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Wile_E_Coyote
12-20-2004, 05:23 PM
Opening Monologue

DICK VERMEIL: “I’ve been through the offensive and defensive tapes and overall I think we’re pleased with how we played. First off, we were playing a good football team, a team that is in the playoff hunt, a team that had beaten us in the opener, and a team that has beaten us soundly in times past, although not so much here in Arrowhead.

“I really was surprised that we played that well. I thought we could beat them if we played very well but I didn’t think we could dominate the football game like we did. We had a lot of things go our way: we got the takeaways from Dexter McCleon, the fumble recovery, some penalties that hurt them and helped us. It was just one of those games where things started to multiply in our favor and we haven’t played in too many games like that this year. So, it was sort of fun.

“Offensively, I thought that Al Saunders had one of his great days of directing the offensive staff and the game. When you stop and think of those 90-yard scoring drives and things like that, it’s a positive reflection on the coaching staff and their game plan preparation. More so, it was the utilization of personnel, putting the ball in people’s hands and how it was executed.

“We went into this ball game thinking that our big people had control of this football game.”

“The offensive line did a good job of allowing it to all happen. The game always starts with your big people and we went into the ball game thinking that our big people had control of this football game. To control their defensive front, the way they like to play and put pressure on their quarterback, and get it to the point where we could just go after him with constant pressure. It helped.

“Brian Waters led the way and it was also amazing to watch Willie Roaf. Here at the end of his career he probably played as strong yesterday if not better than he did in the opener and he is going into the 15th game of the season. It was a great tribute to him as a person and the coaches who work with them. I’m really proud of him. I’m on him some more than the other guys, not in a belligerent way, but I just think that a guy who has been as good as he has been should always look as good as he’s ever been. That’s all.

But the whole offensive line played well. The two guards inside and Casey in the middle played well. Our young right tackle – Jordan Black – got better. He started his second ball game and he played better this week than he did a week ago. Sometimes there is a positive with the injury factor. He’s our third right tackle to play this year and our offensive line has continued to operate well regardless of who plays right tackle. The opportunity for a young player to get in there and grow is vital for his future next year and our projection of needs.

“I constantly get the overtones that people don’t think we have very good wide receivers.”

“Our wide receivers did a good job. Eddie Kennison came up with another big game. I constantly get the overtones that people don’t think we have very good wide receivers and we feel like we always have to rationalize the fact that they don’t catch 85 balls or go for 4,000 yards. But the way we structure our offense and utilize our personnel, they do a good job. We would have easily had two wide receivers go 1,000 yards this year but Johnnie Morton’s going to have a hard time doing it if he can’t play in these next two games. But Eddie Kennison certainly should go over a 1,000 yards. He’s got eight touchdowns right now and is just 60 or 70 yards short of going for a 1,000 yards.

“To get Samie Parker in the ball game was fun. We’ve had him active before and he’s gone in and just run down a couple of plays when a guy needed a rest but he’s never really been put in to play. He’s ready to play the one specific position and the 46-man roster doesn’t allow you to suit up those young kids and help them grow. And, we haven’t been in many games where you could be ahead and sit your starters anyway. He made a great pump move on the third down and that was a great call to go deep.

“It was Larry Johnson’s best game because he had to really run the football this time. I mean he had to break tackles, run through the line of scrimmage, read blocks, bounce, cut, all these kinds of things, fight for six yards, fight for four yards, and then break the long one. He continues to grow and he will continue to grow.

“He improved in all areas. One time a Mike linebacker dogged and he stepped up and met him right up under the chin. That’s a good sign of growth for any running back because there’s some veterans that don’t do that very well.

“Kris Wilson got to play just a little bit in the fourth quarter some. Brett Williams played in the fourth quarter, Kevin Sampson played in the fourth quarter.

“To hold them to 17 points…the number four offensive team in the National Football in terms of yards.”

“Defensively, Gunther was excited. He’s been under a lot of self-imposed pressure. To hold them to 17 points – actually really 10 because by the end of the game it was over – the number four offensive team in the National Football League in terms of yards produced, they must have done a good job. They played hard and gave up a few plays.

“Overall we tackled better although we missed some. We didn’t have any real mental breakdowns. The defensive line got really humming. Junior Siavii showed some improvement. The other guys who have been playing all along played well:

“You know you take Eric Hicks for granted. He just gives you everything he’s got every ball game and every practice. He never misses a practice. He makes plays way beyond; he has more extra efforts within defensive snaps than anybody on our defensive football team. He had 11 going into the ball game.

“The linebackers got better, Kawika (Mitchell) got better but he did miss a couple of tackles again. I thought Greg Wesley really flashed; he got back from being banged up and missing time. He looked like he was having fun playing; he fit in the scheme and was disciplined and made some nice hits.

“What can you say about Dexter (McCleon)? He went out there and played like a pro. Nobody prepares to play any better than Dexter on our defensive football team day in and day out. We took him out of his starting position after the Jacksonville game because he had been beaten up a number of times. He was wearing down physically and emotionally and playing with a sore shoulder that will probably require surgery when the season is over. He went in and played pressure and really competed. He made two big-time plays and we scored after both of those plays.

“Kickoffs and punting we had bad days. Hopefully, it was the cold weather. I don’t know. But it wasn’t good enough, believe me.

“Most of you know when you reach this time of year there are some records you should acknowledge.”

“The offensive team has had over 400 yards seven times this year and this is an all-time record in the history of the Kansas City Chiefs. It needs one more 300 yard game to set another record. If Trent finishes the season with over a 90 quarterback efficiency rating he’ll be the only quarterback in the National Football League that’s done it three years in a row. That’s something he can take pride in. He’s not a selfish guy, a numbers guy. He doesn’t look at it that way but still but our coaches look with pride that some of the things we’re doing are working and he makes it work along with the offensive line.

“What can you say about Dante Hall? If he hadn’t fumbled that one against San Diego he’d have three in the endzone and he might still get another before the season’s over. He came very close to putting the punt return in yesterday.

“We’ve gotten to the point where we can continue to play well. I don’t know if we will but I’d like to believe we can play well on Christmas day. It’s a short week but sometimes I think short weeks are better for coaches. It doesn’t give you enough time to screw it up. You cut back on the things you do; you don’t do as much; you have shorter preparation time and don’t work the team as hard. Tomorrow’s practice when they come in will be a walk-through practice – normal but walk-through it rather than run-through.

“You tend to do less when you have less time. You tend to do more when you have more time. Amazing thing, but you play a Monday night game and have an extra day and the coaches work longer at night than they do when they have a short week with one day less. It’s amazing.
“The Raiders the first time we beat ‘em in the fourth quarter. So, we can anticipate it’ll be pretty much the same kind of football here.

They’ve won two out of their last three games on the road including beating Denver there. They beat Tennessee this last week. The Raiders are always a tough football game for the Chiefs and the Chiefs are always a tough football game for the Raiders. We should have the advantage playing at home on Christmas Day, coming off a good win like they are. We certainly don’t need any excuses for losing. We should be able to line up and play with the same motivation, concentration and focus that we did last week. I will expect us to and I think our players will.

“But we do have respect for the Raiders. We had to come from behind to beat them last time. We know what kind of football team they are and having already played them we’ve been able to prepare a game plan versus a team that we already played.

Q: Did you learn anything about Larry Johnson from this game the other day?

VERMEIL: “No.”

Q: But after 30 carries doesn’t a coach kind of look at a guy a little differently?

VERMEIL: “They carry the ball a lot in college. Still, 30 carries in pro football is more. But he’s a big strong guy and we were going to take him out one time and he asked if he could stay a series or two more so we let him stay. He was excited about it. They contained him better in the second half than the first half but we didn’t do some of the same things in the second half, so that’s as much our fault as it is anybody else’s.

“He did a nice job of selecting holes, setting up blocks, cutting back and slashing. Twice he almost got through for long gains, but got tripped up. When he learns that every once in a while he should fire those feet and kick step, he’ll break some more. But it’s very pleasing. To see him on the sideline mixing with the team and feeling part of it is a good experience for everybody.”

Q: With what he’s doing now, does that get him into your thinking for next season?

VERMEIL: “Well it sure as hell doesn’t eliminate him. How could it do anything but?”

Q: But you’ve got a guy who’s done some pretty special things the last few years coming back also?

VERMEIL: “That’ll make it nice. Now we’ve got two guys that can do special things.”

Q: If Derrick Blaylock is healthy this week are you still going to start Larry on Saturday?

VERMEIL: “I don’t know. First off, we don’t know if he’s healthy enough and I haven’t met with the offensive coaches and discussed it at all. I would say right now that we’d probably start Larry and let him play.”

Q: Looking at next year and having two quality backs, do you ever even think about the possibility of making a move with one of those guys, resign Blaylock, just so you can get a defensive player?

VERMEIL: “I haven’t thought any further than Christmas day. That’s the honest to God truth.”

Q: How pleasing was it to see Samie Parker do what he did yesterday?

VERMEIL: “I was pleased but I’ve seen it on the practice field. Those positions (wide receiver) are a lot more difficult to play than people give credit. You just don’t go out and run out patterns. You have sight adjustments and certain protections, certain positions and formations that the quarterback has got to trust you to perform. Our veterans miss them from time to time and get the quarterback hit. All those things enter into it, plus the complexity of our pass offense and the volume, including the running game. He did a good job blocking the running game, too. But I wasn’t surprised because he’s reflected all those positive things on the practice field.”

Q: Overall it’s been a disappointing season because you didn’t meet your goal, but is that eased somewhat from what you’re seeing from these young guys?

VERMEIL: “You feel pleased that some of these young kids are growing and learning, but it’s no consolation. I’d rather see them not play at all and sit here with 12 wins right now and those guys just waiting and chomping at the bit to get their opportunity to play. We’re in the business to win football games first and develop players as we go second.”

Q: But as you see the potential, doesn’t that auger well for winning football games in years to come?

VERMEIL: “I hope it helps this Saturday because that’s the only time I care about.”

Q: Did Dexter McCleon, because of the way he played last week, play himself back into the starting lineup?

VERMEIL: “He started yesterday. He’ll start again. He played well. A lot of times and rightfully so, people don’t watch the plays because the ball is thrown someplace else. But it was because he did a great job of coverage on the man that was the initial phase of the read. He played well.”

Q: Does this late season surge carry over to next year or does it mean nothing?

“Tampa Bay was in the Super Bowl two years ago. The next year none of that carried over or meant anything. I think the Raiders have won eight or nine games since then and Tampa Bay’s won about 10 since then. There aren’t any absolute guarantees that something will carry over to next year. It starts as a war all over the next year. You’d like to think there’s some carry-over and there is some individual carry-over sometimes, but sometimes not collectively.”

Q: So what would it mean if you did run the table the rest of the year?

VERMEIL: “First off, good football teams always play well in the fourth quarter (final month) of the season – real good football teams play real well. The Super Bowl teams are 18-2 in the last five years – the Super Bowl champions. So, they play well in the fourth quarter and we’d like to be a good football team and play well then. That was one of our main objectives all season.

“It also means we’ve also done a great job of handling the adversity. They diffused the criticism, the negative evaluations of a lot of people and they’ve maintained confidence in themselves and haven’t blamed each other or any one person or the coaches. They showed real character that way. Not many teams get the opportunity to display what they’re all about and how they play. I think they’ve done a remarkable job doing that. Plus, they’ve continued to work hard. It’s part of their profile as football players and people. I think that’s a real credit to them.


“You never remain status quo going through adverse situations. You either get better for having gone through it or you get worse. You never remain status quo. I think there’s a lot of guys on our football team that handle it well enough that they’ve gotten better, they’ve gotten tougher. They’ve learned to absorb some disappointments and set-backs and not make excuses or blame others. That’s a real positive reflection.”

Bob Dole
12-20-2004, 05:29 PM
Veiled message?

...it was also amazing to watch Willie Roaf. Here at the end of his career he probably played as strong yesterday if not better than he did in the opener and he is going into the 15th game of the season.

Rain Man
12-20-2004, 05:54 PM
It's a good point about Dante. It seems quiet for him this year, but he's had two TDs and almost scored on a third.

I don't think it's a veiled reference about Big Willie. I think Dick just said that because he's a veteran. Or at least, I pray and beseech the football gods that he'll be back next year (and the year after and ...)

Deberg_1990
12-20-2004, 05:55 PM
IM happy for Kennison that it appears he is finally going to get his 1000 yard season. I must admit, he has stepped up his game this year. Sure, he still fumbles routine catches at times, but hes still plenty good enough for this team. Especially since our offense is more centered around the power run game than anything else.

Logical
12-20-2004, 06:23 PM
“You know you take Eric Hicks for granted. He just gives you everything he’s got every ball game and every practice. He never misses a practice. He makes plays way beyond; he has more extra efforts within defensive snaps than anybody on our defensive football team. He had 11 going into the ball game. :Lin:

Rain Man
12-20-2004, 06:26 PM
:Lin:

I couldn't figure out what he had 11 of. 11 extra efforts on defense? 11 tackles this season? 11 times that he made a play?

I kept hoping all season that the Hicks of Gunther's previous era would show up, but alas, it never happened.

Logical
12-20-2004, 06:30 PM
I couldn't figure out what he had 11 of. 11 extra efforts on defense? 11 tackles this season? 11 times that he made a play?

I kept hoping all season that the Hicks of Gunther's previous era would show up, but alas, it never happened.

Hicks must give BJs after practice the way the coaching staff is in love with him. I will never figure it out.

Deberg_1990
12-20-2004, 06:51 PM
Hicks must give BJs after practice the way the coaching staff is in love with him. I will never figure it out.

The best thing i can say about Hicks is that hes the most invisible Defensive Lineman I have ever seen.