The Chiefs have a very strange secondary. Many of these players can play multiple positions. They do a lot of press, man coverage, which can be very difficult. They're very aggressive. They'll blitz from multiple positions. They play plenty of single high safety, putting their corners on an island on the outside. It must be difficult for opponents to prepare for, especially knowing they'll be making snap decisions reading these defenses on account of the defensive front.
This is a unit that played very well last year and is getting a boost in talent by adding two draftees in Peters and Nelson as well as the talented Tyvon Branch from the division rival Raiders.
Sean Smith is the prototype of what I think Bob Sutton wants, and that's somewhat scary. Why? Most extremely big and tall corners suck and at 6'3", 218 lbs he's damn near a linebacker. He does have surprising athleticism for his size though. He's also going to serve a 3 game suspension for a DUI. There are some other legitimate criticisms, such as he has stone hands and benefited from playing behind an awesome pass rush. Also, he was much more average in 2013, so maybe 2014 was the fluke.
But let's be honest here. Sean Smith can flat out play. He is one of the best press corners in the game and he can actually cover too, using his long arms to rip through the receiver to the ball. PFF graded him as the 5th best corner in the league and 3rd best in coverage in 2014. He's decent in run support, though you might expect him to be slightly better due to his size and physical nature.
With Houston locked up our pass rush in front of Smith should remain awesome and I think this guy would be a household name if he just got a couple more INTs. The talk going around is he's going to command a big payday if and when he hits the open market. Also having Houston locked up may give the Chiefs the option of franchising Smith next year. I don't think they can afford to sign him long-term though.
A former 3rd round pick by the Cardinals, Fleming may yet prove to be the best of all of the scrapheap players of the John Dorsey era. He saw a decent amount of playing time as a 4th CB his first year with the Cards when they were loaded at CB, yet they cut him. He then went to Jacksonville where he exclusively played special teams before finding his way onto the Chiefs.
When Fleming did finally get some playing time, he was a vast improvement over Chris Owens and Marcus Cooper. Fleming's play, like most of the Chiefs corners, was physical. His only really distinct trait was his ability to press at the line. Everything else was just fair to average, but that's still pretty good.
Yes, our pass rush helps our corners, but our corners' ability to press at the line and disrupt routes really helps our rush too. As such, Fleming's play will be pivotal for this team especially early on while Sean Smith serves his 3 game suspension. If he can keep up his play or improve it, it will be a huge boost. He's a free agent after this season, and unless he plays out of his mind should be an affordable option to re-sign.
Last year's 3rd round pick, Gaines is a bit of an outlier in this group of corners. Though he's a willing tackler, he's thought of as a more finesse corner. From what I've seen, I don't really think that true. Yes, he needs to work on his press coverage and he's lackluster in run support, two things people usually think of about physical corners, but he actually seems to bully receivers down the field sometimes similar in style to Sean Smith, breaking up passes with his lanky arms.
Gaines looked very good for a rookie last year in limited time, but let's not overstate things. His role will be expanded this year, especially early when he's likely to see some starting snaps. We'll get a much better look at him this season.
The scrapheap converted WR became a vital player and fan favorite for the first half of 2013. Since then, he's teetered between obscurity and liability. PFF graded Cooper as our worst DB by far with a -11.5 grade, -11.4 of it earned in pass coverage, and that's despite that he only played in one game after week 9 outside of special teams.
I love the physical ability of Cooper, but he has not improved any of the nuances of his game and may have even regressed, possibly due to a lack of confidence. His lack of playing time late last season suggests the team has lost confidence in him too. Teams pick on him when he's on the field because they know he does not have great coverage skills. He is going to have to show marked improvement to make this roster, but if he does it could be a very good thing for the Chiefs.
Any of you that read my Draft Information Overload post know how I feel about Peters. Peters is pretty average in terms of size amongst this group, but he plays much, much bigger.
I said it then and I'll say it again, this guy should set the tone on defense for years to come. He doesn't tackle like a corner or even a safety. He tackles like a linebacker, whether he's in coverage, run support, or tracking down a scrambling QB. His physicality doesn't stop there, as he harasseds wide receivers at the line and all over the field. The big question is how quickly will he make an impact. Sean Smith's suspension makes it likely Peters will see some playing time immediately, but that's not the same as saying he'll be ready or successful.
I'd bet on Peters making an early impact, but all I really have to go on is his overall talent, college tape, and a gut hunch.
Leading into the draft many expressed doubt that the Chiefs would even look at defensive backs under 6'0". In hindsight, none of us should have been surprised, and not just because being 5'11" instead of 6'0" is a stupid and arbitrary reason to overlook someone. Nelson has a fairly similar build to Fleming. Actually, Fleming is the stockier of the two (same height +12 lbs), and people won't shut up about how stout Nelson is for a corner.
Sutton likes bigger defensive backs because they tend to be more physical. If anything, in many ways Nelson's play in college was too physical. He got more than his fair share of penalties and teams tried to pick on him, 'tried' being the key word. He usually won. He's another guy that's going to give WRs fits in the press.
I think Nelson was a solid pick, but his impact this season is likely to be minimal.
Who? Oh yeah, the guy everyone makes glass bones jokes about. He's made headlines for breaking ankles, just not the good kind. If I'm counting correctly, he's entirely missed all but two games since being drafted in the 5th round in 2015 and has one career regular season tackle. It's hard to remember that this guy was a very legitimate prospect.
Sanders is a safety/corner hybrid with excellent speed (4.4 forty) and size (6'0", 223). He was drafted by the Arizona Diamondbacks out of high school to play outfield, so he does have an impressive range. He also has good hands and played a lot of special teams at the University of Georgia.
He had injury issues in college as well, so maybe the book is already written on him. This clearly is his last chance with this team though. His best chance at making this roster comes from his versatility.
Perhaps our best coverage safety, Abdullah might be the most underrated member of the Chiefs' secondary. Abdullah replacing two charred pieces of toast shaped like Quintin Demps and Kendrick Lewis was one of the quietest improvements we made last offseason. Abdullah can make plays while playing center field without constantly giving up big gains. His best game as a Chief was likely the playoff game against the Colts when he had 2 INTs and 5 tackles in a game that unfortunately most of us want to forget.
Abdullah was still a decent player in run support. He even blitzes well when given the opportunity, getting 3 QB hurries and 3 QB hits. But last year the only concern I had is he didn't make as many big plays. He only had 1 INT all year, albeit a kick ass pick 6 against Tom Brady. I will absolutely take that though considering he also didn't allow a single TD in coverage despite playing in 96.5% of defensive snaps.
Many of us were surprised by Ron Parker. He played much better than expected, being another of these scrapheap players. He pretty much was the difference in the Bills game with 5 major impact plays. Still, it also surprised me when he got pretty much the contract he was asking for from the Chiefs in free agency.
Parker has not graded well at PFF and seems to be poor in run support. He did improve as he played more safety instead of corner though. He drew interest from many teams this offseason. Part of that was it was a weak market for safeties, but also he seems to be more respected in the league than by many Chiefs fans. This isn't like baseball. 1 WAR (Win Above Replacement) in football is awesome, and like I said he straight up won the game against Buffalo.
Branch, for my money is a poor man's Eric Berry. That's a fairly common comparison, but I think it holds up. He's physical, has great athleticism and speed, yet can cover fairly well. He's an enforcer that makes big plays in run support. His biggest problem has been staying healthy. His last couple seasons have been shortened by injury.
Still, make no mistake that he is not the complete athlete that Eric Berry was. Berry could play most positions on the field if he had to, offense or defense. Even so, Branch can fill that role of LB/S hybrid and should see a ton of time in our 3 safety looks. His addition could be far more important than many people realize, assuming he stays healthy.
We all wish Berry a healthy recovery, but many of us need to realize that even a well EB may never be an NFL football player again. Dealing with cancer is rough, and in many cases the treatments are just as bad. I've heard and read many fans talking about Berry maybe being back midseason. We need to get it in our heads that we'll be lucky if he gets to live a full life, yet alone play football soon and at the same level he did. We need to appreciate the severity of his situation. It may be simple to say that since he completed his treatments football should be right around the corner, but that doesn't make it true.
That being said, it might be a critical shot to the feels for me if I ever do get to see him play again. This is one of the true good guys in the NFL and we've missed him in every way possible.
The Others Kelcie McCray and Daniel Sorensen were two of our best special teamers. Other than Josh Martin, no one else made a bigger impact than those two in coverage and blocking on returns. Because of that, I think these two are actually very likely to make this team. Neither was involved much on the defensive side of the ball though. To give you an example, Sorensen had less defensive snaps (31) than Derrick Johnson (32) last year, and it wasn't like McCray had a whole bunch more (57).
Aaron Hester is a good sized corner (6'1", 207) with fair speed (4.47 forty) out of UCLA with a ton of starting experience in college, playing in 30 games. He's been in the league since 2013, but has never managed to play in a game. I wasn't able to find any specific reason for that, like an injury, but I have a hard time seeing him get that opportunity here.
Deji Olatoye is a longshot rookie out of North Carolina A&T. He fits the size profile, but I can imagine he has an uphill climb to even make the practice squad, and if he did he's a long term developmental project.
Kevin Short transferred to KU from a community college and never played a down for the Jayhawks due to academic ineligibility before making himself eligible for the supplemental draft. He was not selected, but the Chiefs did sign him afterward. He's a talented prospect, but due to a lack of college experience is purely a developmental player.
The average NFL defensive back, depending upon where you look, is about 5'10" and 190 lbs. This group is chock full of big defensive backs. None of them are listed at less than 5'11" or 190 lbs, many of them far bigger. More importantly, all of them are physical in some way.
Though I wouldn't say they are the heart of this defense, this is a very good, very deep group. One good thing about Sean Smith's suspension is it will help the team stash one extra DB onto their opening day 53 man roster. Even so, there will be tough decisions to make and I wouldn't be surprised to see the team carry an extra DB.
This article just made me laugh. Living out near the "Raider Nation" allows me to hear the idiots say "this is our year" every year. I know a coach is supposed to be optimistic; however, worst to first? Wouldn't making the playoffs be an incredible turn around? If he really thinks that the Raiders are going to win the division... well, they picked a perfectly insane coach to lead a team with a horrible organization! Love it!
The following text is from: http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/201...er=ya5nbcs
The last time the Raiders won the AFC West, it was at the end of the 2002 season, when Eminem’s “Lose Yourself” was the No. 1 song and The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers was the top movie at the box office. It’s been a long time.
But new Raiders coach Jack Del Rio doesn’t see why the Raiders can’t win the AFC West this year.
“Goal No. 1 is to win our division, and I don’t see why not,” Del Rio said in a video on the team’s website.
Raiders offensive line coach Mike Tice added, “We’re going to be a championship football team.”
In the time since their last playoff appearance, the Raiders have gone from Bill Callahan to Norv Turner to Art Shell to Lane Kiffin to Tom Cable to Hue Jackson to Dennis Allen to Tony Sparano as head coach. All those coaches arrived with optimism that they’d be the ones to win in Oakland. Maybe Del Rio will finally be the coach who can actually turn things around.
OK, this guy is a dumbass! He didn't get drafted because of concerns about his character issues. The Chiefs bring him in to give him a shot and he goes and does the same thing that got him in trouble before. Personally, I am glad he did it before we saw if he was any good or not. I would rather not have a good player and then have them be a distraction on the team.
I saw this article here http://www.arrowheadpride.com/2015/7/21/...ence-again I have to agree with the last sentence.....
The Oktibbeha County Sheriff's Office arrest report lists a Justin Cox with a domestic violence charge on Monday. Per multiple reports, including the Clarion Ledger, that would be the same Justin Cox who is a defensive back with the Kansas City Chiefs and formerly with the Mississippi State Bulldogs. Cox signed with the Chiefs after he went unselected in the 2015 NFL Draft last May. There are three charges against Cox: aggravated domestic assault, burglary of a residence and trespassing. The Clarion Ledger has more details:
Quote:The alleged incident occurred at the Aspen Heights apartment complex on Monday. Authorities received a call around 1 p.m. Cox was quickly determined to be a suspect. He was later arrested in West Point and transferred back to Starkville where he was booked at 4 p.m. Cox is still in custody and bond has not yet been set. An arraignment is expected on Tuesday.
This is the second arrest for Cox in the last year, and the second one involving domestic violence. It looks like these incidents happened at the same apartment complex (or an apartment complex with the same name). His pre-draft profile alluded to concern from teams due to the first arrest, which got him suspended indefinitely from Mississippi State. NFL teams don't have patience for these types of things, especially from undrafted players trying to make the team. We very well could soon be calling him former Chiefs defensive back Justin Cox.