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FloridaChief
09-17-2004, 02:05 AM
KC seeks syncing feeling

Passing game depends on QB-receiver rapport

By IVAN CARTER

The Kansas City Star

Trent Green's first pass attempt Sunday illustrated everything that made him one of the game's top quarterbacks last season: the intelligence to make the right read, the arm to make the right throw and the guts to stand in and pay for it.

Green dropped back from his 25 and looked for tight end Tony Gonzalez running a deep corner route. When Denver cornerback Kelly Herndon read Green's eyes and jumped Gonzalez, Green instead unleashed a tight spiral deep downfield to a wide-open Eddie Kennison for a 57-yard gain.

He did this a split second before 270-pound Raylee Johnson introduced himself to Green's rib cage.

That, unfortunately, was the last time that Green or the Chiefs' passing game displayed any sense of rhythm against the Broncos.

What's missing, according to Green, is that unspoken level of communication between a quarterback and his receivers when a play does break down. While Denver quarterback Jake Plummer freelanced his way to a handful of drive-sustaining plays, the Chiefs were unable to make something out of several scramble situations.

“What we've got to get better on — and we addressed it (Thursday) — is that we've been spoiled,” Green said. “Everybody's been spoiled; I've been spoiled and our receivers. I'm normally in the pocket making throws, but on the occasion where I do have to scramble, we need to get more reaction from the receivers, react to me moving around as opposed to just standing in the pocket and running routes.”

It was just Green's sixth game without a touchdown pass in his last 40 games, and the Chiefs lost several opportunities to get more points because of an ugly four for 13 on third-down conversions. Green also hurt himself with a couple of bad decisions — taking a 23-yard sack instead of simply throwing the ball away, and throwing an interception to cornerback Champ Bailey that snuffed a potential scoring drive.

Now the Carolina Panthers will come to town this weekend with arguably the game's best front four, meaning Green could face similar situations against the defending NFC champion.

“A lot of what I talk about with (coach Dick Vermeil) and Al (Saunders, the Chiefs' offensive coordinator) is game management,” Green said. “There's a time to do it and times not to do it. The pick the other night, if I were to do it again, I'd probably throw the ball again. I mean, that was an incredible interception. We've watched the film again and again to see how Champ did it, and I don't know if there were too many people in the league who can make that play.”

In Sunday's home opener, the Chiefs won't see a corner like Bailey. What they will see is a Carolina defense that made the normally gunslinging Brett Favre of the Green Bay Packers look conservative Monday night.

Favre made the most of designed rollouts and played a mistake-free game while riding the legs of running back Ahman Green, who pounded out 119 yards and two touchdowns in 33 carries. Most important, Green Bay ate up 38 minutes of clock.

“Running the football was the key,” Chiefs left tackle Willie Roaf said. “It's hard to just drop back and beat (Carolina) throwing the football.”

The Chiefs led the NFL in scoring the last two seasons because they found a way to blend Priest Holmes' running with an efficient passing attack and a refusal to beat themselves with penalties, turnovers and otherwise sloppy play.

Last Sunday night, Holmes got 151 yards and three touchdowns, and the Chiefs finished with a respectable 24 points. But several other scoring chances were killed by seven offensive penalties, a handful of dropped passes and an inability to create big plays downfield after that initial Green-to-Kennison connection.

Denver all but took Gonzalez out of the game by rotating smaller, quicker bodies on him. As a result, Gonzalez finished with two receptions for 17 yards.

Kennison led all receivers with six catches for 101 yards — the ninth 100-yard game of his career — while Johnnie Morton and Dante Hall combined to catch five passes for 47 yards. All of them struggled to get separation, but they must do that against Carolina to have more success in the passing game.

“We have to make plays when the opportunity is there,” Hall said. “We'll be all right, though. We have guys who can make it happen.”

Lzen
09-17-2004, 08:45 AM
Obviously, the time the receivers missed in TC is a big factor in the passing game not clicking totally right now. I'm really not too concerned about the offense. Hopefully, the defense can gel soon and complement the offense.

donkhater
09-17-2004, 09:10 AM
I can't believe missed training camp affects this passing game so much. Trent, Gonzo, Priest, TRich, Kennison, Morton and Hall have been in this offense for over 2 years together. Hopefukky that means it won't take long to get 'in sync'.

Gaz
09-17-2004, 09:34 AM
Unlike Lzen, I am far more concerned with the Offense than the Defense.

WRs missing training camp obviously hurt the timing. Give some credit to Denver, because the have a good Defense, but our Offense was lame in the opener. I am particularly confused as to why Saunders did not run more play action when Holmes was tearing the Broncos a new one on the ground. If our receivers are having trouble getting separation, give them some help, Al.

xoxo~
Gaz
Did not expect such a plummet in production from the O.

KC Jones
09-17-2004, 09:44 AM
Our offense was lame at the beginning of last season too. In case anyone forgets, our defense (or rather some nice turnovers they got) and special teams won several games for us early in the season.

Frankly, this thread title makes me want to break out in song...

"You've lost that syncing feeling... woa woa that syncing feeling... "

htismaqe
09-17-2004, 09:55 AM
I can't believe missed training camp affects this passing game so much. Trent, Gonzo, Priest, TRich, Kennison, Morton and Hall have been in this offense for over 2 years together. Hopefukky that means it won't take long to get 'in sync'.

The missed TC, and the injuries that contributed to it, have a huge affect on a timing offense. Trent Green is throwing to a SPOT on the field. The WR's have to be there.

htismaqe
09-17-2004, 10:03 AM
Our offense was lame at the beginning of last season too. In case anyone forgets, our defense (or rather some nice turnovers they got) and special teams won several games for us early in the season.

Frankly, this thread title makes me want to break out in song...

"You've lost that syncing feeling... woa woa that syncing feeling... "

Yep. I was at the Steeler game when Trent threw two picks to start the game.

Gaz
09-17-2004, 10:12 AM
I am more concerned about the Offense because the Defense is not going to be dominant any time soon.

Gunther is installing a new scheme and our talent on the Defensive side of the ball is less than stellar. Woods, Wesley, Fujita & Sims are the top talent, IMO. Siavii has the size to be a good player in time and I have high hopes for Mitchell and Battle in the fullness of time. The rest, IMO, are second-tier talent [no offense meant, truly]. In order for the D to dominate, the players we have will need to understand Gunther’s plan so well that they play instinctively or we will have to get better players. In either case, that takes time.

If the O spends that same time getting back in sync, we are in trouble.

I am not ready to panic quite yet. It was one game, on the road, against a tough Defense. But the lack of simpatico with the receivers and Saunders’ lackluster game plane give me cause to pause. The O needs to bet back into the groove, because they are the horse pulling this wagon.

xoxo~
Gaz
Fully prepared to panic when the time is right.

KC Jones
09-17-2004, 10:27 AM
Don't worry Gaz...

I had us in preseason starting 1-3 but still going 10-6 which should put us in the playoffs. If we pick up a win against Carolina which I now think is very possible, and start out either 2-2 or 3-1 going into the bye week we will be a lot better off than I thought. 4-5 weeks should be plenty of time for us to gel on both sides of the ball.

At this point my concerns are:
1) kick coverage - simply awful in the Denver game
2) John Welbourne - his knee isn't 100%
3) WR play - their blocking well but not getting open
4) MLB - I actually think Beisel is going to be surprising a lot of people in a few weeks time.

at least those are my concerns outside of unknowns like injuries. If Priest, Green, or some of our O-line go down we're gonna be pretty screwed on offense.

ptlyon
09-17-2004, 10:45 AM
But the lack of simpatico with the receivers and Saunders’ lackluster game plane give me cause to pause.

I see someone got a word of the day calendar for X-mas

Gaz
09-17-2004, 12:04 PM
I see someone got a word of the day calendar for X-mas

Don’t hate me because I’m erudite.

xoxo~
Gaz
Cursed with brains.