PDA

View Full Version : Posnanski: Who's to blame? How about that Barber guy?


tk13
09-20-2004, 01:10 AM
http://www.kansascity.com/mld/kansascity/sports/football/nfl/kansas_city_chiefs/9708975.htm

Who's to blame? How about that Barber guy?

JOE POSNANSKI COMMENTARY


There is one person, and one person alone, to blame for the Chiefs' winless start, their leaky run defense, their astonishing ability to give up the big play, their unerring knack at turning previously obscure running backs into Walter Paytons.

That person is Chiefs linebacker Shawn Barber.

I know this because he told us so.

“I want you to write, ‘Shawn Barber is responsible,' ” Barber said after the Chiefs' crushing 28-17 loss to Carolina in the home opener. Then, to prove his point, he bent over a table and pretended to get his head severed by a guillotine. “Chop it off,” he said. Then to further prove his point, he suggested that some bad things might befall any writer who hints that someone else was at fault.

“I did it,” Barber said. “It was me and no one else.”

As he talked, I couldn't help but think of that scene in “Ferris Bueller's Day Off” where Ferris' friend Cameron decides to take full responsibility for his father's Ferrari falling 100 feet and crashing into the ground.

“You don't want this much heat,” Ferris says.

That's what I want to tell Barber. You don't want this much heat.

You don't want all of the anger and depression and frustration and disappointment Chiefs fans are feeling at the moment crashing down on your head. It's pretty nasty out there at the moment. Two weeks ago, people really thought this Chiefs team was going to the Super Bowl. Right now, you wonder how in the heck they're going to beat Houston.

Right now, you wonder whether there's a running back alive this defense can tackle.

“Stopping the run is all about attitude,” Chiefs linebacker Monty Beisel said. If that's true, you'd have to call the Chiefs' attitude “laid back.”

A week ago, they let a young running back named Quentin Griffin juke and jive his way for 156 yards and three touchdowns. “He's like Barry Sanders!” witnesses marveled. Or not. In an odd quirk, that very same Quentin Griffin ran for a meaningless 66 yards against Jacksonville on Sunday. He never had a run longer than 9 yards.

Meanwhile, the Chiefs on Sunday — thanks to an injury to Carolina Panthers star Stephen Davis — were fortunate enough to face a running back named DeShaun Foster, who has been around for three seasons and had proved quite convincingly that he is not like Barry Sanders. His longest run before Sunday was 21 yards, and he had run for 100 yards in a game precisely the same number of times that I had.

Foster ran for 174 yards against the Chiefs on Sunday.

The Chiefs do point out, though, that Foster picked up 71 of those yards on one play. As if that's a good thing.

“It was just a simple lead play,” Beisel said of the long run.

“It's completely my responsibility to make sure that play doesn't turn into a long run,” said Barber as he kept trying desperately to grab all the blame.

“They just keep running through that same gap,” said defensive tackle Ryan Sims. “It's like teams know something. It's like they've figured us out.”

Sims was pretty ticked off. While Barber was walking around the locker room demanding to be ripped and defensive end Eric Hicks was taking out some frustration on a radio reporter, Sims sat in his chair and faced his locker and asked the million-dollar question.

“Everybody around here blamed (former defensive coordinator) Greg Robinson,” he said. “Well, Greg's gone now. Who are we going to blame now?”

Well, we're going to blame Shawn Barber. He told us to. It's Barber's fault this team is now on pace to give up exactly 3,000 yards rushing this year, which would be the most for any team in 24 years.

It's Barber's fault that in two weeks the Chiefs have given up an absurd nine runs for 15 yards or more.

It is Shawn Barber's fault in the last nine games, including last season's playoff loss, the Chiefs have had seven different running backs go for more than 100 yards, including the immortal Onterrio Smith (146 yards, three touchdowns), the extraordinary Rudi Johnson (165 yards), the unforgettable Shawn Bryson (105 yards, and yes, I had to look up his first name) and now the indescribable DeShaun Foster.

Shawn Barber can't tackle. He gets knocked off the ball. He fills the wrong gaps. He breaks down. And while we're at it, he can't get open, he makes some poor decisions in the pocket, he can't catch, and he seems to have lost a step or two on pass protection. He also putted lousy in Detroit this weekend.

Yes, Shawn Barber's having a very, very bad year.

“Everybody on this defense played well except me,” he said.

Even after Sunday's dreadful loss, everybody wanted to remind us there's still a long season ahead, there's still plenty of time to turn this thing around, and so on. Numerous Chiefs even made the compelling but ultimately unconvincing point that last year's Patriots lost their first two games and still won the Super Bowl (the point's unconvincing because it isn't true; the Patriots beat Philadelphia by three touchdowns in week two).

Anyway, the Chiefs were trying to say that this promising season isn't over yet.

“I think we can get back to where we're playing the kind of ball we were playing last year,” Chiefs coach Dick Vermeil said.

Maybe. The Chiefs do get a struggling Houston team at home this Sunday. Maybe the Chiefs win that game. Maybe they start turning things around. But nothing good will happen until they do something about Shawn Barber. He'll tell you. He stinks.

Braincase
09-20-2004, 05:55 AM
Great. "Scapegoat of the week". Next week it'll be Scott Fujita, then Beisel and then Mitchell...

siberian khatru
09-20-2004, 06:12 AM
Confusion over that Patriots stat: The 2001 Patriots started 0-2 (even 1-3) and won the Super Bowl.

Jumbo
09-20-2004, 06:26 AM
The season aint over yet. It is still very possible to turn this thing around, win each and every game starting with the Texans and roll on into the post season with home field and a record of 14 up and only 2 down. What do ya'll think?

whoman69
09-20-2004, 06:28 AM
Confusion over that Patriots stat: The 2001 Patriots started 0-2 (even 1-3) and won the Super Bowl.
This team has shown nothing to compare them to that team. This team has done nothing to even compare to last years team except play crappy D. The D isn't really as bad as we think, but its bad. The offense has been crap as well.


Cue in Jim Mora.......PLAYOFFS?!?

J Diddy
09-20-2004, 06:55 AM
The season aint over yet. It is still very possible to turn this thing around, win each and every game starting with the Texans and roll on into the post season with home field and a record of 14 up and only 2 down. What do ya'll think?

I think you been hanging out with Ricky Williams.


:bong:

ptlyon
09-20-2004, 07:03 AM
Why is Barber taking the blame for this debacle?

McCleon looked like complete and total Dog S...

J Diddy
09-20-2004, 07:06 AM
Why is Barber taking the blame for this debacle?

McCleon looked like complete and total Dog S...

Agreed, but I have yet to see Barber look like the playmaking stud he was supposed to be when they signed him.

Dexter"daisy picker" Mcleon needs to get.

the Talking Can
09-20-2004, 07:06 AM
We paid BArber to be a playmaker, but he's mostly anonymous....I thought he'd thrive with Gunther and he looks worse than ever

Raiderhader
09-20-2004, 07:10 AM
Why is Barber taking the blame for this debacle?

McCleon looked like complete and total Dog S...


Yes, but if I am not mistaken, the majority of the long runs seem to come from Barber's side.

I could be wrong about this, but I don't think so.

jiveturkey
09-20-2004, 07:11 AM
Why is Barber taking the blame for this debacle?

McCleon looked like complete and total Dog S...The big runs always seem to come from Barber/McCleon's side of the field. I wonder what the longest run has been to the other side?

Ari Chi3fs
09-20-2004, 07:17 AM
at least we traded Truluck... :rolleyes:

ptlyon
09-20-2004, 07:19 AM
I'd like to see a stat on how many missed tackles McCleon had