Frosh Contribution Slim … Saturday Cup O’Chiefs

From the first day of training camp, Todd Haley said his team needed contributions from its 2011 NFL Draft class to achieve success this season.

The lack of rookie performance is a factor in the team’s 0-3 start, and that starts with first-round draft choice WR Jonathan Baldwin. He’ll miss his fourth regular season game on Sunday and it’s his seventh overall DNP as he tries to recover from the broken right thumb he suffered on August 16.

The team’s first, fifth and sixth-round picks have been inactive for all three games. Another fifth-round pick is on the injured-reserve list. The seventh-round selection is on the practice squad.

Of the team’s nine selections in the draft, only third-round choices DE Allen Bailey and OLB Justin Houston (right) have made regular appearances on the field. Fourth-round CB Jalil Brown (left) has gotten some play time on special teams with a handful of defensive snaps. Second-round pick Rodney Hudson is on the PAT/FG protection team; he’s been on the field for 8 plays.

Bailey and Houston are part-time players. Houston is a starting outside linebacker who showed an ability to rush the passer in the pre-season. But he comes off the field when the Chiefs go to their sub-defense which is normally when the opponent is in a passing down or alignment. That’s when Bailey comes in, as one of two defensive linemen in the sub-defense.

Here are the numbers for those three:

  • Bailey – 0 tackles, 1 pass defensed.
  • Houston – 10 total tackles, 1 tackle for loss.
  • Brown – no stats.

While it’s far too early to draw rock hard conclusions from just a three-game sample, what’s been seen so far is not quite what Haley was looking to receive from that group at the start of the season.

“We haven’t gotten necessarily tangible production,” admitted Haley. “But I’m encouraged by our young guys. It’s hard with the result that we’ve had to talk real good about anyone. There has been good production from a number of young guys, special teams and regular offense and defense.

“Our entire group has to play better. If we can do that, we’ll feel a lot better in general and we’ll feel a lot better about our young guys.”

Based on his play in the pre-season, everyone including the coaches would like to see Houston get more of a chance to rush the passer than he gets working only in the base defense.

“We are all in agreement that we would all like to see more of Justin, but that being said as we’ve tried to push that, we get that wake-up call again that these are young guys and as soon as you overload the plate, you may get diminishing returns.

“It’s the tight rope that you are walking on, trying to maximize their abilities and then realizing where they are in their development.”

No question that the development of the freshmen class across the league was hurt by lack of any off-season, from OTAs and mini-camps, to individual sessions with their position coaches. There were less than 40 rookies that started at least two of the first three games. With 32 teams and 22 starting jobs on each, that’s a total of 704 spots. At 40 rookie starters that’s just a hair less than six percent.

Only 14 of the 32 first-round picks around the league began the season in the starting lineup. After three games, six first-round picks have yet to play.

That group includes Baldwin who is easily the biggest disappointment of the league’s freshmen class. It’s one thing when a rookie doesn’t get on the field because he’s having trouble cracking the playing rotation. It’s another thing when he doesn’t play in games or practice for nearly two months because of a locker room altercation.

“He’s had a set back and hopefully here in a few weeks we’ll be seeing something on the field from him,” Haley said of Baldwin. “We’re all working hard to make that happen. We will all be excited for him to be running around here soon.”

It appeared there was a chance this week that Baldwin was ready to get into action, but his participation in practice was only a bit more than it has been in the previous seven weeks.

The question now will be how fast Baldwin can get up to speed and become a factor in the offense when he does get the full go ahead to practice and then play.

“I’m doing everything I can do to get back on the field,” Baldwin said. “I’m still preparing myself. I still get a game plan and I still go through the defense to see how they are preparing to play. When I come back I won’t be behind the eight ball.

“I’m very eager to get out there. It sucks to be on the sidelines. I’m eager to get back as soon as I can.”

The first half-dozen players in the first round have made immediate impacts on their team on their side of the ball. Defensively, LB Von Miller (Denver), DL Marcel Dareus (Buffalo) and CB Patrick Peterson (Arizona) are starting and contributing. Offensively, QB Cam Newton (Carolina), WR A.J. Green (Cincinnati) and WR Julio Jones (Atlanta) have made quick contributions.

The number of starters diminishes a bit the further down into the first round that one goes. However, there are plenty of starters in slots around where Baldwin was selected, from DE Cameron Jordan and LT James Carpenter taken just ahead of him, to OT Gabe Carimi and DE Muhammad Wilkerson drafted a few picks after his selection.

Here are all the first round selections from the 2011 NFL Draft and their playing time and contributions going into the quarter pole of the season:

# 

Pos 

Player 

Team 

College 

G 

S 

Notes 

1. 

QB 

Cam Newton 

CAR

Auburn 

3

3

70 of 117 for 1,012y
4tds/4ints; 2 rush TDs.

2.

SLB

Von Miller

DEN

Tex. A&M

3

3

12 tks, 2 sacks, 2 forced
Fumbles. 

3.

LDE

Marcel Dareus

BUF

Alabama

3

3

11 tks., starts at DE+NT.

4.

WR

A.J. Green

CIN

Georgia

3

3

15-194y-2tds, 12.9 avg.

5.

RCB

Patrick Peterson

ARZ

LSU

3

3

12 tks., 1 int/1y ret;
8 p-ret, 18.4 avg, 89yTD.

6.

WR

Julio Jones

ATL

Alabama

2

2

13-215y, 16.5 avg.

7.

OLB

Aldon Smith

SF

Missouri

3

0

1 tk., 6 pressures.

8.

QB

Jake Locker

TEN

Washington

0

0

No. 2 on depth chart.

9.

RT

Tyron Smith

DAL

USC

3

3

One of 2 rookie OL starters

10.

QB

Blaine Gabbert

JAX

Missouri

2

1

17 of 27 for 191y, 1td/1int.

11.

DE

J.J. Watt

HOU

Wisconsin

3

3

13 tks., 1 sk., fumble rec.,
Blocked FG. 

12.

QB

Christian Ponder

MIN

Florida St.

0

0

Listed as No. 2 QB.

13.

DT

Nick Fairley

DET

Auburn

0

0

Out with injured foot.

14.

RDE

Robert Quinn

STL

No. Carolina

2

0

2 tks., 1 sk., limited snaps.

15.

C

Mike Pouncey

MIA

Florida

3

3

Won start job in preseason.

16.

LOLB

Ryan Kerrigan

WAS

Purdue

3

3

13 tks., 2 sks., 1int, TD ret.

17.

RT

Nate Solder

NE

Colorado

3

2

Backup at G, OT and blocking TE

18.

DE

Corey Liuget

SD

Illinois

2

2

6 tks., missed KC game w/injury.

19.

CB

Prince Amukamara

NYG

Nebraska

0

0

Foot surgery; out until mid-late Oct.

20.

RDE

Adrian Clayborn

TB

Iowa

3

3

5 tks., 1 sk., forced fumble.

21.

DT

Phil Taylor

CLV

Baylor

3

3

18 tks., 1 sk.

22.

OT

Anthony Castonzo

IND

Boston Col.

3

3

Earned start in preseason.

23.

G

Danny Watkins

PHL

Baylor

1

0

Backing up both guard spots.

24.

DE

Cameron Jordan

NO

California

3

3

3 tks.

25.

LT

James Carpenter

SEA

Alabama

3

3

Started opener at RG.

26.

WR

Jonathan Baldwin

KC

Pitt

0

0

Broken right thumb

27.

CB

Jimmy Smith

BAL

Colorado

1

0

Missed 2 games w/injury.

28.

RB

Mark Ingram

NO

Alabama

3

1

36 for 129y, I td.

29.

RT

Gabe Carimi

CHI

Wisconsin

2

2

Knee injury kept him out of Game No. 3.

30.

DE

Muhammad Wilkerson

NYJ

Temple

3

3

6 tks., 1 sk., safety.

31.

DE

Cameron Heyward

PIT

Ohio State

3

0

1 tk.

32.

OL

Derek Sherrod

GB

Miss. State

0

0

Backup at LG-LT.

Along with the 18 first-round draft choice starters, there are another 21 rookie starters from other rounds:

  • 2 – QB Andy Dalton (CIN), RT Orlando Franklin (DEN), WR Rahim Moore (DEN), DE Jabaal Sheard (CLV).
  • 3 – DT Terrell McClain (CAR), NT Sione Fua (CAR), DT Jurrell Casey (TEN), MLB Mason Foster (TB), OLB Justin Houston (KC), RG John Moffitt (SEA)
  • 4 – G Clint Boling (CIN), FB Owen Marecic (CLV), LB Casey Matthews (PHL).
  • 5 – FB Anthony Sherman (ARZ), LG Jason Pinkston (CLV), WR Denarius Moore (OAK).
  • 6 – FB Charles Clay (MIA), C Jason Kelce (PHI).
  • 7 – LG Bill Nagy (DAL), FB Bruce Miller (SF).
  • FA – FB Henry Hynoski (NYG).

9 Responses to “Frosh Contribution Slim … Saturday Cup O’Chiefs”

  • October 1, 2011  - johnfromfairfax says:

    It may be too early to tell but it doesn’t speak well of Pioli’s master plan if that’s all the production we get out of this group, particularly in light of the lack of production from the first class he selected.


  • October 1, 2011  - aPauled says:

    I’m a lot more concerned with how the veterans (Cassel, Jones, Richardson, Weigmann, Jackson, Belcher, Dorsey, McGraw…) are playing. These young guys need some leadership and examples to follow. Someone to show them the ropes and set the pace. The veterans are not doing that right now (and in one case a veteran “leader” punched a rook). If we don’t see some veterans step up in the next 2 weeks, the bye week should be time to put some of these vets out to pasture and rely on the rooks (Baldwin, Hudson, Brown) to make some strides…then question their play.


  • October 1, 2011  - ED J says:

    AGreed apauled. As for rookies its way too early to judge them someone of them are not going make impact right away because of position they play. Hudson isn’t going start over Casey right now just because Haley wants experience on the o-line. Maybe by week 12 if Casey is wearing down or getting banged up he’ll get opportunity. Jalil isn’t going start over Brandon Boyz both have too much talent and experience to let that happen. Carr is in contract yr so he’s going continue to play well. Bailey plays a position that takes 2-3 yrs to make transition into a good player.

    Then there’s Houston who I think needs to be involed more on passing downs. Sheffield can rush the passer but Houston is on another level. Baldwin I think if he can avoid injury will be a factor in the offense. So its just a matter more of opportunity with most of our draft class than it is them just not being good.


  • October 1, 2011  - Tenand6 says:

    Pioli has under-delivered. He’s a terrible disappointment. That first draft and giving Cassel the starting position and the contract were evidence Pioli would not become an exceptional GM.

    IMHO, Pioli is limited in his abilities to find talent, build a team and he’s limited in his abilities to lead an organization.

    I didn’t appreciate Bob’s reporting and comments at the time, but when Pioli shut out all of the Chiefs scouts in that first draft, he displayed an alarming arrogance. Who wouldn’t want to read their reports and seek their input, just for the hell of it?

    That was self-defeating to the point of stupidity.

    As it turns out, those scouts were damn good at their job and Pioli treated them as fools.

    That was more than a mistake by Pioli. It was revealing. A disturbing insight into Pioli’s character and judgment.

    Arrogant people lack introspection and this limits their ability to learn from their mistakes, benefit from experiences and grow.

    After a few years observing him it seems to me Pioli has limited potential for growth. He needs a whole lot of Luck to save his reputation.


  • October 1, 2011  - el cid says:

    Got to disagree. Need to hoist Pioli by his own pitard. When he got here there was lots of talk about there was no 4-5 veterans to lead the players home grown and talented, and a major reason the team was one of the poorest in the league. Well guess what, his drafts have not been much better than Carl’s. I think the team is better but anyone honestly feel this is the formula for superbowl success? By the time this Pioli plan should be ready, Cassel, Charles, t Jones, two Mc’s, the entire DL may all be gone due to age, injury, or inability. Then we start over.

    As for last years draft, no answers but a team without a win should be able to get a draftee on the field because the veteran are not doing it. Heard Hudson was better suited as G not C. Baldwin, who knows? The rest look like projects for 2 years from now. Does not make me go WOW.


  • October 1, 2011  - Jimbo says:

    We have seen so little of our rookie class thus far. They have done a poor job of getting my attention. Houston is the only player that is contributing on a weekly basis & appears to have legitimate potential of becoming a star.
    I have high hopes for Baldwin, Bailey, Powe & Hudson. The lack of OTA’s and conditioning programs have slowed the progress of all the rookies in the league. I would think as the season progresses we will see more playing time & contributions from them. Would’nt it be great if we had a couple victories that was directly related to one of our rooks.
    It’s a little early to be grading Pioli’s performance as a GM. He was the most sought after GM prospect at the time in the league. Yeah, I’m a little pissed about the class of 2009 and his apparent disregard of our scouts input. On the other hand he did the same thing any other new hire would do. He swept up the place and hand picked a staff he was comfortable with.
    We can all agree the Chiefs suck right now and we are throwing darts at a board full of “blame me” targets.
    The Chiefs will get better this year, although not near enough for me. I just hate all these injuries, Cassels regression, the boring & ineffective play calling etc. etc. etc. Most of all I dislike the thought of having to blame someone or something for the up to now embarrassing & inept performance of my favorite team.
    Go Chiefs.


  • October 1, 2011  - Michael says:

    If the Chiefs get 3/4 through the season and it’s still lost, as expected, why not get as many youngs guys on the field as possible and get a head start on next year? The problem is Haley will want to keep as many veterans playing as he can, thinking they may lose games but lose them less embarrassingly than going all young.

    No matter how bad their record is in 2011, I think Haley will remain head coach if he can minimize the number of games in which the team looks as bad as it did against Detroit and Buffalo. Otherwise, a new coaching staff will be KC bound. I also think it would take at least another year of pathetic play for Hunt to consider letting Pioli go; more if a new coach were brought in.

    So, I’m left to ponder 2012: Piloi, Haley, very high draft picks, and lots of money to spend. We have seen this movie before. Many potential franchise QB’s will be avaiable. Their second chance to set the team straight for years to come, or solidify it’s place amongst the bottom feeders for a few more.

    Not exactly what I had hoped for the Chiefs in 2011, heading in to 2012. All hope on Pioli-Haley getting better with experience, and Hunt not sitting on his wallet.


  • October 2, 2011  - RW says:

    Take off the rose colored glasses and everyone can see the problem. Enough said.


  • October 2, 2011  - el cid says:

    RW, that is all we got. This organization (not really a team in the true sense, it is the entertainment business with a set income) knows what it is all about. I fear winning a superbowl or even a winning record is a nice side issue but not so much to do with the why behind the Hunt’s Chiefs are in KC.




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