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Old 10-14-2004, 10:56 AM  
Mr. Laz Mr. Laz is offline
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Kennison all set to 組o' for Chiefs

Posted on Thu, Oct. 14, 2004

Kennison all set to 組o' for Chiefs

Offense needs his big-play potential

By IVAN CARTER The Kansas City Star

When the Chiefs last visited Jacksonville, they were playing out the string in Dick Vermeil's first season as head coach. By pulling out a 30-26 win in week 15 of the 2001 season, the Chiefs provided a glimpse of the offensive brilliance that was to come during the record-breaking 2002 and 2003 seasons.

That game, played at a three-quarters-full Alltel Stadium, was also noteworthy because wide receiver Eddie Kennison posted the first of his five 100-yard receiving games as a Chief.

At the time, Kennison was still trying to get past his controversial departure from Denver. His six-catch, 121-yard performance against the Jaguars that day proved that he had plenty of game left in those skinny legs.

When the Chiefs and Jaguars face off Sunday, the Chiefs won't be playing out a string, they'll be trying to resurrect a season. As for Kennison, he'll simply be happy to be back on the field after missing the last two-and-a-half games with a hamstring injury.

的'm at the point now where I don't even care about numbers or recognition. I just want to help us win ballgames, said Kennison, who had seven receptions for 121 yards in the first two games of the season. 展e need a win, and I'm going to be out there with my guys trying to get one.

Kennison practiced at near full speed Monday, rested on the players' day off Tuesday and again worked at near full speed Wednesday. So far, he said, the hamstring hasn't been a problem. But he hasn't tested it by blasting hard off the line of scrimmage as required by so many of the Chiefs' bread-and-butter patterns, including Kennison's favorite, the 堵o route.

的t's a situation where I'm running on it, but I'm not really pushing it, said Kennison, the Chiefs' fastest wide receiver. 泥uring the next few days, I'll push it more and more.

What about Sunday, when offensive coordinator Al Saunders calls for Kennison to run a 渡ine route, which is what he was running when he pulled up against Carolina?

典hen it's time to go, Kennison said. 典hat's all there is to it.

Kennison's impact on the Chiefs' passing game is about as subtle as one of those fly patterns that is a staple of every backyard game.

摘ddie can fly, Chiefs coach Dick Vermeil said.

Kennison owns the only 100-yard receiving game by a Chiefs wide receiver this season, and his 57-yard catch against Denver in the season opener remains the team's longest.

Kennison's speed can win games as it did in overtime at Green Bay last season or simply change them, putting fear in the secondary and opening things up underneath for Johnnie Morton, Tony Gonzalez, Dante Hall and Priest Holmes.

That 57-yard reception against Denver provided a perfect example of how Kennison can stretch a defense. Trent Green had intended to hit Gonzalez on a deep out underneath Kennison, who was running a 堵o. But when Kennison's defender jumped Gonzalez, Green went up top to Kennison, who made the big play.

摘ddie gives the play-caller confidence, Vermeil said. 撤art of it is confidence to use (our entire offense). It's confidence to call it, because you've seen him do it before under pressure and that helps. We've had Dante there, but they are two different receivers. Two different styles. I think Eddie's return gives Al confidence to use the entire game plan at any time without being concerned. Plus, Eddie can make plays.

The Chiefs would like to see more big plays out of their passing game, regardless of whether Kennison is involved or not. The Chiefs produced 12 pass plays of 20 yards or longer through the first four games of last season and went on to make 55 such plays by season's end.

Through four games this season, the Chiefs have created seven pass plays of 20 yards or longer. The inability to complete the big play has put the offense in too many third-and-long situations, which in turn has pulled the plug on too many scoring opportunities.

展e haven't been a big-play team this year, Vermeil said. 哲ormally those big plays come out of variations of our offense. Eddie makes one. Dante makes one. We haven't had those big plays.

The Chiefs will face a Jaguars defense that ranks 10th against the pass but has allowed 13 plays of 20 yards or longer in four games.

Even as he stood on the sidelines during the last two games, Kennison sensed that the Chiefs' were getting closer to clicking as they were the past two seasons. Now that he's a part of the action again, Kennison is confident that the Chiefs can keep things rolling.

添ou saw some of it against Houston, and then we really got in a groove on offense against Baltimore, Kennison said. 哲ow the defense is really coming together. It's time for us to get all of that going and do what we have to do.


He can produce

Of the nine 100-yard games wide receiver Eddie Kennison has posted in his nine-year career, five have come with the Chiefs.

Date Team Opponent Rec Yds TD
12-8-96 Rams Bears 8 102 1
12-14-96 Rams Falcons 5 226 3
12-10-99 Saints Falcons 4 138 1
12-10-00 Bears Patriots 8 100 1
12-30-01 Chiefs Jaguars 6 121 0
9-8-02 Chiefs Browns 4 120 0
11-10-02 Chiefs 49ers 8 134 0
11-9-03 Chiefs Browns 7 115 1
9-12-04 Chiefs Broncos 6 101 0

Last edited by Mr. Laz; 10-14-2004 at 11:14 AM..
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