Franchise:
When Veach traded for Clark….I’m sure he was aware that Clark’s play would fall off a cliff AND that the cap would tank because of COVID. Just like I’m sure when he signed Reed this off-season, a move that EVERY talking head fucking loved, he knew that he would basically be invisible.

Now did the DE get ignored? Yes. And that can be put on Veach’s shoulders. But people can stop acting like the stars underperforming are somehow on Veach because he knew it would happen and paid them anyways.
I have been saying this for a while. Thank you for re-highlighting these points
[Reply]
tredadda 09:18 AM 10-13-2021
Originally Posted by DaFace:
No one. Which is why this article is dumb.
It's a great article for the doom and gloom chicken littles who are determined to find anything to justify their position.
[Reply]
Coochie liquor 10:29 AM 10-13-2021
I think Reed would be much better with CJ back inside next to him.
[Reply]
jettio 10:30 AM 10-13-2021
Aside from injuries to key players, fans that think personnel is a bigger factor than scheme or execution are falling for the simplistic answer.

The fact is that the teams have prepared well for what the Chiefs are trying to do on offense and defense.

Chiefs need to dial back on the creative innovative BS and play more basic and play more physical.

Chiefs need to run more basic plays from traditional formations and hit the other team and stand up to them. The Bills played much more physical than the Chiefs and it was because Chiefs are relying too much on design and not playing basic physical football.

Chiefs need to have defensive guys healthy and on the field, but the personnel available is more than good enough to win it all. Chiefs just need to play harder and hit the other team harder than they get hit. That starts with running plays that depend on effort moreso than tricking the other team.

Andy Reid used to have a dozen plays a game for special situations and the Chiefs would win those dozen offensive plays on design before effort. Now Chiefs are trying to win almost all the plays on design before effort. Get back to playing hard and tough and have a dozen special plays.
[Reply]
DJ's left nut 10:32 AM 10-13-2021
Originally Posted by Coochie liquor:
I think Reed would be much better with CJ back inside next to him.
I typically prefer an inside/outside pairing if we can get it. Or an outside/outside.

It spreads the danger out a bit. If you have Jones/Reed out there, you can almost do a floating double where you have a C/G combo that will peel off if/when someone gets in trouble.

That's a lot harder to do when you've got someone on the edge and someone else in the middle or the other edge.

It's just a more varied way to attack.
[Reply]
Detoxing 10:36 AM 10-13-2021
Originally Posted by comochiefsfan:
Sadly accurate article.

Brett Veach is running this franchise into the ground right in front of our eyes.
This shit is gonna look so funny in a few months. :-)
[Reply]
lcarus 10:38 AM 10-13-2021
Originally Posted by DJ's left nut:
Bolton would be fortunate to have the kind of career Hitchens has had.

[Reply]
Hammock Parties 10:40 AM 10-13-2021
Originally Posted by Detoxing:
This shit is gonna look so funny in a few months. :-)
I cannot believe the fucking clowns counting us out around here after 2015 and 2019.

This team is led by forces of nature that have been through ALL of this shit before. The year we won the SB we lost two HORRIBLE games at home, consecutively.

They are not done. Not by a long shot.
[Reply]
Shoes 10:48 AM 10-13-2021
Hindsight is 20/20, this is a different situation than Green Bay for example where they largely have sat on their hands and chose not to give Rodgers weapons around him etc. Veach was aggressive and brought some players in and they haven't worked out (Jarran Reed) or they have regressed majorly (Clark). Pretty much the entirety of CP was praising Veach for his ability to overhaul the offensive line in one offseason.

I think the CEH draft pick looks particularly bad right now as CEH isn't as effective as we had hoped and it was a luxury pick at the time. Could really use another stud on defense with that selection. This is the first time the Chiefs have found themselves with some real adversity in regards to the overall talent on the roster. Seems like we got too many holes to fill right now particularly on the defensive side of the ball and I'm interested to see how the coaching staff and Veach respond.
[Reply]
rabblerouser 10:49 AM 10-13-2021
Originally Posted by arrwheader:
I think the hardest thing to swallow about what is happening with the defense is that it is so mind boggling that they are this ****ing bad.

They are basically the same unit as last year. Who did we lose? Wilson? Tonah? That isn't changing much imo.
I think it's effort related, too. Like, guys just are flopping around out there, not much passion, just...I don't know. That attitude the defense had in 2019 is gone.

It's just gone.
[Reply]
rabblerouser 10:50 AM 10-13-2021
Originally Posted by Coochie liquor:
I think Reed would be much better with CJ back inside next to him.
They would RAPE FACES.
[Reply]
rabblerouser 10:52 AM 10-13-2021
Originally Posted by jettio:
Aside from injuries to key players, fans that think personnel is a bigger factor than scheme or execution are falling for the simplistic answer.

The fact is that the teams have prepared well for what the Chiefs are trying to do on offense and defense.

Chiefs need to dial back on the creative innovative BS and play more basic and play more physical.

Chiefs need to run more basic plays from traditional formations and hit the other team and stand up to them. The Bills played much more physical than the Chiefs and it was because Chiefs are relying too much on design and not playing basic physical football.

Chiefs need to have defensive guys healthy and on the field, but the personnel available is more than good enough to win it all. Chiefs just need to play harder and hit the other team harder than they get hit. That starts with running plays that depend on effort moreso than tricking the other team.

Andy Reid used to have a dozen plays a game for special situations and the Chiefs would win those dozen offensive plays on design before effort. Now Chiefs are trying to win almost all the plays on design before effort. Get back to playing hard and tough and have a dozen special plays.
This sounds accurate.

Attitude. Beat your man.
[Reply]
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