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10-03-2005, 01:17 AM

Green sees red after rough day
Chiefs QB can’t hide his frustration with team’s play

The Kansas City Star

In their time with Trent Green at quarterback, the Chiefs have experienced losses more painful and more damaging to their playoff hopes.

Few if any were more frustrating than Sunday’s 37-31 loss to Philadelphia at Arrowhead Stadium, at least to Green.

He showed some rare animation and was obviously unhappy with teammates and coaches after his second-quarter interception was returned 40 yards for a touchdown by cornerback Sheldon Brown.

The play was the game’s mark of demarcation. The Eagles were lifeless until then in falling behind 17-0.

The Chiefs, meanwhile, had been on fire, having scored on each of their first three possessions. They wouldn’t score again on offense until the game’s final moments, when the Eagles had their victory salted away.

“We had the game going the way we wanted,” Green said. “Everything was clicking well offensively. We were moving the ball right down the field. Then it just flipped. It’s very frustrating. That was a game we should have won. We were in position to win. That makes it that much tougher.”

The Chiefs were quick to blame their four turnovers, which the Eagles converted into 24 points.

They were a major factor to be sure. But a bigger problem was this: The Chiefs were stagnant offensively even when they didn’t turn it over.

The Chiefs managed a feeble 72 second-half yards until their meaningless late touchdown drive. The Eagles patiently absorbed the early assault and then attacked when it became obvious the Chiefs couldn’t keep it up.

“We just never got into any sort of rhythm or flow in the second half,” Green said. “It became more of a guessing game in the second half. They did a good job of mixing it up in terms of their fronts, their coverages, their blitzes, their stunts, everything about it. They did a good job, and we guessed wrong. In the first half they pretty much were true to form in terms of what we thought they were going to do.”

As they did last week in Denver, the Chiefs had trouble when they tried to throw down the field. Playing again without injured left tackle Willie Roaf, the Chiefs didn’t protect Green well, particularly as the game moved along.

“We scaled things down as the game went on because Trent was getting hit back there,” coach Dick Vermeil said. “We went backward in what we could call.

“We had problems with pass protection, and that gives you a lot of concerns with what you can call and what your quarterback can get off. That probably restricted us more than anything.”

For Green, it all came to a head after the interception, the first of two made by Brown. The pass was intended for Eddie Kennison, but Dante Hall was in the area as well.

Green left the field gesturing and was clearly displeased with one player or both and apparently his coaches as well.

“There were a number of different things that were involved on that play,” he said. “We’ll keep that to ourselves. I’m not going to talk about that play.

It was just part of a bigger meltdown that suggested the Chiefs aren’t ready to compete with elite teams like the Eagles.

“We didn’t show the maturity we needed to win,” fullback Tony Richardson said, “against a team like this.”