Expectations For Tyson … Tuesday Cup O’Chiefs

The Chiefs were next to last in run defense during the 2009 season.

With that kind of hole in their defense, Pioli/Haley apparently decided there were two answers to fixing the problem. First was the hiring of defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel. Second was improvement from within.

The Chiefs are obviously counting on significant improvement from within since they’ve added just two players in the front seven: draft choice OLB Cameron Sheffield and free agent NT Shaun Smith.

Haley wouldn’t name names when it came to what players already on the roster must provide more production, but one of them is obvious: last year’s No. 1 draft choice DE Tyson Jackson.

Most fans and observers of the ’09 Chiefs called Jackson’s rookie season performance a disappointment. He played all 16 games, started 14 times and finished the year with 31 tackles, no sacks, no fumbles caused, no fumbles recovered, no interceptions, knocked down two passes and put pressure on the quarterback four times.

There’s no question that Jackson struggled with the transition to the NFL. He had a five-game stretch early in the season where he contributed a total of two tackles. There was another three-game stretch in November where he had two tackles. But he had seven tackles against Jacksonville, including two quarterback pressures. Against Buffalo, he had six tackles.

Every week was a learning experience for Jackson. Now, the Chiefs are expecting him to put those lessons into use in season No. 2. But what can the Chiefs reasonably expect from their second-year defensive end?

Let’s start with another question: what can any team playing the 3-4 defensive scheme expect in the way of production from the guys on the end. A bit below we have a chart of all the starting d-ends in the 3-4 from last season. There were 13 teams that lined up in the 3-4. There were four teams in that group that identified one or both of the players on the end of the line as defensive tackles. In essence, they were defensive ends, so they are included with the group.

There were a total of 27 starting ends; Pittsburgh had three due to the season ending injury suffered by starter Aaron Smith after five games. Here some details on those DEs and their production:

  • The DEs averaged 50 tackles per man over the season. The most active tackler was San Francisco’s Justin Smith with 90 total tackles. The N.Y. Jets Marques Douglas had 77 tackles and Johnny Jolly of the Packers contributed 75 tackles. At the other end of the spectrum was Denver’s Ryan McBean who started 14 games, but had only 25 tackles. Jackson with his total of 31 tackles was in the bottom five for tackle production.
  • When it came to taking down the passer, those 3-4 defensive ends averaged 2.5 sacks on the season. The leading sackers were Arizona’s duo of Calais Campbell and Darnell Dockett; they both had seven sacks. Smith had six sacks for the Niners. McBean and Jackson were the only DEs without a sack on the season.
  • Among the 27, there were 17 that took part in a turnover of some kind: either an interception, forced fumble or recovered fumble. Smith was part of four takeaways. Of the 10 that did not take part in a play that changed possession, the group included Jackson, along with the New England duo of Ty Warren and Jarvis Green.

OK, that was all 3-4 defensive ends. What about those guys playing on the better defenses, especially the best 3-4 defenses against the run? Of those 13 teams that used the 3-4, six were in the NFL’s top 10 during the ’09 season when it came to allowing the fewest rushing yards: Green Bay (1), Pittsburgh (3), Dallas (4), Baltimore (5), San Francisco (6) and New York Jets (8).

Among those teams the starting defensive ends averaged 56.5 total tackles.

So, if the Chiefs defense is going to improve in stopping the run, Jackson and his fellow defensive end Glenn Dorsey have to improve across the board. Dorsey had 45 total tackles and a sack last year, while recovering three fumbles; his production was far closer to the norm.

To reach average, Jackson would have to add one more tackle per game. If he wants to be a major force, he needs to double up on those 31 tackles from last year. A season with 62 stops would almost average four per game and would guarantee improved run defense on Jackson’s side.

And while he wasn’t drafted because of his ability to rush the quarterback, Jackson must be able to get the passer on the ground at an average level, or 2.5 times during the season. He also has to become part of forcing turnovers. The fact that he didn’t force a fumble all season is an indication he was not making many powerful tackles, or ripping the ball out of the runner’s arms, or simply not at the point of attack often enough.

Here’s one thing in Jackson’s favor – last year he was the least experienced DE starting in the 3-4 scheme, the only rookie. Jackson along with Campbell from Arizona and Miami’s Kendall Langford were all 23 years old.

There’s a lot of football in Tyson Jackson’s future, but improved production must come in 2010, especially against the run. Without it, the Chiefs defense doesn’t stand a chance at controlling the line of scrimmage and the opportunities to win drop considerably.

Here are the 3-4 defensive ends from last season. Those listed by their team as a DT playing DE are noted. The age and experience are for this season, that statistics are for the 2009 regular season.

 Team  Player  HT  WT

 Age

 Exp

 Tackles

 Sacks

Take-
aways
Arizona Calais Campbell 6-8 290

24

3

53

7

FF
  D. Dockett (DT) 6-4 285

29

7

57

7

INT
Baltimore Dwan Edwards 6-3 290

29

7

50

1

2FR
  HolatiNgata (DT) 6-4 345

26

5

41

1.5

FF, FR
Cleveland Kenyon Coleman 6-5 295

31

9

38

1.5

 
  Robaire Smith 6-5 310

33

11

62

1.5

 
Dallas Marcus Spears 6-4 309

27

6

50

2.5

 
  Igor Olshansky 6-6 315

28

7

76

1.5

 
Denver Ryan McBean 6-5 297

26

3

25

0

 
  Kenny Peterson 6-3 295

32

8

40

1

FF
Green Bay Johnny Jolly 6-3 325

27

5

75

1

2FR, FF
  Cullen Jenkins 6-2 305

29

7

50

4.5

3FF
CHIEFS Tyson Jackson 6-4 296

24

2

31

0

 
  Glenn Dorsey 6-1 297

25

3

45

1

3FR
Miami Kendall Langford 6-6 295

24

3

43

2.5

FF
  Randy Starks 6-3 305

27

7

56

7

FR
NewEngland Ty Warren 6-5 300

29

8

57

1

 
  Jarvis Green 6-3 285

31

9

47

1

 
N.Y. Jets Shaun Ellis 6-5 285

33

11

56

6.5

2FF
  Ma. Douglas (DT) 6-2 290

33

10

77

1.5

2FR, FF
Pittsburgh Travis Kirschke 6-5 298

36

14

25

1

 
  Brett Keisel 6-5 285

32

9

63

3

FF, FR
  Aaron Smith 6-5 298

34

12

13

2

 
San Diego Jacques Cesaire 6-2 295

30

8

32

11

FF, FR
  Luis Castillo 6-3 290

27

6

38

2

FF
San Fran. Is. Sopoaga (DT) 6-2 330

29

7

69

1

 
  JustinSmith (DT) 6-4 285

31

10

90

6

2FF,2FR

Edwards signed with Buffalo as a UFA; Green signed with Denver as a UFA; Peterson, Douglas and Kirschke remain unsigned as UFAs.

PERSONNEL FILE/MONDAY, MAY 10

  • BENGALS – signed CB Adam Jones to a 2-year contract.
  • COWBOYS – acquired OT Alex Barron in a trade with the Rams for LB Bobby Carpenter.
  • FALCONS – signed CB Daylan Walker and QB Eric Ward.
  • LIONS – signed UFA S C.C. Brown (Giants).
  • PACKERS – re-signed RFA G Daryn Colledge to his tender offer.
  • PATRIOTS – re-signed UFA RB Chris Taylor.
  • RAMS – acquired LB Bobby Carpenter from the Cowboys for OT Alex Barron.
  • SAINTS – signed LB Sam Maxwell.

40 Responses to “Expectations For Tyson … Tuesday Cup O’Chiefs”

  • May 11, 2010  - J Lloyd says:

    With better coverage down field and if there is some help from coaches and leg strengthing , I think he will fall into place .


  • May 11, 2010  - Allen , Franklin, TN says:

    It is great to see that our two starters are younger than all other tandems (in most cases by 5 years or more). Dorsey and Jackson should continue to ascend each year.

    Excellent article– thanks Bob


  • May 11, 2010  - dinomight says:

    interesting chart. noticed that Jackson has the LEAST amount of years experience.


  • May 11, 2010  - Michael says:

    If Jackson can improve his game by the same amount from year one to year two as Dorsey did, he will be just fine. And, if Dorsey does the same amount of improving with another year under his belt, the two should be quite a duo.


  • May 11, 2010  - The Morning Fix | Arrowhead Addict | A Kansas City Chiefs blog says:

    [...] Expectations For Tyson … Tuesday Cup O’Chiefs-BobGretz.com [...]


  • May 11, 2010  - Manila-Chief says:

    Thanks for the article/stats. One thing jumps out at me is the fact that Dorsey is not as poor of a player as many Chief fans complain about him being. Seems to me, after a year of learning the 3/4, he is primed to earn his money.

    “He played all 16 games, started 14 times and finished the year with 31 tackles, no sacks, no fumbles caused, no fumbles recovered, no interceptions, knocked down two passes and put pressure on the quarterback four times.”

    I know you can’t put everything into a chart, but it would be interesting to see how our 2 compared for “knocked down passes” & “put pressure on the quarterback?” Those 2 stats are a big part of OL production and hinders the QB’s success rate.


  • May 11, 2010  - Dean in Columbia says:

    Bob,

    Thanks for the article on T Jack. There was no talk about him all offseason. I agree with you. The big uglies have to improve on both sides of the ball before our Chiefs start winning.


  • May 11, 2010  - el cid says:

    Soon after the draft, the Chiefs said Jackson was more of an everyday, bring your lunch bucket type of player and that he may never be an allpro type player. Do not forget even the Chiefs backed their bet on him by drafting Magee with their next pick. Will either work out, don’t know. At least Pioli tried to fix the DE considering the Chiefs went to a 3-4 without nearly enough players who could produce in this system. Honestly feel, Pioli missed the boat taking this approach and the team suffered thru a 4-12 season which did not need to happen BUT that was 09. 2010 will tell us a lot about this management team.

    Seem to me, the Chiefs are still light on the dline. Hoping Crennel will be a far better answer at DC than Pendergast and that could make the difference.


  • May 11, 2010  - Mad Chief says:

    I hope Jackson improves this year…and I think he will. He’s not a wide-eyed rookie anymore, and knows what’s expected from the start. Hopefully, Crennel can bring him along and turn him into a good player…because I doubt if he’ll ever be “great”.

    If we had a good NT, though…that would probably help Jackson as much as anything.


  • May 11, 2010  - el cid says:

    Agree, in most cases, the other 10 guys standing around any given player makes the difference. Add that the Chiefs seem to want the right 53 as opposed to “questionable character” guys here or there, the team cannot afford anyone who does not do his share every play. Character is what everyone wants until there are no wins on the field, a bunch of boy scouts are fine but they better be able to deliver some wins with it.


  • May 11, 2010  - Tim says:

    Great article Bob… It would be interesting to compare the top 5 players rookie years to Jackson and Dorsey to get a feel as to how they compare rookie year to rookie year.


  • May 11, 2010  - Liontamer says:

    Thanks Bob! Great article…How is the facility in St. Joe comming along? What kind of prep will be done to prepare for training camp…what are approximate dates for training camp?


  • May 11, 2010  - SG says:

    One thing lacking on the D-Line – hopefully we’ll see someone step up this year…veteran leadership…someone like Brandon Flowers who esteps up and works with Eric Berry in the offseason. Who’s that name going to be?

    I also wonder if two perceived veteran “leaders” are helping or hindering (Waters and Vrabel) since they’re in those leadership roles with the Players Assn. Will Wiegmann be able to show Niswanger “this is how successful pro’s do it” so Rudy can be an asset to that line?


  • May 11, 2010  - gorillafan says:

    Dorsey obviously improved greatly in his second year, and I expect the same from Jackson.

    Good “CHiefs” article today Bob!!

    Hopefully with our new coaching staff and hopefully Berry can contribute along with Sheffield or our existing linebackers, we could really put together a much better D and a much better team this year.

    However, most fans say this every year about their team and have much better expectations for the upcoming year. Lets just hope it comes true this year!!!


  • May 11, 2010  - SG says:

    “BUT that was 09. 2010 will tell us a lot about this management team.”

    ’09 is very includable of the body of work for two key members of the team. I think Clark Hunt has made pretty plain his expectations for this season…so the question I pose – how many wins does this team need to have in order for the “DON” and the “Coach” to get to continue this adventure for a couple more seasons?


  • May 11, 2010  - SG says:

    “Good “CHiefs” article today Bob!!”

    I fully agree with this comment – this is good stuff BobGretz – keep it up!!


  • May 11, 2010  - Mad Chief says:

    SG,

    I believe we’ll see Eric Berry become an instant leader on the D. It won’t be “veteran leadership”, of course…but he’ll be the leader. And I think he’ll be a good one.

    At Center? I think Casey will show Rudy “how successful pro’s do it” alright…and take his job.


  • May 11, 2010  - Mad Chief says:

    SG says:
    “so the question I pose – how many wins does this team need to have in order for the “DON” and the “Coach” to get to continue this adventure for a couple more seasons?”

    I think they’ll get another year no matter what. I think Pioli has a lot longer “chain” than Haley does, though. That’s just the nature of the Head Coach’s job.

    I think 7 or 8 wins would be considered a “success” in many minds. I’m more optomistic than that, though. I think we shock the NFL…and win at least 10 games. Maybe even sneak into the playoffs.


  • May 11, 2010  - gorillafan says:

    SG,

    I think anything below 8 wins we would consider a failure. Of course our goal is playoffs and beyond, but for me personally if we get 8 wins, I would be happy with THIS year, and expect more the next, 10 wins or more a year and level off and stay consistant at that level. But isnt that what every team in the nfl tries to do…….??

    I think if we do not see this or atleast a winning record in the next 2 years, we will be overhauling all over again, but I dont see this happening…hopefully


  • May 11, 2010  - gorillafan says:

    Liontamer,

    I think the facility is coming along okay, havent hear that it wasnt. A month or so ago Bob posted the dates, but I cant seem to find it…


  • May 11, 2010  - Nate Adams says:

    Great article Bob! Very insightful! It really makes it clear what a tough job the defensive end in the 3-4 has. Nate


  • May 11, 2010  - gorillafan says:

    Nate Adams,

    are you “the” nate adams?


  • May 11, 2010  - J Lloyd says:

    Mad Chief —-

    I look at the schedule and with all that is happening in this Div. , that old feeling of , I hope they are going to do something is changing to , yes I can now see how this it can happen !
    The future is looks better every day …

    146 days till Sept 13


  • May 11, 2010  - Danny W says:

    With Dorsey and Jackson drawing double teams because the nose couldn’t camand any attention of course the run defense is going to suffer. The Chiefs should have gotten a nasty mean nose tackle to eat some blocks. That will be the difference. I expect minimal improvement in Jackson unless Shaun Smith is eating blocks like biscuts.


  • May 11, 2010  - True Red & Gold says:

    I agree with Dan, one weak link will hurt the production of everyone else. That is why in my opinion DJ has never played up to his potential. Who knows how great he could be if he had greatness around him.

    As far as how many wins we need this year. I would take 6 as long as there was positive growth and this team is ascending in more areas than just wins. The last thing I am hoping for is a one year wonder. I can’t think of one single positive coming from 10 wins this year just to fall the year after that. It is critical that we have consistent and continual improvement regardless of how long it takes. If we can improve 2 to 3 wins a season we will be champions soon enough.


  • May 11, 2010  - J Lloyd says:

    The running game alone gives me a very – very positive feeling , all those lost downs with being stuck with the over paid zero . Take that out of it !
    It has only one way to go , plus this has got help the passing game .


  • May 11, 2010  - SG says:

    “I think 7 or 8 wins would be considered a “success” in many minds.”

    Good thoughts from you and from Gorillafan.

    The reason I tossed this out there…is it just me or does Pioli’s talk/scheme sounds like he envisions a 7-9 season – hoping again for a strong draft position for one more year, and then a real push for postseason play in 2011? That’s the only reasonable way I can fathom why they haven’t addressed the run defense issue more. Do they “really” think the current talent can get it done? Afterall – we all saw what happened last season – and I thought every position would be up for grabs to allow sufficient competition to occur to determine the Right 53 for this team?


  • May 11, 2010  - gorillafan says:

    SG,

    kinda agree, I think they are building for the future. I think they are bringing in some more vets this year with Casey and Jones to make this team better now, keepin the fans happy. Will we be better?—-we should, but like you said its a “process”, and this process is probably only 50% completed. Coaches are in place and “some” players, but not enough. The only sure thing starter that we have on our defense from last year is flowers, thats it. Carr has been okay, but he is not an elite corner by anymeans. I personally think we got some “star” players this year in the draft to help team speed and talent, x-factor type that us fans love. I dont know if we could get everyone we needed in this one draft however, I guess if we went with all defensive players, we would still be screaming about o-line and recievers, and returners, ect. Bt however, I agree with your analogy.


  • May 11, 2010  - ED says:

    I think both Dorsey and Jackson will be some beasts this year against the run. IF they can get some production from the nose tackle position by Edwards,Smith, or Brown we should do preety good against the run. Seeing that Crennell is a former def. line coach should also help Dorsey go from good to pro-bowl level and Jackson go from rookie preety darn good def end this season.


  • May 11, 2010  - el cid says:

    If the Chiefs can pull 8 wins, it is a good year. Less and Pioli/Haley have failed. More and it may be a spiritual experience. Some media “experts” maintain that the Chiefs should have been better than 4 wins in 09. Why, firing the OC before the season, not hiring proper coaching staff OC, DC, and DL…..So maybe 8 wins are underpreforming, maybe 9 wins in ’10. The ride should be fun, at least until we hit the 9 loss weekend.


  • May 11, 2010  - Danny W says:

    If all stay’s healthy they will have a pretty solid secondary especially if Berry plays even half as well as Jarius Byrd in Buffallo played this last year. Missouri kid by the way. Javier can play the nickle and the Brandons can play together as expected.

    To field a winner we are going to have to play like the Saints secondary and keep opposing recievers in check until Hali can get there. Then on offense get some third downs converted with the new weapon in McCluster.

    (I feel like this entire last paragraph was an old excerpt from a John Madden monday night football game. Sorry about that everyone.)

    I hope the line holds up on offense the recievers drop 50 percent fewer balls. We get double the interceptions on defense and double the sacks (which still isn’t that many) and we will when at least six games.


  • May 12, 2010  - sdchief says:

    well…honestly my opinion is that he has 3 years to prove whats hes got…we should see improvement this season…

    The fact is, not everyone will be tamba hali, able to change positions and actually be a better player…

    Jackson must adjust from the 4-3 he played in college…

    I think TJ will be just fine, in fact…Most Teams will be jealous of our D-Line…yep..I said it.


  • May 12, 2010  - sdchief says:

    tj also had a 7 or 8 tackle game…he showed some signs…this team will be so much better…We will ALL be proud to be chief fans for a long long time…I will always be proud to be a chief, but just look at the roster…

    on paper our roster is better than I have seen it since 04…And the best part? Look at the ages of our players…we have ALL young talent, a nice mix of 26-28 year old vets, and a few guys over 29, the guys who are over 29 will either be cut, are in their last year here, or play a backup role…or a guy like waters, who we already have the replacement in Asamoah.

    I wanted a NT to help our DE’s…but I also saw J.Russell throw all over us on the final drive to beat us…that was WITH stopping the run that day….that speaks volumes, and that is why we had to get some DB’s..(see Austin,Miles)

    this was a slow team, now we have 2 HUGE playmakers in mccluster/arenas, with berry, who may be the best safety in the nfl at some point…oh right and shutdown corner flowers…oh right and big man brandon carr to match up on a big WR.


  • May 12, 2010  - sdchief says:

    anyone who questions what KC is doing…look at the roster…realize its not built in one day especially when he had nothing to work with thanks to vermeil, then herm…

    and think of our next draft…the next FA period…imagine adding those players to our current ones…if our top rooks pan out…LOOK OUT…this team will be STACKED, and in 2011 will get a NT, LB help…there arent too many needs if cassel and a few others perform well


  • May 12, 2010  - SG says:

    “Some of you so called “KC fans” need to go to a Pioli/ haley boot camp.”

    Likewise – we invite you to go down to Tuscaloosa, AL, to go through a Nick Saban-run training camp. In year 1 when he inherited guys that weren’t ones he recruited, did he say…”guys, I’m going to coddle you and say it’s okay if we only win 2 games…afterall, we’re building for the future…” ? More likely, if anyone dared say that in his presence, he’d run them through 4 relentless hours of his worst drills, then have the individual run them out of the building for being a coward, then suggest they go set a meeting with Jason Whitlock to discuss how much of a racist he was. It takes courage to set high expectations for yourself or for things/people you care about, as you run the risk of not being rewarded for your courage.


  • May 12, 2010  - SG says:

    “The ride should be fun, at least until we hit the 9 loss weekend.”

    Agreed – this should be the return of better times after the dark times we’ve seen in recent seasons. We don’t always agree with everything you say, but thanks for having the courage to tell it like you see it.




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