09-10-2004, 04:39 PM
here's the link
I will try to cut & paste, then break down paragraphs
sorry no can do:
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09-10-2004, 06:53 PM
KEY MATCH-UPS: Chiefs vs. Broncos
By Patrick A. Herb and Brad Kuhbander
September 10, 2004 (afternoon)--Opening Day doesn’t get much better than this. Begin with a pair of bitter rivals – Kansas City (13-3) and Denver (10-6) – who both qualified for the playoffs with double-digit victory totals in 2003. Then pit them against one another on the nationally-televised stage of ESPN’s Sunday Night Football.
Factor in the extremely competitive nature of this series and a history of last-minute heroics – four of the last five games in this series have been decided by seven points or less and 15 of the last 17 games between these two teams have been won by the team scoring last. Combine all those elements and you have the potential for yet another thrilling division duel as the Chiefs and Broncos meet on 2004 Kickoff Weekend with a Sunday night clash at INVESCO Field in Denver.
“We’d like nothing better than to go to Denver and beat Denver,” head coach Dick Vermeil said this week. “I’ve never experienced it. I went up there as a Rams head coach and got my butt handed to me.
“When you’re playing Denver, the Broncos very seldom lose the game to you; you have to go up there and beat them. They will be at their best and for us to beat them we’re going to have to be at our best and probably better than we were at any time last year.”
Let’s take a look at two KEY MATCH-UPS that should play a big role in deciding the outcome of this weekend’s game:
RT John Welbourn vs. LE Trevor Pryce
When you return 10 of 11 starters on the NFL’s top scoring offense, there aren’t too many story lines to chase. But one of the new wrinkles is the mountain of a man holding down the Chiefs right tackle position – John Welbourn.
There will be a bit of pressure on Welbourn Sunday as he is being asked to step in with four other offensive linemen who have started 32 straight games together. Welbourn’s task is to uphold the standard that departed right tackle John Tait set for the past two years in Kansas City.
However, pressure shouldn’t be anything new to Welbourn. The California grad started three NFC Championship games in three years while with the Eagles (2001-03). Vermeil and the Chiefs coaching staff loved what they saw in him and were quick to jump on him in a draft-day trade when the Chiefs traded a 2004 fifth-round pick and a fourth-round pick in 2005.
“He has long arms,” Vermeil gushed about Welbourn. “He’s strong as a bull. He’s mean as hell. He likes to play football… He has all the physical attributes to play the (right tackle) position, as well if not better (than Tait). It’s just going to take him some time and patience on his part and patience on our part.”
Not only is he joining an established line, he’s doing it at a position he hasn’t played in five years. A left guard with Philadelphia, Welbourn made only one appearance as a right tackle with the Eagles, starting his first pro game at the position five years ago… to the day of Sunday’s contest at Denver.
Welbourn may want to forget that outing. He was forced to leave the game vs. Arizona (9/12/99) early with a season-ending ruptured patella tendon injury. Sunday at Denver is the perfect chance to erase those memories however as the Chiefs look for the early leg up on the AFC West.
While the Chiefs are very familiar with Broncos DE Trevor Pryce, Welbourn has yet to match up against the fierce pass rusher.
Pryce boasts four Pro Bowl selections and has led the team in sacks in five of the last six years. In 2003, Pryce compiled 51 tackles and 8.5 sacks with two forced fumbles and one fumble recovery. In 13 career games (12 starts) against the Chiefs, the Clemson alum has been held in check by the Kansas City offensive line. He has only accounted for 41 tackles and 5.5 sacks vs. the Red and Gold, good for an average of just over three tackles per game.
Denver’s defensive line received a major shake-up in the off-season as Pryce is the only scheduled starter who was an opening-day starter for the Broncos in 2003. DT Mario Fatafehi came on late in 2003 starting the final seven regular season games, but DT Luther Ellis and DE Raylee Johnson were off-season free agent acquisitions to round out the unit. How these four gel might be an even bigger story than how well Welbourn adapts to the Chiefs o-line.
RB Quentin Griffin vs. LB Monty Beisel
Although the players won’t admit it, they’re probably glad they don’t have to face RB Clinton Portis on Sunday. The All-Pro back piled up big numbers over the past two seasons against Kansas City, but the back has now been shipped to Washington in exchange for CB Champ Bailey.
Stepping into Portis’ giant shoes is second-year RB Quentin Griffin. But whomever is toting the ball for the Broncos, middle linebacker Monty Beisel will be taking aim at shutting him down.
Beisel will also be filling big shoes Sunday as he replaces injured LB Kawika Mitchell, who himself was taking the spot reserved for LB Mike Maslowski. First, the Chiefs lost Maslowski for the season with a knee injury, then when Mitchell sprained his ankle vs. St. Louis (8/23/04) all eyes turned to Beisel.
Just three seasons ago, Beisel was trying to bulk up to play defensive end for the Chiefs. However, the experiment didn’t last long as the Kansas City coaches decided to move him to linebacker for the 2002 season. That move coincided with his ascent on special teams, where the 6-3, 238-pounder made his mark and solidified a roster spot, if nothing else.
Beisel opened this year’s training camp as an outside linebacker, but injuries have forced him inside to the defensive quarterback position. Vermeil isn’t worried about throwing him into the tense environment in Denver for his first career start.
“Monty Beisel is an instinctive, natural football player,” Vermeil said of his new middle backer. “If you just played one defense and he went over to the Rams tomorrow he could line up and play Sunday as a natural football player – as long as you didn’t give him 62 different things within a scheme to apply.
“He’s never been a linebacker. He’s always been a defensive lineman. We moved him to the linebacker position based on the fact he just wasn’t big enough as a defensive lineman. If we could reduce his size and take advantage of his instincts and his passion to play the game and stand him up and run he’d succeed.”
As a rookie in 2003, Griffin wasn’t given much of a chance to show off the skills that made him a three-year starter at Oklahoma. His first pro season began on a sour note when he broke his leg during training camp and missed the first two regular season games.
The dimunitive ball carrier (5-7, 195) finally got a shot to carry the load at Indianapolis in the second to last game of the season, and he didn’t disappoint. Griffin helped clinch a playoff spot for the Broncos by racking up 136 yards on 28 carries (4.9 avg.). A teammate of Chiefs WR Dante Hall at Nimitz High School in Houston, Texas, Griffin is just as elusive as Hall in the open field.
Since Mike Shanahan took over as head coach of the Broncos, they have pumped out 1,000-yard rushers like a GM assembly line does automobiles. Since ’95, Denver has had a back eclipse the 1,000-yard mark eight times, including four different players reaching the milestone. Following the likes of Terrell Davis, Mike Andersen, Olandis Gary and Portis, Griffin steps into the spotlight to carry the torch.
Two players seeing new full-time roles – Beisel and Griffin – will be counted on heavily Sunday. Holding the Broncos rusher to under 100 yards could be the breaking point for Beisel and company. The last time the Chiefs won in Denver just happened to be the last time they held the Broncos without a 100-yard rusher.
09-10-2004, 06:57 PM
its called... disabling the smilies when you post.
09-10-2004, 08:32 PM
its called... disabling the smilies when you post.
cool, now how do I post & keep it in paragraphs?:thumb:
09-10-2004, 10:31 PM
Beisel will also be filling big shoes Sunday as he replaces injured LB Kawika Mitchell, who himself was taking the spot reserved for LB Mike Maslowski. ROFLROFLROFL
Big shoes in the mentally impaired LB role, or slow plodding LB section. Who is the author kiddinghttp://www.chiefsplanet.com/BB/images/smilies/roll.gif
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