Trading Waters? – May 19, 2009
With OTAs on Monday, the biggest news was that guard Brian Waters was absent. We've confirmed that he has indeed reiterated his demand for a trade. Wade Smith was in the starting lineup at left guard Monday and that's likely going to continue for the immediate future.
From the way it sounds the damage between the Chiefs and Waters isn't likely to be repaired until he's shipped off to another team, so it might be best if the Chiefs honor his request in return for a decent 2010 draft pick. We continue to hear the Buffalo Bills and Arizona Cardinals are showing interest in Waters.
Despite Waters' Pro-Bowler status, Todd Haley probably isn't all that upset about this. He wants to coach players who want to be in Kansas City. Waters wants out and like Tony Gonzalez, the Chiefs should trade him to another franchise that really needs him. They can overcome his loss.
Waters is a great player but is on the downside of his career. He may never play at an All-Pro level again and with Goff on the team the Chiefs are no worse at guard. Sure, who wouldn't like to see Waters stay and team with Goff to make the line stronger, but the damage has been done.
Worried About Dorsey
He missed time this week with a shin injury. To me that signals two things.
First, it's a continuation of his injury problems at LSU and in Kansas City as a rookie. It could also serve as a bad omen that his shin is in bad shape because he's trying to add weight to play nose tackle. He can't afford to sit out a single practice if the Chiefs hope to get any value from him in 2009. He needs to be on the field to show he can play defensive end or defensive tackle.
Right now he's third at nose tackle behind Ron Edwards and Tank Tyler. At end, he's likely the backup to Alex Magee, who was running with the first-team defense at right end Monday.
Chiefs fans, for the most part, aren't too excited to see Dorsey join the long line of defensive tackle busts that riddled the Peterson era. I'm not ready to claim that Dorsey is in that class just yet, because I think Haley is going to do everything in his power to salvage such a high draft choice.
But the fact he's already sitting out is a big red flag for the Chiefs. Dorsey needs to get back on the field and soon or questions will linger.
Previously I believed Larry Johnson would be traded, but that might not be the case anymore. He was the starting running back in practice this week and he's been a saint off the field so far this offseason. To date the Chiefs have cut any player who has had a whiff of trouble, but they appear now to be sticking behind their expensive running back.
Right now he's a virtual lock to be the starter even though his carries will be reduced this year. However, if LJ can overcome his own stupidity in the outside world and channel his energy into being a solid performer, the Chiefs will be a better offensive team.
I remain skeptical that he can do that, but to this point his new management team certainly has him focused and ready to go. That can't hurt the Chiefs this year. It gives Haley more options, and with questions at wide receiver and the absence of Tony Gonzalez, the more options the better.
Is it all on Cassel? - May 20th, 2009
We've been talking about Matt Cassel since early January when Scott Pioli became General Manager. In the opening days of the Chiefs OTA sessions it's become clear that Cassel is clearly going to have to be the man this year if the team is to improve.
Heading into offseason workouts it's going to be key for him to get to know his teammates and to get on pace with his receivers. If the season started today his wideouts would be Dwayne Bowe, Mark Bradley and veteran Bobby Engram.
It appears for the moment Larry Johnson, Kolby Smith and Jamaal Charles will be Cassel's running backs. There isn't much sense in rating his offensive line at this point because despite how bad the Chiefs line was a year ago, it was still better than the Patriots (in regards to sacks given up).
Without tight end Tony Gonzalez on the team second year man Brad Cottam will have to step up his game and become at least an average receiver. I think he'll do that and more.
There has already been so much talk about the type of quarterback Cassel will be in Kansas City throwing to lesser receivers, but he should have a stronger running game at his disposal. But it will be the receivers that make the grade for Cassel.
I'm not going to debate the quality of the receivers today because it's premature. I'm hopeful that Kansas City still makes a run for Anquan Boldin, but that's wishful thinking at this point. Cassel will have to make do with what he already has.
CHIEFS – The Week In Review
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