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tk13
11-28-2004, 01:14 AM
Plus a rumor about a possible brawl during practice last week...

http://www.kansascity.com/mld/kansascity/sports/football/nfl/kansas_city_chiefs/10285715.htm

Green knows at this stage, Chiefs play for jobs

By IVAN CARTER

The Kansas City Star


When the 7-3 Chargers and 3-7 Chiefs take the field today, Drew Brees will be playing for a division title, playoff positioning and his future as a San Diego Charger.

Trent Green, on the other hand, knows that for the Chiefs, the playoffs are a pipe dream. Unlike Brees, who will be a free agent after the season, Green's future is secure.

Green will be playing for something far less gratifying but nonetheless critical: pride. In some of the most frank comments made during his three seasons as Chiefs quarterback and team leader, Green laid out reasons why the Chiefs have something at stake today.

“Number one is your job,” Green said. “Early in the year, you're continually playing for your job, but you're trying to make the playoffs and win and build up in terms of the team's concerns. Right now, when things are going bad the way they are, people are looking … guys are playing for their livelihood. If we continue to struggle the way we have over the next six games, there's no choice in the off-season: Something's going to happen.”

Green's comments are interesting considering that the Chargers made just such a decision following a disastrous 4-12 finish last season. Brees, who was selected in the second round of the 2001 draft, bombed, throwing 15 interceptions and posting a passer rating of 67.5. Brees hit a low point during an ugly week-seven loss to the Dolphins on “Monday Night Football.” Brees was intercepted three times, sacked six times, and the Chargers lost 26-10. Brees was benched in favor of veteran Doug Flutie, and the Chargers decided to spend their first-round draft choice, and $41 million, on North Carolina State quarterback Philip Rivers.

But a funny thing happened on the way to the Philip Rivers era: Brees began playing like a Pro Bowler. He enters today's game with a passer rating of 105.6, ranking him behind only Peyton Manning and Daunte Culpepper. He's thrown 19 touchdown passes against only three interceptions, he's been sacked just 11 times, and he's the AFC's second-ranked fourth-quarter passer behind Pittsburgh's Ben Roethlisberger.

A former Charger draft pick himself, Green has watched Brees closely this season. San Diego's offensive coordinator, Cam Cameron, was Green's quarterbacks coach when the two were with Washington. The Chargers run an offense so similar to the one run by the Chiefs, Green said he and Brees could swap huddles today and not miss a beat.

“I think once they made the draft-day trade for Rivers, he took the approach of: ‘Hey, I've got nothing to lose. I can either play my way out of the league or I'm going to make the most of it and have an opportunity to start for this team or another team,' ” Green said. “It's obvious which direction he's taken.”

Brees' play has put the Chargers in a tough position. The salary cap will pretty much force San Diego to let Brees go after the season because his performance will command a huge bump in pay. Like the Bengals — who were all but forced to sit a solid veteran, Jon Kitna, to make room for a highly paid, second-year quarterback, Carson Palmer — the Chargers may have to bite the bullet, let Brees go and turn things over to Philips next season.

The Chiefs will face a far different but just as critical decision when the off-season arrives. Team president/general manager Carl Peterson and coach Dick Vermeil assembled this team with the idea that it would have a two- to three-year window to make a Super Bowl run. That plan looked good after the team finished 13-3 last season but doesn't look so good now that the Chiefs are regularly getting thumped by bad teams such as the New Orleans Saints.

Chemistry is something Vermeil has always hung his hat on, but that even seems to have taken a hit lately. Rumors are circulating around Arrowhead about a practice brawl breaking out among some of the defensive backs and wide receivers in the week leading up to the New England game.

The Chiefs endured a similar rough season in 2001, the first under Vermeil, but Green says the organization is facing a far different situation now.

“This year is much different because we're a veteran team,” Green said. “We've got nine guys (on offense) who are over 30 years old. From a defensive standpoint, we've got more young guys on that side of the ball, but you have a new defensive scheme.

“A number of guys on the defensive side were just recently re-signed to contracts. So the off-season is going to present a number of issues in terms of what direction the organization decides to head and what direction the coaching staff decides in terms of the salary cap.”

Green said he stays out of personnel matters and has never been asked by Peterson or Vermeil about roster decisions, but it's obvious he has some opinions, even if he keeps the details to himself. Clearly, Green knows the clock is ticking on the current collection of Chiefs.

“A lot of that will be decided in the next six weeks,” Green said. “If guys look at it any differently, they'd be fooling themselves.”

Count Zarth
11-28-2004, 01:50 AM
Wow, pretty frank for Green. He's not spouting PR-bullshit for once.

Yosef_Malkovitch
11-28-2004, 02:02 AM
Wow, pretty frank for Green. He's not spouting PR-bullshit for once.

I imagine that he's pretty fed up with this. He's probably just as aware as anyone that the window is quickly closing.

the Talking Can
11-28-2004, 07:14 AM
"Chemistry is something Vermeil has always hung his hat on, but that even seems to have taken a hit lately. Rumors are circulating around Arrowhead about a practice brawl breaking out among some of the defensive backs and wide receivers in the week leading up to the New England game."

Chick Fight!! Chick Fight!!

Ari Chi3fs
11-28-2004, 07:40 AM
our dbacks have bad attitudes...esp Woods... obviously Warfield has a drinking problem... Id say that overall our dbacks are worthless. Completely fuggin worthless.

Skip Towne
11-28-2004, 07:47 AM
Maybe the WR's and DB's will kill each other. Then we could raid other people's practice squads and get better ones.

Deberg_1990
11-28-2004, 09:29 AM
our dbacks have bad attitudes...esp Woods... obviously Warfield has a drinking problem... Id say that overall our dbacks are worthless. Completely fuggin worthless.

Thats about right. I wouldnt mind if they were all gone next year. Woods, Wesley, Bartee, Warfield, McCleon. I wouldnt miss any of these guys. Not one single one.

milkman
11-28-2004, 10:01 AM
With Loyal Dick and Carl running the show, I wonder, really, is anyone playing for their jobs?

They all should be, and they all should be aware of it.
But I question that it is actually true.