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Old 08-13-2011, 12:56 AM  
Tribal Warfare Tribal Warfare is offline
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Mellinger: Chiefs’ preseason opener was especially meaningless

Chiefs’ preseason opener was especially meaningless
By SAM MELLINGER
The Kansas City Star

The Chiefs are a rotten, no-good, can’t-get-out-of-their-way football team. They are sloppy and overmatched and can’t tackle, and while we’re at it, here’s something else:

None of it matters.

Maybe the Chiefs will be a giant disappointment this season. Maybe they’ll lose a lot of games, make a lot of mistakes and by the end of the season we’ll all be wondering if the progress of the last few years is history.

There are good reasons to believe the Chiefs will struggle this season. League trends are pretty clear about it, actually, and there is some concern in and around the organization about following up last year’s division championship.

But there’s absolutely no way to use the Chiefs’ 25-0 loss to the Buccaneers in the preseason opener on Friday as proof.

“That’s the first one,” coach Todd Haley says. “Not the last one.”

If you’re worried about what you saw, don’t be. If you’re freaking out, stop. If you think that any significant weakness got exposed or that the Chiefs are somehow less likely to compete now than they were two days ago, take a deep breath.

Even by NFL preseason standards, this one is especially meaningless from the Chiefs’ perspective — and Haley coached accordingly.

He won’t say it this plainly, but it’s true nonetheless: Haley planned for and coached this game in a way that made it nearly impossible for the Chiefs to look good. And that’s not a bad thing.

This is by design. Don’t be fooled by the game uniforms and Arrowhead Stadium lights and national TV broadcast. The Chiefs approached this game like full-contact practice on the campus of Missouri Western.

The players who know the system and are most likely to make the team look good hardly played if at all. The new guys who needed to be shown how to get from the locker room to the field played a bunch.

You didn’t see the Chiefs on Friday. You saw something more like their representative.

“Like Coach told us,” fullback Le’Ron McClain says, “we knew we weren’t going to look like a Super Bowl championship team.”

Matt Cassel botched a snap, but it was with backup guard Darryl Harris playing center.

Quinten Lawrence messed up a kickoff return, but he’ll be watching like the rest of us when the real games start. Same with Jackie Battle, who fumbled. And Chandler Williams, who let a punt bounce by him inside the 5.

When the Chiefs took a safety, it was backup quarterback Tyler Palko being tackled by a first-string Bucs end rushing against backup Chiefs linemen.

You see where this is going.

Cassel didn’t throw a pass. Jamaal Charles didn’t touch the ball. Dwayne Bowe did nothing but block. Tamba Hali, Steve Breaston, Tony Moeaki and others didn’t even play.

Tampa Bay star quarterback Josh Freeman was among the Bucs’ starters who played into the second quarter.

What did you expect?

“The first preseason game is part of a process that looks different than last year would’ve or the year before,” linebacker Andy Studebaker says. “The whole year’s different, so our approach to camp has been different.”

Some of these guys have been in camp for a week. Jared Gaither has a chance to start at tackle, and he just signed on Thursday.

The Chiefs are working with an especially thin roster, and with the shrunken practice time it would be coaching malpractice to do anything risky.

The Chiefs didn’t show much of anything to believe in on Friday, but they also avoided injuries.

With this team, and this rushed preseason, the second part of that is much more important than the first.

Even in the best of circumstances, preseason football is like the grocery shopping and cleaning before the party.

It’s what you tolerate now so you can have fun later.

This is not the best of circumstances, of course, and if it weren’t for the NFL’s revenue structure and TV networks’ broadcast schedules, maybe we could’ve been spared the white lie that Friday night’s game was more important than a dress rehearsal in St. Joseph.

There is nothing to be learned from the Chiefs’ first preseason game, a combination of circumstance and design.

The Chiefs have questions throughout the roster that will need answers in the 29 days until the season opener against the Bills.

Now’s not the time.
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Old 08-13-2011, 01:01 AM   #2
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Quote:
He won’t say it this plainly, but it’s true nonetheless: Haley planned for and coached this game in a way that made it nearly impossible for the Chiefs to look good. And that’s not a bad thing.

This is by design. Don’t be fooled by the game uniforms and Arrowhead Stadium lights and national TV broadcast. The Chiefs approached this game like full-contact practice on the campus of Missouri Western.
Plus full priced tickets, $27 parking, and $8 beers! Go Chiefs!
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Old 08-13-2011, 01:21 AM   #3
Exoter175 Exoter175 is offline
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Old 08-13-2011, 01:24 AM   #4
Fruit Ninja Fruit Ninja is offline
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i feel bad for the people that paid full price for tickets. THey hell of got ripped off. I know what Todd Haley was trying to do, but its like he didnt even want to play the damned game at all.

Its not bad for the Chiefs, just sucks for the fan. I turned the game off after the first quarter. i Knew it wasnt going to be pretty.
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Old 08-13-2011, 06:47 AM   #5
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I haven't yet watched this game, but from what I've heard through interviews and camp reports thgroughout the league is that the Chiefs were the last team to actually do some live hitting in camp,and based on what I've read here, they didn't hardly play any of the starters.

Haley's obviously protecting against injury, and the Chiefs do seem to among the teams with the fewest that have been reported.
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Old 08-13-2011, 07:21 AM   #6
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i should have turned it off after first half but wanted to watch our young guys .. they all need snaps ....
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Old 08-13-2011, 07:50 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kcxiv View Post
i feel bad for the people that paid full price for tickets. THey hell of got ripped off. I know what Todd Haley was trying to do, but its like he didnt even want to play the damned game at all.

Its not bad for the Chiefs, just sucks for the fan. I turned the game off after the first quarter. i Knew it wasnt going to be pretty.
The problem is not with Haley, he did what all good coaches should do..protect his players.

The problem is with the NFL charging full prices for meaningless games. Its damn near criminal.
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Old 08-13-2011, 07:53 AM   #8
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Old 08-13-2011, 07:56 AM   #9
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Basically the only point of that game was to watch backups. Because they weren't trying with the starters.

I wanted to see what Stanzi had. Thought he showed some moxey but it was hard to see much since he was running for his life 90% of the time as soon as the ball was snapped.

Could be the competition he was playing but I thought Powe looked pretty good. For a huge man, he came back to make the TD saving tackle on Johnson in that one scramble and I saw several plays where he pushed the Center or Guard back a couple yards.

Baldwin looks huge on the field. Just a big dude. Even at 228 he still looks kinda skinny to me. But he looked okay.
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Old 08-13-2011, 07:58 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by suds79 View Post
Baldwin looks huge on the field. Just a big dude. Even at 228 he still looks kinda skinny to me.
Which is it? Is he huge or skinny?
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Old 08-13-2011, 08:07 AM   #11
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Old 08-13-2011, 08:12 AM   #12
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Baldwin's first catch was really something, Palko put some mustard on it and he caught it no problem. The second attempt to him (iirc) was a long ball, fade route type pass...but he looked like he got jammed at the LOS (which is something people have said he struggles with) and was unable to really make the play. He had that one circus drop\catch\drop thing that even the announcers were impressed with the effort on. I'm liking the kid so far, but again, there really ain't much to go off of...
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Old 08-13-2011, 08:13 AM   #13
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Old 08-13-2011, 08:18 AM   #14
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No kidding, if the commentators sucked off the Bucs any harder their pirate woulda had to e replaced by a pic of Richard Simmons. You wouldn't know the Chiefs were playing just by the announcing crew.
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Old 08-13-2011, 08:26 AM   #15
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I completely understand the whole "the game was a ripoff" sentiment and fully agree. However, on what planet is ANY preseason game worth paying for, let alone the first playoff game in a lockout season?
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