View Full Version : Inside slant: Derrick Alexander

07-15-2001, 08:07 PM

Inside slant

Derrick Alexander has good reason to be excited about playing in the Kansas City Chiefs offense this season. He also has some odd ways of showing his enthusiasm.

As the only proven downfield threat even with the new addition of former Seattle receiver Derrick Mayes in a Rams-style offense that likes to throw deep, Alexander sees the potential for even greater numbers in 2001 than he posted in his career year last season.

Alexander was voted the Chiefs' Most Valuable Player by his peers last year after catching 78 passes (second on the team behind only Pro Bowl tight end Tony Gonzalez) for a team-record and career-high 1,391 yards and 10 touchdowns. His 17.8-yard average was the AFC's best and he ranked third in the league (behind only Rod Smith and Marvin Harrison) in total receiving yards.

A proven big-play maker, Alexander had 24 receptions last year of 20-plus yards. Seven of those plays went for 40-plus and two went for 70-plus.

And now Alexander finds himself preparing for an offense that is encouraging quarterbacks to look more for the home-run throw. That is in marked contrast to his first three years in Kansas City where the offensive marching orders under Marty Schottenheimer and Gunther Cunningham were, in effect, don't make mistakes that put the defense in a hole.

Under new coach Dick Vermeil and offensive coordinator Al Saunders, however, Chiefs quarterbacks have been told that some interceptions and turnovers are acceptable as long as there are more touchdowns and big plays offsetting them.

"In the past, if there was a blitz, we'd throw the short, quick route," Alexander noted. "But in this offense, I sense that we might go deep for the touchdown in that situation.

"Our quarterbacks are now being encouraged to look for the deep pass," Alexander added. "Al talks all the time about looking for the deep guy if he's got a chance and has a one-on-one situation. And we're talking about winning every one-on-one situation. If you can't win one-on-one, you shouldn't be playing."

Given the season-ending ACL injury that sidelined starting X receiver Sylvester Morris, the increased expectations on Alexander have the eighth-year receiver as excited as he's been in recent memory.

"I've seen little that compares to what we want to do here," Alexander said. "These guys (Vermeil and Saunders) are coming in off an offense that really threw the ball around. My coaches in the past were run-oriented. They wanted to pound the ball first. Not to say that we won't run the ball, but we're going to throw it around a lot."

Now if the Chiefs new coaches can get that excited about Alexander.

A player with a long history of playing better than he practices, Alexander hasn't exactly wowed his new coaches with his practice routine during the offseason program. He got married in the spring and, understandably, took a short time off. When he returned, he found Morris and rookie Snoop Minnis running with the first team a condition that stayed in place briefly even after Alexander's return.

Not that Alexander who should have played in the Pro Bowl last February was ever in serious danger of losing his starting position. The Chiefs know well what a threat he is and how much they'll need him in this first year of transition to a more wide-open offense.

"Gradually we would like to change the profile of the (players) who have the ball in their hands," Vermeil said. "We need explosive playmakers. I know Derrick Alexander has been that on game day."

KS Smitty
07-15-2001, 08:12 PM
This is getting exciting! Every player that has spoken to the media sounds sooo pumped and confident of a great season. I can't wait for Gonzo's words to come true...We're gonna shock the world.

Starting to believe

07-15-2001, 08:27 PM
Apparently, you all have forgotten about the "we'll throw for 5oo yards" comment from a previous regime.

Although Gun actually did do that (vs Raiders for 504 yds- team record, 4th best in NFL of all-time), let;s not forget the orthodox credentials of Dick Vermiel and Al Saunders. I am willing to bet that KC will firmly be established as a RUSHING power by midseason and that the Chiefs will look like anything BUT the Rams by season's close.

Just as pumped as everybody else, but for radically different reasons...

07-15-2001, 08:38 PM
KCJ- If you recall, we lost that game. That stat is a moot point. We had to throw all the time due to the fact our 'D' couldn`t stop them. Marty`s bastard brother didn`t have a clue.

KS Smitty
07-15-2001, 10:23 PM
I did not mention the previous regime nor do I care to. What I said was...I like what the players are saying about the upcoming season, those that have spoken to the media that is. They sound upbeat and yeah they sound that way every preseason but I'm begiining to think that they believe it for this season. I'm not sure if your post was directed towards me or not I just wanted to make it clear that I am talking about what they are saying this year.

07-15-2001, 10:32 PM
Wow, it is finally getting close enough to take seriously.

I hope that DA is the man he should be, and that Green makes me eat my own hat. But I think right now I will line up with Johnny and expect that running attack to begin.

The Bad Guy
07-15-2001, 11:07 PM
KCJ writes:

Apparently, you all have forgotten about the "we'll throw for 5oo yards" comment from a previous regime.

Yes Proctor, I did forget about that.

Maybe because we lost that game to a bitter rival.

This is where your love for stats becomes a mute point. I would of rathered Grbac throw for 6 yards all game as long as we got the win. 500 yards means nothing to me if it's a loss.

Chiefs Pantalones
07-15-2001, 11:12 PM

Why must you put a damper on everything about this upcoming year?


feels a negative vibe in ALL your posts:eek:

07-15-2001, 11:37 PM
I will agree with Cody. KCJ does have negative sounding opinions for the Chiefs.

I am willing to bet that KC will firmly be established as a RUSHING power by midseason

What is your reason for this opinion?

To tell you the truth KC IMHO will look more like the Giants offensively just with alittle more passing incorporated, not a rushing power but balanced equally offensively

07-16-2001, 12:36 AM
I think everyone is missing the boat on this one.

It's Johnny this and Johnny that....what a damper, what a stick in the mud!

DID NO ONE notice a Bon Jovi Pic posted by Frank!?! Really though?

I can take doom and gloom.....but Bon Jovi? Really, I thought you were above that, man......


07-16-2001, 02:04 AM
That 500 yards is as meaningful as Iverson scoring 45 in a 30 point loss to the Lakers.... all it did was skew the stat picture.... We had a 3 TD lead almost the whole game... We played a prevent package alot of the game....

Most of those big number pass days come from playing catchup in big losses (exeption being Boomer I believe?)

You would think Chief fans would want to bury all memory of that game...

07-16-2001, 03:18 AM
You missed one, and unfortunately it is another game I've tried to forget, that being the Warren Moon 500+ yard passing game with the Oilers in Arrowhead against I believe at the time our secondary of Kevin Ross and Albert Lewis. The Oilers won that game, and I don't know if we were ever ahead or not. But that damn run and shoot gave us a lot of trouble that day...

07-16-2001, 08:46 AM
With a mobile offensive line and double TE formations, we will give some defenses fits. I expect to see short rollouts, a lot of trap blocking, pulling center and guards on sweeps and throwing off of a run look (not necessarily play action but the line blocking). Trap blocking will slow the rush and make the DL stay at home. I think they will run up some good rushing totals... I see a more diverse offense based on a more diverse skill set in the OL.