REPORT CARD: Chiefs vs. Bills

From Arrowhead Stadium

RUSHING OFFENSE: A+ – How can you not give the highest grade possible to a rushing attack that continues to roar with 274 yards and now three straight games of over 200 yards? The Chiefs are now averaging 190 rushing yards per game and are on pace to break a franchise record for rushing yards. Jamaal Charles was at his best in this game, as he ran for 177 on 22 carries, or eight yards per run. The only thing the Chiefs didn’t get done was score on the ground. Oh well …

PASSING OFFENSE: C – There was nothing going on here all day as the Chiefs kept the ball on the ground and calling just 31 passing plays – QB Matt Cassel threw 26 passes, he was sacked three times and he ran the ball twice. Overall, the wide receivers were not a factor in this game, although Jamaal Charles caught four passes for 61 yards, some of those when he lined up outside. The Chiefs went with that because they were without rookie WR Dexter McCluster due to injury. WR Dwayne Bowe had only three catches for 16 yards. Chris Chambers did not catch a pass. Three sacks was as many as they gave up in the previous three games combined.

RUSH DEFENSE: B – The Bills finished with 137 yards on the ground, but that was only because of the extra period. The Chiefs did not give up a run of more than 14 yards and Fred Jackson was the leading rusher for Buffalo with 64 yards on 20 carries, a 3.2-yard average. They got hurt by an end-around where WR Roscoe Parrish went for 13 yards and QB Ryan Fitzpatrick ran for 14 yards.

PASS DEFENSE: C – The Chiefs really smacked Fitzpatrick around for three quarters and then in the fourth quarter they allowed him to catch fire and get the Bills back in the game. They had three sacks, half of those from OLB Tamba Hali who was a problem all day for the Buffalo protection. They also got an interception by SS Eric Berry when a pass slipped out of Fitzpatrick’s hand and flew high. They really did a good job of handling veteran WR Lee Evans, who after three quarters had only two catches for 17 yards.

SPECIAL TEAMS: C – The kicking game finally won it for the Chiefs with Ryan Succop’s 35-yard field goal. But his earlier miss hurt and again they got nothing going in the return game. Javier Arenas averaged just 23 yards on kickoff returns and nine yards on punt returns. Coverage units were good, but Dustin Colquitt’s net punting average was an ugly 29.7 yards, due to a 33-yard return and two touchbacks.

COACHING: D – This penchant of Todd Haley to bypass what should be fairly obvious field goals in attempts to move the chains on fourth down almost cost him this game. The situation near the end of the game when Cassel leaped over the middle and apparently got the first down, but Haley called timeout and decided to punt. There seemed some confusion there. Some of the offensive playing calling was confusing as well. The running game was working, rely on it, instead of throwing so many passes short on third downs.

No Trick, Just Treat As Chiefs Get 13-10 OT Victory

From Arrowhead Stadium

It was a roller coaster afternoon for the Chiefs and their fans on Sunday at Arrowhead.

The thrill ride ended with a 35-yard field goal by Ryan Succop on the final play of overtime. Had Succop missed the FG – as he did one earlier in the extra period – the game would have ended in a tie, something that hasn’t happened to the Chiefs since the 1989 season.

But Succop was good and the Chiefs are now 5-2 on the season and headed for a two-game road trip in the AFC West with visits to Oakland and Denver. The Raiders won on Sunday and are now 4-4 on the season.

There was so much to the Chiefs victory and we’ve got it all covered:

  • GAME STORY: Bills make it tough but Chiefs earn the victory.
  • COLUMN: Romeo Crennel is pushing the right buttons.
  • SIDEBAR: It was Charles in charge on offense.
  • SIDEBAR: Succop gets a second chance.
  • SIDEBAR: Haley’s gambling on fourth down again.
  • NOTES: It’s a gut buster for Bills & Gailey
  • REPORT CARD: A victory with so-so grades.

Notes: It was Gut-Buster For Bills

From Arrowhead Stadium

Another road trip, another overtime, another loss for the Buffalo Bills. Despite pushing the Chiefs into the extra period with a gutty fourth quarter performance, the NFL’s only winless team remained that way losing 13-10 on the last play of overtime.

This comes a week after the Bills lost in overtime to Baltimore on a field goal.

“It hurts,” said Bills head coach Chan Gailey. “You can’t explain it. It makes you sick in your gut. If it doesn’t hurt, something is wrong. I feel bad for our guys because they are trying, they are playing hard and we are just not getting it done.

“We are working and they are fighting and we can’t get over the hump. In my gut I don’t believe we are a bad football team, but our record says differently.”

The “hump” on Sunday at Arrowhead was the Chiefs defense. For three quarters, the Bills got nothing done against Kansas City. The offensive game plan from Gailey and his staff was to spread their offensive formations and take the throws underneath.

“We understood that we were going to have to dink and dunk our way down the field and treat four and five-yard passes as the run game because they are very physical from tight end to tight end,” said Gailey. “Our guys found out what was working in the running game (in the second half) and we were able to run it. Our third down execution picked up in the second half and we made some big plays, which is what we did last week. This week we weren’t able to make as many big plays.”

Gailey pooh-poohed the notion that getting the Bills first victory in Arrowhead against the Chiefs would have been extra special.

“That is overblown, that really is,” said Gailey. “I would have loved for it to be here because it was this game.”

But Bills QB Ryan Fitzpatrick knew how much the outcome of the game meant extra for Gailey and four of his assistant coaches who were part of the Chiefs staff with him: Bob Bicknell, Joe D’Alessandris, Curtis Modkins and Kevin Patullo.

“I know it meant a lot to him and our whole offensive staff,” said Fitzpatrick. “A lot of those guys were in Kansas City. I know what a win would have meant to all those guys. That makes it even worse that we couldn’t get it done.”


The Chiefs announced that 66,625 was the paid attendance for Sunday’s game. If that’s the case, then a bunch of those 66,000 decided to stay home because there were empty seats everywhere in Arrowhead Stadium.

This wasn’t just a case where just the high-priced club level had open seats. Every section in the stadium had pockets of seats that were unoccupied.

Thus, the crowd and its noise level were not at the top of the scale. Of course, the game wasn’t very exciting and did not produce a lot of plays to get the fans fired up. The Bills did have a number of false start penalties, but some of those had nothing to do with the crowd.


It was the crew of referee Al Riveron that handled this game. Coming into Sunday, they were among the most flag happy crews among the NFL zebras. However, they kept the hankies under control, walking off five flags against each team.

But the game was filled with instant replay reviews. Both head coaches threw the red flag. Todd Haley challenged the Bills fourth-quarter touchdown where there was some question whether WR Steve Johnson got the ball over the goal line before his knee hit down in play. On the field, the officials ruled touchdown and the call was upheld, costing the Chiefs a timeout.

Chan Gailey threw his red flag twice. The first was in the second quarter when on third down RB Fred Jackson was stopped for no gain. The Bills challenged the spot of the ball, but Riveron said the replay upheld the decision. Gailey went to the flag again in the fourth quarter on what the officials called a Buffalo fumble and a Chiefs recovery. WR Lee Evans dropped the ball on the sidelines and it appeared that OLB Mike Vrabel recovered the ball. But looking at the replay, Riveron saw that Vrabel’s elbow as out of bounds when he pulled the ball in, so the call was reversed.

The replay official changed a ruling on the field at the end of the second quarter. Under pressure from OLB Tamba Hali, Bills QB Ryan Fitzpatrick threw the ball away. But the replay showed his knee hit the ground before he released the ball, so it was a sack for Hali.

As for penalties against the Chiefs, here’s how they went down:

  • Kickoff return – LB Corey Mays for holding, minus-10 yards.
  • Punt return – LB Demorrio Williams for running into the kicker, minus-5 yards.
  • Defense – DE Wallace Gilberry roughing the passer for minus-15 yards.
  • Defense – OLB Mike Vrabel, personal foul for grabbing the facemask, minus-15 yards.
  • Defense – CB Brandon Flowers holding, minus 5 yards.


Other than the missed FGs on both sides, it was a quiet day in the kicking game on Sunday.

FGs & Placements – Succop was two of three on the FGs, missing the 39-yard attempt in OT.

Kickoffs – Succop had four, kicking the ball to the minus-5, minus-1, minus-1 and the seven-yard line.

Kick coverage – Buffalo rookie RB C.J. Spiller had three kickoff returns for an average of 19.3 yards, with a long return of 22 yards.

Kickoff returns – CB Javier Arenas had two returns for an average of 23 yards each, the longest return just 25 yards.

Punting – Dustin Colquitt kicked six times, with a 43.3-yard average. His net average was a poor 29.7 yards due largely to a pair of touchbacks. His longest punt was 56 yards.

Punt coverage – The Bills Roscoe Parrish had two returns for an average of 21 yards, thanks to a 33-yard long return.

Punt returns – Arenas took back four punts for an average of nine yards, with a 15-yard long return.

On coverage – Credited with tackles in the kicking game were OLB Andy Studebaker, LB Corey Mays, RB Jackie Battle, LB Cory Greenwood, LB Demorrio Williams, WR Terrance Copper and Colquitt.


With starting RG Ryan Lilja inactive because of his right hand injury, third-round draft choice Jon Asamoah made his first NFL start. Also starting when the defense opened in the nickel was second-round draft choice Javier Arenas. Thus, all six active 2010 draft choices have started a game this season and five were on the field for starts on Sunday. The only man missing was WR Dexter McCluster, who was inactive due to his ankle injury.

Along with McCluster and Lilja, the other inactive players for the Chiefs were CB Jackie Bates, S Reshard Langford, LBs Justin Cole, Charlie Anderson and Mark Simoneau and DT Anthony Toribio.

FB Tim Castille was active after watching the previous two games. In fact, all five backs on the Chiefs roster were active for the game. The Chiefs roster remains lopsided to the defense with 27 players on that side of the ball, compared to just 23 on the offense. They have 11 linebackers, and three were inactive for the game – Cole, Anderson and Simoneau.

Inactive players for the Bills were starting CB Terrence McGee, LBs Aaron Maybin and Antonio Coleman, OT Ed Wang, starting RT Cornell Green and DEs Alex Carrington and John McCargo. The inactive third QB for the Bills was Levi Brown.

Starting for Green at right tackle was rookie Cordaro Howard, who was making his second straight start. Howard is a college free agent out of Georgia Tech. Opening at left CB for the inactive McGee was Leodis McKelvin.

With the Chiefs opening in the nickel, DE Wallace Gilberry made his first NFL start.

ETC.: when the Chiefs want to win at home, the formula is simple – they’ve now won 45 consecutive home games when they’ve allowed their opponent 10 points or less. They have held four visitors to 20 points or less, allowing an average of 13.5 points per game … Buffalo ran 84 plays, the most against the Chiefs since Denver ran 84 plays in December of 1994 … the Chiefs are now 3-1 in games decided by seven points or less … in overtime games, the Chiefs are now 12-16-2 all-time.

Haley Goes For Another Fourth

From Arrowhead Stadium

If we looked closely at the Haley family tree it seems probably that the Chiefs head coach is related in some manner the famous Flying Wallendas.

Don’t know the Wallendas? They were the family of tightrope walkers who were famous in the 1940s, ’50s and ’60s for strolling along high wires without nets and doing what seemed impossible. They were part of the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus for many years.

Todd “Wallenda” Haley is doing the same thing in the football circus. He again made a fourth down decision in Sunday’s victory over the Bills where he left himself without a net. Luckily for him, his team was eventually able to overcome the decision and still win the game.

Setting the scene: it’s early in the second quarter and neither team has scored a point. The Chiefs have the ball at the Buffalo 19-yard line and its 4th-and-2 for the Chiefs. The coaching book says it’s a situation where the team with the ball kicks the field goal. It would have been a 37-yard effort for Chiefs K Ryan Succop and it would have been kicked towards the west uprights. On a windy day at Arrowhead, there was less wind at that end of the stadium.

But Haley has his own book when it comes to fourth down. Invariably, if the ball is on the opponents’ side of the 50-yard line and it’s in the first half, he’s going for the first down.

This time, it did not work. QB Matt Cassel was sacked for a one-yard loss and the Bills took over at their 20-yard line.

Not only did they not get three points, but they gave up 53 yards of field position. Buffalo went three plays and out and P Brian Moorman’s kick went 56 yards and out of bounds at the Chiefs 27-yard line. That’s some of the hidden yardage that Haley often talks about in games.

There was another factor in this decision by Haley and that was the wind.

“I thought today, there was a pretty significant wind clearly making kicks difficult throughout the game,” said Haley. “The wind today was interesting because it was coming from the opposite direction of what it normally does; going a certain direction is something that we were a little more concerned about.”

Ultimately, if everything else remaining the same, the Chiefs would have had a three-point lead at the end of the game and the interception by SS Eric Berry would have sent everyone in red and gold home happy in regulation time.

Instead, they had to play through an entire overtime before Succop got a chance to kick the game winning field goal.

That wasn’t the only fourth down that caused the Chiefs some problems. Late in the fourth quarter they faced 4th-and-1 at their own 20-yard line. The score was tied 10-10 and there was 1:29 to play in the game. Common sense says you punt the ball away and have your defense stop Buffalo.

Eventually, that’s what the Chiefs did. That only came after they lined up and Cassel leaped over center to get the first down. Haley called time out before the snap and the play was no play. Given time to ponder the circumstances, Haley sent P Dustin Colquitt on the field.

Haley wasn’t happy with how that who scenario went down.

“We were running the ball at a major clip for a bunch of yardage and the hard part is that the pay was run and the timeout was called so that decision from there was easy,” Haley said. “You saw some indecision there. That’s one of the coaching things I’m talking about. You’re in the game and I don’t like to get far away from the initial intent or game plan.”

So now the Chiefs are six of 11 on fourth down plays, or a 54.5 percent success rate. Luckily for Haley, the team’s success rate is now 5-2, or 71.4 percent.

Second-Chance Succop Makes The Kick

From Arrowhead Stadium

Ryan Succop likes to play golf. He’s a Carolina boy, born and raised in North Carolina, college at South Carolina, so he knows a thing about swinging the sticks.

He wasn’t anywhere near the golf course on Sunday afternoon, but he had to deal with a blustery wind that was blowing through Arrowhead and would have been at least a club or two difference if he was hitting a golf ball rather than a football.

“In two years I never saw the wind blow in that fashion and direction in here,’ Succop said after his 35-yard field goal provided the Chiefs with the difference in a 13-10 overtime victory against Buffalo.

“I definitely learned something today.”

Succop lesson came the hard way. With 3 minutes, 43 seconds remaining in overtime, he had a 39-yard field goal chance. It’s one of those kicks that Succop has seldom missed during his 23-game NFL career. As he lined up the kick to win the game, he had made 11 of 12 FGs between the 30 and 39-yard lines.

Make it 11 of 13, as his kick got up into the wind swirling around the east end of the stadium and went wide left. It wasn’t a shank, it wasn’t a slice. The wind just grabbed the ball and pushed it left of the left upright.

“To be honest with you, that first kick I hit it where I wanted to, as crazy as that sounds,” Succop said. “It absolutely took off and took a left turn. When knew it was windy and I tried to play it right, but I never would’ve imagined it would’ve moved that much. It was unbelievable.”

And it left the Chiefs and Bills deadlocked with just 3:38 minutes remaining. If Succop was going to get redemption, the defense was going to have to stop Buffalo and leave some time on the clock. They got that done for their kicker.

“We’ve seen him make too many kicks in games and practices to doubt him if he got another chance,” said CB Brandon Flowers. “I had all the confidence in the world if we could get him back in that situation, he would make it.”

Todd Haley had no doubts either.

“Ryan’s a tough-minded guy,” said the Chiefs head coach. “It’s one of the reasons we really liked him last year and wanted to get him on our team. I think the first kick he hit it really good and there was clearly a major just of wind that you could feel rise up. I’ve watched him kick enough and that thing just boomeranged to the left.

“He did what he wanted to do and just missed it. That’s going to happen. There was a factor there that he didn’t quite account for.”

That didn’t happen the second time. The Chiefs defense forced a punt and the offense drove to the Bills 16-yard line. Succop had another chance, this time from 35 yards away.

“You miss one and you feel very fortunate to have another opportunity,” said Succop.

This time, he aimed the ball further to the right than he normally would. He got the ball up in the air and the wind pushed it through the pipes for his second overtime winning FG. The first was last November against Pittsburgh, also at Arrowhead.

“This is kind of a first-time experience for me,” said Succop. “Fortunately our team just came together and was just not going to be denied. What an effort by our team and our coaches.”

Starting Or Not, Charles Is The Man

From Arrowhead Stadium

Thomas Jones started for the Chiefs at running back on Sunday against the Buffalo Bills.

But in overtime, when the game was on the line and the Chiefs had their last chances to win the game, it was Jamaal Charles who was in charge. In the overtime, he touched the ball eight of the 14 advances for the K.C. offense. They produced 65 yards and helped set up the winning field goal in the club’s 13-10 victory.

It was a fitting end to what was one of the best games of Charles three-year NFL career:

  • 22 carries for 177 yards, an eight-yard per carry average.
  • Four receptions for 61 yards, a 15.3-yard per catch average.
  • The two longest offensive plays of the day for the Chiefs, a 32-yard run in the first quarter and a 31-yard catch and run in the second period.

And when the game had to be won, Charles was on the field and very happy about the circumstances.

“I’m just happy we got this win,” Charles said. “It feels good to be 5-2. I’m just happy that we found a way to pull out the win. It was a squeeze win, but we pulled it out.”   …Read More!

COLUMN: Defense Continues To Mature

From Arrowhead Stadium

Sometimes you wonder how Romeo Crennel does it.

Yes, the Chiefs are 5-2 and still atop the AFC West. And yes, they are winning games more often with their defense than any other part of their team.

But when you look at the individual parts of this 2010 Chiefs defense, it does not seem possible. Let’s start with a fairly pedestrian defensive line, where only Glenn Dorsey has much of a future in the league and where journeyman Shaun Smith is having the season of his career. Then there are the linebackers, an improved group from recent seasons but still lacking a pass rushing punch to go with Tamba Hali. Plus, it turns out that ILB Derrick Johnson may have the worst hands in the league, after dropping two more interception chances that were right in his mitts. And, then there are the two rookie safeties on the back line.

But once again on another Sunday afternoon, Crennel mixed and matched and pulled the right strings and the defense was the key to the 13-10 overtime victory against Buffalo.

“Thank goodness for our defense,” said Chiefs QB Matt Cassel. “They really played well throughout the game.”

  …Read More!

Bills Come Close, But Can’t Beat Chiefs

From Arrowhead Stadium

Todd Haley tried to warn everybody all week about the Buffalo Bills. The NFL’s only winless team wasn’t really that bad. They had some talent and they had heart.

And, they proved Haley a prophet Sunday afternoon, pushing the outcome 74 minutes, 55 seconds into the game before Ryan Succop’s 35-yard field goal gave the Chiefs a 13-10 victory.

“That’s progress for the Kansas City Chiefs,” head coach Todd Haley said, as his team went to 5-2 on the season. “I feel strongly that this team took another step in the direction we are going and continuing to make progress.”

That “progress” came with a lot of work, a lot of ups and downs, and a lot of chances for both teams to walk away with a victory. They were just five seconds away from neither team getting a victory, until Succop atoned for a missed FG earlier in the overtime.

“I don’t think I’ve been in a game like that before,” said QB Matt Cassel. “There were so many ups and downs. It was a roller coaster. It’s great to come out of a day like that with a win.”

In fact, the most veteran of Chiefs thinks it was the type of victory that can strengthen a pretender into a contender.

“This is one of those games where you identify the character of your team,” said LG Brian Waters. “We had all sorts of chances to lose today and we came out of this with a victory. Now that’s something to build on.”   …Read More!

PRE-GAME: Chiefs & Bills

From Arrowhead Stadium

Inactive players for the Chiefs today against the Bills include WR Dexter McCluster and starting RG Ryan Lilja. See more details below.

10:00 a.m. CDT – Good morning. It’s sunny and chilly on this game-day morn’ here at the stadium. Nice breeze really got the tailgate smoke moving around and smelling good. Not sure what type of crowd to expect. The game is on local TV so no blackout, but that doesn’t give us any indication of how many butts will be in the seats.

10:01 a.m. – A lot of Bills out on the field early, checking out the turf and the sun conditions. The Arrowhead playing surface looks good, but it’s starting to get worn a bit between the hash marks.

10:02 a.m. – Chiefs quarterbacks and receivers are in their pre-pre-game session of throwing the ball. It’s not a surprise but WR/RB Dexter McCluster is not taking part. He will not play today because of his ankle injury.

10:10 a.m. – Returner Javier Arenas is out early, standing on the west goal line and judging the sun and wind conditions. Again, with McCluster out, the returning will all fall to Arenas.

10:12 a.m. – OLB Mike Vrabel out working with the receivers catching passes. I guess it will be newsworthy when he’s not out there.

10:13 a.m. – All the players on the field are trying to judge the wind. In typical Arrowhead fashion it’s swirling right now. The American flag at the top of the stadium is blowing to the south-southeast. But on the field, the ribbons on the goal posts both are blowing towards the west. …Read More!

Enrique’s Magic Number – Chiefs vs. Bills

(This year’s record: 2-1)

Ryan Fitzpatrick is not the flashiest player on the Buffalo roster. But he is smart enough (he’s a Harvard product) to realize that as long as he plays efficient football, he’d be given his team a chance to be in the game. And if the Arrowhead Ones aspire to win this weekend, they’ll have to force him out of that comfort zone.

When the Chiefs hosted the Bills in Week 14 of last year, I wrote that the key to the game would be focused on the turnover battle. This, after realizing that in the 20 previous instances that the Chiefs/Texans welcomed the Bills into their territory, the teams had combined to average 5.20 turnovers per game. Looking back, they did not disappoint. Well, at least the Chiefs didn’t. Led by Matt Cassel’s 3 INT’s, Kansas City dubiously won the turnover battle 4-3, and the Bills ran away with a 16-10 victory.

Therefore, revisiting the fact that in the five occurrences when the Chiefs welcomed the Bills at Arrowhead Stadium in the 00′s, the winning team did not turn the ball over, I have no other choice but to stand by the principle of taking care of the pigskin. So, in conclusion, the Chiefs’ Magic Number to escape with a victory is 0, which would be the number of turnovers committed by them this weekend. If they protect the football, they will win the game

Another Step Awaits … Game-Day Cup O’Chiefs

The script was put in place early in the week. It came from the head coach, and it was repeated over and over again in the locker room. No matter how questions were phrased or structured about the Buffalo Bills, the reply was always the same.

According to the 4-2 Chiefs, who host the 0-6 Bills Sunday afternoon at Arrowhead Stadium (noon kickoff, on CBS-TV) they are in for a real tussle.

“This is a talented team … they have explosive offensive talent … they are much better than the 0-6 record they carry … they can score points … their quarterback is the best blocking quarterback.”

That last one isn’t a joke. Todd Haley said that this week, speaking of Bills QB Ryan Fitzpatrick.

“As you watch the tape of Fitzpatrick out there in front of these runs, it’s really, really impressive and it’s not just a one or two-time thing, it happens all the time, so they essentially gain an extra blocker,” Haley said. “You can’t do that with many quarterbacks in the league, so he is a dangerous player – he can hurt you with his feet, he can hurt you blocking and he can obviously hurt you throwing as he showed the last couple weeks.”

Here’s the deal – the Chiefs should win their fifth game of the season. They are the better team. They have proven that in the first part of this 2010 season. The Bills are struggling, especially on defense where they have the league’s worst unit against the run. The Chiefs have the best running game in the league.

It seems like it should be pretty simple formula: No. 32 run defense against No. 1 run offense, plus 4-2 vs. 0-6 = 5-2 and on to Oakland.

Not so fast say the Chiefs.

“Record in this league mean nothing,” said OLB Mike Vrabel.

…Read More!

ANSWER BOB – Halloween Eve

From Roscoe: I think the Chiefs are on their way to the playoffs. I know you were a doubter at the start of the season. Are you a believer yet?

From Bob: Believer? No. Impressed? Yes. The fact they’ve started the season in the manner they have is impressive. But I’m not ready to start drinking the Kool-Aid. Check with me on the evening of November 14. If the Chiefs are 7-2 at that time, then I will become a believer. If they can beat Buffalo on Sunday, and then win back-to-back games on the road against Oakland and Denver, it will be time to dial down the doubts. Even now, we can’t run away from the fact that if they win their remaining home games they’ll finish at the worst 9-7. That should be enough to win the pitiful AFC West this year.


From Joey B: I’m concerned about Dexter McCluster and whether we can count on him. He’s so little and now he’s already injured and he really hasn’t been on the field that much. Is this something that we are always going to have to deal with?

From Bob: Yes, it is. The man is 5-8 and 180 pounds after he’s had dinner and dessert. That’s why the coaching staff has been limiting his touches, trying to find the right level of activity to keep him healthy. Last week against Jacksonville, McCluster got nine touches, the most he’s gotten in a game this year. Apparently, that may be too many. It’s always going to be a tight rope with McCluster. He doesn’t have the body type of a Darren Sproles or Ray Rice, so the idea of getting the ball in his hands even a dozen times a game is a pipe dream. …Read More!

Chiefs-Bills Weekend Tidbits

Lately, Todd Haley has been talking a lot about complementary football. The Chiefs head coach says the ability of the offense, defense and special teams to play together will decide the success of the season.

Here’s an example of what he’s talking about:

Among NFL teams the average is 26 points given up after they’ve turned the ball over to their opponent. The Chiefs have four giveaways this season, but those have not led to any points for their opponents. The Chiefs have used their eight takeaways (like Eric Berry’s interception left) to produce 48 points.

“Points off of turnovers is a key stat in winning and losing,” head coach Todd Haley said.

Here’s what opponents got done with the Chiefs three interceptions and one fumble lost:   …Read More!

More On NFL Offensive Lines

The Chiefs offensive line has been one of the major reasons the team has gotten off to such a good start. Will that continue if Ryan Lilja cannot play because of injury, and he’s replaced by rookie Jon Asamoah?

“Jon’s got a bunch of reps through the pre-season and regular season,” said Haley, who would not provide any more details into just who will play at right guard against the Bills on Sunday. “He gets consistent reps along with other guys who aren’t in there. Whoever is playing should be prepared. That’s our job.

“As far as having a young offensive lineman that has come in here and looks like he knows what to do and how to do it, I feel very comfortable with Jon up to this point.”

The Chiefs offensive line is one of only two groups among the 32 NFL teams where the majority of the starters are not draft choices. Like the Chiefs, Cincinnati has three blockers in their first group that were not drafted.

Here’s the complete grid of the 32 offensive lines and where they came from.

In breaking down the NFL offensive lines, there are some interesting tidbits about how these groups are built:   …Read More!

NFL Offensive Lines 2010

Grid explanation – second line starts with years of NFL experience/current age, then the season they joined the team and how they got there. For instance 09-1 for Baltimore LT Michel Oher means he joined the Ravens in 2009 as a first-round pick. The third line indicates how the player entered the league, either via the draft or as a college free agent. The numbers are round they were selected/spot they were taken in the draft. For instance Baltimore LG Ben Grubbs was a first-round pick, at the 29th spot in the round.


Team  Left Tackle  Left Guard  Center  Right Guard  Right Tackle 
Baltimore  Michael Oher

2nd/24 09-1

Draft 1/23 

Ben Grubbs

4th/26 07-1

Draft 1/29 

Matt Birk

13/34 09-UFA

Draft 6/173 

Chris Chester

5th/27 06-2

Draft 2/56 

Marshal Yanda

4th/26 07-3

Draft 3/86 

Buffalo D. Bell

2nd/26 08-7

Draft 7/219 

A. Levitre

2nd/24 09-2

Draft 2/51 

G. Hangartner

6th/28 09-UFA

Draft 5/169 

Eric Wood

2nd/24 09-1

Draft 1/28 

Cornell Green

9th/34 10-UFA

CFA ’99 

Cincinnati A. Whitworth

5th/28 06-2

Draft 2/55 

Nate Livings

3/28 06-CFA

CFA ’06 

Kyle Cook

3rd/27 07-FA

CFA ’07 

B. Williams

11/34 04-UFA

Draft 2/61 

Dennis Roland

3rd/27 08-FA

CFA ’06 

Cleveland  Joe Thomas

4th/25 07-1

Draft 1/3 

E. Steinbach

8/30 07-UFA

Draft 2/33

Alex Mack

2nd/24 09-1

Draft 1/21 

Floyd Womack

10/31 09-UFA

Draft 4/128 

Tony Pashos

8th/30 10-UFA

Draft 5/173 

Denver  Ryan Clady

3rd/24 08-1

Draft 1/12 

Stan Daniels

1st/25 10-FA

CFA ’07 

J.D. Walton

R/23 10-3

Draft 3/80 

Chris Kuper

5th/27 06-5

Draft 5/161 

Zane Beadles

R/23 10-2

Draft 2/45 

Houston  Duane Brown

3rd/25 08-1

Draft 1/26 

Wade Smith

7/29 10-UFA

Draft 3/78 

Chris Myers

6th/29 08-T

Draft 6/200 

A. Caldwell

2nd/24 09-3

Draft 3/77 

Eric Winston

5th/26 06-3

Draft 3/66 

Indianapolis  C. Johnson

5th/26 06-6

Draft 6/199 

J. Richard

3rd/26 08-7

Draft 7/236 

J. Saturday

12/35 99-FA

CFA ’98 

M. Pollak

3rd/25 08-2

Draft 2/59 

Ryan Diem

10th/31 01-4

Draft 4/118 

Jacksonville  E. Monroe

2nd/23 09-1

Draft 1/8

V. Manuwai

7th/28 03-3

Draft 3/72 

B. Meester

11th/33 00-2

Draft 2/60 

U. Nwaneri

4th/26 07-5

Draft 5/149 

Eben Britton

2nd/23 09-2

Draft 2/39 

CHIEFS  B. Albert

3rd/25 08-1

Draft 1/15 

Brian Waters

11th/33 00-FA

CFA ’99 

C. Wiegmann

15th/37 10-FA

CFA ’96 

Ryan Lilja

7th/29 10-FA

CFA ’04 

B. Richardson

3rd/24 08-6

Draft 6/170 

Miami  Jake Long

3rd/25 08-1

Draft 1/1 

R. Incognito

6/27 10-UFA

Draft 3/81 

Joe Berger

6th/28 09-UFA

Draft 6/207 

P. McQuistan

5th/27 10-T

Draft 7/211

Vernon Carey

7th/29 04-1

Draft 1/19 



Matt Light

10th/32 01-2

Draft 2/48 

D. Connolly

5th/28 07-FA

CFA ’05 

Dan Koppen

8th/31 03-5

Draft 5/164 

Stephen Neal

9th/34 01-CFA

CFA ’01 

S. Vollmer

2nd/26 09-2

Draft 2/58 

N.Y. Jets  D. Ferguson

5th/26 06-1

Draft 1/4 

M. Slauson

2nd/24 09-6

Draft 6/193 

N. Mangold

5th/26 06-1

Draft 1/29 

B. Moore

8th/30 02-CFA

CFA ’02 

Damien Woody

12th/32 08-UFA

Draft 1/17 

Oakland  M. Henderson

4th/25 07-3

Draft 3/91 

Daniel Loper

6th/28 10-FA

Draft 5/150

S. Satele

4th/25 09-T

Draft 2/60 

C. Carlisle

11th/33 07-FA

Draft 4/112 

L. Walker

9th/31 09-W

Draft 2/57 

Pittsburgh  Max Starks

7th/28 04-3

Draft 3/75 

C. Kemoeatu

6th/27 05-6

Draft 6/204 

M. Pouncey

R/21 10-1

Draft 1/18 

D. Legursky

2nd/24 09-CFA

CFA ’08

Flozell Adams

13th/35 10-FA

Draft 2/38 

San Diego  M. McNeill

5th/26 06-2

Draft 2/50 

K. Dielman

8th/29 03-CFA

CFA ’03 

N. Hardwick

7th/29 04-3

Draft 3/66 

L. Vasquez

2nd/23 09-3

Draft 3/78 

Jeromey Clary

4th/26 06-6

Draft 6/187 

Tennessee M. Roos

6th/28 05-2

Draft 2/41 

Leroy Harris

4th/26 07-4

Draft 4/108 

E. Amano

7th/28 04-7

Draft 7/239 

Jake Scott

7th/29 08-UFA

Draft 5/141 

D. Stewart

6th/28 05-4

Draft 4/113 


Team  Left Tackle  Left Guard  Center  Right Guard  Right Tackle 
Arizona Levi Brown

4th/26 07-1

Draft 1/5 

Alan Faneca

13th/33 10-FA

Draft 1/26 

L. Sendlein

4th/26 07-CFA


Deuce Lutui

5th/27 06-2

Draft 2/41 

Brandon Keith

3rd/25 08-7

Draft 7/225 

Atlanta  Sam Baker

3rd/25 08-1

Draft 1/21 

J. Blalock

4th/26 07-2

Draft 2/39 

Todd McClure

12th/33 99-7

Draft 7/237 

Harvey Dahl

4th/29 07-FA


Tyson Clabo

8th/29    05-FA


Carolina  Jordan Gross

8th/30 03-1

Draft 1/8 

T. Wharton

7th/29 04-3

Draft 3/94 

Ryan Kalil

4th/25 07-2

Draft 2/59 

M. Bernadeau

3rd/24 08-7

Draft 7/250 

G. Schwartz

2nd/24 08-7

Draft 7/241 

Chicago  F. Omiyale

6th/27 09-UFA

Draft 5/163 

C. Willliams

3rd/25 08-1

Draft 1/14 

Olin Kreutz

13th/33 98-3

Draft 3/64 

Lance Louis

2nd/25 09-7

Draft 7/246 

Kevin Shaffer

9th/30 09-FA

Draft 7/244 

Dallas  Doug Free

4th/26 07-4

Draft 4/122 

Kyle Kosier

9th/31 06-UFA

Draft 7/248 

A. Gurode

9th/31 02-2

Draft 2/37 

Leonard Davis

10/32 07-UFA

Draft 1/2 

M. Colombo

9th/32 05-FA

Draft 1/29 

Detroit  Jeff Backus

10th/33 01-1

Draft 1/18 

Rob Sims

5th/26 10-T

Draft 4/128 

D. Raiola

10th/31 01-2

Draft 2/50 

S. Peterman

6th/28 06-FA

Draft 3/83 

G. Cherilus

3rd/26 08-1

Draft 1/17 

Green Bay  Chad Clifton

11th/34 00-2

Draft 2/44 

D. Colledge

5th/28 06-2

Draft 2/47

Scott Wells

7th/29 04-7

Draft 7/251 

Josh Sitton

3rd/24 08-4

Draft 4/135 

M. Tauscher

11th/33 00-7

Draft 7/224 

Minnesota  B. McKinnie

9th/31 02-1

Draft 1/7 


10/32 06-RFA

Draft 1/17

J. Sullivan

3rd/25 08-6

Draft 6/187 

A. Herrera

7th/30 04-CFA

CFA ’04 

P. Loadholt

2nd/24 09-2

Draft 2/54 

NewOrleans  J. Bushrod

4th/26 07-4

Draft 4/125 

Carl Nicks

3rd/25 08-5

Draft 5/164 

J. Goodwin

9th/31 06-UFA

Draft 5/154 

Jahri Evans

5th/27 06-4

Draft 4/108 

J. Stinchcomb

8th/31 03-2

Draft 2/37 

N.Y. Giants  Dave Diehl

8th/30 03-5

Draft 5/160 

Rich Seubert

10/31 01-CFA

CFA ’01 

Shaun O’Hara

11th/33 04-FA

CFA ’00 

Chris Snee

7th/28 04-2

Draft 2/34 

K. McKenzie

10th/31 05-UFA

Draft 3/79 

Philadelphia  King Dunlap

3rd/25 08-7

Draft 7/230

T. Herremans

6th/28 05-4

Draft 4/126 

Mike McGlynn

3rd/25 08-4

Draft 4/109 

Nick Cole

5th/26 06-CFA

CFA ’06 

W. Justice

5th/26 06-2

Draft 2/39 

St. Louis  R. Saffold

R/22 10-2

Draft 2/33 

Jacob Bell

7th/29 08-UFA

Draft 5/138 

Jason Brown

6th/27 09-UFA

Draft 4/124 

A. Goldberg

7th/30 06-T

CFA ’03 

Jason Smith

2nd/24 09-1

Draft 1/2 

San Fran  Joe Staley

4th/26 07-1

Draft 1/28 

Mike Iupati

R/23 10-1

Draft 1/17 

David Baas

6th/29 05-2

Draft 2/33 

Chilo Rachal

3rd/24 08-2

Draft 2/39 

Anthony Davis

R/21 10-1

Draft 1/11 

Seattle  R. Okung

R/23 10-1

Draft 1/6 

B. Hamilton

10th/33 10-FA

Draft 4/113 

C. Spencer

6th/28 05-1

Draft 1/26 

S. Andrews

7th/29 10-T

Draft 4/123

S. Locklear

7th/29 04-3

Draft 3/84 

Tampa Bay  Donald Penn

5th/27 06-FA

CFA ’06 

J. Zuttah

3rd/24 08-3

Draft 3/83 

Jeff Faine

8th/29 08-UFA

Draft 1/21

Davin Joseph

5th/26 06-1

Draft 1/23 

J. Trueblood

5th/27 06-2

Draft 2/59 

Washington  T. Williams

R/22 10-1

Draft 1/4 


2nd/25 10-FA

Draft 4/108 

C. Rabach

10/33 05-UFA

Draft 3/92 

Artis Hicks

9th/31 10-UFA

CFA ’02 

Jammal Brown

6th/29 10-T

Draft 1/13 

Chan’s Gets A Chance … Saturday Cup O’Chiefs

Chan Gailey needs a victory. When your team is the last winless club in the NFL, getting off the schnide is motivation enough.

Coming to Arrowhead Stadium on Sunday and winning would make it a great day for Gailey. Beating the Chiefs and Todd Haley would elevate the satisfaction level to outstanding, at least a few hours.

It’s impossible to find words said publicly by Gailey to confirm that suspicion. But enough has been said away from the prying eyes of the media to indicate that beating Haley and the Chiefs would be very satisfying for the Bills head coach.

Gailey is a competitor, and even though he might be one of the nicest people that’s ever worked in the NFL, he craves success. When he walked into the Chiefs facility on Monday August 31, 2009, it was just another early morning start during football season for an offensive coordinator.

When he walked out of the building a few hours later, Gailey was no longer the Chiefs offensive coordinator. He was fired by Haley for reasons that have never been outlined or acknowledged. Suffice to say these guys were not on the same page when it came to offensive approach and rather than applying more band-aids to the situation and make it through the season. Thirteen days before the opening game in Baltimore, Haley yanked the band-aid off.   …Read More!

Friday 10/29 Practice Report-Update 2

From Arrowhead Stadium

One of the concerns for the Chiefs this week as they prepared for the Bills was the changing face of Buffalo’s defense. They started the season in a 3-4, but they have been making an in-season transition to a 4-3 defense, largely due to a lack of quality linebackers.

That’s forced the Chiefs to prepare for both defensive fronts.

“It’s a potential problem, no different than last week when you had a numuber of different quarterbacks that could play,” head coach Todd Haley said after Friday’s practice. “You aren’t for sure what you need to prepare for, whether it’s an odd front or an even front. That starts to effect your practice reps and you have only a limited number of practice reps to begin with.

“Our front five (offensive line) plus the tight ends and the backs need to have a great understanding of that and you can only do that through practice. If they do one thing and one thing only, then you’ve used reps on something they aren’t doing. You must be prepared for both. The good thing for us is we’ve seen some 3-4 teams and we’ve seen some even front teams. That should help a little bit.”

It appears more and more likely that Haley’s offensive front will have a new member on Sunday against the Bills. For the third consecutive day RG Ryan Lilja appeared limited in his participation during Friday’s practice because of the right hand/wrist injury. During the brief open window to practice for the media, rookie  Jon Asamoah was at RG with the No. 1 offense. But on their practice report, the Chiefs listed Lilja as fully participating in practice. …Read More!

It’s About the O-Line … Friday Cup O’Chiefs

They are without a doubt the MVP group of the Chiefs as the 2010 schedule rolls towards mid-season.

Individually, the Chiefs offensive line does not garner a lot of attention or accolades. But this is very truly an offensive line that in sum is better than its parts. This year’s group has taken a position that was of concern for those inside and outside the Chiefs organization and turned it into a strength for the ’10 team.

The numbers tell the story:

– The Chiefs lead the league in rushing yards with an average of 176.5 yards per game. That’s 17.3 yards more per game than the team in second place, the New York Jets (159.2 yards per game.) The league average is 112.5 yards per game.

– They have allowed the fewest quarterback sacks than any team in the league, giving up five in six games. That’s an average of one sack for every 31.6 passing plays, a ratio that’s topped only by Indianapolis with six sacks allowed in 260 passing plays.

– In a season where close to half the league has already changed their starting quarterbacks due to performance or injury, they’ve kept QB Matt Cassel upright, improving in his performance and relatively healthy.

And ever so quietly, one of those blockers is starting to garner attention individually around the league. After six games, only one of those five sacks has been slapped on LT Branden Albert (left). Consider that last year in 14 games, he allowed nine sacks and the improvement even this early in the season is quite apparent.

But it’s stunning when compared to the rest of the left tackles in the NFL. Here are the best pass protections on the blind side of most quarterbacks at this point of the season:

  1. 0 sacks allowed – Dallas LT Doug Free.
  2. 1 sack allowed – Chiefs LT Branden Albert, Miami LT Jake Long, Indianapolis LT Charlie Johnson and Buffalo LT Demetrius Bell.   …Read More!

College Prospects: Big 10 Conference


(1st-Round) #5 RB Mikel LeShoure (right), 5-11¾, 230 pounds, 4.53 seconds, Junior.

Tough runner who can pound it in there Big 10-style, LeShoure’s production has been enough to get coach Ron Zook to change his philosophy of going with running back committee. He’s had some good games this season, including 119 yards on 27 carries against Penn State in an Illini victory. Against the tough Michigan State defense, he had 83 yards on 23 carries. LeShoure is sitting just outside the list of top 10 runners in the country with his total of 766 rushing yards on 144 carries over seven games. He’s also caught nine passes for 56 yards. Over 27 games with the Illini, he’s run for 1,626 yards on 287 carries and 10 touchdowns.


(3rd-Round) #73 OT James Brewer, 6-6¼, 334 pounds, 5.38 seconds, Redshirt-Senior.

Prior to suffering a high ankle sprain and missing the past three games, folks at Indiana thought Brewer had made so much improvement in this last season that he had surpassed the play of Roger Saffold, who was a second-round draft choice and now starts for the Rams. His problem has been durability. First, he only played one-year of high school football as a senior. Then in the early part of his career with the Hoosiers was limited because of injuries, as he missed the ’07 season with a foot injury and then lost the last four games of the ’08 season to an ankle injury. Brewer played 12 games as the starting RT in ’09 and was still there when he was injured. …Read More!

Thursday 10/28 Practice Report-Update

From the Truman Sports Complex

Earlier this week, there were indications in a Kansas City Star story that Chris Chambers felt like he suddenly was in a situation with the Chiefs similar to what happened to him in San Diego last year that eventually led to his release.

On Thursday, Chambers said that’s not the case.

“That was a mix up; I didn’t actually say it felt like San Diego,” Chambers said. “This is an entirely different team. I haven’t had a chance to get going this year. I’ve missed like three games because of some injuries. It was similar in less opportunities when I was in and out of the lineup (in San Diego.) That’s what I was referring too.”

Chambers suffered a dislocated ring finger on his left hand while blocking against the Colts. Since then, he finished out the game in Indianapolis and he’s been inactive the last two games. Chambers expected to play last week against Jacksonville and was surprised when he was told he would not play.

“It was about getting some guys up to contribute because we were short in some areas, and being a good teammate and wanting to see us win,” Chambers said. “I pretty much took a back seat in the last game.” …Read More!

Former Chiefs OL Dishes On NFL Injuries

Want the skinny on Tony Romo’s broken clavicle?

How about Brett Favre’s ankle, or the latest concussion?

Get it from former Chiefs offensive lineman Mark Adickes, now an orthopedic surgeon in Houston who gives you the latest on NFL injuries in one of his jock-to-doc reports for Fox Sports.

While we don’t usually try and send you to another web site for your daily NFL fix, Adickes’ reports on injuries are among the most concise and entertaining you will find. He not only tells you how an injury is suffered, he offers up an opinion of how he would treat it as an orthopedic surgeon at Memorial Hermann’s Roger Clemens Institute for Sports Medicine and Human Performance in Houston’s Texas Medical Center.

Then he outlines what it might mean without the usual coach-speak used by most in the NFL. Here’s the link to his video report on Romo’s injury. On the same page you can access his previous reports, including his thoughts on Favre’s ankle problems.

After retiring in 1992, Adickes decided to attend medical school, returning to Baylor where he picked up the necessary prerequisite science courses to get into medical school. He was accepted to Harvard Medical School, then did his residency at the Mayo Clinic, a fellowship at the Steadman Hawkins Clinic in Vail, Colo. He is team doctor for the Houston Rockets and the US Ski team. …Read More!

Haley & Fourth Down … Thursday Cup O’Chiefs

From the Truman Sports Complex

Last year it seemed that Todd Haley’s approach to fourth down was built on lack of head coaching experience and the fact his team wasn’t very good.

That seemed a good explanation of why the Chiefs led the NFL in 2009 with 29 fourth down plays. Only two other teams were even close to that: St. Louis with 28 and Detroit with 26. The common denominators were first-year head coaches and bad teams; combined the Chiefs, Rams and Lions were 7-41.

But as the 2010 schedule rushes towards mid-season, we are finding out that maybe there is something else at play here with Haley and fourth down. Now, he’s a second-year head coach and his team is 4-2 and leading the AFC West.

Yet, the Chiefs are still one of the league leaders in going for the first down when the down marker shows “4″. They’ve done it nine times so far this year. Only Jacksonville (13), Carolina (11), Denver (11) and Buffalo (10) have attempted more fourth down plays this season.

In the 22 games that he’s been an NFL head coach, Haley has tried a fourth down conversion 38 times. No other coach in the league has tried so many times to move the chains on the last down. Only twice in those 22 games did the Chiefs not try at least one fourth-down play; that was last year against Jacksonville and in the ’09 season finale in Denver.

The Chiefs converted 19 of those 38 plays or 50 percent.   …Read More!

Simoneau Gets Another Chance

Mark Simoneau was at home in Kansas City seriously pondering what to do with the rest of his life.

A football career that began at Smith Center High School, moved down the road to Kansas State and onto the NFL with the Falcons, Eagles and Saints had stalled. Simoneau had not stepped on the NFL regular-season field since 2007. Injuries had wiped out his 2008-09 seasons with the New Orleans Saints. He was released back in early March and in the last few months he had one call to workout. That was the Chiefs.

Now, he’s part of the Chiefs 53-man roster, signing on Tuesday and getting a chance to continue what he thought was a closed book with a practice on Wednesday.

“I thought there was a possibility of that,” Simoneau said when he was asked if he thought his career was over. “I tried to stay in shape and as ready as I could be. I kept watching football and seeing what offenses were doing and trying to stay as sharp as I could.

“I feel blessed to have this opportunity with my hometown team. It feels awesome. I don’t know how many guys have that opportunity to play for the team they grew up watching.” …Read More!

Wednesday 10/27 Practice Report-Update

From the Truman Sports Complex

The Chiefs practice participation report for Wednesday’s session lists both WR/RB Dexter McCluster and RG Ryan Lilja as limited participants.

McCluster is listed with an ankle injury and Lilja with a right-hand injury.

During the brief window where practice was open to the media, McCluster did not take part in any of the individual wide receiver drills. At the other end of the field, Lilja watched as the Chiefs offensive line and tight ends worked on blocking moves. His right hand and wrist was bandaged and he was sporting what was a brace/cast on th right hand in the locker room afterwards. Rookie Jon Asamoah was working at the right guard spot with the No. 1 offensive line.

Also listed as limited in his participation was S Reshard Langford with a lower left leg injury.

As always, head coach Todd Haley would not address the injured players and their maladies. “All these guys are not going to feel any better today than they did yesterday,” said Haley. “That’s just the way it is. We have a bunch of guys fighting through a lot of things. I”m sure Dexter is no different than everybody else. That’s part of the NFL, that’s part of becoming a good football player.” …Read More!

Opponent: Buffalo Bills

2010 record: 0-6, as they’ve lost by 5 points to Miami, 27 at Green Bay, 8 at New England, 24 to the N.Y. Jets, 10 to Jacksonville and last Sunday in OT by 3 at Baltimore.

Last year’s record: 6-10, fourth place in the AFC East.

Rookie RB C.J. Spiller (left) has made a big impact early on the Bills.

Record for the last five seasons: 32-48, with finishes in the AFC East at fourth, fourth, second, third and third.

Last appearance in the playoffs: 1999, when they lost to Tennessee 22-16; their last victory in the post-season was in 1995 when they beat Miami 37-22.

Owner: Ralph Wilson, one of the last surviving members of the “Foolish Club” that joined Lamar Hunt in forming the American Football League in 1960. A resident of Detroit, Wilson wanted to put his franchise in Miami and play at the Orange Bowl, but south Florida authorities would not let him use the stadium. That’s when he ended up in Buffalo. After serving in World War II, he returned to his home in Detroit and took over his father’s insurance business. He later purchased various other businesses and founded Ralph Wilson Industries. He also is into thoroughbred horse racing as a breeder and owner in the U.S. and France. Wilson turned 92 years young last week and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame just last year.

General Manager: Buddy Nix was named GM on New Year’s Eve last year. Nix was already with the team as a national scout. He was returning to Buffalo after seven seasons with the Chargers where he was director of player personnel and helped evaluate and draft eight Pro Bowl players and three others that joined the team as college free agents. Nix left San Diego after the ’07 season and was out of football the next year before re-joining the Bills where he worked for eight years in the 1990s.

Head coach: Chan Gailey is in his first season as head coach of the Bills, his second chance to lead an NFL team. Gailey was head coach of the Cowboys in 1998-99 and led Dallas to an 18-16 record and spots in the playoffs each year. Of course, he was the Chiefs offensive coordinator in 2008 for Herm Edwards and was retained by the new regime, before he was fired by Todd Haley just 10 days before the regular season opener in ’09. Before his short stint with the Chiefs, he was head coach at Georgia Tech for six seasons with a 44-33 record. …Read More!

Cassel’s Arrow Is Up … Wednesday Cup O’Chiefs

The steps have been small and very different from week to week. But one trait those steps share is they’ve all gone in the same direction – forward.

That would be Matt Cassel and his performances as the Chiefs starting quarterback. Ever so quietly for those around the country, Cassel has elevated himself into the top half of the quarterback rankings with his play over the past four games.

There are some Chiefs fans/Cassel haters who have seen the last four games and refuse to admit they’ve seen the progress. But it’s there and visible in the numbers both big and small.

No, he’s not challenging the big boys like Manning, Brady and Brees, but he’s also not dancing with the guys at the bottom of the passing list for the 2010 season, like Jason Campbell, Derek Anderson and some guy named Favre.

Cassel’s passer rating has risen this week to 91.5, good enough for the No. 9 spot among league quarterbacks. This week, that number is better than guys like Brees, Ryan, Rodgers, Sanchez, Palmer, Falcon, Cutler and McNabb.

“Matt has continued to make strides and improve in some subtle areas that make such a big difference for a quarterback,” head coach Todd Haley said this week.

Haley and offensive coordinator Charlie Weis have kept their foot on the accelerator with their quarterback and his mechanics. Along with improved decision making, releasing the ball quicker and throwing with more accuracy, what has pushed Cassel’s performance and production upward has been better mechanics. …Read More!

A Look At The Numbers

Analyzing the numbers seems to be far more informative when you try to figure out why things are going badly. And, to be honest, not many people care about numbers analysis when things are going well.

Example: no one seems to be complaining about Chiefs coach Todd Haley’s use of the running backs these days – despite the fact that Thomas Jones continues to get more carries than Jamaal Charles. Fewer people are complaining about Matt Cassel’s failures as a passer as the Chiefs continue to be effective on offense and score points. Ditto for the defense, when grabs an interception or two and closes out a game.

So this week we’ll give you the regular numbers and perhaps a few others that illustrate that the Chiefs in game No. 6 are not all that different than the Chiefs in game No. 1.

The Running Game

Just as they did in the first game of the season, the Chiefs used Jones more frequently than Charles. Both remain effective rushing the ball and Jones even showed some surprising wheels with a 70-yard romp in the opening quarter. Despite that run accounting for 56 percent of his total yardage (125) against Jacksonville, Jones still was successful on 10 of his 20 carries.

Charles didn’t have the break-away run that Jones did, but he also gained some of the hard yards in a short-yardage situation.

The bonus for the Chiefs was Dexter McCluster’s first real exposure as an effective back. His speed gives the Chiefs a new high gear in the running game with fast enough, faster and fastest all showing they can contribute. …Read More!

Complementing Each Other … Tuesday Cup O’Chiefs

From the Truman Sports Complex

Each week, little drips of Todd Haley’s football beliefs leak out when he talks to the media. Yes, the Chiefs like to keep things quiet these days, and sometimes it would easier to get information out of the Pentagon than out of the team’s facility.

But the Hunt family and GM Scott Pioli have made Haley the face of the franchise. He’s the guy who five times a week spends part of his day with the media horde. It’s a weekly joust between Haley and sporting press with the coach revealing as little as possible about things like strategy, injuries, thoughts on the officiating and the like.

However, Haley is not monosyllabic as he answers questions, and is actually quite forthcoming when talking about the foundation of his thoughts, principles and desires as he tries to get the Chiefs out of the NFL basement and back to the playoffs.

That led to a new item in the Haley vocabulary on Sunday and Monday – complementary football. According to the head coach, that’s what the Chiefs were able to play in the second half against Jacksonville that assured them of the victory.

“There were a lot of positives in that game and one of the biggest to me was that second half, that last quarter and a couple of minutes, where we really started to play complementary football,” Haley said on Monday. “Really it started following the fourth down that we were unable to execute. I think that’s when I thought we really started to play the way you have to play to make good things happen and that’s what occurred. I think the guys understand that, they understood that and we’re continuing to grow as a team.

“I’m real happy with the way the guys worked together from a complementary football standpoint.”

OK, so what the heck is complementary football? …Read More!

Leftovers From Jaguars Roast

It was one of those plays that was lost in the 119 offensive snaps that went off on Sunday at Arrowhead Stadium with the Chiefs and Jaguars.

But it was a great postcard of what the Chiefs defense was able to do against the Jacksonville running game.

After the defense scored thanks to LB Derrick Johnson’s interception return, the defense had to go right back on the field. It was late in the third quarter and the game’s outcome was still in doubt as the Chiefs held a 28-20 lead.

On second down, Jacksonville RB Maurice Jones-Drew took the handoff from QB Todd Bouman and was headed for the gap between the left guard and left tackle. That’s where he found Glenn Dorsey in his way, as the Chiefs defensive end was manhandling LG Vince Manuwai and pushing him aside.

Jones-Drew bounced off the Dorsey-Manuwai scrum and went right. After two steps he was met by Shaun Smith, as the defensive end drove RG Uche Nwaneri backwards. Smith grabbed Jones-Drew and dragged him down, holding him to no gain and forcing a 3rd-and-10 play. Jacksonville failed to convert and punted the ball away.

There was no room for Jones-Drew to breathe on the play and that was the type of afternoon it was for the Jaguars No. 1 offensive threat. He finished with 47 rushing yards on 16 carries, a 2.9-yard per carry average. The little man broke defensive containment once, running for 21 yards. That means the other 15 carries by Jones-Drew produced just 26 yards, or just 1.7 yards per carry. …Read More!

Sunday’s Best Performances – 10/24


  • 92 – Washington CB DeAngelo Hall (right) INT return for TD vs. Chicago (W).
  • 80 – Tennessee WR Kenny Britt catch for TD vs. Philadelphia (W).
  • 71 – Arizona RB LaRod Stephens-Howling kickoff return vs. Seattle (L).
  • 70 – Chiefs RB Thomas Jones run vs. Jacksonville (W).
  • 68 – Cleveland P Reggie Hodges run vs. New Orleans (W).
  • 68 – Tennessee P Brett Kern punt vs. Philadelphia (W).
  • 66 – Miami P Brandon Fields punt vs. Pittsburgh (L).
  • 64 – Cincinnati WR Jordan Shipley catch for TD vs. Atlanta (L).
  • 64 – Cleveland LB David Bowens INT return for TD vs. New Orleans (W).
  • 63 – Philadelphia P Sav Rocca punt vs. Tennessee (L).
  • 63 – New England LB Rob Ninkovich fumble return vs. San Diego (W).
  • 62 – Cleveland CB Eric Wright punt return vs. New Orleans (W).


  • 165 –Oakland RB Darren McFadden on 16 carries and 3 TDs vs. Denver (W).
  • 131 – Minnesota RB Adrian Peterson on 28 carries and 1 TD vs. Green Bay (L).
  • 125 – Chiefs RB Thomas Jones on 20 carries and 1 TD vs. Jacksonville (W).
  • 125 – Washington RB Ryan Torain on 21 carries vs. Chicago (W).
  • 121 – Atlanta RB Michael Turner on 23 carries and 2 TDs vs. Cincinnati (W).
  • 110 – St. Louis RB Steven Jackson on 22 carries vs. Tampa Bay (L).
  • 102 – San Francisco RB Frank Gore on 19 carries vs. Carolina (L). …Read More!

AFC West Review 10/24

The last time the Broncos allowed 59 points in Denver before Sunday was the very first game played by the Kansas City Chiefs.

History takes us back to the 1963 season opener, when the Chiefs went to then called Bears Stadium and slapped the Broncos 59-7. The franchise had never seen anything like that again, until the Oakland Raiders – yes those Oakland Raiders – grabbed a 59-14 victory that was one of the surprises of the NFL weekend.

Also in the AFC West, a furious fourth-quarter comeback by the Chargers in San Diego wasn’t enough for them to get ahead of New England, as the Patriots won 23-20. A late Chargers FG to tie the game bounced off the right upright from 50 yards away and they were disappointed again.

It all leaves the AFC West standings looking like this:

Team W L Pct. Div. Conf. Next Up
CHIEFS 4 2 .667 1-0 3-2 Buffalo at home
Oakland 3 4 .429 2-0 2-2 Seattle at home
San Diego 2 5 .286 0-2 1-3 Tennessee at home
Denver 2 5 .286 0-1 1-5 vs. San Francisco in London


Oakland scored 38 points in the game’s first 22 minutes. The Broncos never recovered.

“You blinked and looked up and it was out of hand,” Denver DB Nate Jones said in the locker room after the game.

The star was RB Darren McFadden who scored four touchdowns in the game, including a 57-yard run. When RB Michael Bush scored a one-yard TD with 27 seconds to play in the third quarter, it broke the Raiders team record for points at 52.

Overall, the Raiders put up 508 yards in total offense, including 328 rushing yards, or 6.3 yards per carry. They did not turn the ball over. The Oakland defense allowed only 240 yards and Denver had three turnovers.

“We get one chance a week to put our name on something for three hours and our name is forever going to be on this game,” said Broncos head coach Josh McDaniels. “None of us are proud of it. It’s awful.”


The San Diego defense showed up on Sunday. The offense didn’t arrive until the fourth quarter. By then it was too late for another Chargers comeback.

In the first half, the Patriots had only 38 offensive yards, yet they led 13-3 because San Diego had four turnovers.

“I don’t think we gave ourselves a chance,” said Chargers head coach Norv Turner. “You’re not going to win making these mistakes.”

Even at the end, they had a chance to send the game to overtime. New England gambled on a 4th-and-1 play from its 49-yard line. The San Diego defense stuffed the run and gave the offense another chance. Eventually Kris Brown, signed to kick from the injured Nate Kaeding, hit a strong 50-yard attempt that banged off the right upright with 23 seconds to play.

Chiefs Beat Jax 42-20 For Victory No. 4

From Arrowhead Stadium

Remember how excited the Chiefs were back in early January when they returned from Denver with a season finale trashing of the Broncos? The victory that day was their fourth in an ugly 4-12 season.

There are many other things to be excited about now, more than 10 months later as the Chiefs won their fourth game of the 2010 season on Sunday, crushing the Jacksonville Jaguars 42-20.

And they remain two games up on the rest of the division, as Oakland crushed Denver 59-14 and San Diego fell to New England 23-20. The Chiefs are 4-2, the Raiders 3-4 and the Chargers and Broncos 2-5.

It was a dominating win on offense and defense for the Chiefs, and while they struggled in the kicking game, they did get a big turnover on punt coverage that set up their first touchdown.

There were so many stories from the afternoon and we’ve got them here for you:

  • GAME STORY – Making the past history with dominant victory.
  • COLUMN – Marty Ball is alive and well at Arrowhead.
  • SIDEBAR – Matt Cassel is having a lot of fun.
  • SIDEBAR – Turning Point #1/fumbled punt.
  • SIDEBAR – Turning Point #2/D.J.’s pick-six.
  • SIDEBAR – Eric Berry enjoys his first INT.
  • NOTES – Bouman’s effort wasted.
  • REPORT CARD – Chiefs draw honor roll grades.
  • AROUND THE AFC WEST – Oakland rolls over Denver.

Notes: Five Years Later Another NFL Start

From Arrowhead Stadium

It would have been quite a story had the final score not turned out the way Sunday’s game did for the Jaguars.

With their quarterback position decimated by injuries, the Jags re-signed Todd Bouman early last week. The next day they added Patrick Ramsey. Both quarterbacks were out of football, but starter David Garrard and backup Trent Edwards were injured. Help was needed to face the Chiefs.

So Bouman got the call, and then he got the start. It came 2,122 days after his last previous NFL start. That came on January 1, 2006, in the final game of the 2005 NFL season. He was with New Orleans then and started against Tampa Bay. Since then, he had stepped on the field for a regular season game just once, earlier this season against Philadelphia.

But Bouman did not show much rust as he led the Jaguars offense into Arrowhead. The 38-year old out of Minnesota completed 18 of 34 passes for 222 yards and a pair of touchdown passes. He also threw a pair of interceptions, including one that LB Derrick Johnson took back for a touchdown.

“He played great, he played above what we really hoped and needed from him,” said Jacksonville head coach Jack Del Rio. “To have Todd Bouman step forward and play the way he did and give our team a chance, to not take advantage of that performance and do more with it was extremely disappointing.”

For his part, Bouman wanted four of those 34 passes back, including the two that were intercepted by Johnson and SS Eric Berry.

“The first half went well,” Bouman said. “I’d like to get four throws back; obviously the interception for a touchdown. Those are the plays I remember the most that could have done something better to help us win the game.”

His teammates were impressed by what Bouman was able to do on such short notice.

“He came out throwing the ball well,” said RB Maurice Jones-Drew. “We were able to make some plays to open up the running game as well. He played well and put up some points and did some good things, but we didn’t win, so what does that count for?”


It was early in the fourth quarter and the Chiefs had the ball and an eight-point lead over the Jaguars. They faced a 4th-and-3 situation at the Jaguars 24-yard line. There was just over 11 minutes to play.

Normally that’s an automatic field-goal time in the NFL coaching book. But Todd Haley’s copy did not come with a quarter on when to go for it on fourth down.

Haley decided to eschew a 42-yard field goal attempt and they ran Jamaal Charles to the right, where he was stopped for a one-yard loss.

Ultimately it did not mean a thing in the big picture as the Chiefs defense answered with a stop of the Jacksonville offense.

“We’re used to it; we’ve been doing it all year,” said CB Brandon Flowers. “When fourth down comes we’re not even thinking of punting the ball on defense anymore. Coach Haley, he loves living on the edge like that.”

QB Matt Cassel said there was no surprise for the Chiefs offense that they stayed on the field.

“As soon as we got the first down, he said we were in four-down territory,” Cassel said. “I think everybody recognized that he’s probably in that mindset and so it’s our job to get the first down in that situation.”

Haley wasn’t sharing any thoughts about his fourth-down strategy after the game.

“I’m not going to disclose thought processes in the game, I just don’t think that would be good from a competitive standpoint,” Haley said. “I will say everything is well thought out and has a purpose. Some may be short-term purposes and some may be long-term purposes. I’ll assure you that they are all well thought out. Some work and some don’t. Some look better than others. Ultimately I’m happy with all the decisions we made in the game, how could I not be? And, I’ll leave it at that.”

On the season, the Chiefs are five of nine on fourth down plays.


As is their custom these days, the Chiefs did not provide a post-game injury report. But OLB Mike Vrabel had to leave the game with just under 11 minutes to play in the fourth quarter because of a right-hand injury.

Trainers took him underneath the stands to look at the injury. Vrabel returned to the sideline, but did not return to the field.

For the Jaguars, they lost their starting RT Eben Britton to a shoulder injury in the second half. He was replaced by former Chiefs OT Jordan Black.

Also from the Chiefs, there were only two players who were inactive for the game because of injury: S Reshard Langford (lower left leg) and WR Chris Chambers (left ring finger).


It was not much of a day for the Chiefs special teams. Here’s how they broke down:

PUNTING – Dustin Colquitt averaged 45.3 yards on three punts, with a 50-yard long punt. But his net average was just 29 yards thanks to the 49-yard return that eventually was fumbled back to the Chiefs.

PUNT COVERAGE – WR Mike Thomas had the only return, that 49-yarder where he broke Chiefs containment on the right side and went for 49 yards before fumbling. Thomas had a fair catch on another punt and the third went out of bounds.

KICKOFFS – Ryan Succop’s did not produce the distance that he has at other times this season. The air was a bit thick and muggy on Sunday, but his kickoffs went to the 6, 5, 10, 7, 8, 5 and 1-yard lines. That’s an average of the 6-yard line.

KICK COVERAGE – Returner Deji Karim returned five of the kickoffs for an average of 21.2 yards, with a 35-yard long return. WR Tiquan Underwood returned two kicks for a 26-yard average.

RETURNS – With WR Chris Chambers down, WR Dexter McCluster saw more offensive playing time, so the returns were all handled by CB Javier Arenas. On punts, he had three fair catches. On kickoffs, he returned two for an average of 22 yards and two others he did not bring out of the end zone, taking touchbacks. A fifth kickoff went out of bounds.

COVERAGE – The players credited with special teams tackles were Arenas, Succop, SS Eric Berry, LB Cory Greenwood, S Donald Washington, WR Verran Tucker and LB Corey Mays.


The crew of referee Jerome Boger worked the game. They seemed to really enjoy throwing the yellow hankie, as they marched off 13 penalties. There were seven against the Chiefs for 92 yards. That’s the most penalty yardage against the Chiefs in the Haley Era.

“I knew I was going to jinx it by talking about penalties,” Haley said. “So that’s my fault. I’ll take the blame for that.”

It wasn’t so much the number of flags, but the severity as the Chiefs were hit with a pair of costly defensive pass interference penalties. Here’s how it broke down on the flag patrol:

  • Defense – CB Brandon Flowers, illegal use of hands to the face, minus-5 yards.
  • Offense – LG Brian Waters, chop block, half-the-distance, minus-12 yards.
  • Offense – LT Branden Albert, holding, minus-10 yards.
  • Defense – CB Brandon Carr, pass interference, minus-18 yards.
  • Defense – SS Eric Berry, pass interference, minus-37 yards.
  • Offense – WR Dwayne Bowe, false start, minus-5 yards.
  • Offense – RG Ryan Lilja, false start, minus-5 yards.

Although Haley did not throw his red instant replay challenge flag, there were plenty of reviews during the game. Jacksonville challenged Dwayne Bowe’s second TD catch, but they lost that one as the Chiefs receiver got both feet down in the end zone. The other two replay reviews were called from the booth and upheld both calls made on the field.


- “The past three weeks we are minus 10 (turnover ratio) that doesn’t win for your in this league.” Jaguars coach Jack Del Rio.

- “We don’t worry so much about sacks, it’s more just him (Cassel) getting hit or getting touched and that’s some areas we feel that we still have to get better in.” Chiefs LG Brian Waters.

- “We wanted to stay balanced. Everyone thought that we would come in and run the ball a lot. We just wanted to stay balanced.” Jags RB Maurice Jones-Drew, who caught five passes for 74 yards.

- “Honestly, I could care less about who somebody thinks should be starting. I’m here to do my job. I get paid to make plays. I’m not getting paid to start.” Chiefs RB Thomas Jones.

- “I didn’t feel like the guy in front of me was a lot better than me, or that they had game-planned well. They ran plays that we knew were coming. We didn’t execute and we weren’t in our gaps.” Jaguars DT Terrance Knighton.


OT Ryan O’Callaghan and WR Verran Tucker played their first games for the Chiefs in the 2010 season. O’Callaghan was active for the first time since late in the pre-season because of a groin injury. He was part of the PAT-FG protection unit.

Tucker was promoted on Saturday from the practice squad, replacing fellow rookie WR Jeremy Horne. Tucker was active and part of the punt team.

That makes 53 players who have been active for one of the first six games. The only players on the roster who have not played are backup QB Brodie Croyle, rookie LB Justin Cole and newly signed DL Atiyyah Ellison.

C-G Rudy Niswanger was inactive on Sunday for the first time since his rookie season back in 2006. As far as anyone knows, he was healthy. WR Chris Chambers did not play for the second week in a row. Whether he was inactive because of his left ring finger injury is unknown.

Game-day inactives were Cole, Niswanger, Chambers, Ellison, CB Jackie Bates, FB Tim Castille, S Reshard Langford and LB Charlie Anderson.

Inactives for the Jaguars were QB David Garrard, RB Rashad Jennings, FB Brock Bolen, OL Kevin Haslam, DL C.J. Mosley, Austen Lane and Aaron Morgan. Newly signed Patrick Ramsey was the Jaguars inactive third quarterback.

Besides Bouman making the start, the other starting lineup change for Jacksonville was Vince Manuwai opening at left guard for Justin Smiley.


TE Leonard Pope was the head coach’s choice to be the extra captain for this game … the Chiefs announced paid attendance at 69,105, but there were plenty of open seats in all sections – upper, lower and club level … after going one for 10 on third down conversions against Indianapolis, in the last two games the Chiefs are 15 of 27 for 55 percent … the Chiefs have won their first three home games for the first time since 2003 … in the history of Arrowhead Stadium, the Chiefs are now 21-0 when scoring 40 points or more.

A Berry Good Interception

From Arrowhead Stadium

The first five games of his NFL career did not go the way Eric Berry had constructed in his dreams.

There were few chances to make big plays; there were many cases where he wasn’t quite sure about the defensive call or coverage. There were whispers around the league that he was doing a good job against the run, but he was struggling in coverage.

It all hit him like pin pricks. They didn’t draw any blood or leave lasting scars, but it hurt and he didn’t like it.

That’s what made Sunday’s victory over Jacksonville so special for the Chiefs first-round draft choice. In the fourth quarter, he grabbed the first interception of what he and the Chiefs hope is a long and successful career in red and gold.

“I knew what play was coming; I did a lot of studying,” Berry said of his pick of Jaguars QB Todd Bouman and then his 35-yard return. “I think the pass rush really helped that play out and forced him to throw the ball before he wanted too.”

Berry hopes the play is a turning point in this rookie season, and allows him to play the last 10 games like he always did at the University of Tennessee where for three years he was heavily involved in causing all sorts of big plays.

“It was getting used to the whole speed of the game, knowing what to expect from my opponent just getting back to playing football,” said Berry. “Sometimes I wasn’t fully comfortable with the calls or knowing what was going on. I had to put in overtime and really study my playbook, study the game plan and make sure I knew where to be at all times. I think that cut down on my thinking a lot and I was just out there reacting and playing football.”

In his 39 games with the Volunteers, Berry had 14 interceptions, three sacks, four recovered fumbles and two forced fumbles. That’s 23 big defensive plays over his college career. Coming into the sixth game of his NFL career, Berry was second on the Chiefs with 42 total tackles, but not a single big play via fumble, interception or sack.

That’s what led to some of the comments about Berry and his transition to the pro game.

“I always try to find something to motivate me and I had been hearing about making mistakes in the passing game,” Berry said. “That really has been motivating me. I just wanted to go out and help my team out and get a pick.”

Especially since the game had not gone quite the way Berry would have liked for himself. In the third quarter he was slapped with a pass interference call that was a 37-yard penalty. Five plays later, Bouman and Mike Sims-Walker connected on a nine-yard TD pass with the receiver beating Berry in the end zone.

Last week the Chiefs secondary had some calls go against them and Berry said they were intent on making sure there wasn’t a repeat.

“We saw how that affected us last week,” Berry said. “We got a pass interference and it snow balled into something bad. With the situation this week, we got the call but we didn’t let it snowball, we nipped it right in the bud. We went ahead and finished the game.”

There was another reason that Berry was excited about his first interception.

“I had my mom, my grandma and my auntie in the stands,” Berry said. “It was cool to do it at home.”

Matt Cassel Is Having Fun

From Arrowhead Stadium

Brian Waters shook his head when asked the question.

“It’s not smart,” Waters said of his QB Matt Cassel mixing it up in a post-TD scrum against the Jaguars in Sunday’s victory. “It makes the rest of us have to work even harder. Matt’s a fiery guy and we like his energy and he brings it every week, so we appreciate that. But …”

Cassel’s fiery personality had nothing but a smile after the Chiefs 42-20 destruction of the Jacksonville Jaguars. It was the kind of afternoon that starting quarterbacks dream about.

“It’s a lot of fun when you win,” Cassel said. “The locker room was awesome after the game. You know any time you win it’s fun. Coming off last week, having a disappointing loss in Houston, being able to come home and resurrect ourselves and get going again, it was great.”

Those that are not Cassel fans will have a hard time finding anything wrong with the quarterback’s performance in the victory:

  • He completed 13 of 18 passes for 193 yards. Manage those numbers a bit and that’s a completion percentage of 72.2 percent and an average per attempt of 10.7 yards. Both of those numbers far exceed his averages for the season (59.5 percent and 6.8 yards).
  • Cassel threw a pair of TD passes to WR Dwayne Bowe, giving him nine on the season.
  • He was sacked only once for minus three yards, although he took quite a few hits after releasing the ball, several got him just as he threw. Those passes could have been picked off but were not.
  • Cassel went another game without an interception. That’s now three in a row. He hasn’t thrown an interception in a month, going back to the San Francisco game. He’s now thrown 93 consecutive passes without an INT.
  • His 144 passer rating was the best of his 21 starts with the Chiefs.

Where Cassel was at his best was in the fourth quarter. Up by eight points, the Chiefs needed another score to seal the deal. That’s when they went on a 10-play, 85-yard drive, converting two key third downs with Cassel passes. They weren’t to the normal receivers he looks for like Bowe, or TE Tony Moeaki or WR Dexter McCluster.

On a 3rd-and-8, he found WR Terrance Copper for a 16-yard gain. Three plays later on 3rd-and-1, Cassel connected with FB Mike Cox for a 13-yard play and a first down. The drive ended with Cassel and Bowe hooking up for a six-yard TD pass.

“That’s what it’s about, being a great team,” said Cassel. “One of those critical third downs goes to Terrance Copper who didn’t play much offensively. But when he did get the chance, he made a huge play for us. Then Mike Cox, he’s a guy who doesn’t get many balls thrown to him, but he does his job without any complaints week in and week out. He sticks his nose in there and takes on linebackers and busts open in the flat and turns it up for a 15-yard gain.

“It’s great to see those guys contribute.”

It was on the Chiefs final TD that Cassel got himself involved in a post-play shoving match with the Jaguars.

“I just liked the shoving match,” Cassel said with a smile. “I don’t get physical much with those guys, so I figured I’d throw a little push in there and hopefully could get out of there before he retaliated on me.”

As far as Matt Cassel is concerned, it’s all part of the business of having fun.

“Winning is fun and you’ve got to enjoy it when it happens,” Cassel said. “It’s tough to win in the NFL. To be out there with a lead and enjoying ourselves and things are going right, you’ve got to enjoy the moment.

“It was fun today.”

Report Card: Chiefs vs. Jaguars

From Arrowhead Stadium

RUSHING OFFENSE: A – How do you find fault with a 236-yard rushing performance? The Chiefs offensive line controlled the line of scrimmage and pounded out all sorts of room for Thomas Jones and Jamaal Charles to do their thing. Throw in some Dexter McCluster and even a little bit of Jackie Battle and a good day was had by all on the Chiefs offense.

PASSING OFFENSE: A – While the numbers are no out of this world, they are among the most solid of QB Matt Cassel’s career as the starter for the Chiefs. He was 13 of 18 for 193 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions. That’s a completion percentage of 72.2 percent and an average of 10.7 yards per attempt. Both of those numbers far exceed his season averages. It was all part of the mix in a 144 passer rating, the best of his Kansas City career. Oh, and he was sacked only once and that was his fault for holding onto the ball too long.

RUSH DEFENSE: A – With the Jaguars quarterback situation very shaky, they needed their running game to step forward and control things. It didn’t happen. Maurice Jones-Drew ran for 47 yards on 16 carries. He broke one run for any length, going 21 yards. On his other 15 runs he gained just 26 yards or less than two yards per carry. There was nowhere for the Jaguars to run as the defensive line played a strong game, especially DE Glenn Dorsey and DE-DT Shaun Smith.

PASS DEFENSE: C – Facing a quarterback who hadn’t started a regular season game since 2005 the Chiefs should have been able to limit any damage that Todd Bouman could do. They did get two interceptions and they did put one of those in the end zone with Derrick Johnson’s pick-six. But Bouman threw a pair of interceptions and was sacked only once in 35 passing plays by the Chiefs pass rush. Two big pass interference calls cost the Chiefs 55 yards in field position.

SPECIAL TEAMS: C – If the Chiefs had been able to turn a potential disaster on a punt return into a takeaway by forcing a fumble, they would have finished with a D or F in the kicking game. There once very potent return game has died on the vine as Javier Arenas had only two kickoff returns for a mere 22-yard average. Arenas took fair catches on three punts. Meanwhile, the coverage unit gave up 35 and 29-yard returns to the Jaguars on kickoffs and then the 49-yard return on punt coverage.

COACHING: A – The plans on offense and defense were right on the mark as Charlie Weis and Romeo Crennel had their units prepared and schooled. With the exception of an unnecessary fourth-down conversion attempt when he could have had a 42-yard FG, Todd Haley seemed to push all the right b uttons.

Turning Point Play #2: DJ’s Pick Six

From Arrowhead Stadium

The way Derrick Johnson figured things he was in debt one interception return for a touchdown.

Last Sunday in Houston, when the Chiefs really needed a break, with a bunch of family members making the trip over from Waco to see him play, Johnson had a chance at an interception that likely would have turned into six points. It’s the type of big play that has been expected from D.J. since he was the team’s 2005 No. 1 draft choice.

But he dropped the ball. He reached up to grab the pass thrown by Texans QB Matt Schaub and it banged off his hands and fell to the ground.

“Oh I really wanted to get one, just to get that one off my record,” Johnson said Sunday afternoon, after the Chiefs had wrapped up their 42-20 victory over Jacksonville.

He got the chance. Actually he had two chances, but he dropped the first one just like he did in Houston.

But then with just a bit more than five minutes to play in the third quarter and the game’s outcome still in doubt, Johnson made the play that sealed the game. Jaguars QB Todd Bouman faced a 2nd-and-8 play at the Jags 12-yard line. Bouman decided to throw in the middle short to TE Zach Potter. …Read More!

Turning Point Play #1 – Fumbled Punt

From Arrowhead Stadium

Take a close look at the picture to the left. It’s not one that is often seen.

That’s Chiefs long snapper Thomas Gafford holding the ball a loft. Gafford touches the ball all the time during games, but usually he’s bent over about to send it backwards between his legs.

On this occasion, he got to touch the ball twice on the same play and it turned out to be huge for the Chiefs. That fumble came at the end of a 49-yard punt return by Mike Thomas that carried the ball inside the Kansas City 30-yard line. Rather than having great field position, the Chiefs offense got the ball back.

They scored two plays later with Jamaal Charles, set up by a 70-yard run by Thomas Jones.

“That’s why you don’t give up, on a game or a play,” said Gafford. “You never know what’s going to happen.”

What happened on this play was Gafford snapped the ball to P Dustin Colquitt who got off a 46-yard punt that Thomas caught at the Jacksonville 14-yard line. He took off up the middle and then quickly pushed the return to his left. Thomas ran away from a trailing S Donald Washington, and then got outside LBs Demorrio Williams and Corey Mays and finally WR Terrance Copper. He was out the gate and the only person between Thomas and the end zone was Colquitt, who caught part of his leg and slowed him down.

What Thomas didn’t know was that the Chiefs did not stop chasing him. Especially CB Javier Arenas, who has made a place for himself as a returner, but also serves on all the coverage teams and gets things done no matter the job handed to him. Arenas gave chase and caught up to Thomas as Colquitt slowed him down. He came through with his left arm and punched the ball out.

“OK, I’m blocking, they are setting up a return, and then it’s ‘oh no he got out’,” Gafford explained. “Then it’s chase, chase, chase and then something good happened. The ball came out.” …Read More!

Column: Playing Old-Fashioned Football

From Arrowhead Stadium

It’s a shock to many when they find out that Todd Haley is really a newer, younger version of Marty Schottenheimer.

Although they are of very different generations, they share common roots. In western Pennsylvania, the distance between McDonald where Schottenheimer was born and raised, and Upper St. Clair where Haley called home is about a dozen miles as the crow flies. A football education in the river towns and hollows of that little corner of the country are based on defense and the running game.

Yes, some of the greatest passers in the game’s history came out of the same area, guys like Johnny Unitas, Joe Namath, Joe Montana and Dan Marino to name just a few. But they were all raised on old-fashioned football values where the ability to control the line of scrimmage was paramount to the success on the field.

All those folks who love the type of game where passing dominates and footballs are flying through the air some 100 times in a game thought they were getting a like-minded head coach when the Chiefs hired Haley. Look at his stint as offensive coordinator of the Arizona Cardinals, especially in that Super Bowl season, where Kurt Warner was flinging the ball to Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin and the desert red birds finished last in the league in rushing.

That wasn’t Todd Haley. Not in any way shape or form. He did what he had to do with the talent that was available. The Cardinals didn’t have a top notch back and they didn’t have much in the way of blocking tight ends. So head coach Ken Whisenhunt and his coordinator went with what they had and it was almost enough to win a Super Bowl.

But given his druthers, and now that he’s the head coach of his own team and involved in the personnel end of who stays and who goes, Haley wants a team that can grind it on the ground, and can stop the other team from doing the same thing. …Read More!

Chiefs Bang Jaguars For Fourth Victory

From Arrowhead Stadium

Week-by-week they are washing away the stench of the 2007, 2008 and 2009 seasons. They are not a great team, they may not even be a good team, but they are team that has lifted a franchise out of the morass that came with those three previous seasons.

With their 42-20 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday, the Chiefs pushed their victory total to four and their record to 4-2 on the season. Last season, they didn’t win their fourth game until the third day of this year, when they beat the Broncos in Denver.

Coming off their two-game losing streak, the taste of home cooking for the Chiefs really tasted good.

“How you respond to some of these situations throughout the year as a team, you start to define what kind of team you have,” said head coach Todd Haley. “I think that judging off today, I’m not ready to say it yet, but we’re getting closer. We are becoming a team. We are just trying to be a good team. We’re not there yet.”

Last year was last year. Haley, Matt Cassel and all those who lived through the painful 4-12 season are constantly dragged back and asked about memories of last year. They would rather not. They would all rather look ahead to the next challenge. There’s a reason for that – there’s something in the future.

“Last year was challenging for many people in this organization and losing is never fun,” said Cassel. “To be able to turn it around and be where we are at right now, it’s excited, it’s fun, it’s energizing as a player. You put in all this hard work week in and week out, and to finally be able to see it come about and be 4-2 right now. I’m excited about where we are.

“The entire team is gaining confidence.” …Read More!

Pre-Game From Arrowhead – Jags & Chiefs

From Arrowhead Stadium

10:00 a.m. CDT – Good morning from Arrowhead. The skies here are filled with dark clouds, temperatures are cool and there’s an occasional light sprinkle falling. That’s pretty much the prediction for the rest of the afternoon. We’ll update on weather later in the morning.

10:01 a.m. – Master Joe Kim has been out early, working on individual sessions with Tamba Hali and Andy Studebaker. The workout that Hali puts in is as physical a pre-game workout as I’ve seen since the days of Hall of Fame WR Jerry Rice.

10:02 a.m. – FB Mike Cox is out early and he’s dressed as if he’ll be on the active roster again today. Cox got on the field for the first time last week, rather than Tim Castille.

10:03 a.m. – The quarterbacks and receivers are out for their normal pre-pre-game session of throwing. Part of the group is rookie WR Verran Tucker who is dressed as if he’s going to play today. The Chiefs promoted Tucker from the practice squad on Saturday, replacing another rookie WR Jeremy Horne who was released.

10:04 a.m. – Also taking part in the throwing session is veteran WR Chris Chambers. Last week when Chambers was not out early was the first indication that he would not be playing against Houston. …Read More!

Enrique’s Magic Number – Chiefs vs. Jaguars

(This year’s record: 1-1)

David Garrard’s absence from the Jacksonville helm will undoubtedly be felt by the men in teal. But for the Arrowhead Ones, they could care less if the Jaguar QB they’re scheduled to face is the East Carolina product, Todd Bouman, or a brought-straight-from-the-past Mark Brunell.

It’s definitely not a secret that, aside from the quality-level of its signal-callers, Jacksonville has always relied heavily on its running game against K.C. That has been an evident trait in the eight previous meetings (6-2 in J’ville favor) between the Chiefs and the Jaguars – and of course, one that has also been glaring on Arrowhead soil. In the three games that the Chiefs have hosted the Jags, Jacksonville (as a team) has not failed to reach the century mark by pounding the rock, attaining totals of 130 (in ’02), 113 (in ’06), and 156 (in ’07) yards respectively. Yet, it’s in the game when they “contained” the Jaguar ground game to 113 units, where the Chiefs not only found their lone home triumph vs. Jacksonville, but (as exposed earlier) one of the most cherished moments in franchise history as well.

And with that in mind, it’s only fitting to assume that all eyes will be on (Jags RB) Maurice Jones-Drew this Sunday. In conclusion, the Chiefs’ Magic Number to escape with a victory is 113, which would be the maximum amount of rushing yards allowed by the D this Sunday. If they slow the Jaguars down, they will win the game.

A Big, Physical Day Ahead … Game-Day Cup O’Chiefs

Todd Haley says the Chiefs are going to see something today that they’ve have not seen in five previous games this season.

In physical size and attitude the visiting Jacksonville Jaguars are the biggest and baddest team that’s been on the field against Haley’s club. They are physically stout and play with more aggression that the Chargers, Browns, 49ers, Colts and Texans.

When the teams meet Sunday afternoon at Arrowhead Stadium, it will provide an interesting challenge to the 3-2 Chiefs facing the 3-3 Jaguars. Kickoff is noon and the game can be seen on CBS-TV.

That Jacksonville plays in the manner it does under head coach Jack Del Rio, it makes for an interesting situation given the events of the past week. The NFL’s fining of three players $150,000 for three tackles last Sunday and the threats of possible suspension for contact considered illegal will have some effect on every game played this weekend. Whether it’s the players or the guys in the striped shirts, the approach is different and it would seem to penalize the more aggressive and physical teams.

The Jaguars fall into that category.

“They are as big and physical of a team as we’ve seen and we have not seen a team like this and our players understand that,” Haley said on Friday as the Chiefs wrapped up their preparations for the game. “There are some real physical defenses, there are some physical offenses and there are some physical special teams.

“They are a big, physical, run-and-hit team so you see a lot of contact as you watch the tape, and that includes special teams.” …Read More!

Chiefs Make Late Roster Move

Just a day before facing the Jacksonville Jaguars at Arrowhead Stadium, the Chiefs made a move at the bottom of their roster.

They signed WR Verran Tucker off their practice squad. To make room for him they released WR Jeremy Horne.

Tucker is 6-1, 204 pounds out of Los Angeles. He attended El Camino Junior College and the University of California where he caught 50 passes for 815 yards and four TDs. He began his NFL career with the Dallas Cowboys as a rookie free agent, but was released before the start of training camp. He signed with the Chiefs on July 31st. During the pre-season, he caught seven passes for 45 yards.

Horne played in three of the five games this season and spent most of his time working on special teams, where he was credited with one tackle.

Willie Lanier Talks About Tackling

The New York Times has a good column in Saturday’s edition by William C. Rhoden about the NFL controversy of the week, with the helmet to helmet contact and vicious hitting by defensive players.

Rhoden spent some time talking with Chiefs and Pro Football Hall of Famer Willie Lanier about the old days. Long-time Chiefs fans will remember that Lanier wore a specially made helmet over most of his career that provided him some extra protection. This came after a situation in his rookie season when he was knocked out when his head hit the knee of a running back, causing a concussion.

“I recognized that it was a concussion,” Lanier was quoted as saying. “I didn’t say anything about it at the time. I didn’t fall to the ground, and I didn’t have any pain.”

The next Sunday, Lanier collapsed in the huddle during a game against Houston. “I was out for two hours,” said Lanier, who later learned that paramedics lost his pulse three times between Municipal Stadium and the hospital.

Without coaching from Hank Stram and his staff, sanctions from the league or alterations of the rules, Lanier changed his way of tackling. He stopped going head first and instead, tackled with his chest and shoulders, wrapping up the guy with the ball in a bear hug.

“There is no way I could have survived if I had not changed my style of play,” said Lanier, who never suffered another concussion.

Lanier also changed his thinking on the field when it came to contact.

Here’s the link to the column for all the details. It’s worth your time

Enrique’s Video Vault – Chiefs vs. Jaguars

Historically, matchups between the Chiefs and the Jaguars have not been that kind to the Arrowhead Ones. The 2-6 overall record emphatically says so. However, it’s one game against those same Jags that constitutes one of the greatest moments in Chiefs’ history, because it serves as a helpful reminder that if we take care of our own businesses, anything can truly happen.

For a more detailed explanation of this glorious memory, I’ll bring you once again the description that I made when I reviewed the greatest moments of the past decade – with a little polishing along the way, and as part of an instructive double feature. Enjoy.


…Read More!

A Chiefs Grab Bag … Saturday Cup O’Chiefs

From the Truman Sports Complex

There have been NFL teams over the years that like to stir the pot a bit, especially when playing one of their division rivals.

It’s never a surprise to see say the Baltimore Ravens sign a fringe player to the roster or practice squad, a guy who spent previous time with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Also was seems to come about two weeks before they play the Pittsburgh Steelers. The New York Jets and New England Patriots have done the same thing over the years. Back in the 1990s, there was constant movement in the AFC West between the Chiefs, Broncos, Raiders and Chargers, as players and coaches switched sides on a yearly basis.

How much of that was a factor this week with the addition of former Jaguars DT Atiyyah Ellison to the Chiefs roster, the same week they happened to be playing Jacksonville?

The Chiefs say no and it’s not hard to believe that. But it’s fun to speculate, especially since the Jaguars have a wide receiver on their practice squad that knows a lot about the Chiefs – Lance Long. He was part of the team last year, and was with the club through the off-season, training camp and the pre-season. He was released on August 31st. Long was signed to the Jaguars practice squad on September 22nd.

So, have the Chiefs had to make changes in offensive calls and the like because of Long’s presence in the Jags’ building?

“I wouldn’t let anybody know regardless from a competitive standpoint but like I said, I’ve seen it work both ways,” said head coach Todd Haley. “We just have to worry about us and what we’re doing and how we’re going to do it and then just try and do it better than Jacksonville. Generally if we do that we’ll win the game.”

But believe me, it’s been discussed in the coaching meetings earlier this week and if there were calls or signals that needed changed, bet they were altered. That doesn’t keep coaches teams from reacting to that type of situations, or maybe overreacting. Haley said he’s seen teams overreact to the idea of inside information being exposed.

It’s all over-rated according to the head coach.

“Variables change every second and you’ve got to be able to adjust and you’ve got to execute regardless of what happens, whether you’ve prepared necessarily for it or not because we’re human, they’re human, it’s not computers playing computers,” said Haley. “Different things are going to happen.” …Read More!

Pro Prospects: Oklahoma @ Mizzou



(1st-Round) #28 OLB Travis Lewis (right), 6-2, 232 pounds, 4.53 seconds, Redshirt-Junior.

In two seasons on the field for the Sooners, Lewis has earned All-Big 12 Conference first-team honors both years. He was the conference defensive newcomer of the year and freshman of the year in ’08 when he started 14 games and finished with 144 total tackles, 3.5 sacks and four interceptions. His numbers were down in ’09 with 109 tackles, one sack and one INT. He’s started all 27 games that he’s played and was the Sooners leading tackler in both seasons. So far this year in six games he has 59 total tackles, 2 tackles for loss, .5 sacks and 1 interception. …Read More!

Friday 10/22 Practice Report-Update

From the Truman Sports Complex

The Chiefs found out Friday afternoon that the number of Jacksonville quarterbacks they must prepare to face on Sunday fell from four to three.

The Jaguars announced that starter David Garrard would not play on Sunday at Arrowhead Stadium because of the concussion he suffered Monday night while playing the Tennessee Titans.  Back-up Trent Edwards is now on top of the list, with newly signed Todd Bouman and Patrick Ramsey are still in play.

“The’ve got experienced guys,” said defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel. “We’ll just have to see what happens on game day and I’m sure they’ll hold that until the last minute.

“Our personnel department gives us run downs on all guys and we look at tape of all guys, so we’ll have an idea of what we are facing.”

Garrard was the only Jacksonville player listed as out of Sunday’s game. For the Chiefs, they reported that S Reshard Langford would not play on Sunday, missing his fourth consecutive game because of a lower left leg injury. …Read More!

Becoming A Team … Friday Cup O’Chiefs

From the Truman Sports Complex

During his team’s practice on Thursday, Chiefs head coach Todd Haley walked toward the west end of field No. 1 to observe the offensive and defensive lines working against each other.

Haley wanted to see specifically how the newest member of the team DL Atiyyah Ellison was handling things and he also wanted to see DE Tyson Jackson, who is still trying to get back on the field from that sprained left MCL he suffered in the season opener.

What he noticed more than anything else was a moment when the dynamics of team building were outwardly visible.

“I could hear Mike Vrabel over there passionately talking to Tyson,” Haley said. “You learn the difference between somebody who is talking so they can be heard helping somebody, trying to get noticed for doing something good. You learn the sound when it’s solely to help somebody. I could hear it off my left side and it was Mike helping Tyson with a little technique thing.

“Then I walked 20 yards and Thomas (Jones) is talking to Jamaal. He’s (Jones) like a Mom duck in a lake, no matter which way he turns those little ducks are going to turn that way. The other backs were all standing there and listening to him talk to Jamaal.”

There were other moments like those during Thursday’s practice, which is what had Haley thinking about the mix of veteran and youngsters on their roster and how they are blending together to form the type of team he wants to put on the field. …Read More!

Best Pro Prospects: ACC


(1st-Round) #74 OT Anthony Castonzo (right), 6-7, 308 pounds, 5.06 seconds, Senior.

Castonzo spent his first year out of high school at Fork Union Military Academy, the training ground for many NFL players over the years. Since arriving on the B.C. campus, he’s gone from 246 pounds to 308 and there’s room for a few more. He wears size 18 shoes. The Illinois native has started 45 games in his first three seasons. Considered a better pass protector than run blocker, he has long arms and big hands that give him the edge against most defensive ends. He’s shown good foot quickness, but he can get caught off-balance by defensive players, especially those on a bull rush. Castonzo has a 3.5 GPA in biochemistry and has been nominated for a Rhodes Scholarship. He wants to be a doctor doing cancer research when his football career is over.

Other BC prospects: (2nd-Round) #94 OLB Mark Herzlich, 6-4, 245 pounds, 4.75 seconds, Redshirt-Senior; (3rd-Round) #4 CB Donnie Fletcher, 6-0¼, 200 pounds, 4.49 seconds, Junior. …Read More!

Thursday 10/21 Practice Report

From the Truman Sports Complex

The NFL told DL Shaun Smith this week that they were rescinding the $10,000 fine levied against him after the Chiefs game with San Francisco on Sept. 29.

The league office said that Smith had grabbed 49ers OT Anthony Davis in the groin during the game at Arrowhead Stadium. Davis was the second player in two weeks that claimed Smith had grabbed their package. When the fine was passed down to Smith, he said he was going to appeal.

That appeal was successful and Smith gets to keep $10,000. In a letter to Smith from the NFL office, the league says there was “no conclusive evidence” to backup the charge. The letter was signed by Art Shell, the former Raiders Hall of Fame offensive tackle, who also once worked as an assistant coach with the Chiefs.

Smith posted the letter next to his locker.

“I’m happy; it’s been a cloud hanging over my head since week three,” Smith said. “But through the process the bashing of my name, you know I have kids and they looked at it and heard it. I’m just glad it’s over.” …Read More!

The NFL Takes A Hit … Thursday Cup O’Chiefs

It was back in the 1970s when Pittsburgh Steelers MLB Jack Lambert reacted to new protections for NFL quarterbacks by saying:

“Maybe they should put dresses on them.”

Understand this about Lambert – he was the epitome of old-school. Football in his mind was a game that was man-against-man, team-against-team, and the winner was the player or group that could dominate the other.

Lambert uttered those words some 30 to 35 years ago, but the discussion about physical contact continues in the NFL. It’s never really abated, going back to years before Lambert groused about the league protecting the quarterbacks. In those days they didn’t fine players for hits, no matter how vicious.

Now, there is another linebacker out of Kent State playing in Pittsburgh that likes to hit. James Harrison was the NFL’s Defensive Player of the Year in 2008. Undrafted coming out of college, he’s made his mark with sacks and some of the most aggressive contact the league has seen in recent years. This past Sunday, he hit Browns WR Mohamed Massaquoi with a vicious shot and the NFL league office on Tuesday handed down a $75,000 fine against Harrison for what it said was an illegal hit.

Harrison did not practice with the Steelers on Wednesday. He spoke with Pittsburgh’s head coach Mike Tomlin and said he is considering his future in the game.

“How can I continue to play this game the way that I’ve been taught to play this game since I was 10 years old?” Harrison asked during an interview on Wednesday on Sirius Radio.   …Read More!

Wednesday 10/20 Practice Report-Update

From the Truman Sports Complex

Did the Chiefs sign their newest player so they could pick his brain for knowledge about his former team?

No, says head coach Todd Haley. That’s not the reason that DL Atiyyah Ellison was signed to fill the roster spot that opened up when DE Alex Magee was traded on Tuesday to Tampa Bay. Ellison played in 15 games last season with Jacksonville, as the Jaguars head to Arrowhead Stadium for a game this Sunday.

“It’s not a get something on Jacksonville situation,”  Haley said after practice on Wednesday. “We worked him out a month ago. We keep a short list, a hold the fort list, a future list … we got a lot of lists. He was on one of our important lists. He’s somebody that we have done a lot of work on.”

The 6-3, 315-pound Ellison has been a journeyman defensive lineman since he was a third-round choice of the Carolina Panthers in 2005. He spent time with the Panthers, Ravens, 49ers and last year he was on the Jaguars roster and played in 15 games. Ellison had 28 total tackles, a sack and a deflected pass in the ’09 season.

“He’s been in the league a little bit and he’s a big defensive end that we feel like has a chance to fit here,” said Haley. …Read More!

Admitting A Mistake … Wednesday Cup O’Chiefs

Marty Schottenheimer used to say that the best advice his father ever gave him was not to be afraid to make a decision, because if you make a bad one, you get a chance to make another decision.

Generally, NFL teams are not quick to acknowledge they screwed up a decision. That’s especially true when it comes to the league’s annual draft of players coming out of college. The higher the selection, the tougher it is for the decision makers to admit mistake when the player doesn’t pan out.

So you’ve got to give Chiefs GM Scott Pioli some credit for the decision to jettison last year’s third-round draft choice DE Alex Magee. He and a 2011 draft choice were sent to Tampa Bay for another 2011 draft choice. The details were undisclosed. We can only assume that the Buccaneers pick coming back to K.C. at this time is higher than the one headed to Florida.

If Magee had been any type of player, he would not have been traded. If he had shown anything in the way of improvement, he would still be in the Chiefs locker room and not changing zip codes. The 67th player taken in the 2009 NFL Draft, Magee was a bust and should have never been drafted that high.

There is no other way to describe his brief time with the Chiefs. Last year he played in 15 games, with one start and had eight tackles, two sacks, three quarterback pressures and two passes knocked down. Considering his limited number of snaps, it was a pretty typical year for a NFL rookie defensive lineman.

In that first year, Magee showed he was a bit more advanced than his ’09 draft classmate Tyson Jackson, especially when it came to rushing the passer. It was largely due to his experience at Purdue playing both end and tackle. …Read More!

Opponent – Jacksonville Jaguars

2010 record: 3-3 and in fourth place in the AFC South, just one game out of first place. The Jaguars started the season with a 24-17 victory over Denver. Then there were back-to-back losses to San Diego and Philadelphia, both by 25 points. They followed up with back-to-back victories over Indianapolis by three points and 10 points over Buffalo. On Monday night, they were smashed 30-3 by Tennessee.

Last year’s record: 7-9 and in fourth place in the AFC South.

Record for the last five seasons: 43-37, with two spots in the playoffs in 2005 and 2007. In both seasons they were second in the division behind Indianapolis. In the other seasons they were either third or fourth in the AFC South.

Last appearance in the playoffs: in 2007, when they beat Pittsburgh 31-29 in the wildcard round before losing to New England 31-20.

Owner: Wayne Weaver has been the majority owner of the Jaguars since the team’s inception in 1995. Weaver made his money in shoes, and at various times has been owner of companies like Nine West, Liz Claiborne Shoes and the Weaver family owns the majority of the Shoe Carnival stores around the country. There nine partners in the business, including former Chiefs safety and still Kansas City resident Deron Cherry. The others are essentially Jacksonville businessmen.

General Manager: Gene Smith was named GM in ’09, after spending the previous 15 years in various roles in player personnel with the franchise. He began as a scout for the Blesto Scouting Combine, then served as a college scout for the Jags, moving up to director of scouting and finally executive director of college and pro personnel. …Read More!

Answer Bob: 10/19

Nick says: Mr. Gretz- I am curious what you think (Houston coach Gary) Kubiak meant when he said “college-type stuff?” I know that you said you weren’t sure what he meant, but I assume you had a chance to see, or hear him say it and what would be your best guess as to what he meant by it. Thanks and I really love your coverage of the Chiefs, visit this site daily.

Bob says: Thanks for visiting the site. I’m still not sure what the heck Kubiak was talking about. After that game he was almost distraught over the injuries he had on defense and the lack of linebackers at his disposal. He mentioned several times how he felt the Chiefs offense took advantage of the Texans linebacker problems with their formations and plays they were running. There was nothing the Chiefs did that seemed unusual. In fact, they went with so many power formations. I counted 34 plays where they had at least two tight ends on the field and another with three tight ends, including the TD pass to OLB Mike Vrabel. Nothing college about any of that stuff, so I’m still not sure where he was coming from. …Read More!

Chiefs Make Trade At Deadline

As the NFL trading period came to an end on Tuesday, the Chiefs were part of the only deal of the day.

They sent disappointing ’09 third-round draft choice DE Alex Magee to Tampa Bay for a selection in the 2011 NFL Draft. The trade involved a pair of draft choices, with the Buccaneers getting Magee and a draft choice from the Chiefs and Tampa Bay sending a pick to K.C.  There’s no early word on the rounds for those choices.

Magee has been active for only two of the five games this season. He had three total tackles. Last season as a rookie out of Purdue, Magee played in 15 games, started one and finished with eight total tackles and two sacks.

He was the second player selected by Pioli/Haley in their first NFL draft together, going as the 67th choice. Magee is the third of eight selections from the ’09 NFL Draft that are already gone from Kansas City. He joined fifth-rounder OT Colin Brow and seventh-round pick RB Javarris Williams. On Sunday against Houston, only S Donald Washington, TE Jake O’Connell and K Ryan Succop were active.

Inside The Numbers

The Chiefs continue to demonstrate they are effective against the run – except when they aren’t. They held the Texans to less than three yards per carry on 12 of the 22 attempts. But two runs of less than three yards were for touchdown, thus not successful defense against the run.

They were gashed twice by long runs. Derrick Ward scored on a 38-yard touchdown run, the longest run the Chiefs have given up this season. Arian Foster gained 21 yards on another, the third longest run of the year.

Chiefs against the run







San Diego 





At Cleveland 






San Francisco 




At Indianapolis 






At Houston 






(Success is defined by the Chiefs defense holding a runner to three or fewer yards unless that run resulted in a first down or touchdown.) * Includes 1-yard touchdown for Cleveland and 2-yard run for first down with San Francisco. ** Includes two “successful” runs for first down and three kneel-downs at the end of the game. ***Includes two runs of less than 3 yards for touchdown.

…Read More!

Another Painful Lesson … Tuesday Cup O’Chiefs

From the Truman Sports Complex

The Chiefs as a team learned a valuable lesson in their loss Sunday in Houston:

Sometimes when you see a light at the end of the tunnel, it’s a train speeding in your direction, about to run you over.

In the locker room after their 35-31 loss to the Texans several players, including QB Matt Cassel and ILB Derrick Johnson, said that in the second half they felt in control of the game. This was especially true when they held a 21-7 lead in the third quarter. There was a feeling of comfort, of controlling the pace of the game and its outcome.

It’s safe to say that once a team feels like they are in control of a game with a 14-point lead against a team that has the ability to score quickly and often has just lost control.

“There is a clear-cut lesson to be learned,” Todd Haley said on Monday, after getting a lengthy look at the game tape and then speaking with his team. “I don’t know exactly how to say it other than there were situations in that game where had our sense of urgency been at a higher level and understanding exactly where that game was and what the opportunity was, that we would’ve recognized it as a whole. Some guys recognized it, some guys didn’t.”

This happens with teams that haven’t won many games. It’s not so much learning how to win, as learning how to handle the situation when you have a chance to win. With leads in the second half of 14, 10 and 10 points, the Chiefs created situations for themselves where they should have walked out of Reliant Stadium with a victory.

It’s like this – any time the Chiefs score 31 points this year they should win. This is not a 31-point offense. When it happens, it’s a gift that can’t be wasted as it was on Sunday. The last time they scored 31 points or more and lost the game was last December against Cleveland, when the Browns grabbed a 41-34 decision at Arrowhead Stadium.

Instead, when they felt in control of the game and saw the light at the end of the tunnel, it turned out to be a train driven by the Texans explosive offense. …Read More!

Sunday’s Best Performances – 10/17


  • 95 – Minnesota WR Percy Harvin (right) kickoff return for TD vs. Dallas (W).
  • 89 – Chicago WR Devin Hester punt return for TD vs. Seattle (L).
  • 87 – Detroit WR Calvin Johnson TD catch vs. N.Y. Giants (L).
  • 86 – Green Bay WR Greg Jennings TD catch vs. Miami (L).
  • 83 – Philadelphia WR Jeremy Maclin TD catch vs. Atlanta (W).
  • 67 – Chicago WR Johnny Knox catch vs. Seattle (L).
  • 65 – New England P Zolton Mesko punt vs. Baltimore (W).
  • 64 – San Francisco RB Frank Gore run vs. Oakland (W).
  • 64 – San Diego P Mike Scifries punt vs. St. Louis (L).
  • 62 – Cleveland CB Joe Haden interception return vs. Pittsburgh (L).


  • 158 – New Orleans RB Chris Ivory on 15 carries vs. Tampa Bay (W).
  • 149 – San Francisco RB Frank Gore on 25 carries vs. Oakland (W).
  • 133 – N.Y. Giants RB Ahmad Bradshaw on 19 carries vs. Detroit (W).
  • 128 – Indianapolis RB Joseph Addai on 17 carries vs. Washington (W).
  • 109 – St. Louis RB Steven Jackson on 29 carries vs. San Diego (W).
  • 100 – Chiefs RB Thomas Jones on 19 carries vs. Houston (L).
  • 100 – Washington RB Ryan Torian on 20 carries vs. Indianapolis (L). …Read More!

Leftovers From Houston

From Reliant Stadium, Houston

The situation was third down and two yards to go for the Chiefs offense at their 41-yard line. They held a three-point lead and there was two minutes, 36 seconds to play.

The decision to pass in that situation has apparently become the second-guess decision of the week for Chiefs fans after the team’s 35-31 loss to the Texans.

Rather than run the ball for those two yards, the coaches called for a throwback screen to TE Tony Moeaki. The idea is that the flow of the play goes right, save for a couple of offensive linemen and Moeaki. QB Matt Cassel then throws back to his left side. When it works it’s a nice play. When it doesn’t, the arm chair quarterbacks are irate.

In this case it didn’t work. The pressure on Cassel forced him to release the ball before everybody was in their proper places and he ended up throwing it just over Moeaki’s head. As the picture above shows, it was just out of his grasp.

The incompletiont forced a fourth down and more importantly, it stopped the clock.

Texans coach Gary Kubiak was one guy happy with the decision.

“I was a little surprised that they would do that,” Kubiak said after the game. “It saved me a time out and got us the ball back.”   …Read More!

Sunday 10/17 AFC West Update

From Reliant Stadium, Houston

The Chiefs have now lost two games in a row and have not lost any ground as they maintain their spot at the top of the AFC West.

Not an inch. The entire division bit the dust on Sunday, as the Chiefs lost to Houston 35-31. San Diego was beaten by the Rams in St. Louis 20-17. Denver was at home and lost to the New York Jets 24-20. Oakland went across the Bay Bridge to San Francisco and the 49ers got their first victory of the season 17-9.

That leaves the Chiefs 3-2 and the rest of the division is now 2-4, so they have a two-game lead in the loss column. Here’s how it went down with the other AFC West teams.


San Diego entered the Edwards Jones Dome on Sunday with the No. 1 ranked offense in the NFL. The St. Louis defense was No. 20 in yards allowed. But they stifled QB Philip Rivers, sacking him seven times in the game and allowing the Chargers just 287 yards.

The only part of the San Diego offense the Rams couldn’t stop was WR Patrick Crayton, who finished with six catches for 117 yards. TE Antonio Gates left the game in the first half with an ankle injury.

St. Louis had just enough offense, as Steve Jackson ran for 109 yards and Sam Bradford passed for 198 yards. Bradford connected with Mizzou rookie WR Danario Alexander for a 38-yard touchdown.

The Chargers are home this coming Sunday, hosting the 4-1 New England Patriots.


It was 4th-and-6 from the Denver 48-yard line. The New York Jets had no choice. They had to go for it with under two minutes left in the game and trailing 20-17. Jets WR Santonio Holmes and Broncos S Renaldo Hill bumped into each other at the goal line as a pass from QB Mark Sanchez fell incompleted.

But that was when the yellow flag came out and Hill was called for pass interference. On the next play, RB LaDainian Tomlinson scored his second touchdown of the game and gave the Jets their victory and a 5-1 record.

The Broncos defense had three starters out, but they had Sanchez confused all day as the young QB threw his first interceptions of the season. The Jets had one giveaway in their first five games and then had three against Denver.

QB Kyle Orton and the Broncos offense put some points on the board but couldn’t sustain success against the New York defense. Rookie QB Tim Tebow did score his first NFL touchdown, a five-yard run in the second quarter.

The Broncos are home this coming Sunday and host the Raiders.


Al Davis’ team was coming off a big victory over the Chargers, but they couldn’t carry that onto the field against the 49ers. It was the seventh time the Raiders had a chance to put together back-to-back victories in recent years. They’ve failed each time.

The second half of this game was played in a steady rain, and that seemed to bring the Oakland offense to a halt as the Jason Campbell-led group had just 179 net yards, with 110 yards coming in the running game.

San Francisco got 149 rushing yards from RB Frank Gore and QB Alex Smith threw two second half TD passes, going to WR Michael Crabtree and TE Vernon Davis.

The Raiders will be on the road next weekend, visiting the Broncos in Denver.

Game Notes: The NFL’s Scoring Machine

From Reliant Stadium, Houston

Look at that picture above. Look at the smile on the face of OLB/TE Mike Vrabel. Yes, they may be mature men, or in the case of Vrabel a grizzled veteran of 14 NFL seasons. But they are still having fun, playing a game.

Vrabel caught the 10th touchdown pass of his career against the Texans on Sunday, catching a two-yard toss from QB Matt Cassel in the goal line offense. It was a pressure situation because it was a fourth down play and Cassel got flushed from the pocket.

But he found Vrabel waiting at the back of the end zone and the linebacker cradled the ball and fell to the ground.

Now get this – Vrabel became the first player that began his career after 1933 to have 10+ career receptions, all for TDs. Over his career, he has 12 catches in regular and post-season action, and all 12 were in the end zone. It was his second catch/touchdown for the Chiefs – Vrabel caught a one-yard pass from Cassel on October 11, 2009 against Dallas.


Houston’s defensive leader DeMeco Ryans suffered a torn Achilles tendon during the game and is done for the season.

It came on the 17-yard TD pass from Cassel to WR Dwayne Bowe.

“I was planting go make a play on the ball,” said Ryans. “I was trying to jump up and I couldn’t push off my foot.

“It sucks. It’s the first time I’ve had to deal with something like this.”

His teammates feel the same way, about the suck part.

“We lost our captain today,” said LB Brian Cushing. “We’ve lost him for the season and any time something like that happens, it’s a blow to the team. It’s a blow to morale, but we have to play for him now. We have to step it up in a lot of ways on defense and we know that.”


Last Sunday against the Colts, the Chiefs were a miserable one of 10 on third down plays and that inability to convert killed the offense’s ability to stay on the field.

This past week, the Chiefs worked overtime on third downs and it paid off big time, as they converted nine of 16 attempts on third down or 56.3 percent. That easily their best performance of the year in that category and is the best of the 21 games played under head coach Todd Haley.

What helped was they were not faced with many 3rd-and-long situations. Only two of the 16 were for 10 yards or more and the Chiefs converted both of those. They had six third downs of three yards or less. The average was 5.4 yards for a first down.


The referee for the game was Ron Winter and his crew is known for enjoying the look of yellow flags on the field. Overall they called nine penalties against the Chiefs.

But only five of those flags were accepted. Here’s how they break down:

  • Offense – RG Ryan Lilja five yards for a false start.
  • Offense – LB Brian Waters five yards for a false start.
  • Offense – Delay of game, five yards.
  • Special teams – LB Cory Greenwood 15-yard personal foul.
  • Special teams – CB Jackie Bates 5-yards for being offsides on a kickoff.

WR Dexter McCluster (illegal shift), C Casey Wiegmann (holding), DE Shaun Smith (holding) and CB Brian Flowers (pass interference) were declined.

There was one replay review, called by the booth in the last minute of the second quarter. It appeared that Chiefs WR Dwayne Bowe had trapped a throw but after looking at the replay, Winter obviously did not find enough to change the call.


The inactive players for the Chiefs were FS Kendrick Lewis, FB Tim Castille, S Reshard Langford, LB Justin Cole, DE Alex Magee, OT Ryan O’Callaghan, WR Chris Chambers and DE Tyson Jackson.

Dressed and active for the first time in an NFL regular-season game was CB Jackie Bates. With the injuries involving Lewis and Langford, the coaches obviously felt they needed to have another defensive back in reserve. FB Mike Cox was active and played in his first game this season. Second-year S Donald Washington made his first NFL start, stepping in for the injured Lewis.

Right now, among the Chiefs 53 players, 50 have played in a game this season. The only ones who have not are QB Brodie Croyle, RT Ryan O’Callaghan and rookie LB Justin Cole.

With Chambers out, Terrance Copper was in the starting lineup for him, but most of his snaps went to Dexter McCluster.

For the Texans, they had on the inactive list WR Dorin Dickerson, CB Sherrick McManis, LB Darryl Sharpton, LB Xavier Adibi, LB Kevin Bentley, G Mike Brisiel and DE Jesse Nading.

Brisiel was the only Texans inactive player that had been in the starting lineup. He was replaced at right guard by Antoine Caldwell.

C Casey Wiegmann played in the 200th regular-season game of his career. The man next to him on his left, G Brian Waters started his 138th game with the Chiefs, moving ahead of LB Willie Lanier (137) and LB Jim Lynch (137) for 10th in team history.

EXTRA STUFF - Sacks went to NT Ron Edwards and Wallace Gilberry. Both have two sacks on the season … Ryan Succop made his only FG attempt, hitting from 24 yards. On his Chiefs career now, he’s made 33 of 37, for 89.2 percent … P Dustin Colquitt now has 424 career punts, moving into second place in career history with the Chiefs. He’s got a long way to go to catch the all-time leader Jerrel Wilson who over his 15-year career had 1,018 punts.

REPORT CARD: Chiefs vs. Houston

From Reliant Stadium, Houston

RUSHING OFFENSE: A – It’s hard to argue with a 228-yard afternoon on the ground, with the two primary runners totaling 193 yards between them. Thomas Jones really showed more explosion than he has at any time this season and Jamaal Charles was able to turn nothing into something about a half-dozen times. Despite the fact Houston knew what the Chiefs wanted to do, they were only able to get two minus-runs for a total of four yards lost.

PASSING OFFENSE: C – It’s hard to find fault with the afternoon that QB Matt Cassel had against the Texans. He completed 68.9 percent of his passes, with an average gain per attempt of 6.9 yards. Cassel had three touchdown passes and no interceptions and his passer rating of 122.9 was his second best while wearing a Chiefs uniform. Pass protection was fairly good, even with the game ending on the only sack of Cassel all day. The only negative was the passing game’s inability to get anything done in the last few possessions, when they went three plays and out and allowed Houston’s offense more opportunities, which they took advantage of in picking up the winning points.

RUSH DEFENSE: C – This was the worst run defense the Chiefs have shown for the season, giving up six yards per carry (22 for 132 yards) and three TDs on the ground. They had been limiting foes to no big running plays, but that went out the window against the Texans as they gave up a 38-yard TD run by Derrick Ward and Arian Foster busted one for 21 yards. Houston did not have a negative rushing play.

PASS DEFENSE: D – When the Chiefs defense needed to stop QB Matt Schaub, they couldn’t do it. Pass rush pressure was very inconsistent; there were times when Cassel had all the time he wanted to throw. There were other times when the pass rush flushed him out of the pocket and they did pick up a pair of sacks. They kept a lid on TE Owen Daniels until the fourth quarter and then he became a key figure in the comeback victory.

SPECIAL TEAMS: D – Apparently the coaches saw something on tape that made them believe there was something or someone they could take advantage of in the Houston kickoff return team. Leading 21-7, they tried a mortar kick. All it did was give the Texans decent field position and they scored a TD. Leading 24-14, the Chiefs decided to try another mortar kick, this one got returned and gave Houston field position at the Chiefs 46-yard line. The return game produced nothing important. P Dustin Colquitt had another good day, although he did have two touchbacks that hurt his net average.

COACHING: D – There are not good grades for the coaches when a team loses a game like Sunday. Poor execution was blamed and that always falls on the players. When it happens two weeks in a row, then the coaches have to answer for that as well. Haley gambled twice on the first possession by going for it on fourth down rather than kick a short field goal. They converted both times, including a touchdown on the second one.

Chiefs Blow 10-Point Lead Twice In 35-31 Loss

From Reliant Stadium, Houston    

“We weren’t able to finish the game today.”

Those were the words of Chiefs QB Matt Cassel and it was a bit of an understatement. Sunday afternoon against the Houston Texans, the Chiefs had a 14-point lead halfway through the third quarter. They had 10-point leads twice after that.

Then, they weren’t able to finish. The Texans scored a pair of touchdowns in the game’s final seven minutes and stole away with a 35-31 victory. The game’s final play came when Cassel was sacked trying to throw a Hail Mary pass into the end zone (above).

The decision left Houston 4-2 on the season as they head into their bye week.

After starting the season with three straight victories, the Chiefs have now lost two in a row and are 3-2 on the season. Remarkably, they did not lose any ground in the AFC West, as San Diego, Denver and Oakland also lost.

There was plenty of action and things to write about in this game. Here’s our coverage:

  • GAME STORY – This time it really hurt.
  • COLUMN – One game of redemption for DBowe.
  • SIDEBAR1 – Houston’s Andre Johnson makes the winning play.
  • SIDEBAR2 – Bernard Pollard enjoyed the game’s conclusion quite a bit.
  • SIDEBAR 3 – Chiefs “Rush Brothers” got it done.
  • NOTES – The NFL scoring machine.
  • REPORT CARD – Overall D for defense that fell apart.
  • AN AFC WEST LOOK – The division goes 0-4.

Rush Brothers Have Big Day

From Reliant Stadium, Houston

During the bye week, Thomas Jones took a trip to New York. He took a friend with him, a fellow by the name of Jamaal Charles.

“I wanted to have him meet some of my friends and see the city,” said Jones. “We had a good time.”

They were having a good time on Sunday as well, until the fourth quarter of the Chiefs loss to the Texans. The use of Jones and Charles has generated great debate among Chiefs fans this season, but that hasn’t extended to the backs themselves. They’ve become friends, even mentor and pupil a bit.

“We are friends, almost like brothers,” said Jones. “We hope to see each other do well.”

Both are willing to take whatever Todd Haley and Charlie Weis decide on any given game day.

On Sunday in Houston, they shared the touches. Jones turned in his first 100-yard rushing game in a Chiefs uniform, hitting the century mark right on the button with 19 carries, a nice 5.3-yard per carry average. Charles wasn’t left out, as he ran 16 times for 93 yards, an even better 13.5-yard average.

Throw in 27 yards from Dexter McCluster – topped a pretty 20-yard end around – and eight yards from QB Matt Cassel and the Chiefs finished with 228 yards on 38 carries, a six-yard per carry average.

Charles caught four passes for 24 yards and Jones caught one pass for 10 yards. So the numbers rang down as 20 touches for Jones that produced 110 yards and 20 touches for Charles that produced 117 yards.

And in the end it all went for naught.

“We made some plays on offense today but when you lose the game it doesn’t matter,” said Jones. “That’s the point of making those plays; to help your team win. It was a tough loss. It hurts to play well and lose, but that’s part of the game. We have to bounce back quickly.”

Charles was Charles, as he made some dazzling runs where it seemed like there was minimal room to run and 10 yards later he was being tackled. At one point, he turned what was going to easily a minus four or five-yard play into a gain of seven yards. He was steps away several times for breaking a long run.

Jones showed a dose of speed and quickness that was not consistently visible in the season’s first four games. Several times, the 32-year old stuck his foot in the natural grass surface of Reliant Stadium and exploded into running lanes.

“I think our execution as better this week than what we did last week,” Jones said. “We had a great week of practice and that’s where it starts.”

For Jones, it was his 33rd career game with 100 yards or more. It’s a third time he’s done it against the Texans, including last year when he ran for 107 yards in Reliant Stadium while wearing the green and white of the New York Jets.

As he was headed out of the Chiefs locker room on Sunday, Jones was the philosophical veteran who has won the hearts of just about everyone around the team.

“You have to look at the good things we did and feel good about those things,” Jones said. “But you also have to take the negatives and work and correct them quick. Anytime you lose a game it hurts, regardless of the situation.

“You put in so much work during the week and you play down to the wire like that, it hurts. You have to have a short memory in this league and bounce back and get ready for next week.” Here are the numbers for Jones and Charles over the first five games:











































Satisfaction, Not Vindication

From Reliant Stadium, Houston

Bernard Pollard wore a smile, but not one that spoke of revenge, or vindication. It was the smile that comes from being 4-2 on the 2010 NFL season and the bye week coming up.

“This wasn’t about me,” Pollard said after helping his new team the Texans beat his old team the Chiefs 35-31 on Sunday afternoon.

“This was about this team getting another win and getting to 4-2 and having a week to rest up and get prepared for the rest of the season. Anything to do with me was a small little deal.”

Maybe small, but it was still big for a prideful young man like Bernard Pollard. That pride was badly dented when he was released last year by the Chiefs on the final cut before he starting of the’09 regular season. Even though there were problems with the new Arrowhead regime, it did not seem possible that they would cut a young starting safety and get nothing in return.

But they did, Pollard was crushed and then three weeks later he found a new home with the Texans. And now for the first time since their inception in 2002, Houston is 4-2 on the season. They are competing in the tough AFC South with Indianapolis, Tennessee and Jacksonville.

“That’s what mattered to me was getting another “W” so it would help us down the road,” Pollard said. “Maybe there was a little extra, but I’ve tried to move past that.”

There was certainly a little extra in the fourth quarter when he chased Chiefs RB Thomas Jones out of bounds and then gave him a shove. That drew a 15-yard personal foul penalty, the type that drives coaches of all types crazy. …Read More!

Andre’s Giant Touchdown

From Reliant Stadium, Houston

Andre Johnson said there was no doubt in the huddle of the Houston Texans that they were going down the field to score the winning touchdown.

“We were confident, we felt good about the position we were in,” Johnson said. “We’ve been there before. We expected it to all come together.”

And it did. On a 2nd-and-8 play from the Chiefs 11-yard line, 36 seconds left and Houston trailing by three points, something had to get done and get done quickly. The Texans knew that. They Chiefs knew it as well. They were prepared to stop the proceedings.

But just as they had done throughout the second half, the Chiefs were one step slow and one step behind. Johnson caught the 11-yard scoring pass from QB Matt Schaub and the Texans won the game, 35-31. That’s him above, after jumping into the end zone stands after the catch.

In the first half, they had limited Houston to a single touchdown and 115 yards of offense on 22 snaps.

It all fell apart in the second half, when the Chiefs defense gave up four touchdowns and 306 offensive yards in 35 plays to the Texans. …Read More!

Column: Bowe Show Returns From Ashes

From Reliant Stadium, Houston

He’s a person and player that will test the outer limits of patience.

Job never met Dwayne Bowe.

So many times when he’s stepped on another land mine, or tossed a verbal grenade or had a touchdown pass trickle off his fingers, everyone asked why the Chiefs put up with Bowe and his antics?

Sunday was one of the reasons why he’s still wearing red and gold. A week after dropping a very important touchdown pass in the loss to Indianapolis, Bowe had a redemption game. Against the Texans with the worst pass defense in the NFL at this point in the season, the fourth-year receiver caught six passes for 108 yards, including a pair of touchdown passes.

One of those scores was a 17-yard combination with Matt Cassel where the quarterback threw a laser in to the end zone and Bowe held onto the ball. The other was a 42-yard touchdown play that was Bowe at his best, making the catch across the middle and then taking off in a weaving run through the Houston secondary and reaching the end zone.

It was the longest play Bowe has put on the board in almost exactly three years, going back to a 58-yard catch against Oakland in his rookie season (October 21, 2007).

“I’ve got a tremendous amount of confidence in Dwayne Bowe,” said Cassel. “Week in, week out, he’s shown me that. Obviously last week he had a few mishaps and that’s just one of those rarities that happen in football. He came back this week and I was really happy for him. He showed up like I thought he would and he made great plays.” …Read More!

This Chiefs Loss Leaves A Deep Bruise

From Reliant Stadium, Houston

This Sunday it was different. The Chiefs loss last Sunday to Indianapolis and then this Sunday to Houston count the same in the standings. But falling 35-31 to the Texans left the Chiefs flying home this time with their pride deeply bruised.

“Sure we did some good things, but it doesn’t matter, we lost,” said CB Brandon Carr. “There’s nothing to be excited about.”

That wasn’t the case last week, when the Chiefs lost 19-9 to the Colts and all they wanted to talk about was how they were competitive in losing to Indianapolis. There was none of that talk in this loser’s locker room at Reliant Stadium.

So what was the difference? The game against the Texans was there for the Chiefs to win. It was a game they controlled from most of three quarters. They held a 14-point lead, and a pair of 10-point leads, including a 31-21 score with only seven minutes left in the game.

But Houston scored the game’s last two touchdowns, including the game winner when QB Matt Schaub found WR Andre Johnson in the back of the end zone for an 11-yard TD pass with 28 seconds left to play.

The game ended with QB Matt Cassel trying to scramble around so he could throw one towards the end zone, but he was sacked by Texans DT Amobi Okoye as the clock clicked to zero.

The outcome wiped out a redemptive performance by WR Dwayne Bowe. A week after dropping a touchdown pass against the Colts, Bowe had two touchdown catches and six receptions in all for 108 yards. The loss made unimportant a 228-yard rushing day by the Chiefs, including a 19-carry, 100-yard performance by Thomas Jones. In the defeat, it devalued one of Cassel’s best passing days of his Chiefs career, posting a passer rating of 122.9 and throwing three touchdown passes, with a pair to Bowe and another one to OLB/TE Mike Vrabel. …Read More!

Chiefs-Texans Pre-Game

From Reliant Stadium, Houston

10:00 a.m. CDT – Good morning from Houston. It’s a hot day here in south Texas, with temperatures at kickoff expected to be in the mid-80s. Right now, the roof on Reliant Stadium is open, but earlier in the week the Texans said the retractable top would be closed for the game. Don’t know if they’ve changed their mind, but the stadium sits north and south, so the sun will move around the north end of the stadium as the day goes on.

10:01 a.m. – Texans QB Matt Schaub is already out doing a throwing session with a few of his receivers. They began about 15 minutes ago.

10:02 a.m. – FB Mike Cox is dressed to play as he came onto the field. If so, it will be the first time Cox has been active this season. I don’t know if that’s any indication of the game plan, since Cox is not only a good blocker, but he’s a usually reliable receiver.

10:03 a.m. – Former Chiefs-now Texans SS Bernard Pollard is already on the field, doing some running and stopping to talk with several of his former teammates, including NT Ron Edwards.

10:04 a.m. – The quarterbacks converse, as Brodie Croyle and Tyler Palko stand at the 40-yard line and chat with Houston’s third QB Matt Leinart.

10:05 a.m. – It looks like FS Kendrick Lewis is a no go today. He’s out early walking the field dressed in a sweatsuit that inactive players wear on the sidelines. He’s joined by DE Tyson Jackson, who also looks like he’s going to be inactive today.

10:06 a.m. – Missing from the weekly QB-Receivers pre-pre-game routine is WR Chris Chambers. He suffered a finger injury on his right hand last Sunday and was listed as questionable on Friday. But the Chiefs reported he was a full participant through all three practices. …Read More!

Enrique’s Magic Number – Houston

(Enrique’s Magic Number record is now 10-0.)

Immersed in Texan territory, the Chiefs only have to do one thing to come up on top this Sunday: they need to be quick drawers.

Even with a brief history as a base reference, there have been multiple defining coincidences surrounding the three meetings when the Chiefs faced the Texans in Reliant Stadium. The winning teams have always passed for at least 220 yards. The losing team has always lost the turnover battle (while committing at least three of those in the process.) The winners have also controlled the pace of the game by running the ball at least 31 times and gaining 109 yards as a minimum through the ground. But everything pales in comparison to one not-so-little fact that those who remember Justin Medlock will undoubtedly relate to, and that simply consists of striking first.

Indeed, the three meetings that have taken place between the Chiefs and the Texans in Houston have found a winner the moment a team has beaten his adversary to the punch on the scoreboard. Or when the eventual loser has blinked first – if that’s how you want to look at it. And if in doubt, again, just take a look at this.

So, in conclusion, the Chiefs’ Magic Number to escape with a victory is one (1). If the Chiefs score the first points of the game, the flood gates will open, and they will win on Sunday.

Game-Plan Sunday … Game-Day Cup O’Chiefs

From Houston, Texas

It has been one of the favorite subjects of discussions among those in the Chiefs Nation this past week – how will the Chiefs attack the Texans and return to their winning ways?

The Chiefs and Texans will kickoff at noon Sunday at Reliant Stadium. TV coverage is on CBS.

Will this be the game where QB Matt Cassel rips apart a battered Texans secondary? Will the Chiefs assign their best player CB Brandon Flowers to cover Houston’s best player WR Andre Johnson (right)? Might this game be decided by the running game of both teams that rank in the league’s top 10?

These two teams share many characteristics, but the biggest one makes them part of a very large group of NFL teams. While both have winning records – the Chiefs at 3-1 and Houston holding a 3-2 mark – they are flawed teams. There does not appear to be a great team in the NFL so far this season. There are a few good ones and a few bad ones, but the bulk of the league is stuck in the middle. Those teams have parts that are strong and productive, but they also have facets of the team that are not up to average NFL standards, let alone that of a contender. It’s what makes them all pretenders right now.   …Read More!

Update: Starting Quarterbacks

The NFL is reaching week No. 6 of the 2010 schedule on Sunday and Monday, and already nine teams, or 28 percent of the league have had more than one starting quarterback.

That number could rise to 11 on Sunday, pending the status of Brett Favre (left) and Aaron Rodgers. In what is a very ironic twist, these former teammates with the Packers are both possible not actives or out of the starting lineup. With Favre it’s his right elbow which is troubling him and with Rodgers it’s the concussion he suffered last Sunday against Washington.

Expect both of them to start, especially Favre. Vikings coach Brad Childress said Friday a final decision on Favre will come on Sunday before his team faces the Cowboys. Favre is listed as questionable.

“It will be right up ’til then,” Childress said. “I can’t look into a crystal ball and see how he wakes up tomorrow. He could wake up with the gout.”

Rodgers was cleared to practice on Thursday and on Friday he went through a full workout.

“Unless there’s any type of setback between now and the game, I anticipate Aaron to play on Sunday,” Packers head coach Mie McCarthy said. Green Bay listed Rodgers as probable on the injury report for Sunday.

So far 40 quarterbacks have started games, with two more making their first starts of the season on Sunday. That will go down in the same game, as Ben Roethlisberger comes back from his four-game NFL suspension to start for the Steelers against the Browns. Opening for Cleveland will be rookie Colt McCoy, as both Jake Delhomme and Seneca Wallace are on the injury report.

McCoy would become the fourth rookie to start a game this season, joining Sam Bradford in St. Louis, Jimmy Clausen in Carolina and Max Hall with Arizona. …Read More!

College Prospects: Big East Conference


(5th-Round) #80 WR Armon Binns, 6-2¾, 205 pounds, 4.56 seconds, Senior.

On Friday night against Louisville, Binns caught three touchdown passes in the Bearcats conference opening victory. On the season, he has 32 catches for 525 yards and seven TDs. Over his 35-game career, he’s caught 95 passes for 1,432 yards and 18 scores. Last year, Binns was the second receiver to Mardy Gilyard in the Cincy offense with 56 catches for 859 yards and 10 TDs. He’s big, athletic and plays faster than his listed time; one of those TD catches against Louisville was a 62-yard play.

  …Read More!

He Won’t Be Quiet Sunday … Saturday Cup O’Chiefs

The voice mail message was to the point.

“BG, this is BP. See me after the game. I hope I have plenty to say then. I’m trying to keep a low profile. (Secondary coach David Gibbs) Gibby is on me. You know how that goes.”

Bernard Pollard has been a reluctant talker this week. Much like Ryan Lilja was last week when he returned to Indianapolis to play his former team, Pollard has not had much to say this week about his former team and the situation that sent him to the waiver wire last September and ultimately landed him in Houston.

“It’s not personal at all,” Pollard told a reporter from the Houston Chronicle this week. “It’s not about any individual. Obviously, it’s a big game. I was there before — things happen. But it doesn’t matter. This is another team we have to compete against.”

You can hear Pollard biting his tongue throughout that comment. There’s a lot that Pollard could say, probably wants to say about his experience last year in the off-season and pre-season with the new Chiefs regime. There’s no question there will be some trash talking from him on Sunday, because that’s what B.P. has always done. He loves to chatter and loves when he finds an 0pponent who reacts to it. At least in this game, he will go facemask-to-facemask because that’s what he does. …Read More!

Production of 2010 First Rounders

So here we are at the quarter-pole of the 2010 NFL season and we have four or five games to get an idea of how those coveted first round selections in the NFL Draft are starting their careers in the NFL.

The transition from college to pro football is a tough one for any young man, but it should be easier for the 32 players taken in the first round. First of all, the theory would be that they have more talent than the other rookies based on where they were selected. Two, they are paid more money and thus have more avenues to help them with life away from the facility, things like massage therapists, chiropractors and people to handle the little details of every-day life, even for a millionaire athlete.

This year’s draft class was considered one of the better groups of recent vintage. Just checking on their playing status and production after a month, early indications are that assessment was correct. Those taken at the top of the round should be starters, because they are joining teams that obvious had holes in their roster last season.

Among the top 16 picks only four are not part of their teams’ starting lineup. In Cleveland, CB Joe Haden is the nickel back. RB C.J. Spiller is getting plenty of touches in Buffalo, but he’s not a starter. With the New York Giants, DE Jason Pierre-Paul has played all five games, but is a backup. Before he went to the injured-reserve list with a knee injury that ended his season, Tennessee DE Derrick Morgan had not cracked the starting lineup.   …Read More!

Friday 10/15 Practice Report-Update

From the Truman Sports Complex

Although they will be playing Sunday in a stadium with a roof over the heads, Todd Haley kept his team outside for their final practice in preparation for Sunday’s game against Houston.

Reliant Stadium has a retractable roof and a grass playing surface. The Texans have already announced that the roof will remain closed for this game, supposedly because temperatures are expected to reach the high 80s.

So the Chiefs enjoyed a picture perfect October day, under bright sunshine and mild temperatures.

“We are just trying to be ready to go against an AFC opponent that is fighting for the same things that we are,” Haley said.

The Chiefs official injury report to the league included one new name added on Friday: FS Kendrick Lewis. He’s listed as questionable with a hamstring injury. It was evident during the media window to practice that Lewis was bothered by something and it turns out t be a hammy. Also down as questionable are WR Chris Chambers with that finger injury on his right hand and weekly participants RT Ryan O’Callaghan (groin) and DE Tyson Jackson (knee).  S Reshard Langford has been listed as out of Sunday’s game because of his ankle injury.

Friday is normally red zone day and that’s certainly an area where the Chiefs offense needs improvement, especially on the road. In two games away from Arrowhead Stadium they’ve yet to score an offensive touchdown. …Read More!

Comparisons At The Quarter Pole … Friday Cup O’Chiefs

Without a doubt I think everyone on all sides of the various debates in the Chiefs Nation would agree that after four games, this year’s edition is improved over last year and more recent teams.

Just the 3-1 record is enough evidence, especially when considering that in the previous three seasons they started 0-4, 1-3 and 2-2. Remember that 2-2 start in 2007 was a team that was coming off an appearance in the AFC playoffs.

Thus, I think that’s a better comparison for the 2010 Chiefs after four games. Not last year’s 0-4 team; we already know they are better than that. But the last team to make the post-season, Herm Edwards team in 2006.

And just for fun, let’s throw in the numbers for the best teams of the last 15 years for the Chiefs. That would be the 1995, 1997 and 2003 teams that all finished 13-3, had home-field advantage in the playoffs and a week off to rest up.

We all know what happened there – they lost by three, four and seven points and went home and watched the rest of the tournament.

This is not to say that the ’10 Chiefs are on their way to a 13-3 season.   …Read More!

Thursday 10/14 Practice Report-Update

From the Truman Sports Complex

It’s hard to stop Chiefs head coach Todd Haley for practically gushing about this Sunday’s opponent for his team, the Houston Texans.

“This is a very, very dangerous team we are playing,” Haley said Thursday, after the Chiefs had wrapped up their second practice of the week. “Their record hasn’t quite reflected it over the last couple years specifically. They have been close to making that run that gets you into the upper echelon of teams, but they just haven’t been able to do it.

“It has nothing to do with the skill level out there in all areas.”

The Texans have the worst pass defense in the NFL right now, giving up nearly 330 yards per game. But Haley insists that has more to do with some of the teams they’ve played, like Indianapolis, Dallas and Washington, than exposure of a Houston weakness.

“Those statistics can be misleading based on who they played,” said Haley. “Then it becomes which came first, the chicken or the egg. Are they throwing in these games (against Houston) because they can’t run, or are they throwing because they think they can throw. I don’t have all those answers. I think you have to be careful to get too overburdened statistically with this team. It doesn’t look like there are many weakneses out there.” …Read More!

Big 12 Prospects: 10/14

We’ve already covered five teams in the Big 12 Conference and their top pro prospects, including Nebraska, Oklahoma, Texas, Texas A&M and Texas Tech. Here’s a look at the best prospects on the other seven teams, led by a couple of running backs that could be early round choices in the 2011 NFL Draft.


(2nd-Round) #8 RB Daniel Thomas (right), 6-1 ½, 228 pounds, 4.63 seconds, Senior.

Thomas became one of the most dynamic offensive forces in the Big 12 Conference last year. His road to Manhattan had plenty of twists and turns, as he began his college career at Northwest Mississippi Junior College where he was supposed to play safety. Instead, he stayed at his high school position as an option quarterback. Within two years, he was a JUCO All-America and he landed with K-State where Bill Snyder moved him to running back. Although it’s been tough running the last few weeks against Central Florida and Nebraska, Thomas has in 17 games run for over 1,900 yards and 17 TDs. …Read More!

Too Early To Scuttle Cassel … Thursday Cup O’Chiefs

OK, so I’ve listened all week to those who want Chiefs QB Matt Cassel burned at the stake. At the very least, they want him benched as the leader of the K.C. offense.

And while I hate to repeat myself, it’s a must in this situation. If you are a Chiefs fan crying for the head of Cassel, and in the past you’ve moaned and groaned about the organization’s inability to develop a quarterback, then shame on you.

This is what it’s like when an inexperienced quarterback works his way up the ladder in the NFL. It can be exasperating, frustrating and it will produce blood curdling screams. What did you think was going to happen? Forget the $63 million for a moment. That won’t go down as a mistake by Cassel if he fails. That will be a decision GM Scott Pioli has to answer for if it falls apart.

It isn’t anywhere near falling apart. I’m not sure who, but someone declared this week that the only reason Haley is starting Cassel is because he’s being forced too by Pioli. There was something about the head coach really wanting to play Brodie Croyle.

 Let me assure you that whoever came up with that fairy tale has no facts to back up the situation. Let me also assure you that if he thought the Hunchback of Notre Dame would give him a better chance to win at quarterback, Haley would start the guy. Does Pioli want Cassel to play? Sure, his reputation is on the line. But for Haley, it’s his job on the line. If the Chiefs fall flat, the first change will not be made at GM. It will be made at head coach. …Read More!

Wednesday Practice 10/13 Report-Update

From the Truman Sports Complex

The Chiefs got back to work on Wednesday and began their preparations for the Houston Texans with the normal mid-week practice.

But it wasn’t the first time this week that the locker room was busy with players preparing for the next game, according to head coach Todd Haley.

“On Monday, there were a bunch of guys working overtime in here,” Haley said after Wednesday’s practice. “There were a bunch of guys in here Tuesday on their day off, getting ready for the game. Their focus is on getting a little better every day.”

And how did the bounce back from suffering the first loss of the season?

“I like what I’ve seen and how they worked today,” Haley said. “They got a little bit better today than we were last Wednesday and that’s what we are asking for, a little bit better every day.” …Read More!

Opponent: Houston Texans

2010 record: 3-2, started the season with a 10-point victory at home over the Colts and then a come-from-behind overtime victory at the Redskins. But over the last three games, they’ve lost two times at home, falling by 14 points to the Cowboys and then 24 points to the Giants. In between, they went to Oakland and beat the Raiders 31-24.

Last year’s record: 9-7 and finished second in the AFC South. It was the first time the Texans finished a season with a winning record and their best placement in the division standings.

Record for the last five seasons: 33-47, with no appearances in the playoffs and division finishes at 2-3-4-4-4.

Last appearance in the playoffs: this is the Texans ninth season of play; they started as an expansion team in 2002. In the previous eight years, they have not made post-season play.

Owner: Robert McNair, is the founding owner of the Texans. He made his money in energy, selling his Cogen Technologies, Inc. in 1999. Cogen Technologies develops, owns, operates, acquires and finances power generation facilities in the United States. It produces electricity and steam. He currently serves as chairman of Cogen, chairman of the Texans, the McNair Group and Stonerside Stables in Kentucky, a nearly 2,000-acre thoroughbred farm. McNair has eight limited partners.

General Manager: Rick Smith is in his fifth season as GM of the Texans. He comes from a football background, as he was the defensive captain of Purdue’s 1991 squad. After college, he began a coaching career that took him to the Denver Broncos where he was an assistant defensive backs coach. It was with the Broncos that he moved into personnel, working for the most part on the pro side and helping with the college draft and negotiating contracts. Smith is a member of the league’s competition committee.

Head coach: Gary Kubiak is in his fifth season as head coach of the Texans. So far his record is 34-35. Before joining the Texans, Kubiak spent nine years with the Denver Broncos as a player (1983-91) and then returned to the mile high city in 1995 as offensive coordinator when Mike Shanahan took over as head coach. …Read More!

Good, Bad & Ugly After Four Games

Numbers don’t always tell the story, but sometimes they paint a pretty accurate picture. Below are comparisons of some key 2009 season stats to 2010 first quarter numbers. It gives us a pretty objective perspective on the good, the bad and ugly for the Chiefs.

Draw your own conclusions, but remember that Denver started 4-0 last year and failed to make the playoffs, while San Diego started 2-2 (which became an eerily familiar 2 – 3) before it rattled off 11 straight victories en route to a division crown and first-round loss in the playoffs.

The Good

  • Wins are UP from 1 to 3 over the first quarter of last year.
  • Points allowed are DOWN from 26.5 to 14.3 points per game.
  • Rushing yards allowed per game are DOWN from 136.5 to 80.5 yards per game.
  • Rushing yards gained per game are UP from 120.6 to 148.8 yards per game.
  • Scoring per game is UP from 18.4 to 19.3 points.
  • Sacks allowed are DOWN from 2.8 to .75 per game.
  • Average sacks per game are UP from 1.375 to 2.0 per game.
  • Rushing yards per carry are UP from 4.4 to 4.5.

…Read More!

It’s Déjà Vu, Again … Wednesday Cup O’Chiefs

It’s dangerous to project very far into the future when talking about a football team like the Chiefs. Yes they are 3-1. But this is only the second season of the “process” and this franchise is coming off the worst three-year stretch in its history.

But there’s one part of where this Chiefs sit right now that seems very, very familiar. It’s the part where one aspect of the team seems dominant. It was the case in the 1990s, when during the Marty Schottenheimer Era fans dreamed of an offense to match the Chiefs stout defense.

Best example: the 1995 playoffs, when the Chiefs had the No. 2 defense in the league during the regular season and allowed the Indianapolis Colts just 10 points in the playoffs. The Chiefs ended up losing 10-7.

Then in the 2000s, it was the opposite, as the Chiefs had one of the most productive and prolific offenses the league has seen in the last 20 years. But success in the post-season was hamstrung by a defense that possessed all the qualities of a sieve.

Best example: the 2003 playoffs, when the Chiefs had the No. 2 offense in the league during the regular season. That group came out and scored 31 points against Indianapolis. But the defense that finished the season ranked No. 29 allowed 38 points and never forced the Colts to punt.

…Read More!

Answer Bob – 10/12

Andy says: I don’t understand one thing about this labor deal. Why did the Chiefs allow the union to have a meeting in its building? Why wouldn’t they have to get like a union hall or a meeting room at a hotel? Why would Hunt and Pioli allow them to meet under the Chiefs roof? That doesn’t make sense to me.

Bob says: I understand your thoughts on this; it is rather an odd part of this whole process. But under the collective bargaining agreement that remains in force until March 1, 2011, the NFLPA has “the right to conduct three meetings on Club property each year …” It’s Article V, Section 3. The Chiefs don’t have a choice. …Read More!

Enrique’s Post Patterns – Indianapolis

(Throughout the season, as soon as game day is over and the facts are compiled, Enrique will dissect the patterns that dominated the Red and Gold weekly extravaganza. See if you agree.)

You’ll have to excuse me, but since the Chiefs lost, I have to start with the ugly:

THE OUT PATTERN (aka, the one that needs to be dismissed right away.)

I thought about taking the high road and celebrating once again that first-year TE Tony Moeaki led the Chiefs in receptions (like he has done in all of the ’10 season). But frankly, the loss to the Colts did not put me in that kind of mood. So, a pragmatic spirit is responsible to point out that for the
4th consecutive contest NO CHIEFS WIDE RECEIVER caught more than four passes in a game. A streak that is especially disturbing once you realize that our top-two receivers are a fourth-year, former 1st-round pick (Dwayne Bowe) that should be showing a trace of playmaking-consistency by now, and a 10-year veteran with a Pro Bowl berth under his belt (Chris Chambers) that got a contract extension as recently as this off-season … because of his productivity. Is it Matt Cassel‘s fault? Is it Bowe? Chambers? Charlie Weis? I don’t have a clear-cut answer for that, but believe me when I say that I’m closer to finding out what’s going on with the Chiefs’ passing game.

Oh, and by the way…if you expect me to address the killer drop by Dwayne Bowe on Sunday afternoon, please hang on a little longer. I have a column coming up that will tackle the subject. And yes, you are right. That last paragraph is what you’d normally identify as a

…Read More!

Is Cassel Really That Bad?

OK, I get it … Matt Cassel stinks. I read and hear it in mainstream media. I read it online. I am not convinced. Would I rather have Peyton Manning? Stupid rhetorical question … so would almost any team in the league.

On Sunday against the Colts, Cassel averaged 5.3 yards per attempt and completed 55.2 percent of his passes. At one point in the third quarter, he tossed six straight incomplete passes. No touchdowns, no interceptions.

Manning wasn’t so great either, averaging 5.5 yards per attempt and completing 59.1 percent of his passes. He had a touchdown and an interception, and he was roasted on internet boards at Indianapolis newspapers following the game nearly as savagely as Cassel has been in Kansas City.

Both quarterbacks were hurt by dropped passes. Dwayne Bowe dropped a 30-yard touchdown pass that Cassel put in precisely the place were Bowe (and not the defender) could catch it. Bowe got both hands on it and couldn’t hang on. That was the first of three straight incomplete passes on that series. All three were dropped.

Consider these numbers. If Bowe catches the pass, Cassel doesn’t throw two more passes that series – one of them another drop by Bowe on a slant pattern. So his numbers improve to 17 of 27 for 196 yards – an average of 7.26 yards per attempt, a touchdown, no interceptions and right in the acceptable range for a quarterback. More importantly the Chiefs would have been in front 13-9 with three minutes remaining in the third quarter. …Read More!

K.C. Sees Labor Future … Tuesday Cup O’Chiefs

From the Truman Sports Complex

We pause for a moment of second guessing Todd Haley, dicing up the hands of Dwayne Bowe and the usual complaints about Matt Cassel. The real world of money, labor and the potential shutdown of the National Football League intruded into the Chiefs facility on Monday afternoon.

About a half-dozen suits from the NFL Players Association were on site to meet with the Chiefs players. This came after the players had their meetings with Haley and their position coaches, and went over the tape of Sunday’s loss in Indianapolis.

Once that football work was done, NFLPA executive board members Mike Vrabel and Brian Waters welcomed NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith (left) to the building. Part of Smith’s entourage included former Chiefs safety Jason Belser, who is now the union’s senior regional director.

“I’m not doing any media,” Smith said when approached about talking about what went down in the meeting with the Chiefs. “Sorry. There will be plenty of time for that.”

A union leader involved in a potentially huge labor dispute that doesn’t want to talk? I’ve seen everything now. Actually, I think Smith’s reluctance to make any comments had more to do with his group sprinting to the KCI to catch their flight out of town.   …Read More!

Chiefs Vote For Union Decertification

From the Truman Sports Complex

Meeting with NFL Players Association executive director DeMaurice Smith and other officials from the union on Monday afternoon, Chiefs players voted unanimously for union decertification if needed.

The NFLPA and the league owners are  in collective bargaining talks towards a new agreement. The current contract expires at the end of the 2010 season. Decertification is a method the union can use to either block an owners’ lockout or to stop the imposition of new work rules by the league.  By decertifing, the NFLPA would force the league to keep current rules on player acquisition, movement and retention.  The union then would sue the league, arguing that the imposition of standard rules regarding player acquisition and retention among 32 different business units is a violation of anti-trust laws.

What decertification would mean  is  the union technically will no longer be a “union” but a “trade association” instead. That changes the legal landscape.

The union applied the same approach after the failed strike of 1987. They took the league to court and ultimately that’s what led to the free agency/salary cap process that began in 1993 and has ran through the 2009 season. In this current season, there is  no salary cap.

The Chiefs became the 14th team in the NFL to vote on the decertification process. It’s been approved by all 14. The next vote among the other 18 teams will come on Wednesday in Chicago.

Leftovers From Indy

So the Chiefs drop their first game of the season and by the end of the day, they still have a two-game lead in the AFC West.

With Baltimore beating Denver and Oakland topping San Diego for the first time in seven years, the Chiefs loss to the Colts left them at 3-1. They rest of the division has played one more game, but the Broncos, Chargers and Raiders all have lost three games already.

No other division leader has that kind of lead as the season hits the middle of October.

The Chiefs have their trip coming up to Houston, while Denver hosts the New York Jets, San Diego travels to St. Louis and Oakland travels across the bay to play San Francisco.


It was an unusual sight to look into the stands at Lucas Oil Stadium and see so many people wearing red. Chiefs fans were everywhere inside the stadium, on all levels and in seemed all sections.

This was a common sight in the days before the three-year drought that saw the Chiefs hit bottom in 2007-08-09. Over the last three years, there was never much of a red and gold presence in visiting stadiums.

But my Southwest flight to Indy on Saturday was full of Chiefs fans headed to the game. So was the return flight on Monday morning. They were a lot happier going than they were coming home. …Read More!

Sunday’s Best Performances – 10/10


  • 105 – Detroit WR Stefan Logan (right) kickoff return for TD vs. St. Louis. (W)
  • 73 – Tennessee WR Marc Mariani kickoff return vs. Dallas. (W)
  • 72 – Cincinnati P Kevin Huber punt vs. Tampa Bay. (L)
  • 71 – Green Bay RB Brandon Jackson run vs. Washington. (L)
  • 69 – Dallas WR Miles Austin TD catch vs. Tennessee. (L)
  • 68 – Chicago RB Matt Forte TD run vs. Carolina. (W)
  • 64 – Green Bay CB Tramon Williams interception return vs. Washington. (L)
  • 64 – Oakland S Tyvon Branch fumble return for TD vs. San Diego. (W)
  • 63 – Oakland P Shane Lechler punt vs. San Diego. (W)
  • 61 – San Francisco WR Ted Ginn kickoff return vs. Philadelphia. (L)
  • 60 – Arizona RB LaRod Stephens-Howling kickoff return vs. New Orleans. (W)


  • 166 – Chicago RB Matt Forte ran 22 times for a 7.5-yard average and 2 TDs. (W)
  • 144 – Cincinnati RB Cedric Benson on 23 carries for a 6.3-yard average. (L)
  • 140 – Atlanta RB Michael Turner on 19 carries for a 7.4-yard average. (W)
  • 133 – Baltimore RB Ray Rice ran 27 times for a 4.9-yard average and 2 TDs. (W)
  • 131 – Tennessee RB Chris Johnson ran 19 times for a 6.9-yard average and 2 TDs. (W)
  • 115 – Green Bay RB Brandon Jackson ran 10 times for an 11.5-yard average, with a 71-yard run. (L)
  • 114 – St. Louis RB Steven Jackson ran 25 times for a 4.6-yard average. (L)
  • 109 – Dallas RB Felix Jones on 15 carries for a 7.3-yard average. (L)
  • 104 – Oakland RB Michael Bush on 26 carries with a 4-yard average and 1 TD. (W) …Read More!

REPORT CARD – Chiefs Vs. Colts

From Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis

RUSHING OFFENSE: C+ - The Chiefs ran for 113 yards on 27 carries, that’s 4.2 yards per carry. Not a terrible afternoon, but not up to the numbers they had put up over the first three games of the season. They got 47 yards less than their average. Thomas Jones was a non-factor, as he had only 19 yards on eight carries. Jamaal Charles had double the carries and 87 yards, while averaging 5.4 yards per carry. Charles had the only run of more than 10 yards.

PASSING OFFENSE: D – This part of the Chiefs continues to struggle, as Matt Cassel threw for just 156 yards on an afternoon where he had fairly good protection and was getting rid of the ball quickly on three-step drops. He also got burned by some dropped passes, as WR Dwayne Bowe dropped a TD pass and came back on the next play and dropped another one. Overall, Cassel completed 55.2 percent of his passes for an average per attempt of 5.4 yards. He had a 70.5 passer rating. The longest pass play was just 27 yards and the average completion went for 9.8 yards.

RUSH DEFENSE: C – The defense the Chiefs put on the field practically begged the Colts to run the ball. That’s what they did with 31 running plays, 28 runs from backs Joseph Addai and Mike Hart. Those two guys managed 100 yards between them. That’s 25 yards more than the average they had been allowing over the first three games. The longest run was just 11 yards.

PASS DEFENSE: C – There’s no doubt that overall the Chiefs did a good job in keeping Peyton Manning contained. He threw for 244 yards, but 48 yards came on the possession in the fourth quarter where they scored their only touchdown of the game. The coverage did a good job on TE Dallas Clark, who caught only three passes for 20 yards. Indy’s longest pass play was just 24 yards.

SPECIAL TEAMS: B – With the exception of some mistakes by Dexter McCluster on kickoff returns – he should have taken a couple of touchbacks – the Chiefs did a very good job in the kicking game. Of course, they didn’t make the onside kick work, but P Dustin Colquitt had a very good day with a 52-yard net average. In the first three games his net average had been 37.5 yards. Good coverage overall by the Chiefs.

COACHING: D – We like coaches that are willing to gamble. But when your team is playing the Colts on the road, you do not pass up three points when it’s available. I have no problem with the onside kick gamble, but Todd Haley should have gone for the FG when he had 4th-down-and-two at the Indy eight-yard line. Defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel’s plan was a good one and made Manning uncomfortable. The offensive plan of Charlie Weis wasn’t much to brag about.

Notes & Quotes – Indy Happy To See Lilja

From Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis

Throughout the last week Chiefs RG Ryan Lilja was very reticent to talk about his time with the Colts as his new team was preparing for its trip to Indy.

Lilja had no choice after Sunday’s game as he was surrounded by media types, especially those from Indianapolis and environs.

“It was a little different coming into the other side of the stadium,” said Lilja, who played in two Super Bowls for the Colts and spent six seasons with the team. “But I tried to focus on the game, executing and helping our offense score points. Unfortunately we didn’t score enough.”

Peyton Manning was just good enough to get the Colts another victory at home, something that Lilja saw so many times.

“It’s a disappointing loss,” Lilja said. “We had a chance to get a win on the road against a good team. We couldn’t get it done.”

During a timeout in the fourth quarter, the Colts had a tribute to Lilja on the giant video boards inside Lucas Oil Stadium. Even if he wanted to ignore it while he was standing on the field waiting to play, his teammates weren’t going to let it pass.

“It was a nice gesture on their part,” Lilja said. “I had some good years here.”

Lilja was head coach Todd Haley’s selection as game-day captain to join the season-long captains at midfield for the opening coin toss. Lilja called heads and the coin came up tails, giving Manning and that Colts offense he knows so well the first chance.

“It’s probably the last time coach let’s me make the call,” Lilja said with a chuckle.


The Chiefs lost LT Brandon Albert for five plays in the second quarter with what appeared to be a hyper-extended left elbow. Albert left the field and trainers and doctors put a brace on his left arm.

This injury caused a problem, because the Chiefs only had seven offensive linemen active for the game and no backup tacle. So far those five plays, left guard Brian Waters moved to left tackle and rookie Jon Asamoah came in and played left guard.

“It was no big deal, I’m prepared for that every week because I know we don’t have an extra tackle,” said Waters. He did take some grief from the Colts defensive line, like DE Dwight Freeney for showing up at another position.

In the first half, WR Chris Chambers went out with a finger injury. In the locker room after the game it appeared to be his right ring finger that had a splint. It did not stop him from catching two passes for 23 yards in the second half.


The Chiefs needed a big game from their special teams against the Colts and they got parts of that. But they also got hurt on several kickoff returns when Dexter McCluster brought the ball out of the end zone, when he should have stayed in.

The Colts use their rookie punter Pat McAfee as their kickoff man and he was long and able to get hang time on all of those kickoffs. Six times he kicked and all of those reached the end zone. None went for a touchback as McCluster brought all six kicks out of the end zone to limited success:

  • Kick traveled 72 yards to the minus-2 and McCluster returned to the 19-yard line.
  • This one went 74 yards to the minus-4 and McCluster returned to the 22-yard line.
  • This kick went 73 yards to the minus-3 and McCluster only got back to the 13-yard line.
  • Kick traveled 74 yards to the minus-4; McCluster returned to the 28-yard line.
  • This one went 72 yards to the minus-2 and McCluster got it back to the 23-yard line.
  • On the last one, it went 73 yards to the minus-3 and McCluster moved it to the 18-yard line.

That’s half of the six kickoffs where the Chiefs didn’t start the possession at the 20-yard line as they would with a touchback. Overall, McCluster averaged 23.5 yards on the six kickoffs.

K Ryan Succop had a good day, hitting three of his four FG attempts, missing only from 51 yards. P Dustin Colquitt had a huge day, averaging 53 yards on four punts, with a net average of 52 yards.

Coverage by the Chiefs was top notch all day. The Colts returns were handled by WR Kenny Moore, who averaged 1.3 yards on punt returns and 13.7 yard on kickoff returns.

Credited with special teams tackles were OLB Andy Studebaker, ILB Cory Greenwood, WR Terrance Copper, S Donald Washington and ILB Demorrio Williams.


The crew of Terry McAulay worked the game and for the most part they did not have a major effect on the game. In all, they walked off nine penalties for 83 yards. They marched off four flags against the Chiefs on these calls:

  • Illegal touch on Javier Arenas on kickoff team, no yardage.
  • Offensive holding on LT Branden Albert.
  • Defensive pass interference on LB Derrick Johnson, a 23-yard penalty.
  • Defense had 12-men on the field.

The call against Johnson was bonus. The Colts receiver tripped over Johnson’s feet and the three officials closest to the play did not throw their flags. But from 40 yards away, line judge Mark Steinkerchner threw his hanky.

Todd Haley successfully challenged a pass completion that actually hit the ground before the Indianapolis receiver had control of the ball.


LB Charlie Anderson played his first game in a Chiefs uniform and he was very active on special teams.

Inactive for the Chiefs were WR Jeremy Horne, CB Jackie Bates, FB Mike Cox, S Reshard Langford, LB Justin Cole, T Ryan O’Callaghan, DE Tyson Jackson and DT Anthony Torbinio. Langford was the only player kept out because of injury, as he was left behind in Kansas City to work on his injured ankle.

The inactive players for the Colts were WR Anthony Gonzalez, S Bob Sanders, CB Jacob Lacey, RB Donald Brown, LB Kavell Conner, G Jacques McClendon, G Jaimie Thomas and DE Jerry Hughes.

In a roster move before the game, the Colts released former Chiefs S DaJuan Morgan. Stepping into his spot on the game-day roster was RB Javarris James, promoted from the practice squad, more than likely because of the absence of Brown. Morgan had been expected to start at strong safety.

Chiefs Can’t Get Over The Colts, 19-9

From Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis

And then there were none.

The NFL’s last unbeaten team bit the dust on Sunday as the Chiefs suffered their first loss of the season, falling to the Indianapolis Colts 19-9.

This was a game where the Chiefs were never really in control of the momentum, but until the last minutes they were not out of the game. A strong defensive effort gave them a chance for victory, but the offense was ineffective all day and could not score a touchdown. The Chiefs only points came on three field goals by K Ryan Succop.

“There were some things we knew we had to do to have a chance to be in this game,” said head coach Todd Haley. “Unfortunately we didn’t execute in all of those areas.”

As always there was plenty to remember from the meeting. Here’s our coverage:

  • Game story – Chiefs lose defensive struggle.
  • Column – Is being competitive good enough?
  • Sidebar – Haley the Gambler takes two chances.
  • Sidebar – Crennel’s plan worked against Manning.
  • Notes – Indy and Colts welcome back Lilja.
  • Report Card – Overall Chiefs get a D.
  • Game book
  • Pre-Game coverage.

Defensive Gem Wasted In Loss

From Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis

Sometimes Jon McGraw was a safety. Sometimes he was a linebacker. Always, McGraw was on the field as defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel reached deep into his defensive playbook Sunday and went out to stop Peyton Manning and the Colts.

That’s just what the Chiefs defense did. Playing two different versions of the nickel defense, Crennel’s crew was set up to limit the Indianapolis passing game. There’s no way to stop Manning in his tracks, but they made him look mortal.

Yet the effort went to waste as the Colts grabbed a 19-9 victory.

“We had a good plan,” said FS Eric Berry. “Coach (Crennel) doesn’t just know Peyton Manning, he knows a lot about defense against all kinds of teams and people. He put us in positions where we made sure we didn’t give up anything deep.”

It was a classic bend-but-don’t-break defense. Indianapolis had 341 yards, but they didn’t reach the end zone until four minutes remained to be played in the game and averaged 4.5 yards per offensive play. They managed just 97 rushing yards, even though the defense was set up to basically beg the Colts to run the ball.

Manning threw for 244 yards, but he also had an interception, completed 59 percent of his passes and averaged 5.6 yards per attempt. The longest pass play of the game for Indy was 24 yards. All of those numbers were far below the weekly averages that No. 18 had been putting up all season.

“They did a great job,” said Colts WR Reggie Wayne. “They gave us a lot of looks. They did a lot of double-teaming on Dallas (Clark). They did some cover-two, cover-two man on me, forcing Peyton to go elsewhere. Crennel has been there before. He’s seen us numerous times and our offense really hasn’t changed that much. You just have to take your hat off to them.”

What Crennel did was go to a base defensive alignment on Sunday that was a 2-4-5. That group had Glenn Dorsey and Ron Edwards playing defensive tackle positions, with all four linebackers on the field, cornerbacks Brandon Flowers and Brandon Carr, and then three safeties – McGraw, Berry and Lewis. That’s when McGraw played defensive back.

When the Colts were in passing situations, Crennel switched to a 2-3-6, with ILB Jovan Belcher going out of the game and nickel CB Javier Arenas came in. Generally, the defensive linemen were Dorsey and Wallace Gilberry.

“As players we executed the play the coaches put together pretty well,” said McGraw. “At the end of the game, we gave up a little bit too much and couldn’t get off the field and give our offense another chance. It was a strong showing, just not strong enough.”

McGraw got a big takeaway when he picked off a Manning pass intended for WR Pierre Garcon. That interception in Colts territory set up what was then a game-tying field goal for the Chiefs.

“I think we had them a little confused with our coverage,” McGraw said. “We were trying to move around a little bit and give them some problems there. I think I confused them a little bit by the way I was moving around and I fell back into that little sweet spot and he threw the ball right to me. He doesn’t normally do that.”

Said Manning: “A disappointing turnover. Poor decision, poor throw on my part. We really thought we could move the ball. It was frustrating getting down there close to the goal line and we thought we had a good red-zone plan, but just a couple Chiefs made some good plays down there.”

The Chiefs seldom rushed more than three guys on Manning when he went back to pass. OLB Tamba Hali was a machine, as he moved from side-to-side as the Colts moved their tight end around. Hali always went to the weak side, away from the TE. He tormented both LT Charlie Johnson and RT Ryan Diem, getting Manning on the ground once and hitting him several other times just as he released the ball. He also forced a Manning fumble that Indy recovered.

“We were pretty basic when it came to rushing him,” said Dorsey. “I think having some pressure on him and then we had a lot of guys in coverage, he had to take some extra time holding the ball. We wanted to affect his rhythm and I think we did.”

Haley Continues His Gambling Ways

From Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis

Todd Haley just can’t help himself. Where some coaches see danger, Haley sees opportunity. Where some who follow the football book see some things as dangerous and foolhardy, the Chiefs head coach sees nothing more than a calculated risk.

In the first 15 minutes of Sunday’s game against the Colts, Haley rolled the football dice twice. He came out a loser both times. Two weeks after taking some “calculated risks” against the 49ers and looking like a genius when they worked out, Haley understands that nobody will think him mentally gifted after an onside kick and then a fourth down gamble deep in scoring territory both went belly up.

“Everyone was on the Haley bandwagon last week,” the head coach said. “When they work, you are good. When they don’t work, you aren’t good. You know that going in.

“You have to do certain things against a team of this caliber. We set out trying to do that we just didn’t executive in some areas we had to.”

Here’s a look at the plays, how and why they came down.


Haley did some research last week on onside kicks. Specifically, he investigated what happened when teams started the game with an onside kick. “Going back to 2000, teams that have opened with an onside have had a plus-60 percent win percentage whether they got it or not,” Haley said.

OK, so let’s do our own research. First, check out the chart to the left and you’ll see that since 2000 and including this season, the onside kick is a 22-percent play no matter when it happens. Near as we can find, there were 10 times in those seasons where the team opened the game with an onside kick. They were successful half the time. Here’s how the winning and losing broke down:

  • – Teams that opened with a successful onside kick went 3-2.
  • – Teams that opened with an unsuccessful onside kick went 3-2.
  • – Ten teams attempted onside kicks to start the game and went 6-4.

In Indianapolis on Sunday, the problem for the Chiefs was Ryan Succop’s dribbler did not travel the necessary 10 yards. Ultimately it rolled dead after seven yards and CB Javier Arenas picked the ball up. That got him a penalty flag for no yardage, but it was the smart play because any player from the Colts could have swooped in and grabbed the ball and taken off to the end zone.

“We felt really good about that play,” Haley said. “We knew we were going to have to probably steal a possession in this game a couple of different ways.”

One reason Haley believed the opening onside was important was because of the Colts penchant for scoring on their first possession in games. Since 2005, Indianapolis has played 85 regular season games and they’ve scored on their first possession 39 times, or 46 percent.

“They have a great ability to open a game moving down the field and getting points,” said Haley. “We thought it was a calculated risk. It was not going to lose the game and it didn’t.”

Thanks to the Chiefs defense, the Colts were not able to get into the end zone, despite having a very short field. Eventually, they had to settle for a field goal and a 3-0 lead.


The Chiefs got the ball on their first possession and QB Matt Cassel drove them down the field without a really big play along the way.

Eventually, they faced a fourth down situation at the Indianapolis eight-yard line with 2:09 to play in the quarter. The Chiefs lined up to go for it, but then they called a timeout to talk about the situation.

After the break, they came out and lined up with two backs, two tight ends and one wide receiver. From the time he dropped back to throw the ball, Cassel wasn’t looking for the two yards to get a first down; he was looking in the end zone. That’s where WR Dwayne Bowe had run to just inside the goal line, with TE Tony Moeaki running a deeper route in the end zone right behind him.

Cassel threw the ball to Bowe and it was knocked down by LB Gary Brackett and instead of potentially being tied with the Colts after what would have been a 26-yard FG by Succop, they were still down by three points and had blown an opportunity.

“It was a time in the game where we felt that we were going to take a shot,” said Cassel. “The play worked out perfectly. Unfortunately we weren’t able to make that play. That stuff happens. We’re going to have to overcome that.”

That is the situation with Haley’s two gambles. Both happened early in the game and there was plenty of time for the Chiefs to make plays to overcome the three points they gave up and the three points they didn’t get.

“I didn’t believe that going for it there was going to win or lose the game for us,” said Haley. “You set your game plan, you letter your players and team now how you’re going to play and then you go out and try to do it.”

Column: Was Just Being Competitive Good Enough?

From Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis

The attitude that permeated the Chiefs locker room after their 19-9 loss to the Indianapolis Colts was not what you would have expected from a team that had just seen its first losing effort of the season.

There was optimism. There were players, both veterans and youngsters that talked about how well the Chiefs played and how they had improved on an afternoon when they scored 10 points less than their opponent.

It was apparent that just being competitive was good enough for these Chiefs. And that tells us a little something about how much farther they have to travel before they are going to be a contender.

Listen, the afternoon affair indoors here in Indy is just one of 16 snapshots that make up the 2010 season. On the base, it was no more important than any of the other 15 outings. But it was. It was the chance for the Chiefs to show the world that their 3-0 performance wasn’t a fluke. Make a game out of it with Peyton Manning and his Colts and there’s a certain amount of credibility that lands in your account.

And the Chiefs did that. They made the Colts play the whole game. Manning was visibly uncomfortable at times trying to find his guys against the Chiefs defense. For the better part of 50 minutes, the game was available to them to win.

However, on this Sunday they did not find a way to win. While that disappointed them, it did not leave them visibly angry, upset or perturbed. It seemed that on this day, playing it close was good enough to make the flight home a little less salty.

“We are a team trying to make a little bit of progress every week and to me we made progress today,” said head coach Todd Haley. “But I do not want our guys, our coaches and our players to think anything else. That’s not blowing smoke. This team, that’s in transition, made progress today. Now it’s very important we come out and continue that progress next week.” …Read More!

Colts Beat Chiefs In Defensive Struggle 19-9

From Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis

We found out on Sunday that while the Chiefs are certainly an improved football team from the one that wore the red and gold a year ago, they remain not ready for prime-time players.

A lack of offensive execution was the evidence in the Chiefs 19-9 loss to the Indianapolis Colts. The defense and kicking game were not perfect, but they all did important things that allowed Todd Haley’s team to stay in the game against a superior foe.

It was the offense that held back the Chiefs and showed they are not yet ready for contender status.

“There were some things we had to do to have a chance to be in this game against a team like the Colts, unfortunately we didn’t execute in all of those areas,” Haley said. “Our defense, when you hold this team to under 20 points, you should have a chance to be in the game until the end.

“Overall, we need to execute in a couple areas better.”   …Read More!

Chiefs-Colts Pre-Game

From Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis

11:37 a.m. CST – Colts just announced that DaJuan Morgan was released to make room on the active roster for practice squad running back Javarris James, who was signed just this wee.

11:35 a.m. CDT – Until after the game, enjoy the Chiefs and Colts.

11:34 a.m. CDT – As the Chiefs finishd up their pre-game work, they go to run goal line plays. G Jon Asamoah lined up at FB in the alignment.

11:29 a.m. CDT – Might have to scratch early note on DaJuan Morgan. As the Colts went through their pre-game, Morgan was not on the field. When the Indy No. 1 defense lined up, it was Antoine Bethea and Aaron Francisco playing safety. When they went to the second group, it was Mie Newton and Brandon King. No. 34 – Morgan – has not been visible on the field.

11:06 a.m. CDT – With DaJuan Morgan in the starting lineup, expect the Chiefs offense to make an attempt to take advantage of his aggressiveness. Morgan’s failings with the Chiefs over three years had more to do with his being caught out of position because he loves to react and hit. That frequently got him out of alignment in the defense. If he hasn’t cured himself of that, expect the Chiefs to work on getting him to bite.

11:04 a.m. CDT – Four players working on punt and kickoff returns for the Chiefs – Dexter McCluster, Javier Arenas, Terrance Copper and Jackie Battle. Working on returns for the Colts are Jerraud Powers, Kenny Moore and Justin Tryon. …Read More!

Chiefs Magic Number – Indianapolis

Our man Enrique has broken down all the numbers for Sunday’s game between the Chiefs and Colts. He’s boiled them all down to one magic number. See if you agree.

His record with the magic number: 9-0

Shortcomings. That’s the only word needed to describe the Chiefs’ offensive showings (no pun intended) in Indianapolis when facing the Colts. And if they aspire for a coming-of-age moment, then they will have to get over the teens – literally.

The 0-4 all-time record that the Chiefs have registered in the state of Indiana is not a product of efficiency. Instead, it’s a byproduct of insufficiency – again, of the scoring kind. Given the recollections of past confrontations, one can see that in the four games that the Arrowhead Ones were hosted by the Horseshoed Ones, they just haven’t been able to put enough points in the scoreboard. Tallies of 19 (in 1990), 17 (1999), 8 (January of ’07) and 10 (November of ’07) points have worked to keep those encounters somewhat competitive, but not to give them any kind of final ending. And along the way, rather valiant performances by the defense (7 sacks in ’90, no 300-yard passing games by Peyton Manning) have all gone for naught.

Taking into account that the Chiefs’ best chances to get a triumph in the Colts’ backyard were derailed when they failed to achieve the 20-point plateau, I will say that reaching that barrier will be enough to make history. So, in conclusion, the Chiefs’ Magic Number to escape with a victory is 20, which would be the minimum amount of points scored by the Chiefs this Sunday. If they hit that mark, they will win their first game in Indianapolis.

It is Peyton’s Place … Game-Day Cup O’Chiefs

From Indianapolis

There will be 90 players in uniform on the field Sunday afternoon when the Chiefs put their 3-0 record on the line against the 2-2 Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium.

Kickoff is just after 12 noon and can be seen on CBS-TV.

Also on the field will be another 20 or so inactive or injured players, a good three dozen coaches, another three dozen trainers, equipment guys and staff. Then there are the officials, the ball boys, the chain gang, photographers, media types and on and on. In all, there will be a couple hundred people standing on the field.

But only one man will be in the spotlight. Only one player really counts. The focus, spotlight and attention will be on No. 18 in blue, Colts QB Peyton Manning.

Football is very much a team game, where it’s almost impossible for one player to put a team on his shoulders and carry them with a host of three-point shots or home runs.

Almost impossible … over the last 10 years, Manning has carried the Colts on his broad shoulders, establishing himself as not only a sporting icon in the middle of Indiana, but around the country.

“Peyton Manning has always been the Indianapolis Colts,” said offensive coordinator Charlie Weis. “It all starts with him. He’s not just the leader of the offense; he is the leader of their team. Everything starts with him.”   …Read More!

ANSWER BOB: October 9

Dutchy says: Bob, why is Randy Moss going to play for the Vikings this weekend and not with the Chiefs? Why didn’t Pioli go after him? Don’t we need help in our passing game, and isn’t he that kind of guy? I’m very disappointed that the Chiefs didn’t seem to be a player with Moss. Are the Hunts to cheap to pay him?

Bob says: Dutchy, here’s the deal – there are times and places where a team needs to go after a troubled talent like a Randy Moss. This is not one of them for the Chiefs. It is for the Vikings. They’ve gotten themselves into a corner where they have to play for the 2010 season because they are tied to Brett Favre. They have no other alternative at quarterback, and whether Favre really wants to play or not – it doesn’t appear that he does – they have to make a run this year because he won’t be back and they are going to have to reshuffle the deck after this season.

That’s not where the Chiefs are right now. They aren’t even sure whether their quarterback is going to be the man who continues to improve and shows he’s capable of leading them to a winning season. Moss just didn’t fit, and that doesn’t take into account the other stuff that comes with Moss. He wore out his welcome in New England with his personality. That’s not going to change with a move to Minnesota or say Kansas City. How does that help the Chiefs right now? It doesn’t.

If Pioli/Haley have made, and continue to make, the right decisions on personnel, there will come a time when it would make sense for them to consider a player like a Moss. That time is not now. As for the Hunt’s and their money, it’s hard to call them cheap when you see the dollars they dropped on Tyson Jackson, Eric Berry and Matt Cassel. We will learn in the next year or so whether they are just being careful with their dollars right now, or whether they are cheap. Any number of productive players will need new contracts in the next two seasons. How many of those players get signed and how little acrimony is created will tell us about Clark Hunt and his approach. …Read More!

How The Chiefs Were Built

The fruit we are seeing now from the Chiefs came from the seeds of change planted in 2008, when the Chiefs selected 13 draft picks and signed several undrafted free agents.

Herm Edwards told the media prior to that draft that he hoped to acquire at least five starters. The Chiefs reached his goal, as RT Barry Richardson, RDE Glenn Dorsey, CB Brandon Carr, CB Brandon Flowers and LT Branden Albert are all currently starting, although Richardson is officially listed as a reserve but currently starts.

They also added Jamaal Charles in that draft, their most explosive running back. On the injured-reserve list is TE Brad Cottam, another draft choice. That year, they signed rookie free agents like CB Maurice Leggett (their ’08 Mack Lee Hill Award winner for rookie of the year- now on IR), backup FB Mike Cox, DE Wallace Gilberry, who was their second leading sacker last year, RB Jackie Battle, OLB Andy Studebaker and LS Thomas Gafford. They picked up last year’s leading tackler ILB Demorrio Williams as an unrestricted free agent from the Falcons.

The Chiefs have 53 players on the active roster, eight on their practice squad and six on injured reserve. Of those 67 players, 14 or 20.9 percent came from the last year that Edwards, Bill Kuharich and Carl Peterson were in charge of personnel.

Current starters OLB Tamba Hali, ILB Derrick Johnson, LG Brian Waters, NT Ron Edwards, P Dustin Colquitt, WR Dwayne Bowe and FS Jon McGraw were all on the roster prior to 2008. So were No. 2 QB Brodie Croyle and backup C/G Rudy Niswanger. That’s 23 of 67 or 34.3 percent.

And it’s 11 of 22 starters, or 50 percent. …Read More!

Man Behind The Manning … Saturday Cup O’Chiefs

Some 30 years ago, he was a red-haired guy who would show up at Chiefs training camp at William Jewell College in Liberty every summer for a couple of weeks.

He would haunt the media room and public relations office looking for the newest team media guides that had come in from around the league. Two, sometimes three times a day, he would stop in, ask the secretaries about new guides and it always seemed that he went away ticked off when nothing new had come in the mail.

At the time, he was known simply as that Polian guy that worked with Marv. At the time, Marv Levy was the head coach of the Chiefs, and Bill Polian was a “pro scout” for the team. His name can’t be found in any of the team’s media guides or NFL directories for the 1978 through 1982 seasons. But I can tell you, Polian was there and he was around.

Who knew that the media guide-seeking red-head would go on to become one of the greatest front office executives in the history of the NFL. Polian is President of the Indianapolis Colts and when we look at that franchise and what it has accomplished over the last dozen years, the focus falls squarely on Polian.   …Read More!

College Previews: 10/9 Night Games




(1st/2nd-Round) #54 DT Stephen Paea, 6-1, 310 pounds, 4.95 seconds in the 40-yard dash, Redshirt-Senior.So far this year in four games, he has 16 total tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss, three sacks and a forced fumble.He was All-Pac 10 Conference first team in ’09, Paea is a disruptive forced on the interior of the Beavers defense with 84 tackles, 19.5 TFL and eight sacks in two seasons. He’s twice been selected as a co-captain of his team, after arriving in Corvalis following a pair of JUCO seasons. He’s a very talented athlete with a 500-pound bench press and a vertical jump of 30 inches. A native of Tonga, he was born in New Zealand and his dream was to play professional rugby. Paea is considered the No. 2 NFL prospect in the Pac-10 behind Washington QB Jake Locker. His last name is pronounced pie-uh.

(2nd-Round) #1 RB Jacquizz Rodgers, 5-6, 188 pounds, 4.49 seconds, Junior.

This year in four games, Rodgers has run for 398 yards and six TDs, and caught eight passes for 38 yards and a TD. In ’08 he was the Pac-10 Offensive MVP, the first freshman to win that honor in conference history. Younger brother of OSU WR James Rodgers, he ran for 1,440 yards last year with 21 rushing TDs. Last year he was one of the few players in the country that scored touchdowns rushing, receiving and passing. His first name is pronounced juh-quizz. …Read More!

A Milestone Sunday For Chiefs?

We’re only 19 (regular season) games into the Scott Pioli/Todd Haley Era, and yet there have been encouraging signs to assume that the duo indeed carries the Magic Touch.

Last year there was the rare home triumph over the Steelers in Arrowhead Stadium. This past January, the Chiefs notched their first victory at Invesco Field since the Broncos corral was inaugurated in ’01. And at the beginning of September, the Arrowhead Ones won a pre-season game for the first time in over two years. However, this weekend the bar will be raised a little bit higher.

Since 1984, the Chiefs have made four visits to Indianapolis and in rigorous chronological order, here they are: …Read More!

College Preview – 10/9 Early Games

Indiana at Ohio State, Ohio Stadium, Columbus, Ohio, 11 a.m., ESPN


(3rd-Round) #73 OT James Brewer, 6-6¼, 334 pounds, 5.36 seconds, Redshirt-Senior.

Injuries were a problem early in Brewer’s career, as he missed the ’07 season because of a foot problem and then finished the ’08 season on the sidelines after an ankle injury. He’s been a starter at right tackle for the last two seasons. He played just one year of high school football, but that was enough to earn a scholarship to Bloomington.

(3rd-Round) #2 WR Tandon Doss, 6-2¼, 198 pounds, 4.56 seconds, Junior.

Coming off a huge game against Michigan last Saturday, when he caught 15 passes for 221 yards and finished with 363 all-purpose yards. So far this season, he’s averaging 107.7 receiving yards and 211 all-purpose yards each game. He has 23 catches for 323 yards and a TD. Doss has run the ball nine times for 38 yards and a TD. He has returned eight kickoffs for a 31.2-yard average and two punts for a 22-yard average. Doss started the season with a groin injury that forced him to watch the opener. In 23 games, he’s caught 114 passes for 1,471 yards and seven TDs. Doss has also run for a pair of TDs and averaged 23.7 yards on 33 kickoff returns.

(6th-Round) #4 QB Ben Chappell (right), 6-1¾, 242 pounds, 4.97 seconds, Redshirt-Senior.

Last Saturday he set single-game school records with his 45 of 64 for 480 yards performance against Michigan. Right now, he’s third in the country averaging 342.5 yards per game, completing 116 of 162 passes with just one interception and a dozen TD passes for 1,370 yards. That’s a completion percentage of 71.6 percent and an 8.5-yard average per attempt. Overall, he’s made 19 starts and has spent two seasons as captain of the Hoosiers. In 30 games, he’s thrown for 5,326 yards with 33 TDs and 20 INTs. He’s also scored seven touchdowns. A real NFL prospect because of his ability to throw all the pass routes and he runs the offense from the field. …Read More!

Friday 10/8 Practice Report-Update

From the Truman Sports Complex

Speaking for the first time since his gall bladder surgery last week, Chiefs offensive coordinator Charlie Weis says he’s doing fine and “moving on” from the problem.

“It was perfect timing,” Weis said of the brief time he missed between the Monday after the victory over San Francisco to Thursday when he was back at bye-week practice with the team.

Weis was reticent to talk about much else involving the problem, procedure and recovery. “Too many times someone becomes the story, when it’ not about that person, it’s about the team,” Weis said. “I’m fine and moving on.”

Defensive counterpart Romeo Crennel brushed aside the notion that because of his past work against the Colts and QB Peyton Manning, he’s the key to the team’s defensive effort on Sunday. …Read More!

Spinning With Haley … Friday Cup O’Chiefs

You have to hand it to Todd Haley.

A year ago, the head coach was paddling as fast as is humanely possible just to keep his head above water as a tsunami of losing was washing over his first Chiefs team. It was October 18 before Haley saw his initial victory as an NFL head coach, after five losing efforts.

Fast forward to the first week of October 2010 and Haley’s world is very different. They are 3-0, on top the AFC West and the only unbeaten team left in the NFL. The head coach is now simply the head coach, not head coach-offensive coordinator-quarterbacks coach. He has spent the whole year so far working on his team’s head, continuing to pump home his themes and beliefs, while making sure nobody starts feeling comfortable about winning the first three.

Haley’s world has changed so much that he now has time to spin his message when he speaks publicly. What he’s told the media horde this week is probably not what he’s told his team in their meetings, or what he will tell them Saturday night in their hotel in Indianapolis or Sunday morning before kickoff at Lucas Oil Stadium.

Basically Haley’s answers have been that he just hopes his team can be competitive with the Colts, that despite their record the Chiefs are not a good team, just one in transition to being good, and that a team like Indianapolis knows all about winning, while his bunch of boys is just learning.   …Read More!

NFL First Quarter Almanac: Defense & Special Teams

Over the last few days, we’ve broen down the action over the NFL for the first quarter of the season, even though the Chiefs and three other teams have not yet reached their fourth game.


– Most tackles – 46, Steelers LB Lawrence Timmons.

– Most forced fumbles – 3, Cardinals DE James Hall; Steelers LB James Harrison; Giants DE Osi Umenyiora.

– Most individual takeaways – 3, Eagles S Nate Allen, Panthers LB James Anderson, Rams CB Bradley Fletcher, Panthers S Charles Godfrey, Giants S Deon Grant, Bengals CB Leon Hall, Patriots LB Rob Ninkovich, Seahawks S Earl Thomas and Giants CB Terrell Thomas.

– Most sacks – 7, Packers LB Clay Matthews.

– Most QB knockdowns & hurries – 16, Eagles DE Trent Cole and Packers LB Clay Matthews.

– Most interceptions – 3, Panthers S Charles Godfrey, Seahawks S Earl Thomas, Eagles S Nate Allen and Bengals CB Leon Hall.

– Most passes defensed – 7, Colts CB Jerraud Powers.

– Fumble returns for TD – 4 total, Redskins CB DeAngelo Hall, 32 yards; Dolphins LB Koa Misi, 0 yards; Colts DT Fili Moala, one-yard; Cardinals S Kerry Rhodes, 42 yards.

– Interception returns for TD – 7 total, Seahawks CB Marcus Trufant, 32 yards; Patriots LB Gary Guyton, 59 yards; Chiefs CB Brandon Flowers, 33 yards; Steelers DE Brett Keisel, 79 yards; Chargers LB Shaun Phillips, 31 yards; Packers CB Charles Woodson, 48 yards; Patriots S Patrick Chung, 51 yards.

– Record of teams with a defensive TD in a game – 10-1.

– Safeties – 1 each, Panthers DE Greg Hardy; Chargers DE Brandon Siler. …Read More!

Thursday 10/7 Practice Report-Update

From the Truman Sports Complex

Todd Haley sounded more like a politician than a football coach.

“We’ve really been working hard at trying to find more jobs for more people,” Haley said.

But this was no stump speech geared to next months elections. It’s designed to get the most out of his roster every Sunday they step on the field.

“We are working hard at making sure all our players are aware that we need all 45 of them on Sunday,” Haley said. “I”ve been doing a lot of research on snaps played by our guys on their sides of the ball and on special teams.

“That gives the guys we do put in uniform a role, or a bigger role each week. That’s a way we’ll continue to get better.” …Read More!

The Indianapolis Colts

2010 record: 2-2, with victories by 24 points over the N.Y. Giants and 14 points over Denver. They have lost by 10 points at Houston and three points at Jacksonville.

Last year’s record: 14-2, with a 14-game winning streak. Finished first in the AFC South and won games in the playoffs against Baltimore and the New York Jets before losing to New Orleans in the Super Bowl.

Record for the last five seasons: Thanks to players like WR Reggie Wayne (left) 65-15, with four AFC South titles and five appearances in the playoffs. They appeared in two Super Bowls (2006 and 2009), winning one and putting together a 6-4 record in the post-season.

Last appearance in the playoffs: was last year, when they lost 31-17 in Super Bowl XLIV to New Orleans at Sun Life Stadium in Miami.

Owner: Jim Irsay, who inherited the team from his father and mother in 1997. The Irsay family has owned the Colts since 1972. Robert Irsay actually bought the Los Angeles Rams in ’72, but then traded the Rams to Carroll Rosenbloom, who owned the then Baltimore Colts. …Read More!

Cassel Faces A Challenge … Thursday Cup O’Chiefs

The question to Matt Cassel was germane and on the mark:

“Do you feel your level of play escalates going against a guy like Peyton Manning?”

Cassel didn’t hesitate with his answer either.

“Well, it should,” Cassel said. “You try to get yourself up for the challenge there is no doubt about that. You know you are going against one of the best and you have to embrace that challenge because what is what we are all here for – to play against the best.”

Well Cassel faces the chance to play against the best on Sunday when the Chiefs face the Colts in Indianapolis. This will not be Philip Rivers in the rain, or Seneca Wallace in Cleveland or a struggling Alex Smith with the 49ers. This is the man who is in the discussion when it comes to greatest quarterbacks in NFL history.

If the Chiefs are able to go 4-0, it will only be with a good performance from Cassel. We aren’t talking about matching the numbers Manning throws up on Sunday; that’s a bit out of reach for not only Cassel, but the Chiefs offense at this point in its development. The Colts are 2-2, but they still have Manning, WR Reggie Wayne, TE Dallas Clark, RB Joseph Addai and a handful of young, talented receivers like Austin Collie, Pierre Garcon and Anthony Gonzalez.

The numbers that will be important for Cassel will be improving his completion percentage, successfully throwing the ball on third down and making sure he does not throw an interception. To beat Manning, an opponent can’t provide him with more opportunities with the ball.

“Everything goes around this quarterback, Peyton Manning,” said head coach Todd Haley, in one of the great understatements of the season. …Read More!

Smith Will Appeal Fine

From the Truman Sports Complex

DL Shaun Smith said Wednesday that he has filed an appeal on the $10,000 fine slapped on him by the NFL for an incident during the game with the 49ers back on September 26th.

Smith was hit with the discipline for allegedly grabbing the crotch of OT Anthony Davis.

“I’m appealing it right now,” said Smith. “I got my (pay) check the other day and everything was fine. I’m just waiting to see what happens.”

Generally an appeal provides little relief on punishment for actions during a game. The fines are handed down by executive vice-president for football operations Ray Anderson.

“This is my first time getting fined,” said Smith. “I just know from other guys that you should appeal it through your agent. Ten grand is a lot of money. It’s unfortunate, but it is what it is.”

Smith said he’s not concerned about becoming a marked man for opposing offensive linemen or the officials. “I’m just trying to get better and help this team keep winning games,” said Smith. “I’m not worried about that other stuff.”

The Numbers Game

When the Chiefs play the Colts on Sunday they will be facing one of the worst defenses in the league against the run, and Chiefs coach Todd Haley only half-jokingly said this week that he would like to run the ball 65 times.

That would mean a couple of things – that the Chiefs were in a close game and that they could keep Peyton Manning on the sideline for long periods of time. Taking that into consideration, here’s a look at the offensive numbers the Chiefs have put up the first three weeks of the season – with the San Francisco game broken out for the offense. A reminder: runs of 3 yards or less are deemed a failure unless they result in a first down or a touchdown.



3 or less




Charles vs. S.F 








Jones vs. SF











* Includes two short-yardage runs for first down and touchdown. ** Includes three short-yardage runs for first down or touchdown.

…Read More!

NFL First-Quarter Almanac – Offense

Over the next few days, we’ll break down the action over the NFL for the first quarter of the season, even though the Chiefs and three other teams have not yet reached their fourth game.


  • Most yards – 537 yards, Texans RB Arian Foster (right). That’s a pace to reach 2,148 yards on the season.
  • Most carries – 94, Titans RB Chris Johnson. That’s a pace for 376 carries by the end of the year.
  • Best average per carry – (at least 40 carries) 7.0, Chiefs RB Jamaal Charles.
  • Longest run – 80 yards, Vikings RB Adrian Peterson and Cardinals RB Tim Hightower.
  • Most rushing TDs – 4, by six RBS – Arian Foster of Texans, Rashard Mendenhall of Steelers, Chris Johnson of Titans, Peyton Hillis of Browns, LeSean McCoy of Eagles and Jahvid Best of Lions.
  • Best rushing performance – 231 yards, Texans RB Arian Foster vs. Colts on September 12.
  • 100-yard performances – 24, by 16 running backs and one quarterback. Foster has three 100+ games.
  • Best rushing duo – 564 yards, Jets LaDainian Tomlinson and Shon Greene.   …Read More!

Wednesday 10/6 Practice-Update

From the Truman Sports Complex

Todd Haley laid out in simple terms the goals for his team this coming Sunday in Indianapolis against the Colts.

“Clearly, it’s a big, big challenge for us to go in there, in a hostile environment, execute at a good level and be competitive; that would be a real good thing for us,” Haley said Wednesday afternoon.

“Obviously this will be a real big test for the Kansas City Chiefs. First and foremost, I want to see that we can be competitive. If we can be competitive, then I’ll feel pretty good.”

The Chiefs are 3-0 and the Colts are 2-2, but there isn’t any doubt in the minds of anyone why Indianapolis is favored to win this game. They are playing at home and they have that explosive offense, led by Peyton Manning. Haley says there’s no sign on the game tape of a team that may having problems after so many seasons of success.

“I see a group that had a long field goal kicked on them last week, one that you don’t think is going to be made very often,” Haley said of Josh Scobee’s 59-yard FG that allowed Jacksonville to beat the Colts on the final play of the game. “They are a good team. They are fast. Watch that Giants game (a 38-14 Colts victory) in their place where it’s loud and tackles are slow off the ball or a hair behind on the count, and those ends (Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis) give you nightmares.”

Haley also spoke on several other subjects: …Read More!

Romeo To The Rescue? … Wednesday Cup O’Chiefs

The battles between Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts offense against Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots defense were some of the biggest stories of the first NFL decade of the 21st Century.

From 2000 through 2009, those teams met 14 times, with the Patriots winning eight games. Three of those meetings were in the playoffs, with New England winning twice. In the decade, the Patriots won three Super Bowls and the Colts won one Lombardi Trophy.

In six of those Indianapolis-New England games, Romeo Crennel was right in the middle of the competition, as defensive coordinator of the Patriots. Throw in two games where Crennel was head coach of the Cleveland Browns and faced Manning and the Colts, and the Chiefs defensive coordinator has eight games of experience against the guys wearing the horseshoe helmets.

And that experience is going to be very valuable for the 2010 Chiefs defense when they meet No. 18 and his offensive mates on Sunday at Lucas Oil Stadium.

“We’ve got our coaching staff and coordinator who worked against them a lot,” said SS Eric Berry.

Added ILB Derrick Johnson: “I think we know that he (Crennel) has spent a lot of time in his career preparing to play the Colts. I’m looking forward to seeing what he has planned for us on defense against Manning … Peyton keeps a lot of defensive players up at night. He has a tremendous arm, he’s a smart guy and he doesn’t make many mistakes. When he does make mistakes, we have to capitalize off it.”

In those eight games, Crennel’s defenses forced a lot of mistakes from Manning, with 13 interceptions. Most of all, Crennel’s defenses were on the winning side six of the eight games, losing only during his two games when he was in Cleveland with the Browns. Here are the numbers:

…Read More!

Chiefs & NFL Tidbits 10/6

Eric Berry made the folks at Creekside High School in Fairburn, Georgia very happy after he signed his six-year, $60 million deal with the Chiefs.

Berry bought the football team 70 new uniforms, along with new clothing for the coaching staff. It all came from Adidas, the shoe company he signed with after being the fifth player selected in the 2010 NFL Draft.

“When he first signed Eric said ‘Coach, I want to do something for you all’,” Creekside coach Johnny White told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “Eric has always been very loyal to Creekside. He was coming back to the school to help out and encourage our players long before his brothers got up there. He has a lot of love for Creekside.”

Berry’s twin brothers Evan and Elliott are freshman for the Creekside Seminoles, starting on offense and defense. They’ve already been contacted about scholarships by Georgia, UCLA and Tennessee.   …Read More!

Answer Bob Part No. 2 – Bye Week

Joshua says: Bob, you said during pre-season that the Chiefs didn’t have enough talent to win eight games or more. I agreed with you then, but I’m not so sure now. Do you still believe that Chiefs don’t have enough talent to meet and/or exceed that 8-8 mark?

Bob says: Yes, I do. The Chiefs walk a very tight line when it comes to their depth. If there’s one thing you can count on, it’s that injuries are going to happen. They just don’t have enough experienced or talented depth right now to be able to overcome a rash of physical problems. Now, maybe that doesn’t happen, but if that’s the case it would be the first time in franchise history. I know it’s hard to remain realistic when the team is 3-0, and in no way am I diminishing what they’ve done. But it’s way too early to think about this team finishing 8-8. I know all about the schedule after the Indianapolis and Houston games, but throw in a few guys taken out of the lineup in key positions and some of those not so good opponents could be a problem.


TruChief09 says: Bob, do you do your own scouting reports on college players or do you team up with another website?

Bob says: I collect information where I can from a number of sources. But essentially, I have a few friends in the scouting business who provide the bulk of what appears on this site in the way of analysis of college players. They provide the names and a few plusses and minuses, and then I put together the statistical information. I’ve done this for years, but didn’t really share my work until last year. …Read More!

Berry Knows What’s Coming … Tuesday Cup O’Chiefs

Eric Berry went on his bye weekend vacation with Peyton Manning.

No, he didn’t head to Indianapolis or meet the Colts down in Jacksonville where they were upset by the Jaguars on Sunday.

Berry had Manning and the Colts offense with him on the plane and at home in Georgia, where he enjoyed his time off by studying one of the greatest quarterbacks in NFL history.

“The coaches had cutups ready so I took the DVD with me and watched it flying down, over the weekend and on the plane flying back, trying to get ready any way I can,” Berry said. “He’s an amazing quarterback.”

Not that Berry hasn’t seen it all before. Yes, he’s an NFL rookie and yes Sunday’s game will be the first where he lines up in a secondary against the Colts offense. But Berry has seen Manning up close and personal. All three years that the safety was at the University of Tennessee, former Volunteers QB Manning returned to campus to workout with the football team.

“He always came back and worked seven-on-seven with us as he got ready to get back into his season,” Berry said. “He takes control of his offense and his team, in any situation he always competes. That’s all you can ask of any player. He’s a great quarterback.”

In fact, Berry said Manning could be around campus one day and Tennessee receivers who were having trouble adapting to a new offense for the Volunteers would very quickly be clicking with No. 18.

“We had three different offensive coordinators the three years when I was there,” Berry said. “The wide receivers would be having a difficult time learning the new offense. But for some reason, when he came back it was like they were working on one chord, and they were on all cylinders. It was pretty cool seeing that.”

And it was pretty cool for a young defensive back to see one of the game’s best in action, even if it was just seven-on-seven. …Read More!

Answer Bob Part No. 1 – Bye Week

I hope you enjoyed the bye week and have considered how remarkable the last month has been, given the fact the Chiefs are the only team in the league that hasn’t lost a game.

Thanks for posting. There were a lot of very good questions, and I will try to provide some equally good answers. It’s broken up into two parts. Second edition will come early Tuesday.


Ernie says: If Tyson Jackson returns against the Colts how do you think Crennel will handle his d-line rotation?

Bob says: I think if Jackson comes back against the Colts, he won’t be ready to play a full game, so I think they’ll work him in for some snaps, but not in the starting lineup. I don’t see Crennel or Todd Haley messing with a good thing if Shaun Smith continues to perform. If Smith’s play falls off, then Jackson may move back into the starting lineup. There is absolutely nothing gained for the 2010 Chiefs if Jackson is immediately thrust back into the starting lineup. …Read More!

NFL First-Quarter Almanac – The League

Over the next few days, we’ll break down the action over the NFL for the first quarter of the season, even though the Chiefs and three other teams have not yet reached their fourth game.

Plus, these numbers are without the Monday night result between the Patriots and Dolphins, one will score its third victory of the season.


  • Most victories – 3, by the Chiefs, Jets, Ravens, Steelers, Texans, Bears, Falcons, Saints and Patriots or Dolphins.
  • Fewest victories – 0, by the Bills, Lions, Panthers and 49ers.
  • Most losses – 4, by the Bills, Lions, Panthers and 49ers.
  • Fewest losses – 0, by the Chiefs.
  • Most successful division – AFC South, with a 9-7 record.
  • Worst division – NFL West, with a 6-10 record.
  • AFC vs. NFC – The AFC leads the head-to-head competition 11-6.
  • Home teams are – 36-25.
  • Longest ’10 winning streak – 3, by the Chiefs, Falcons and Jets.
  • Longest ’10 losing streak – 4, by the Bills, Lions, Panthers and 49ers.

…Read More!

Monday 10/4 Report

From the Truman Sports Complex

The Chiefs were back to work Monday morning after their three-day vacation for the bye week.

The players ran and lifted weights first thing, and then they went off for a team meeting and then meetings by position groups. They won’t get back to practice until Wednesday.

Like most football fans, head coach Todd Haley was working the remote and his NFL Ticket subscription on Sunday.

“I always enjoy that day,” Haley said. “We’ve got that Ticket deal and I sort of jumped around. It’s hard to stay focused when you have that. But I watched a good bit of that game.”

That game would be the Indianapolis at Jacksonville game where the Jaguars pulled the upset and left the Colts at 2-2 on the season.

Haley didn’t want to spend a lot of time talking about the Colts on Monday, preferring to leave that for later in the week. But he took a lot of questions from the media horde about Ryan Lilja, former Colts guard, now Chiefs guard, and what kind of information he can provide to the folks on the defensive side of the ball. …Read More!

Winning On The Line … Monday Cup O’Chiefs

Since the game was invented there is one thing that has never changed about football. Fancy offenses come and go. So do the defenses that react to those offenses. Players and coaches change with great regularity.

The constant is the line of scrimmage. The team that wins the contest at the line of scrimmage invariably is the team that wins the game. Oh sure, every once in a while the moon and stars will align and some team that couldn’t handle things on the line of scrimmage wins a game; happens about once or twice a decade.

That makes it simple to explain why the Kansas City Chiefs have shocked the NFL and opened the season with a 3-0 record. They have been winning the games at the line of scrimmage. The defensive front seven has been able to control opponent offenses, especially in the running game where San Diego, Cleveland and San Francisco were unable to gain any sort of traction.

But the excellence on the line of scrimmage for the Chiefs in three games has come along the offensive line. This often maligned group has been good to outstanding in three games. The outstanding came in the last game, when they opened enough holes for the Chiefs to gain 207 yards rushing and did not allow QB Matt Cassel to be sacked.

That’s why Todd Haley gave the line the offensive game ball for the victory over San Francisco.   …Read More!

Only One NFL Unbeaten Left – The Chiefs!

With the fourth week of the 2010 NFL season one game away from conclusion, there is only one team without a loss:

The Kansas City Chiefs.

As they enjoyed their bye weekend, the Chiefs were able to watch the Pittsburgh Steelers lose at home to Baltimore 17-14. That left the Chiefs as the lone unbeaten team in the AFC.

Then Sunday night, the New York Giants handed the Chicago Bears a 17-3 pasting in the Meadowlands, removing the Monsters of the Midway from the list as well.

That leaves the Chiefs.

Bye Week Chiefs: One through 50

As the Chiefs have scattered around the country to spend time with friends and family, those folks are filling them up with a lot of back slaps and high-fives on the team’s 3-0 start. How they handle that – especially the younger players – will go a long way to deciding whether they can shock everyone and go 4-0 with a victory over the Colts in Indianapolis next weekend.

So far three games into the 2010 season, they have achieved far more than anyone could have imagined. They’ve done it by playing better on game day than any of their three opponents. Yes, those opponents are 1-8 on the season, but both San Diego and San Francisco are talented teams.

The Chiefs are showing they have some talent too. As October begins here’s my updated ratings on the active roster, one through 50. For this edition of the ratings I’ve left out the specialists. We’ll include them back in later. I’ve also put more weight on what they’ve shown in three games and not so much weight on the big picture and where they may be going in their careers.

Here it goes, no wagering please.

  1. CB BRANDON FLOWERS (RIGHT)– Whether against the run or the pass, he’s played at a top level in all three games this season to date. Flowers is climbing the ladder among AFC cornerbacks and if he continues in the direction he’s going to be Pro Bowler sooner rather than later.
  2. OLB TAMBA HALI – After three sacks, he must continue to put pressure on the passer.
  3. RB JAMAAL CHARLES – Obviously the most explosive offensive threat on the team.
  4. LT BRANDEN ALBERT – Nobody is talking about Albert; a sure sign he’s getting the job done.
  5. ILB DERRICK JOHNSON – He’s moved on from last year and he’s flying around making plays.   …Read More!

College Preview: 10/2 Night Games

#9 Stanford at #4 Oregon, Autzen Stadium, Eugene, Oregon, 7 p.m. ABC/ESPN



(1st-Round) #12 QB Andrew Luck (right), 6-3¾, 235 pounds, 4.85 seconds, Redshirt-Sophomore.

A youngster with just 16 career starts at Stanford. But Luck comes from a football family – his father is Oliver Luck, former pro QB – and he’s football mature beyond his years. He has prototypical size for an NFL passer. He’s much more mobile than his size would indicate, and often takes off in critical situations; he scored on a 52-yard run against Wake Forest earlier this season. Overall in his career he’s a 57.9 percent passer, with 24 TDs and six INTs. He’s also averaged 6.6 yards per run. At the start of this season, Luck said he would probably stay in school for at least the 2011 season.

…Read More!

The Curious Journey of Matt Cassel

Matt Cassel has been described as a great teammate, a potential top five quarterback, a system quarterback, a bust and a career back-up. A recent article compared him to Steve Bono, who signed with the Chiefs after showing promise with San Francisco and a recent John Clayton article at described his chances of becoming an elite player as “zero.” Todd Haley and Charlie Weiss believe that he is a developing quarterback who gets better each day. Scott Pioli referred to Cassel in glowing terms even before he traded for him and agreed to pay him $25,000,000-plus over the last two seasons.

Cassel’s football career has endured more direction changes than Daniel Snyder’s staff directory. Cassel was a successful and highly rated high school quarterback recruited to USC. His only collegiate start was at halfback as he played behind two Heisman trophy winning quarterbacks – Carson Palmer and Matt Leinart. He also played tight end and wide receiver when he wasn’t able to win the quarterback job. He squeezed into the NFL as a seventh-round draft choice. He only threw 39 passes his first three years in the NFL, but is one of only five quarterbacks in NFL history to throw for 400 yards in successive games.

The first time he played quarterback for the Patriots with the game on the line was against the Chiefs, and the first pass he threw was from deep in his territory to Randy Moss out near midfield. He is the only starting quarterback in the NFL that did not start a game in college, but he has been named the AFC Offensive Player of the week twice. He is one of very few NFL quarterbacks that can punt, as he was a high school punter and executed a successful quick punt for the Patriots in 2008. His passer rating during his rookie year was 89.4, plunged to 32.7 in 2007, when he threw only 7 passes and then rose back to 89.4 in 2008 when he threw 516 passes. His rating last year fell to 69.9, and this year it has dipped to 55.8 until the third game of the season, when his rating zoomed to 111.6. After reputedly being considered as a training camp cut in 2008, he became the starting quarterback for the Patriots, received a public vote of confidence from Tom Brady and quarterbacked the team to an 11-5 record.

…Read More!

College Preview: 10/2 Early Games

#21 Texas vs. #8 Oklahoma, Cotton Bowl, Dallas, TX, 2:30 p.m., ABC


(1st-Round) #28 OLB Travis Lewis, 6-2, 232 pounds, 4.53 seconds, Redshirt-Junior.

In two seasons on the field for the Sooners, Lewis has earned All-Big 12 Conference first-team honors both years. He was the conference defensive newcomer of the year and freshman of the year in ’08 when he started 14 games and finished with 144 total tackles, 3.5 sacks and four interceptions. His numbers were down in ’09 with 109 tackles, one sack and one INT. He’s started all 27 games that he’s played and was the Sooners leading tackler in both seasons. He’s leading the OU defense in tackles this season with 35 in four games and one interception.

(1st-Round) #7 RB DeMarco Murray (right), 6-1, 214 pounds, 4.48 seconds, Redshirt-Senior.

Throughout his career, Murray has been hampered by injuries, missing games every season with injuries that ranked from turf toe to a sprained ankle. That’s why his career numbers don’t necessarily match the talents that he’s shown over the years. NFL teams like his north-south running style and he’s tough between the tackles, while possessing the speed to run the edge. Over the last three seasons, he’s run for 2,506 yards on 477 carries with 35 TD runs. Murray can also catch the ball, and has 87 receptions for 1,356 yards and 10 TDs. He saved the Sooners bacon earlier this year against upset-minded Utah State, running for 218 yards on 35 carries with two TD runs. In four games he’s run for 436 yards with seven touchdowns and caught 16 passes for 111 yards and one TD. Murray has also returned four kickoffs for 110 yards, a 27.5-yard average.   …Read More!

NFL Grabs Shaun Smith For $10,000

The busy and grabbing hands of Shaun Smith have cost him an NFL fine of $10,000 according to Fox Sports.

Smith was fined for grabbing the crotch of San Francisco OT Anthony Davis in last Sunday’s game. He was not penalized during the game, although Davis was flagged for a penalty after he retaliated with a punch to Smith’s ribs.

The Achieving Rookies … Weekend Cup O’Chiefs

They have made an impact in just three weeks that few rookie classes have in recent Chiefs history.

Go back over the last decade and only the 2008 group of draft choices had as immediate an impact as the 10 rookies on this season’s roster. That year was Glenn Dorsey, Branden Albert, Brandon Flowers and Brandon Carr were all immediate contributors.  

But this year’s draft class, along with three undrafted free agents, have taken nine spots on the 53-man roster. That’s 17 percent of the players available to Todd Haley on a weekly basis. Of those nine, eight have played in the three games, six have made measurable contributions and three are in the starting lineup.

“I think this entire rookie class, everybody that made this team, drafted and undrafted, have come in with a certain attitude that’s been evident from day one,” Haley has said since he first got the chance to spend time with this group in the off-season program.

“I think that when you have a team that hasn’t been a very good team, that’s trying to make progress, that in this foundation process that we’re in, it’s very important that we get as many guys in, contributing sooner rather than later because you don’t have time to wait on anybody.”

As Haley says, these rookies have pushed themselves into the mix quicker and faster than even the Chiefs expected. …Read More!

Thursday Was Linebacker Day At Chiefs

As the Chiefs were saying good bye to the players for the weekend on Thursday, they were also working out a trio of free agent linebackers at their facility.

Former K-Stater Mark Simoneau led the group, along with NFL veteran Larry Izzo and 2010 NFL Draft choice Chris McCoy.

SIMONEAU – played at Smith Center High School, then K-State and was drafted in the third round in 2000 by Atlanta. Over the last 10 seasons, the 33-year old Simoneau played for the Eagles, Falcons and Saints. He was in New Orleans last season. He’s 6-0, 245 pounds.

IZZO – has played 14 seasons in the NFL with the Dolphins, Patriots and Jets. He’s been a three-time selection to the Pro Bowl for his work on special teas. The 36-year old also has three Super Bowl rings from his time in New England. He’s 5-10, 228 pounds.

MCCOY – was a seventh-round draft choice back in April of the Dolphins, but was released before the season started. At Middle Tennessee State he was a defensive end, but he’s making the switch with his 6-3, 261-pound frame to outside linebacker. He’s 23 years old.


2011 Senior Bowl
Chiefs Players
College football
Combine 2010
Combine 2011
Cup O'Chiefs
Draft 2010
Draft Profiles 2010
Game Coverage
Hall of Fame
Mouth Of Todd
Other News
Practice Update





         Copyright 2010 Bob Gretz. May not be used or reprinted without the expressed written consent of Bob Gretz.