PDA

View Full Version : RAND: Chiefs need fresh start…and a fast one


C-Mac
05-19-2005, 10:20 PM
Probably a repost.........

RAND: Chiefs need fresh start…and a fast one
May 19, 2005, 3:36:56 AM by Jonathan Rand

You can’t win a Super Bowl in May. But circumstances being what they are, you can’t blame Dick Vermeil for looking down the road. Nor can you blame him if he feels like his team will be playing four games at a time instead of just one.

“We’ve got to start fast,” Vermeil said, adding that NFL schedule makers didn’t do owner Lamar Hunt any favors by starting the Chiefs off with a four-game meat grinder.

Vermeil was saying this after just the second off-season spring workout, almost four months before the first regular season game. You can expect Vermeil to address the importance of a fast start at least another hundred times. He probably won’t stop until October 2 — and then he’ll know whether he got the kind of start he wanted.

The Chiefs’ first four games have stuck in Vermeil’s craw and mind since the schedule was released last month. They start at Arrowhead Stadium against the New York Jets. Then they visit Oakland for a Sunday night game and Denver for a Monday night game. Then, with just five days between games, they come home to play the Philadelphia Eagles, defending NFC champions. All except the Raiders are returning playoff teams, and they’ve added standout wide receiver Randy Moss.

The road games are against bitter, always-tough division rivals. Both games are in prime time, when home crowds and home teams tend to get fired up more than usual. So, the Chiefs should feel O.K. if they come out of that stretch no worse than 2-2.

You wouldn’t normally expect a head coach to address the headaches of his early-season schedule in May. And you wouldn’t normally expect such a sense of urgency from a coach whose team just finished 7-9.

Teams coming off losing seasons usually just hope to keep improving as the season develops. Vermeil, though, isn’t in a normal situation. And the Chiefs don’t really consider themselves a typical losing team that’s struggling to find its way.

Vermeil wants to make the most of a season that will be the last of his distinguished career, unless he has a change of heart. The Chiefs would like to think their 13-3 record in 2003 is a better indication of their true worth than their record in 2004. When you throw in five significant defensive additions, you can see why the Chiefs have acquired a sense of optimism to go with a sense of urgency. No wonder Vermeil already is addressing the need for a fast start.

The Chiefs’ are working like a team that’s already gotten Vermeil’s message, though they worked hard last off-season, too. Gunther Cunningham’s defense is pushing the legal limit for aggressiveness in non-contact, no-pads drills. And Priest Holmes, in his first practice since returning from last year’s knee injury, was all business on Wednesday. In his few carries during a scrimmage, he ran hard and smoothly. And, true to form, he finished all his carries by taking them to the house.

So what does all this mean? After all, there are 31 other NFL teams feeling frisky and optimistic this time of year. And there are 31 other coaches in the league who also are thinking that a fast start’s not such a bad idea.

But it’s never too early for Vermeil to set the tone. And if a message is meaningful enough, repetition won’t make it seem any less important. And while saying you need a fast start doesn’t mean you’ll get one, a healthy sense of urgency never hurt anybody.

Wallcrawler
05-20-2005, 03:35 AM
Man, Vermiel needs to just hang it up if he cant quit bitching about the schedule everytime he has an interview.

He should be loving the schedule.

I would want my team playing the absolute best during the season. This way, they have to earn their playoff berth, and will not be shellshocked by playing a good team in the playoffs.

I guess Vermiel just wants to play creampuff teams, cruise into the playoffs, and then have his football team utterly destroyed when they have to play a top caliber team in the playoffs, when they arent used to playing against teams that are that good.

Screw that. Im glad we face some tough teams this year. It will get the team ready, and have them playing at their best if they want to win those games. Once the playoffs roll around, it will be business as usual. Playing some tough teams during the year will better prepare them for the level of play in the playoffs.

keg in kc
05-20-2005, 04:17 AM
whine whine whine bitch bitch bitch Man, talk about irony.

J Diddy
05-20-2005, 05:03 AM
Man, talk about irony.



I was totally thinking the same thing.

Rep for you.

tk13
05-20-2005, 05:31 AM
Man, Vermiel needs to just hang it up if he cant quit bitching about the schedule everytime he has an interview.

He should be loving the schedule.

I would want my team playing the absolute best during the season. This way, they have to earn their playoff berth, and will not be shellshocked by playing a good team in the playoffs.

I guess Vermiel just wants to play creampuff teams, cruise into the playoffs, and then have his football team utterly destroyed when they have to play a top caliber team in the playoffs, when they arent used to playing against teams that are that good.

Screw that. Im glad we face some tough teams this year. It will get the team ready, and have them playing at their best if they want to win those games. Once the playoffs roll around, it will be business as usual. Playing some tough teams during the year will better prepare them for the level of play in the playoffs.
Actually his 99 Rams team played a total creampuff schedule and still won a Super Bowl, and often times teams with an "easy" schedule do seem to have more success winning Super Bowls.

Either way, I do think Vermeil and the players should be thinking about a fast start every day up until when the season starts. I guess he shouldn't be saying that in interviews because it seems to upset people for some reason, but it's a fact. We cannot screw around like we did last year. We've got two Super Bowl contenders at home and two away games on national TV against division rivals to start the season. If we start 1-3 or 0-4, this season and all the moves we've made to prepare for it will be wasted right out of the gate. He darn well better be worried about it.

whoman69
05-20-2005, 09:55 AM
Its not inconceivable that the Chiefs could be 4-0 during that stretch. They can certainly beat the Jets at home, and despite Randy Moss, the Raiders will still be crap this year. Denver and Philly are problematic, but division games are often toss-ups, while Philly may be hurt by TOs latest antics. Play the games and try to win them all. That's your job DV, not to create this uphill scenario to motivate your team.