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Old 08-06-2008, 09:26 AM  
Deberg_1990 Deberg_1990 is offline
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Teicher: Chiefs expect more from their linebackers

Ahh..yes, finally a story about one of my biggest Gunther pet peeves: The D still allowing big running plays.


"Last year the team allowed a staggering 64 runs of 10 yards or more. That’s exactly four per game — and about four per game too many to suit coach Herm Edwards"

Good Lord!!!

http://www.kansascity.com/sports/story/735868.html


RIVER FALLS, Wis. | The first shot was fired in the dead of winter when the Chiefs, with a roster full of offensive needs, made Atlanta linebacker Demorrio Williams their first free-agent addition.

Soon after, linebackers coach Don Blackmon was fired. Volatile defensive coordinator Gunther Cunningham added Blackmon’s duties.

The tumult continued last week at training camp when middle linebacker Napoleon Harris, one of last year’s prized free-agent additions, was yanked from the starting lineup.

The Chiefs were trying to send a message, and they’re getting their point across: They want better play from their linebackers.

“It’s unfair to blame it on just the linebackers,” said Derrick Johnson, a starter on the outside. “Some plays are our fault, some plays the defensive line, some plays the secondary. But as a whole, we had too many big (running) plays.”

But the Chiefs do place most of the blame for this alarming stat on their linebackers: Last year the team allowed a staggering 64 runs of 10 yards or more. That’s exactly four per game — and about four per game too many to suit coach Herm Edwards.

“We have to be better against the run,” Edwards said. “There were a lot of breakdowns for a lot of reasons. One, we were on the field too long. Two, we didn’t play our proper … responsibilities. That goes on everybody: defensive line, linebackers.”

Their actions say otherwise. The Chiefs’ top draft pick, Glenn Dorsey, is a defensive tackle, but he is the only significant addition to the line, which is still coached by Tim Krumrie. Although he plays a different position, Dorsey in effect is merely replacing the traded Jared Allen.

The Chiefs haven’t exactly turned their linebacker world upside down. Johnson and Donnie Edwards remain the starters on the outside.

Otherwise, nothing is the same. The most dramatic change is Cunningham, whose explosive style is seen on the practice field every day.

His main job is to get the linebackers lined up correctly before the snap and in the right spots afterward. The Chiefs believe their linebackers were caught out of position too many times last season.

“He’s very demanding,” said Pat Thomas, who replaced Harris as the starting middle linebacker. “He doesn’t care who you are. You could be Donnie Edwards, Derrick Johnson. He doesn’t play favorites. If you aren’t doing your job, he’ll get in your face and tell you about it. At one time or another, he’s been after every one of the linebackers, either in practice or in a meeting.

“One thing you can say about it is you feel like he’s treating everybody equally. He wants his guys to work hard and be tough.”

In recent days, Cunningham banished linebacker LeRue Rumph from the field for repeated mistakes. He warned another rookie linebacker, Steve Octavien, he would do the same if his play didn’t improve. He told the second-team linebackers, “You guys play like (garbage) every time you come in.”

He also blistered Williams, who is puzzled that despite starting for the last three seasons for the Falcons that he hasn’t been given a chance for more playing time. The Chiefs told Williams when he signed that they would make him a starting outside linebacker, move Edwards into the middle and Harris to the bench.

But Williams’ only time with the starters has come in recent days with Edwards not practicing because of a sore hamstring.

“That was my understanding when I came here,” Williams said. “They’re the coaches and we’re the players, so I guess we just have to follow the rules and do what they say. But that’s what I was told would happen.”

Even though they didn’t replace him with Williams, Harris was eventually benched in favor of Thomas, who was released by Jacksonville midway through last season and signed by the Chiefs a few days later.

“You can look at the film and kind of see (Harris) is not really doing what Gun wants him to do,” Williams said. “That’s always going to be a problem.”

Harris led the Chiefs in tackles last season despite coming out of the game on obvious passing downs. Herm Edwards was speaking generically in this comment but appeared to be aiming it toward Harris.

“We’re going to play the best players,” Edwards said. “The guys that do it the way we want to do it, that are productive and understand it’s about the team and not about statistics or fame and that it’s about winning … the guys that do it that way are guys that are going to play.”

Of all the moves, more than Williams’ signing or Cunningham’s screaming, the one with Harris captured everyone’s attention.

“I’m the starter now, but I still have to keep doing what I’ve been doing to keep that spot,” Thomas said. “We’re still in camp. We haven’t even played a game yet. The tables can turn, and it’s up to me whether they turn or not.”
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Old 08-06-2008, 09:35 AM   #2
StcChief StcChief is offline
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Good. I thought they were gassed last year, maybe out of position at times. Love to see it. Good luck Gun.
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Old 08-06-2008, 09:40 AM   #3
chasedude chasedude is offline
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Quote:
“There were a lot of breakdowns for a lot of reasons. One, we were on the field too long.
Constant 3 and outs will do that, hopefully it will change this year.
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Old 08-06-2008, 10:27 AM   #4
CosmicPal CosmicPal is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deberg_1990 View Post

“It’s unfair to blame it on just the linebackers,” said Derrick Johnson...“Some plays are our fault, some plays the defensive line, some plays the secondary. But as a whole, we had too many big (running) plays.”


They deleted the rest of his response: "...some plays the topless women in the stands, some plays the sun gets in our eyes, some plays they cheat, some plays they lie to us and told us they'd be running up the middle, some plays the offensive tackle says some mean things to me that hurts my feelings, some plays I'm thinking about my vacation home in Costa Rica and wondering if it can withstand the impending storm, some days I just don't feel like tackling at all."
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Old 08-06-2008, 10:32 AM   #5
Deberg_1990 Deberg_1990 is offline
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Originally Posted by chasedude View Post
Constant 3 and outs will do that, hopefully it will change this year.
The whole "Being on the field too long" is just an easy cop out excuse.

Yes, its some of it, but there have been plenty of teams with stout D's but bad O's who were out on the field for a long time and they still held up.
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Matt once made a very nice play in Seattle where he spun away from a pass rusher and hit Bowe off his back foot for a first down.

One of the best plays Matt has ever made.
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Old 08-06-2008, 10:42 AM   #6
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With the cover 2 it should allow for short passes but prevent the long passes. I like it. Prevent the long deep passes and let the offense make mistakes
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Old 08-06-2008, 10:44 AM   #7
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Wait...first they expect more from Croyle and now they also expect more from the linebackers?
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Old 08-06-2008, 11:20 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by kepp View Post
Wait...first they expect more from Croyle and now they also expect more from the linebackers?
These people are demanding. Jeez.

By keeping Carl around I didn't think anyone had to accomplish jack to stick around KC.
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Old 08-06-2008, 11:27 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by kepp View Post
Wait...first they expect more from Croyle and now they also expect more from the linebackers?
I know right. What's next? Are they going to expect more from the running backs to????
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