Saturday, October 1, 2022

Ex-boss starter calls out position group: ‘It’s frustrating’

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The Kansas City Chiefs are 2-0, but they didn’t play the cleanest game against division rivals Los Angeles Chargers on Thursday night.

There were near interceptions, missed possessions, pass interference penalties, allowable quarterback pressure, and more. Most fans’ response might be that a win is a win, and you’d be right, but considering the Chiefs have been the class of the league for the past four years, expect some excellence.

Strong criticism came from former offensive tackle Geoff Schwartz, the older brother of Mitchell Schwartz, who started seven games for Kansas City in 2013.

Schwartz has had some success as an analyst since leaving the league. He currently working with Fox Sports and SiriusXM NFL. The former O-Lineman also has a podcast called Geoff Schwartz is smarter than you.

On September 16, the Friday after the Chiefs’ TNF win over the Chargers, Schwartz took to Twitter to blow up the KC Running Back Room.

“The Chiefs OL had some individual glitches last night. A few mental mistakes,” he said. “But I felt they held up well in Pass Pro. Scheme also helped. Run blocking was good. Back leave so many meters on the field. It’s frustrating. That has to be a touchdown.”

Schwartz included video of running back Jerick McKinnon taking a shotgun handoff from the three-yard line. The veteran ball carrier hits the hole, but takes his time. In the end he stops just before the end zone. The Chiefs opted for a field goal on that possession.

The fans interfered in the criticism of Schwartz. one wrote: “Why wasn’t that a TD [though]? It just seems like a small one to me [RB] If the arm is attacked, does a larger RB or a more compact RB make this a TD, no? The hole was there, the DL had just extended an arm which slowed the RB down too much as he was a under 200lb player.

Schwartz answered to this comment, noting that “running backs are paid to break arm tackles”. He added: “This is a large enough career path.”

Another answered: “I was annoyed that McKinnon was played and not [Isiah] Pacheco or Clyde [Edwards-Helaire].”

“That was a 1st and a goal”, a third fan questioned, “Why the Seattle game calls for the 2nd and the goal? Run it again!”

Finally, someone asked Schwartz if he thought inactive power back Ronald Jones II should have been out there for moments like this. “You think Rojo should have played?” The fan started. “I just think the Chargers could be pushed with more power run play. I was just surprised that he was a healthy scratch. It would have even helped the tackles by making the end respect the run and not just rush.”

The Chiefs have made it clear they want to launch a fast attack in 2022. Over the two weeks, however, the results were mixed and unspectacular — save for a 52-yard backbreaker by Edwards-Helaire against the Chargers.

If you subtract that 52-yard streak from the total, the Kansas City running backs have gained 172 yards from 37 carries in two games. That’s a 4.65 clip — which isn’t bad — and 86 yards per game. The long gainer is 112 yards per play with 5.89 yards per carry.

After all this, can this frenzied attack get any better? The answer seems to lean towards yes for a number of reasons.

First, the Chiefs could start running the ball more. Edwards-Helaire has made an impressive start and yet only received 15 handovers. Pacheco is just behind him on 14, followed by McKinnon’s eight and full-back Michael Burton’s only carry for six yards. Jones has yet to get dressed for a game.

Second, this group should improve as the year progresses. Pacheco is a rookie still adjusting to the NFL level, and most offensive lines typically take a couple of weeks to gel. The Chiefs OL unit has plenty of experience blocking together in 2021, but things should only go up as long as everyone stays sane.

Third, Jones could become the ace up his sleeve. After nearly missing the cut, “RoJo” made the fourth halfback on the 53-man tally. So far, he has spent the first two games watching his teammates. However, they expect the former Super Bowl champion to be called up at some point, and when he does, he will have fresh legs.

First, the Chiefs could start running the ball more. Edwards-Helaire has made an impressive start and yet only received 15 handovers. Pacheco is just behind him on 14, followed by McKinnon’s eight and full-back Michael Burton’s only carry for six yards. Jones has yet to get dressed for a game.



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