Just how important are the following intangibles:
Has a passion for the game, a leader both on-and-off the field, high football intelligence, smart, works hard at his craft, plays through pain, team leader, durable, great instincts, self motivated, highly respected team player, and football must be the most important thing in his life?
For most teams, those qualities are highly desired. To other teams they mean little.
Scott Pioli said when he was hired as Chief GM, "I am not interested in acquiring talent, I'm interested in building a football team."
It took a while for that to sink in. After all, you have to scratch your head with the first part of that sentence. I would have to think that adding talent is something that most teams would want to do
Pioli is different. Where most teams look for talent first and intangibles second it works in reverse for Pioli. You start with those intangibles listed above, and then you evaluate their talent
One can argue either way. Personally, I value character. I don't want players who are bad seeds, have had arrests, are lazy and unmotivated, and have no idea how to play the game.
That goes without saying.
But I think in the Chief's case it can all work against them. Its fine to have players who all hold hands and sing "We are the world", but in the NFL, if you expect to win, you better have talent.
Should we hold Pioli to his criteria? Can you trust him? Based on last years draft, I'm not so sure. In most of those draft pick those characteristics seemed absent.
Tyson Jackson was a "hot and cold" player who played with no sense of urgency, according to scouting reports. he was considered lazy and lacked focus.
Alex McGee was not durable, didn't play hard or hurt, and couldn't process info.
Donald Washington was raw, had a low football IQ , and had maturity issues.
Pioli knew this, but drafted them anyway. It was with Herman Edwards's scouts feeding him the information and they were all fired the day after the draft.
Of course, the real reason they were fired is because they were "Herman's guys" not his.
So now here we are. Everything is in place. I'm going to do two things here; give you my very brief mock for 2010, and then give you a list of all those players who fit Pioli's criteria. By the way, my picks (good or bad, do fit "the Pioli criteria").
No. 1) Rolando McClain-ILB /Alabama- For me this is a no brainer. This guy has it all. He is a leader on the field, he not only knows his assignments but knows the assignments of everyone of his teamates and gets in their face when they forget, he's a big time presence that this teams has not seen in years. He brings it on every play. This team needs someone to dominate the middle of the field. With his mental makeup and intangibles, makes sense to me. (One poll now has McClain going at #6.)
Yes, Berry is tempting and so is Bulaga, but how do you compare apples and oranges? Chief's Linebackers are the worst in the league. Some say an Inside linebacker is not a key position. They say "take Berry because he can make an Ed Reed impact". Well, McClain can make a Ray Lewis impact. Tell me that's not equally as important.
Come on guys, our defense is using special team players as starting linebackers. Even Hali was terrible against the run. I like Berry, but I feel McClain fits a bigger need.
No. 2) Jerry Hughes-OLB /TCU- Outstanding pass rusher with all the intangibles that Pioli cherishes. He was doubled teamed last year, after having a sensational year in 2009, leading the nation in sacks. He's a beast. Now he may not be there, (some say he may go in Round One), but he is a tremedous pass rusher. I also like Koa Misi (Utah) and Eric Norwood (South Carolina). Vrabel can't get it done anymore and with McClain, even his leadership skills aren't necessary.
No. 2) Vladimir Ducasse-OL/UMass- It occured to me that after this kid, there are no Right Tackles in this draft. All are on the left side or PROJECT to the Left side which is very unusual. Even Roger Saffold, who may go here, is a Left side guy. Ducasse can dominate as a run blocker but needs alot of work on his pass blocking. He works so hard though that you don't doubt he'll be ready when it matters. If he can't make the conversion, he can take the Left Guard spot in 2011. They can still give him a shot at RT, as they will with Colin Brown.
No. 3) Terrell Troup-NT/ Central Florida- Well, obviously they need one. Sean Smith played more DE for Romeo in Cleveland than he did at Nose. Troup carries his weight very well and will likely maintain his playing weight, unlike Terrence Cody, who needs outside pressure to stay in shape. That's Exactly what Pioli and Haley don't want. They won't have to worry about "babysitting" Troup like they would Cody. This kid has a good work ethic.
No. 4) Andre Roberts-WR/ Citadel- It was between him and Jordan Shipley. Roberts can get open easier than Shipley, who reminds me of Mike Haas,-great college reciever with tremendous production who couldn't get open in the Pros. Roberts uses his quickness too and he has a better burst out of his breaks. Shipley has better hands. Both have great work habits and both have return ability. If one has been taken by that point, then the Chiefs take the other.
No. 5) Jason Fox-OT/ Miami- It was between him and Calloway. Fox is a former TE so he is a lightweight as well, but he is more athletic than Calloway and can play Center too. Calloway, of course, is well trained in that Zone blocking scheme at Iowa under Kirk Ferentz, but he plays too soft and can be bull rushed. He's also not athletic and doesn't take to hard coaching which he'll get plenty of in KC. Calloway is no Bulaga. Fox only gave up 1 sack last year in a tough division
No. 5) Barry Church-SS/ Toledo- What a player. I followed this kid here in Pittsburgh while in high school. Played at Toledo in a 4-2-5 scheme as a rover and was at his best close to the line. He also is good in coverage and he is the smartest Defensive Back in this draft. Studies film endlessly and knows where everyone in the secondary needs to be. Between he and McClain, Chief's coaches have little to worry about. That is what Pioli wants more than anything, football players who have a high football "IQ".
No. 5) Akwasi Owusu-Ansah-CB/ Indiana St of PA.- Division 1-AA standout who tested very well at the combine and looked great at the Senior Bowl. Had nine interceptions returned for touchdowns. Reminds me alot of former Chief James Hasty except that he might not be as physical. Too good to pass up if he makes it this far. He could be the steal of the draft.
What else? No Tight End?
How about Jerrod Mastrud of Kansas State as an undrafted Free Agent? He certainly fits the Pioli Profile.
Short yardage Runner? Brandon Minor of Michigan maybe? Probably won't be drafted.
Return man? Brandon Banks? We all know about him
Other Pioli guys: Toby Gerhart (RB), Kerry Meier (WR), Blair White (WR), Dennis Pitta (TE) John Asamoah (OG), Brian Bulaga (OT), Joe Hawley (C), Maurkice Pouncey (C/G) Mike Tepper (OG), J D Walton (C), Javier Arenas (CB), Tyson Alualu (DL), Sean Lee (ILB), Mike Mclaughlin (ILB), Koa Misi (OLB), Perry Riley (ILB), Brandon Spikes (ILB), and Cody Grimm (SS) and Eric Berry (WS)
I guess we should also keep in mind at this point that KC may be trading down from that #5 spot if they can get fair value in return. There are charts that the NFL uses for these occasions
For example, if Philadelphia wanted to move from 24 all the way up to 5 in Round 1 the Chiefs could expect to add two more 2nd rounders and 7th rounders.
For a drop less drastic as in dropping from #5 to maybe #10 that will get them and extra #3.
Remember with no picks in Rounds 6 and 7 they may have to reach in Round 5 unless they can trade down. I would trade a #5 for (3) #7's if I could
Lets hope the Chief's don't blow it. Management may not feel a sense of urgency but tell that to the fans. If they want those seats at Arrowhead filled, its time to start winning. The fans will do their part if management does there's
One more thing. Kudos to all the Bleacher Writers who write on the Chiefs. I think we all collectively did about as well as anyone in our mutual analysis and accuracy in our mocks as a group.
Bleacher Report is lucky to have us all