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tk13
11-14-2005, 01:24 AM
http://www.kansascity.com/mld/kansascity/sports/13161105.htm

There are reasons Green has lost his golden touch

By JOE POSNANSKI

The Kansas City Star


ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — In the moments after this dud, Chiefs quarterback Trent Green either would not or could not say what went wrong. The Chiefs scored three points Sunday. Three measly points. The most prolific offense of the George W. Bush era never once drove within 15 yards of the Buffalo end zone.

Green had three interceptions, one fumble and was sacked six times, a losing lottery ticket in every state. The offense played its worst game since a meaningless mud-bowl game in Oakland back at the end of the wasted 2002 season.

“I’m confused,” Chiefs tight end Tony Gonzalez said Sunday.

“I don’t know what it is,” Chiefs running back Tony Richardson said.

“Nope,” Chiefs running back Larry Johnson said. That’s all he said, in fact.

There was so much bewilderment and embarrassment after this 14-3 loss to Buffalo that even guard Brian Waters, one of the best guys in the NFL, did not want to talk. Heck, after this one, nobody knew what to say.

The focus of this fiasco was Green, who played his worst game with the Chiefs. Nothing went right for Green. He was harassed, sacked, baited and knocked down hard when an old teammate, London Fletcher, took a cheap shot after an interception. He had passes dropped. His timing was off. He tried to force one pass into triple coverage.

And there’s no hiding it: After three fairly golden seasons, Green is having a troubling year. He has thrown seven touchdown passes all season to go with six interceptions. He is not throwing the ball downfield. He is taking a beating. He has lost critical fumbles three weeks in a row. The Chiefs’ offense, for the first time in a long while, looks ordinary.

After Sunday’s game, Green either would not or could not say what’s happening.

“I’ll let you guys figure that out,” he said. “I’m not going to throw anyone under the bus.”

Well, we were never very good at guessing games, but heck, we’ll give it a try. For three years, 2002 to 2004, Chiefs offensive coordinator Al Saunders designed an offense that perfectly matched Trent Green’s talents. The Chiefs scored more points than any team in the NFL over that span, and they did it without a star wide receiver, without a breakaway running back, without a deep passing game.

So, how did they score so many points? Well, Priest Holmes was Superman. The Chiefs’ offensive line played better than any unit in the NFL. Tony Gonzalez gave Green a big target to hit on third down and around the goal line.

More than anything, the Chiefs’ offense played to Green’s strengths. He’s as smart and prepared as any quarterback in the NFL. Given time, he will find open receivers. He does not give up on plays. These are the things he does well. In an offense that protected him and gave him numerous options, Green played at a Pro Bowl level.

This year, of course, things are different.

1. Left tackle Willie Roaf, a future Hall of Famer, has played in only three full games. The Chiefs are simply not a very good offensive team without Roaf. They weren’t particularly good the year before he arrived, and they are averaging fewer than 19 points per game when he doesn’t start this year.

Without Roaf, the Chiefs have played a shell game with that offensive line, moving Jordan Black here, sliding John Welbourn there, and it hasn’t fooled anyone. Green has been sacked nine times the last two weeks. He has been hit many more times than that.

2. Priest Holmes is gone. I know everybody loves Larry Johnson’s talent, and I do, too. He’s bigger, faster, stronger. He ran for 132 yards on Sunday, he caught five passes, he chased down Buffalo’s Jeff Posey from way behind after a fumble. It was a terrific play.

He also whiffed on a blitzing linebacker, dropped a pass late, missed a big hole on a pitch play and ran for just 32 yards in 11 carries in the second half. I’m not picking on him — the guy put up great numbers again — but people do forget just how good Priest Holmes has been for this team. He was the team’s leading receiver, he blocked effectively, he scored touchdowns at a record rate, he picked up first downs, he set up his blocks like nobody else, and he seemed to make big plays whenever the Chiefs needed them. He was All-World.

That’s not so easily replaced.

3. The Chiefs’ wide-receiver problem suddenly looks glaring. It’s true that the Chiefs’ high-scoring offense has not counted much on wide receivers — they have not had a wide receiver catch more than 62 passes in the Vermeil era. But this year, it’s clear that defenses flood the middle, go after the quarterback and dare the Chiefs to throw deep.

The Chiefs have failed. Eddie Kennison has had his moments, but no No. 2 receiver has emerged. Green has thrown four touchdown passes to wide receivers, and three of those came late, when the game had already been decided.

Throw all those things together, and you can see why Trent Green has struggled so much. The offense no longer seems designed for him. They are not protecting him. They are not giving him choices. And suddenly his limitations — he’s not elusive, he does not have an overwhelming arm, he does not throw a great deep ball — are on display.

So what now? Well, this is the NFL, and things change quickly. If the Chiefs could win next week at Houston and score a bunch of points, everyone will feel good again. But make no mistake: This Buffalo game wasn’t just another loss. This was one of those games that can make players ask that grave question: “Are we any good?”

The answer to that question, the Magic 8 Ball would say, is “Hazy. Try again.”

ferrarispider95
11-14-2005, 01:55 AM
Good article

Cochise
11-14-2005, 05:53 AM
Of course he doesn't have a billion dollar arm. The guy was a 7th round draft pick.

I would have a hard time throwing too if I had to make the decision and do it in the 0.12 seconds of protection he's got to work with.

Extra Point
11-14-2005, 06:17 AM
Pass protection was terrible.

wolfpack0735
11-14-2005, 06:19 AM
yea trent isnt as good this year but 3/4ths is the line,1/8th trent and the other 1/8th the WR`s. it is taking them a long time to get open. maybe because we dont have a #1 threat. when other teams can put their best CB on a TE then its a sad day for our WR`s.

ck_IN
11-14-2005, 07:23 AM
Interesting that JW and Joe Po are saying basicly the same thing, which is more or less what some of the DV detractors have said from the beginning: This is a gimmick offense that only really works in a perfect environment. Green no longer has that hothouse environment and he's wilting.

This is where coaching is supposed to step in and make the difference. Our all pro LT is gone. Ok put in his backup, give him some TE help and run pass routes that minimize the exposure. Instead we pretend its business as usual and we act surprised at the results.

The league has caught up to DV's gimmick offense. DV's complete lack of player planning/development is starting to tell. Green, as good as he's been, is being exposed. We've built a team around the idea of win now and to hell with later which fit in with DV's 5 year show the world it was me and not Martz then retire again plan.

We're in for some pain gang, the rebuild will come sooner or later and DV/CP whistling past the graveyard won't change that.

Mecca
11-14-2005, 07:34 AM
Are we becoming the Rams the season their line was horrible and got Warner killed? It's looking more and more like it every week.

FringeNC
11-14-2005, 07:37 AM
Interesting that JW and Joe Po are saying basicly the same thing, which is more or less what some of the DV detractors have said from the beginning: This is a gimmick offense that only really works in a perfect environment. Green no longer has that hothouse environment and he's wilting.

This is where coaching is supposed to step in and make the difference. Our all pro LT is gone. Ok put in his backup, give him some TE help and run pass routes that minimize the exposure. Instead we pretend its business as usual and we act surprised at the results.

The league has caught up to DV's gimmick offense. DV's complete lack of player planning/development is starting to tell. Green, as good as he's been, is being exposed. We've built a team around the idea of win now and to hell with later which fit in with DV's 5 year show the world it was me and not Martz then retire again plan.

We're in for some pain gang, the rebuild will come sooner or later and DV/CP whistling past the graveyard won't change that.

Gimmick offense? What offense WILL work with no WR and terrible pass protection? If it's a gimmick offense, why are more teams using it now?

jAZ
11-14-2005, 08:01 AM
Pass protection was terrible.
I guess when you are a columnist, and have to write 1000 words, 4 words will never do.

This article wastes a whole lotta paper, a whole lotta words and a whole lotta my time expaining that the problem is the pass protection.

Tuckdaddy
11-14-2005, 08:18 AM
No team can win if you can't protect the QB. If you are not great at protection then you had better have some WR's that get open quickly and we don't have that either. So we are screwed in both categories.

ck_IN
11-14-2005, 08:21 AM
<i>What offense WILL work with no WR and terrible pass protection?</i>

The bigger question is why do the two above conditions exist? DV has had what five years now? Apparently we've hinged our offense around an aging LT with a history of leg problems who may have 2 more years left in him.

And to answer your question I don't see that many teams trying to run it. Mainly because they know the league has started to catch up with it.

Lzen
11-14-2005, 09:04 AM
<i>What offense WILL work with no WR and terrible pass protection?</i>

The bigger question is why do the two above conditions exist? DV has had what five years now? Apparently we've hinged our offense around an aging LT with a history of leg problems who may have 2 more years left in him.

And to answer your question I don't see that many teams trying to run it. Mainly because they know the league has started to catch up with it.

Ok, that's nonsense. This offense is about as old as the NFL. It started with the Lions and Sid Gilman, if memory servers. The Chargers of the 80s made it work well. Heh, that's a good comparison, btw. All offense and no defense for years and that ended with no SB appearances. Very similar to the Chiefs. The Cowboys of the early to mid 90s ran this same offens to 3 SB titles. The late 90s to early 00s Rams rode this offense to 2 SB appearances with one SB title.

The Chiefs of the past 3-4 years have had the top offense in the league. Too bad they waited so long to fix their defense. Now the offense is showing signs of aging. Those injuries really show our lack of depth at certain positions.

All the teams I listed have played this same offense. They just used their own variations of it. But it was the same offense.

RINGLEADER
11-14-2005, 09:19 AM
Are we becoming the Rams the season their line was horrible and got Warner killed? It's looking more and more like it every week.


Yep.

ct
11-14-2005, 10:46 AM
Our offense has had one helluva run behind an incredible offensive line. Now it's fallen apart, all of it. Unless this O-Line gets fixed suddenly, and Denver comes back to us in the standings, this is NOT a playoff team.

Hell, I just layed out the remaining schedule of both KC and Denver, how we could tie them at 11-5 and KC wins the division. I thought the KC prediction was really a stretch, but it certainly did not involve a loss to Buffalo. And it sure as hell did not involve a pathetic showing like we saw yesterday.

It ain't over, but it don't look good...

FringeNC
11-14-2005, 10:48 AM
<i>What offense WILL work with no WR and terrible pass protection?</i>

The bigger question is why do the two above conditions exist? DV has had what five years now? Apparently we've hinged our offense around an aging LT with a history of leg problems who may have 2 more years left in him.

And to answer your question I don't see that many teams trying to run it. Mainly because they know the league has started to catch up with it.

To me, it's the West Coast offense that the league has caught up to....It used to dominate.

KCTitus
11-14-2005, 11:09 AM
You're probably right...an OL with 5 guys that were PB quality, a RB that has scored the most TD's in the last 3 years that's both a passing and rushing threat, a first ballot HOF TE...that's a gimmick formula for success.

KC should look to something else to move the ball.

Calcountry
11-14-2005, 11:31 AM
What cracked me up, is the number of fantasy bettors that thought the over 41 would carry.

Our O has been on display now for 9 games, and quite frankly it has sucked. The holes aren't there for priest, and when he got banged in SD it looked like he quit. What is this chit I hear about him not calling DV? He basically has said f it, it aint' worth it. What does it do to a team to have its leader say F it, it ain't worth it.

I have a sneaking suspicion, that the team quit in Buffalo.

If you can't have enough carryover from that goal line play the week before, then something huge happened to this teams spirit this week that caused the impotent limp ***** offense that we seen out there on Sunday.

It is definitely gut check time for them.

siberian khatru
11-14-2005, 11:37 AM
I have a sneaking suspicion, that the team quit in Buffalo.



I don't think the D did. They displayed the most violence they've shown in ... years.

KCChiefsFan88
11-14-2005, 12:30 PM
<i>What offense WILL work with no WR and terrible pass protection?</i>

The bigger question is why do the two above conditions exist? DV has had what five years now? Apparently we've hinged our offense around an aging LT with a history of leg problems who may have 2 more years left in him.

And to answer your question I don't see that many teams trying to run it. Mainly because they know the league has started to catch up with it.


I don't think it really is an issue of the rest of the league catching up with the Chiefs offense, I think it is more of the Chiefs offense because of age/injury not being able to execute like they were able to the past few years.

It really was never a secret what the Chiefs were trying to do on offense, run the ball with Priest, then use the playfake in the passing game to get the ball to Gonzo or one of the WRs, or set up a screen play with Priest.

Because the Chiefs are still running the ball well I think those playfakes could still be effective but the problem is those playfake plays require more time to develop and Trent doesn't have that time anymore in the pocket because of the protection breakdowns.

chiefsfaninNC
11-14-2005, 01:32 PM
yea trent isnt as good this year but 3/4ths is the line,1/8th trent and the other 1/8th the WR`s. it is taking them a long time to get open. maybe because we dont have a #1 threat. when other teams can put their best CB on a TE then its a sad day for our WR`s.


I agree that the line play is terrible this year. But I would still put 1/2 on the receivers, 3/8 on the OL and 1/8 on Trent. The OL must not be asked to pick up Blitz after Blitz. Our receivers are not getting open. Then when they do get open they drop the ball. Example. Late 2nd quarter, driving in Bills territory, the OL picked up the Blitz and Trent found Horn all alone inside the 20. HE ****ING DROPPED IT! You take the defense out of blitzing by making plays. Our receivers are not making plays.