Answer Bob Part No. 2 – Bye Week

Joshua says: Bob, you said during pre-season that the Chiefs didn’t have enough talent to win eight games or more. I agreed with you then, but I’m not so sure now. Do you still believe that Chiefs don’t have enough talent to meet and/or exceed that 8-8 mark?

Bob says: Yes, I do. The Chiefs walk a very tight line when it comes to their depth. If there’s one thing you can count on, it’s that injuries are going to happen. They just don’t have enough experienced or talented depth right now to be able to overcome a rash of physical problems. Now, maybe that doesn’t happen, but if that’s the case it would be the first time in franchise history. I know it’s hard to remain realistic when the team is 3-0, and in no way am I diminishing what they’ve done. But it’s way too early to think about this team finishing 8-8. I know all about the schedule after the Indianapolis and Houston games, but throw in a few guys taken out of the lineup in key positions and some of those not so good opponents could be a problem.


TruChief09 says: Bob, do you do your own scouting reports on college players or do you team up with another website?

Bob says: I collect information where I can from a number of sources. But essentially, I have a few friends in the scouting business who provide the bulk of what appears on this site in the way of analysis of college players. They provide the names and a few plusses and minuses, and then I put together the statistical information. I’ve done this for years, but didn’t really share my work until last year.


Tenand6 says: 1.) as of today, if you could pick a 2011 draft order by position for the Chiefs, what would it be? Assume we win at least 7 games and all of our current players are returning. 2.) Much has been made of Haley temporarily deputizing 14 players as coaches for the off week. As I see it, this marked a visible beginning of Todd Haley establishing his own identity as a coach. Last year Haley was always careful to credit former coaches whenever he defended or explained why he was coaching a certain way. There has been a little less of that this year and he seems very proud that he has created his own method of approaching the bye week…as he should. Was hoping you’d comment on Haley’s establishing himself as his own man in his 2nd year. It appears Haley is creating a closer/more trusting connection with players than what most would have predicted (despite how players like Warner, Fitzgerald and Keyshawn Johnson talk about Haley). Do you see an emerging Head Coach making his own mark on the game? If so, how would you describe that coach as he relates to his players, coaches and the media?

Bob says: OK, so I think come the ’11 NFL Draft, they would look at positions in this order – wide receiver, nose tackle, inside linebacker and interior offensive line. There’s no doubt that Haley is more comfortable in his role as head coach. Part of that comes from the fact he has Weis/Crennel on the staff and he trusts and knows how they think. His connection with the players really started happening in the second half of last season when he calmed down and wasn’t as quick with the sharp tongue. But the true test for the players came when Weis/Crennel and Emmitt Thomas were added to the staff. That spoke volumes to the locker room. I think he relates well to the players, coaches and generally the media.


Husteak says: with three games to evaluate the team – what do you see as the team needs at this point? Please rank them if you don’t mind. Thanks!

Bob says: Toughest question of the day, considering the record of the team. I think they need to add some speed at wide receiver, somebody that threatens the defense. I think they need to add a nose tackle. I think they are in a big need of a tackle, whether that’s a veteran for depth or a developmental player. With Barry Richardson playing, their depth at tackle is very shallow.


Fleaflicker34 says: Hey Bob, I would enjoy a “where are they now” weekly article about former Chiefs players like Dale Carter and some lesser known Chiefs like Doug Terry or Anthony Davis etc.

Bob says: I would enjoy those too. That however, is an off-season project that I will put on my list. Right now there are not enough hours in the day to deal with the current Chiefs and the league. But I agree, it’s a great idea and I will figure out a way to get this done.


Anonymous says: I to hold my breath as the season goes on. As mentioned, the Donkeys meltdown last year and our performance in the last decade leave me hopeful but cautious. Stats aside, what do you view as our biggest asset or reason for winning? What is, at this point, your biggest surprise? Also, can any of the 12:00 Sunday games later in the year be flexed to Sunday night? My reading seems to tell me it’s only the 3:00 games? I’d love another primetime to allow Arrowhead to shine!! I’d be there! Keep up the good work Bob. Glad you’re feeling better.

Bob says: thanks for the kind words and we are on the mend. Generally you are correct – it’s the later games that get flexed. But any game can get moved if NBC decides that’s what they want and the other two networks don’t have too much of a bitch. The biggest reason the Chiefs have gone 3-0 so far is their defense. I think that’s the surprise as well, that in three games they could show so much improvement. Credit for that has must go to Crennel and that coaching staff, along with the additions of Berry, Arenas and Lewis, and the improvement of Flowers, Hali, Johnson and Belcher.


Nate says: Bob, I live in Buena Vista Colorado (pop. 2,500).We have a “kid” (6’9″ 315) from our town Nate Solder who is a senior and all Big 12 left tackle at the Univ. of Colorado. He is projected by some as a 1st round pick in the 2011 draft. Have you heard of him? Where do you think he will go in the draft? Thanks!

Bob says: Nate, yes I now about Nate Solder and what the scouts are saying about him. He’s 6-8, 3-5 pounds and showed up at Boulder as a tight end. He’s been timed in the 40-yard dash at less than five seconds, remarkable for that size. The only knock I can find against him among scouts is his lack of technique for the position, but that’s due largely to his lack of playing time at left tackle. Solder will be a first-round choice, maybe in the top half of the draft. Sounds like a great kid off the field as well.


Mark says: Bob, two topics for your thoughts – 1.) If the regular season goes to 18 games, how do you think the schedule will break down? Will the two additional games be within the conference? 2.) Would you explain how the home TV blackout rule works – which tickets count, which don’t, if a percentage of tickets have to be sold, etc. We appreciate all the hard work you put in to have the best Chiefs website around. Thanks!

Bob says: Thank you Mark. Good questions. I’ve not heard any scheduling formula made public yet on those two extra games. I can see arguments for keeping them in conference. I can also see arguments for putting them in the other conference. The TV blackout rule has more twists and turns than most NFL rules. But here goes – each year the teams send to the league office something called a manifest. This document sets the number of seats that will be sold in the stadium. Some teams – the Chiefs among them this year – blackout a certain number of seats. That means they cannot be sold, no matter the demand for those tickets. They don’t have to cover those seats or anything of that nature, although Jacksonville does with tarps covering several sections of dead seats. Take that manifest number and remove club seating from the total. That new number is what teams supposedly have to reach in ticket sales 72 hours before kickoff to lift the local TV blackout. Whether a team reaches that number or doesn’t is not public information. A team can lift the blackout by paying 34 cents on the dollar for those tickets that remain unsold. That’s the equivalent of the visitors’ share of the gate that goes into a NFL account and is then distributed to the team.


TX_ChiefAN says: 1.) what’s up w/ Chambers? I thought he was one of the fastest guys on the team and he hasn’t been utilized. Could it be that “it’s a long season” and Weis is holding the “cards”? 2.) Is Succop having issues or is he just human? He had the miss (just barely-but a miss) and then kicked off out of bounds after Mo’s TD. 3.) Do you think Shaun Smith will be disciplined by the coaches?

Bob says: 1.) Chambers is having trouble getting open. Don’t know if there’s something physical, but he hasn’t been listed on the injury report. It’s something worth watching because if it keeps happening, it might be a sign that he’s hit the end of the line. But it’s way too early to tell that. 2.) Succop hit an upright and then sailed one over the upright. He’ll be OK. I think he and the Chiefs got greedy on that kickoff that went out of bounds. On the kickoff right before, he hit it to the same side of the field and it rolled into the left corner of the end zone and was not returnable. He tried again, and this one went out. Luckily, it really didn’t matter in the course of the game. 3.) I don’t think Smith will face any discipline from the coaches, but I do think they’ll tell him to cool his antics a bit, so he doesn’t draw extra attention of the zebras.


MarkInTexas says: Bob thanks again for putting yourself on the firing line. Please evaluate the potential impact of the following on next week – 1.) Ryan Lilja’s inside knowledge of the Colt’s offense. 2.) Weis/Crennel with 2 weeks to prepare. 3.) A fast track surface in Indy for Charles, McCluster and Arenas. 4.) Rookie Chiefs safeties vs. Manning.

Bob says: 1.) I think Lilja’s knowledge will be helpful, but you can bet that much of what he could provide has been changed by the Colts. What he can provide the defense is a peek inside Peyton Manning’s head and anything that can be collected on that guy is helpful. 2.) I think it’s helpful, but remember that Weis wasn’t really working for most of the week because of his gall bladder surgery. Crennel knows Manning and that Colts offense. He knows what to do. The question is can the players make it happen? 3.) Fast track is good for the Chiefs now with the overall improvement of their team speed. 4.) I would expect Jon McGraw – if he’s able – to end up starting this week at free safety, rather than Kendrick Lewis. Plus, Eric Berry has seen plenty of Manning, since the QB visited his alma mater every summer and worked with the Tennessee football team. So Berry is not going to be awed by facing No. 18. As long as there is some pressure on Manning, the young DBs will be fine.


JohnNdallas says: Hello Bob, I have a question and then a suggestion. Although you’re older than me (lol), I’m sure your memory is much clearer than mine on all things NFL related so … if I remember right, before the last major rule change regarding CB’s chucking WO’s, CB’s had a 10-yard window from the line of scrimmage to molest, harass or otherwise disrupt the receivers route. Then they changed that to 5 yards. What was the rule prior to the 10-yard rule? (I’m interested in the modern age of football say from the birth of the AFL until present time) Was it 10 yards or more? My suggestion is that maybe you could do a thread on the most significant rule changes in the NFL over the above mentioned time frame, which side of the ball those changes affected most and what magnitude those changes had on the game. Thanks. Glad you’re kickin’ again.

Bob says: OK, here’s what I recall on this subject. I must admit I had to go back and double check the years when they instituted some of these changes. In 1977 the league instituted the one-chuck rule, allowing a defensive back one hit on receiver anywhere on the field. The next year, they amended that to say the only contact could come in the area five yards off the line of scrimmage. Then in 1994, the rule was refined even more, to a defender having just one chance to make contact in the five-yard zone. That’s where it is today. Back in the NFL days, the league really went for bump and run coverage, while the NFL was a zone defense league at the time. When the leagues merged, most teams moved towards a middle ground, but defenses like the Raiders and Steelers stuck with the physical corners. That’s what brought about the changes in 1977 and 1978.


el cid says: winning breeds winning. So just how important would a win be over the Colts? Or, a loss? How sound is the foundation Haley has built if and when the team suffers losing its first game? Lastly any opinion on why the ’10 draft has fit so well what the team is attempting and the ’09 draft did not?

Bob says: We will all have to wait and see if this team’s foundation is strong enough at this point to withstand losing a game, or a losing streak. Hard to tell right now, although this team does appear to be mentally tougher than it was last year. A victory over the Colts would be huge, but it’s just one game. Same if they lose. That’s the key that Haley is trying to establish – one game is one game. No single game is the season, at least not in October.

As for why the ’09 Draft has been such a dud and the ’10 Draft class has made an immediate contribution, I think there are several factors. In just two years, the ’09 Draft has shown itself to be a very mediocre to poor group all-around, not just in Kansas City. Plus, Scott Pioli came from New England with all the draft information he would use. He paid no attention to the scouting done by the previous administration or their grades. That group had several of the players Pioli selected graded as not good enough to draft. Maybe if Pioli had paid attention to them, rather than shunned their reports and opinions, that ’09 class would not have been so bad. This year’s evaluation process was helped by the addition of Phil Emery off the Falcons staff. He’s considered a good talent evaluator and he’s in charge of the college scouting. Plus, the entire staff was in position and they also had the opinions of Charlie Weis and Romeo Crennel, and veteran eyes like that can be very helpful.


Guy says: Bob thanks for the opportunity to ask question. Assuming Cassel finishes year on par as he’s started, would you expect Pioli to draft a quarterback and, if so, in which round? Moreover, is it possible for you to speculate which college quarterbacks seem to fit Pioli’s criteria were he to draft one next year? Thanks Bob.

Bob says: I think Pioli has a great commitment to Cassel, and I don’t think he’s going to be quick to pull the trigger on anything that indicates a loss of belief or faith in his quarterback. But I would expect the Chiefs to draft a quarterback in 2011, somewhere in the fourth to seventh round. Brodie Croyle will be a free agent of some kind, and if he can walk, he will, rather than spend another season not playing behind Cassel. As for Pioli’s criteria for a QB, we don’t know for sure, since he’s not drafted one on his own watch. But I would expect he’d be something along the physical form of a Cassel or Tom Brady, in the 6-4, 225-pound range, with all the intangibles.


Jonathan says: Bob since there doesn’t really seem like a dominant team in the AFC this season how do you think the Chiefs fare? Also, since the rest of the teams on Kansas City’s schedule even the tough teams like Indianapolis, Houston, and San Diego have their problems how do you think the Chiefs will finish?

Bob says: I think it’s too early to tell if the AFC is without a dominant team, not just four games into the season. If you watched Monday night, the Patriots looked pretty darn good on the road against the Dolphins. The Jets have really played pretty well. I think Baltimore is still the class of the conference, with San Diego and Houston trailing behind. Again, I think the Chiefs will finish 8-8 at best, probably just under that in reality.


johnfromfairfax says: Bob, with the bye week to reflect do you see our start as legitimate or a mirage? Additionally, what has surprised you the most so far?

Bob says: John, see me in a couple weeks on this one. There’s no question the Chiefs have not exactly played some of the league’s top teams. The Chargers-Browns-49ers are a combined 3-9 on the season. There is no question the victories in those games were legitimate for the Chiefs – they were the best performing team in those games, so there is nothing fluky about what they did. But the season is so long, and there are ups and downs ahead. The Chiefs seem to have done a good job of dealing with the up, now they have to show they can deal with a down cycle when it comes. There’s no doubt that right now they are a confident bunch, and there’s also no doubt that confidence breeds success. As for the biggest surprise, it’s really the 3-0 record. Not a soul would have predicted such before training camp or in the pre-season.

6 Responses to “Answer Bob Part No. 2 – Bye Week”

  • October 5, 2010  - David says:

    Bob – I’m a bit surprised by your assessment that come the ’11 NFL Draft, the Chiefs would look at positions in this order – wide receiver, nose tackle, inside linebacker and interior offensive line. Seems to me that the single biggest mistake the Chiefs’ (old) front office made in recent years was failing to plan for the retirements of Roaf and Shields by drafting O-linemen. Aren’t we in exactly the same situation now? That is, when Waters and Weigmann retire in the next year or two, won’t our O-line once again become a sieve if we haven’t drafted some top (high-round) young talent?

  • October 5, 2010  - Tenand6 says:

    Bob— These are fantastic. Thanks for the opportunity to ask questions. Always great information and insight.

  • October 5, 2010  - 13and3 says:

    Bob you are really piling nice healthy portions of crow and humble pie on to your plate, I hope you can clean your plate at the end of the season when the dinner bell rings.

  • October 5, 2010  - MarkInTexas says:

    Indeed 13, we are all anxious to see what script is written for this version of the Chiefs.

    Thanks, Bob, for all the great feedback and writing.

    Caustiously optimistic is there general vibe I sense. Arrowhead is building, but rightly so, is not quite yet in full voice. That will have to be earned.

    We’ve been losers for a decade. That performance won’t soon forgotten. But still there seems to be a new dynamic in place. Coaches, character, work ethic, conditioning and leadership do make a difference, perhaps.

    I’m enjoying watching this group of coaches and players perform. Kudos to Clark, Dan and Norma Hunt for their commitment to put together a leadership team capable of success. I look forward to the story unfolding.

  • October 5, 2010  - Michael says:

    I get irritated every time I hear someone try to put a grade or a label on the 2009 or 2010 drafts when we all know it’s way too soon for that. The ’09 drafted players may just take longer to develop, but there are signs that they are improving their play; I think we should just wait and see.

    Bob, question: how do you know Pioli completely discounted everything the previous scouts did before the ’09 draft? He simply refused to even look at it? He didn’t even think about any of it? Just seems like an odd thing to say.

    I do agree with Bob that it’s too soon to write a ticket to the playoffs for the Chiefs this year. I know it’s hard not to go overboard because this team clearly plays more like a team and is undoubtably better. But remember, we were just hoping for respectability a very short time ago.
    The next two are very, very tough games. I’m not saying they can’t do it, but that’s a tall order for any team. If they win one of the two I will be ecstatic. If they win both, I’ll be ecastatic and happily shocked. If they lose both but play them tough, I’ll still be optimistic about the team. Whichever way it comes out, I will still expect good days ahead for the team. These guys have the makings a very good, young team, and they have some fine coaching; arrow is straight up.

  • October 6, 2010  - Nate says:

    Thanks for the evaluation on Nate Solder. He is a great kid. 4.0 studend in high school. 3.5 in college. Small town/ranch work ethic and humble and down to earth. I know the odds are slim but I would love to see him playing OT for the chiefs for the next 10 years.

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