As the Chiefs transition to the 3-4 defense, the key to having success this season will be the performance of the nose tackle. Bob Gretz breaks down the candidates for the position and talks about Todd Haley picking his nose (tackle).
With pre-season game No. 3 just a day away, the Chiefs are still searching for the right combination at nose tackle in their new 3-4 defense. Ron Edwards, Tank Tyler and Derek Lokey have played the position and so far; their consistency and their production has been found wanting. And that comes from the head coach.
“We are still searching. That’s why we were rotating last game and we’ll probably be in a similar mode this week in trying to get one or a couple of those guys to step up and show they want the job… I think all three of the guys have the ability to do it, it’s just a matter of getting it done on a consistent basis.”
There’s no question that Edwards and Tyler are big enough. Edwards is listed at 6-3, 315 pounds and Tyler is 6-2, 305 pounds. Lokey is on the small side at 6-1, 285 pounds.
But Edwards is one of the quietest players on the Chiefs roster and has never shown much in the way of nastiness on the field. Tyler is not always quiet, but he’s certainly not running around and playing like a nasty nose tackle.
“I’m waiting to see Tank kind of … the thing I remember about Tank when he was coming out was just the nastiness that he played with,” said Haley. “I mean he was a bad dude and you didn’t want to mess around with him. So, I’m waiting to see a little more of that.”
Is Tank too nice these days?
“I don’t think I play nice,” Tyler said. “I play as hard and intense as I need to play and I’ve got a lot to give. I guess if he (Haley) thinks I should be tougher, I’d better be tougher. Down in the trenches you have to have some meanness and a nasty streak in you to hit another man in the mouth on every play … I can turn it up 100 notches. I can always get better. I want to continue to get better every day.”
Right now, Todd Haley just wants somebody to stand up and claim the job.
So pick your nose… Edwards, Tyler or Lokey?
I’ll hedge my bets by saying Edwards gets the nod out of the gate with Tyler taking over the starting job as the season goes along. It would be great to see Lokey come out of nowhere to be a factor for the defense, but I don’t see that happening.
There has been plenty of talk surrounding the Chiefs backup quarterback spot of late, with rumors that Tyler Thigpen could be traded to the Jaguars. But don’t tell that to Brodie Croyle. He told the Kansas City Star’s Adam Teicher he has anxiety over whether he will even make the roster.
“I honestly have no clue. I feel pretty good about the camp I’ve had. But they’ve made it abundantly clear nobody is safe.”
Haley wouldn’t disclose the quarterback rotation for Saturday night’s game other than to say Matt Cassel would start and play into the third quarter. Judging from Thursday’s practice, Tyler Thigpen will replace Cassel and be followed by Matt Gutierrez.
Cassel, Thigpen and Gutierrez all took snaps during the offensive portion of practice. Croyle worked only with the scout team.
Unless all the Thigpen trade smoke is just that, then it appears Croyle will be the team’s backup quarterback behind Cassel.
Speaking of Thigpen, could he be a fit for the New York Giants? Jeremy Fuchs at National Sports Review seems to think so.
This is not a slight against Eli Manning. He’s the QB now and in the future. It’s more of a slight towards the backups. David Carr has struggled in training camp and in the preseason. Andre’ Woodson is an absolute disaster at QB. If Manning goes down, Carr is not a suitable replacement. That’s why they should go after Thigpen.
Last year, the Giants risked it with Carr as the only backup, and got lucky. Manning didn’t get hurt, so Carr never had to play. I wouldn’t want to take that risk again. That’s why the Giants should trade for Tyler Thigpen
There are a lot of places I could see Thigpen landing, but New York isn’t one of them.
Carr actually looked good last season behind Manning, so you don’t take a bad camp and push him to the side. And as I’ve said before you need a backup that you know can take a beating. There hasn’t been a quarterback in history that was beat around more than Carr in Houston.
The biggest reason he wouldn’t fly in New York is because you definitely need a strong arm to play in the Meadowlands. I’m the biggest Thigpen fan around, but if you thought his throws looked ugly in Arrowhead last season, they would be ten times worse in Jersey.