WPI Roundtable - Week 6

This week we discuss the 2010 draft, Dwayne Bowe, late roster additions and the second half of 2009.

Why do you think Bowe was going to be traded? Don't give me the doghouse garbage, are Haley and Pioli so preoccupied with "their" people that their judgment is jaded?

Nick Athan: The bottom line with Bowe is that "The Show" mentality rubbed Haley the wrong way. In retrospect, it may have been a big mistake by Haley to think that Bowe's attitude stemmed from anything other than a young kid expressing himself. I know Bowe pretty well, did a radio show with him last year and he's a great personality with loads of talent and self confidence.

Bowe was in the best shape of his career as OTA sessions began but Haley wanted to clip his wings, break him down and build him into Larry Fitzgerald. That was a mistake. All he's done is short circuit his season until this past weekend, when he was the focal point of the offense. If Bowe ends up with 1,000 yards receiving and finds the end zone another six or seven times, it'll be his heart and desire that makes it happen. Bowe has an All-Pro career ahead of him and the Chiefs would be crazy to let him go. Instead, they need to find another wide receiver of his caliber in the offseason to complement him.

Michael Ash: As I wrote earlier this week, I don't think Bowe was going to be traded. There have been trade rumors circulating for months, all based on the tenet that Todd Haley is unhappy with Bowe. But that entire take is out-of-date at best and misguided at worst. There's a difference between being unhappy with someone and being on their case to get the most out of them.

Haley believes Bowe can be a top receiver in the league. He said as much after Sunday's game. Everyone that's familiar with how Haley developed Larry Fitzgerald has recognized this all along, but Haley didn't speak of it himself until Sunday. And Bowe, for the first time, acknowledged that he understands what his coach is doing by never letting up.

Over time, if Bowe can't grasp what Haley wants from him and he continues to coast, then maybe a trade will be explored. But it's not going to happen after six games – and if they wanted to ship Bowe out, you have to believe they could have.

C.E. Wendler: Michael makes a good point, but I've always subscribed to the cliché of where there's smoke, there's fire. Bowe's name has been a part of trade rumors for so long now that we'd be fools to believe the Chiefs didn't have any desire to trade him. But likely, that desire wasn't strong enough to trade him for peanuts.

The deal that Adam Schefter proposed, a second and a fifth for Bowe, was laughable. The Chiefs aren't so ignorant that they'd trade their top offensive weapon for that sort of pittance. But if a team came with a gargantuan offer and wanted to pony up a pair of first-round picks, plus other considerations, you'd have to think Scott Pioli would be listening.


What are we going to wind up with in the way of draft picks? It appears that no one wanted any of our duds bad enough to make any trades with the exception of Tank Tyler, so what are the options for getting draft picks now?

Nick Athan: Right now the Chiefs have eight picks in the first five rounds. They traded away picks in the sixth and seventh round to the Miami Dolphins. The Chiefs have two second-round picks and three fifth-round picks thanks to trades that sent Tony Gonzalez to Atlanta, Tyler Thigpen to Miami and Tank Tyler to Carolina.

I expect the Chiefs to acquire even more picks before draft day in 2010. That's the Pioli way and with an uncapped year coming up, I expect the Chiefs to be aggressive in the offseason. Pioli did what he could and was wise to hold onto Dwayne Bowe, Derrick Johnson and Larry Johnson. All but Bowe will likely be headed elsewhere at season's end, so I wouldn't say that nobody wanted them, but Pioli wanted first-day picks and teams weren't willing to give that.

Michael Ash: Barring any further activity, the Chiefs gained an extra second-round pick for Tony Gonzalez, an extra fifth-round pick for Tank Tyler, and reportedly another fifth-round pick for Tyler Thigpen. Kansas City's sixth- and seventh-round picks appear to be Miami's, but the specifics of the Alleman/Ndukwe trade haven't been made public. Likewise, neither team has been specific about any possible conditions of the Thigpen trade.

The chances of the Chiefs getting any compensatory picks this year appear to be non-existent, so that's probably where they'll stand unless they unload some more players after the season ends. If nothing else, the extra picks should give Scott Pioli a little more draft-day ammo than he had this past year.

C.E. Wendler: Obviously we can only speculate on what the Chiefs have now, as Nick and Michael did, but the question of what they will have when April rolls around is completely up in the air. If you believe the report that Pioli was offering up the entire roster, save Matt Cassel, for trade, we could see any number of players being dealt once the offseason hits.

Aside from the names Nick mentioned, Brodie Croyle, Brian Waters, Jarrad Page and maybe even a player like Jamaal Charles all have trade value. It's fairly obvious the Chiefs are treating this season like one big extended tryout, so we just don't know who might be moved for draft picks. We could all be totally shocked in April.


What are your thoughts on Pioli's late additions to the roster? O'Callaghan, Pope, Wade, Richardson, Herron and Rogers?

Nick Athan: I love the addition of Bobby Wade, who has settled into the second receiver slot and has actually opened the door for Bowe to get some single coverage, allowing his catches to rise. Ultimately he might be a better slot receiver and next year he could be KC's version of Wes Welker if the Chiefs can land another outside receiver.

The other addition that has me excited is Leonard Pope. When it's all said and done, he'll be the starter next year and I hope they give him more reps the remaining 10 games. He's not a pure blocker but he can catch the rock and with a strong offseason could be a big target for Matt Cassel next season. Haley needs to expand his presence in the offense every Sunday. As far as the rest of the castoffs, I'm not real high on any of them except Richardson. I still maintain he can be the starting right tackle.

Michael Ash: Wade and O'Callaghan have proven to be solid additions. O'Callaghan probably won't be making the Pro Bowl anytime soon, but he's managed to stabilize the right tackle position, so that's certainly positive. Wade is definitely showing up in the passing game. All things being equal, I'd prefer someone with Mark Bradley's speed opposite Bowe, but with various mental mistakes and penalties, Bradley has been a one step forward, two steps back type of player this season.

I liked the addition of Pope, but somewhat surprisingly, he's barely been noticeable. David Herron was probably brought in strictly for special teams, and he's got a few tackles already, so he appears to be contributing. Mike Richardson's first activity came this past Sunday, so we haven't seen much to judge him by. Justin Rogers sounds like a solid special teams performer, but he's been signed and released twice in the last week.

C.E. Wendler: Troy Aikman said it best during the Cowboys' game a few weeks ago – it was surprising that Bobby Wade was even available, and to date it appears the Chiefs scored big time in signing him for peanuts with almost no competition for his services. It won't be surprising if Wade sticks on KC's roster for a few more years, in my opinion. He's that good, although the number of passes he's dropped is frustrating considering his reputation as a player with good hands.

Michael hit the nail on the head in regards to O'Callaghan. He's given up one sack in three games by my recollection, and that was to DeMarcus Ware, perhaps the league's best pass rusher. I don't think it's coincidence that the Chiefs have started to run the ball better with O'Callaghan starting at right tackle, either. As for Pope, I'm waiting for the Chiefs to get him involved down by the goal line.


Are the Chiefs about to turn the corner now that the tough part of the schedule is over?

Nick Athan: Outside of the Pittsburgh Steelers and road games at San Diego and Denver, the schedule is easier. Does that mean the Chiefs are going to reel off a series of victories that put them into playoff contention? I don't think so, to be honest with you.

There are too many holes in talent and in the philosophy from the top of the organization. But if the Chiefs win Sunday against the Chargers, they'll show me something that might lead me to believe they're capable of winning the six games I predicted they would before the start of the season.

Michael Ash: There are still some tough outings ahead, but in terms of there being more winnable games on the horizon, things are definitely looking up. The team appears to have run the NFC East gauntlet without their confidence being rattled, so as we've speculated, perhaps those games have toughened up the Chiefs.

After the bye week, there are probably four winnable games. The two contests against Denver don't look nearly as appealing as they did before the season, but their run of luck has to end sometime. And if the Chiefs did get tougher from their early-season trials, perhaps they'll pull out a game or two that we'd never expect.

Despite the dark clouds early on, it's perfectly reasonable to think the Chiefs could still finish this season with their best record since 2006.

C.E. Wendler: The most important development to date is that despite their lousy statistical rankings and poor record, it seems like everyone on the Chiefs has bought what Todd Haley is selling. You don't hear any malcontents whining. Larry Johnson has been nothing but positive in updates on his Twitter account.

That means the Chiefs themselves believe they can succeed. That wasn't always so over the last two years. When you believe you can succeed, you're fresh off your first victory affirming that belief, and then suddenly the schedule gets easier, good things start to happen. Don't be surprised if the Chiefs look like a completely different football team come December.

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