Chiefs + 34 Defense = 4-12 in 2009 Part 1

Trebor TodrabContributor IMarch 7, 2009

Welcome to the inaugural "Todrab's Takes".  This will be a weekly feature about the Kansas City Chiefs, and the NFL in general.  If you eat, sleep, and breathe Chiefs' news you will likely enjoy this feature.  My goal is to express my opinion and spark debate amongst the best fans in the NFL with a somewhat humorous tone.  Without further ado...

Has Scott Pioli actually looked at the talent on the defensive side of the football?  Okay, I can hear you already reaching for the mouse to click away grumbling about how they were the 31st ranked defense in the league.  What talent?! But bare with me a moment, has Scott Pioli actually looked at the talent on that side of the ball?  If he had, he would not be considering the 3-4 defense.  At least, not if he wants to have a winning season next year.

This will be the first in a series looking at the Chiefs' parts, and trying to imagine how they would fit in a 3-4. 

Last year, with the 5th pick in the draft, the Chiefs selected a stubby bowling ball player to be the new "Baby Sapp" in their version of the Tampa-2.  Glenn Dorsey was drafted to be the prototypical 3-technique tackle.  He was meant to shoot the gap and tackle anything in his path.  He had outstanding success at LSU doing just that, notching 69 tackles, 7 sacks, and 12.5 tackles for loss his senior season on his way to earning an astounding haul of hardware - The Nagurski Award, Lombardi Award, Outland Trophy and Lott Award.  He was also a consensus All-American.  A funny thing happened though on the way to the season.  Through a series of injuries, coaching dementia, and front office dementia, Dorsey ended up playing as a 1-technique tackle responsible for two gaps and thus, was largely invisible throughout the year. He was consistently swallowed whole by an assortment of offensive lineman.  He was a square peg trying to play a round hole.

Which brings us back to the 3-4 defense and how does our 5th round pick from a year ago fit in it?

At a shade under 300 lbs, and probably a shade under six feet, he is not big enough, strong enough, or (in deference to Stuart Smiley) gosh darnnit good enough to play the nose tackle in a base 3-4.  The nose is usually a mammoth of a man... an immovable object... a force Atlas couldn't move if he tried... a man responsible for two gaps... a man not named Glenn Dorsey.  The experiment with Dorsey as a two gap tackle last year should temper any expectations about his ability play the nose.

Who knows, if not the nose?  Perhaps Dorsey could slide over and play end.  Sounds nice eh? He was successful making plays in the backfield in college, maybe he could do that as a left defensive end in the 3-4!

The problem with this idea is ends in the 3-4 have...Bueller?  Bueller?  Bueller ?  Two gap responsibility.  Additionally, the prototypical end in a 3-4 is a monster of a man with long arms allowing him to control the offensive tackle and still be able to make tackles on the outside if the running back heads his way.  He is not necessarily trying to get to the qb. 

So, the question remains, what do you do with Dorsey in a 3-4 defense? (Answer below; shiny stars will be handed out after class)

Couple of NFL notes...

I was disappointed to see Igor Olshansky sign with the Cowboys.  When the news/rumors broke we would be switching to the 3-4, I thought he might be a good fit.  Relatively young, prototypical size, would start, and wouldn't break the bank... and how many guys have you met named Igor?

Staying with the 'boys,  I am sort of surprised JJ cut TO.  I kind of thought he would keep him precisely because everyone was telling him to dump him.  I will be curious to see where TO lands.  My money is on the Giants... at least for the next minute and a half.  Any takers?

Dr. Z... come back soon.  I miss your irreverent style and superb analysis.

Answer:  If Pioli is serious about the 3-4, he must be working the phones looking for a second round pick in exchange for Dorsey.  If I am the Colts or the Bucs, I would consider it.  There will not be a DT available in the second round with Dorsey's upside.