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tk13
09-20-2004, 01:03 AM
http://www.kansascity.com/mld/kansascity/sports/football/nfl/kansas_city_chiefs/9708222.htm

KC's offense sleepwalks in loss to Panthers

JASON WHITLOCK COMMENTARY


Chiefs coach Dick Vermeil walked out of Arrowhead Stadium on Sunday afternoon wondering what has gone wrong with his once-feared, high-scoring offense.

A brief conversation with NFL schedule makers would provide a partial explanation. A comparison of Kansas City's 2003 depth chart and this year's would complete the explanation.

While owner Lamar Hunt and club president Carl Peterson chose to $tand pat this off-season in terms of jazzing up Kansas City's roster, NFL schedule makers decided to test Vermeil's offensive wizardry. Two games into the 2004 season, Vermeil and million-dollar-a-year offensive coordinator Al Saunders are failing the test.

On a day when Kansas City's much-maligned defense scored a touchdown and created two turnovers, the Chiefs' offense crossed the goal line just once, repeatedly self-destructed with mental errors and enabled the Carolina Panthers to win a game without the services of their top rusher (Stephen Davis) and receiver (Steve Smith).

Panthers 28, Chiefs 17.

Vermeil's squad is 0-2, but more important, his team lacks an identity and is quite possibly out of potential season-saving solutions. You can't add a high-impact receiver or defensive playmaker now. Kansas City's schedule won't provide much relief. And Saunders and Vermeil don't seem to have enough discipline to avoid getting cute with the play-calling at critical times and stupid with the decision-making.

“I don't know what we've done to the No. 1 offensive football team,” Vermeil stated disgustedly on Sunday.

Well, the Broncos in week one and now the Panthers might have exposed a well-covered secret: Kansas City's offense isn't as good as we think. For two straight years, Saunders' offense piled up points and yards without the benefit of a legitimate No. 1 receiver. You could argue that running back Priest Holmes, tight end Tony Gonzalez and KC's offensive line were that good. They made up for Johnnie Morton's and Eddie Kennison's shortcomings.

You could also argue that a weak schedule, Dante Hall's returns, always playing from behind in the 2002 season and plain-old good luck conspired to produce the myth that Kansas City's offense was unstoppable. We need more evidence before we sell the latter theory.

Let's call Sunday's one-TD performance prosecution exhibit No. 2. If you remember, the first exhibit was unveiled inside Denver's Invesco Field when Kansas City's offense mustered just 24 points despite 17 gift-wrapped points from Jake Plummer and a bad officiating crew.

Carolina's defensive game plan, unlike Denver's, was nothing special. The Panthers simply denied Kansas City good field position and accepted the gifts Vermeil and Saunders consistently offered.

Twice in the first half — at the beginning of the game and just before halftime — Vermeil settled for field-goal attempts on fourth and 1 from deep inside Carolina territory. Vermeil said he regretted the decision to kick before halftime — Lawrence Tynes missed the 47-yarder wide right. Both decisions were mistakes, though the first decision is much easier to defend.

What's impossible to defend is Vermeil and Saunders' decision to avoid establishing Priest Holmes and the running game at the start of the game.

The Chiefs opened by passing on six consecutive plays. Late in the game, with the Chiefs trailing by 11 points, Vermeil allowed Holmes to stand on the sideline play after play. On fourth and 3 with 4 minutes, 25 seconds to play, Derrick Blaylock ran a 2-yard sweep while Holmes looked on from the sideline.

“I asked if he was healthy and fine, and he said he was,” Vermeil explained when asked why Holmes didn't play late in the game.

Holmes carried the ball 16 times and caught three passes on Sunday. That's strange use of the best player in football.

Vermeil complained that Kansas City's offense overexposed its defense. Carolina backup tailback DeShaun Foster rattled off 174 rushing yards in 32 carries. He ripped the Chiefs for 71 yards on one play early in the fourth quarter.

“You give them too many opportunities, and they're going to pop one,” Vermeil accurately explained.

The best way for the Chiefs to protect their defense is by establishing Holmes on the ground and KC's punishing offensive line. Left guard Brian Waters played brilliantly against Carolina all-world defensive tackle Kris Jenkins, who eventually left the game because of a shoulder injury. Left tackle Willie Roaf controlled defensive end Mike Rucker early. Kansas City's tight ends slowed down pass rusher Julius Peppers.

“In the first half, nobody was near me,” Kansas City quarterback Trent Green said.

The great pass protection produced a lot of yards, two field-goal attempts and just 10 points. You know why? Because the Chiefs don't have any playmakers at receiver. That's no secret. That's why it's foolish to build a game plan that relies so heavily on the pass. It's easy for a receiver to make plays between the 20s.

Rookie free agent Richard Smith, the receiver who looked so good in the preseason, isn't ready. He made two critical mental errors in the second half. He went the wrong way on a tight-end screen and dragged extra defenders toward Tony Gonzalez. On the same drive, Smith failed to bend a route back out to the sideline and left Green hanging in the pocket for a sack. Smith also had a huge drop. He played significant snaps because Kennison left the game because of an injury.

The Chiefs have problems, the exact same ones that we knew about last season but that the Chiefs' front office chose to ignore.

tk13
09-20-2004, 01:11 AM
http://www.kansascity.com/mld/kansascity/sports/football/nfl/kansas_city_chiefs/9708213.htm

Green struggles to find the zone again

By ADAM TEICHER
The Kansas City Star


The Chiefs left Denver last week with the feeling that their opening-day loss to the Broncos was just one of those things.

They left Arrowhead Stadium after Sunday's 28-17 loss to Carolina with the realization that their problems run much deeper than that.

One season removed from a 13-3 regular-season record, the Chiefs fell to 0-2. If that were the extent of their problems, their situation wouldn't be so dire. They still have 14 games remaining and are only one behind the trio of AFC West leaders.

But other than the fact that the Chiefs have the 0-2 Texans coming to Arrowhead next week, they have little reason to think this will get much better anytime soon.

“I know we're a good enough football team to clean some things up and get going and start winning football games,” coach Dick Vermeil said. “But being 0-2 doesn't make things any easier. It tests you a little bit more. We're not as good a football team as we ought to be.”

The Chiefs' once-feared offense is a mess. Trent Green is forcing throws and not resembling anything close to the Pro Bowl quarterback he was last season. The Chiefs also appeared to lose yet another wide receiver, Eddie Kennison, to what they called a sore hamstring.

Their defense again was shredded by a running attack, this time one led by a backup. Carolina's DeShaun Foster, subbing for the injured Stephen Davis, gained 174 yards, including a 71-yarder in the fourth quarter that ended any realistic thoughts of a Chiefs rally.

The Chiefs' aura of invincibility at Arrowhead has been punctured, if not shattered. The Chiefs lost at Arrowhead in the regular season for the first time in 13 games, though they've now dropped two straight there, including the playoff defeat against Indianapolis.

Most mystifying to the Chiefs is the play of their offense, which generated just 10 points. Their other touchdown came on Eric Warfield's 43-yard interception return.

“We didn't produce last week, and we didn't produce this week,” Vermeil said. “We've gone from the No. 1 scoring team in the NFL for two straight years to this.

“Obviously, there are a lot of things we have left to do before we're back to where we were offensively.”

Getting better play from Green is at the top of that list. He has completed only 50 percent of his passes and has two interceptions and no touchdowns.

He personified the Chiefs' troubles Sunday.

Green started out on fire. He threw on the Chiefs' first six plays and completed five, taking the Chiefs inside the Carolina 20.

From there, the drive stalled and the Chiefs settled for a field goal. After that, Green had only one more completion of more than 20 yards.

Green acknowledged the obvious, that he was pressing.

“Sometimes you get into that mind-set: ‘OK, where am I going to go with this thing and where do I need to put it?' ” he said. “As the game went on, I felt there were some plays I needed to try to make.

“As a team, we need to start pressing. We started 0-2, and our expectations were nowhere near that. We can't keep falling behind and think we'll eventually crawl out of it. Being 0-2 definitely isn't going to make it easy. We've got to start making a move.”

Green received precious little help from his receivers downfield other than Johnnie Morton and tight end Tony Gonzalez. Dante Hall didn't have a catch. Richard Smith dropped two passes and ran the wrong route at least once.

“The injuries have taken a toll,” Green said. “Right now, we're kind of scrambling to put guys in there. We just don't have the continuity right now. We lost Eddie today, and Johnnie is still not 100 percent, and Richard Smith still has a ways to go.”

The Chiefs haven't been 0-2 since 2001, Vermeil's first season. They were headed to 1-6 and eventually 6-10.

Nobody is predicting such disaster for the 2004 Chiefs. But they are pointed in that direction.

“We're a good football team,” Gonzalez said. “I don't think anybody's confidence is shaken. I do think everybody has to question himself and say, ‘What can I do better?' ”

Douche Baggins
09-20-2004, 01:12 AM
He nailed it. :(

Pants
09-20-2004, 01:22 AM
LOL, I think the writers might be lurking CP. The stuff they say can be found all over the place here.

digi2fish
09-20-2004, 04:03 AM
God bless the Chiefs

Chan93lx50
09-20-2004, 06:30 AM
Well, I think they need to think about changing the offence with the injuries that we have this season.

Everybody knows that we should be pounding the rock.

Simplify the offense and use the run to set up the pass and use playaction passing. Let Richard Smith gradually learn our playbook with simple plays and not all this cute stuff.

He looked good in preseason against first teams D, and that is when the playbook was simple.

If Kennison is gone, time to bring in Chris Horn and Parker. Make the O simple again pound the damn rock and pass on playaction and simplify.

Basically play Martyball, while the new WR learn the playbook and gradually start opening our offense back up and let the WR learn our system.

Martyball, I cant believe I am calling for that crap again! But in the right place and time it works

Chan93lx50
09-20-2004, 06:36 AM
One more point, our WR can't get open on their own we have to use playaction to get them open.

To prove my point see the first drive. They thought Holmes was going to run and bit on all the playaction. Of course this only works so long only if you run the damn ball

the Talking Can
09-20-2004, 06:36 AM
"Rookie free agent Richard Smith, the receiver who looked so good in the preseason, isn't ready. He made two critical mental errors in the second half. He went the wrong way on a tight-end screen and dragged extra defenders toward Tony Gonzalez. On the same drive, Smith failed to bend a route back out to the sideline and left Green hanging in the pocket for a sack. Smith also had a huge drop. He played significant snaps because Kennison left the game because of an injury."


cool

HC_Chief
09-20-2004, 06:41 AM
For the past two years I've screaming we need a REAL WR... "What happens if teams figure out how to take Gonzalez and Holmes out of the game?" I queried.

Cripes, it's so blatently obvious it practically slaps you in the face... yet our coaching staff and front office can't see it?

Worst part about it, I think this year was the last in our 'Window'.

F*ck.

donkhater
09-20-2004, 08:20 AM
For the past two years I've screaming we need a REAL WR... "What happens if teams figure out how to take Gonzalez and Holmes out of the game?" I queried.

Cripes, it's so blatently obvious it practically slaps you in the face... yet our coaching staff and front office can't see it?

Worst part about it, I think this year was the last in our 'Window'.

F*ck.
Whose to say they didn't have that contengency? Kris Wilson and Boerigter would be huge right now. You can't control injuries.

HC_Chief
09-20-2004, 08:24 AM
Boerigter and Wilson?

Are you f*cking serious?

How many receptions did they combine for last season? How many TDs?

Again, we need a REAL WR. Boerigter was a nice #3; when he wasn't dropping every pass that hit him square in the hands. Wilson hasn't proven squat. Morton is a pussy who won't fight for the pass. Kennison is fast, but has below-average hands. Hall is a return specialist.

David.
09-20-2004, 08:37 AM
It cracks me up that all of a sudden everyone knew this offseason that our offense was gonna suck and our defense wasn't going to improve much. Seriously, STFU people.

wolfpack0735
09-20-2004, 08:48 AM
face it we ,and i hope i`m proved wrong, we`ll never get a true wr. queen carl and dickie v are chicken $hits when it comes to trades and spending money.
:banghead:

TEX
09-20-2004, 09:24 AM
I agree with Whitlock here. Wow, did I really just say that?

What the CHIEFS need to do is revert back to 2001 and do the SAME thing offensively as they did back then. Saundars was trying to be the Rams but he realized that we didn't have the WR's to doit. However he found out we had something special in Priest. So, IMO the way to go is with a steady dose of Holmes every which way, compliment that with Gonzo and involve the WR's selectively and the offense will move the ball. That also includes GOING FOR IT on 4th and short instead of attempting field goals. The CHIEFS need POINTS, because the _efense is NOT gonna get better anytime soon. The CHIEFS front office guessed wrong when it stood pat and kept most of the players from the worst _efense in the NFL. I think they'll get better, but IMO the process would be much faster had new and better players ben added.