Tough to evaluate the Bulldogs, but not the Chiefs

By Steve Sell
September 08, 2014

Monday’s musings...

• REVIEWING THE BULLDOGS — Say what you want, but having a week less to prepare for Bacone College was a serious drawback for McPherson College’s football Bulldogs Saturday, not to mention the Warriors had already played a game, beating a nationally ranked team no less.

Yet, the Bulldogs’ defense kept them in the game while waiting for their offense to catch up. But it never did and the end result was a 24-7 loss, though the score is quite misleading since it was a 10-7 game with just over 4 minutes to go and the Warriors’ last score was on a pick six after a desperation pass in the last minute.

The good, the bad and the ugly from Saturday:

• The Good •

 — Linebacker Jimmy Wilson was a beast. He seemingly made every tackle in the first half and showed why he’ll be a serious contender for KCAC first-team honors. Three of his tackles were for lost yardage and he plays with a high motor. No wonder the Warriors didn’t run many plays his way the second half.

 — The defense overall. The final stats, like the final score, were misleading. But the defense was sensational until it simply wore out under the strain of carrying the offense.

• The Bad •

— The long trip. Thankfully the team went down on Friday. I can tell from you driving to Muskogee all in one day, it was no picnic. About 9 hours when all was said and done.

— The atmosphere. Playing in a stadium that seats about 7,000 and filled to about 10 percent capacity gave it the feel of a sandlot game.

• The Ugly •

— The offense. The line did a relatively good job, but lack of practice time led to a breakdown in execution. Mac did not reach 200 yards of total offense and I’m not sure who the playmakers are going to be. There’s not a lot of speed other than Ste’fon Walker, who had very few balls thrown his way.

• The Analysis • 

It’s hard to gauge this team after one game, and obviously not playing on a level field because of the practice time and game-experience differential. The defense is light-years ahead of the offense and that needs to balance out. Mac has another high-profile opponent on the road this week when it plays at MidAmerica Nazarene, but then opens the KCAC schedule with games against Bethel and Kansas Wesleyan, which were picked last and next-to-last, respectively, in the KCAC.

• KAZOR IN THE HOUSE — Former McPherson College head football coach Steve Kazor sat in the booth next to us Saturday night in Muskogee.

Kazor, who was an assistant coach with the NFL’s Chicago Bears at one time before coming to Mac, now scouts for the St. Louis Rams. He was on hand to take a look at receiver David Chapman of Bacone, who at times looked like a man among boys with six catches for 114 yards and a touchdown.

Kazor was 12-8 in his two years at Mac, including a 7-3 season in 1999. His teams were known for their explosive offenses, led by quarterback Greg Mendez, and receivers Tony Rael and Matt Holtry.

Kazor said he enjoyed his time at Mac, as the Bulldogs were in the upper half of the KCAC. He left the Bulldogs to coach at Wayne State University in Michigan, where he guided the team for four seasons. He left there for College of DuPage for a short time, spent a year with the Ottawa Regegades of the CFL and has been a scout for the Rams since 2007.

Of course his highlight was 10 years with the Bears and was on staff when they won the Super Bowl during the infamous “Super Bowl Shuffle” days of Jim McMahon and William “The Refrigerator” Perry.

The 64-year-old Kazor was always a fascinating guy and a real people person. I loved his stories from his NFL days and it seemed like he knew everybody associated with the game. Given his contacts, you wonder what kind of teams he would have had at Mac had he put down roots. 

• CHIEFS WOEFUL — It took one game for the air to go out of the Kansas City Chiefs’ football season.

Where do you start after such a deplorable stinker?

Offense — beyond horrible. 

Defense — Horrible.

Special teams — how could the Chiefs ever cut Ryan Succop for a kicker who may not last a quarter of the season?

In a nutshell, this had all the reek of the 2012 season when the Chiefs were 2-14 and earned the overall No. 1 pick in the NFL draft, which they bungled on Eric Fisher, who has “BUST” written all over him. The Chiefs are trying to justify that pick by throwing him in at left tackle, but I don’t ever see him amounting to anything but a pedestrian player who is terribly overpaid.

Worst of all, the Chiefs lost defensive heartbeat Derrick Johnson for the season with a ruptured Achilles. And they lost defensive end Mike DeVito, ironicially, to the same injury. You normally hear about torn ACLs and MCLs, but very seldom Achilles ruptures. Yet, the Chiefs will have to go the rest of the way without these two experienced players.

Johnson has been a pro’s pro throughout his Chiefs career, not to mention he’s been durable and the defensive signal-caller. There’s simply no depth on this team as the salary cap has wrecked its progress and his replacement will be far inferior.

I just hope Alex Smith can make it through the season healthy. He’s working behind arguably the worst offensive line in football, not to mention throwing to perhaps the worst collection of receivers in the NFL. The Chiefs on Sunday were without top receiver Dwayne Bowe, who was suspended for smoking some weed. Nice.

Next up is the Denver Broncos. Peyton Manning may be able to call it a day at halftime.