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tk13
01-25-2006, 02:06 AM
http://www.kansascity.com/mld/kansascity/sports/13704030.htm

Touting the line
Chiefs confident Solari can lead offense

By ADAM TEICHER
The Kansas City Star

There’s little debate at Arrowhead Stadium or anywhere in the football world about Mike Solari’s ability as an offensive-line coach.

Solari is widely considered to be one of the best at the craft. The Chiefs built a powerful offense around what is considered the NFL’s best line and one that was molded by the 51-year-old Solari.

Chiefs president/general manager Carl Peterson said each of the five candidates he interviewed to become head coach, including Herm Edwards, indicated a desire to retain Solari.

But do his considerable skills as an offensive-line coach mean he’s ready to be the Chiefs’ offensive coordinator? Can the ability to teach sometimes-arcane blocking techniques to a 300-plus-pound lineman be the proper training to design game plans and call plays?

The Chiefs obviously think so. They promoted him to coordinator recently after nine seasons as their line coach.

“This guy knows everything about our offense that he needs to know, including the passing game, the pass protections and routes,” Peterson said. “I don’t think there’s a more deserving guy to take this next step.

“He understands and knows this offense as well as anybody I’ve ever been around. He’s a magnificent teacher and communicator.”
Those are qualities any team would desire in an offensive coordinator.

Still, in Solari’s impeccable 29-year coaching career that began in 1977 when he coached the offensive line at Mission Bay High School in San Diego, he has directed an offense only once.

That was in 1986 at the University of Pittsburgh while he also coached the line.

The Chiefs are going against prevailing wisdom that says line coaches don’t make good coordinators. Only three of this season’s 31 NFL offensive coordinators — the Patriots didn’t designate one — have roots as offensive-line coaches. One, Tampa Bay’s Bill Muir, works for a head coach who calls his own plays.

“People say, ‘He’s never called a play,’ ” said Edwards, who as Jets coach tried to hire Solari as his offensive coordinator. “Well, I was never a head coach and never walked in front of a team until I had to do it. I just think you give people the opportunity to do that and you’d be surprised what can happen. Mike is ready for it. He’s been a very good coach in this league, and it’s his turn.

“I go on instinct, and I go on watching how a guy goes about preparing his players.”

Most coordinators have been coaches of quarterbacks or receivers or occasionally running backs.

“The obvious concern is always the passing game,” Peterson said. “Do they really understand quarterback play, the mechanics of it, and also receivers and the mechanics of that and patterns and routes and releases and attacking coverages? There are those who have struggled with it and those who have had great success.”

It doesn’t have to be a big adjustment for Solari, who will have help in the passing game from a veteran staff that includes quarterbacks coach Terry Shea and wide receivers coach Charlie Joiner.

“I don’t think it’s that big of a leap because he’s doing most of the hard work anyway,” CBS analyst Phil Simms said. “I don’t think you can be that successful of a line coach if you can’t see the big picture. He can always get somebody to help him with the passing game. The most important thing about passing the football is the schemes you use protecting the quarterback. Their offensive-line play and the designs of their runs are the best in the NFL.

“I would think he’s ready to make the move up to coordinator. I just go by what other coaches tell me and how highly thought of he is in the NFL. I hear of three or four different line coaches in the league, and he’s always one of them.”

Former Chiefs coach Dick Vermeil was almost faced with the need to hire a coordinator two years ago when Al Saunders came close to taking the head coaching job at the University of Nebraska.

Vermeil indicated he would have become the coordinator himself had Saunders departed, but said that was no reflection on Solari.

“Mike is one of the most capable individuals I’ve ever worked with,” Vermeil said. “He’s a full professor. His attention to detail is tremendous. He has no limitations. Some coaches are great on the practice field or great in meetings or great motivators. I think he’s got all the components wrapped up in one package.

“Any offensive-line coach moving to coordinator would also want somebody to work with him side by side in the passing game. Offensive-line coaches are so zeroed in on the line play and pass protection and the running game that they don’t have time to be a master of it all.”

Tackle Willie Roaf played in his first Pro Bowl long before he joined the Chiefs or began working with Solari in 2002. Roaf was enthusiastic when he heard of Solari’s promotion.

“I don’t think I’ve ever been around another line coach who understands the offense like Solari,” Roaf said. “He understands what our running game plan is, designing the running game plan and figuring out plays are going to work week to week against different defenses and different formations.

“The first few weeks, it would probably be somewhat different for him because I don’t think he’s ever been a coordinator. I’m sure it would be an adjustment for him. But he understands defenses well enough. He’ll do a good job.”

Dunit35
01-25-2006, 02:08 AM
I think he will do a damn fine job.

J Diddy
01-25-2006, 02:41 AM
I think he will do a damn fine job.

I think so too.

keg in kc
01-25-2006, 03:21 AM
Really? Wow. I thought the Chiefs hired him because they thought he was sure to fail.

I'm stunned.

donkhater
01-25-2006, 06:27 AM
Personally, I feel if he hadn't picked up the entire offense in the five years that he has been the coaching the O-line for it, he isn't as bright as they say.

We're not talking about brain surgery or nuclear physics. It's just football.

I'm sure he is very asute in the nuances of offense. The only real concern that I or anyone should have is how well he can call plays. He's been an itegral part of the gameplanning process I'm sure. But in-game play calling is what sets offenses in this league apart from one another IMO.

Bob Dole
01-25-2006, 06:52 AM
In retrospect, maybe it's a bad thing that Saunders didn't take the Nebraska job. If Vermeil had assumed duties as the offensive coordinator, maybe he would have been forced to let someone else handle all the decisions regarding the efense...

siberian khatru
01-25-2006, 07:00 AM
I wonder if JoPo is crouched under his desk yelling "uncle." The Star's really piled on after he wrote that "No Saunders = failure" column.

DaWolf
01-25-2006, 07:00 AM
Personally, I feel if he hadn't picked up the entire offense in the five years that he has been the coaching the O-line for it, he isn't as bright as they say.

We're not talking about brain surgery or nuclear physics. It's just football.

I'm sure he is very asute in the nuances of offense. The only real concern that I or anyone should have is how well he can call plays. He's been an itegral part of the gameplanning process I'm sure. But in-game play calling is what sets offenses in this league apart from one another IMO.

True, gameplanning is one thing, the best playcallers though know when to call the right plays, deviate from the "script", and make quick in game adjustments. We'll see how good he is.

I don't see where this is going to be a huge problem. Saunders relied on Solari to put together the running gameplan during the week, so if Solari reverses roles and has Shea help him put toghether the passing gameplan during the week, no problem. Green will probably have a good deal of input into it as well...

John_Wayne
01-25-2006, 08:08 AM
Vermeil indicated he would have become the coordinator himself had Saunders departed............... !!!!! Nooooooooooooooooo!!!! :shake: :banghead:

greg63
01-25-2006, 08:17 AM
I don't know much about the guy, but if he is as good a coach as everyone thinks he is then it sounds like our offense is in good hands.

Still, in Solari’s impeccable 29-year coaching career that began in 1977 when he coached the offensive line at Mission Bay High School in San Diego, he has directed an offense only once.


..This, I guess, would be the only thing that would concern me; however, he has been in the league quite long enough to have gained the experience necessary.

Extra Point
01-25-2006, 08:24 AM
Making the statement, "He can always get somebody to help him with the passing game" sounds like a stretch. Solari is a good pick for OC, as the line makes the offense.

Sure, Barry Sanders had tons of yards with no line, but the Lions didn't have any wins, save one playoff season.

Look for lots of short-yardage pass plays, and a lot of hammering the big rock in the running game. End-the-round will become a rarity.

royr17
01-25-2006, 08:41 AM
Are you kiddin me ???

DV said he would've became OC if Saunders had left ? Where did you hear that at ?

mlyonsd
01-25-2006, 08:45 AM
If Willie's good with it so am I.

milkman
01-25-2006, 09:29 AM
Really? Wow. I thought the Chiefs hired him because they thought he was sure to fail.

I'm stunned.

No, that's why Hermie was hired.
Pay attention, dammit!

milkman
01-25-2006, 09:30 AM
Are you kiddin me ???

DV said he would've became OC if Saunders had left ? Where did you hear that at ?

Try reading the article posted.

CosmicPal
01-25-2006, 09:44 AM
I, like Roaf, am enthusiastic about his promotion. Like they say, he deserves it.

As for his play-calling ability- I wouldn't worry about it- he's going to have some veteran assistants around him, not to mention he will be working all this off-season studying game films and preparing for the real thing. Most importantly though, I believe he will give Trent a whole lot more flexibility in commanding the offense at the line of scrimmage and with Trent's command of the offense, I'm not worried.

KCTitus
01-25-2006, 09:45 AM
Try reading the article posted.

Ouch...pwned.

Chan93lx50
01-25-2006, 09:46 AM
Try reading the article posted.

Genious!

Maybe I should try that too! ROFL

Fat Elvis
01-25-2006, 10:58 AM
As long as he abandons those patented Al Saunder's "cute" plays in critical situations, I'm all for Solari. I think Solari is more of a meat and potatoes type of guy than Saunders and the play calling will actually improve. I hope if Larry Johnson is getting 6-7 ypc in a game that Solari will continue to feed him the ball instead of trying a triple reverse to Dante Hall. I also think Trent Green will have a longer leash to call plays on the field if he sees something at the line. This could be a very big move for the Chiefs.

milkman
01-25-2006, 11:06 AM
As long as he abandons those patented Al Saunder's "cute" plays in critical situations, I'm all for Solari. I think Solari is more of a meat and potatoes type of guy than Saunders and the play calling will actually improve. I hope if Larry Johnson is getting 6-7 ypc in a game that Solari will continue to feed him the ball instead of trying a triple reverse to Dante Hall. I also think Trent Green will have a longer leash to call plays on the field if he sees something at the line. This could be a very big move for the Chiefs.

Al gets shit for not riding the horse that is LJ, but the fact is, LJ can't be expected to carry the rock 30 times a game, as he was throughout the second half of the season, throughout an entire season.

For this offense to maintain a high level, it will have to maintain balance.

That means that Solari is going to have to find ways to utilize and maximize the rest of the talent on offense.

I think Al got "cute" because the rest of the talent on offense isn't really all that talented.

Those "cute" plays at least gave the defense something to think about.

Mr. Laz
01-25-2006, 11:20 AM
As long as he abandons those patented Al Saunder's "cute" plays in critical situations, I'm all for Solari. I think Solari is more of a meat and potatoes type of guy than Saunders and the play calling will actually improve. I hope if Larry Johnson is getting 6-7 ypc in a game that Solari will continue to feed him the ball instead of trying a triple reverse to Dante Hall. I also think Trent Green will have a longer leash to call plays on the field if he sees something at the line. This could be a very big move for the Chiefs.
he never ran a triple reverse to Dante Hall or a triple reverse of any kind that i remember.

larry johnson carried the ball (under saunders) as much as any back in the league. (7th in the league in rush attempts and he only started 9 games)


95% of the stuff people complain about pertaining to Saunders playcalling is "make believe" BS.

nmt1
01-25-2006, 11:26 AM
95% of the stuff people complain about pertaining to Saunders playcalling is "make believe" BS.

So true.

The last thing we want to be is predictable and one dimensional.

KCChiefsFan88
01-25-2006, 02:12 PM
As long as he abandons those patented Al Saunder's "cute" plays in critical situations, I'm all for Solari. I think Solari is more of a meat and potatoes type of guy than Saunders and the play calling will actually improve. I hope if Larry Johnson is getting 6-7 ypc in a game that Solari will continue to feed him the ball instead of trying a triple reverse to Dante Hall. I also think Trent Green will have a longer leash to call plays on the field if he sees something at the line. This could be a very big move for the Chiefs.


Those "cute plays" were ways to keep the opposing defense off balance instead of just putting 8-9 guys in the box to stop the run, which helped the Chiefs lead the NFL in scoring per game over the past 5 seasons and rank #1 in total offense the past 2 seasons.

I still have considerable doubts about Solari as an offensive coordinator. I'm concerned he's going to be a conservative play caller and the Chiefs offense is going to look very Jimmy Raye-like in terms of lacking any imagination.

Part of the success of the Chiefs running game was the fact defenses couldn't just put 8 men in the box to stop the run because Al Saunders was constantly attacking downfield with the passing game or changing it up with WR screens, reverses, etc.

Which philosophy, when it comes to the passing game is Mike Solari going to take. The Al Saunders approach or the Jimmy Raye approach?

philfree
01-25-2006, 03:21 PM
Al gets shit for not riding the horse that is LJ, but the fact is, LJ can't be expected to carry the rock 30 times a game, as he was throughout the second half of the season, throughout an entire season.

For this offense to maintain a high level, it will have to maintain balance.

That means that Solari is going to have to find ways to utilize and maximize the rest of the talent on offense.

I think Al got "cute" because the rest of the talent on offense isn't really all that talented.

Those "cute" plays at least gave the defense something to think about.

Yeah those cute plays help to spread out the Ds and open up holes for our offense. Not so much late this season but how many times did Al call a reverse early in games? Same with those Dante Hall WR screens. The Ds had to play the whole field because they never knew when Al was gonna call one of those plays. As far as trickery is concerned did we ever run a flea-flicker with Al as OC?

PhilFree:arrow:

foxman
01-25-2006, 03:39 PM
He might have been a fine o-line coach, but our players may have had a hand in how well they played. Without Roaf our o-line struggled and thats putting it lightly, who's responsability was it to eleviate that transition?





Just sayin.

ChiefsCountry
01-25-2006, 04:09 PM
Saunders did run some bull shit formations that ended up being a blast or power play.