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View Full Version : TEICHER- Ravens are gods, should kill Chiefs


Chiefs Pantalones
12-10-2006, 03:12 AM
A reconstruction like this doesn’t happen overnight

By ADAM TEICHER

The Kansas City Star

Here’s hope for the Chiefs, they of the defense that couldn’t prevent the woeful Browns from a fourth-quarter comeback last week.

It comes courtesy of today’s opposing head coach, Baltimore’s Brian Billick. The Ravens possess the league’s best defense, one that regularly strangles the life from opponents, carried them to a 9-3 record and made Baltimore one of the favorites for the AFC championship.

Billick doesn’t necessarily believe it’s true that defenses win championships, though that’s exactly how Baltimore won its only Super Bowl six years ago.

“I think balance wins championships,” Billick said. “I don’t know if you’re going to win a championship with great defense and terrible offense. You’ve seen a couple of teams like New England win with some good balance. Solid offense, solid defense across the board. We tend to think in extremes. It’s more balance than defense that wins championships. It’s a cute saying, but I don’t know if it’s true or not.”

His words might be soothing to the Chiefs, who are again struggling defensively. But plenty of former Super Bowl champions would line up to testify otherwise.

If it is true that defenses win championships, then the Chiefs’ title drought appears destined to grow. They are statistically average, they do no particular thing better than most other teams, and they collapsed against the feeble Browns and seldom-used backup quarterback Derek Anderson last week.

As much as the Chiefs wanted to hope that the hiring of the defensive-minded Herm Edwards as coach and the addition of cornerback Ty Law, defensive end Tamba Hali and two other new defensive starters would make a significant impact, the fact is that they haven’t.

“It’s not going to come to fruition in one year,” Edwards said. “You know that. It took us probably two, three years to become a dominant defense (when he was an assistant coach with Tampa Bay in the 1990s). Probably our third year we became a very good defense. We could take that show on the road and know that it was going to be a rough day for somebody.”

Baltimore didn’t build its defense in a short time, either. Linebacker Ray Lewis, the Ravens’ heart and soul, joined as a first-round draft pick in 1996.

Slowly but surely, the Ravens added the pieces. They made few draft mistakes, as the Chiefs have continually done, and have eight legitimate Pro Bowl candidates on defense, Lewis included.

The Ravens were more aggressive than any other team during the offseason to sign lineman Trevor Pryce, the final piece. Pryce gives the Ravens a run-stopping end who moves to tackle in passing situations and is one of the league’s premier rushers from that position.

“Baltimore was pretty adamant about having me here,” said Pryce, who signed on the day he made his free-agent visit. “Baltimore moved the quickest. The big thing was that they were going to let me do what I like to do, which is line up in different positions and get after the quarterback.

“They didn’t really have anybody who could rush from the inside. That was the reason they went after me. I filled their biggest need.”

It speaks to Baltimore’s defensive commitment that the Ravens would move so aggressively for Pryce when they already had a roster filled with Pro Bowl candidates.

“When they lose a player or two, they replenish with another player,” Edwards said. “They’ve had good drafts. They’ve drafted a lot of good guys. I think you have to draft guys. You can pluck a free agent or two, but I think you have to draft.

“That’s kind of how you have to build it. Every year you get a couple more pieces and try to bring them in, and then what you find is by your third year, you have a young group of players.”

The Ravens filled their defense with fast, athletic players who make their defense as versatile as any in the league. Baltimore has 10 players with at least one sack and four with at least six. Pryce is second with 8 1/2 .

“It always seems like there’s pressure coming from everywhere with these guys,” Chiefs left tackle Jordan Black said. “They’ve got a lot of athletes, a lot of speed, multiple pass rushers. It’s not one specific player.”

The Chiefs have been no pushovers on offense. They have several Pro Bowl candidates and an often-brutal running game that can put fear into opposing defensive coordinators.

But they will have a large percentage of ugly plays today. The Ravens will see to that.

Each week, the Chiefs identify matchups with the opposing defense they believe they can exploit. Sometimes they are successful and sometimes not, but they are at least confident of certain things going in.

There are few of those things this week. Asked about Baltimore’s defensive weaknesses, quarterback Trent Green said, “They don’t really have a weakness.”

His backup, Damon Huard, said much the same thing.

“They are so complex with their blitzes and their schemes,” Huard said. “They’ll do things you don’t see other teams do. They’ll have outside linebackers at times playing like middle-of-the-field safeties. They do some exotic things and present a lot of challenges for the opposing offense.

“They can do that because of the players they have. And Ray Lewis is such a great player and such a great leader and such a smart player. He kind of sets up their blitzes and puts them in the right positions. They kind of look to him for direction. He’s kind of like that quarterback on defense.”

The Chiefs don’t have a player like Lewis, but few teams do. Lewis is a forceful personality and a respected and vocal leader in Baltimore’s locker room and on the field.

But the Chiefs are hopeful that they are more than halfway toward construction of a championship defense. They believe they have keepers in Hali, linebackers Derrick Johnson and Kawika Mitchell, end Jared Allen, and rookie safeties Jarrad Page and Bernard Pollard, both currently backups.

That leaves much work to be done: a pair of defensive tackles, a couple of young cornerbacks and another outside linebacker.

“It takes the requisite pieces,” Billick said. “You’ve got to have quality corners. You have to have big defensive linemen. You have to have athleticism at the linebacker positions. That doesn’t come easy.”

Guru
12-10-2006, 07:49 AM
Well, that makes me feel better. :shake:
Almost like making an excuse for losing this game in advance.

Coach
12-10-2006, 07:53 AM
Seriously, is that the correct title?

StcChief
12-10-2006, 07:55 AM
Time to take the #1 D down a peg.

Guru
12-10-2006, 08:00 AM
Time to take the #1 D down a peg.

Amen brothah!!!!

boogblaster
12-10-2006, 08:06 AM
Black-birds shit a egg...KC 17....Balti. 0 ....

SCChief
12-10-2006, 08:07 AM
Time to take the #1 D down a peg.

Yeah... I remember the last time a very-highly-touted defense came calling in Arrowhead and the local experts were trying to mail the victory to the opponent before the game even started. I believe that we hung 8 rushing TDs on the Falcons that day. That Falcon D was dominating opponents as well.