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13.08.2019, 07:50
Beitrag: #1
KANSAS CITY Eric Murray Jersey , Mo. (AP) — Justin Houston wouldn’t let the question come out before cutting it off. Fullback Anthony Sherman was even less accommodating than the bruising linebacker of the Kansas City Chiefs.His response came with a glare.You see, the Chiefs had just wrapped up their third consecutive AFC West title and the No. 1 seed for the playoffs with a lopsided rout of the Oakland Raiders, their longtime division rivals. But in an otherwise jubilant locker room, the inevitable question had to be asked: Will this team, with its high-powered offense and lackluster defense, finally reverse decades of postseason disappointments?“That’s behind us. That’s old news,” said Houston, one of the veterans and vocal leaders. “You don’t focus on the past. Don’t let the past poison your future. We are focused on the future now and we are getting ready for whoever we have to play. We are going to take advantage of this opportunity.”The Chiefs (12-4) get this week to rest and relax, the byproduct of earning that first-round bye. They will learn this weekend whether they will face the Colts, Ravens or Chargers in the divisional round on Jan. 12, the first of what they hope will be two games at Arrowhead Stadium before the Super Bowl.“The past doesn’t mean anything. Those other games? They don’t mean anything,” Sherman said. “This is a whole new team. We can’t worry about what those other teams did.”Oh, but Chiefs fans are certainly aware.This is the proud and storied franchise that played opposite the champion Green Bay Packers in the first Super Bowl, then won the Lombardi Trophy four years later against the Minnesota Vikings.But since Len Dawson and Co. were victorious in 1972, the Chiefs have only appeared in one other AFC title game, losing to the Buffalo Bills after the 1993 season. They’ve only won two playoff games at home in their entire history, even though Arrowhead Stadium boasts one of the biggest home-field advantages in the game. And under coach Andy Reid, they are winless at home and 1-5 overall in the postseason.There’s more Terrance Smith Jersey , as if the Chiefs want to be reminded of it.Only the Lions and Jets have gone longer without playing in the Super Bowl; the Browns, Jaguars and Texans have never been there. And the Chiefs’ only playoff win in 25 years came against Houston, which was led by quarterback Brian Hoyer.In fact, Indianapolis has won just as many playoff games at Arrowhead Stadium as the Chiefs.The letdowns have been excruciating, too. There was the year Lin Elliott missed three field goals in a 10-7 loss to the Colts. The year the Chiefs lost a shootout to the Colts in which nobody punted. The year that Reid’s team blew a 38-10 second-half lead to — well, you can guess who.Two years ago, the Chiefs lost a home playoff game to the Steelers despite holding Pittsburgh without a touchdown. Last year, they lost a home playoff game to Tennessee after blowing a 21-3 halftime lead.“We’ve been in this situation before and we’ve learned from it,” Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce vowed, “and sure enough, we’ll make sure we give these fans and this crowd and city everything we’ve got.”There are reasons to believe that will be enough this time.The Chiefs have a record-setting offense that scored at least 26 points in every game, led by the best young quarterback to take the field in years. Patrick Mahomes eclipsed 5,000 yards passing and threw for 50 touchdowns as a first-year starter, shattering just about every franchise mark in the process.Kelce and wide receiver Tyreek Hill give him plenty of options on offense, and Spencer Ware and Damien Williams have filled in admirably after the Chiefs severed ties with Kareem Hunt midway through the season.And while the Chiefs’ much-maligned defense has struggled to stop anyone, particularly in high-profile shootouts against the Rams and Patriots, they have played better of late. They rank near the top of the NFL in sacks, thanks primarily to career seasons from defensive tackle Chris Jones and linebacker Dee Ford.“We know what it’s going to take Xavier Williams Jersey ,” Mahomes said. “It’s going to take a full effort from everyone, every single day of this bye week and into next week, to the game and hopefully on. We know that you have to capitalize on every single play. You can’t let one play get you down for the next. The next play is the most important play. We are excited we get the chance to do that.”Indeed, the Chiefs are embracing their position as the No. 1 seed. They relish the fact that so many pundits are predicting Super Bowl success, even after all of those postseason flops. They know that they have a chance to scrub away the stink of all those losses, even if they refuse to reflect upon them.“I don’t get caught up in all that bad luck. You create your own deal and you go play,” Reid said. “We don’t worry about all that stuff. Just go play. Get yourself ready, go through the process and get yourself ready to go. And then what happens on that field, man against man, you are playing the game.” There’s a lot of buzz about this seventh-round pick, and it’s justified by the intelligence and toughness we see on film"Editor’s note: This is our sixth film review of the Kansas City Chiefs’ 2019 draft class. If you missed our review of second-round wide receiver Mecole Hardman, click here. If you missed our review of second-round safety Juan Thornhill, click here. Our review of third-round defensive tackle Khalen Saunders is located here. Finally, find our reviews of sixth-round cornerback Rashad Fenton and running back Darwin Thompson here and here.It’s rare for the last pick an NFL team makes in the draft to make much noise— and even more rare for that player to be an interior offensive lineman.When you also consider the player’s age (just 23), the all-star game in which he played (the East-West Shrine Game) and the general lack of hype around him — he was graded as a priority free agent by and ESPN — the chance that Kansas City Chiefs seventh-round pick Nick Allegretti of Illinois would be the subject of very much hype would seem very slim.But in post-draft media sessions, Chiefs area scouts, head coach Andy Reid and general manager Brett Veach all expressed confidence in Allegretti; it became clear the team was completely in on the pick.During Chiefs rookie minicamp over the weekend, the buzz around this relatively unknown player continued to build. Reid’s remarks about his toughness Jordan Lucas Jersey , on-field personality and play on the field have been nothing but positive; expectations of Chiefs fans are rising over this day three pick.But whether the pick is from the second or seventh round, you know the AP Laboratory was burning the midnight oil on some Nick Allegretti film.Let’s have a look.Illinois IOL Nick Allegretti6’4” | 310 lbsToughnessThe first thing that jumps out on Allegretti’s tape is the physicality and power in his play. His desire to finish every play and find as much work as possible is evident. Rarely can a player hang a lot of their potential success on a trait like being physical or tough — but if there’s a position where it can be done, it’s the interior offensive line.Here working at right guard, Allegretti comes off the line of scrimmage with a good base and pad level, which allows him to withstand the initial punch of the defensive tackle. Allegretti places his hands well and locks on with a strong grip, which allows for full lateral control. The torque and leg drive he’s able to generate are the big selling point; he simply wants to punish the defender for being across from him.Finish blocks can often be overrated, but the ability and desire to do it over and over again can’t always be taught. Allegretti ended this game against Nebraska with five pancakes —over half of them on defensive tackles.Run BlockingAllegretti’s toughness and desire to work is evident in nearly every snap — but it really shines in the run game.On this snap, Allegretti is uncovered, and has a good first step off the line of scrimmage.He opts to first squeeze the A gap between him and the center before climbing to the second level. Even on his pass-by, Allegretti makes sure to chip the defensive tackles to make sure they are out of the play, and then he immediately turns upfield to find his next victim.His change of direction may not be perfect when moving from one target to the next, but he’s very functional in framing his blocks and working into them.This is very similar to the previous play, but this one offers a better view of the second level block. As Allegretti works off the initial chip, he squares up his hips to the linebacker. Rather than lunging or chasing with his feet, he sets his base and frames the block with his hands on the initial punch. As the block moves outside his frame, Allegretti slides his feet, which allows him to stay balanced and connected.Lateral agilityIn the clips I’ve shown you so far, you can see there is some stiffness — maybe clunkiness — in Allegretti’s transitions. It’s not overly noticeable when the space around the blocks is limited and when he’s working vertical to the second level Damien Williams Jersey , but it’s something to keep an eye on when he’s working in more space. From his stance on the line of scrimmage to his missed blocks, there is a lot of ugly in this snap. But the depth of Allegretti’s set is good, and the initial footwork is something that should get cleaned up with NFL coaching.Whether it’s because he gets stuck between two potential blocks or can’t adjust on the fly, Allegretti is a little late crossing the formation.This allows the defensive end to slip inside. After missing the initial block, Allegretti is looking for work again — but never fully regains his balance to get upfield and frame the next block.While it doesn’t hinder his ability to pull around the horn, this shows how Allegretti’s lateral agility might be different from what we have seen in the play of Mitch Morse.Here we can see Allegretti making a nice quick pull and flipping his hips around the defender to seal them off; he’s able to get just about anywhere you need him to be, but he will need to make some small adjustments to help with some of that stiffness.The initial bucket step on this pull is pretty deep, and the path around the offensive tackle is a loop. Allegretti completely owns the snap by getting his hips around the defender and using that strong grip into their chest — but minimizing the depth of the step and path would allow him to get to that window a little faster.Second levelI’ve already shown you examples of Allegretti working up into the second level and landing blocks, but most have come from offensive guard and after chipping on a combo block. Let’s take a look at how he does when he’s uncovered and has a complete free release into space.On this play, I would have liked to see him lead with his play side foot on the 45 degree angle step; Allegretti consistently does a good job of squeezing next to his teammate before climbing, but the process could be sped up if he doesn’t have the small initial gather step. After that, it’s all good for Allegretti as he looks to clear the defensive tackle while working directly off the guard’s hip. Once he’s free to the second level, he identifies his target and keeps working the same angle to avoid messing up the running lanes. Rather than trying to get out in front of the linebacker to seal him off, he recognizes the linebacker has overrun and uses that to make a cutback lane.We see more excellent framing as he lines up his punch and connects first with his hands before running his legs into the contact; the subtlety of using his back side (right) hand to scoop the linebacker to ensure he can’t slip back inside is great — and as usual, once connected, Allegretti controls everything with his grip and rotational strength.RangeSome offenses really won’t ask for much lateral range from their centers — but Andy Reid’s offenses do.This is a long run from the far hash to outside the numbers while a defensive tackle sits in the back side A gap. Initially, Allegretti has to help sell the pass but also limit immediate pressure through a vacated hole.He gets tied up a fraction of a second longer than anticipated while he forklifts the defensive tackle’s arm off of him, but then he gets up on his horse and out wide. While keeping his eyes downfield Tyrann Mathieu Jersey , he takes a perfect angle framing the block — one that gives the running back a two-way go. Without knowing what is behind him, Allegretti gives the running back the option to cut off his own back side using that same inside arm scoop we saw before. He continues to run toward the sideline and lean into the block.This allows him to catch enough of the defender to throw off their balance and limit their ability to chase outside.At first, this play may not look pretty, but the small stuff— clearing the the defensive tackle’s arm, the angle outside, framing the block for both directions — shows Allegretti’s raw ability to be effective in space.Pass protectionOne spot where Allegretti will need some more experience is in his pass sets. Illinois’ offense was built around the run game and simply didn’t feature many passing opportunities.Allegretti once again exhibits excellent framing in his set, dropping and mirroring the defensive tackle. His initial punch on the tackle stalls the rush and he re-sets his base. As the tackle moves laterally, he slides his feet to mirror the rusher and gives up minimal ground.His strong core and grip allows Allegretti to latch on to interior defenders and stall power rushers. When he did get exposure to traditional pass sets, he showed the ability to keep a clean pocket and limit interior rush. He’ll need significantly more repetitions at the next level to feel comfortable with him as a pass protector, but — like the rest of his toolset — the foundation is there for Reid to work with and develop as a potential contributor going forward.Bottom LineNick Allegretti is an fascinating prospect — not only because the team is excited to get him, but also because of his play on the field; we definitely see traits and skills that could make a case for him to start early on. His understanding of blocks at any level, angles in pursuit — and his mentality — could allow him to put his foot in the door as starter competition.On the other hand, some missteps in footwork and athletic limitations may make him a better candidate to sit a year and take in some NFL coaching; he could become more efficient with his movement to maximize his athleticism.Either way, there’s reason for hope and confidence in his ability to start in the NFL. Whether it’s in year one or further down the line, Allegretti is the type of player who will get on the field during his career.
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