View Full Version : Status quo for defense

11-17-2004, 02:25 AM
The latest NFL rankings show the Kansas City defense ranks 26th in yardage allowed per game (352.3) and 28th in points allowed (26.4). The Chiefs also rank dead last in first-down defense, allowing a whopping 6.9 yards per first-down play.

As poorly as the defense has performed, however, no starters are in immediate danger of losing their jobs, Chiefs coach Dick Vermeil said.

So far this season, only cornerback Dexter McCleon has been removed from the lineup after a poor performance. McCleon was beaten repeatedly in a 22-16 loss Oct. 17 at Jacksonville and was replaced by William Bartee the next week against Atlanta.

McCleon played in the nickel against the Falcons but has been out ever since with a hamstring injury. He is expected to return Monday night against the New England Patriots and play in the nickel.

Vonnie Holliday, who began the season as a starter at right defensive end, has lost snaps to veteran John Browning and rookie Jared Allen, but no other shakeups are expected.

The reason, Vermeil said, is that the Chiefs don't have anyone better to replace starters with.

“I would like to believe that since minicamps, (off-season practices), training camp and games, we know who our best football players are,” Vermeil said. “It would be lovely to plug in this All-Pro or that All-Pro. He'll come in and solve all these problems for us. It's our job as coaches and our job as players to solve the problems as we go along.”

Vermeil last week came as close as he ever has to publicly calling out players by suggesting that starting safeties Jerome Woods and Greg Wesley could be pulled for backups Shaunard Harts and Willie Pile if their performance doesn't improve.

Yet Wesley and Woods — especially Woods — had another rough game Sunday at New Orleans. The Saints' second touchdown — a 13-yard Deuce McAllister burst off left tackle — was set up by a 57-yard pass from Aaron Brooks to Joe Horn on which Woods was in his proper zone but took a bad angle. He misplayed a wobbly Brooks pass and lost a chance at his first interception of the season.

Horn's 42-yard, game-winning touchdown reception came on a play in which Wesley and Woods were playing a two-deep zone, a coverage specifically designed to prevent a wide receiver from getting down the middle of the field on a deep post pattern. Yet that's exactly what Horn was able to do.

Woods, who made his first Pro Bowl appearance last season, took the blame for that play after the game, saying he bit on a play-action fake.

“We did not get to the deep middle a couple of times,” Vermeil said of his safeties' performance Sunday. “Sometimes we were there and did not make the play. Another time we took a bite on a play-action pass and it hurt us. Correctable things. Focus things. Sometimes trying too hard. Sometimes you can try too hard, you're going to make every play rather than your play first and help someone else second.”

The front four is playing the run better this season than last, but the defensive linemen have combined to produce only 14.5 sacks. Allen is tied with linebacker Scott Fujita for the team lead with four. The Broncos, Jaguars and Raiders are the only NFL teams whose sack leader has produced fewer than four sacks.

The linebackers have continually been beaten in pass coverage, haven't been able to get to the quarterback when asked to blitz and have struggled to get off of blocks in the running game.

That McAllister 13-yard touchdown, for instance, came on a play in which defensive coordinator Gunther Cunningham had seven men on the line of scrimmage, including Fujita, and two linebackers — Kawika Mitchell and Quinton Caver — within 5 yards of the line of scrimmage.

Again, it was a play where the Chiefs were in the ideal defense for stopping a play called by the Saints, yet McAllister was untouched going into the end zone because the defensive linemen were controlled at the point of attack. Fujita, Mitchell and Caver couldn't get off blocks or took bad angles to the ball.

It's only fair to point out that the Chiefs have lost several contributors to injury, including middle linebacker Mike Maslowski and weak-side linebacker Shawn Barber. But Monday's opponent, the Patriots, have also been hit hard by defensive injuries, yet rank fourth in scoring defense and have an 8-1 record.

Vermeil said he and his coaching staff have identified problem areas and believe any major improvement this season will have to come with the players currently in the lineup.

“You do it wrong that Sunday, you hope you learned enough from that Sunday to the next Sunday that you are closer to doing it right,” Vermeil said. “Part of that is defined by the word patience. You're as patient as you can possibly be. Then you can experiment if you run out of patience. But if you start coaching hoping somebody's going to do it well, it gets scary.”

To reach Ivan Carter, Chiefs

reporter for The Star, call

(816) 234-4744 or send e-mail

In other words we have what we have and its gonna suck for the rest of the year. I say bench some people and send a message. Especially in the secondary.

Taco John
11-17-2004, 02:29 AM
my deepest sympathies.

11-17-2004, 04:57 AM
The reason, Vermeil said, is that the Chiefs don't have anyone better to replace starters with.

It's time to bench Welbourn on offense. We "NEED" that 3rd round pick. Probably going to be a high 3rd round pick at that.

11-17-2004, 06:18 AM
We should have benched or dropped most of these punks after the 2002 season. That will prove to be Vermeil's biggest mistake ever. He never cleaned house after that 2002 season.

11-17-2004, 08:29 AM
If you don't bench players that are playing poorly week in and week out you send them the message that it's alright to be a screw up because they will still be the starter next week. I could care less if the back ups are worse then the starters if you give them playing time they could very well turn heads. These are the types of decisions that make me want Vermeil to leave. Prove me wrong Vermeil, lets see some good coaching instead of this piss poor coaching as of late. (Vermeil) Lately your coaching has been as bad as Jerome Woods pass and run defense.

11-17-2004, 08:39 AM
Sorry 2bikemike. I didn't see your thread when I started mine. I searched the front page and didn't see anything so i went ahead and posted. Needless to say this news pissed me off royally.

the Talking Can
11-17-2004, 08:39 AM
guess what, it was the players....GR, Gunther, etc...doesn't matter when every single player on your defense is a loser

11-17-2004, 08:46 AM
guess what, it was the players....GR, Gunther, etc...doesn't matter when every single player on your defense is a loser
No doubt. And to think this whole time I actually stuck up for the players. I almost feel bad for all the sh*t I talked about Robinson. Almost.

11-17-2004, 09:02 AM
No doubt. And to think this whole time I actually stuck up for the players. I almost feel bad for all the sh*t I talked about Robinson. Almost.

Same here. It's been hard to admit, but the players were really the biggest problem all along. I still think Robinson's scheme sucked, but with some better athletes, it probably wouldn't have been as bad.

Face it Chiefs fans, for whatever reason, we are just not a good team this season. Good teams don't penalize themselves out of wins, good teams don't allow bad teams to come back to life, good teams outscore their opponents in the 4th quarter.

We are not a good team this year. I've had to say it over and over to myself to let it sink in. The Defense sucks very bad, but the offense kills itself with penalties and bonehead turnovers. Yeah, we have some injuries, but good teams overcome that.

We are not a good team. This season anyway... :mad: