Coach's Corner: Tim Crone 5/14
By Tim Crone former Blue Springs Activities Director
The 2012 NFL draft is about a month old and many Kansas City fans are unhappy with the team’s number one choice, Dontari Poe. Most NFL pundits have rated the Chiefs’ total draft no higher than a “C.”
Scott Pioli and the boys were jumped on quickly by fans who seem to believe that once again the draft has produced a player who looks like Tarzan but plays like Jane. I will withhold judgment until we actually see Coach Romeo Crennel in action – to see if he will be able to make a player out of an athlete with tremendous ability.
Poe played in a very weak Memphis program that was a member of a very lack luster USA conference. Coach Crennel might very well be the best defensive line coach in the NFL. His track record speaks for itself as defensive coordinator for three New England championship teams.
He CAN coach defense and particularly defensive linemen. Dontari has huge ability. Who knows? When he’s coached up, the sky may be the limit. The most obvious hole the Chiefs needed to fill was nose tackle. They need a guy that can give them a big push up the middle and help stop the run game in a two gap area. If Poe can fill the bill, the team’s defense could be a bunch of salty dogs.
The remainder of the draft picks also made sense. Jeff Allen and Donald Stephenson are good young offensive line backups and future starter prospects. The quick and speedy inside receiver and kick returner, Devon Wylie along with the much needed backup safety, DeQuan Menzie, from a strong Alabama program filled needs and provided much-needed depth.
The final three picks in a draft are always a turkey shoot but Cyrus Gray, Jerome Long and Junior Hemingway may surprise the media gurus. If Cyrus Gray is able to make the team as a rookie and is capable of playing on specialty teams, he might be able to help at the running back position.
Barring injuries, the Chiefs have a chance to be a good football team. Whether or not you like Scott Pioli, he has brought in much more talent than the team had four years ago. The key to success, injuries set aside, is the performance by Matt Cassel and his ability to become a quality NFL quarterback. That question mark will sit squarely on Scott Pioli and will set the stage for future judgment.
It was great fun to see the fourth former Blue Springs High School football player to be drafted in the NFL. Donald Stephenson was preceded by Lonnie Palelei, Ladell Betts and Brandon Lloyd. All three of the three previous players had at least a seven year career in the league. Betts was a 1,000-yard back and Lloyd (still playing for the Patriots) made All-Pro one year. Donald is a good kid and hopefully he will be another ex-Wildcat with a great career in the NFL.
My quote of the day is from Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, NBA Hall of Fame player, “One man can be a crucial ingredient on a team, but one man cannot make a team.”
Tim Crone is the former Head Football Coach and Activities Director at Blue Springs High School.
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