Around The Web: Ryan’s Mixed Bag, Defensive Progress, Vick’s Return

With many starting spots still yet to be determined, Sean Ryan made his case to be the first tight end to line up next Sunday in Baltimore.  Though as Bob Gretz notes, it wasn’t all positive for Ryan last night in St. Louis.SeanRyanRamsGame

Ryan and starting QB Brodie Croyle seemed in synch in the first quarter as they combined on two completions for a total of 60 yards.  The long play came when Ryan got between areas in the Rams zone coverage and Croyle him in stride and he was off.

“I saw the seam open up and Brodie saw it too and he put it right where it needed to be,” said Ryan.  “I didn’t think it was going to be that wide open.  I got to the 50 and I was like ‘oh oh, I don’t have enough speed to take this all the way’.”

Rather than enjoy his long play, Ryan was kicking himself for the holding penalty that cost the Chiefs a touchdown.  After his catch and Johnson’s 41-yard run, the Chiefs ran a sweep right with Savage and he reached the end zone.  But that’s when the hanky came out and the offense moved back 10 yards.

“Obviously penalties in the red zone kill you.  I owe Dantrell on that one.”

That penalty was a killer, but I think Ryan has the starting job locked down.  To say that Brad Cottam has been a disappointment during the preseason wouldn’t do his lack of progress justice.  Ryan hasn’t been blow-you-away good, but who on the offense has?  Welcome to Kansas City, Sean.

The Chiefs offense may have been stuck in neutral all preseason long, but the defense has clearly made a lot of progress.  Enough progress that Todd Haley, not one to hand out compliments often, was happy to praise the unit following Kansas City’s 17-9 loss to the Rams.

“I thought the defense was definitely a bright spot.  They’ve continued to make progress, and tonight they gave us a chance to win.  If they can consistently give us a chance to stay in games … I’m encouraged with what the defense has done.  Individuals that have had to make a pretty good transition, a pretty steep transition, have shown consistent progress.”

During their time, the Chiefs’ defensive starters weren’t dominant.  They forced the Rams to go three plays and punt on St. Louis’ opening possession.  That series started with the blitzing Mays sacking quarterback Kyle Boller for a 12-yard loss.

The Rams got a couple of first downs on their next possession, but Hali ended it by sacking Boller for a 6-yard loss on third down.

Safeties Jon McGraw and Mike Brown, starting for the injured Jarrad Page and Bernard Pollard, were the stars on the third and final series for the KC defense.  McGraw broke up two passes and Brown one as the Chiefs forced the Rams to punt for the third time.

The thing that impressed me about McGraw was how hard he hit.  Watching him play last year with the Chiefs I always saw him as a nice little player, but certainly not a big hitter.  Last night he showed a good nose for the ball and packed quite a thump.

Todd Haley and Clancy Pendergast have a tough decision on their hands.  Pollard and Page — we can assume — will be the starters.  Then you have DaJuan Morgan, Mike Brown and McGraw fighting for what will most likely only be 2 spots.  Before yesterday’s game the smart money was on McGraw making the cut for his special teams work and Brown getting the nod over Morgan because he hadn’t been impressive in camp due to an early injury.  But Morgan played well last night.  Well enough, I think, to make the powers that be think about keeping five safeties on the roster.

The Kansas City Chiefs difficult schedule got a little harder when NFL commissioner Roger Goodell ruled Eagles QB Michael Vick will be eligible to play starting with the Chiefs-Eagles game on Sept. 27th.

Goodell and Vick met Thursday morning for 45 to 50 minutes in New Jersey to discuss when Vick might be reinstated.  After that, Goodell said, he consulted with Vick’s mentor, former Indianapolis Colts coach Tony Dungy, for another 45 minutes.  “Hopefully we can have a success story here, which would be good for society in general,” Goodell said.  “He’s realistic about the challenges ahead.  And anxious to play football.”

Well, good thing the Chiefs are up on their conditioning, because they’ll have to do plenty of running around to keep up with Vick.  A lot of people are dismissing the impact Vick will have this season.  I’m not one of them.

If he were coming back as a starting quarterback then I would say his learning curve would be too steep.  But playing in the wild cat or lined up as a wide receiver, you can bet he’ll cause trouble any time he gets to work in space.

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