While driving around last week trying to finish up the Christmas shopping I punched up a couple of the local sports talk shows. One day, the subject of discussion centered on how the Chiefs were going to improve their defense in 2005. Certainly, that’s a valid area for plenty of give and take. One of the tin-throat hosts suggested that offensive talent needs to be traded away to get defensive help. One of his suggestions was to deal away Dante Hall.
I’ve heard lame-brain ideas before, but that has to rank among the worst. First, trading player-for-player rarely happens in the NFL and it’s even more unusual for it to happen at a level where the players are considered top talents. Secondly, Dante Hall is one of the NFL’s greatest weapons as a kick and punt returner. The Chiefs can continue attempts to involve him more in the offense, but that’s really not as important as having him back returning punts and kickoffs.
In any given game, there are going to be anywhere from a half-dozen to a dozen return opportunities. On every single one of those plays, Hall could end up in the end zone. He’s a game-breaker and that’s not something every franchise has. Should you be one of those teams fortunate enough to have a guy like Dante Hall, you don’t get rid of him.
COVERING TONY G.
Sometimes, coaches out-coach themselves. That’s what the Raiders defensive staff did when it came to covering Tony Gonzalez. The first time the teams met, Oakland double teamed Gonzalez on nearly every snap. Sometimes, they did that with cornerback Charles Woodson. Always, they had bracket coverage, somebody short and somebody deep on the Chiefs tight end. That’s why he caught just three passes for 32 yards.
On Christmas Day, Woodson did not play. Also out was the other starting cornerback Philip Buchanon, so the Raiders were at a disadvantage from the start. But then they tried to cover Gonzalez with linebackers, including their hybrid defensive end-outside linebacker Tyler Brayton. That’s not ever going to work against a guy with Gonzalez’s ability, which is why he was over 100 yards receiving in the first half alone.
HERE COME THE RAIDERS
I hate to be the bearer of bad news for 2005 but understand this: Oakland will finish at best 6-10, which will give them a draft position somewhere in the top 10.
If the Raiders add a few talented players to what they already have, they are going to be a handful for everybody in the AFC West. They have gotten younger this year and taken their lumps, but they have offensive talent, with a young group of blockers and a stunning receiving group. Defensively, they have added some athletic players in recent seasons. They are solid at both kicking positions.
If Oakland finds a feature running back and some young interior defensive linemen this spring, they will not be under .500 very much longer.
Kansas City Chiefs
Monday, December 27, 2004
Tuesday, December 14, 2004
Patience is such a wonderful virtue. It’s tough in today’s world of immediate gratification to take time to allow something to grow and develop. When it happens, it’s a wonderful thing to see.
However, patience is no guarantee of success, especially on the football field.Teams have waited and waited for a player to develop, and years later they are still waiting.
Both ends of the patience spectrum were visible Monday night here in Nashville in a Chiefs victory that will go down as one of the most unusual in team history. A Chiefs fan had to be patient just to watch this game that lasted three hours and 42 minutes. The Titans scored 10 points in 48 seconds to tie the score and take a three-point lead, with just 99 seconds to play.
The Chiefs came back and without any timeouts scored a pair of touchdowns in 24 seconds, one on offense, the other on defense, to earn their fifth victory of the season. The Chiefs gave up 542 yards to a Tennessee offense led not by Steve McNair, Eddie George and Frank Wycheck, but Billy Volek, Chris Brown and Drew Bennett. Defensively they were awful and wore out the patience of coordinator Gunther Cunningham.
Yet in the end, the defense made several plays in the closing minutes that allowed the Chiefs to win the game.
That brings us back to our subject: patience. At one end of that spectrum for the Chiefs is running back Larry Johnson. On the other is cornerback William Bartee.
Let’s start with Johnson. The first-round draft choice has been ridiculed, called names and forgotten during his two years in a Chiefs uniform; and that’s just by the head coach and his staff. There were times when Johnson did not say or do the right things, and there’s no doubt he pretty much pouted his way through his rookie season.
But Johnson returned for this season determined to handle things differently. There were setbacks a long the way and his name was part of trade rumors in October when the NFL deadline for deals came and went.
Johnson stayed and that was because of one man: Carl Peterson. He wasn’t ready to give up on the young running back from Penn State. Despite the problems, despite the fact his coaching staff did not trust Johnson and was in no hurry to get him on the field, Peterson did not want to throw away someone he considered a talented player.
That patience is paying off. Johnson has put together consecutive 100-yard rushing games. Last week in Oakland, he showed his ability to be a power back. In Tennessee, Johnson showed he can be a speed back, scoring on TD runs of 46 and 41 yards in the second half. It’s possible to see his confidence grow from game to game, carry to carry. All he needed was opportunity.
On the other end is Bartee, who after seemingly making some progress this season, has taken steps backward in the last two games. He looks lost on the field and was continuallybartee beaten by the Titans, whether it was Bennett or Derrick Mason. He eventually was sent to the bench and replaced by veteran CB Dexter McCleon.
Bartee is in his fifth season with the team and the coaching staff has shown tremendous patience in that time, waiting for him to develop into the kind of talent that’s drafted in the second round.
That patience is not paying off and it’s one reason the Chiefs pass defense is horrid. They are now allowing an average of 270 yards per game and in 13 games they’ve given up 27 TD passes.
The cornerback position is the No. 1 spot that must be retooled in the coming off-season. Bartee has worn out the patience of everyone. Second-year man Julian Battle has fallen so far in the estimation of the coaching staff that he did not play Monday night, not even on special teams. Dexter McCleon is not the every down answer at the position this late in his career.
When it comes to the Chiefs secondary, it’s important to have patience.
Monday, November 29, 2004
Strip away the great plays and the wild action and San Diego's 34-31 victory over Kansas City is reduced to a simple fact: big plays.
The revitalized Chargers (8-3) showed why they keep winning and the distraught Chiefs (3-8) showed why they continue to lose. San Diego made the big plays Sunday, got expert quarterbacking from Drew Brees and let tight end Antonio Gates and running back LaDainian Tomlinson carry most of the load.
The Chiefs gave up big plays, sustained costly penalties and turned the ball over at the worst possible time.
``Everybody got their money's worth today,'' said San Diego coach Marty Schottenheimer, whose Chargers were a league-worst 4-12 last year. ``It was quite an exciting game.''
Nate Kaeding, set up by Donnie Edwards' interception of Trent Green's pass, made up for missing two field goals with a tiebreaking 43-yarder with 2:24 left.
A few minutes earlier, Brees' 11-yard touchdown pass to Antonio Gates tied it 31-31 and capped a 71-yard drive that saw the Chargers overcome four penalties, including one that nullified Antonio Gates' 51-yard gain. Making it possible was Kassim Osgood's 65-yard run-and-catch on second-and-22 from the Chargers 19.
``Kassim Osgood made what, in my mind, is as fine a play as I've seen in my entire career in football,'' Schottenheimer said.
Even more memorable for Chiefs fans was the Dante Hall show. The little return specialist, who took the NFL by storm last year when he returned five kicks for touchdowns, sped 77 yards with the second-half kickoff and was just a few steps from the end zone when the ball inexplicably popped out of his hands.
Jerrell Pippens recovered for San Diego on the 5, and a few minutes later Kaeding's 25-yarder tied it 17-17.
But in the fourth quarter, after Brees' 18-yard TD pass to Gates gave the Chargers a 24-23 lead, Hall took the ensuing kickoff, burst up and the middle and fled 96 yards to the end zone, tightly holding onto the ball all the way.
``The guys did a heck of a job blocking,'' said Hall. ``There were two or three ways I could have gone.''
He refused to make an excuse for dropping the ball on the first long return.
``I'm running and the ball came out of my hands,'' he said. ``Those things cannot happen when you're fighting to keep your playoff hopes alive.''
AP - Nov 28, 4:47 pm EST
Kansas City seems headed for its worst season since 1988.
``Something's not right this year,'' said Chiefs tackle Willie Roaf. ``It's been going on all year.''
After Kaeding's 25-yarder tied it at 17, things started to get crazy.
Derrick Blaylock scooted 22 yards for a touchdown and a Kansas City lead that stayed at 23-17 when Lawrence Tynes missed the extra point.
Back came the Chargers, who have won five in a row and seven of eight, to forge a 23-23 tie when Gates beat backup safety Willie Pile on an 18-yard touchdown pass. Pile was playing in place of safety Greg Wesley, who injured his hamstring during pregame warmups.
``I think Willie Pile played pretty well overall,'' said Chiefs coach Dick Vermeil.
After Kaeding's extra point made it 24-23, Hall brought the crowd to its feet with his first touchdown return of the year, then Green hit Eddie Kennison for the 2-point conversion and the Chiefs led 31-24.
But helped by Osgood's big play, the Chargers tied it on Brees' 11-yard pass to Gates.
``Drew saw me open and he made a great throw,'' said Osgood.
Brees was 28-for-37 for 378 yards and two touchdowns and has thrown 18 touchdown passes and only one interception in his last eight games. Gates had seven catches for 92 yards and Tomlinson had 46 yards rushing and 57 yards on 10 receptions.
``Personally, I just feel more confident each time we go out and we win,'' said Brees. ``It just keeps giving me momentum.''
Tynes' 28-yard field goal with 45 seconds left gave the Chiefs a 17-14 halftime lead.
Tomlinson scored on runs of 1 and 3 yards in the first half.
Blaylock, starting for the injured Priest Holmes for the third straight game, scored on a 5-yard run in the first quarter.
Midway through the second quarter, Kansas City drove 94 yards in 13 plays capped by Larry Johnson's 6-yard run.
We once again lost with less than a 7 point difference. Green wasn't himself this game and it showed. He let his frustration get to his throwing and it led him to his lowest QB rating since the first couple of games this season. We could have beaten this team along with many others this year. We have shown that we can compete with these teams but we have never finished it. I hope we can turn it around, even if it does mean that we have little or no chance to make it to the playoffs. I would like to see us beat the rest of the teams this seasons. Lets get it togther to the finish of the season you guys!
Thursday, November 18, 2004
Priest Holmes will likely miss next Monday night's game against the New England Patriots with sprained knee ligaments, the same injury that kept him out of Kansas City's loss to New Orleans on Sunday's loss to New Orleans.
``I would say he's out,'' Chiefs coach Dick Vermeil said Monday. ``I think he's made a little progress, but he's got a long ways to go. I don't see him being any different than it was last week.''
Holmes, who leads the NFL in scoring with 90 points and ranks third in the AFC in rushing with 892 yards, injured his right knee against Tampa Bay on Nov. 7. While he sat out the 27-20 loss to the Saints, his replacement, Derrick Blaylock, ran for 186 yards.
Vermeil said he does not expect Holmes will need surgery.
``That has not been expressed to me,'' Vermeil said. ``Those sprains, they give them degrees, and everybody comes back at a different tempo. He always comes back quickly. But he's sprained that knee before so there's some other issues there as well.
``So we'll just be patient with him. We won't bring him back too fast, believe me.''
Kansas City is 3-6
Priest Holmes will not be playing in the game against the Patriots next Monday. It has become apparent to many of us that after winning 2 games, we lost 2 much easier games with him being out. This [Patriots] game will most likely be one of the defining games of the season. Lets hope for a speedy recovery for Mr. Holmes but more importantly, the win over the 8-1 Patriots. Lets rally it back Chiefs!
Wednesday, November 03, 2004
On a day dominated by offense, it took a defensive back to settle things.
Indianapolis star Peyton Manning had already thrown five touchdown passes when he lofted the ball into Kansas City's end zone with just under 2 minutes left Sunday. This time, the catch in the end zone belonged to Chiefs safety Greg Wesley, who returned the ball 65 yards to seal Kansas City's 45-35 victory.
``We didn't want it to have to happen that way,'' Wesley said. ``But they've got a powerful offense. We knew that coming in. We knew it wasn't going to be easy -- but the only thing that matters is that 'W.'
Kansas City's win broke a seven-game losing streak against the Colts (4-3), who didn't even have to punt in their 38-31 AFC divisional playoff victory over the Chiefs last season. Before Sunday, Kansas City (3-4) hadn't beaten Indianapolis since 1985 and had lost five straight to the Colts at Arrowhead Stadium.
So far this season, we have had some important wins, including the last. When we have lost, it has been by a small margin but if we want a chance this year, we will need to get the wins and stop settling for a close loss. I know that Holmes, the # 1 RB in the league, is good but we don't quite have the rest of the team to really back him up. We need to even out
Friday, October 22, 2004
The Jacksonville Jaguars finally got off to a fast start. They still needed another frantic finish.
Hobbled and hurting, Byron Leftwich directed a 67-yard touchdown drive and hit Cortez Hankton with 45 seconds remaining to lift the Jaguars to a 22-16 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday.
Leftwich also threw another TD pass and ran for a score as the Jaguars (4-2) snapped a two-game losing streak and won in the final minute for the fourth time this season.
``Clearly he has some of the 'it' intangibles that make a great quarterback,'' Jaguars coach Jack Del Rio said. ``He showed it in college and brought it with him here.''
Leftwich certainly has shown he can win close games.
He now has led the Jags on late scoring drives in three victories this season. He connected with Ernest Wilford for a 7-yard score as time expired for a 13-10 victory over Buffalo in the opener. He also directed a 69-yard drive against Tennessee to give Jacksonville a 15-12 win.
Thursday, September 30, 2004
Thursday, September 23, 2004
Tuesday, September 14, 2004
``They screwed us up with a lot of the different things they did,'' Chiefs coach Dick Vermeil said. ``A little different than what they've ever done and it screwed us up.''
It seems as if they ran all over us in the opener with a score of 24-34. It was more than embarassing, and we need to improve on alot of things. Priest Holmes on the other hand played fantastically, but our defense couldnt hold back the Broncos and you all know what happened after that. We need learn our weaknesses before we get better and I dont think we accomplished that too well in Pre-season. We need to get abck in this or else it will be too late in the season. Now lets get out there and win some games!
Monday, September 06, 2004
Morten Andersen, Junior Siavii, Jason Baker, Darnell Alford, Eric Downing, Eddie Freeman, Cliff Crosby, Lyle West.
Although most of us have been unsatisified with the preformance of the Chiefs in the preseason, the preseason in the past hasnt reflected much in terms of potential so lets hope that stays true and that we can continue to strive to improve.
Sunday, August 29, 2004
Saturday, August 21, 2004
Thursday, August 12, 2004
Well, lets get out thier and support our Chiefs.. GO CHIEFS!
Wednesday, July 28, 2004
Date Opponent Time/Result
Aug. 13 at New York 8:00 p.m.
Aug. 23 St. Louis 8:00 p.m.
Aug. 28 Cleveland 8:00 p.m.
Sept. 2 at Dallas 8:00 p.m.
Date Opponent Result
Sept. 12 at Denver 8:30 p.m.
Sept. 19 Carolina 1:00 p.m.
Sept. 26 Houston 1:00 p.m.
Oct. 4 at Baltimore 9:00 p.m.
Oct. 10 Open Date
Oct. 17 at Jacksonville 1:00 p.m.
Oct. 24 Atlanta 1:00 p.m.
Oct. 31 Indianapolis 1:00 p.m.
Nov. 7 at Tampa Bay 1:00 p.m.
Nov. 14 at New Orleans 1:00 p.m.
Nov. 22 New England 9:00 p.m.
Nov. 28 San Diego 1:00 p.m.
Dec. 5 at Oakland 4:05 p.m.
Dec. 13 at Tennessee 9:00 p.m.
Dec. 19 Denver 4:15 p.m.
Dec. 25 Oakland 5:00 p.m.
Jan. 2 at San Diego 4:15 p.m.