Two Plus Two

I'm going to try something a little bit different. The concept is that I'm going to make negative points pertinent to the Chiefs and then I'm going to balance that out with an an equal number of positve points. The point is that I'm going to offer you some commentary whether the Chiefs win flawlessly, lose ugly, or make an early exit from the playoffs after a 13-3 season.



Positives:

1. Defensive Attitude: The Chiefs gave up a few big plays against the Saints Thursday evening, but stood them up when it counted. Gunther Cunningham has them hitting hard and filling gap responsibilities like Chiefs fans haven't seen since the mid-90's.

I do understand that this was a meaningless preseason game, but the mentality was consistent from the starters to the bench-warmers through the scrubs who had no realistic chance of making the final roster. The Chiefs defense is once again playing with pride.

Chiefs fans pray they'll see more of this when the Chiefs open against the Bengals. Kansas City trounced Cincinnati 37-3 last year, but contrary to that score, the Bengals are no pushovers. Watch for a tight, defensive battle Sept. 10.

2. Brodie Croyle: Croyle is a rookie who told the Kansas City media moments after his selection that "Kansas City is a great town, I've flown over it before." Now that he's been here several months, we forgive him for that silly statement. He's grown during the preseason despite his physical bumps and bruises.

He had a rough outing against the Rams, but made some nice throws that showed potential had his wideouts cooperated. Thursday night was slightly different – Jeff Webb and Nate Curry caught balls delivered to them. Croyle appeared to be poised in the pocket.

Two miscues weren't really his fault; Webb tipped a catchable pass up in the air for a defender to intercept and a blitz left Croyle exposed for a crushing blow that dislodged the ball. Fortunately, the fumble was negated by a personal foul. In the face of a quality night by Croyle, Damon Huard turned in an unspectacular but solid performance also.

All indications are that the Chiefs will keep Huard as the second-string quarterback followed by Croyle and Casey Printers. The question is, do the Chiefs keep four quarterbacks on the 53-man roster or do they try to sneak Printers onto the practice squad?

Does Printers' contract even allow for the possibility of practice squad? There are a lot of intricacies in a CFL-to-NFL contract. Certain provisions must be met, or the CFL retains the rights to the player. I'll ask Printers' agent and provide that answer on our forums prior to Saturday's 3:00 p.m. cut to 53.

Negatives:

1. Eric Hicks: Much ado has been made about Hicks' contributions to the Chiefs defensive woes over the past several seasons. To be fair, Hicks was an undersized, undrafted free agent defensive end out of Maryland when he signed with the Chiefs nine years ago. His strongest statistical showing was with Derrick Thomas still running around, teeing off on quarterbacks.

Since then, his skill level has been the topic of much debate. Obviously, he's exceeded all expectations and given the Chiefs a significant return on their investment. But what does Hicks have left in the tank? He's recovering from offseason shoulder surgery and still falling victim to bootlegs and misdirection plays all too frequently.

Most Chiefs fans would argue Clint Mitchell out-produced him this preseason; he certainly delivered results in the second half against the Saints. But Carl Peterson's comments on the broadcast indicate Clint Mitchell will not be making the team's final roster. Can Hicks produce off the bench or is it time to cut him and give a younger player the same opportunity he was given nine years ago?

2. Rock and Roll Part Two: My opinion on this matter is that Gary Glitter is a poor excuse for a human being. He produced a piece of music that is largely recognized in sports venues throughout the nation and world.

Chiefs fans are especially attached to his music considering the touchdown chant that accompanies the music after each Chiefs score. They've been doing the "We're gonna beat the hell out of you" chant for many years. I can't be certain of how long because I don't have the resources to determine the exact date. Who keeps track of such things, anyway?

This summer, NFL offices issued a strong recommendation that teams cease to play Glitter's music after his conviction in Vietnam on two counts of child sexual abuse. The Chiefs appear to have complied, even going so far as to publish a fan poll with choices for new touchdown music. There is some confusion surrounding the issue because the Chiefs have reportedly been playing a modified version of R&RP2 at the stadium this preseason.

Of this I am certain - the Chiefs won a Super Bowl without Gary Glitter's contribution and they'll win another one without him in the future. How long in the future is an entirely different question.

It's a simple song, people. Some of you have actually taken up petitions to keep the song around. It's not important to the players on the field, and it certainly doesn't adversely impact homefield advantage in Arrowhead. In fact, I'm certain the players would much rather hear something composed and performed since they were potty-trained or in some cases even born. Changes happen and life goes on. Let's go on without Gary Glitter.

 

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