It’s been almost a whole season and very little has come out of Motown featuring former Chiefs head coach and defensive coordinator Gunther Cunningham.
That finally ended on Thursday, when the Detroit Free Press sat down to talk with Gun about offenses in the NFL.
And he had plenty to say, some of it very familiar to Chiefs fans who will remember the first game of Cunningham’s two years as head coach, back in September of 1999. The opponent that day was the Bears and they had a new offense in place, one that Gun called “frisbee football.”
A decade later, his thoughts haven’t changed.
“The sad thing is the NFL’s going towards the college game, and I hate it,” Cunningham told the Free Press. “I don’t care what people say about me for making a comment like that. But it’s taken five years for the NFL to change to this five wide receivers and Wildcat stuff. I remember when Jim Brown was running the ball. That’s what football is to me.”
There’s more, as Gun got wound up talking about NFL offenses.
“The offensive guys are really cute,” Cunningham said.
”They really are. I admire them. They must sit in the office 24 hours a day trying to figure out how they can screw up the defenses. And with the way the rules are, they’ve got it going. They’ve got all the guys on the competition committee and they come up with all these formations. …
“Now, I know how to line up against it. Do I like it? No. Somewhere along the line the quarterbacks are going to start going down. Then I’ll be able to say I told you so, because when the Run and Shoot came in, I said that. I said I’ll give it four years, and it’ll be over. And it was – dead, in the water. All the quarterbacks were
“It’s really interesting. I enjoyed getting ready for it, but they about killed me. It takes a lot of hard work to finally understand what they’re doing.”
Cunningham’s defense will try to find a way to beat the Bengals offense, including one Larry Johnson at running back.
No matter what the Bengals do on offense, Gun is telling his guys to not be fooled.
“I said, ‘You know, I went to Oregon, and I learned to count to 11. I didn’t go to Harvard. I don’t need to know trigonometry to know how to line up’, ” he said. “The problem is, the players get nervous when they see a 70 number as a tight end or a 23 as a tackle, and you have to tell them, ‘Numbers don’t matter. It’s how you look at the formation.’