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tk13
09-10-2004, 01:03 AM
http://www.kansascity.com/mld/kansascity/sports/football/nfl/kansas_city_chiefs/9623236.htm

Call 'em tough guys

Gunther's influence felt on all Chiefs

By ADAM TEICHER The Kansas City Star


There was no mystery about what the Chiefs were getting when they brought back Gunther Cunningham. They remembered from his first time around the intensity, the early-morning hours, the in-your-face style.

Cunningham hasn't disappointed the Chiefs in that regard in his return as defensive coordinator. If anything, he's perhaps a shade milder, if only because he's responsible for just half the team.

But the Chiefs might be getting more than they bargained for. Cunningham's return appears to have energized more than just a forlorn defense that was in serious need of a pick-me-up.

It looks to have lifted a whole team.

“Gunther's contribution has been very positive,” coach Dick Vermeil said. “There's been a trickle-down effect to the whole football team. He's a tough guy. You can't have enough tough guys on the football team. I'm not tough enough anymore. I really appreciate him bringing that little extra dimension that rubs off into everything. It rubs off into special teams. It rubs off into the offensive line.

“I never felt we were aggressive enough (in previous seasons). The approach is a little more aggressive because of a change in philosophy. We've sort of switched priorities: Start the fight and then go play the game. I like the direction we're going.”

Nobody questioned the Chiefs' toughness during Cunningham's time as Chiefs defensive coordinator (1995 through 1998) or head coach (1999 and 2000). One of his failings as head coach, perhaps, was an overemphasis on toughness at the expense of other qualities.

Vermeil's Chiefs didn't have enough toughness, particularly on defense. There were far too many instances of players too willing to run around a block rather than through it.

That's what Vermeil believes the Chiefs addressed when they hired Cunningham.

“There are certain beliefs that I have about how to play this game,” Cunningham said. “It's just my style of coaching and my belief in how you play the game. Toughness comes along with that.”

The tangible examples of Cunningham's attitude are not hard to find. One occurred on cutdown day when the Chiefs traded defensive end R-Kal Truluck to Green Bay.

The rapid development of rookie Jared Allen made Truluck expendable. But it was evident from the start of training camp that Truluck, a pass-rush specialist, wasn't Cunningham's style of player.

Truluck demonstrated that vividly in the preseason game against Cleveland when a rookie tight end, Kellen Winslow Jr., easily pushed Truluck from the play when he rushed the passer.

Sure enough, when the Chiefs formed their 53-player roster, Truluck wasn't on it.

“I'm not going to say he isn't tough enough,” Cunningham said. “But I will say there is a certain degree of toughness in the people we kept. We would have personnel meetings and my response when I was asked about certain guys is that they haven't missed a practice and taken everything I've put on them verbally, mentally and physically. That's what I was looking for. Who are the toughest guys on this team?

“The first guy to come out of the block was Scott Fujita. Monty Beisel is that kind of guy. John Browning. Eric Hicks. Jerome Woods. We've got quite a few of those guys.

“I've just tried to take care of our side of the ball. But I know one thing: That offensive line, when we try to get tough with them, they respond. They like to show us who the boss is.”

The offensive line, populated by players like tackle John Welbourn, guard Brian Waters and center Casey Wiegmann, hardly needed more tough guys. Cunningham's presence might be helping, though.

“The defensive line and linebackers are playing more physical against us,” Waters said. “That's Gunther's philosophy, to come downhill. So we get the opportunity to go against a physical defense every day. That helps us be physical. It makes a difference, a big difference.”

One of the Chiefs' other vocal assistants, special-teams coach Frank Gansz Jr., sees the defensive players in a different frame of mind when they arrive for his portion of practice.

“He and I are a lot alike,” Gansz said. “We preach the same things. It helps because the things that I teach are being reinforced. The players know they don't have a way out with him. That's his personality, and it rubs off on the whole football team.”

Vermeil and Cunningham once appeared to be a marriage of convenience, one coerced by the hand of Carl Peterson. Now, they looked to be a nice match.

Vermeil has in a most-important spot a trusted veteran, one who is supplying his team with some needed qualities.

Cunningham is getting the support of a head coach who is unfailingly loyal. Vermeil stayed with former defensive coordinator Greg Robinson right to the bitter end.

“He's backed me up 110 percent, if there is such a number,” Cunningham said. “He's allowed me to be myself and coach like I coach. I'm one of those guys who likes to make sure he's coaching within a system. It happened at camp that I kind of went off on the players a little bit. I looked at Dick after doing that, and he just told me to be myself.

“That support allows me to bring what I have, which is probably intensity and that element of playing the game tough, that in-your-face style. The players are responding. They're having fun with it.

“The things that are in my coaching approach, Dick Vermeil had that when I was young and watching him. What better way to go to be able to coach with a guy that thinks like you?”

One concession Vermeil made to age is that he's no longer the yeller and screamer he once was. Now, he has a hired gun for that.

“More often than not, players and positions reflect the personality of the guy coaching them,” Vermeil said. “Gunther is a naturally intense guy and he gets after everybody. Nobody is immune to being coached intensely. It's a good thing, especially on defense.”

Ari Chi3fs
09-10-2004, 01:57 AM
“He's backed me up 110 percent, if there is such a number,” Cunningham said. “He's allowed me to be myself and coach like I coach. I'm one of those guys who likes to make sure he's coaching within a system. It happened at camp that I kind of went off on the players a little bit. I looked at Dick after doing that, and he just told me to be myself.



Beautiful... That was very key to building their relationship... very good. Sunday nite can not come soon enough. :-)

Chan93lx50
09-10-2004, 05:35 AM
Beautiful... That was very key to building their relationship... very good. Sunday nite can not come soon enough. :-)

You are not f*cking kidding, last nights game was a good one and it show why I luv football......


But damn it I am chomping at the bit to watch my Chiefs play some ball.

Its great to have football back!

Comparing other sports to football they all just suck ass!

1adam1238
09-10-2004, 06:34 AM
Thats for sure....nothing compares to football. In fact, I think they should move the college football season to the spring, so we can have football most of the year........But, its time for the Chiefs to show up and take care of business.......Trash the Donkeys!!!!!!!

Mr. Laz
09-10-2004, 11:30 AM
“Gunther's contribution has been very positive,” coach Dick Vermeil said. “There's been a trickle-down effect to the whole football team. He's a tough guy. You can't have enough tough guys on the football team. I'm not tough enough anymore. I really appreciate him bringing that little extra dimension that rubs off into everything. It rubs off into special teams. It rubs off into the offensive line.

“I never felt we were aggressive enough (in previous seasons). The approach is a little more aggressive because of a change in philosophy. We've sort of switched priorities: Start the fight and then go play the game. I like the direction we're going.”

Vermeil's Chiefs didn't have enough toughness, particularly on defense. There were far too many instances of players too willing to run around a block rather than through it.

That's what Vermeil believes the Chiefs addressed when they hired Cunningham

didnt a certain denver writer just talk about this in his donkhomer kind of way?

Mark M
09-10-2004, 11:39 AM
didnt a certain denver writer just talk about this in his donkhomer kind of way?

Yep. Teicher just put it in a less-insulting way ... well, that and he's not a Donkey homer. :)

I've said this (and posted it) from the day Gun was hired: Attitude can make a huge difference in the game of football, especially on defense. When you've got guys foaming out the mouth and ready to hit someone so hard their grandchildren will be born with dislocated shoulder, good things can happen.

The defense will give up some plays here and there, but they'll get better as the season goes on. That's a good thing, too -- I'd rather the defense steadily improve, than steadily decline like they did last year.

MM
~~:arrow:

foxman
09-10-2004, 11:47 AM
Yep. Teicher just put it in a less-insulting way ... well, that and he's not a Donkey homer. :)

I've said this (and posted it) from the day Gun was hired: Attitude can make a huge difference in the game of football, especially on defense. When you've got guys foaming out the mouth and ready to hit someone so hard their grandchildren will be born with dislocated shoulder, good things can happen.

The defense will give up some plays here and there, but they'll get better as the season goes on. That's a good thing, too -- I'd rather the defense steadily improve, than steadily decline like they did last year.

MM
~~:arrow:

At times I think he is a Anti Chiefs homer if there is such a thing. Football is about emotion and Attitude is now an emotion in KC and we have a really really nasty one again....thank the merciful heavens. I read this yesterday and was surprised by Vermeils revelation that he had lost some of his toughness, I couldnt agree more.

Mark M
09-10-2004, 11:50 AM
At times I think he is a Anti Chiefs homer if there is such a thing.

So do I. Everyone once in a while, I'll hear Teicher on the raido and think, "Someone's prescription for Prozac must've run out."

Either that or he just needs to get some lovin'.

MM
~~:)

htismaqe
09-10-2004, 05:30 PM
Yep. Teicher just put it in a less-insulting way ... well, that and he's not a Donkey homer. :)

Yes, he most certainly is.

htismaqe
09-10-2004, 05:31 PM
didnt a certain denver writer just talk about this in his donkhomer kind of way?

Vermeil said they weren't "tough enough". And he's right.

Kisla said they were "soft". That, they are not.

Count Zarth
09-10-2004, 06:14 PM
Our defense needs to get mad and pissed off before the game Sunday night. So does the offensive line. I want to see some Donkey ass getting kicked.

Skip Towne
09-10-2004, 06:39 PM
Beautiful... That was very key to building their relationship... very good. Sunday nite can not come soon enough. :-)
That time will come in: 1 day 23 hours and 49 minutes.

milkman
09-11-2004, 06:39 PM
Our defense needs to get mad and pissed off before the game Sunday night. So does the offensive line. I want to see some Donkey ass getting kicked.

Donkey ass. Isn't that redundant? :hmmm:

But I'm with ya on this.

I want to see a real Ass whuppin'.

Can't wait to see that new attitude and intensity on the field in a regular season game against the freakin' Donkeys!

Deberg_1990
12-02-2010, 02:53 PM
Difference maker...

CoMoChief
12-02-2010, 02:56 PM
this was bumped becauuuuuuuuse???

|Zach|
12-02-2010, 03:08 PM
Difference maker...

You post and bump stupid things.

Detoxing
12-02-2010, 03:19 PM
JFC.

Enough with these old threads already!

Deberg_1990
12-02-2010, 04:16 PM
You post and bump stupid things.

So do you

Thig Lyfe
12-02-2010, 04:23 PM
TO THE SHA!!!