PDA

View Full Version : Chiefs Pos- Nothing worse than a team that can’t put pressure on the quarterback


C-Mac
09-20-2009, 07:15 AM
Nothing worse than a team that can’t put pressure on the quarterback (http://www.kansascity.com/sports/chiefs/story/1456499.html)
By JOE POSNANSKI


So, what’s the most frustrating experience in sports? It could be playing pool against a guy who doesn’t miss a shot. It could be watching a hometown pitcher who cannot throw a strike. It’s remarkably frustrating when your basketball team has open looks at the basket but can’t make shots, and remarkably frustrating when you’re hitting the golf ball beautifully but you can’t drop any putts.

But I don’t think any frustration in sports touches the frustration of a hometown football team that cannot rush the passer. That is sheer agony. Watching a quarterback just stand there and stand there and then move a little to the right and then elude a tackler and stand and move back to the left and stand there and stand there … ugh. It’s like watching a nurse get ready to give you a shot — only the preparation lasts three hours. It’s horrifying, really.

And no team in the NFL — maybe no team in football history — has put less pressure on the quarterback than these Kansas City Chiefs. You already know that the Chiefs had only 10 sacks last year — fewest ever for a team over a 16-game season. Well, that was a horror show. Everyone had to go. Carl Peterson — gone. Herm Edwards — gone. Gunther Cunningham — gone. The old 4-3 defense — gone.

And last week, against Baltimore, the new Chiefs with their new defense and new attitude came out and … nothing changed. They did not get anywhere near Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco. They didn’t get close enough to send Flacco a text message. Yes, absolutely, you have to give players time to adjust to new defensive coordinator Clancy Pendergast and new defensive schemes and the variety of blitzes that come with the 3-4 defense. But this was agony. I know at one point the TV announcer pulled out the old cliché about Flacco having enough time to balance his checkbook back there. But even that didn’t quite get to the point. Flacco had enough time to balance his checkbook and draft a new health care bill … something that before the game Joe Flacco seemed as likely to do as throw for 307 yards and three touchdowns.

(Flacco in his rookie year did not pull off either of those feats — he had not thrown for 300 yards or three touchdowns in a game.)

Rich Gannon — who was color commentator and remains perhaps the most frustrating quarterback the Chiefs ever faced — said this: “You just can’t give Joe Flacco that much time to throw or he will carve you up.” NFL color commentators, by law, are required to say this exact line: “You just can’t give (insert any quarterback — any quarterback) that much time. They will carve you up.”

Thing is: The announcers are right. It’s true. There are not many formulas that work for the NFL, but one that does work pretty well is this one: “Quarterback success equals talent plus time.” This works both ways. Tom Brady was the greatest quarterback in the history of the NFL in 2007, but when the Giants pressured and bullied him in the Super Bowl, he turned ordinary.

And when you give any quarterback in the NFL a lot of time –— any quarterback — they have enough talent to put up huge fantasy football numbers. Last year, the Chiefs’ lack of pass rush turned Trent Edwards into a Pro Bowler for a day, made Chad Pennington look five years younger, made Jeff Garcia look 10 years younger and perhaps most damning, made Jake Delhomme throw only one interception. I have no doubt that sitting up in the booth, Chiefs announcer and NFL Hall of Famer Len Dawson has to think: “If I could face this defense every week, I wouldn’t have retired.”

This is the scary part of today’s game. When you look at the Chiefs’ schedule, it’s pretty clear that they have to beat the Raiders today. They’re not likely to go into Philadelphia and beat the Eagles next week, and they’ll be pretty substantial underdogs against the Giants and Cowboys even at home the next two weeks. They might win at Washington, but it’s doubtful. They could beat the Chargers at home, but it will be tough. Then it’s off to Jacksonville, out to Oakland and back home to face the Super Bowl champion Pittsburgh Steelers. The point is, the Chiefs are not likely to be favored again for a long time after today.

So today’s game is huge. Win today, and maybe the Chiefs can build on that momentum and pull off a couple of upsets and make this season a stepping stone to future success. Lose today, and they could be 0-8 before coach Todd Haley even has time to fire somebody else.

And it seems pretty clear that to win today, the Chiefs must pressure Oakland quarterback JaMarcus Russell. When he’s pressured, Russell simply has no idea what to do. He’s hitting only 53 percent of his passes for his career, and last week against San Diego he completed just 12 of 30 passes, and he threw two picks, and he mostly looked lost out there. If they can find a way to pressure Russell — and the Chiefs’ defensive line has two of JaMarcus’ old LSU teammates in Tyson Jackson and Glenn Dorsey — then the Chiefs should win this game the way they won so many games in the 1990s, when the crowd was loud and the opposing offensive line was jumpy and the visiting quarterback would make the big mistakes with the game on the line.

But if the Chiefs can’t get to Russell, well, let’s not kid anybody. Russell was the No. 1 pick in the draft. And the Chiefs have made less talented quarterbacks look like Joe Montana. It got to be silly after a while. I remember being in Buffalo a few years back when J.P. Losman led the Bills to victory, and the morning talk show guys were talking about how Losman might be the quarterback the Bills had been looking for. I remember being in Denver when Jay Cutler threw four touchdown passes against the Chiefs and the papers the next day were ready to induct him into the Hall of Fame. I remember once years ago, the Chiefs beat the Jets, but Chad Pennington was so good that the line in New York was, “The Jets may have lost the game, but they found themselves a quarterback.”

Yes, the Chiefs have proven they can make any quarterback look awfully good if they don’t create pressure. Sure, it’s very early in the season and very early in the Scott Pioli-Todd Haley era, but we should learn something about the Chiefs today. If they get after Russell, the Chiefs could show some of the promise football fans in town are dying to see. If not, there could be headlines all over America about how JaMarcus Russell finally started living up to his potential. That would be frustrating.

Skip Towne
09-20-2009, 07:28 AM
I have a lot riding on this game. If we don't get a few wins, CBS will take the Chiefs off the air like they did each of the last two years.

boogblaster
09-20-2009, 07:31 AM
This will be a Chiefs win .. somehow .....

Scorp
09-20-2009, 07:34 AM
I have a lot riding on this game. If we don't get a few wins, CBS will take the Chiefs off the air like they did each of the last two years.

WTF? Don't you install DIRECTV? Don't you get free DIRECTV? Hello? :spock:

the Talking Can
09-20-2009, 07:42 AM
so, our defense is still setting records....

Manila-Chief
09-20-2009, 07:50 AM
Joe is a good guy, but this is an all fluff no info article. And it doesn't even make me feel good. Kinda of a waste of time reading it.

ThunderChief
09-20-2009, 08:12 AM
Not exactly germaine to Joe's article which I thought was good and one I do agree with, but there is also the following from the Atlanta paper on Tony G which I thought to be equally interesting. (I'm too new to start my own thread, thus the hitch hike here):
_____________________________________________________
He is in a profession where success can be defined in different ways. Money buys luxury. Records build legacy. But championships sit at a higher elevation. They don’t come with a platinum card or a pile of numbers.

“I’ve definitely learned,” Tony Gonzalez said the other day. “You evolve as a person. When you first come into the league, you’re thinking, ‘When I’m done with this game, I want people to look back and say I was one of the greatest. But then you start achieving stuff and you’re not winning. The stats move to the back burner the longer you play. You know the end is coming. I feel like I’m on borrowed time right now.”

It’s week two of season 13, and possibly the greatest tight end in NFL history can’t remember the last time he felt this good. In his Falcons’ debut against Miami last Sunday, Gonzalez caught one touchdown pass and set up another score with a finger-tip grab catch at the Dolphins’ one-yard-line. But what stands out to him most?

“Just being in the locker room after the game,” he said. “Just being on a winning team.”

Everybody says this stuff. Not everybody means it. But not everybody is 33 and owns so many records but zero playoff wins.

Gonzalez has spoken in the past about his desire to get out of Kansas City. A trail of losing seasons led to an ill-fated trade request last year. But this week, five months after the Chiefs finally moved him for a draft pick, he expounded on his level of frustration in Kansas City. Maybe his perspective grew in the last few weeks. While the Falcons opened the season with a win, Kansas City lost to Baltimore and made news by firing offensive coordinator Chan Gailey a week before the game.

“Unique,” Gonzalez said only when the Chiefs’ firing was mentioned.

But he wasn’t brief about much else.

“It’s not banging on the franchise — reality is reality, and we weren’t very good,” he said. “That gets old. It was tough. Frustrating. It makes you [ticked] off. It was like an emotional roller coaster. You learn a lot about yourself. I think I learned more about myself in the past year than I had in the previous five years. Just knowing what I’m capable of handling. When you put your heart and soul into something and it doesn’t go the way you want it to, it hurts. It grinds on you. It affects you. You get to see what you’re made of and how you react. You can become a jerk. Your family might not want to be around you. But for the most part, it helped me grow.”

After one game as a Falcon, Gonzalez has one touchdown and one win. It wasn’t that balanced in Kansas City. There was a time when the Chiefs were one of the league’s most stable franchises. But they lost 26 games in the last two years. Gonzalez had more than twice as many touchdowns (15) as the team had wins (six) in 2007 and 2008.

It was in the midst of last year’s 2-14 record that the losing got to be more than he could handle. “I can’t ever remember being in such a fog, where I was forcing myself just to work as hard as I could.”

So he asked to be traded, a rarity during the season for an NFL player. Teams called. Green Bay and Philadelphia were interested. But a deal never materialized, and because everybody knew of the trade request, Gonzalez had to deal with the fallout. Some branded him as selfish. Or disloyal. Or both.

“It wasn’t about abandoning my teammates,” he said. “It was about being realistic and saying, ‘My window is closing.’”

After the trade deadline passed, he met with his teammates, asking coaches to leave the room. He explained his side. “They all understood,” he said.

He laughed, adding, “Hey, it wasn’t just me who felt that way. I didn’t have the monopoly on feeling bad.”

That’s in the past now. Gonzalez said it wasn’t long after the Falcons acquired him when he had a dream.

“I was standing on the field and confetti was coming down,” he said.

Nothing too difficult there to interpret.

ForeverChiefs58
09-20-2009, 08:26 AM
Bingo!

Manila-Chief
09-20-2009, 08:36 AM
Not exactly germaine to Joe's article which I thought was good and one I do agree with, but there is also the following from the Atlanta paper on Tony G which I thought to be equally interesting. (I'm too new to start my own thread, thus the hitch hike here):

Hey, thanks for the article. Rather revealing!!! So much for all his "nice talk" about KC. I know players don't go into the HOF "as such and such team." But, if they did which team do you think he would choose.

Not that I blame him. Carl and Lamar really took this team down. It'll take a while to build it back up. And the competitiveness in me hopes we get to the SB or late in the playoffs before the Falcons. Just saying!!!

Coogs
09-20-2009, 08:38 AM
Not exactly germaine to Joe's article which I thought was good and one I do agree with, but there is also the following from the Atlanta paper on Tony G which I thought to be equally interesting. (I'm too new to start my own thread, thus the hitch hike here):
_____________________________________________________
He is in a profession where success can be defined in different ways. Money buys luxury. Records build legacy. But championships sit at a higher elevation. They don’t come with a platinum card or a pile of numbers.

“I’ve definitely learned,” Tony Gonzalez said the other day. “You evolve as a person. When you first come into the league, you’re thinking, ‘When I’m done with this game, I want people to look back and say I was one of the greatest. But then you start achieving stuff and you’re not winning. The stats move to the back burner the longer you play. You know the end is coming. I feel like I’m on borrowed time right now.”

It’s week two of season 13, and possibly the greatest tight end in NFL history can’t remember the last time he felt this good. In his Falcons’ debut against Miami last Sunday, Gonzalez caught one touchdown pass and set up another score with a finger-tip grab catch at the Dolphins’ one-yard-line. But what stands out to him most?

“Just being in the locker room after the game,” he said. “Just being on a winning team.”

Everybody says this stuff. Not everybody means it. But not everybody is 33 and owns so many records but zero playoff wins.

Gonzalez has spoken in the past about his desire to get out of Kansas City. A trail of losing seasons led to an ill-fated trade request last year. But this week, five months after the Chiefs finally moved him for a draft pick, he expounded on his level of frustration in Kansas City. Maybe his perspective grew in the last few weeks. While the Falcons opened the season with a win, Kansas City lost to Baltimore and made news by firing offensive coordinator Chan Gailey a week before the game.

“Unique,” Gonzalez said only when the Chiefs’ firing was mentioned.

But he wasn’t brief about much else.

“It’s not banging on the franchise — reality is reality, and we weren’t very good,” he said. “That gets old. It was tough. Frustrating. It makes you [ticked] off. It was like an emotional roller coaster. You learn a lot about yourself. I think I learned more about myself in the past year than I had in the previous five years. Just knowing what I’m capable of handling. When you put your heart and soul into something and it doesn’t go the way you want it to, it hurts. It grinds on you. It affects you. You get to see what you’re made of and how you react. You can become a jerk. Your family might not want to be around you. But for the most part, it helped me grow.”

After one game as a Falcon, Gonzalez has one touchdown and one win. It wasn’t that balanced in Kansas City. There was a time when the Chiefs were one of the league’s most stable franchises. But they lost 26 games in the last two years. Gonzalez had more than twice as many touchdowns (15) as the team had wins (six) in 2007 and 2008.

It was in the midst of last year’s 2-14 record that the losing got to be more than he could handle. “I can’t ever remember being in such a fog, where I was forcing myself just to work as hard as I could.”

So he asked to be traded, a rarity during the season for an NFL player. Teams called. Green Bay and Philadelphia were interested. But a deal never materialized, and because everybody knew of the trade request, Gonzalez had to deal with the fallout. Some branded him as selfish. Or disloyal. Or both.

“It wasn’t about abandoning my teammates,” he said. “It was about being realistic and saying, ‘My window is closing.’”

After the trade deadline passed, he met with his teammates, asking coaches to leave the room. He explained his side. “They all understood,” he said.

He laughed, adding, “Hey, it wasn’t just me who felt that way. I didn’t have the monopoly on feeling bad.”

That’s in the past now. Gonzalez said it wasn’t long after the Falcons acquired him when he had a dream.

“I was standing on the field and confetti was coming down,” he said.

Nothing too difficult there to interpret.

Loved TG when he was here. I really hope when this is all said and done though, that he regrets leaving the Chiefs to finish his career because the Chiefs wind up being better than the Falcons. Don't expect either team to be in the playoffs this year (and yes I am still thinking we could wind 9 this year)... but next year you never know.

Deberg_1990
09-20-2009, 08:39 AM
I have faith that the Raiders will blow it somehow, someway.

JaMarcuss Russell is only a 40% passer

milkman
09-20-2009, 08:41 AM
Loved TG when he was here. I really hope when this is all said and done though, that he regrets leaving the Chiefs to finish his career because the Chiefs wind up being better than the Falcons. Don't expect either team to be in the playoffs this year (and yes I am still thinking we could wind 9 this year)... but next year you never know.

The Falcons are a good young team with a young QB that looks like the real deal.

Falcons willl be in the playoffs this year.

I expect them to win the division.

the Talking Can
09-20-2009, 08:41 AM
Not exactly germaine to Joe's article which I thought was good and one I do agree with, but there is also the following from the Atlanta paper on Tony G which I thought to be equally interesting. (I'm too new to start my own thread, thus the hitch hike here):
_____________________________________________________
.

reason #2345432 that getting a 2nd for tony was brilliant

Coogs
09-20-2009, 08:45 AM
The Falcons are a good young team with a young QB that looks like the real deal.

Falcons willl be in the playoffs this year.

I expect them to win the division.

I'm going with the Saints. Not sure if the division will get two in the playoffs either, but they could.

milkman
09-20-2009, 08:51 AM
I'm going with the Saints. Not sure if the division will get two in the playoffs either, but they could.

The Saints are a lot like the Vermeil Chiefs.

Score a lot of points.
Give up a lot of points.

27 to the Lions?

Holy crap.

Falcons have better balnce as a team.

Coogs
09-20-2009, 08:53 AM
The Saints are a lot like the Vermeil Chiefs.

Score a lot of points.
Give up a lot of points.

27 to the Lions?

Holy crap.

Falcons have better balnce as a team.

Good take, but I still like the Saints over the Falcons. Time will tell.

Deberg_1990
09-20-2009, 08:57 AM
The Saints are a lot like the Vermeil Chiefs.

Score a lot of points.
Give up a lot of points.

27 to the Lions?

Holy crap.

Falcons have better balnce as a team.

This.

Drew Brees is a great Fantasy QB and great for that offense.

But when he plays against really good defenses, he tends to cough the ball up or throw INT's.

KCDC
09-20-2009, 09:02 AM
Joe is a good guy, but this is an all fluff no info article. And it doesn't even make me feel good. Kinda of a waste of time reading it.

I think this story was aimed at the Chiefs coaching staff, and I applaud it. They may, or may not, read CP; but, they will read the Star. It will motivate them through embarrassment, hopefully.

Friendo
09-20-2009, 09:12 AM
The Falcons are a good young team with a young QB that looks like the real deal.

Falcons willl be in the playoffs this year.

I expect them to win the division.

yep

Tuckdaddy
09-20-2009, 09:23 AM
This game is on my list of 3 possible wins. The other two are the Browns and Cinci. If we lose then we will probably be 2-14 again.

Jack
09-20-2009, 10:51 AM
I had always like TG and thought he placed the team before himself. In 2002, the Chiefs played at the Seahawks. About one hour before kickoff three kids hovered by the tunnel as the the team started to trickle in. They asked TG for his autograph. He look up seemingly annoyed and said "I don't have time".

Three kids. . .! All wearing his jersey! The looks on their faces, Chiefs fans in 'hawks territory makes me doubt they are still fans of TG.

Tony is one great athlete, most likely will be in the Hall. But I, for one, will always think he is for Tony first.