PDA

View Full Version : Chiefs Teicher:Chiefs see only a downside to slacking off against Oakland


Tribal Warfare
01-02-2011, 01:16 AM
Chiefs see only a downside to slacking off against Oakland (http://www.kansascity.com/2011/01/01/2555172/chiefs-see-only-a-downside-to.html)
By ADAM TEICHER
The Kansas City Star

As they trudged wearily off the field after a lopsided loss to Denver in mid-November, the Chiefs had that sinking feeling: Their season was slipping away.

They were still tied for first place in the AFC West but had just lost by 20 points to one of the NFL’s most woeful teams.

“We had a feeling when we couldn’t stop anybody in that game that we would never win another game,” linebacker Mike Vrabel said.

The Chiefs did win again. They shook themselves out of their gloom in time to win their next three and five of their subsequent six games.

But they recall that despair. It explains in large part why coach Todd Haley has said that the Chiefs will play to win in today’s final regular season game against Oakland at Arrowhead Stadium.

“We have enough guys that have been in enough situations to know how important it is to finish strong, to finish the regular season playing your best football,” Haley said.

“We’ve got work to do. Every day counts, every game counts.”

The Chiefs clinched the AFC West title last weekend and will play a first-round playoff game at home next weekend regardless of today’s outcome.

Still, there is a tangible benefit to winning today. The Chiefs would finish at 11-5, a record that would guarantee them the third seed among the AFC’s six playoff participants.

Being the third seed would allow the Chiefs to avoid a trip to New England to play the league’s hottest team, the Patriots, until the AFC championship game. It would also increase their chances of hosting the AFC championship game, although that would be a remote possibility even as the third seed.

Otherwise, they’re playing just to keep a good thing going.

“People have different opinions, but I feel like you’ve got to finish strong and you’ve got to have momentum and all of those things count — especially for our team,” Haley said.

That strategy can be risky. They might ruin their chances of making a deep playoff run if, for example, they lost quarterback Matt Cassel to an injury.

The Chiefs saw how ugly life can be without Cassel in last month’s loss to San Diego.

The same thing could apply to any of several other key players, including Jamaal Charles, Dwayne Bowe, Tamba Hali or Derrick Johnson.

“There should be some caution in it,” former Chiefs head coach Herm Edwards said. “Going 11-5 is great and 10-6 is great, too. What they’ve got to do now is make sure when they get to the playoffs, they’re fresh and they’re ready to roll. …

“It’s never an easy decision. It’s a fine line, and remember: You can’t rest everybody. With some guys, if you know they’re hurt and they really need a week of rest, you know you can’t put him out there

“Maybe they can rest some guys as the game goes on. Maybe they start out all playing, but eventually you might start pulling a couple of guys here and there.”

Had the timing been different, Haley might have made a different decision with regard to today’s game. But the Chiefs clinched the AFC West only last weekend.

Haley didn’t reveal plans for specific players, saying only that the Chiefs would do whatever they thought was necessary to win today. But he didn’t sound as if he was planning to back off, at least until the outcome is decided.

“We’re still in the developing, foundation-laying period for this team,” Haley said. “Some teams can think like that. I don’t think we’re one of those teams. I know we’re not. We just have so much work still to be done and little time to do it. Each and every day is important for us to continue to make progress across the board.

“You can’t play not to get hurt. That’s when you’ll get hurt. If you let up or you’re protecting yourself, you’ll be in big trouble.”

The Chiefs aren’t loaded with players who have postseason experience. Vrabel played in 19 playoff games with Pittsburgh and New England. Guard Ryan Lilja was in eight with the Colts, running back Thomas Jones seven with the Bears and Jets.

A few other players have been involved in a handful of postseason games. Five regulars, including linebackers Johnson and Hali and offensive lineman Brian Waters, were with the Chiefs for their last playoff game after the 2006 season.

Many key players — from Bowe to Charles to safety Eric Berry — will be playoff rookies.

“The most important thing is to know your team and what it needs at that point, where it’s at in terms of experience and confidence level — all of those things,” Oakland coach Tom Cable said. “How have they handled themselves all year? If they’ve really got it together and can handle it and understand what they’ve achieved and what the next step is, you might take care of them a little bit. If your team is still trying to learn and grow and win and do those kinds of things, then you’re probably smarter to keep playing.”

That’s the point Haley is trying to make, that it takes an experienced team to give something less than a full effort one week and be able to turn it on the next.

“We’re not a team with a bunch of starters who have been to the playoffs a bunch and are used to taking weeks off,” Vrabel said. “We need to be out there playing, trying our best to win and build momentum.

“Confidence is contagious. To go out there and get physically and mentally beat up against the Raiders would be a bad thing for this football team.”

That message seemed to have taken root elsewhere in the Chiefs locker room.

“This game is definitely not meaningless to Chiefs players,” Johnson said. “It’s a game that you need to win to have a good taste in your mouth to go into the postseason. We’ve accomplished a lot this year. You don’t want to let yourself down, let your team down and let the fans down by going out there and not doing well.

“It’s big having momentum going into the playoffs. We know this league is about winning, and winning is contagious. We’ve been a part of that this year. We know when we win, we get more confidence in ourselves.”

Cassel’s perspective was similar: “For us as players, that’s our job, to go out and compete for 16 games.…

“It definitely benefits you to keep your momentum going, because I think that we’ve been playing pretty good football these past few weeks. And if we can continue that, it just builds further momentum going into the playoffs and hopefully gives us some confidence.”

zonachief
01-02-2011, 01:23 AM
Herm says keep the team fresh huh?.....well looks like every starter should play every snap and we should be ok .

Deberg_1990
01-02-2011, 01:26 AM
The bigger question is why is Teicher asking Herm for comments?? WTF??

Count Alex's Losses
01-02-2011, 01:26 AM
The bigger question is why is Teicher asking Herm for comments?? WTF??

Herm's a media whore. Always has been, always will be.

RINGLEADER
01-02-2011, 07:12 AM
You play to win the...er, uh, nevermind...

boogblaster
01-02-2011, 07:33 AM
Just win ...

michaelj_58
01-02-2011, 08:01 AM
I just don't want to see anyone getting .....? I can't say it! WOW!!! that was close.

Buehler445
01-02-2011, 09:36 AM
Hey Herm, FUCK OFF.
Posted via Mobile Device

Psyko Tek
01-02-2011, 09:43 AM
The bigger question is why is Teicher asking Herm for comments?? WTF??

so we all know what the wrong thing to do is

Jack
01-02-2011, 10:00 AM
so we all know what the wrong thing to do is

You have blood in you alcohol?

Marcellus
01-02-2011, 10:18 AM
Herm's a media whore. Always has been, always will be.

Oh the irony.