Chiefs first round of OTA’s end today. Here are a few bits of news and notes to sum up the week that was for Kansas City.
DWAYNE BOWE IS MOTIVATED
Dwayne Bowe announced Wednesday that he is going to lead the NFL in receptions next season and then went ahead and said Jamaal Charles would lead the NFL in rushing as well. Hey, if that happens I certainly won’t complain.
Bowe’s confidence seems to becoming form new quarterback Alex Smith, whose presence is already being felt in the huddle, and Andy Reid, who is known for his offensive mind. Reid certainly has the swagger and confidence of a coach who is confident in what he is doing, while Smith seems determined to prove all of his doubters wrong while bringing an edge of perfection to the team. Both of those things are great but neither guarantee production on the field.
The primary weapons of Charles and Bowe are tantalizing, but the problems has been what has been around them to supplement the offense. Free agents Anthony Fasano and Donnie Avery, coupled with draft picks Travis Kelce and Knile Davis could help provide that supplemental production, but we’ve done this song and dance before. At some point, these roster moves have to produce something more than just hype.
Still, the question is going to be whether or not Alex Smith is the quarterback we all hope he can be for this team – a top 10 to 13 guy who doesn’t make mistakes and keeps the offense moving. This doesn’t sound like much, but the Chiefs haven’t been able to move the ball consistently since Trent Green. If Bowe (and Charles) are going to reach Bowe’s stated goals, then Smith is going to have to be what he was in San Francisco and maybe a little more.
BRADEN WILSON SIGNS
Sixth round draft pick Braden Wilson sign his contract Wednesday, according to the team. Wilson, a 6-4, 256 pound fullback, isn’t much for running the ball or making plays in the passing game but he is an very good blocker in the backfield.
In the recent past, the Chiefs have stated they wanted a fullback but never invested to have a good one on the team. This administration has at least admitted that if you’re going to have a fullback on the team, it might as well be a good one. Wilson can be a good fullback for the Chiefs.
It seems that most of the Chiefs draft was focused on getting better up the middle, and Wilson is a part of the that philosophy. He can open up holes in the run game and protect the passer in play action. Kansas City should be much improved in short yardage situations next season and part of it will be because of Wilson’s ability to clear a path for the running back.
Wilson’s contract details were not released but Over The Cap estimates his total contract value to be $2.238 million with a cap hit of $424,670 in 2013.
OPTION OFFENSE MAY BE A SERIOUS THING
Sean Keeler of Fox Sports Kansas City has a good piece about the Pistol offense and the connections the Chiefs now have to it.
When Chip Kelly was integrating the read-option into Oregon’s offensive playbook some six years ago, he had Geoff Schwartz and the rest of the Ducks’ offensive line sit down and study film of — get this — Alex Smith. This was old-school Alex, back when Smith was the trigger man for coach Urban Meyer’s spread system at the University of Utah.
“So I watched a lot of (Smith’s) film in college, doing all that stuff,” Schwartz, the new Kansas City Chiefs lineman, said of Smith, who also just happens to be his new quarterback. “He can run. He can run. Smart quarterback.
“And sometimes, it’s not so much about the speed of the quarterback as it is making the right read. In an option type of offense, of course it would be nice to get 30 yards, but if you make the right read and get 15, you end up doing the same thing.”
What to make of this is up to you. We have literally seen nothing from the Chiefs so far on the field so everything is going to be speculation until after the Jacksonville game in week one. But the idea of using the Pistol as a way to keep opposing defenses guessing may be a good one for the Chiefs so long as Smith is healthy.
The problem is the Chiefs projected backup quarterbacks do not fit the Pistol offense whatsoever. Chase Daniel is too small, let alone athletic enough, and Tyler Bray is about as pure of a pocket quarterback as you’re going to find these days.
So, yes, while the Pistol may be showing up from time to time in Kansas City, I don’t expect this to be a thing that defines the Chiefs offense as much as it adds a new wrinkle to what should be a run-first offense anyway.
AAAAAND BRANDEN ALBERT…
I suppose we have to discuss Branden Albert because it is a rule for this offseason apparently.
Albert is at OTA’s and appears to be in good spirits. In his conversations with reports he seemed upbeat and happy to be with Kansas City and admitted he made some mistakes with how he handled the situation.
We still have no movement on whether or not Albert will be here longer than this season and Albert never said anything to suggest he and the Chiefs were close to a new contract. No matter what happens the Chiefs are covered with Eric Fisher, so getting through this season and testing free agency might be Albert’s best bet at top money.
However, there wasn’t a lot of demand for Albert when Kansas City offered him for trade and the Dolphins weren’t so high on him that they were willing to part with one of two first round picks. So it will be interesting if Albert chooses few dollars but higher security from the Chiefs or if he will risk injury and the unsure market and test free agency.
And all of that assumes KC doesn’t franchise him next season.
An offensive line with Albert this season is certainly a better offensive line than one without him, but the Chiefs can move on from him after this season if they wish because of the draft and Donald Stephenson. Training camp may be the tipping point. If Fisher proves he is the real deal then KC may let Albert walk and figure out right tackle next offseason. But if Fisher struggles, then Albert may get the long-term deal he has been looking for.