View Full Version : Is Chiefs' aggressive defense too aggressive?

11-18-2004, 02:59 PM
Sorry if this has already been posted.

Link (http://www.thekansan.com/stories/111804/spo_1118040027.shtml)

By Rick Dean
Morris News Service

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Though Dick Vermeil says the Chiefs are planning no personnel changes to a defense ranked 28th in scoring and 26th in yards allowed, he may consider changing the aggressive, hands-on style of pass defense implemented this year by Gunther Cunningham.

Kansas City's pass defense is giving up more big plays -- defined as gains of 20 or more yards -- after nine games in this year's 3-6 season than at the same point in a 9-0 campaign last year. The Chiefs have been burned by 36 pass plays of 20-plus this season compared to 26 a year ago.

And while it's true that Peyton Manning and the Colts accounted for 11 of those plays in Kansas City's 45-35 shootout victory, not every quarterback to face the Chiefs this year is historically that prolific. Not until facing Kansas City, that is. Tampa Bay's Brian Griese, a third-string QB at the beginning of the season, had six 20-plus passes. Houston's David Carr had five, with three going for 35-plus.

Also up this year is the number of Kansas City's penalties -- 73 already this season, compared to 79 in all of 2003. The defense has contributed its share to the increase, and the new league emphasis on illegal contact is a factor. Especially in a season when the Chiefs are attempting more defender-receiver contact.

Big plays and big drive-sustaining penalties probably have something in common, Vermeil believes.

"When you play a more aggressive man-to-man cover scheme, you have more opportunities to be beaten one-on-one," he said.

"We're also in press coverage and playing with our hands. (Against New Orleans) a couple of times, we jammed the receiver and the guy ducks down and it gets hit in his face mask. Penalty. One time it happened on a running play 25 yards away from the ball!" The big plays take away from the positive improvements the Chiefs have made in Cunningham's return as defensive coordinator.

"We're giving up a lower percentage of passes completed against us, and have a better third-down defense," Vermeil noted. "But, we're having trouble on the earlier downs with the big plays.

"We've got to solve those problems or eventually say we've got to play less aggressive, play more zone and forsake something else."

A case in point. Against New Orleans, Kansas City's defense held the Saints to 101 yards on 24 pass attempts, 12 of them completions. Yet on just three big plays, all to Joe Horn, KC got burned for 139 yards, 42 coming on the game-winning touchdown when Horn got open between two safeties playing deep zones with 5:28 remaining.

No way that should happen against that kind of defense. But safety Jerome Woods, playing the stop-the-run-first defense Cunningham has been preaching all year, bit on a play-action fake to Deuce McAllister, who'd been running at will against the Chiefs. By the time Woods realized his mistake, Horn was flying past him at full speed.

Cunningham's more aggressive style also hasn't produced in takeaways (10 this year, down from 29 at this point last year) or in stopping 10-yard plus running plays (32, about the same as a year ago). Total yards allowed in both seasons is comparable -- awful in both -- while scoring defense has deteriorated to 26 points a game. Kansas City was giving up only 17 a game after nine outings in 2003.

And for all the talk about attacking, Kansas City's sack count (22) remains on a par with last year.

Web posted on 11/18/2004
Story link: http://thekansan.com/stories/111804/spo_1118040027.shtml

11-18-2004, 03:02 PM
Ive seen them give up big pass plays while rushing 3 and big rushing plays with 5 dlinemen.

11-18-2004, 03:15 PM
Pick your poision, big play scores or big drive scores ?

Still 6 - 7 points ......

11-18-2004, 03:15 PM
not when you have a good secondary. Looks easy then.

11-18-2004, 03:36 PM
Gun said we would stop the run and we have improved in that respect with the exception of the first two games of the season when our front 7 wasn't in tune with the new scheme. We have given up some rushing yards since then but not like last year. I think this clarifies what we need to do on D. Improve the secondary! Guns scheme requires one superior CB and although Warfield started the season playing his best ball ever he's backslid the last three weeks. A superior CB and a young fast FS with no fear would make our D much better.

PhilFree :arrow:

11-18-2004, 04:02 PM
Too aggressive? I think we are still too soft in a lot of ways - for example our pass rush, DB play and tackling in general. If they are really planning on standing pat again next year on D we might as write off next year too.