Kansas City Chiefs: Monday Mailbag 4/8/19

Welcome into another edition of our Kansas City Chiefs Monday Mailbag as we answer your fan questions each and every Monday! The latest news with the Chiefs is that they have traded safety Eric Murray to the Cleveland Browns in return for defensive end Emmanuel Ogbah. The Chiefs have also signed former Oklahoma quarterback Blake Bell who will play tight end. They also signed former Chiefs and AAF cornerback, Keith Reaser. We have 7 great questions today and I can’t thank everyone enough who participates in this. So without further ado, let’s open up today’s mailbag!

Royals in the Mahomes Mania Shadow

I think the Royals have a Royals problem, but the presence of Patrick Mahomes now residing at One Arrowhead Drive should not be overlooked. The Royals attendance isn’t the only thing that’s abysmal for that ball club as the product on the field is severely lacking, especially without Salvador Perez. The fans can’t go out to the ball park anymore and yell, “HOZ!” “MOOSE!” “LO CAIN!” “ESKY!” and with Perez down they can’t yell “SALVY!” That means all they are left with is yelling for a broken down player when you hear the crowd chant, “GORDO!” Baseball is also becoming more regional as they don’t have the national television outlets like the NFL and NBA have. Yes, you have your Sunday Night Baseball on ESPN, but is that going to pull in a national audience to watch Yankees vs. Nationals? You turn on a Sunday Night Football game between the Patriots and Chiefs and America is tuned into every last second and simply can’t wait to watch more come Monday and Thursday.

The Royals do, to some extent, have a Mahomes problem on their hands while all their big names depart, the focus in Kansas City is its first franchise quarterback in team history. Patrick took the league and this city by storm throwing for 50 touchdowns and winning MVP, not to mention he took the Chiefs back to their first AFC Championship game since Joe Montana accomplished that feat back in January of 1994. As long as Patrick continues his stellar play and continues his growth into becoming the face of the league, it’ll be harder for the Royals to coax whatever is left of its fan base out to the ball park… even for the much anticipated buck night.

New Defense Skepticism

It’s okay to be skeptical of this new defense because I am as well and everyone else should be too. The Kansas City Chiefs are replacing Justin Houston and Dee Ford with the underwhelming in comparison Alex Okafor, Breeland Speaks, Tanoh Kpassagnon, and Emmanuel Ogbah. I think the Chiefs are counting on Steve Spagnuolo to scheme up pressures with stunts and blitzes instead of just rolling out Houston and Ford hoping they are just more talented than their opponents. That’s why we should all be skeptical because we have to see that he can be successful in his schemes with less talented players, like Bill Belichick is with his no-name defensive line. The secondary should improve with Ward, Fuller, Breeland, Mathieu, Watts, Lucas, Sorenson and I think it’s safe to assume a rookie or two back there. The linebacking corps worries me as well with Hitchens, Wilson, and Ragland, but maybe the switch to 4-3 and Spagnuolo helps them be more aggressive instead of busy thinking and reacting while on their heels. I think it’s too early to say what this Chiefs team will look like until we see what Spagnuolo has in store for this defense and what will happen with Tyreek Hill. Ladies and gentlemen, I believe the phrase is that we are stuck in a holding pattern until further notice.

Top 3 Priorities

  1. Tyreek Hill – figuring out the situation and then what to do from there. There were rumors about the Chiefs shopping him in a trade even before the story of the incident broke. I don’t think the Chiefs feel, especially now, that’s he’s worth a $100 million contract so if they were to work out a deal with him it would be full of safety nets for the Chiefs. I imagine there would be clauses that void the contract and it would be less guaranteed money and incentives he has to hit to make most of the money in the contract.
  2. Impact defensive help – whether that be trading for a cornerback on the market like the Cardinal’s Patrick Peterson or Vikings’ Xavier Rhodes or moving up in the first round of the draft to select the top corner, safety, linebacker, or edge rusher on their board.
  3. Depth on the offense – to keep them ahead of the defensive coordinators and to build on what they did last season. The Chiefs need more talent at wide receiver and even running back I believe. A glaring position of need is backup tight end now that Incompletrius Harris has departed for Cleveland. I would love to see the Chiefs use one of their first 3 picks to address another tight end.

Virginia Safety Juan Thornhill

I’m not going to pretend I know a ton about Juan. Sure, I could go read a ton of different articles and summarize what I researched, but I found an amazing article breaking him down with all sorts of video clips, so give it up to Billy Marshall of catscratchreader.com https://www.catscratchreader.com/2019/4/5/18295906/carolina-panthers-2019-nfl-draft-virginia-safety-juan-thornhill-film-room-scouting-report

Linebackers Biggest Priority/Draft

I think the Chiefs are trusting Steve Spagnuolo to scheme up pressures with his fronts and so they feel they don’t need the top line pass rushers. Also, the quarterbacks are getting the ball out faster and faster rendering these top pass rushers almost useless (see Houston and Ford against Tom Brady in the AFC Championship game). I think the Chiefs are going to start Wilson and Hitchens, but Ragland is a question mark that they need to replace in the starting lineup. Personally, I really like a kid out of Washington named Ben Burr-Kirven. He’s a smaller linebacker, but incredible at shedding blocks and sifting through traffic which is huge in today’s game. Burr-Kirven is great in coverage as well and reacts instantaneously as he trusts what he sees.

Another name to keep an eye on that I like would be Blake Cashman out of Minnesota. Blake is quite simply put a smooth rock steady player who is always in the right place at the right time. He would be an asset in the passing game as a high level coverage linebacker, but what sold me on him is his technically sound wrap-up tackling prowess. He put on a clinic every Saturday and I see no reason why he won’t do the same now although it’ll be on Sundays instead.

Patrick Mahomes vs. Josh Allen Throwing Competition

The Chiefs recently told Patrick that he couldn’t play basketball in the offseason for fear of him getting hurt and they also had a clause in his contract about that. I’m not sure they have something in his contract for throwing competitions, but I’m guessing they would at the least advise him not to take part in such a frivolous activity. The argument against that is that Patrick does this before every game as he uncorks a ball as far as he can. Also, back in the day they used to have the Quarterback Challenge where the league’s top quarterbacks would go through a gauntlet of games with one being the distance throw. However, while it seems like both players are more than willing to do this and the fans would love to it; I just don’t think the franchises and these players’ agents are going to let it happen. Plus, we all know who the winner would be anyway so it’s rather anticlimactic.

Why Did the Chiefs Release Justin Houston

Quite simply the reasoning behind Justin Houston came down to money. The Chiefs saved $15 million by cutting Justin and with Mahomes, Hill, and Jones’ contracts needing to be extended the Chiefs need that money. Also, Justin Houston was missing in action during the AFC Championship and while still a good player; he’s not worth that price tag any longer. Quarterbacks are getting the ball out faster and faster these days which neutralizes a team’s edge rush rendering them almost useless. We saw this in the AFC Championship game against Tom Brady as he hit quick throw after quick throw resulting in death by a million paper cuts. Steve Spagnuolo is going to have to scheme pressures now that he doesn’t have that top end talent, so he will rely on stunts and blitzes to get home. Justin was a leader and still a very good player both against the run and pass so he will be missed, but we needed to get younger and save money as we look to the future with the MVP.

Thank You

That’s it for another edition of our Chiefs Monday Mailbag! Thank you to Clint Switzer, Perrell Stanley II, Keith Mottram, Owen Long, Rick Campbell, Kim Moseley, and Mayham Clyde for the great questions! Also, a big thank you to everyone who took time out of their day to read this! If you want to submit a question just comment below and I’ll answer it for next week’s mailbag! Until next time, take care of yourself and each other!

Let Your Voice Be Heard in the Comments Section Below

  • Do the Royals have a Mahomes problem?
  • Are you skeptical about the new defense?
  • What do you think the top 3 priorities for the Chiefs are right now?
  • Your thoughts on Virginia safety Juan Thornhill
  • Are the linebackers the biggest priority right now?
  • Should Patrick Mahomes and Josh Allen really have this throwing contest?
  • Why do you think the Chiefs released Justin Houston?
  • Have a question for next week’s mailbag? Drop it below!
Avatar of Noah Gronniger
Noah, a sports fan since 1992, began his journey into sports media in 2012. He is co-founder of the Great American Sports Network as well as a podcast host, filmmaker and freelance writer.

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