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philfree
08-23-2005, 02:00 PM
RAND: Chiefs need to show a little more life
Aug 23, 2005, 5:01:45 AM by Jonathan Rand - FAQ



One of the first things Dick Vermeil said after a 24-17 pre-season loss to Arizona was: “We can’t hide our head in the sand and say we’re great.”



Funny he should say that. The Chiefs are going through their pre-season games as if they know they’re good and have nothing to prove in August. Except that they’re coming off a 7-9 season and really do have something to prove in August. Not a great deal, maybe. But enough to suggest that they’ll make us all forget the 2004 season in a hurry.

The preseason is always misleading, not to mention dull. By circumstances and design, teams don’t show you what they can really do. So if a team just won the Super Bowl, you figure it’s going to be in contention again, no matter how it plays in the preseason. And if a team is coming off a 7-9 season, you look for evidence that it’s turned the corner.

The Chiefs are offering little evidence so far. The most impressive part of their Saturday night loss to the Cardinals was their defensive starters’ vastly improved play from the pre-season opener at Minnesota. It should be pointed out, though, that Chiefs’ starters blitzed an awful lot for just the second pre-season game. That caused major problems for Kurt Warner, an immobile quarterback who doesn’t have much of a running attack.

The rest of the Chiefs’ performance can be spun any way you like. Their starters dominated the first half and led 10-0. But without a key pass interference penalty, the Chiefs’ starters would’ve gone a second straight week without a touchdown.

It’s easy to write off that awful second half as an irrelevant battle of the scrubs, especially with 25 Chiefs not suited up. But a veteran backup like Damon Huard should stand out in these situations, even with a backup cast. He completed just 1 of 12 passes and threw two interceptions, making Todd Collins’ job even more secure than ever. You’d like to think a playoff-bound team would face some difficult roster cuts. Judging by the Chiefs’ overall play in the second half, it looks as though their cuts will make themselves.

And there were a couple of trouble spots even from starters. Dexter McCleon, who’s been named to replace suspended right cornerback Eric Warfield for the first four games, was badly beaten on a touchdown pass that was called back. His vulnerability wouldn’t seem like such a big deal if Vermeil in a pinch could switch to newcomers Ashley Ambrose or Dewayne Washington. Both have been long-time NFL starters, yet neither, surprisingly, has been able to serious challenge McCleon.

Vermeil’s biggest worry has to rest with Lawrence Tynes. If a place kicker’s inconsistent on the practice field and in pre-season games – he missed two of three field goal attempts against the Cardinals – why should he be consistent in the regular season?

Because the preseason is so misleading, you rely on gut feeling more than solid evidence for early opinions. My gut feeling, to borrow Vermeil’s warning, is that the Chiefs have their heads in the sand and think they’re great. They may be talented enough to win 10 or 11 games, but they won’t win even eight if they take success for granted.

Saturday night’s home game against the Seahawks won’t tell us a great deal, no matter how the Chiefs perform. But it would be reassuring to see them show a little more life and look as though they’re playing these games of summer for some reason other than that they happen to be on the schedule.

The opinions offered in this column do not necessarily reflect those of the Kansas City Chiefs.
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Well you ask for it you got it! Here's an article on the Chiefs site that is not homerish. I'm not sure I agree with it's assertion that the Chiefs need to show more life though. What they need is all the starters on the field and a meaningful game to play. Well .........and a new kicker.


PhilFree:arrow:

jspchief
08-23-2005, 02:08 PM
I think a lot of it has to do with the coaches. I think they make a lot of calls and decisions based on trying to establish the roster and figure out players, rather than concerning themselves with the win.

That being said, watching other games this pre-season, the Chiefs do appear to be dragging ass in comparison to some of the other teams. I've seen a lot of first units from other teams out there competing like it was the real thing.

The offense in particular seems to be coasting. It's easy to say "top offense over the last 3 years, they know what they are doing". And I hope thats true. But sometimes it's not that easy to flip the switch.

TRR
08-23-2005, 02:16 PM
I think a lot of it has to do with the coaches. I think they make a lot of calls and decisions based on trying to establish the roster and figure out players, rather than concerning themselves with the win.

That being said, watching other games this pre-season, the Chiefs do appear to be dragging ass in comparison to some of the other teams. I've seen a lot of first units from other teams out there competing like it was the real thing.

The offense in particular seems to be coasting. It's easy to say "top offense over the last 3 years, they know what they are doing". And I hope thats true. But sometimes it's not that easy to flip the switch.

Dick Vermeil has taken a new approach to this years training camp. He's rested more guys than ever before. One week in River Falls was enough to tell me that it would be a "progressive" Preseason. Meaning, that each week they would increase the number of reps for the starters, the players that are actually playing, and the play calling.

KC hasn't had 22 offensive and defensive starters on the field yet. Bell, Shields, TG, Kennison, Sampson, and Browning have all missed Preseason action. Then you have big contributers like Carlos Hall, Siavii, Collins, F. Mitchell, Fox, and Woods all missing action as well. I think that has a lot to do with why other teams have looked ready to go, while KC has still looked like their in Preseason mode.

By Preseason's end, I think they'll be caught up with all the other teams, and more fresh by seasons end. At least that's DV's hope.