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Tribal Warfare
08-27-2009, 09:48 AM
WR Improvement Needed … Thursday Cup O’Chiefs (http://www.bobgretz.com/chiefs-football/wr-improvement-needed-%E2%80%A6-thursday-cup-o%E2%80%99chiefs.html)
August 27, 2009 - Bob Gretz |

Todd Haley really can’t help it.

He coached the wide receivers for so long that he’s naturally drawn to whatever end of the field where the guys are catching balls.

That’s led to a lot of frustration for the Chiefs head coach since the start of training camp. The Chiefs receivers have not been very efficient or productive. Haley and his staff are demanding of them, requiring them to run routes in a correct way, to control their body and most definitely catch the ball.

It’s been a struggle from top to bottom. At the top has been the soap opera with Dwayne Bowe (right) and his time in the Haley doghouse condo. At the bottom have been rookies like Taurus Johnson and Quinten Lawrence, who have struggled in every area.

But Haley says there’s finally been improvement from this group over the last week.

“I think they’re getting better; I think that the receiver group is improving,” said Haley. “I said early on I was pretty frustrated with that position but I think there is definite progress made across the board which keeps practice going.

“Now, hopefully, we take it to the game and make plays in the game. But I would say they’re making strides.”

Certainly that improvement is visible with Bowe. There are less theatrics from him, more hard work on routes and blocking in the running game. Bowe’s hands remain spotty; the drops have not disappeared. But he’s working harder on the little things, and that’s what Haley was looking for from his top receiver.

“From the early days of camp to where he’s at now I think he has made very good progress,” Haley said. “Is he there? No. Do we need to make more plays? Yes. But again, that’s what coaching is all about: trying to push the right buttons all the time with a lot of different guys. I would say that Dwayne has made progress in the last couple of weeks more specifically.

“I felt we were banging our heads against the wall early on and I don’t feel there’s as much banging on now. And, they’ve worked. You see them after practice working every day and that’s how you do it. There is no magic potion that does it other than working hard and getting better.”

While Bowe has made some progress, none of the other nine have left a big enough impression to be considered the No. 2 starter at the position. Devard Darling has been in that role most often, but he remains inconsistent. Same for Mark Bradley, same for Terrance Copper, same for … you get the picture.

Almost a non-factor has been the three veterans the Chiefs have added to the position: Bobby Engram, Amani Toomer and Ashley Lelie. Combined, they have one catch for 16 yards; that belongs to Toomer.

“I think you’ve seen Amani get a little more acclimated to the system,” said Haley. “Bobby Engram, I think, the closer we get to the season he’s an older veteran that I’ve got to worry about him conserving too much. I kind of got on him this week that I wanted to see what he had, see what we were going to get from him this week. I think he stepped up.

“I think that (Lelie) he’ll have another week under his belt of understanding the offensive system. He’ll be in a rotation like everybody else and we’ll try to maximize that as best we can. If I could say let us have 120 plays on offense in this game I would, but that’s not the way it goes. There were guys on defense that didn’t get to play last week because it was a short game for the defense. There are things you can’t control, so you’ve got to try and maximize and have a plan for these guys so they can be evaluated.”

As a group, they’ve had trouble holding on to the ball. Too often in practice, the receivers are on the ground, whether slipping while making cuts, falling on routes and sometimes diving unnecessarily for passes. It happens so often that yards after the catch will be minimal with this group if it keeps up. During a given practice, there might be one or two passes where quarterback and wide receiver connect on stride and moving down field.

Right now, Haley and his coaching staff are doing what they can to help this group. In Wednesday’s two practices, the receivers got more time against the cornerbacks, running routes and getting off the line of scrimmage.

And the head coach is always watching.

“For a while there it was treading water but now I feel the arrow is going in the right direction,” said Haley.

SIGNINGS, INJURIES & MOVEMENT AROUND THE LEAGUE

* BEARS – placed G Tyler Reed on injured reserve; released TE Fontel Mines.
* BENGALS – signed DE/DT Ventrell Jenkins
* BRONCOS – signed QB Ingle Martin (Chiefs); released RB Marcus Thigpen; QB Chris Sims has a high ankle sprain and will miss two to four weeks.
* CARDINALS – signed LB David Holloway; released OT Elliot Vallejo.
* JAGUARS – signed DT Jervonte Jackson; released DE Jeremy Mincey.
* JETS – announced that rookie Mark Sanchez will be the team’s starting QB for the opening of the ‘09 season.
* LIONS – signed K Billy Cundiff; released K Swayze Waters.
* PATRIOTS – signed WR Robert Ortiz.
* RAIDERS – claimed DT Joe Cohen on waivers (Dolphins): released CB Jason Horton and WR Samie Parker.
* SEAHAWKS – made official their signing of veteran RB Edgerrin James.
* TITANS – activated C Kevin Mawae from the PUP List.

FROM THE PAGES OF CHIEFS HISTORY

On August 27, 1960 the Dallas Texans beat the Denver Broncos 48-0 in a pre-season game in Little Rock, Arkansas. (More details later today.)

On August 27, 1966 the Chiefs beat Houston 31-20 in a pre-season game at Municipal Stadium. WR Otis Taylor had five catches for 140 yards and two touchdowns, including an 80-yard TD in the fourth quarter. There were touchdown runs of 2 yards by RB Curtis McClinton and 1-yard by RB Bert Coan. S Bobby Hunt had three interceptions.

On August 27, 1972 the Chiefs beat the Los Angeles Rams 19-13 in a pre-season game at Arrowhead Stadium in front of 77,764 fans. K Jan Stenerud had FGs of 37, 40, 57 and 36 yards. That 57-yarder was the second longest in NFL history at that time. RB Wendell Hayes had a 1-yard TD run. The Chiefs had just 201 yards in total offense. DE Aaron Brown had three sacks.

On August 27, 1977 the Chiefs beat the Los Angeles Rams 27-19 in a pre-season game at Arrowhead Stadium. There were touchdown runs of 9 yards by RB Larry Williams, 1-yard by RB Tony Reed and 3 yards by RB Pat McNeil. K Jan Stenerud had FGs of 24 and 39 yards. The Chiefs had three interceptions, coming from LB Thomas Howard, CB Tim Gray and S Gary Barbaro. For the Rams, RB John Capelletti ran 14 times for 70 yards and QB Joe Namath was 3 of 7 passing for 52 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT.

SAY HAPPY BIRTHDAY …

Born on August 27, 1932 in Bogalusa, Louisiana was G Sid Fournet. He was a member of the original Dallas Texans, joining the AFL after putting in three seasons in the NFL with the Rams and Steelers. Fournet played in 28 games over two seasons with the Texans (1960-61) and was the team’s starting left guard in that first season. Fournet finished up his football career with two seasons with the New York Titans/Jets in 1962-63.

Born on August 27, 1932 in Waco, Texas was DT Walter “Buffalo” Napier. He was a member of the original Dallas Texans, joining the franchise for two seasons (1960-61) and appearing in a total of 20 games. Napier came out of Paul Quinn College, but he was 28 years old when he played with the Texans in the first season of the AFL. He was timed in the 100-yard dash at 10.2 seconds, despite being 6-4, 280 pounds. Napier was working at a tire factory when he signed with the Texans.

Born on August 27, 1965 in Midwest City, Oklahoma was C Kevin Adkins. He played in two games with the Chiefs during the 1987 NFL players strike. That was his only taste of NFL football.

Mr. Krab
08-27-2009, 09:51 AM
If Haley can actually get the WR position turned around he might just be my hero.

MikeMaslowski
08-27-2009, 09:53 AM
* BRONCOS – signed QB Ingle Martin (Chiefs); released RB Marcus Thigpen; QB Chris Sims has a high ankle sprain and will miss two to four weeks.




Another AWESOME Bronco move... Ingle Martin will be starting by week 3. Print em'.

Shag
08-27-2009, 09:56 AM
That’s led to a lot of frustration for the Chiefs head coach since the start of training camp. The Chiefs receivers have not been very efficient or productive. Haley and his staff are demanding of them, requiring them to run routes in a correct way, to control their body and most definitely catch the ball.

WOW! That IS demanding! Run correct routes AND catch the ball? Crazy...

bsp4444
08-27-2009, 10:00 AM
How far back can Gretz pull quotes from and still call this article current? That bit about the receivers falling down was way early in River Falls.

buddha
08-27-2009, 10:05 AM
Saying that KC needs more talent at WR is the freaking understatement of the century. This position group has been ignored for far too long in the draft and in free agency. If you have something worth trading, and you find a way to get Boldin, then it starts to look plausible that we could throw the ball on somebody. As it is, Cassell has NO go-to receiver, and a bunch of nothing behind that.