Now That’s An Offense! … Thursday Cup O’Chiefs

It’s third-and-8 in the fourth quarter of the Chiefs season opener on September 11 against the Buffalo Bills.

Head coach Todd Haley and offensive coordinator Bill Muir send out a package of five skill position players to work with QB Matt Cassel. At the wide receiver spots are Dwayne Bowe and Jonathan Baldwin. In the slot receiver position is Steve Breaston. Lined up in the backfield in the shotgun formation with Cassel are Jamaal Charles to the left and Dexter McCluster to the right.

Just two years ago the Chiefs offense did not have a weapon of any kind that scared opposing defenses. While going 4-12 that season, the offense produced 26 touchdowns, with only one pass play longer than 50 yards and no receiver with more than 50 receptions or more than 608 yards. It was only in the last part of the season that Charles came on and because an offensive force.

That will not be the case in the 2011 Chiefs season. Bowe, Baldwin, Breaston, Charles and McCluster – that provides the potential for explosion, big plays and opposing defenses struggling to keep up with the ramifications of those five players on the field together. That group doesn’t even include pass catching TE Tony Moeaki.

After saddling him with only one real receiving threat in that 2009 season, the Chiefs front office has given Cassel a full toy box to play with in 2011.

Breaston was added on Tuesday, agreeing to a 5-year contract with the Chiefs. Financial terms were unknown and the deal does not become official until late Friday afternoon, with all the other veteran free agent contracts are stamped official by the league.

About to begin his fifth NFL season after four years with Arizona, Breaston is more a possession receiver than an explosive down the field threat. Coming out of the University of Michigan he was clocked in the 4.5 range in the 40-yard dash in pre-draft testing. He hasn’t gotten any faster.

Only one of Breaston’s 187 receptions in the regular season and then another 11 in the post-season has gone for more than 50 yards. He averages 13.5 yards a catch and has 7 touchdown catches or one score every 26.7 receptions. That’s not a very impressive ratio. The chances are that Breaston is not going to run away from anyone.

But offensive packages need more than just speed. This quintet would give Cassel a pair of possession receivers in Breaston and Bowe, and three very fast guys in Baldwin, Charles and McCluster. There would be no problem in Haley and Muir designing plays where all five guys lined up as receivers. Can you imagine the Chinese fire drill that would be caused then if a linebacker or strong safety was forced to cover Charles or McCluster?

And if Charles and McCluster both lined up in the backfield with Cassel, who is to say that there isn’t a running play about to be called, rather than a pass?

Misinformation, misreads, mismatches – that’s what an offense is trying to get done against the defense. That’s the chess game that comes with specific personnel packages. Despite having another new coordinator in Muir, the Chiefs offense will continue to be a game-plan scheme. The offense’s approach, emphasis and personnel changes from week-to-week depend on the opposing defense. It’s not an offense that has players leaving the locker room saying “this is what we do, now stop us.”

Adding Breaston and Baldwin to the mix should give Cassel options he could only dream about two years ago. Signing Breaston is not like getting Santonio Holmes or Sidney Rice – the two biggest free agents that signed deals on Wednesday.


– C Casey Wiegmann agreed to terms Tuesday on a 1-year contract for $2.5 million with the Chiefs. Remarkably, despite his advanced football age at 37 and experience entering his 17th season, Wiegmann got a raise from the $2 million he received in the 2010 season according to Fox Sports.

– The Chiefs have inked a pair of draft choices so far – 4th-round selection CB Jalil Brown and 7th-round choice FB Shane Bannon.

– Beyond Wiegmann, other Chiefs free agents that have agreed to terms were WR Terrance Copper, CB Travis Daniels and FS Jon McGraw.

– They lost a starter, NT Ron Edwards to the Carolina Panthers.

– They announced the signing of 10 undrafted rookie free agents, a group that includes 4 offensive linemen, 2 defensive linemen, and one each at tight end, linebacker, defensive back or wide receiver.

12 Responses to “Now That’s An Offense! … Thursday Cup O’Chiefs”

  • July 28, 2011  - bhive01 says:

    It looks good, but it’s all about who you line up against. How are the defenses in the rest of the AFC West stacking up Bob?

  • July 28, 2011  - Milkman says:

    Let’s just hope these new weapons will help insure Matt Cassel doesn’t have many more games like the last 2 he played. I hope that was just a hiccup caused by the unneccesary early announcement by Charlie Weis that he would be leaving.

  • July 28, 2011  - TimR says:

    This is a great signing for us, no doubt. We won’t be able to make the most of it unless we are MUCH BETTER at both guards & center positions. Our interior trio was manhandled when matched with the large opponents every time (Oakland, Baltimore & Diego game 2). Our schedule this year has Oakland twice, Green Bay, Pittsburgh, etc. Unless older guys have gotten bigger & stronger (they haven’t) we’re in for a long day unless all we’re going to do is try to pass the ball…which I doubt. Don’t assume Weigman, Lilja & Waters will all be around.

  • July 28, 2011  - RW says:

    Clark ‘Miser’ Hunt is giving me a problem on many fronts. It seems the Miser is content with the Chiefs being good enough to fill Arrowhead, contend for the playoffs but unwilling to jack up the revenue streams to acquire talent that would get the team into great status.

    He gets his misery ways honestly as his father would as soon pinch the buffalo off a nickle as well, but the Miser is even more so. Is the Miser going to step up and spend some $$$ for a DT, an OL talent or go with what’s already there?

    The Miser must hate the 90% cap floor but my guess is he’ll find a creative way to defer the spending down the road and still make the floor mandate. A team can be good. The Miser is the enemy of great.

  • July 28, 2011  - aPauled says:

    The youngsters should be able to solidy the middle of the line, helped by the number of Defensive players that will have to pull back when the field is stretched wide and deep.

    Now on to the defense where the middle is also suspect. Interesting to see if the Chiefs can land NT Abrayo Franklin and/or LB Nick Barnett.

  • July 28, 2011  - Redcross says:

    RW. I bet you enjoy polishing those Redskin Lombardi’s in the off season don’t you?

  • July 28, 2011  - el cid says:

    In the old days when someone ever questioned anything about the Chiefs, they were called raider fans, what is with the redskins. Not in our conference,not very good, and has an owner who is willing to spend money. Does not really match against the Hunt Chiefs.11

    Anyway, Chiefs made moves in draft and vet. free agency to help offense, hate to the defense neglected.

  • July 28, 2011  - jim says:

    Don’t dispare about the Defense. Trust me, we’re not done yet. When it’s all said and done, more will have been done than said. That’s the way the FO likes it.

    RW, I’d bet your bank account is ALWAYS overdrawn. LOL Just kiddin. Clark will spend when it’s ‘right’, and many things go into what’s ‘right’. Let’s give this new group a chance to do the right thing. I think we’ll be pleasantly surprised.

  • July 28, 2011  - el cid says:

    jim, sort of agree. The Hunt Chiefs are not done but, under Clark, will they change their spots of the last two years and get some first level FAs or will they open the swinging doors and run cheaper vets in and out. Hope you will admit, we like the Breaston signing, but what might the Hunt Chiefs be if they had spent some two years ago on a WR? By having the lowest payroll for two years, did the team miss out never having a second WR?

    As for giving the new group a chance, good idea. But when will this group not be new and be trusted to do something more than be the cheapest team in the NFL? Surprised, no, just think they should be held accountable for what they do or do not do. Haley is a winner and Pioli does what Hunt wants, but at some point, a little light needs to be shown into 1 Arrowhead dr.

  • July 28, 2011  - Rick says:

    El Cid, do you have any concrete proof that the Chiefs are indeed the cheapest team in the NFL, or is this just more of your usual glass half empty schtick?

    The Redskin reference was appropriate because spending big bucks in free agency does not equate to winning most times. The Redskins are exhibit A.

  • July 28, 2011  - Greg says:

    Absolutely Rick. Everybody should know by now that you build your team through the draft and you have to constantly have talented young players coming up. I applaud the job the Chiefs have done over the past few seasons of building a young, talented core of players and pulling in serviceable FAs to fill holes when necessary. Big name FAs are rarely worth the huge contracts they saddle your team with.

  • July 29, 2011  - RW says:

    OK, I like the lively debate going on here and do respect the views of all who have weighed in. I’ll add one last parting shot on this topic:

    All who have bought in and are drinking the Miser brand of Kool-Aid, see how it goes down come January when teams that have spent the $$$ for talent, like the Jets, are again deep in the playoffs while the Miser’s team is????

    Surely, that taste will still be sweet?

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