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Old 08-05-2008, 07:41 PM  
Tribal Warfare Tribal Warfare is offline
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Q&A with HERM EDWARDS - 8/5

http://www.kcchiefs.com/news/2008/08...m_edwards__85/


Q&A with HERM EDWARDS - 8/5
Aug 05, 2008, 6:10:18 PM

Highlights

HERM EDWARDS: “It’ll be interesting to see little number 29 play (Dantrell Savage). He’s the team favorite right now. He’s kind of interesting. He’s a tough little guy.

“It’ll be fun to watch these guys play, especially the running backs. We know what Larry’s capable of doing but for the rest of these guys…. It’s probably the best depth we’ve had at that position since I’ve been here. Now, what we’ve got to do is stay on the field offensively so these guys can play. That’s the whole key now: make first downs so we can get a bunch of plays so we can watch these guys play.”

Q: Savage seems grateful for his chances and thinks he can play at this level. You’re a former free agent who played in this league. Is he one of those guys who can make it?

EDWARDS: “No doubt, no doubt. You talk about this guy and he came to the tryout. He didn’t even have a contract. He came to the tryout camp with the other 60 guys that was kind of a like a gong-show deal.

“Now, he had statistics. We knew who he was when he got there. At the end, when you sign a kid like that it kind of goes to show you that you miss some guys in the draft. You miss some guys in free agency. We’re fortunate to get him because he played big-time football now. It’s not like he played Division II – and it’s not like I’m knocking Division II – but he played at a big program against big schools and if you look at his numbers he had some tremendous numbers.

“We want to give him an opportunity to run and I think our whole team wants to see him run. He’s kind of a favorite kind of guy in camp right now.”

Q: Can he return punts and kicks?

EDWARDS: “I don’t know if he was a punt returner. He was a kickoff guy, I think, and we’ll give him an opportunity to do that. I don’t think he’s ready for punts yet. If he’s a guy who makes your team you start putting him back there and see if he learns how to catch punt.

“He has tremendous instincts and vision and is very quick once he hits the whole. He makes the quick decision and he’s a tough guy.”

Q: Is Jamall Charles a guy who would be in his way?

EDWARDS: “No, not really. When you look at all these backs it’s going to be a hard decision. Charles is a guy who is big-time. Those kinds of guys make big plays. They just hit a crack and it’s not a 10-yard gain it’s a 50-yard gain or a touchdown. It’ll be interesting to see how this all plays out. But as I keep saying, the key is to get plays. You’ve got to get plays. You’ve got to get plays. If you get plays in the pre-season where these guys can run the ball, you control the ball, then you get a true evaluation of what they can do. We have to do that.”

Q: Charles had a couple of games last year where he couldn’t hold onto the ball and then he kind of fixed it. Has he been what you wanted?

EDWARDS: “Well, he’s dropped it a couple of times out here, too, and that’s kind of been his deal. Now, he’s going to go into the league and the thing he’s going to learn is when they think you put the ball on the ground it’s like free pancakes at the waffle house and everybody shows up. You drop the ball on the ground when you play against defenses guess what? As soon as you get in the game they’re hollering, ‘strip the ball from this guy.’

“The best thing I told him is don’t put it on the ground. Don’t even do it in the warm-ups. Never drop a ball and it doesn’t come up. But if you drop it the red light comes on and it’s free pancakes.”

Q: Do you tell them you’re not going to play for me if you drop the ball?

EDWARDS: “You’re not going to play for a whole lot of people. That was one of our Achilles heels last year. We had way too many turnovers, whether it was fumbles or interceptions. You can’t do that. You’re battling upstream the whole way and we’re playing a (Chicago) defense that is known to take the ball away. You’ve got to secure the ball this week.”

Q: Does the place kicking battle really get started this Thursday (in Chicago)?

EDWARDS: “Yeah, and I’m hoping again just like the offense we’ve got to get them in position to kick field goals. We didn’t do a good enough job in the pre-season last year to really have the opportunity to kick a lot of field goals.

“I think if we can just get into position where we have the ability to kick them we’ve got to kick them. And, we’ve got to score touchdowns. We’ve got to get in position either or. Last year we weren’t in position to do that very often.”

Q: Do you see that your linebackers were part of the problem with last year’s defense?

EDWARDS: “There were a lot of breakdowns for a lot of different reasons. One, being on the field too long. Two, not really playing our proper gaps and filling our responsibilities. I think that goes on everyone, whether it’s the defensive line or linebackers.

“But Gun (Cunningham) was really torn wanting to coach the linebackers, too. He was adamant about it and I kept saying let’s just see. Then when the season was over with we decided that was the best thing for the football team.

“So now, it’s really one of those positions where there is a lot of competition. You have some guys penciled in to start which is fine, but right now in our mind they’ve got to go prove it to us on the field.

“I’ve always said this and now it’s coming to fruition being that this is the third season for me: we’re going to play the best players. We’re going to play the best players and the guys that do it the way we want to do it and are productive and understand it’s about the team and not statistics or fame, but winning. Those are going to be the guys that play whether it’s a free agent guy, a fifth-round draft choice doesn’t matter. I just want to get the players that do things the way they’re taught to do them.”

Q: How is it going right now?

EDWARDS: “I think there are some young guys now with a lot of talent. But they need to be coached and Gun is doing everything in his power to coach them. You know when you put in a defense like this the thing that’s always concerning is gap control because it’s a one-gap defense. If you blow a gap and don’t spill the ball or turn it the right way all of a sudden it’s a free hit and the guy is running. It’s costing. These guys are learning and they’re getting better at it. We’ve got to continue to get better at it in the pre-season because we’ve got to be better against the run. A lot of things help you against the run: if the offense stays on the field it takes your defense off the field. When you’re playing with a lead that helps you against the run, too, because people can’t run the ball in the fourth quarter. That’s what we would prefer them to do so that we can get after them. It starts in gap control and the ability of the linebackers and safety that you bring in the box that are well coordinated and that they understand they have certain gap responsibilities.”

Q: There was kind of a funny moment yesterday when Flowers picked up the ball. Whose defense was that?

EDWARDS: “They give me grief every time we play Red 2 in the Red Zone. They say, ‘that’s yours.” I always tell them there are a lot of things I’ll let you do but there’s one coverage you’d better not screw up: that’s the one. Don’t screw that one up.

“They’ve got to know because if we don’t run the coverage right and Tony (Dungy) sees it I always get that phone call. He says you’re messing around with that coverage again and I tell him, ‘no Tony, I’m not messing around with it.’

“It’s kind of been a part of us for a long time going way, way back. We can do a lot of coverages but that one you don’t mess with that one. It’s been pretty good historically for a long time and we don’t need to tweak it. Coaches are always trying to tweak something and we don’t need to tweak that one. It’s been pretty good for a long time.”
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Old 08-05-2008, 07:44 PM   #2
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Old 08-05-2008, 07:48 PM   #3
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Old 08-05-2008, 07:49 PM   #4
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Old 08-05-2008, 07:57 PM   #5
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I sure hope the term "free pancakes" doesn't become a staple for this year's offense. I can see the gameday threads now:

"Oh great, free pancakes."

-HH
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Old 08-05-2008, 07:59 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HolyHandgernade View Post
I sure hope the term "free pancakes" doesn't become a staple for this year's offense. I can see the gameday threads now:

"Oh great, free pancakes."

-HH
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Old 08-05-2008, 08:10 PM   #7
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Old 08-05-2008, 08:13 PM   #8
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