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Old 04-05-2013, 06:40 PM  
Tribal Warfare Tribal Warfare is offline
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Covitz: Chiefs defense plans to be greedy

Chiefs defense plans to be greedy
By RANDY COVITZ
The Kansas City Star
It was bad enough that the Chiefs gave the ball away a league-most 37 times on offense last year, but to compound their woes, the defense took it away a league-low 13 times.

If there’s one mandate for new defensive coordinator Bob Sutton, it’s finding a way to create turnovers.

The Chiefs’ seven interceptions were tied for fewest in the league. Their six fumble recoveries were tied for the sixth-fewest.

Though the Chiefs will continue to play the 3-4 scheme under Sutton, he plans to bring the aggressive, takeaway mentality that he taught as linebackers coach for the New York Jets under Rex Ryan.

“Coach Sutton is definitely going to bring an attack-style defense to our ball club,” said inside linebacker Derrick Johnson. “He’s already talked about it, about taking the ball away. One of my goals is to take the ball away … and score. That’s the name of the game. Of course the main objective is to win, but takeaways are going to be big for us this year.”

The Chiefs’ seven interceptions last year were the fewest in a season in club history, and that includes two strike-shortened seasons. In the 15-game strike season of 1987, the Chiefs set the previous franchise-low of 11 interceptions; and in the nine-game strike season of 1982, they had 12. The six fumble recoveries matched the franchise record-low performance set in 2011.

In fact, the Chiefs have not returned an interception for a touchdown in their last 26 games, or since safety Kendrick Lewis and cornerback Brandon Flowers each turned in a pick-six at Oakland on Oct. 23, 2011.

And the last fumble return for a touchdown by the defense was way back on Sept. 30, 2007 against San Diego when Johnson sacked and stripped Philip Rivers, and Tyron Brackenridge returned the fumble 50 yards for the score.

That’s a span of 92 games without a defensive return of a fumble for a touchdown, though the special teams have done it three times in that period, most recently by Edgar Jones last year.

So while the Chiefs defense might have sent Johnson, safety Eric Berry and outside linebackers Tamba Hali and Justin Houston to the Pro Bowl, none made game-changing plays in a 2-14 season.

“We’re going to put pressure on the quarterback this year,” Flowers said. “That’s what we’re going to do. We’re not going to let the quarterback sit back there and make decisions on his page. We’re going to try to force the ball out early. We’re bringing in guys that can make plays in the back end, so we can get the ball back to our offense.”

Indeed, two of the Chiefs’ key free-agent signings, cornerbacks Dunta Robinson and Sean Smith, could make a difference with coverage when Houston and Hali can’t get to the quarterback.

“We’ve got to be ballhawks,” said Robinson, who has 17 interceptions in his nine-year career with Houston and Atlanta. “I look at the talent in the secondary, and our goal is to be the top secondary in the league. We have the guys on the back end who can get that done. With Flowers, Berry … we have the pieces to be the best secondary in the league. We’re going to practice like it and on Sunday we’re going to line up and try to play like it.

“For me, it’s all about attitude, the way you carry yourself, the way you prepare leading into Sunday. Your study habits, all of those things make the difference, and they slow the game down. This is a game where it’s good against good, so you have to be prepared.”

It would have been easy for Sutton and new head coach Andy Reid to tear up the defense and return to a 4-3. But the Chiefs’ previous administration drafted players like Houston and nose tackle Dontari Poe specifically for this scheme, and others like Hali and Johnson adapted to it during the past three years.

“I’m excited about the defense staying in that 3-4 scheme, which I had pretty good success over the last two or three years in it,” Johnson said. “It’s changed my career completely around. To stay with it the older I get, it’s perfect.”

The presence of Houston, who had 10 sacks last year, and Hali, who had nine, as well as Johnson, Berry and Flowers, convinced Robinson to sign with Kansas City.

“I’ve never seen a team go 2-14 and have six Pro Bowlers,” Robinson said. “I knew that the talent was definitely there, a few pieces here, a few pieces there, I thought would make a big difference. Bringing in (quarterback) Alex Smith, bringing in corners, I think those were the biggest holes on this football team a year ago.

“I think they filled those holes in the offseason. We just have to be as advertised and as good as we think we are, and I think we’ll make a big difference for this football team.”
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Old 04-05-2013, 06:41 PM   #2
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Covitzing is bad.
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Old 04-05-2013, 06:44 PM   #3
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Chiefs plan to outscore opposition next year
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Old 04-05-2013, 06:45 PM   #4
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Old 04-05-2013, 06:47 PM   #5
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I have no doubt, as Flowers has pointed out, that an attacking Defensive style is going dramatically change the look of our D for the better.
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Old 04-05-2013, 06:49 PM   #6
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Dunta had me at "I look at..." - walk the talk Dunta, just walk the talk.

I'm also looking forward to some of Suttons "muddle huddle", always thought that was a great wrinkle to throw in a handful of times a game... everyone just milling around and ****ing up the lines blocking assignments.
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Old 04-05-2013, 06:51 PM   #7
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Doesn't every defense plan to be greedy before the season? Who goes into a season thinking "ya know, let's play soft, we really don't need any turnovers this year"
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Old 04-05-2013, 06:52 PM   #8
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Chiefs plan to outPUNT opposition next year
Outscore? with Alex Smiff? FYP
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Old 04-05-2013, 06:55 PM   #9
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Doesn't every defense plan to be greedy before the season? Who goes into a season thinking "ya know, let's play soft, we really don't need any turnovers this year"
Heh, that reminds me of the old Will Shields quote... "nobody goes into the season thinking man, were gonna suck this year"
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Old 04-05-2013, 07:03 PM   #10
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Doesn't every defense plan to be greedy before the season? Who goes into a season thinking "ya know, let's play soft, we really don't need any turnovers this year"
Uhhh isn't that basically how we've played the last several years. Bend but don't break!!!!!
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Old 04-05-2013, 07:15 PM   #11
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Old 04-05-2013, 07:18 PM   #12
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Old 04-05-2013, 07:46 PM   #13
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Old 04-05-2013, 08:09 PM   #14
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Doesn't every defense plan to be greedy before the season? Who goes into a season thinking "ya know, let's play soft, we really don't need any turnovers this year"
Not the ones we had with Romeo.

We didnt pressure the QB as we should have. Or did we?
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Old 04-05-2013, 08:10 PM   #15
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