KANSAS CITY CHIEFS: T ERIC FISHER
PFF overall grade in 2019: 64.5
What went wrong: There really aren’t any glaring bounce-back candidates on the reigning Super Bowl champions’ roster, but one could make a case that Fisher belongs in the category. In Week 2 of the 2019 season, he played just four snaps before coming out of the game due to injury and subsequently missed the next eight games. He made his return in Week 11 against the Chargers and had the lowest-graded game of his career (29.5). From there on out, he posted his lowest regular-season PFF grade since his rookie campaign and the lowest PFF WAR of his career. Fisher already got a head start on his bounce-back in the postseason as he produced an 80.5 PFF grade in the Chiefs’ three playoff games. — PFF
Outlook for 2020: The one thing Fisher should have this season as opposed to 2019 is good health. He was limited to eight regular-season games last season. Fisher will never be the dominant tackle the Chiefs hoped for when he was the first overall pick in 2013, but it’s reasonable to expect he will play better in 2020. — Adam Teicher
The Chiefs used three wide receivers on 60% of their plays last season, per Sharp Football. Robinson grasped the majority of the No. 2 role in 2019, playing 735 snaps; Hardman played just 471.
But Hardman made the most of his opportunities, converting 26 receptions into 538 yards (20.7 per catch) and six touchdowns. He flashed the potential that turned him into a second-round pick — his scores came on plays of 42, 83, 21, 30, 63 and 48 yards.
Marcus Allen had quite the photo bomb in a pre-pandemic gathering of Pro Football Hall of Famers, topped only by his use of said photo bomb to burn his fellow Gold Jackets.
In the attached photo are quarterbacks (from left to right) Warren Moon, Dan Fouts, Bob Griese, Dan Marino, Joe Namath, Troy Aikman, Roger Staubach and Jim Kelly. Oh and way in the back, sticking his hand up to be noticed is Allen, the running back.
We got you @MarcusAllenHOF
Career Passer Rating
Marcus Allen 106.8
Dan Marino 86.4
Jim Kelly 84.4
Roger Staubach 83.4
Troy Aikman 81.6
Warren Moon 80.9
Dan Fouts 80.2
Bob Griese 77.1
Joe Namath 65.5 https://t.co/EPZ4wCMkh7
— NFL Research (@NFLResearch) August 7, 2020
BT Sport will axe Exeter Chiefs’ ‘Tomahawk Chop’ chant from their fake fan-noise at Premiership rugby matches amid controversy around the club’s branding.
The table-topping Chiefs have come under fire in recent weeks from pressure groups who have labelled their Native American branding ‘harmful’ as they view it as cultural appropriation.
Exeter decided to retire their ‘Big Chief’ mascot after a review last month, but retained their logo and name saying it was ‘highly respectful’.
However the league’s broadcaster is worried their ‘Tomahawk Chop’ chant will offend viewers, so will not feed it into their manufactured crowd reactions.
Over/under 10 wins? Over. The Chiefs won 12 regular-season games and three postseason games in 2019 and are returning 19 of 22 starters from the Super Bowl. In a season in which training camp looks extremely different, this feels like it could be a significant advantage for Kansas City.
Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, G, Kansas City Chiefs
Why he’s out: Duvernay-Tardif, 29, was the first NFL player to publicly say he won’t suit up this season. Duvernay-Tardif has been the Chiefs’ starting right guard for the past five seasons and played every offensive snap in their Super Bowl LIV win over the San Francisco 49ers. He is a medical school graduate from McGill University in Canada and had been assisting as an orderly in a long-term care facility in the Montreal area during the coronavirus pandemic. “I cannot allow myself to potentially transmit the virus in our communities simply to play the sport that I love,” he wrote on social media. “If I am to take risks, I will do it caring for patients.”
What it means: The Chiefs have plenty of candidates from whom to choose to replace Duvernay-Tardif, including free-agent additions Kelechi Osemele and Mike Remmers, returning veterans Andrew Wylie and Martinas Rankin and third-round draft pick Lucas Niang. But in Duvernay-Tardif, the Chiefs are losing a player willing to go until every whistle, and sometimes beyond. They’re also having to replace their other starting guard from Super Bowl LIV, free-agent departure Stefan Wisniewski. — Adam Teicher
Around the NFL
“I was just blown away by just the whole overall professionalism of the Patriots organization,” Newton said Friday on his introductory video conference with reporters. “… I do know I was in LA. It kind of caught me by surprise. At the same time, I’ve enjoyed this whole process.”
New York Giants cornerback Deandre Baker has been charged with four counts of robbery with a firearm, the Broward State (Florida) Attorney’s Office announced Friday in a release obtained by NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport. If Baker is convicted, the punishment comes with a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison with a maximum of life.
The charges stem from a May 13 incident in Miramar when Baker, 22, was formally charged. He was accused of stealing money and watches from four men at a house party.
“I figured that the Chargers would take a quarterback” in the NFL draft, Taylor said Friday, speaking with a group of reporters for the first time since the end of the 2019 season. “But that never necessarily changed my mindset or my attack to the year.”
With the No. 6 overall pick, the Chargers drafted Oregon quarterback Justin Herbert to replace Rivers long term, though no timeline has been set for Herbert to start.
“I was drafted in the sixth round and even that day that I got drafted, I always had the mindset to prepare like a starter,” said Taylor, who is entering his 10th NFL season. “So, regardless of the circumstances, that’s how I stay mentally in it and that’s how I prepare myself mentally.”
Indianapolis Colts · CB
Chris Ballard’s investment in a gritty cover corner with rock-solid skills should pay huge dividends in 2020. The ultra-competitive Temple product settled in as a CB1 near the end of last season, exhibiting a resilient mentality after some midseason struggles. Ya-Sin bounced back from a pair of rough outings against the Texans and Broncos to solidify his spot on the island as a promising cover corner. His steady improvement should encourage Matt Eberflus to lock him up in one-on-one matchups against the top receivers in the AFC South. With more experience and seasoning, Ya-Sin should thrive as the Colts’ CB1 on a unit poised to climb the charts this season.
Derrius Guice’s NFL career has been marred by a series of injuries(3x on IR in 2 seasons), and now he has a different kind of problem that could keep him off the field. The Washington Post is reporting that Guice has been arrested on domestic violence charges, including one count of strangulation, a felony. He was also charged with three counts of assault and battery and one count of destruction of property.
In case you missed it at Arrowhead Pride
Rashad Fenton might be the frontrunner to start opposite Ward in Week 1.
Fenton saw some playing time late in the year — including the Super Bowl. His best work has been when he’s been given the opportunity to play outside. There isn’t a ton of experience in this group, but Fenton got the majority of his in the most important games of the season at the end of the year.
If he can continue to build off of the end of last year he could use the opportunity early in 2020 and not look back.
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