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Tribal Warfare
11-14-2008, 12:27 AM
Chiefs’ offensive line becomes a force to reckon with (http://www.kansascity.com/sports/chiefs/story/889810.html)
By KENT BABB
The Kansas City Star


Brian Waters looks at it this way: All that trouble the Chiefs endured at the start of the season, all the changes on offense, all the experiments that didn’t work — well, that helped this team.

Even the nightmare games, at Atlanta and Carolina, thickened the Chiefs’ skin and helped the offensive line learn from a rash of mistakes and sacks and a general feeling of chaos. The Chiefs became a passing team out of necessity, and that wasn’t a good look for this offensive line.

“We were just lacking all the way across the board,” Waters said this week. “We didn’t practice doing 40 or 50 pass plays. We just weren’t built that way. Those games have benefited us now because we can be who we are. We’re a better pass-protecting team now because we had to be. We had to adjust to that. Now it’s starting to show a little bit.”

The line still has work to do, but quarterback Tyler Thigpen doesn’t have to run for his life the same as Brodie Croyle and Damon Huard. The Chiefs allowed 22 sacks in their first seven games. In the last two, they’ve allowed two, both of them on Thigpen scrambles that ended close to the line of scrimmage.

Part of the line’s improved stat line is because, yes, Thigpen can run — and not just to avoid sacks. More than Croyle and Huard, anyway. And, yes, Thigpen is the product of an offense that relies on the passer’s quick release, meaning the line no longer has to block for four and five seconds while the Chiefs quarterback looks downfield.

Instead, linemen said the progress on offense has helped no group more than a unit seen as a weakness much of the last two seasons.

“We have confidence in our quarterback. It just gives you piece of mind,” right tackle Damion McIntosh said. “I get to do my job, and I know we’ll be able to move it downfield. You’ve got to put your trust in other guys to make plays.”

Which had been part of the problem. Running backs and receivers hadn’t been holding up their end of the blocking bargain, and that made the line look bad. And linemen had their own problems, from position changes to inexperience. Left tackle Branden Albert is a rookie, moved from guard, a position he played at the University of Virginia.

Center Rudy Niswanger is a first-year starter, and right guard Adrian Jones used to be a tackle. McIntosh had played left tackle the previous nine seasons. It took time for all that movement to settle and for the Chiefs linemen to get comfortable with themselves and as a group.

“We got a little bit out of whack,” Waters said.

McIntosh’s switch was a frustrating one. He made the move for the greater good, Albert’s potential and coaches’ belief he could anchor the line for years. McIntosh accepted the shift, but it took weeks for him to begin to feel comfortable.

The group came along and grew together, the same five men who had endured the bad times and grown calluses. The Chiefs had plenty of problems, but consistency on the offensive line wasn’t among them.

Other than one game, when Albert sat out because of a dislocated right elbow, Kansas City has started the same five linemen in each game.

But now that’s changing. Jones injured his ankle in last Sunday’s loss at San Diego, and he’s unlikely to play this week against New Orleans. That will shuffle Wade Smith into the starting lineup, and the 1-8 Chiefs aren’t at a point where change is anything but frightening.

The team is telling itself Smith and the line will make it through Sunday. The Chiefs are saying there won’t be a regression. That there won’t be more than a sack or two, with chemistry to blame.

Regardless, the Chiefs are moving forward. They think the line learned too much during all those bad times to turn back now. They think the system and Thigpen have come too far to suffer a setback.

It’s turned into a feeling the Chiefs didn’t possess even as recently as four weeks ago.

“We’re more confident,” McIntosh said. “It’s not one of those times where you’re frustrated all the time. That’s the thing: We’re not frustrated. We’ve got the guys who can make the plays, and they are making plays now.”

DaneMcCloud
11-14-2008, 12:31 AM
Quoting Damien McIntosh is about as effective as quoting Shawn Barber.

mikey23545
11-14-2008, 12:40 AM
Holy Moley.

Cosmos
11-14-2008, 12:48 AM
Wade Smith over Herb Taylor?

TEX
11-14-2008, 05:23 AM
The whole right side of the line BLOWS - including Center. None would start on the majority of teams in the NFL.

PhillyChiefFan
11-14-2008, 05:35 AM
I don't know if I would go as far to say they have become a force to be reckoned with but they have made progress.

McIntosh is about the LAST lineman I want to hear from. Hopefully after the draft we won't hear from him unless we're up 34-7 in the 4th.

beach tribe
11-14-2008, 05:39 AM
Nothing has changed except for the fact that Tyler makes quick reads from the SG.

Red Beans
11-14-2008, 06:30 AM
Is it April 1st already? Jesus...I'd bet one of my gigantic testicles that Sackintosh and Jones are responsible for at least half of those 22 sacks. Those two guys should be working security at Harrah's or something. Both are Horrible.

rad
11-14-2008, 06:33 AM
Wade Smith over Herb Taylor?

Taylor is a tackle.

MadMax
11-14-2008, 06:33 AM
Quoting Damien McIntosh is about as effective as quoting Shawn Barber.



Or Floyd the barber for that matter.. :eek:

PhillyChiefFan
11-14-2008, 06:37 AM
Or Floyd the barber for that matter.. :eek:

82825

"Hmmm...what's that?? Why yes, McIntosh does suck balls!"

Floyd the Barber > Shawn Barber

Reerun_KC
11-14-2008, 09:15 AM
print'em!

chiefzilla1501
11-14-2008, 09:18 AM
I wish the Chiefs would instead start Wade Smith at center and move Niswanger to guard. Not because Smith is a great center, but because I think Niswanger would play really well at guard and could be the RG of the future.

talastan
11-14-2008, 09:18 AM
Didn't Wade Smith come in during the Sandy Eggo game? I'm actually not too worried about him. I feel better if he was starting over Jones. Then put Herbie in over Sackintosh. JMO

BigChiefFan
11-14-2008, 09:28 AM
More Chiefs propoganda. Gee, thanks, Carl for all of your insightful information about the team. I'm sure you believe the O-line is kicking ass and taking names, evidenced by their 1-18 record. Yep, they are steller and having your lackies tell us this must make it true.

raybec 4
11-14-2008, 09:29 AM
Didn't Wade Smith come in during the Sandy Eggo game? I'm actually not too worried about him. I feel better if he was starting over Jones. Then put Herbie in over Sackintosh. JMO

Herbie does get a bunch of snaps every week for Sackinvag. He really could be the guy for the right side. I would like to see if Richardson can play guard.

Reerun_KC
11-14-2008, 09:31 AM
Articles like this make me proud to be a Chiefs fan, They can find strengths in our weekness and tell us all about it....

FringeNC
11-14-2008, 09:51 AM
I guarantee the O-line would go back to looking putrid if we went back to tight formations, always ran on 1st and 2nd down, and passed on 3rd and 15 (after having lost yards on 1st and 2nd) from a max protect package only sending out 1 or 2 receivers.

Any offensive line would have appeared to be in shambles with our pre-spread Hermball "offense".

RedThat
11-14-2008, 09:53 AM
I really like Brandon Albert. I think the dude is gonna be a special player down the road.

Chiefs Pantalones
11-14-2008, 10:28 AM
I really like Brandon Albert. I think the dude is gonna be a special player down the road.

He's already doing a TREMENDOUS job. I love the guy. He's gonna be a force for a very long time here.

chiefzilla1501
11-14-2008, 10:31 AM
More Chiefs propoganda. Gee, thanks, Carl for all of your insightful information about the team. I'm sure you believe the O-line is kicking ass and taking names, evidenced by their 1-18 record. Yep, they are steller and having your lackies tell us this must make it true.

The article overglorifies the line. I think the improvements have largely been due to a quick-strike spread offense. But still, 2 sacks in 2 games is pretty remarkable, given how awful they looked the beginning of the season.

RustShack
11-14-2008, 10:33 AM
I guarantee the O-line would go back to looking putrid if we went back to tight formations, always ran on 1st and 2nd down, and passed on 3rd and 15 (after having lost yards on 1st and 2nd) from a max protect package only sending out 1 or 2 receivers.

Any offensive line would have appeared to be in shambles with our pre-spread Hermball "offense".

Uh... we still do... we don't run the "spread" every play...

DaneMcCloud
11-14-2008, 10:40 AM
Uh... we still do... we don't run the "spread" every play...

I think some people in this forum don't actually watch the games.

They just comment on the outcome.

RedThat
11-14-2008, 10:41 AM
He's already doing a TREMENDOUS job. I love the guy. He's gonna be a force for a very long time here.

I know this is gonna sound crazy, but I see Roaf potential in him.

PhillyChiefFan
11-14-2008, 10:46 AM
He's already doing a TREMENDOUS job. I love the guy. He's gonna be a force for a very long time here.

Just wait till he gets his technique down,

Thiggy won't have a blind side rush!

Reerun_KC
11-14-2008, 10:46 AM
Sweet, so now we dont have to address the OL or QB in the draft, Look out punters and place kickers, we will be watching...

PhillyChiefFan
11-14-2008, 10:47 AM
Now RT is another matter

The_Doctor10
11-14-2008, 10:48 AM
Uh... we still do... we don't run the "spread" every play...

No, but when you have a balanced attack instead of a one-dimensional power-running game that requires 5 Pro-bowl Linemen and at least one extra dominant lead-blocker to be successful, it gives keeps the o-line a little fresher.

blueballs
11-14-2008, 10:57 AM
If the spread is helping Thigpen
why isn't Franklin thriving

FringeNC
11-14-2008, 11:04 AM
Uh... we still do... we don't run the "spread" every play...

And how effective is the offense in non-spread mode?

Pestilence
11-14-2008, 11:11 AM
I'd still love to see Taylor at RT and Niswanger at RG. Then draft a center in the draft and a guard for when Waters retires.