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Tribal Warfare
10-01-2008, 02:06 AM
Chiefs’ young players grow up in first victory (http://www.kansascity.com/sports/chiefs/story/821604.html)
By KENT BABB
The Kansas City Star

Glenn Dorsey was talking about relief in the locker room late Sunday, and Brandon Flowers was smiling about his first NFL win. It was the day the young Chiefs grew up, and Dorsey and Flowers were among a young group reaping the rewards.

Two days after Kansas City ended its 12-game losing streak with a 33-19 win against Denver, coach Herm Edwards said the Chiefs couldn’t have moved forward if the team’s cluster of rookies kept playing like kids.

During the first three games, that’s what they did. They made mistakes and abandoned fundamentals. They broke out of assignments and tried to save the day like they might have in college.

This league, Edwards said he preached last week, is about being patient and mature, regardless of how heavy the burden of those losses felt.

“They found out how hard it is to win in this league,” Edwards said at his weekly news conference. “They’re understanding what it takes. They’re growing up. That’s what I see.”

Nothing looked different last week. No one looked more mature than they had. Dorsey still roared at teammates’ jokes and talked to himself when a piece of equipment went missing. Tight end Brad Cottam still smiled into reporters’ cameras and tape recorders the same way he did when he showed up in River Falls, Wis., on the first day of training camp. Branden Albert still accepted every autograph or interview request, as if he hadn’t been frustrated by playing on a team on the verge of collapse.

But if you ask Edwards, something changed sometime in the last seven days. Maybe those young players, the 25 of them in their first or second seasons, started believing something good might happen. Or stopped caring so much if it didn’t.

Either way, the Chiefs went out there and stomped the Broncos, the way few outside that locker room would have predicted.

“I think they understood (that) you have to keep your emotions going,” Edwards said. “You can’t worry about the score; you have to just keep playing. If you keep playing and you play hard, then good things will happen. It happened for us.”

Edwards said he dialed things back last week. Practices were simplified, and complex schemes became less important than fundamentals. He talked to players about energy and passion, and to heck with what everyone else thinks.

“He was emphasizing, just get one win,” second-year receiver Dwayne Bowe said, “and it’ll be contagious. He said: ‘Do it for you. Don’t do it for the fans. Just go out and do it for you.’ ”

Edwards said the young players were discouraged by those losses, whether they had experienced three or 12 of them, but they hadn’t been broken by them. But the Atlanta game came close. That game, and the Falcons’ 24 points in the first half, tested the Chiefs as the first two games had not.

“It got away from us,” Edwards said. “I think they were questioning themselves. They were questioning their talent.”

Edwards likes to say that when players aren’t performing, they’re “pressing,” meaning they’re trying too hard to be great when being good will do. And when players press, they miss blocks and drop passes, throw the ball into triple coverage or leave their defensive gaps and watch as another loss goes zipping by.

So that’s why Edwards sat players down last week and told them to stop trying to be perfect. He said he noticed the youngsters lost their fire in the second half of that Atlanta game. Energy was zapped, and passion was flattened. If that kept happening, Edwards told them, the Chiefs might never have a chance.

“You just have to keep playing,” he said Tuesday. “You can’t worry about whether we have a lot of points at halftime. So far, we haven’t. That’s just kind of who we are right now. But you’re in the game, and you’ve got to keep playing.”

It worked. The Chiefs might look the same, but Edwards said they changed enough last week to finally win – impossible as that seemed for nearly a year.

“They’re maturing,” he said. “They’ve got a long way to go still. You’re not going to know how to do everything correctly. That’s part of the process of learning how to play.

“We made some errors. We didn’t do everything right on either side of the football. But I thought the way we played, we played so hard, you cover up for it. If you continue to play that way, you’re going to continue to get better. That’s what we’re trying to do.”

InChiefsHell
10-01-2008, 05:50 AM
During the first three games, that’s what they did. They made mistakes and abandoned fundamentals. They broke out of assignments and tried to save the day like they might have in college.

Ironically, this is what we actually needed from some of them...namely DJ. According to what I've read on this site, he had talked to Gun about just being able to play, to "save the day" as it were. And he did. In fact, I think he should be NFL defensive player of the week, if they have such a category.

PhillyChiefFan
10-01-2008, 06:30 AM
I agree, I hope it wasn't a flash in the pan game. He played hard, forced turnovers, and I think solidified a leadership role.

PhillyChiefFan
10-01-2008, 06:31 AM
Ironically, this is what we actually needed from some of them...namely DJ. According to what I've read on this site, he had talked to Gun about just being able to play, to "save the day" as it were. And he did. In fact, I think he should be NFL defensive player of the week, if they have such a category.

I believe he is up for the DPoW.

milkman
10-01-2008, 06:36 AM
Ironically, this is what we actually needed from some of them...namely DJ. According to what I've read on this site, he had talked to Gun about just being able to play, to "save the day" as it were. And he did. In fact, I think he should be NFL defensive player of the week, if they have such a category.

This defense played better, and the LBs specifically, because Donnie was out.

Mecca
10-01-2008, 06:38 AM
This defense played better, and the LBs specifically, because Donnie was out.

Pretty much, Edwards is done.

The defense is close to being pretty good the problem is the things they are really lacking make the entire defense look bad, pass rusher, MLB.

InChiefsHell
10-01-2008, 09:19 AM
This defense played better, and the LBs specifically, because Donnie was out.

I never thought about that, but it's probably correct...although I don't see how Donnie makes other people tackle like shit ie Pat Thomas last week...

milkman
10-01-2008, 09:24 AM
I never thought about that, but it's probably correct...although I don't see how Donnie makes other people tackle like shit ie Pat Thomas last week...

Pat Thomas is still a problem, but unlike previous games, he didn't look lost out there, and is the direct result of not have to try to cover for Donnie's inability to play any longer.

InChiefsHell
10-01-2008, 09:36 AM
Pat Thomas is still a problem, but unlike previous games, he didn't look lost out there, and is the direct result of not have to try to cover for Donnie's inability to play any longer.

Hmmm...probably true. Let Donnie finish the season as a 3rd down back\bench warming mentor type guy. I like him a lot, but he's done. Hell, he probably knows it himself.

InChiefsHell
10-01-2008, 12:37 PM
Way to go DJ!!!

http://www.kcchiefs.com/news/2008/10/01/lb_derrick_johnson_named_afc_defensive_player_of_the_week/

KCKY-Fan4life
10-01-2008, 01:45 PM
Anyone heard news on Brandon Alpert. I have never seen someone get carted off the field so slowly. Is he out for a few games? I hope not.

TrickyNicky
10-01-2008, 01:59 PM
Brandon Alpert? Never heard of him.

Branden Albert, on the other hand, is questionable and may play Sunday as per Herm's PC.

KCKY-Fan4life
10-01-2008, 02:11 PM
thx for the update, we need all th eoline help we can get

raybec 4
10-01-2008, 03:13 PM
Brandon Alpert? Never heard of him.

Branden Albert, on the other hand, is questionable and may play Sunday as per Herm's PC.

Brandon Alpert is Herb Alpert's cousin, he was thrown out of the Tiajuana Brass for playing the skin flute off key.