View Full Version : KC Star responds to allegations of cheating Chiefs O-Line

Hammock Parties
12-17-2004, 05:43 PM

Broncos' coach accuses offensive line


The Kansas City Star

“They're talented, big-time linemen, but they cheat. They get by with murder. That's the truth, too.”
Larry Coyer, Broncos defensive coordinator

Much attention has been focused over the years on the blocking techniques employed by the Denver offensive line. That style has resulted in more than a few serious injuries to opposing defensive linemen.

But to hear Denver defensive coordinator Larry Coyer tell it, the Broncos shouldn't have the league's most scrutinized O-line. The Chiefs should.

“They're talented, big-time linemen, but they cheat,” Coyer told the Colorado Springs Gazette Wednesday when asked about the Chiefs' highly regarded offensive line.

“They get by with murder. That's the truth, too. I hear everybody griping about ours, but these are the worst holders I ever saw in my life. They get by with more holding than any team in this league, and it's starting to aggravate me a little bit. Because it's outlandish.”

Coyer's comments are interesting for several reasons, starting with the fact that he hasn't been known as the Buddy Ryan type who often makes wild statements. Then there is the fact that the Chiefs have been among the NFL's most vocal critics when it comes to the blocking techniques employed by the Broncos.

Denver is famous for its cut blocks, a legal but often dangerous tactic in which an offensive lineman is asked to block a defensive lineman at or below the knees.

The Broncos, who typically build their offense around smaller, quicker offensive linemen rather than the hulking 320-plus-pounders favored by most teams, came under intense scrutiny in October when right tackle George Foster broke an ankle of Bengals defensive lineman Tony Williams on a cut block. The play was an extreme example of the cut-blocking tactic, because while not illegal, there exists among linemen an unwritten code regarding when to cut block.

At the moment when Foster dropped down on Williams, the play was at least 15 yards downfield. The Broncos perfected the cut block under the guidance of former offensive-line coach Alex Gibbs, who now holds the same position with the Atlanta Falcons.

When the Chiefs and Falcons met at Arrowhead in October, Falcons guard Steve Herndon blocked Chiefs rookie defensive tackle Junior Siavii from behind and low. Siavii suffered a high ankle sprain on the play and has been hobbled ever since.

After the game, Chiefs defensive tackle Ryan Sims called the Falcons “a cheaper version of Denver.”

“Cut blocks, chop blocks, leg whips, they do all that,” Sims said. “I mean, be an athlete. Stand up and block me like a man, one on one.”

Chiefs coach Dick Vermeil has often accused the Broncos of holding and getting away with it. Vermeil was especially irate after the Chiefs' 45-27 loss at Denver last Dec. 7, a game in which former Broncos running back Clinton Portis torched KC for 218 yards and five touchdowns.

When asked to respond to Coyer's comments Thursday, Vermeil took the high road.

“First off, all offensive lines hold; so does Denver's,” Vermeil said. “Earlier in the year, we were using our hands too much, and we've coached against it because we can't afford the holding penalties. We're better and hold less now than we did earlier in the year. Larry Coyer is a fine coach, so if he thinks that, it's a free world, he can think what he wants. But everybody holds, and we do it less often than most. He should go take a look at his own tapes.”

Dating to the start of the 2001 season, no NFL team has scored more rushing touchdowns than the Chiefs, who have 100. The Chiefs and Broncos are also the only NFL teams to have three running backs rush for 100 yards or more in a game this season. Despite the Chiefs' dominating offensive performances over the last few seasons, Coyer is the first coach to accuse the Kansas City offensive line of bending the rules.

In Denver's 34-24 season-opening victory over the Chiefs, left tackle Willie Roaf was the only Chiefs player flagged for holding.

Priest Holmes racked up 151 yards and three touchdowns in the game, the most yards and rushing touchdowns allowed by Denver all season.

“They don't need to (hold), they're that good. But they're awful,” Coyer said. “They grab, they hold and sooner or later these guys (referees) are going to have to start evening this game up a little bit. Because truly, they talk about our guys, but this is outlandish. It truly is.”

When asked to respond to Coyer's comments, Chiefs guard Brian Waters expressed amusement.

“Come on, that's just gamesmanship right there,” said Waters, who is having the best season of his five-year NFL career and became the first guard to receive honors as AFC offensive player of the week after the Chiefs' victory over Atlanta. “A lot of people are under pressure to win games right now, so they'll try to do whatever they have to do to win the game. I'm sure he's just saying that to get it in the referees' ears so they'll call the game a certain way on Sunday.”

Waters did say the Chiefs will keep Coyer's comments in mind, though.

“I guess we'll see on Sunday,” Waters said. “That's what's great about this game. It will all be decided on the field.”

Other Chiefs, including Sims, were similarly amused when told of Coyer's comments. Sims simply shook his head and laughed.

“They are saying that about our line?” Sims said. “That's funny.”

To reach Ivan Carter, Chiefs reporter for The Star, call (816) 234-4744 or send e-mail to icarter@kcstar.com.

12-17-2004, 05:44 PM

12-17-2004, 05:46 PM
You get one thread a day and you make it a repost. Good job.

Hammock Parties
12-17-2004, 05:48 PM
Dag nabbit! I looked at the first five pages and didn't see anything.

This is why we need the search function.

12-17-2004, 05:49 PM
Dag nabbit! I looked at the first five pages and didn't see anything.

You didn't look very close at page 2, apparently.

It was on the front page for the better part of the day.