View Full Version : Would someone please identify the problem with our defense this year?

12-11-2000, 11:35 AM
I don't want any cliche answers either...no sweeping statements with no basis in fact. I want some thoughtful analysis...because i simply cannot figure out why this defense is so bad this year.

I mean...look at each position and you don't see a bad player....maybe some inexperience in the secondary and maybe some overpriced talent on the line...but there are no NFL Europe players on this team.

I suppose the easy answer might be "scheme" or kurt shottenheimer's coaching (and i might agree with this)...but if it's a talent issue, shouldn't we just load up on defensive draft picks next year? If so...who are you going to replace on this defense? Let the thoughts begin....

Fat Homer
12-11-2000, 11:40 AM
The rookies in the secondary had a small part to play in our Defensive woes this year, but they are not reponsible for stopping the run. Most teams that beat us, beat us because the could run at will...the front four, while talented, seem to lack fire...I don't know why...my personal opinion is that the main reason for or demise is that the D had no faith in Kurt...they didn't like his scheme's, or his philosophies...we are an attacking D...he choose to play it soft...I thought our D would be the best it's been in years...so if it's not the talent...it's the coaching...


"The word "genius" isn't applicable in football. A genius is a guy like Norman Einstein."
-Joe Theisman, NFL football quarterback and sports analyst

12-11-2000, 11:47 AM
My answers in order. FWIW.

1. Fundamentals. Our tackling is shoddy. This is due to a bad fundamental approach. We repeatedly jump offsides. Bad fundamentals. Our run blocking is poor. See comment on tackling.

2. Identity crises: Are we a run and bump or a zone team? Do we blitz without mercy or read and react. At various times I've seen all of the above. An elephant is a horse built by committee. Our defense has seemed very elephantine at times.

3. Preperation. Daryl Royal said 'Luck is what happens when preperation meets opportunity' Our defensive game planning has seemed non-existant at times. As has our halftime adjustments. Sun Tzu said 'Battles are won before the first army is fielded' Our apparent preperation has failed us long before the field is taken.

12-11-2000, 11:51 AM
I'm not hearing any "talent" explanations yet...so is it pretty much assumed that the talent is there to be coached?

12-11-2000, 11:54 AM
This is difficult but I will go slow......


Gracie Dean
12-11-2000, 12:13 PM
Considering we are getting penetration with the front 4 and aren't getting majorly burned in the secondary (with a few exceptions), I think it's linebacker play. Not necessarily that our linebackers are inferior talent, just that their assignments are all WRONG. They are blitzing at the wrong time, dropping into coverage at the wrong time, staying home at the wrong times. This is extremely frustrating because we have 2 VERY good playmakers with DE & Maz. Patton is nothing to sneeze at but he's not making huge plays. Our LB corps is either hamstrung by the scheme or they aren't the right guys for it. I like the fact that we have 2 ballhawking LB's but we need to adjust our defensive scheme to account for the fact that they are going to be caught out of position sometimes because they are going to be around the ball. We also need to disguise our coverages. We need to disguise our blitz packages.

scott in spfd
12-11-2000, 12:16 PM
I'm an offense u but here's my take:
1. Chiefs went from a press coverage (bump'n'run) CB scheme (which allowed the safeties to cheat up for run support) to a soft zone that allowed the LBs to lay back in pass coverage to "cover" the "holes" in the zone.
2. This means that Safeties are restricted in run support, because they must assist the CBs (and we are talking about Pat Dennis here, not Hasty). This was the official explanation offered by Gun.
3. Practical effect: Team exploit the underneath or "soft spots" in the zone. The Chiefs have rarely been beat for long pass plays this year. This is the first time since 1988 that KC has not given up a 300 yd passing game. Still, teams have dinked the Chiefs literally to death and have had a good success running the ball, especially at the perimeter.
4. The pass rush has created what little pass D there is. The Chiefs have about 45 sacks, which is near the top 5 in the NFL. But the side of the field where Pat Dennis works is like shooting fish in a barrel to opposing QBs.
5. The LB play was weak until Lew Bush was benched in favor of Maz. Since Maz became a starter, the Chiefs have not yielded a 100 yd rushing performance by opponents.

Just my take.
Bright spots: Wesley, Hicks, Maz.
Sore spots: Dennis, Williams and Bush.

Cameo appaerance on the 'other' BB

12-11-2000, 12:24 PM
i agree with most of what everyone is saying....so is it the BB's opinion that if there was any lack of talent on this D, it comes from a combination of Bush, Williams and Dennis? Dennis is young...and is probably a keeper...so I can't be disappointed with him...but Williams is best when he's injured and Browning is in his place. Bush...well...he seems to be a non-factor now that Maz is starting.

My take on the D moves this off season...i'm guesing that Bush will be released and Williams will be retained simply by necessity from the salary cap stand point.

12-11-2000, 12:48 PM
This may sound like a bit of a stretch, but in addition to the reason listed here, I'm thinking the death of DT has affected their desire somewhat. They just don't seem to be playing with any focus and I think part of that MAY be attributable to the loss of DT.


scott in spfd
12-11-2000, 12:51 PM
I think Dennis would be better in press coverage. This zone stuff where he plays 15 yds off the receiver is stupid. Carolina and NE litearlly completed over 20 passes combined to Dennis' man. Hasty had an INT, a set up of Woods' INT and not much else on his side of the field. Dennis is getting rained on with footballs. Damn, Kurt, at least allow the kid to use his size at the LOS.
Missing the Safteys cheating up for run support

12-11-2000, 12:52 PM
Gunther Cunningham... and his stooges...<BR>

12-11-2000, 01:00 PM
1. No DT. He was a leader!
2. Spurt's defensive 'scheme'. Players ae playing out of position. Donnie never rushes the QB?!?!? Do the Chiefs even have a LB blitz?

I do have hope though. The play of Maz gives a gleam for the future.

"There's a gleam, men! Let's catch that gleam!" <BR>

12-11-2000, 01:09 PM
You want a talent explanation- Carl Peterson has been providing average players sense he got here. How many NFL fans can name at least 3-5 guys on the Chiefs roster.

12-11-2000, 01:10 PM
I'm going to surprise all of you.


IMO he is the #1 problem as far as personnel on the field. He is the worst D lineman that starts for this team, and the stats bear this out. He is less productive than Clemons, Hicks, Williams, and Browning. His attitude and lack of effort are taking a toll on the front 7, IMO.

How do you think the rest of those guys (except DW) feel when they watch a guy making about $4 million half-a_s it out there?

Go Chiefs
12-11-2000, 01:34 PM
Clint, I was thinking the same thing, but...???

What about the other 10 people that miss tackles, over pursue, out of position, finger in their arss, ect. ect. Other than Maz the last few weeks, I have seen NOTHING from anyone. Not Donnie, not Hasty, not Wesley, not anyone. Hicks and Clemmons might be an exception.

Like some have mentioned, I think these guys are and can be VERY GOOD,even exceptional, if properly coached. I don't know if tackling should be coached at the NFL level, but everything else relys on the coaches ablitiy to teach these guys how to play defense in the NFL.

They have to play aggresive (not overpursuing aggresive, but knock the $hit outa someone aggresive) smart defense and these coaches are not getting this done.

12-11-2000, 01:52 PM
McGlockton has tons of talent. If he can ever use it on a consistent basis he'd be a PB regular. Just look at the NE game. I know the NE OL isn't full of PBers, but Chester dominated. I think our coaching staff needs to get on their a$$es more about effort and focus. DW shouldn't be allowed to practice only once a week. Neither of them should be able to jump offsides with such regularity without punishment.

Our defense, as a whole, is very talented. Weakspots,IMO, are at MLB (Patton's undersized and aging), CB (youth), and both safety spots (youth and ???). Fundamentals and focus (and an established leader a la DT) are what we're missing most, personnel-wise.

The problem with our scheme is that it's too soft, and that our players are out of position too much. We seem to make poor adjustments to opponents as well.

12-11-2000, 02:15 PM
I agree with Phil. Our linebackers have been so inconsistent this season. It must have something to do with their assignments. It's probably to do with Kurt and Shaw's infatuation with protecting the young DBs by using zone coverage that causes the LBs to constantly run around like headless chickens.

I still like Patton. He is a very savvy player, and even though he has not been as good as last season, nobody has been. I wonder if that has more to do with the scheme than anything. He is undersized but so are Zach Thomas, London Fletcher and Dat Nguyen among others. He is getting on in age though and will probably be replaced by Maz in the offseason. It'd be great to see Maz become a leader and defensive play-caller at MLB.

We do have holes in all 3 phases of the defense though. I think our D-line has been better than advertised. How many of us would have been delighted with 45 sacks after 14 weeks, most of those coming from the front 4. The only problem on our D-line concerns salary cap issues IMO. Also, we need to tie up Clemons to a long-term deal which will cost us.

If Maz moves inside we desperately need an OLB. Stills and Atkins don't sound like they'll be ready to start. Bush was terrible this year. Ron George has never been good enough to start up to now. That leaves Andre O'Neal who might have some promise.

CB will be our biggest problem though IMO for next year. We NEED a stud to replace Hasty. I thought Bartee looked decent, and is a very good tackler, but it's disappointing that he hasn't broken into the starting line-up. Warfield is simply not as good as advertised, and Dennis has a lot of improvement to do.


12-11-2000, 02:36 PM
The soft zone coverage allows teams to complete short passes in front of the corner and then run at them. This is part of why we suck on D and it can be blamed on the coaches. I wonder if we are going to protect the rookies next year(guess they'll be 2nd year players then).
Another thing I've noticed, especially when the mobile QB's were tearing us a new one, was that the d-line was not maintaining their rush lanes. They were coming up field hard on every play, run or pass. This allowed the opponents o-line to shove them behind the play and then go get our linebackers. When we were getting beat by the mobile QB's, the linebacker play was nearly non-existent. This is b/c they were on the ground or being mauled by 350lb. linemen. We weren't trying to stuff the run, we were trying to collapse the pocket on every play regardles of whether it was run or pass.
Just a couple of observations.

12-11-2000, 03:30 PM
Players don't willingly give recievers a 5-10 yard cushon to catch the ball. At least not historically here.
Players don't beg to play a 2 deep zone 75% of the time.
Players don't beg to not have to blitz.
Players don't ask to be "protected" by a dumbed down defensive scheme even Ryan Leaf can figure out.

Watch the games from the Tennessee game on. I've got the tapes. I haven't seen Hasty in tight man to man coverage (his bread and butter as a shut down corner) since week four.

No blitzing really to speak of. And loose coverage = terrible defense.

Griese Fan
12-11-2000, 05:32 PM
As I've said many times, last season's defense had Dave Adolf's stamp all over it; the defense this season has Limp Willie's stamp. The soft zone, combined with that hard penetration into the backfield by the D-Line have left the short underneath passing game wide open. QBs have just been picking us apart. Also, the plan to have Dennis and Hasty cover one side of the field, rather than putting Hasty on the opponent's best receiver regardless of which side of the field he lines up on, added to fact that Limp Willie has Dennis giving a 7-10 yard cushion really gave opponents an advantage.
IMO, Limp Willie's coaching, and this idea of "protecting" the rookies has hurt Dennis' development. If he had been working in a tight man coverage from the start of the season, he might be at a point where he would be ready to be a tough cover corner at the start of next season. Now, if we should return to the Chiefs' style of defene, he'll really be starting over.
the milkman
thinks Limp Willie's influence is a major reason for the poor defensive showing.

12-11-2000, 05:57 PM
After careful deliberation of the question over the last 5 hours, and many introspective moments recalling Bob Dole's real-time reaction to our defensive performance, Bob Dole has arrived at a decision.

Many things contribute to our substandard performance and our won-lost record. The primary strike against this season's defense is, however, the fact that they too frequently surrender more points than our offense scores.

12-11-2000, 07:01 PM
No D.T. - or no linebacker to fear - and rookies in the secondary. Hasn't helped with the defensive line injuries.

Need experience, health, a good defensive draft and a return to the bump and run.

And James Hasty to stick around one more year.

12-12-2000, 07:24 AM
It is our defensive scheme. Does not fit the talent we have! Chester and Dan Williams get good penetration as defensive tackles. Thats why we see the sometime great plays with them blowing up a running play in the backfield. It is also the reason we see trap plays and misdirection go for big yardage. When we don't guess the right gap we have undersized LBs taking on a OL and lead blocking running back. We have fast linebackers that can make plays from side to side. If they have to play off blocks they are less effective. Thats why when Dan Browning is playing tackle we see better games from Donnie Edwards and Marvcus Patton. Dan Browning is not a penetrator but ties up a couple offensive lineman at the point of attack. Allows our LBs to move behind the line without OL shooting out to block them and allows them to make plays with speed. Also with the zone coverage we have been playing allows big backs to get up a head of steam before our LBs can come up to make a hit. In the past we kept big backs moving sideways were our linebackers could use speed to bring them down.

If we are going to play zone we have to play gap responsibility with our Defensive tackles and count on penetration from defensive ends.

If we are going to penetrate with our defensive tackles we need to play man to man, with our linebackers keying on backs in run support. Our defensive scheme is bass ackwards.

Gracie Dean
12-12-2000, 09:00 AM
Red til Dead,

If you like Dan Browning so much, what do you think of John Williams?

12-12-2000, 12:07 PM
There are several problems. Here they are:

1. Lack of defensive playmaker. Besides Hicks, nobody gets close to the QB. The main reason why the secodary was so good in the mid 90s was because of Neil Smith and DT getting to the quarterback. A lot of times, the line over pursues opening up running lanes.

2. Lack of dicipline. How many drives have been extended by somebody (usually chester) jumping into the nuetral zone? Instead of punting, the drive continues. Also, as I menitoned, over pursuing is a problem.

3. Cap money spent poorly. Chester, Dan Williams, Lew Bush, and Carlton Gray have been major busts. These errors have prevented the Chiefs from keeping a guy like Reggie Tounge and resigning Joe Horn and then drafting a stud defensive player. Cap mis management is at the heart of the Chiefs problems.

4. Young guys in secondary. I would applaud the Chiefs for playing the younger guys, but lets face it, they had no choice.

5. Coaching. When you dont have the necessary talent, you must come up with creative ways to make plays on defense. Not the same blitz package every down.

6. Lack of forcing turnovers. If teams hang onto the ball when playing the Chiefs, they have a great shot of winning. The Chiefs arent good enough to win when the turnover battle is even.

7. Chester McGlockton. His laziness and habit of taking downs doesnt inspire the players around him. Carl thought he acquired a star on defense, instread he got a cap eating, coach killer. Chester plays hard when he wants to and this rubs off on others.

12-12-2000, 12:23 PM

a few corrections

1. The Chiefs have more than one playmaker on Defense
a. James Hasty - comes up with big INT's
b. Donnie Edwards - great hands and a big time player
c. Mike Maslowski - comes up big when they need a run stop
d. Greg Wesley - huge hitter and a nose for the ball

2. No argument

3.Chet being a major bust is a bit extreme, but the money spent on the other guys was a significant waste

4.They had choices, but this group is talented and they will be the beneficiary in 2001 for the experience they have received.

5. No argument

6.Generally speaking that is true, but the chiefs won Sundays game with a minus 3 TO ratio

7. No comment

12-12-2000, 12:30 PM
I agree with you ChiTown, but I think Glock is much more of a bust than DW.

The numbers don't lie in this case.

12-12-2000, 04:26 PM

If all those guys you mentioned were "playmakers", the Chiefs wouldnt have one of the worst defenses in football.

Maslowski: I like what I see so far, but still unproven

Hasty: Hand tackler, needs pass rush to have significant impact. Probably wont be around next year.

Donnie Edwards: Dissappointing year

Greg Wesley: Please!

I never thought missing DT would have such a huge impact. Team were afraid of that guy and developed game plans with him in mind. Also, he was frequently doubled. Chiefs dont have any difference makers on defense anymore. <P>

12-12-2000, 05:33 PM
Believe John Williams has great talent, also think Kimble Richardson should be our starting halfback.

Yosemity Sam
12-12-2000, 08:11 PM
Ken I remember you saying a year or so ago on the KC Star Site that DT wasn't a true playmaker because he never showed up for the big games. Now you say he was the only decent player we've had on our defense in the last few years. Which is it?

12-12-2000, 08:20 PM
It is funnt that Keb jeeps bashing Hasty year after year, even though he keeps proving them wrong.

12-13-2000, 11:26 AM
Our Defensive problems stem from the Spineless Jellyfish Stooge.

We do not have the personnel to play the zone, yet that is what we see week after week. We use the zone to "protect the rookies," yet Dennis is giving a 15-yard cushion and passes are completed right under his nose. We used the soft zone and conceded the 5-yard dump pass to the undisputed King of the Dump Pass.
Cause of problem: Defensive scheme.
Root cause: Coaching.

When we play the soft zone, our LBs and Safeties are dropping back into coverage, which renders them useless for run support until the HB has penetrated far beyond the LOS.
Cause of problem: Defensive scheme.
Root cause: Coaching.

We tackle like crap. The matador sweep or the "I'm gonna knock you out" body slam that misses the target [as when Garcia scored against us].
Cause of problem: widespread sloppy technique.
Root cause: Coaching.

Penalties. Time after time, we saw an enemy drive extended by stupid penalties [offsides being the most familiar]. I am willing to accept the occasional offsides, as I want my DL to get penetration and crush the pencil-neck. However, we commit far too many penalties at exactly the wrong combination of down and distance.
Cause of problem: lack of discipline.
Root cause: Coaching.

Our blitz packages are as transparent as glass. It seems to me that the few times our blitz works it is a result of extraordinary effort on behalf of a blitzer, rather than a well-disguised blitz. We telegraph our blitz packages to the enemy and as a result, they are usually picked up and we get burned by the quick toss to the relief valve [underneath the soft zone coverage].
Cause of problem: predictable blitz packages.
Root cause: Coaching.

starting to see a pattern here.<BR>

12-13-2000, 11:27 AM

I did say that about Derrick. He did not show up in big games (playoff games). I think you would agree. If not, tell me when he made an impact in a playoff game. What he did, however, is have a knack for making big plays at home. He thrived on crowd noice and always seemed to get a jump on the snap. With Derrick, this defense routinely got lit up on the road. Now, it happens both at home and on the road. At least he produced (most of the time) at home. I read an interesting stat on Derrick. Some 75% of his career sacks came at home. He didnt do much on the road, but was a force at home.