Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Tradition Tuesday: HoGnation Second Guesses Squads

The rough focus of this blog is the rivalry between the Kansas City Chiefs (heralded by Bankmeister) and the Denver Broncos (championed by Cecil and Old No. 7). It may seem unfair that it's two versus one, but once KC gets that second Super Bowl win we'll even out the delegation.

Seven years ago we started The Tradition, in which Bronco fans travel out to the Truman Sports Complex with their team, and Chief-lovers return to the Rocky Mountains with theirs. We tailgate, we talk massive amounts of shit, our wives are occasionally assaulted by rival fans, and we almost always watch the visiting team lose. It's grand old time.

Here at the HoG, we're going to keep The Tradition going with Tradition Tuesday--a weekly state-of-the-rivalry address.

Alright. LJ got paid. The Kansas City Chiefs, sprinkled with puffs of bizarre Priest-Holmes behavior, is now complete. That is, everyone has a contract and has reported to camp/practice. According to Head Coach Herm Edwards, Johnson won't play in Thursday's game versus the Saints, but Dwayne Bowe will get more snaps -- roughly 25 -- and Brodie Croyle will again get the start (I'm sure this didn't have anything to do with that).

While news on the Chiefs pours out of various professional sports-blogging locales, the HoG is a bit more interested in sharing the contents of our totally sober, non-corrupt staff meeting this weekend in Denver.

Mm-hmm. If our meeting notes were a newspaper, the headlines would read: "Teense Bits Nervs." (Editor's Note: Translated, that's "Teeny Bit Nervous"; the original statement is from a self-invented language called Abbrevs Plurals, wherein words in their original format are lopped and pluralized.)

Basically, it unfolds like this: The off-season/OTAs/pre-season swells of confidence have mellowed, leaving Old No. 7, Cecil and myself all wondering what our teams are really made of. The Denver Broncos have, for more than a decade, had their proclaimed (Note: Notice the omission of "self" before proclaimed) system wherein their monstrosity of an offensive line dominates opposing defensive schemes and makes the average Tom, Dick and Harry a 1000-yard-plus rusher and protects the fill-in-the-blank successor to Elway. They've also played some decent defense in that same span, had better-than-average special teams and the always-reliable Jason Elam to kick 74-yard boots through the uprights.

The Chiefs, in that same span of seasons, have had great Ds, mediocre Os, and vice versa, the constants of which have always maintained a respectable level of confidence in its fan base. Insert key factors like the greatest tight end to ever play the game, pride-instilling leadership , and some damn good coaching to boot, and that confidence stays perhaps higher than it should at times. Today, though, is a different era for both Chiefs fans and Broncos fans alike.

In the Centennial State, Ebenezer Ekuban is out for the year. Rumors suggest that the coveted Denver O-line is no longer what it once was. Travis 1500-yards-in-2007 Henry is already nursing an injury and this is Jay Cutler's first year as the opening-day starter. Of course, the secondary is pretty tight and that guy named Javon Walker is pretty good. Elam, however, is old, and, as Cecil put it last year, the special teams "couldn't possibly seem any less special." They're gnawing some cuticle to say the least out there.

The Show-Me-State has worries of equal abundance. Damon Huard is nursing a sore calf. No. That doesn't mean he's breast-feeding an injured baby cow. His leg hurts. Surprisingly, he got a miniscule number of reps in "his game as the starter" last week versus Miami. And, Brodie Croyle slung a touchdown. For all of the Huard Hopefuls of Chiefs Nation, that chapter may as well've never been written. The job is Croyle's and that's that. Sure. "Hard Knocks" has filmed, and will likely continue the trend, General Manager Carl Peterson saying that they've got to give the job to the guy who appears to be the best candidate to help the Chiefs win now. And Herm likes the youth movement. So, we could be ready to see Croyle light up Trent Green's league-leading interception number of the 2001 campaign.

Add to that that the receiving corps is still weak. Bowe will be nice, but Kennison is old, and allegedly, Samie Parker is performing better now that he's had some competition, but come on -- competition in the form of making the team and getting a nice, juicy contract renewal wasn't motivation enough?

In a move of brilliance, the Chiefs brought no one in to compete with rookie kicker Justin Medlock, who whiffed on the first two of his three tries versus Miami. Oops. And I'm now confident that nobody on the planet knows what Priest Holmes is up to other than Priest Holmes. That's not new; he just keeps re-inventing ways to be an odd little duck.

The plus side is this: every year the Chiefs and Broncos play one another early, and then late. Typically, the Chiefs travel west first, lose and then come home and beat the Broncos in December. This year, an odd twist is upon HoGnation. The Broncos come to KC first, but not 'til mid-November. Then the Chiefs take the field at InVesCo in early December. We feel that how these two teams play one another is a good litmus test for how the teams match up against the rest of the league. Old No. 7 capped the discussion best with the adage, "Who you are in September is not who you are in December."

The Cliff's Notes? We've got a lot of football to play before these foes knock heads with one another. And we're hopeful we won't be knocking our own heads on the walls for the first nine weeks of the season.


Nathan said...

I'm still pullin' for Omar Jacobs, dude.

-- TLR

P.S. What't the over/under on how many pics Croyle will throw this year. We will spend the bulk of the season in 3rd and long situations (Solari's offense is sure to face 8-10 stacked against our run attempts on the first two downs. He'll throw one flea-flicker in around week 13 ... if he makes it that far), so it could be an awful lot.

bankmeister said...

18. I'll take the under.

Omar who?

Yeah. I'm sure they will face 10 in the box. Keep hittin' that pipe, Canada.

Sure. They'll fire him before the season's over. Anybody know a doctor for this kid? Christ.

dylanebrown said...

Last time I checked, a real season down hasn't been played, yet.
So when the the world's smartest Canadian KCChief*, finally runs Solari out of town with his mountains of offensive/football wisdom, he can run the fleaflicker on the week of his choosing.
Cuz when you run that fleaflicker....coach walks the plank..Monday after the game.
Seriously.. Brody Croyle is a small, rookie NFL QB. He will have growing pains. He has an awesome RB, aging receiving corp. and a beat up O-line. The deck is not stacked in his favor. If he improves over the season, it will be to his own talents and work.
So when we rip on the Chiefs, and surely it won't be till seasons' end(if at all), it will be on that wine drinking, filet eating blowhard who insists that he "manages" the Chiefs. Any NFL manager firstly understands the limits and durability of an Offensive line. Even an mediocre one has most of them like him...nuff said.
This concludes my check-in from Chiefs nation.
Praise be I'm no Bronco.

Nathan said...

10 in the box happens, dude. Just watch some Pats games. Hell, they even go with 1 down lineman occasioncally.

Keep in mind, the Browns let their O-Coord go last year, AND Billick took over playcalling for the Ravens. We're not looking at any sort of precedent here.

By the way, the Chiefs ran a successful flea flicker last year, so that's not a precedent either. It's a play that is useful when you have a successful back.

Gentlemen, maybe you should move to Canada so you can focus a little. I think you're gettin' wrapped up in the US media and its god-awful interpretations, its overwhelming slant and its iterative bullshit. Good luck with that.

Hopefully, the young Hunt will have the balls to axe Carl one of these years.

O/U on BCs interceptions: 25

I'll take the over.

Cheers,- TLR

P.S. Omar Jacobs is a QB who graduated from UWISC Bowling Green. I figure he's got every bit of the talent that Croyle does, and a little more durability. Why didn't we sign Schaub?

old no. 7 said...

I like gambling. I'll take the under on both lines for Croyle's interceptions, because if he throws that many he won't be allowed to keep the job.

Omar Jacobs was an excellent college QB, and unlike Croyle he didn't have one nice season and three shitty ones.

And Schaub wasn't a free agent to be signed. The Texans traded for him, and gave up quite a bit. Atlanta got to move up in this year's first round and got Houston's second in '07 and '08.

Finally, I don't understand all this hand-wringing over the QB situation. You may forget this, but you had a freaking starting-caliber QB but traded him away, leaving behind a project and a never-was. That, to me, is the issue.

That is all.

bankmeister said...

As I've said 100 times over, Jim Fassell and whoever the Browns' coordinator was were not in their second year of ever having that job. It's called realism. You try things out on occasion. Sometimes they work. Sometimes they don't. I'll bet you 4000 pounds -- or whatever your monetary system is -- that Croyle doesn't throw 25+ picks.

Go to the YouTubes and find me some footage where a team has 10 in the box. I'd love to see how that unfolds. And, your obsession with the fleaflicker is really troubling, dude. This game isn't about flashy plays and riding wheelies. It's about a little something we call the Lombardi. I suppose you think most teams run about 7-8 fleaflickers a year? You're only confused because we had 2-3 teams execute one against us last year before we threw ours.

What's the average amount of times a fleaflicker happens among all of the teams in a season? I'd guess it to be less than an eighth of the total number of games played.

bankmeister said...

Oh, and 7: QBs throw many more picks than what I predicted and still keep their jobs. Three shitty seasons in Tuscaloosa? Please. Now you're making stuff up.

Finally, the hand-wringing is necessary because our "starting-caliber" QB couldn't get the gears to once again turn after his clock cleaning, thus the disposal of said never-was' never-was title.

Every young QB is a project. Don't pretend like your precious Screamin' Jay wasn't last year and still won't be this year. Hell, Philip Rivers is still a project. Let's be realistic.

old no. 7 said...

Ah, yes..."Prove it to me!" Because every opinion you forward is so littered with citations, footnotes and reference material.

Very well.

Brodie Croyle played four season in Tuscaloosa. Year 1: .488 completion percentage, 5 TDs, 5 picks. Shitty. Year 2: .533 cp, 16/13. Pretty nice by Kansas City standards, but still far south of tasty. Year 3: blown ACL as the team goes 6-6. I don't see how you can call that good. Year 4: Fantastic, named to several All-America teams, met the lovely miss Kelli, raised the hopes of millions of Chef-lovers. Good times.

dylanebrown said...

Gentlemen, good thread. Claims, Refutations, Counterarguments and Evidence. Mountains and mountains of evidence. Well.. sorta.
Not to parse words here but, Bronconation made the nontopical/silly claim of, "three shitty years and one good one." How an injured junior year on the bench counts against BC reaches new boundries in twisted logic.
BC has done nothing wrong but, have a hot wife and to have played in the same conference against a player vying to fill a towns' vacum of 80's/90's idol worship.
Let the boy play.
Trent Green was "aging" and "hobbled" in '02 when we got him. His wobbly ass passes won't be missed. Neither will falling down on the goal line in the playoffs, for all the nation to see. Especially Bronconation. Which really appriciates Chief's QB's that fall down short of the end zone. So BC it is.
So we now have two lines in the sand for '07. T. Henry's historic romp to 1500 and B Croyle's race for Blanda's 42 int's(moneyline at 18-25 tbd). Now both sides have a dog in the race.
If wagering is done, I would proffer(if I lose) dinner for the winners at Antonio's in downtown KC. King Carl loves Antonio's and he loves it even more when drunk football fans throw hard rolls at him during dinner.