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tk13
08-21-2005, 01:05 AM
http://www.kansascity.com/mld/kansascity/sports/12437881.htm

Good start, bad finish for Chiefs
It’s too early to make a call about this team

JASON WHITLOCK
Kansas City Star


Halfway through the exhibition season, and it’s still difficult to get a read on the Kansas City Chiefs.

You have to credit their improved results — Kansas City’s first teams outscored Arizona’s starters 10-0 in the first half on Saturday at Arrowhead Stadium. But the results certainly don’t tell the complete story.

The referees gift-wrapped KC’s first touchdown, flagging the Cardinals for a 33-yard pass interference they didn’t commit. And Arizona quarterback Kurt Warner continued to prove that he’s nowhere near the player he was when Marshall Faulk carried him to two league MVP trophies in St. Louis.

What we learned the most Saturday was that defensive coordinator Gunther Cunningham still loves to blitz. He attacked Warner and Arizona with a plethora of linebacker, safety and corner blitzes. They all worked.

And they left you with the impression that Kansas City’s young, swift linebackers might be able to compensate for the Chiefs’ mediocre front four. Kawika Mitchell, Derrick Johnson and Kris Griffin, who started in place of Kendrell Bell, took turns making athletic plays with their speed. Scott Fujita came off the bench and forced a fumble.

In the secondary, Sammy Knight, Benny Sapp and Patrick Surtain all made plays.

Gunther’s constant attack masked KC’s defensive weaknesses — corner Dexter McCleon and a front four that lacks a dominant rusher. And might I add that Jimmy Wilkerson should remain the starter at right end for at least one more week. He didn’t do anything to lose the job, and Jared Allen didn’t do anything to re-establish himself as the starter.

“Defense played pretty well,” Dick Vermeil said. “We had good pressure on them.”

But, again, I’m reluctant to heap too much praise on KC’s defense. In holding the Cardinals to 127 yards in the first half, Gunther had to get pretty exotic with his scheme. And it’s difficult to articulate just how bad Warner looked. The man can barely throw a consistent spiral.

Seriously, what is Arizona coach Denny Green thinking going with Warner? The Cardinals have a suspect offensive line. Green would be better served playing a young, mobile QB such as backup Josh McCown. Arizona’s offense didn’t provide the Chiefs much of a test, certainly nothing like the test Daunte Culpepper and the Minnesota Vikings gave last week.

Offensively, the Chiefs did little without the assistance of the officiating crew. The Cardinals were flagged seven times for 97 yards in the opening half. Priest Holmes ripped off a 13-yard run early. He gained 3 yards in seven other carries.

Trent Green threw almost exclusively in the direction of second-year receiver Samie Parker. Parker ran an excellent route on his 8-yard TD reception. Parker made the defender nearly fall to the ground. Parker caught two passes for 14 yards. He did pick up two “mystery” pass-interference calls.

Green finished the night six of 10 for 59 yards.

“Still not functioning as well as we should,” said Vermeil, who admitted the pass-interference calls really benefited his offense.

Kansas City’s offense clicked when Larry Johnson ran the ball behind the first-string offensive line in the second quarter. On a drive that ended with a 38-yard missed field goal by Lawrence Tynes, Johnson had runs of 16, 6, 11 and 12 yards.

Johnson looked spectacular. Right now he’s the early favorite for exhibition MVP. He runs much more decisively than a year ago, and he runs with far more power.

So what we’ve learned so far, nearly three weeks from the kickoff the NFL season, is that Larry Johnson will help this season and Kansas City’s linebacking corps will be capable of making big plays.

Everything else is undecided. Whether or not an improved Johnson and linebacker corps will make a difference in the won-lost record is unknown. Stay tuned.

HolmeZz
08-21-2005, 01:09 AM
Whitlock's the epitome of a 'hater'.

beer bacon
08-21-2005, 01:13 AM
Whitlock's the epitome of a 'hater'.

I really don't know where he got that the first PI call on Macklin was not legit.

Coach
08-21-2005, 01:19 AM
Actually, there was a PI on Macklin in the first one. The very last frame where he had his hand clamped on Parker's forearms is the one where the officials nailed him.

Go watch a f**king film Fat-Ass.

HolmeZz
08-21-2005, 01:21 AM
I really don't know where he got that the first PI call on Macklin was not legit.

There's that and there's...

"Kurt Warner continued to prove that he’s nowhere near the player he was when Marshall Faulk carried him to two league MVP trophies in St. Louis."

"Offensively, the Chiefs did little without the assistance of the officiating crew."

"Arizona’s offense didn’t provide the Chiefs much of a test..."

I don't want every column to be upbeat, because they shouldn't be, but he writes so blatantly negative that it's annoying.

Chiefs Pantalones
08-21-2005, 01:28 AM
Actually, there was a PI on Macklin in the first one. The very last frame where he had his hand clamped on Parker's forearms is the one where the officials nailed him.

Go watch a f**king film Fat-Ass.

Titus has the film right now, he'll give it to Whitlock when he's done. :)

Halfcan
08-21-2005, 02:31 AM
I don't share the doom and gloom. We shut them out the first half, and that team has a great RB and good receivers. You should be happy that Gun called blitz's that the team executed properly-big difference from last year. Our offense isn't clicking, but without our two best tight ends and Will Shields what do you expect. Is it disapointing we lost-yes, but big deal it is preseason. I feel, much better than last week. At least we have something to build on.

Phantom PI calls? On one play Parker was held all the way off the line.

Our defense will be much improved-and I think will actually be fun to watch. If Whitlock, didn't like seeing DJ smash Arrington and Knight flying around-he just doesn't know football.