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BigRock
10-10-2006, 02:59 PM
Sorry if this is a repost, but I didn't see it. Nice article by Michael Smith.

http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/columns/story?columnist=smith_michael&id=2620278


Huard surprising everyone but the Chiefs

By Michael Smith
ESPN.com

The Bears are beating the living crap out of people. The Eagles have bounced back from last season. San Diego's still just as strong with Philip Rivers at QB. The Rams' and Saints' talent is shining under rookie coaches.

But the team that surprises/impresses/intrigues me the most right now?

It's a little lower in the power rankings, a member of the league's middle class, a .500 team.

Kansas City.

Two-and-two-damn-near-three-and-one Kansas City. Led-by-Damon-Huard Kansas City.

Damon Huard.

The Chiefs were supposed to be devastated, remember, when Trent Green's head bounced off the Arrowhead Stadium turf in Week 1, forcing them to go from a quarterback who had started 81 consecutive regular season games to one who attempted just one pass -- an incompletion, by the way -- in five years. And maybe that's not so bad if you still have Willie Roaf and John Welbourn protecting the backup at the tackle spots, but both those guys retired in the offseason. Or if you have Roaf's replacement even, Kyle Turley, protecting the backup's blind side, except Turley's been out the past two games with back pain.

The Chiefs are supposed to be hurting under these circumstances. And yet here they are, right in the thick of things.

I know. Some of you will argue that the Chiefs haven't done anything special, beating San Francisco at home and Arizona on the road in Matt Leinart's first start. To that I say again: Damon Huard. Remember three weeks ago? They went to Mile High, where the Chiefs have struggled in recent years, and lost by a field goal in OT to the Broncos.A lot of eyes are on the quarterback situations in Dallas and Miami when they should be looking in amazement at what Huard and the Chiefs are doing.

Herman Edwards probably isn't the consensus "coach of the first quarter" but no head coach has done a better job playing the hand his team's been dealt. He's succeeded in getting his players to buy into a different philosophy, to play more as a team. Edwards has the Chiefs in slugfests as opposed to shootouts. Ball control, field position -- the style of ball that's going to reverse the Chiefs' 16-24 record away from Arrowhead the previous five years.

That's why the win over the Cardinals was significant. The night before the game Edwards spoke to his team about ignoring the obstacles and focusing on the objective. Sure enough, the Chiefs were down 14-0 in the first quarter and trailed by 10 in the fourth. But they hung tough. That's what the Chiefs are now, tough. Mentally tough.

"You've got to be mentally tough to play for me," Edwards said Monday.

The Chiefs experienced the toughest break so far when Green suffered a concussion. But Edwards told Huard when Green went down that all he had to do was manage the game, don't lose it and that whatever he did, avoid turning the ball over. The rest of the team would pick up the slack by keeping the game close so that the offense wouldn't have to play from behind and Huard would remain in a comfort zone. Huard has kept his end of the bargain and heeded his coach's instructions: He's completing 70.2 percent of his passes, with five touchdowns and no interceptions, for an efficiency rating of 107.4. He's even had eight completions of 20 or more yards.

You want to talk about adjustments, the Chiefs know they can't play the same style of offense as they did under Dick Vermeil. With their tackle situation, they can't send five guys in a pass pattern and still expect to avoid playing third-stringer Brodie Croyle. They're pounding Larry Johnson and giving Huard more opportunities each week.

They're making it work.

None of that would be possible, though, without the transformation of the Chiefs' defense under Edwards and coordinator Gunther Cunningham. They've only allowed 52 points (13 a game, 15 total in the second half) and rank fourth overall and fourth against the pass. We're talking about a defense that in recent years has had a place reserved at the bottom of the rankings.

If the Chiefs can pick up a pass-rushing tackle in the offseason, they could really be special on defense. Denver and San Diego's 'backers get a lot of the pub, but the Chiefs' group is pretty good, too. Their No. 1 pick, defensive end Tamba Hali, is a player. Sunday he posted seven tackles, a sack, a forced fumble, and two hurries.

It's uncertain when Green is going to be able to return but when and if he does, no matter what Huard has done, Edwards will give the ball back to Green because he makes the offense more potent. Meantime, Huard is doing some kind of job holding down the fort.

K.C.'s really going to be tested over this upcoming difficult stretch of games: at (desperate) Pittsburgh on Sunday, San Diego and Seattle at home the next two weeks, and at St. Louis. Guaranteed they play those guys tough, though. The Chiefs aren't soft anymore.

Not a lot of people seem to be talking about the Chiefs right now, but if Huard stays hot and they get Green back soon, with Johnson and that defense, Kansas City will be a factor late in the year.

FAX
10-10-2006, 03:02 PM
Nice. Thanks for posting, Mr. BigRock.

FAX

Mr. Flopnuts
10-10-2006, 03:03 PM
FINALLY.......ESPN HAS COME BACK.........TO THE CHIEFS!!!!!!

MVChiefFan
10-10-2006, 03:04 PM
NICE!!!

BigChiefFan
10-10-2006, 03:06 PM
Somebody is paying attention. It's nice to see.

scott free
10-10-2006, 03:07 PM
Michael gets it......thanks dude.

DaFace
10-10-2006, 03:09 PM
Herman Edwards probably isn't the consensus "coach of the first quarter" but no head coach has done a better job playing the hand his team's been dealt. He's succeeded in getting his players to buy into a different philosophy, to play more as a team. Edwards has the Chiefs in slugfests as opposed to shootouts. Ball control, field position -- the style of ball that's going to reverse the Chiefs' 16-24 record away from Arrowhead the previous five years.

Someone needs to post this on some of the Jets boards. I've noticed the trolls have been pretty quiet lately...

alpha_omega
10-10-2006, 03:10 PM
Thanks for the post.

Gives me a nice warm fuzzy feeling on a cool rainy day!!!!!

CupidStunt
10-10-2006, 03:10 PM
Pros: floating above water after devastating injuries; stayed right in there with a VERY GOOD Broncos team - which is something I said clearly at the time

Cons: yet to beat anyone.

We will see.

scott free
10-10-2006, 03:11 PM
Someone needs to post this on some of the Jets boards. I've noticed the trolls have been pretty quiet lately...
They are in the fetal position, licking their wounds from a beating worthy of its own movie.

L.A. Chieffan
10-10-2006, 03:11 PM
Wow, finally someone in the media that isnt drinking the TO-Phill-SD-CHIC-COLTS koolaid.

SNR
10-10-2006, 03:17 PM
Who said we need Whitlock to bring some Chiefs love to ESPN? :hmmm:

HemiEd
10-10-2006, 03:27 PM
Very good article, thanks for the read.

picasso
10-10-2006, 03:28 PM
Thank you Mr. Smith!!

Bob Dole
10-10-2006, 03:29 PM
Wow, finally someone in the media that isnt drinking the TO-Phill-SD-CHIC-COLTS koolaid.

The Sandy Eggo Superchargers were the best team not to make the playoffs last year. Really.

Lzen
10-10-2006, 03:31 PM
Good stuff. :thumb:

Halfcan
10-10-2006, 03:34 PM
Chiefs are a solid team that has had a ton of bad breaks.

Kyle401
10-10-2006, 03:47 PM
If the Chiefs keep winning and getting positive national media attention, what will we post about?

Woodrow Call
10-10-2006, 03:58 PM
If the Chiefs keep winning and getting positive national media attention, what will we post about?

KCChiefsfan88 and chiefsfan1963 will chime in about not scoring enough or how Jesus Saunders would win be winning by 13 instead of 7.

Thats just a guess though.

Crashride
10-10-2006, 04:22 PM
How Scanlon is a god and needs to play more

chiefqueen
10-10-2006, 04:24 PM
Someone needs to post this on some of the Jets boards. I've noticed the trolls have been pretty quiet lately...

They tried to come over here sunday night but somebody just had to bring up the 41-0 JAX score and they crawled back into their hole.

chiefsfan1963
10-10-2006, 04:44 PM
all that nice talk will change if we lay an egg against Steelers.

JBucc
10-10-2006, 04:49 PM
That's a nice article. You know, other than LJ if you look at our overall talent level on offense it's got to be near the bottom of the league, and we're still finding ways to get it done when we need to for the most part. Mucho props to the players and coaches.

FAX
10-10-2006, 04:51 PM
That's a nice article. You know, other than LJ if you look at our overall talent level on offense it's got to be near the bottom of the league, and we're still finding ways to get it done when we need to for the most part. Mucho props to the players and coaches.

As you know, Mr. JBucc, I have the highest regard for you. If I had a pie, you could have some.

But our talent level is not as bad as you indicate, in my opinion. The dropoff in the oline's performance has been uttlerly astonishing, however. That's our problem.

FAX

Fish
10-10-2006, 04:54 PM
That's a nice article. You know, other than LJ if you look at our overall talent level on offense it's got to be near the bottom of the league, and we're still finding ways to get it done when we need to for the most part. Mucho props to the players and coaches.

I agree. I think Solari deserves some credit for putting together some pretty decent offensive game plans so far. He's doing a good job of working with what he's got and not trying to do too much. I think the way he's handled Huard has been top notch.

steelyeyed57
10-11-2006, 12:08 PM
http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/columns/story?columnist=smith_michael&id=2620278

Fire Me Boy!
10-11-2006, 12:09 PM
Hey thanks!

http://www.chiefsplanet.com/BB/showthread.php?t=149508

sedated
10-11-2006, 12:15 PM
WE'VE LANDED ON THE MOON!

Mr. Laz
10-11-2006, 12:16 PM
Updated: Oct. 10, 2006, 4:06 PM ET
Huard surprising everyone but the Chiefs

By Michael Smith
ESPN.com
Archive

The Bears are beating the living crap out of people. The Eagles have bounced back from last season. San Diego's still just as strong with Philip Rivers at QB. The Rams' and Saints' talent is shining under rookie coaches.

But the team that surprises/impresses/intrigues me the most right now?

It's a little lower in the power rankings, a member of the league's middle class, a .500 team.

Kansas City.

Two-and-two-damn-near-three-and-one Kansas City. Led-by-Damon-Huard Kansas City.

Damon Huard.

The Chiefs were supposed to be devastated, remember, when Trent Green's head bounced off the Arrowhead Stadium turf in Week 1, forcing them to go from a quarterback who had started 81 consecutive regular season games to one who attempted just one pass -- an incompletion, by the way -- in five years. And maybe that's not so bad if you still have Willie Roaf and John Welbourn protecting the backup at the tackle spots, but both those guys retired in the offseason. Or if you have Roaf's replacement even, Kyle Turley, protecting the backup's blind side, except Turley's been out the past two games with back pain.

The Chiefs are supposed to be hurting under these circumstances. And yet here they are, right in the thick of things.

I know. Some of you will argue that the Chiefs haven't done anything special, beating San Francisco at home and Arizona on the road in Matt Leinart's first start. To that I say again: Damon Huard. Remember three weeks ago? They went to Mile High, where the Chiefs have struggled in recent years, and lost by a field goal in OT to the Broncos.A lot of eyes are on the quarterback situations in Dallas and Miami when they should be looking in amazement at what Huard and the Chiefs are doing.

Herman Edwards probably isn't the consensus "coach of the first quarter" but no head coach has done a better job playing the hand his team's been dealt. He's succeeded in getting his players to buy into a different philosophy, to play more as a team. Edwards has the Chiefs in slugfests as opposed to shootouts. Ball control, field position -- the style of ball that's going to reverse the Chiefs' 16-24 record away from Arrowhead the previous five years.

That's why the win over the Cardinals was significant. The night before the game Edwards spoke to his team about ignoring the obstacles and focusing on the objective. Sure enough, the Chiefs were down 14-0 in the first quarter and trailed by 10 in the fourth. But they hung tough. That's what the Chiefs are now, tough. Mentally tough.

"You've got to be mentally tough to play for me," Edwards said Monday.

The Chiefs experienced the toughest break so far when Green suffered a concussion. But Edwards told Huard when Green went down that all he had to do was manage the game, don't lose it and that whatever he did, avoid turning the ball over. The rest of the team would pick up the slack by keeping the game close so that the offense wouldn't have to play from behind and Huard would remain in a comfort zone. Huard has kept his end of the bargain and heeded his coach's instructions: He's completing 70.2 percent of his passes, with five touchdowns and no interceptions, for an efficiency rating of 107.4. He's even had eight completions of 20 or more yards.

You want to talk about adjustments, the Chiefs know they can't play the same style of offense as they did under Dick Vermeil. With their tackle situation, they can't send five guys in a pass pattern and still expect to avoid playing third-stringer Brodie Croyle. They're pounding Larry Johnson and giving Huard more opportunities each week.

They're making it work.

None of that would be possible, though, without the transformation of the Chiefs' defense under Edwards and coordinator Gunther Cunningham. They've only allowed 52 points (13 a game, 15 total in the second half) and rank fourth overall and fourth against the pass. We're talking about a defense that in recent years has had a place reserved at the bottom of the rankings.

If the Chiefs can pick up a pass-rushing tackle in the offseason, they could really be special on defense. Denver and San Diego's 'backers get a lot of the pub, but the Chiefs' group is pretty good, too. Their No. 1 pick, defensive end Tamba Hali, is a player. Sunday he posted seven tackles, a sack, a forced fumble, and two hurries.

It's uncertain when Green is going to be able to return but when and if he does, no matter what Huard has done, Edwards will give the ball back to Green because he makes the offense more potent. Meantime, Huard is doing some kind of job holding down the fort.

K.C.'s really going to be tested over this upcoming difficult stretch of games: at (desperate) Pittsburgh on Sunday, San Diego and Seattle at home the next two weeks, and at St. Louis. Guaranteed they play those guys tough, though. The Chiefs aren't soft anymore.

Not a lot of people seem to be talking about the Chiefs right now, but if Huard stays hot and they get Green back soon, with Johnson and that defense, Kansas City will be a factor late in the year.

Michael Smith is a senior writer for ESPN.com.

bogie
10-11-2006, 12:26 PM
Michael Smith is so smart.

KC-TBB
10-11-2006, 12:27 PM
I read this article earlier today...it's always nice to read this kind of stuff but...I just want to get out of the next 3 game stretch 2-1 if possible...Trent should be back for Rams...then we can get on a roll and KICK ARSE in December so we have the MO going into the playoffs...OH JEEZ...did I get carried away?

Oh, I'm going to need that stapler...

InChiefsHell
10-11-2006, 12:31 PM
We'll just keep getting better and better. We have to. Solari seems to be getting smarter as the season progresses, and we are doing wonders with what we have to work with. Damon has been nothing short of spectacular. I will admit, I was saying that we were done after one...looking forward to the good draft picks etc. Now, hey, anything is possible with this team. My confidence grows as the team's grows. We could still lay quite a few eggs, but there is just something different about the attitude of this team.

The D is really something that blows my mind. I figured we'd see this kind of play in mid-season, so it will be interesting to see how well we keep this up. Even in '03 we had a pretty good defense (stat wise) until mid season. This is a different D though, and hopefully they will be even better by then.

Otter
10-11-2006, 01:21 PM
The Chiefs aren't soft anymore.

Says it all right there. The team looks like it went from the Sunday company picnic to a day at the office.

It's early, lots of good and lots of bad things can happen. Or if it's the old Chiefs we know and love behind the curtain, not much will happen.

Waiting and watching.

Halfcan
10-11-2006, 01:24 PM
REPOST!

GoHuge
10-11-2006, 01:30 PM
Maybe now we'll at least make the show on "Inside the NFL." Well we will this week because of Hollywood Matt Leinart. They'll show his "moral victory" first start and probably barely mention they lost.

Otter
10-11-2006, 01:31 PM
REPOST!

First time I saw it Nazi.

:D

SPchief
10-11-2006, 01:32 PM
First time I saw it Nazi.

:D


Really, who cares what Halfcan has to say anyway?

Otter
10-11-2006, 01:52 PM
Really, who cares what Halfcan has to say anyway?

Not me, I just added the smiley because I don't feel like getting into a pissing match.

chiefsfan1963
10-15-2006, 11:44 PM
all that nice talk will change if we lay an egg against Steelers.

We played 3 playoff teams, we lost them all. Our D is better, but I still miss DV/AS!