View Full Version : KCchiefs.com: Q&A with Dick Vermeil 9/9

09-10-2004, 09:58 AM
Q&A with Dick Vermeil - 9/9

Q: What would you identify are the keys to the game against Denver?

DICK VERMEIL: “I think, number one, we have to go up there and play smart. Can’t turn the ball over and don’t give up the big play. I think if we can do those two things that we can keep the game to where one or two offensive or defensive plays can win the football game. I’d like to believe that.

“We haven’t been close up there too many times since I’ve been here.”

Q: Do you see Priest Holmes playing any bigger role than usual considering the condition of your wide receivers?

VERMEIL: “No, I don’t think so. I’d like to. You can’t give him the ball too many times. We’re always better when he touches it often. They’ve only had a few 100 yard rushers against their defense over the last few years and he’s done two or three of them. He’s had some good games.

“We’re always better when we run the ball with Priest. All you do is look at the numbers. We’re a better football team when we do that. I have my concerns about our running game because we haven’t run well in the pre-season. We didn’t last year either, so I had the same concerns last year.

“Whenever I have a concern, as I told the squad about anything, I always hope I’m wrong.”

Q: Is it better for your team to go into Denver early on, get it over with, as opposed to last year when the games meant more at the end of the season?

VERMEIL: “This game means as much if you go in the first time or the last time. It doesn’t matter. It all counts on our schedule. I don’t look at getting it over with as a good term to use. I think it gives us an opportunity to define where we are against a very good football team in a very intense environment in front of the United States on ESPN. I would like to believe we would play a very good football game.”

Q: Do you talk to your players or tell them last season was last season in terms of what happened in Denver last year? Or is it OK for them to harbor those thoughts going into Denver?

VERMEIL: “I think you put last season behind us. I did a little bit this morning. Last season’s standards are no longer good enough for the season let alone Denver. Our aspirations and goals and sights are higher. We’ve just got to be better and you start being better from the first game on. Last year we opened at home against San Diego that was an 8-8 team. This year we open on the road on Sunday night against a team that was in the playoffs. It’s always a little tougher to do that. If we’re better I think we’ll demonstrate it. If we’re not then we have some time to go.”

Q: Has anything changed on your injury report?

VERMEIL: “No, though I saw Kawika (Mitchell) getting better. I think Kawika now probably will be back next week.”

Q: Back practicing or playing?

VERMEIL: “Back practicing next week. Other than that everything else is the same.”

Q: The popular thought is that there were a lot of happy faces here the day Clinton Portis was traded. Was that the case?

VERMEIL: “I don’t know. I know he’s had some great games against us. But I’ve said this I don’t know how many times: It really doesn’t matter who Shanahan and his offensive coaches line up in their scheme. It normally runs very, very well. All you have to do is study the numbers; all you have to do is study the history and you’ll find out they always have a guy who can run the football. A lot of it is due to their scheme and how well it’s coached. They don’t do a lot but they do it very well and give their offensive linemen an opportunity to grow and get better fundamentally the way they do things.

“They’re a downhill running team, very intense. If you miss one tackle or get shut out from the outside or cut down or stretched to the sideline, then up they go and the safeties have to make the tackle. If you miss he’s in the end zone. The young man they have doing it now has extremely good quickness and everything. Now, is he Portis? Only time will tell.”

Q: With Denver trying to break in a new tight end and new players on defense, will they project as the type of team that will get better as the season goes on?

VERMEIL: “I think most coaches would predict that. That’s why we coach. I think a former tackle playing tight end sends a message that they’re going to continue to run the ball. They’ve got a quarterback that’s struggled a little bit in the pre-season but he’s been pretty darn good against us. He’s made plays. He missed a few games last year or he might have been a Pro Bowler once he got going. He got a slow start.

“I just sort of expect to see Denver at their best. Hopefully, we can play at our best.”

Q: Do you look forward to seeing Gunther as your coordinator taking on Denver?

VERMEIL: “Gunther doesn’t play. It’s our defense. I think Gunther has brought an air of intensity and toughness to our defense. We’re more aggressive in our front seven play. I’d like to believe – or I hope – that it will help us be better. Only time will tell.”