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Old 12-21-2012, 02:33 PM  
Tribal Warfare Tribal Warfare is offline
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Covitz: Chiefs’ Donald Stephenson adjusts to new role

As a rookie, Chiefs’ Donald Stephenson adjusts to new role

Chiefs rookie offensive tackle Donald Stephenson’s Welcome to the NFL Moment came against one of the NFL’s most feared pass rushers in Denver’s Elvis Dumervil.

Stephenson, with some double-team help, kept Dumervil from sacking quarterback Brady Quinn on that late November day, but, to parody a popular song, He ain’t seen nothin’ yet.

This Sunday, if Stephenson makes his sixth start in seven weeks in place of Branden Albert, who is questionable with a back injury, he’ll go against one of the NFL’s premier pass rushers of this decade in Indianapolis’ Dwight Freeney, whose 105.5 career sacks rank fifth among active players and 23rd in league history.

“He’s a beast,” said Stephenson, the Chiefs’ third-round draft pick from Oklahoma and product of Blue Springs High School. “The guy has everything. Power, speed and has a great inside move, that’s what makes him great.”

Even if Albert, who has been limited in practice this week, starts on Sunday, the absence of tight end Tony Moeaki due to a concussion leaves the Chiefs with only one tight end, Steve Maneri. So unless the Chiefs activate DeMarco Cosby from the practice squad, Stephenson could be playing a lot as an extra tight end, a role he has filled this season in goal-line and short-yardage situations and even started a game in that spot at San Diego.

In addition to studying tape of Freeney’s moves, Stephenson has enlisted the help of Albert and right tackle Eric Winston, who is familiar with Freeney from his days at Houston, an AFC South rival. Winston will match up against the Colts’ other pass rusher, Robert Mathis, who has a team-leading eight sacks.

Freeney has just three sacks this season because he’s been battling a high ankle sprain sustained on opening day. The Colts also transitioned from a 4-3 to a 3-4 front this season, so he’s not rushing on every pass play.

“Freeney is a problem, whether his sack numbers are up or down, he causes issues wherever he’s lined up,” said Chiefs offensive coordinator Brian Daboll. “Sometimes it’s on the right, sometimes on the left … and Mathis is pretty good on the other edge at rushing.”

Freeney’s trademark spin move is what has set him apart and enabled him to produce at least one sack in 70 of his 141 career starts.

“These guys have moves you’ll never see from anyone else,” Winston said. “It’s like facing a knuckleball pitcher in baseball. You can’t simulate the spin moves in practice. You have to watch a lot of film and picture it in your mind.”

While Stephenson has performed admirably in one of the toughest positions for a rookie to master, his play has not been flawless. He was beaten pretty badly for a sack by Oakland’s Andre Carter in last week’s loss at Oakland.

But Chiefs coach Romeo Crennel said he likes the “aggressive attitude” Stephenson takes out to the field.

“It’s all about playing hard,” Stephenson said. “After every play, you want to go to the whistle. People say that’s playing mean, but this is what I was taught. It helps me stay into the game and excited about it. You have to create your own kind of tempo, and stay juiced up, stay hyped up, even when things are going bad. It helps you through it.

“Right now, I’m working on consistency. That’s what I keep hearing from coaches … to play at a high level every game against everybody every play. I’ve learned a lot from Albert and Winston. They tell you it’s not all about talent. It’s all about focus and intensity. It’s a lot more than college was. I’m adjusting to that.”

Stephenson never envisioned playing this much as a rookie. Another rookie, second-round draft choice Jeff Allen, starts next to him at left guard.

“When we got here, the veterans always said, ‘One of those days, you’re going to be in there,’’’ Stephenson said. “We, said, ‘Nah,’ … but sure enough we’re both on the left side, both being rookies.”

Allen and Stephenson can form the left side of the Chiefs offensive line for years to come. Albert will be an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season and Ryan Lilja, who moved from left guard to center after Rodney Hudson suffered a broken leg, is 31 years old and has been battling knee and back injuries all season.

“I would have to see Branden go. He’s a good guy and has helped me a lot. I haven’t put much thought into that. Being a rookie is tough enough. I’m trying to survive game by game.”
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Old 12-21-2012, 06:12 PM   #2
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It was pretty funny seeing Vondum invisible against that patchwork line.
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Old 12-21-2012, 06:25 PM   #3
mdchiefsfan mdchiefsfan is offline
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I love how all articles say that Albert is pretty much gone.
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Old 12-21-2012, 06:40 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by mdchiefsfan View Post
I love how all articles say that Albert is pretty much gone.
Out of all the potential losses I see dorsey gone, albert gone and us tagging bowe again.
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Old 12-21-2012, 06:44 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by J Diddy View Post
Out of all the potential losses I see dorsey gone, albert gone and us tagging bowe again.
Yea I think Dorsey is a gonner. I am holding out hope that the new regime can get in here and grease the wheels on Bowe by telling him we're getting him a legit qb then franchise Albert
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Old 12-21-2012, 06:48 PM   #6
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It was pretty funny seeing Vondum invisible against that patchwork line.
Maybe if you would PASS THE MF'ing BALL occasionally they would have gotten some sacks. It was obvious the Chiefs were terrified of getting obliterated at home, so they played conservatively. They knew they weren't going to beat us so they made a concerted effort to lose by as few points as possible.
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Old 12-21-2012, 06:50 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by mdchiefsfan View Post
Yea I think Dorsey is a gonner. I am holding out hope that the new regime can get in here and grease the wheels on Bowe by telling him we're getting him a legit qb then franchise Albert
I don't think we will franchise Albert even if Bowe was signed. Albert has been good but not stellar and I think worse case scenario Stephenson is just a cheaper version.
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Old 12-21-2012, 06:51 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Cassel>Manning View Post
Maybe if you would PASS THE MF'ing BALL occasionally they would have gotten some sacks. It was obvious the Chiefs were terrified of getting obliterated at home, so they played conservatively. They knew they weren't going to beat us so they made a concerted effort to lose by as few points as possible.
and then you sucked 8 cocks. #drunk
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Old 12-21-2012, 06:52 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Cassel>Manning View Post
Maybe if you would PASS THE MF'ing BALL occasionally they would have gotten some sacks. It was obvious the Chiefs were terrified of getting obliterated at home, so they played conservatively. They knew they weren't going to beat us so they made a concerted effort to lose by as few points as possible.
We threw the ball 45% of the time that game you ****ing dumbass.

Quit making excuses.
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Old 12-21-2012, 06:59 PM   #10
Von Dumbass Von Dumbass is offline
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We threw the ball 45% of the time that game you ****ing dumbass.

Quit making excuses.
Even when you did throw it, it was nothing but quick little dumpoff passes. I have never seen a team play more scared in my life.
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Old 12-21-2012, 07:14 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Cassel>Manning View Post
Even when you did throw it, it was nothing but quick little dumpoff passes. I have never seen a team play more scared in my life.
You must not have seen many Jets games recently.
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Old 12-21-2012, 07:16 PM   #12
RunKC RunKC is offline
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Originally Posted by Cassel>Manning View Post
Even when you did throw it, it was nothing but quick little dumpoff passes. I have never seen a team play more scared in my life.
I have. In the same building the year before when the opposing team ran the ball every play because they were too scared to pass.

What team was that again?
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Old 12-21-2012, 07:19 PM   #13
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You must not have seen many Jets games recently.
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Old 12-21-2012, 07:20 PM   #14
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I have. In the same building the year before when the opposing team ran the ball every play because they were too scared to pass.

What team was that again?
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I have completely given up on Alex Smith as a qb. Its painful to watch. Like, worse than watching Colt McCoy.
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Old 12-21-2012, 07:20 PM   #15
Flachief58 Flachief58 is offline
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and then you sucked 8 cocks. #drunk
Shit dude, that's a tuesday afternoon for him
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