We are going to mock today.
No, there will not be a mock draft. If there’s one thing you won’t see from this site any time in this century it’s a mock draft.
No, I’m going to break new ground here. I’m going to do a mock Chiefs schedule for the 2009 regular season.
The NFL will release its full schedule on Tuesday evening, turning it into a television show. Nobody can turn an event with no action (NFL Draft) into a TV extravaganza like the folks at the NFL league office.
Much as the Draft 10 days from now, we know some particulars about the schedule for each team. For instance, we know the teams they will play at home and on the road. In some cases because of conflicts with other tenants or nearby stadiums, we know when a team may be at home and when it would have to be on the road. We also have history to evaluate and analyze, although how the league cobbles together the schedule each year remains one of the great sports mysteries.
But there’s enough information to put together a mock schedule, certainly as much info as most people have to create a mock draft.
Let me address the mock drafts before I bring you the first mock schedule in web history.
Listen, I’ve done mock drafts before and quite frankly, I think they are a waste of space and bytes in newspapers, magazines and the Internet. For fans, I think a mock draft is fine. If a bunch of buddies or fans want to sit around and play GM or personnel director and try to divine just who will be available to a favorite team, that’s cool.
Otherwise, let me give you one tip: there’s only one mock draft you should pay attention to and that’s the one that Rick Gosselin posts at the Dallas Morning News on Saturday morning, April 25th. There’s not a person in the media who prepares for the draft more than Goose and that includes some of the guys that are running their mouths on TV and other so called draft gurus. He has the contacts, he has the information and most of all Goose has the trust of many personnel people in the NFL. There are folks out there who chart these things and he’s annually been one of the guys who finished with the best percentage of correct picks.
Now back to the mock schedule. I’ve put all the information into the Univac-1102 and after having to reboot several times, here’s what my calculations have produced as a guess. And remember, this is only a guess; please no wagering.
And one more time for those who are not paying attention: THIS IS NOT THE ACTUAL SCHEDULE.
2009 CHIEFS MOCK SCHEDULE
Sept. 13 Home Denver Noon
In the 50th season for the original eight American Football League teams, we already know that San Diego and Oakland will play the first week and Buffalo against New England. The prediction here is that the league makes it a full sweep, with the Dolphins facing the Jets and the Chiefs and Broncos going head-to-head.
Sept. 20 Home N.Y. Giants Noon
The last two times the Giants have come to Arrowhead for games (1995-2001) they played in the second week of the season. I think the league repeats that, sending Eli Manning and the boys.
Sept. 27 Away Washington Noon
History will again repeat itself; the last two times the Chiefs went on the road to play the Redskins (1983 and 2001) it was the third week of the season, in September.
Oct. 4 Home Dallas Noon
The much ballyhooed meeting between the two teams that began their lives in Dallas back in 1960 will go down on this day. Iowa State and K-State play on Oct. 3. History would show the Chiefs will play this week at home, because it’s the same weekend as the NASCAR race at the Kansas Speedway.
Oct. 11 Away Philadelphia Noon
Although these teams have been in the same league since 1970, this will be only the second visit by the Chiefs to the City of Brotherly Love. I think it will come early.
Oct. 18 BYE WEEK
Why now? Why not! It has to come sometime. Could flip and flop with that Oct. 4 game with Dallas.
Oct. 25 Home Oakland Noon
I think the NFL is going to try to give the Chiefs some early games that will sell some tickets, and I think that will include traditional rival the Raiders.
Nov. 1 Away Denver 3:05 p.m.
The league will give the Chiefs three in a row against their AFC West mates.
Nov. 8 Home San Diego Noon
The early part of the schedule will favor the Chiefs, as this will be fifth home game in the first half of the year.
Nov. 15 Away Baltimore Noon
The Chiefs get their first up close and personal look at Joe Flacco right here.
Nov. 22 Home Pittsburgh Noon
The defending champions will role in and give the Chiefs their last hope for a sellout in the ‘09 season.
Nov. 29 Away Cincinnati Noon
The league sometimes likes to string together opponents on a schedule with something in common, so this will be the third week in a row in the AFC North for the Chiefs.
Dec. 6 Home Buffalo Noon
The T.O. circus rolls into town for another game in the throwback uniforms.
Dec. 13 Away San Diego 3:05 p.m.
Every year, at least one team gets slapped with a three-game road trip. The Chiefs haven’t had one since the 2000 season. I predict the league hits them this year, starting with this game.
Dec. 20 Away Cincinnati Noon
This could be Jacksonville or Baltimore as well.
Dec. 27 Away Oakland 3:05 p.m.
The wrap up of the long road trip means another trip to the left coast.
Jan. 3 Home Cleveland Noon
The league isn’t going to give the Chiefs a big opponent to finish a season that figures to end with this game, i.e. no playoffs. Thus, the Browns will be in the same boat as the Chiefs. It figures to be a few degrees warmer at Arrowhead than on the shores of Lake Erie.
There you have it. So what are my chances of being correct? Should I hit two of the 16 games that would be an upset. Anything more than that and I’m dumping this website gig and heading to Vegas baby!
We will have complete schedule coverage later Tuesday and early Wednesday.
FRANKLIN DEPARTURE COMES OUT OF LEFT FIELD
As the Chiefs made the signing of Zach Thomas official on Monday, they added one line on the bottom of their publicity release:
The Chiefs also waived WR Will Franklin on Monday. Franklin played in 13 games (one start) with the Chiefs in 2008.
Franklin becomes the highest choice from the 2008 NFL Draft to be released by the team that drafted him. He was the 105th player selected; the 104 ahead of him remain employed by the teams that grabbed them.
That Franklin did not make it with the Chiefs was not a surprise; that the decision came this quickly, before the team has even had a mini-camp indicates there may be something more to this story than is currently public.
Franklin was the weakest of the first eight picks in last year’s draft class. That was evident by his inability to get on the field last year and make any sort of contribution. A late pre-season injury certainly slowed the start of his rookie season, but as Chiefs coaches kept waiting for him to step forward, he never did.
Maybe more than his mere seven catches, what stood out was the fact that Franklin was not credited with a single special teams tackle last year. As one of the last wide receivers on the roster, Franklin needed to have a presence in the kicking game. Since he was not a return man, that needed to come in other areas and there’s little to show for his efforts.
He was also slow in picking up the offense, due in part to the style of routes utilized by Missouri in its offense. The Tigers receivers don’t so much as run routes, but run to open areas. Thus, they are not accomplished route runners. It’s one of the few knocks out there this year on Jeremy Maclin. Teams will ignore that however, in light of Maclin’s speed and quickness. Franklin had trouble making the transition.
But again, there was no known timetable or deadline to make this move with Franklin. The Chiefs currently list 67 players on their roster, and that’s 13 under the league maximum of 80 players. So unless they’ve got more than a dozen players under wraps, trimming Franklin at this time was not based on procedure or rules.
MOVEMENT & SIGNINGS AROUND THE NFL
BUCCANEERS – signed QB Byron Leftwich (Pittsburgh).
GIANTS – restricted free agent CB Kevin Dockery signed his tender offer.
SAY HAPPY BIRTHDAY …
Celebrating his 25th birthday today is Chiefs QB Tyler Thigpen. Born on April 14, 1984 in Winnsboro, South Carolina, Thigpen came into the league as a seventh-round draft choice of the Minnesota Vikings in 2007 out of Coastal Carolina. Claimed on waivers by the Chiefs in September of ‘07, he’s now played 15 games over the last two seasons, throwing for 2,649 yards with 18 TDs and 13 INTs. He’s also run for 386 yards on 62 carries and caught one pass for 37 yards and a touchdown.
Born on April 14, 1962 in Cherokee, Iowa was punter Kelly Goodburn. He spent seven seasons in the NFL, including his first four with the Chiefs (1987-90). Goodburn punted in 48 games for the team, averaging 40.2 yards per punt. He finished his career with three seasons with the Redskins.
And born on April 14, 1939 in Levelland, Texas was WR/RB Frank Jackson. He joined the Chiefs as a 19th-round selection in the 1961 AFL Draft out of SMU. In five seasons with the team (1961-65), Jackson played in 70 games. He caught 163 passes for 2,516 yards and 21 TDs and ran 118 times for 720 yards and seven TDs. Jackson averaged 10.2 yards per punt return and 26.8 yards per kickoff return. He left the Chiefs in 1966 when he was selected by Miami in the AFL Expansion Draft and finished his career with the Dolphins.