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tk13
09-12-2004, 01:04 AM
http://www.kansascity.com/mld/kansascity/sports/football/nfl/kansas_city_chiefs/9641116.htm

Oh, brother, Chiefs hope problem solved

JOE POSNANSKI


Chapter 1: A Haunted End Zone

Right there, that's where it happened!” Joe Hardy said.

Blue-eyed, impetuous Joe was pointing to one of the Invesco Field end zones. His brown-haired, brown-eyed brother Frank could only stare and nod. Frank was 18 years old and had been for at least 75 years. The Hardy boys had been through many adventures, enough to fill at least 60 books. The two brothers loved nothing more than solving a tough case. But this, they knew, was the most mysterious and frightening case of them all.

“Yes!” Frank exclaimed. “That's where Clinton Portis scored his fifth touchdown.”

“He wore that belt, remember?” asked 17-year-old Joe. He meant the “World Heavyweight Champion Running Back” belt that Portis had worn while strutting on the sidelines during Denver's 45-27 humiliating victory over the Kansas City Chiefs. It was last December. The Chiefs had come into that game in Denver with an 11-1 record, they were the best team, and they were supposed to go to the Super Bowl. But the Chiefs left Denver a shattered bunch, with a traumatized defense that no longer felt like it could stop anyone. They did not go to the Super Bowl or anything close.

“Everything changed after that game,” Frank commented.

“The Chiefs think they solved that defensive problem,” Joe insisted.

“We'll see,” Frank retorted.


Chapter 2: The Shadowy Coordinator

“What do you mean, Frank?” Joe asked grimly. “You seem worried.”

Frank looked down at a Chiefs roster that his friend, Nancy Drew, had given to him.

“Look at this,” Frank declared. “It's a whole new season. It's a whole new game in Denver. And Chiefs coach Dick Vermeil intends to start 10 of the 11 defenders he started on that dreadful day last December. And the only reason he's not starting all 11 is because of an injury. There's something fishy going on here!”

Joe looked down at the roster himself and nodded.

“How is Nancy?” he asked while trying not to look too interested.

“Forget Nancy,” Frank sighed. “The question we have to ask here is, ‘Why would a team that had one of the worst defenses in the NFL not replace a single defensive player?'”

“Maybe I know the answer to that one.” Frank and Joe wheeled around to find out where that voice was coming from, and they caught glimpse of a man with silver hair. But the man was not waiting around to chat. In a flash, he disappeared into the tunnel and out of sight.

“Greg Robinson!” Frank and Joe shouted out at once.


Chapter 3: An Angry Encounter

“After him — and fast!” Frank gasped. But the brothers had lost the man's trail. They ended up instead in a Denver sports bar where they were given tall glasses of milk.

“Boy! That had to be Greg Robinson,” Joe declared. “The Chiefs fired him, right?” “No, he resigned,” Frank corrected. “He resigned after the Chiefs lost that playoff game to Indianapolis, the game where the defense did not stop the Colts a single time.”

“That's right!” Joe interjected.

“That must be why the Chiefs did not want to replace a single defensive starter,” Frank continued. “They must have thought that the defense was fine and Greg Robinson was the whole reason why it fell apart!”

Just then, they heard angry men yelling at each other. A fight was breaking out! The two youths got up from the table and rushed to the source of the screaming. But it turned out only to be an episode of “Around the Horn” on ESPN. A guy wearing a Terrell Davis jersey turned to ponder the Hardy boys, who were wearing Priest Holmes jerseys of their own.

“Chiefs are going down!” the Terrell Davis jersey guy hollered. “Your defense still stinks! You've got the same players!”


Chapter 4: An Unexpected Twist

“Could that guy be right?” Joe asked nervously. “The Chiefs fired Greg Robinson…”

“Accepted his resignation,” Frank amended.

“Right,” Joe resumed. “They accepted his resignation. Then they hired Gunther Cunningham, who was the Chiefs' fine defensive coordinator in the 1990s. Could the Chiefs defense still stink after that? I mean that's gotta make a big difference, right?”

“It's an interesting question,” Frank concluded. He knew that many of the Chiefs players were happy that Robinson was gone; they thought his defensive plans were meek and confusing. And he also knew that those same Chiefs players were happy that Cunningham had come aboard; they thought his defensive plans were manly and direct.

But he did not know how much of a difference that could make.

“Holy cow!” Joe yelped suddenly. “While you were over here thinking or whatever, I was discussing the case with the Terrell Davis jersey guy. It seems that Denver coach Mike Shanahan was not too happy with his defense at the end of last season either. So you know what he did?” Frank shrugged his shoulder.

“He replaced seven starters,” Joe gulped.

“Holy cow!” Frank repeated. “Replacing players instead of the coach?”


Chapter 5: The Mystery Continues

“Frank, do you think the Chiefs did the right thing?” Joe inquired. “I mean, they had the highest-scoring offense in the NFL the last two years. The offensive players are getting older — this might be the last chance for all of them to play together. Do you think maybe they should have done more than just replace the defensive coordinator?”

“That's a hard question to answer,” Frank responded. “We'll know more today.”

“What do you mean?” Joe interrupted.

Frank pointed to the television screen. An ESPN announcer was shouting about a home run or a sack or a birdie putt or a backhand volley.

“We won't know anything until we watch the game on that channel,” Frank suggested. “The Chiefs return to the scene of the crime. If we see the Chiefs defense running to the ball, occasionally stuffing the run and getting some pressure on the quarterback and not falling for Jake Plummer's little rollout passes every time, then there's hope that Gunther Cunningham really might make a difference. But if we see all those same problems from last year — long runs, no quarterback pressure, utter confusion — we'll know that it's the players and the Chiefs guessed wrong. And if that happens…”

“It could be a long year?” Joe suggested.

“It could be a long year,” Frank echoed.

Frank and Joe Hardy sat at the table pondering the mystery and wishing that, for a night, they might not be eternally 18 and 17 years old. They really wanted a couple of beers.

Chiefs Pantalones
09-12-2004, 01:11 AM
Good read.

ZootedGranny
09-12-2004, 01:13 AM
He could've just written "Instead of a long, corny story, I'll just say that we don't know if the Chiefs defense will be improved with the sole addition of Gunther Cunningham. Watch tonight and find out."

KcMizzou
09-12-2004, 01:16 AM
He could've just written "Instead of a long, corny story, I'll just say that we don't know if the Chiefs defense will be improved with the sole addition of Gunther Cunningham. Watch tonight and find out." I agree. That was cheesy. The last line made me chuckle though...

Chiefs Pantalones
09-12-2004, 01:21 AM
I did kinda fall asleep half way through, but it was overall a good read. Kinda reminded me of a drunk person.

tk13
09-12-2004, 01:24 AM
He could've just written "Instead of a long, corny story, I'll just say that we don't know if the Chiefs defense will be improved with the sole addition of Gunther Cunningham. Watch tonight and find out."
ROFL

I think that would've fallen a little short of the total number of words required for his column....

Chiefs Pantalones
09-12-2004, 01:28 AM
I hope Posnaki got permission to take kcnut's writing style, or I smell a lawsuit.

grandllama
09-12-2004, 02:30 AM
you know, that is the first jopo article I really don't care for...

Phobia
09-12-2004, 02:36 AM
you know, that is the first jopo article I really don't care for...

Ditto. Leave this one out of your next book, jopo. It didn't make the grade. With my apologies....

wazu
09-12-2004, 06:36 AM
I liked it. A fresh way to restate the season's biggest question. This is a great column on the eve of kickoff.

If he'd merely written a column saying that in plain sportswriter talk, most people would have skimmed and stopped reading early.

I have no idea what to expect from our defense tonight, I'm just praying for a miracle 180 like everybody else.

whoman69
09-12-2004, 07:12 AM
I have to contend with one of the main points of the story. The Broncos did replace seven starters, but does anyone believe that every one was an upgrade? Some were because of injuries and others because of cap reasons. IMO the Denver D is not as good as last year.
He also didn't point out that going into last year the Chiefs thought it was the players and upgraded at 5 positions. Result was the same and in some areas even worse. It was mostly the scheme. Does that mean we might not still have some duds? Its possible, but now those duds are moving towards the ball carrier and not laterally, lineman are rushing the passer instead of going into coverage, and the 10 yard cushions are gone. Linebacks can now go after the QB without a delayed blitz, and offensive lines cannot simply let our guy's lateral momementum work for them.
Its going to take some time, but this defense will be getting better week after week.

Toad
09-12-2004, 08:28 AM
Mark Schlereth was on Mike&Mike on ESPN on Thurs morning. He said (paraphrased) that he believes the Chiefs will win the AFCW because the defense will be much better. He went on to say that he experienced Greg Robinson's defense first hand. He said that the Denver defensive players hated the scheme at the time wth constant one gap assignment and always having to maintain a spot on the field. He affirmed that the Chiefs players will be free to be aggressive.

He firmly defended his position against Greenburg who thought the Chiefs defense would be the same. He said, "I don't care what people in Denver think of me picking the Chiefs to win the division!"

Toad

TEX
09-12-2004, 08:42 AM
I have to contend with one of the main points of the story. The Broncos did replace seven starters, but does anyone believe that every one was an upgrade? Some were because of injuries and others because of cap reasons. IMO the Denver D is not as good as last year.
He also didn't point out that going into last year the Chiefs thought it was the players and upgraded at 5 positions. Result was the same and in some areas even worse. It was mostly the scheme. Does that mean we might not still have some duds? Its possible, but now those duds are moving towards the ball carrier and not laterally, lineman are rushing the passer instead of going into coverage, and the 10 yard cushions are gone. Linebacks can now go after the QB without a delayed blitz, and offensive lines cannot simply let our guy's lateral momementum work for them.
Its going to take some time, but this defense will be getting better week after week.

Great take! :thumb:
Way too many "experts" seem to forget that the Chiefs did upgrade last year and got the same sorry A$$ results, which suggests to me that it was more due to coaching.

I have no problems with the defensive personell excapt for MLB. With the problems we had there last year, and with the status of Maz very much in the air for all the mini -camps, I can't understand why no attempt was made to acquire more help during the off season, especially when you consider that the CHIEFS had/have the money. If you're gonna "Take away a teams heart" by stopping the run, it seems that a proven MLB would improve your chances... :hmmm:

KILLER_CLOWN
09-12-2004, 08:42 AM
maybe he's trying to protect the ole crisco offense that made history in the 90's and solidify it as one of the best ever by pointing out that this years team can't be as good as one's prior.

Mr. Laz
09-12-2004, 09:59 AM
He could've just written "Instead of a long, corny story, I'll just say that we don't know if the Chiefs defense will be improved with the sole addition of Gunther Cunningham. Watch tonight and find out."

isn't that basically what you can say about most JoPo articles


more fluff than substance




he really should quit this "sports gig" and go to his natural calling of creative writing.