Dealing With Negative Plays

Todd Haley made his thoughts very plain on Wednesday about what his offense needs to get accomplished if the Chiefs are going to pull out of the tailspin that has them 0-4 with the Dallas Cowboys coming to town.

Even before improving the team’s horrid third down conversion rate and ahead of scoring more points, Haley says the Chiefs offense has to quit being so negative.

As in negative plays.

“Right now, our number one (problem) putting everything else aside is we need to eliminate minus plays whether that’s a penalty, a minus yardage run or a sack,” Haley said. “We need to eliminate that. I’m looking for the stat right now but we’re probably last.”

You are coach. When it comes to negative rushing and passing plays and penalties on offense, the Chiefs lead the league in that category with 51 negative plays for minus-269 yards.

Here’s the top five in the league when it comes to negative offensive plays: …Read More!

Gailey relieved of his duties!

History has repeated itself with the Chiefs as offensive coordinator Chan Gailey was fired Monday morning by head coach Todd Haley. It was 25 years ago that then head coach John Mackovic fired defensive coordinator Bud Carson in the 1984 pre-season. We will have more on this surprising development with Gailey later this afternoon. Chiefs are currently on the practice field.

Second Look: Oakland Drive

When the Chiefs went 91 yards on 16 plays and chewed 9 minutes, 24 seconds off the second-half clock last Sunday, it was the team’s longest, most impressive possession of the season.

Given the status of the game – the score was 10-10 at the time – and the fact they were playing on the road in a hostile environment, it was a memorable possession in a season filled with so many failed chances with the football.

But get this: on second look it was not a drive of great efficiency or performance. In fact, the Chiefs made multiple mistakes during the possession. A sure interception was dropped and several throws were forced by QB Tyler Thigpen. Two guards pulled on a play and ran into each other. Even on Larry Johnson’s two-yard TD run, the Raiders got great penetration between center and left guard; Johnson went between center and right guard.

Yet, the Chiefs were able to overcome their own mistakes and pump home a TD that proved to be the winning points over Oakland.

Here’s how they did it.

Play #1: 1st-and-10 at the Chiefs 9.

The offense came out with a 1-2-2 offensive set: one back, two tight ends and two wide receivers. After Brad Cottam went in motion to his left, there were three receivers on that side of the formation, with Tony Gonzalez on the right. Thigpen took the shotgun snap, held the ball for 2.32 seconds and hit Gonzalez on the right side of the field. Gonzalez got away from CB Nnamdi Asomugha. The play went for 23 yards and a first down.

Play #2: 1st-and-10 at the Chiefs 32.

Operating without a huddle, the Chiefs were again in the 1-2-2, with two receivers left and two receivers right. Thigpen went in motion to his right and Johnson took a direct snap. He ran to his right, cut outside and gained seven yards before he was tackled. …Read More!

Chan Talks About the Offense

Remember the old Abbott & Costello routine about “Who’s on first, what’s on second and I don’t know is on third base.”

That’s the type of season it’s been for offensive coordinator Chan Gailey. It hasn’t been who is on first, but who is the starting quarterback, what are the Chiefs going to do and I don’t know who the running back is going to be.

“You have to be adaptable in this game,” Gailey said after the Chiefs finished their Thursday practice session. “What was it a couple years ago when the Falcons and the Broncos were both in the Super Bowl and they had not lost a player all year to injury. That’s pretty unusual on one end. This has been pretty unusual on the other.”

As the Chiefs get ready to start the second half of the 2008 season, Gailey took a few moments to talk about the team’s offense, where it’s been and where it is going.

Give us your evaluation of the offense over the first eight games.

“Certainly inconsistent is the term that’s been used most often and I think that’s right. From week to week we struggled to keep doing the things we were doing well and we struggled to improve what we weren’t doing well. Some weeks we looked good and some weeks we looked awful. If we can create a more consistent offense, that’s what I’m looking for. There are lots of reasons it’s happened and reasons become excuses if you let that happen. I don’t want to do that.”

Whether it’s a reason or an excuse, the situation at quarterback can’t be ignored. This weekend you will start the same quarterback for the third game in a row; that’s the first time that’s happen this year. That has to have been the major reason/excuse/problem that you’ve had to deal with.

“That will help, but remember we will be starting a new tailback, so it’s always something. That’s part of the game. In the NFL you are going to have injuries and it’s going to give somebody else opportunities. If you can create consistency it helps you and keeping your guys on the field and keeping them playing is the fastest way to make that happen and you have a much better chance for success.” …Read More!

Second Look: Carolina

Yes, it’s just as ugly the second time.

That coaches sit there and look through an entire game tape of a performance like the Chiefs had in Carolina has to be one of the worst aspects of the job.

I have an ample middle, but I didn’t have the guts to watch the entire game. Instead I zeroed in on the Chiefs offense in the first half. It was certainly one of the most inept performances by a single side of the football in many years for the Chiefs.

There were 18 situations: 16 official plays and two penalties. Those 18 situations led to just 13 yards. They lost 15 yards on two penalties and the 16 snaps produced 28 yards.

Here’s how it looked the second time:

1st-and-10 at the Chiefs 18-yard line.The Chiefs came out with one-back (1), two tight ends (2) and two wide receivers (2). The tight ends lined up on the left side, the wide receivers to the right. QB Damon Huard came to the line and changed the play before the snap. This extra time in his stance apparently was more than RG Adrian Jones could handle and he flinched. Jones was flagged for a false start. Result: minus-5 yards.

…Read More!

Why Thigpen Is Starting

The whole quarterback situation around the Chiefs has been pretty wacky and hard to understand.

And that’s if you are Herm Edwards.

His decision to start his third different quarterback in the season’s first three games speaks to more wackiness in the eyes of some fans and I’m sure the pundits.

Tyler Thigpen will replace Damon Huard who replaced Brodie Croyle as the starter against Atlanta. Huard’s start came because of Croyle’s injury. Thigpen’s start came because … it’s the right thing for Edwards and his coaching staff to do at this time.

Let’s break this down three ways and with three different views of the decision: this Sunday, short-term (the rest of the ’08 season) and long-term (the future).


Doesn’t Huard give the Chiefs a better chance of winning in Atlanta than Thigpen? Maybe yes. Maybe no. Certainly his experience is a factor that can’t be ignored and he’s got that all over Thigpen. …Read More!

Working On Changing The Play

How many times in the last five or six years did you rise up from your seat at Arrowhead Stadium, or leap from the lounger in the family room and fire all sorts of foul comments at the Chiefs and some of their play calling.  There were times even when the Vermeil-Saunders Flying Circus was racking up big yardage and points that a play would fall flat because it was the wrong play at the wrong time.

I can’t tell you how many times during the radio broadcast in recent seasons I heard Len Dawson wonder why the quarterback didn’t change the play.  As a former quarterback, he could see from the defensive alignment what would work and not work.  He figured the quarterback on the field could see the same things, especially when a running play was called and the defense had safeties down along the line of scrimmage, or in the box as the football parlance goes. …Read More!


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