View Full Version : Compliment paid to the Chiefs OL coaches.

Rain Man
12-28-2005, 12:52 PM
What can I say? It's a slow news day.


Unsung Heroes: Bringing the right attitude

By Pat Kirwan
NFL.com Senior Analyst

(Editor's note: For eight years, I have written the Unsung Heroes column during the season to bring attention to the people behind the scenes that help make some of the extraordinary things happen in the NFL on any given weekend. At the end of the year, the Unsung Hero of the Year is presented a trophy made in the name of Chip Myers, a longtime NFL assistant coach and former player who passed away just days after he was elevated to his first coordinator's position with the Minnesota Vikings. Chip was well respected by everyone in the coaching ranks and embodied all the virtues assistant coaches need to be successful. He was humble, a good teacher, a loyal friend and a tireless worker.)

(Dec. 27, 2005) -- This time of year, there are two kinds of performances by teams and coaches that impress me most: 1) teams with everything on the line and it's down to do-or-die for playoff consideration; and 2) situations where teams are out of the playoffs yet they play with great professional pride and knock someone out of contention. Last year, the Saints won their last game and sent the Panthers home for the winter, just one win shy of making the postseason.

As Steelers head coach Bill Cowher said this week, "We've been in the playoffs for a few weeks." The Redskins were 5-6 after 11 games but, like the Steelers with their backs to the wall, have responded and controlled their playoff destiny. Dallas, trying its best to win with young tackles and a number of rookies on defense, went into Carolina and notched a victory.

As for the pride and professional attitude, teams like Buffalo and Baltimore have staff members who exemplify what I love about the NFL. On any given Sunday, any team can beat another.

Ravens QB Kyle Boller is beginning to show signs of a seasoned veteran.
1. Jim Fassel and Rick Neuheisel of the Baltimore Ravens. Everyone has taken their shots at the Baltimore Ravens and more specifically their beleaguered young quarterback, Kyle Boller. Head coach Brian Billick has rested his head-coaching career on the shoulders of Boller and he has entrusted the young quarterback's success to Fassel and Neuheisel. In the past two weeks, the light went on for Boller and the six touchdown passes he has thrown are no accidents. In the win over the Vikings, which knocked Minnesota out of the playoff contension, Fassel developed a plan and Neuheisel taught it to Boller well enough that he connected on 24 of 34 passes for 289 yards and three touchdowns. The future of the Ravens offense looks a lot brighter in the past two weeks with TE Todd Heap grabbing 13 passes, WR Derrick Mason accounting for 14 catches and young WR Mark Clayton hauling in seven. It will be interesting in the last week of the season to see if these coaches can get Boller to finish on high note against the Browns.

2. Bobby April, special teams coach for the Buffalo Bills. One of the first places we can spot problem on a team is on the special teams unit, especially on the road against an excellent playoff contender. April clearly had his unit motivated to make a difference in the win over the Bengals on Saturday. Buffalo held the Bengals special teams unit to 125 return yards while chalking up 294 yards and a score. That extra 169 return yards accounted for a hidden 16 first downs and excellent field positions. April has done a fine job with returner Terrence McGee, who had a 99-yard kickoff return for a score and he is also developing Roscoe Parrish into another dangerous return man.

3. Kevin Spencer, special teams coach for the Pittsburgh Steelers. When an NFL head coach stands up and tells the media at his press conference that the special teams' effort over the past two weeks is the best he can remember in a long time, I take notice. Spencer has done a solid job for head coach Bill Cowher. The Steelers kicking game is very good considering the inconsistent winds in their home stadium -- kicker Jeff Reed hasn't missed from inside 40 yards (18 for 18), punter Chris Gardocki has a 41.9 average and has put 20 inside the 20-yard line. Receiver Quincy Morgan has developed nicely as a kick returner, averaging 26.2 per return. But the most impressive aspect of Spencer's work is the coverage unit that prevents big plays by staying disciplined -- something Cowher loves to see being a former special teams coach himself.

4. Mike Solari and Irv Eatman, offensive line coaches for the Kansas City Chiefs. Kansas City has three offensive linemen heading to the Pro Bowl -- Willie Roaf, Will Shields and Brian Waters -- and they have two other excellent linemen in center Casey Wiegmann and right tackle John Welbourn. Solari has done a masterful job of bringing these five men together to become one of the best offensive lines in the NFL. Last week in a must-win situation to keep their playoff hopes alive and end the playoff dreams of the Chargers, the Chiefs offensive line was the big difference in the game. San Diego came into the game with the No. 1 rushing defense in the NFL and the Chiefs' Larry Johnson rushed for 131 yards and a touchdown. Johnson would be the first to say that the offensive line does well in opening up the holes and he does the rest. The Chargers boast a top-10 pass-rush defense and it got to Trent Green twice for sacks. But when you consider that Green threw 35 passes and connected on two scores, the Chiefs offensive line won the pass battle as well as the running game. Congratulations to Solari and his assistant, Eatman, for coaching a unit as respected as any in the league.

5. Don Breaux, offensive coordinator for the Washington Redskins. Don't look now, but here comes the red-hot Redskins. Just a few weeks ago, they were sputtering with a 5-6 record, but they have won four straight games and now control their own fate for a playoff berth. When a team comes back from a 36-0 beating to win the rematch and score 35 points like Washington did this past week against the Giants in a must-win situation, some of the credit has to go to the offensive coordinator. In this case, the credit goes to Breaux, who has coached in the league for close to 25 years. In classic Joe Gibbs style, Breaux used 43 running plays and just 19 pass plays with two different quarterbacks to avenge a shutout by the Giants from earlier this season. With backup QB Patrick Ramsey, 42-year-old offensive guard Ray Brown and a masterful job of using WR Santana Moss the Redskins are alive and well as they head to Philadelphia to close out the season.

12-28-2005, 01:16 PM
Whenever Dan Dierdorf does our games, he has props for our Oline as well. Funny how that bitch Randy Cross never has any for us. They both were former Oline when they played.

12-28-2005, 01:20 PM
Nice to get some love, too bad it will cost the O-Line some "Publicity" cash

12-28-2005, 01:24 PM
We need to keep Solari

12-28-2005, 01:27 PM
We need to keep Solari100% agree.

Mr. Laz
12-28-2005, 01:27 PM
the coaches i want to keep

the offensive line and RB coaches

maybe terry shea

the rest can hit the bricks