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Tribal Warfare
08-11-2010, 11:32 PM
Chiefs’ new-look defense faces early test (http://www.kansascity.com/2010/08/10/2142403/led-by-berry-and-crennel-chiefs.html)
By ADAM TEICHER
The Kansas City Star

ST. JOSEPH | When it comes to the progress of what in recent seasons has been a struggling defense, Todd Haley would prefer more time before subjecting the Chiefs to the outside world.

But showtime, even if it’s the preseason variety, comes sooner than Haley would like. The Chiefs begin their exhibition schedule with Friday night’s game against the Falcons in Atlanta, where the Chiefs will unveil what they hope is a new-look defense coordinated by Romeo Crennel and featuring rookie safety Eric Berry.

“I’d take three, four weeks before we played anybody,” Haley said. “We need all the work we can get. That will be the next step for us as a team, to see how positionally and overall team we handle the speed. I’ve got to believe that’s going to be a fast track (at the Georgia Dome). I’ve got to believe there will be some (fans) in there and it will be loud or louder than what we’ve had to deal with.

“It will be an opportunity for us to evaluate these guys in a game situation, a faster situation.”

Other than Crennel calling the shots on the sideline and Berry roaming the deep middle, the Chiefs will line up defensively the same as last year. Crennel was a bit more eager than Haley to see exactly where the Chiefs stand.

“All I can do is try to get these guys to fit where they need to fit,” Crennel said, “to be physical and aggressive and have great effort to the ball and hopefully that will pay off in the running game.”

At times, the Chiefs appear to have reason for hope. Berry looks like he’s making a difference and several defenders have turned in the type of big plays that were all too infrequent in recent years.

There are also times when the Chiefs look like they did last year. The Chiefs were 31st against the run and 30th overall defensively last year among the NFL’s 32 teams.

“I would say it’s a work in progress,” Haley said. “There are some days where I really get excited and they really want to see how we look, and there are some days where it looks like a little too much like we’ve seen.”

The Chiefs are hoping for help from not only Berry but second-round draft pick Javier Arenas. As the third cornerback, Arenas will play when the opponent brings an extra receiver on the field.

Though he weighs less than 200 pounds, Arenas was an accomplished pass rusher in college at Alabama. He had seven sacks over his last two seasons in limited pass rush opportunities.

The Chiefs are also counting on improvement from their many young defensive players, including ends Glenn Dorsey, Tyson Jackson and Wallace Gilberry and cornerbacks Brandon Flowers and Brandon Carr.

Gilberry, who plays mainly on passing downs, might have the best chance to improve the Chiefs pass rush. He was second on the Chiefs behind Tamba Hali in sacks last year with 4 1/2 . He also had sacks on back-to-back plays in last weekend’s intrasquad scrimmage.

“Pass rushing kind of comes naturally to me,” Gilberry said. “But you can’t rush the passer until you stop the run. That’s one thing I need to improve on. Once I get that taken care of, the pass rush and the sacks will come.”

The Chiefs more than doubled their sack total last season, going from 10 in 2008 to 22. But they still had one of the league’s worst pass rushes, so there’s plenty of room for improvement.

“If everybody does their job I think we can be effective in the passing game and only time will tell how effective that will be,” Crennel said. “We’re going to try to put pressure on the quarterback to make some things happen.”

At the back end of their defense, the Chiefs have one rookie starting in Berry. Another rookie safety, Kendrick Lewis, has made a number of big plays and could eventually unseat Jon McGraw to be the other starter.

The Chiefs also have two young starting cornerbacks in Flowers and Carr.

“The advantages are they don’t know what they don’t know and they just go out there,” Crennel said of the young secondary. “They have great attitudes. They run around and they try to make things happen.

“The disadvantage is they are going to be facing some veteran receivers that know quite a bit.”

“…The attitude is good and I’m impressed with that and not only in the secondary we’re young, we’re young everywhere. We have to deal with that as well.”

T-post Tom
08-11-2010, 11:36 PM
Chiefs' new-look defense = "Other than Crennel calling the shots on the sideline and Berry roaming the deep middle, the Chiefs will line up defensively the same as last year."

Interesting title :shrug:

CoMoChief
08-11-2010, 11:40 PM
We're screwed...

RustShack
08-11-2010, 11:45 PM
Its a little different.. 3-4 instead of the Hybrid. So Dorsey will be lining up over the LT now instead of the LG.

mcaj22
08-11-2010, 11:53 PM
So, same ten guys but for the eleventh take out Mike Brown and insert Eric Berry...


shoot me.