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Old 12-08-2004, 01:11 AM  
tk13 tk13 is offline
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http://www.kansascity.com/mld/kansas...s/10363451.htm

These kids are all right

Chiefs' young players have stepped up

By IVAN CARTER The Kansas City Star


If the Chiefs and Titans were in the NFC, they'd enter Monday night's matchup with dreams of a playoff run still dancing in their heads. However, because both squads are in the AFC, they'll be playing for something else: the future.

When the Chiefs' season officially hit the skids with a loss at New Orleans three weeks ago, coach Dick Vermeil made it clear that he wouldn't usher in a youth movement just for the future's sake.

Still, the Chiefs are heading in that direction anyway.

Injuries have created playing time for fresh faces like running back Larry Johnson, who rushed for a career-high 118 yards in Sunday's victory at Oakland, safety Willie Pile, who finished second on the team with six tackles in the victory, and offensive lineman Jordan Black, who despite having not played right tackle since high school, filled in ably at that spot when Chris Bober went down in the third quarter.

Also, rookie defensive end Jared Allen played almost the entire game and picked up his sixth and seventh sacks of the season while first-year kicker Lawrence Tynes, who missed an extra point during crunch time of a loss at Jacksonville on Oct. 17, looked deep into the heart of the Black Hole and nailed a key 22-yard field goal in the fourth quarter.

As the Chiefs celebrated the victory in the visiting locker room on Sunday, some of the visibly happy players were youngsters like Johnson, Pile, Black, Allen and Tynes.

“We just got a real taste of what the Chiefs-Raiders rivalry is all about,” said Pile, whose clutch fourth-quarter tackle on Ronald Curry may have prevented a touchdown. “We all know about it from watching the older guys, but it's a situation where you really can't understand what it's like until you're out there in the game. It feels real good as a young player to come out in a game like this and help us get a win.”

Pile, who was a seventh-round pick out of Virginia Tech in the 2003 draft, is one of 12 rookie or first-year players on the Chiefs' active roster. Another seven players, including Johnson, Black, defensive end Jimmy Wilkerson and middle linebacker Kawika Mitchell, are in their second seasons.

As the season winds down, more of the team's young players will get a chance to show what they can do. Specifically, rookie tight end Kris Wilson continues to make progress after re-aggravating a leg injury a few weeks ago and could see action against the Titans on Monday night and rookie offensive tackle Kevin Sampson, a seventh-round draft choice who was one of the pleasant surprises of training camp, could see action at right tackle.

Other rookies, like linebacker Keyaron Fox, linebacker Rich Scanlon and cornerback Benny Sapp, were active and participated on special teams Sunday. Yet another, wide receiver Samie Parker, dressed but did not play.

Allen continues to stand out as a playmaker. He needs three sacks in the final four games to reach 10 for the season, an accomplishment that would match Derrick Thomas' sack total as a rookie in 1989. The last Chiefs defensive lineman to reach double digits in sacks was Eric Hicks, who totaled 14 in 2000. The Chiefs haven't had a double-digit sack total come out of the right defensive end position — key because that is the blind side of most quarterbacks — since Thomas racked up 12 in 1998.

Listed at 6 feet 6, 265 pounds, Allen is sometimes driven off the line of scrimmage by offensive tackles much larger than him, and he's had more than one pass rush conclude with him on the ground. But he counters a lack of bulk with an explosive first step and a motor that never quits.

Allen also has played the role of team comedian. To celebrate Halloween and Vermeil's birthday, Allen showed up for a team meeting sporting nothing more than a black Speedo swimsuit, goggles and six gold medals a la Olympic champion Michael Phelps.

“His progress has exceeded where I thought it would be 12 weeks into the season,” Vermeil said. “I thought he'd be a player, I think we all did when we drafted him. … The number one thing a kid like Jared Allen brings to a team is a passion to play. It doesn't matter if it's on the practice field or pregame warmup or the last snap of the fourth quarter, he has a passion to compete and play the game equivalent to anyone on our roster.”

Vermeil, his coaching staff and the Chiefs' front office will continue to evaluate the team's young players over the course of the next four weeks. A few of them already have carved out a place for themselves next season and beyond while others, like Wilson and Parker, are looking forward to getting that chance.

“There are some kids that love to play and don't mind working hard and have really taken the time to evaluate the Will Shieldses, the Eric Hickses, Tony Gonzalezs, the Johnnie Mortons and Eddie Kennisons,” Vermeil said. “They've watched how they work and how they prepare. Those guys are great examples and (the young) players can learn from them.”
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Old 12-08-2004, 01:13 AM   #2
Demonpenz Demonpenz is offline
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i am hopeful johnson will workout. Hopefully he is an eddie george type of back. Out of all the busts mentioned along with johnson, how many of them had 100 yard games. I am talking about enis and carter
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Old 12-08-2004, 01:14 AM   #3
Demonpenz Demonpenz is offline
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i think mitchell sucks at flowing to the ball. After seeing dat ngyenn on monday
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Old 12-08-2004, 01:18 AM   #4
Rausch Rausch is offline
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while first-year kicker Lawrence Tynes, who missed an extra point during crunch time of a loss at Jacksonville on Oct. 17, looked deep into the heart of the Black Hole and nailed a key 22-yard field goal in the fourth quarter.
Is this a sick joke?

It's sad when a 22 yard FG starts being considered as "clutch."
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Old 12-08-2004, 01:19 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Rausch
Is this a sick joke?

It's sad when a 22 yard FG starts being considered as "clutch."
It's 3 points during crunch time...
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Old 12-08-2004, 01:27 AM   #6
Demonpenz Demonpenz is offline
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Tk13 peyton will suck in the playoffs. too much clutching and grabbing
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Old 12-08-2004, 02:33 AM   #7
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Why the hell does Eric Hicks have a job? Why?
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Old 12-08-2004, 03:19 AM   #8
Bob Dole Bob Dole is offline
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Originally Posted by Demonpenz
i am hopeful johnson will workout. Hopefully he is an eddie george type of back.
It escapes Bob Dole why anyone would want a back that averages 3.6 yards per carry, but otay.
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Old 12-08-2004, 05:48 AM   #9
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It seems most successful teams have positive output from their rookies or second year players. I think the young guys can do just as good as the older players on defense. Injuries or not, I say bench the unproductive veterans and give all the young guys a chance, so far they're doing a great job.
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Old 12-08-2004, 05:52 AM   #10
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Bring 'em into the game...


I have been impressed with Johnson, Allen & Harts. Black, Pile & Caver both had pretty good games last Sunday.

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Old 12-08-2004, 05:54 AM   #11
donkhater donkhater is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelH
It seems most successful teams have positive output from their rookies or second year players. I think the young guys can do just as good as the older players on defense. Injuries or not, I say bench the unproductive veterans and give all the young guys a chance, so far they're doing a great job.
A good argument especially considering how often we hear how the defensive players resort back to the techniques taught by the old regim. The young players shouldn't have that stigma so they should be easier to coach. If the vet can't live up to that, bye-bye.

On another note, it'll be interesting to see if Allen goes on to have a Thomas like career (blossom into a pass rushing force) or a Eric-Hicks type career (one year pass rush wonder)
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Old 12-08-2004, 07:07 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gaz

I have been impressed with Johnson, Allen & Harts. Black, Pile & Caver both had pretty good games last Sunday.

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Wants to see more of the rookies.
Agreed. You know I always wondered about Caver because he was a dominate monster linbacker at Arkansas. I think it was the Browns that picked him in the 2nd round, then let him go. But he appears to be solid when on the field and perhaps he's benefitting from Gun's influence.
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Old 12-08-2004, 07:20 AM   #13
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Agreed. You know I always wondered about Caver because he was a dominate monster linbacker at Arkansas. I think it was the Browns that picked him in the 2nd round, then let him go. But he appears to be solid when on the field and perhaps he's benefitting from Gun's influence.
He was drafted by the Eagles. He's had some good moments, but since he is a FA after this season, I don't understand why they don't play Fox alot more.
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Old 12-08-2004, 07:27 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Rausch
Is this a sick joke?

It's sad when a 22 yard FG starts being considered as "clutch."
I was thinking the same thing ... I mean c'mon, that's only 2 yds. more than an extra point. The only way it was "clutch" is that Tynes would be walking the street today if he'd missed that kick.
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Old 12-08-2004, 07:28 AM   #15
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Why the hell does Eric Hicks have a job? Why?
Because he works so hard in practice is the only thing I can think of. The only stat you ever hear DV talk about with the guy is "QB Pressures", which is a good stat to keep an eye on, but I think they are a little generious in the one's they give the guy.
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