Chiefs Secondary Needs A Total Overhaul

First and foremost the Chiefs did what they had to do and won a game on the road against a tough opponent. For the second straight week, they came back in the fourth quarter and won thanks to their offense. But in the 49-38 victory Monday Night, it was clear the offense has found its groove again but the defense; especially the secondary continues to get torched.

Going into the Titans game the Chiefs cornerbacks were already playing their worst football of the season. On Monday Night Titans back-up quarterback Billy Volek torched the Chiefs for four touchdowns and 426 yards passing. Despite the fact that Volek was sacked five times, he continually found wide open receivers. Each time the Chiefs blitzed Volek, he burned them.

On each of his four touchdown passes he threw perfect balls to wide open receivers. Drew Bennett scored three touchdowns burning William Bartee twice and Dexter McCleon once. Eric Warfield was burned by Derrick Mason. On each of the four touchdown passes, the Titans receivers simply ran past the Chiefs corners. They tried to play bump and run coverage but the Kansas City cornerbacks are just not physical enough to jam the Titans receivers at the line of scrimmage.

I'm not a football coach but the technique the Chiefs corners use is terrible. Bartee is the worst amongs the three top corners on the roster because he just does not know how to cover receivers. Bennett took advantage of Bartee because he flew open his body and Bennett just ran past him as if he wasn't even on the field. Once he turns, the wide receiver has clear sailing into the secondary. Bartee is not alone. Both McCleon and Warfield display the poor technique and continue to make the same mistakes.

Granted the Chiefs starting two safeties were not available on Monday Night. Both Jerome Woods and Greg Wesley sat the game out so rookie Willie Pile and third year man Shaunard Harts were forced to start. Both played well but they're clearly not as talented as the starters. Still one of them has to step up over the last three games because this team needs another starting safety.

In the off-season, the Chiefs have to add a quality Safety and at least two cornerbacks. Warfield might get one more year to prove himself but they have to find a shut down corner in the draft or free agency to play opposite the former Nebraska Cornhusker.

If the Chiefs keep winning games, they'll have to find that answer via free agency. One player who could be available is Titans cornerback Andre Dyson who in four years has 15 interceptions on his resume. Though he was burned on the game winning catch on Monday Night when he slipped after he bit on the fake by Chiefs wide receiver Eddie Kennison; he's a solid corner who would upgrade the secondary.

The Raiders could let Charles Woodson go but he brings some baggage and he's been anything but consistent this year in what could be his final season in Oakland. Still under the right system he can really earn his All-Pro status.

In the 2005 draft, the top two cornerbacks available are Miami Hurricane Antrel Rolle and Michigan Wolverine Marlin Jackson. Rolle is a playmaker and Jackson is a hard hitter. Both would be a great fit and could be available in the Top 15. But if the Chiefs keep winning, they'll be out of the sweepstakes for both Rolle and Jackson unless they make a trade to move up into the Top 10.

Still the Chiefs can't ignore their deficiencies at the cornerback position any longer and they'll need to analyze and target the potential of free agents before they get ready for the draft.

The Chiefs will likely cut Bartee and McCleon after June 1. If that happens, they'll have Julian Battle and Benny Sapp as suitors for nickel positions. Granted Battle has some ability and Sapp needs a year of seasoning in NFL Europe but both have some talent to be solid back-ups. Neither of them can be starters at least not yet.

If Gunther Cunningham has any pull, he should promise Dyson a starting spot and try and lure him from the Titans where he coached him for three seasons. At the Pro-Bowl in Hawaii every Chiefs player should corner Charles Woodson and try to get him to come to Kansas City to help out this defense.

Once that happens then Kansas City can work on adding a safety another linebacker and then add a quality pass rusher. If that happens, this team could make a serious run next season at the playoffs.


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