Step 5: Fixing The Secondary

In our continuing series looking ahead to the 2009 offseason, we've already concentrated on the offense, so we'll switch focus to the defense. Though it's not at the top of the list, the Chiefs need to address their secondary.

The foundation is set with a pair of young corners in Brandon Flowers and Brandon Carr. Given time, the pair could become dominant for the next five or six years. A year ago, aging veterans Patrick Surtain and Ty Law were the starters, but it's obvious their young replacements have exceeded expectations this year.

For a pair of rookie cornerbacks who were thrust into the starting lineup, both Carr and Flowers have overachieved. Flowers leads the Chiefs in interceptions, including a 90-yard return off an interception of Brett Favre. If he has a weakness, it's covering receivers out of the slot when they cross from one side of the field to the other. It's something he'll improve at, but Flowers plays the slot because the Chiefs really don't have a solid nickel back at the moment.

Considering he was a fifth-round pick from a small college, the transition Carr has made to this point in his short NFL career has been astounding. When he was drafted, both Herm Edwards and Bill Kuharich said the same thing - Carr had been coached more effectively than any cornerback prospect they had seen before. Clearly he learned something and brought it to the next level.

The problem for the Chiefs right now is the complete lack of depth on the roster. A plethora of bodies have rotated in and out, but there isn't much else to do until the offseason. The Chiefs need to draft another corner, add one through free agency, or perhaps both.

In the deep secondary, the Chiefs have struggled at times this season. The problem is two fold - injuries and talent. There isn't any question that Jarrad Page is having an off year. Injuries, and KC's lack of a pass rush, have hurt his opportunities to make plays.

Further complicating things is the fact Bernard Pollard isn't picking up the slack. The Chiefs are wondering if he can turn the corner. While he made a great play against the Chargers last Sunday, stopping a potential scoring drive with an interception in the end zone, late in the game, he was nowhere to be found on San Diego's game-winning touchdown, which was caught by Antonio Gates.

The Chiefs were in zone coverage, and when a linebacker let Gates go free it was Pollard's job to step up. He was in the back of the end zone, but by the time Gates made the catch and hit the ground, Pollard was nowhere near close enough to make a play.

You wonder if Pollard has the instincts to start at safety in the NFL. The Chiefs have a veteran safety in Jon McGraw who has replaced Pollard at times, but the future might be with rookie DaJuan Morgan, who has been sidelined by injuries. The Chiefs were high on him going into the season.

Morgan has a future and the Chiefs likely will move him to the starting spot in 2009 opposite Page.

Though the free agent market might be void of safeties this year, don't be surprised if the Chiefs draft another one. With McGraw's age and Pollard's inability to play consistently game in game out, the Chiefs have to hedge their bets because they don't know if Morgan can stay healthy.

Next - Step Six - Rebuilding the linebacker corps.

Step Four - Finding a Franchise Quarterback.

Step Three - Fixing The Offensive Line.

Step Two - What To Do With Gonzalez?

Step One - What To Do With LJ?

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