The Most Wonderful Place In San Diego

From San Diego, California

My first trip to San Diego was in 1979, covering the Pittsburgh Steelers and flying out of western Pennsylvania snow storm and landing in paradise.

There have been so many trips there in the 33 years since and so many memories of people, places and moments from Point Loma, to Pacific Beach, Mission Valley and La Jolla, Coronado to Hillcrest.

There’s a little place on the north edge of La Jolla on the road to Del Mar that is just about the most stunning place you can find in a major U.S. city. I’ve told my loved ones that when I go, I want my ashes taken there and released into the wind.

Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve is 2,000 acres that sits on the top of cliffs that overlook the Pacific Ocean. As the park’s promotional material says, it’s a wilderness island in an urban sea. It looks as the entire San Diego area looked when it was first settled. There are beautiful trees, flowers and plants that are growing in sand and dirt that filled with rocks and boulders. …Read More!

College Preview: Virginia Tech @ Miami

  • Virginia Tech @ Miami
  • Sun Life Stadium, Miami Gardens, Florida
  • November 1st, 6:30 p.m. CDT, ESPN

Virginia Tech

#99 OLB James Gayle, Redshirt-Junior – 6-4, 268 pounds, 4.58 seconds in the 40-yard dash, 2nd-round prospect for the NFL Draft.

It was two weeks ago that Gayle was named the ACC defensive lineman of the week for his performance in the Hokies defense against Duke. He had a team leading 9 tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss and a sack, as he helped hold Duke to 22 rushing yards. The Hampton, Virginia product is gifted physically and athletically, although he lacks ideal size to be a defensive end in the NFL. Raw as a pass rusher, he’s shown a flexibility that’s makes him hard to handle. So far this season in 8 games he has 29 total tackles, 7.5 tackles for loss, 4 sacks and 10 quarterback hurries. Through his 35-game career he’s rung up 80 total tackles and 15 sacks. A product of Bethel High School in Hampton, he hopes to follow in the footsteps of his uncle Shaun Gayle who played for the Chicago Bears. At BHS he was not highly recruited even though he had 22 sacks in his junior and senior seasons. …Read More!

Chiefs-Chargers Injury Report Update 10/31

From San Diego, California

There were no surprises on the injury reports turned into the NFL office by either the Chiefs or Chargers ahead of their meeting Thursday night.

Chiefs

  • OUT – RB Nate Eachus (head), QB Brady Quinn (head).
  • QUESTIONABLE – WR Terrance Copper (calf), DE Glenn Dorsey (calf), TE Steve Maneri (ankle) and CB Stanford Routt (hamstring).
  • PROBABLE – WR Devon Wylie (hamstring).

Chargers

  • DOUBTFUL – WR Eddie Royal (hamstring).
  • QUESTIONABLE – CB Chris Carr (quad), WR Robert Meachem (hamstring).
  • PROBABLE – OT Jared Gaither (groin), DE Vaughn Martin (neck), LB Jonas Mouton (hip), LB Takeo Spikes (arm).

NFL Transactions – 10/31

Arizona – promoted LB Zack Nash from the practice squad.

Detroit – acquired WR Mike Thomas in a trade with Jacksonville for a 2013 NFL Draft choice.

Houston – claimed RB Jonathan Grimes on waivers from the N.Y. Jets; released LB Mister Alexander.

Jacksonville – traded WR Mike Thomas to Detroit for a 2013 draft choice; claimed WR Anthony Armstrong on waivers from Miami; released RB Keith Toston.

New England – released DB Sterling Moore; signed DB Derrick Martin and LB Mike Rivera.

Pittsburgh – released DB Da’Mon Cromartie-Smith.

Tampa Bay – claimed DB Danny Gorrer on waivers from Seattle.

Tennessee – signed G Kyle DeVan; released DB Tracy Wilson.

4 Keys To A Chiefs Victory In San Diego

4

Score first – get a lead!

The folks at Stats Inc. say that no NFL team since 1940 has gone seven games into a season without holding a lead for at least a few seconds. It’s since 1940 because that’s only as far back as the league has reliable records. It’s time to stop this bit of history and time for the Chiefs to come out of the blocks with some purpose. This start of the game problem is not new. In the last three seasons (2010-12) they’ve played 40 games. The Chiefs did not score a point in 18 of those games. They held a first quarter lead in only 13 of those 40 games. There’s not likely to be any drills or exercises that would help the Chiefs get a lead. But until they end the inability to score first and to score quickly, they will not be taken seriously. …Read More!

The Clock Is Ticking … Wednesday Cup O’Chiefs

They are considered two of the nicest men in the National Football League.

But in a high-performance business like pro football, nice does not matter. What decides continued employment is performance and production.

Right now, Romeo Crennel and Norv Turner are directing teams where there hasn’t performance or production. They are lacking the currency needed to keep the paychecks coming – victories.

Crennel’s Chiefs are 1-6; Turner’s Chargers are 3-4, but losers of three in a row. The thermostat on the seats under both of them has been turned up and the heat is on. They will be on opposite sidelines with their teams Thursday night in San Diego. How much longer they will serve in those roles remains to be seen.

These are two desperate teams in two desperate situations. Peyton Manning has the Broncos winning up in the Rockies; every time he leads Denver to another victory the rest of the AFC West falls further behind. The Raiders have won two in a row and showed signs last week that they are moving past the old Oakland pattern of beating themselves. …Read More!

NFL Transactions – 10/30

Arizona – released RB Reagan Maui’a.

Cleveland – placed De Emmanuel Stephens on the injured-reserve list.

Denver – placed LB Joe Mays (leg) on the injured-reserve list; promoted DB Duke Ihenacho from the practice squad.

Detroit – released CB Justin Miller.

Jacksonville – released RB Keith Toston; signed G Steve Vallos and LB Brandon Marshall. …Read More!

Chiefs Practice Update – 10/30

From the Truman Sports Complex

Add CB Stanford Routt to the Chiefs injury report as they get ready to face the Chargers on Thursday night in San Diego.

Routt was limited in practice on Tuesday because of a hamstring injury. Not details from head coach Romeo Crennel on when the injury occurred or the prognosis. Routt is coming off a tough game where the Oakland Raiders picked on him all day in the passing game.

Also new to the injury report is WR Terrance Copper with a calf injury. Copper was listed as a limited participant. Along with Routt and Copper, limited participants for Tuesday’s practice were DE Glenn Dorsey (calf) and TE Steve Maneri (ankle). Both did not play this past Sunday against Oakland and the short preparation week makes it doubtful they will play this week. WR Devon Wylie (hamstring) was a full participant. QB Brady Quinn (head) and RB Nate Eachus (head) have both been ruled out of Thursday night’s game and were not at practice on Tuesday. It was the only practice the Chiefs held in preparation for facing San Diego.

The Chargers took three players off their injury list and added one. WR Richard Goodman is off the roster and on the injured-reserve list with a hamstring injury. C Nick Hardwick (abdomen) and CB Shareece Wright (foot) were both removed from the list.

WR Eddie Royal (hamstring) was the only player who did not practice.

Limited participants were CB Chris Carr (quad) and new addition WR Robert Meachem (hamstring). Full participants were OT Jared Gaither (groin), DE Vaughn Martin (neck), LB Jonas Mouton (hip) and LB Takeo Spikes (arm).

Quinn Out For San Diego Game

From the Truman Sports Complex

QB Brady Quinn will not play Thursday night in San Diego because of the head injury that he suffered on Sunday.

Head coach Romeo Crennel said Tuesday morning that doctors had ruled out Quinn and RB Nate Eachus for the game against the Chargers. Both suffered head injuries in the first half against Oakland.

Matt Cassel will be back in the starter’s spot at quarterback. Ricky Stanzi will be the No. 2 quarterback.

The NFL’s Short Week Stinks … Tuesday Cup O’Chiefs

There is an ebb and flow to football that players learn from their very first days playing the game. Due to its physical nature, football is a game that should be limited to one outing a week. Played at the professional level, 60 minutes of banging against other players requires time to heal on so many fronts, whether it’s physical, mental or emotional.

That makes the NFL’s decision to play regular season games on Thursday nonsensical. For an organization that says it’s worried about player safety, requiring players to suit up twice in five days is hypocrisy at its highest level. Yes, the games produce money through television broadcasts on the league’s own network. More than half of those dollars goes to the players. We know it’s all about the money.

But it doesn’t compensate for the toll it takes on players bodies that are forced to handle 120 minutes of pounding in five days. That type of schedule may be fine in the NBA, but basketball is a contact sport. Football is a collision sport and every time bodies come together it leaves a mark.

“Unfortunately there has been a lot of the league talking out of both sides of a lot of different issues and this is one of them,” said Chiefs RT Eric Winston who is the team’s NFL Players Association representative. “It’s definitely not ideal and I feel like there has to be a way for us to have Thursday games, but not force guys to play five days after playing a Sunday game.” …Read More!

NFL Transactions – 10/29

Atlanta – released DB Terrence Johnson.

Carolina – released CB Brandon Hogan from the injured-reserve list; released DT Frank Kearse.

Houston – signed DT Terrell McClain.

Indianapolis – promoted CB Marshay Green and FB Robert Hughes from the practice squad; released RB Mewelde Moore and NT Antonio Dixon.

Jacksonville – released QB John Parker Wilson.

Pittsburgh – lifted suspension of NT Alameda Ta’amu and given a Commissioner’s roster exemption.

San Diego – placed WR Richard Goodman (hamstring) on the injured-reserve list; signed WR Seyi Ajirotutu.

Chiefs Practice Update – 10/29

From the Truman Sports Complex

There is no rest for the weary this week as the Chiefs were back at their facility Monday morning quickly turning the page on Sunday’s loss to Oakland and beginning preparations for a Thursday night game in San Diego.

“That’s going to be the focus today and tomorrow, San Diego,” said Chiefs head coach Romeo Crennel. “I think the big issue is trying to get the bodies to recover, get the minds to recover so we can go out to San Diego and play on Thursday night.”

Which task will be tougher for Crennel and his coaching staff, the body or mind?

“To tell you the truth, it’s both,” Crennel said. “When you lose it’s tough on you. If you have a whole week to recover, as the week goes on, you begin to put the game behind you. In this situation you don’t have as much time to put the game behind you.

“We have to try to get them to put this game behind us and have it over last night. But human nature will not let you do that.” …Read More!

Chiefs Await Evaluation of Brady Quinn

From the Truman Sports Complex

By late Monday morning head coach Romeo Crennel was still waiting for word from the team’s medical staff on the status of QB Brady Quinn after suffering a head injury in the first half of Sunday’s game against Oakland.

“The doctors will let us know what they think after the tests have been evaluated,” Crennel said. “It is a head injury so I’m going to wait to see what the doctors let me know before deciding what’s happening on Thursday. If he’s healthy, then he’ll go.”

Crennel indicated that he had no sense as to whether Quinn will be available, but he should know by the close of business on Monday, “but you know how doctors are sometimes, you go to the office and you sit around for awhile before you get a chance to see them.”

“It just depends on what the doctor tells me,” Crennel said. “If the Doctor says he can go, then he goes. If the Doctor says he can’t go, he will not be able to go.”

Because of the short week with a game Thursday night in San Diego, the Chiefs are scheduled to be on the field for a walk-through practice Monday afternoon. “I really don’t expect him at practice today,” Crennel said of Quinn.

Matt Cassel will step into the huddle for that workout with the No. 1 offense.

NFL Week #8/Sunday’s Best – 10/28

How the week was won

Home teams were 6-6 this week with the Monday night game of San Francisco at Arizona to play. New England and St. Louis played on a neutral field in London, England.

Road winners did it by average of 12.3 points; Home winners did it by an average of 8.3 points.

(On the right, that’s former Chiefs TE Leonard Pope, wearing Steelers throwback uniforms and scoring a TD vs. Washington.)

Biggest blowout was the Patriots 38-point victory over St. Louis in London; closest games were one-point victories by Chicago and Cleveland at home. Indianapolis won an overtime game on the road.

Best offensive day was the 530 yards produced by Denver against New Orleans; most rushing yards also came from the Broncos with 225 yards. Dallas had the most yards passing with 415 yards against the N.Y. Giants.

Best defensive day was by Chicago, as the Bears allowed Carolina just 210 offensive yards. The N.Y. Giants held Dallas to 19 rushing yards and San Diego only allowed Cleveland 117 passing yards. …Read More!

Notes & Quotes: Are These New Raiders?

From Arrowhead Stadium

In 60 minutes of play on Sunday, there were only two penalties walked off against the Oakland Raiders.

Those Raiders, the record setting franchise when it comes to watching the yellow hankies hit the ground, were hit just twice. That’s almost unbelievable given the team’s reputation.

(On the right, that’s former Southern Cal roommates Matt Cassel and Carson Palmer talking after the game.)

“It’s something you fight every week and you battle every week,” said first-year head coach Dennis Allen. “Our guys understand that we can’t have the dumb penalties that cost our team. We need to continue to improve in that area.”

The Raiders came into the game tied for ninth in the fewest penalties in the 2012 season with 40, and that was coming off back-to-back games where they had 21 total penalties and 168 yards. Sunday’s game was a return to the disciplined play they showed earlier in the season.

Remember last year the Raiders set NFL single-season records for penalties at 163 and yards lost to penalties at 1,358 yards.

Now, their drop in penalties is evidence of a team playing smarter football.

“I feel like our guys have confidence that they can go out and compete, that we can win football games,” Allen said of his now 3-4 club.

The Wildcat makes an appearance

Wondering who might be the emergency quarterback for the Chiefs on game day if only two quarterbacks are active?

There was an indication on Sunday against the Raiders when the Chiefs ran plays out of the Wildcat formation. Quarterback Matt Cassel split out to the left and WR Dexter McCluster was in the backfield. He took the snap on both plays in the second quarter.

McCluster picked up 13 yards on a 3rd-and-2 play, moving the sticks in the possession that set up a Ryan Succop FG. He set up in the Wildcat again on a 3rd-and-3 play at the Raiders 12-yard line but the Chiefs called timeout before the snap. After the timeout, the Chiefs went back to a normal offensive formation.

After the game McCluster said he did not know who the emergency quarterback was.

“I would have been game,” said McCluster. “It’s our job to do whatever the coach asks and if that’s what is called upon me to do, I’ll do my best.”

Injury report

The biggest news on that front was QB Brady Quinn who was evaluated for a blow to the head. The Chiefs never used the term “concussion” but it’s the same sort of terminology they used several weeks ago when Matt Cassel suffered his blow to the head. Eventually, it became a concussion.

RB Nate Eachus also left the game with a blow to the head and did not return.

QB Matt Cassel was in pain after he was body slammed by Oakland DE Richard Seymour, but he shook it off and was able to continue.

Atmosphere report

The biggest joke of the week was the Chiefs selling standing room only tickets to this game. There were plenty of empty seats, even in the upper deck, but especially in the club level and the lower part of the bowl.

The Chiefs announced a paid crowd of 74,730. The in house attendance appeared to be somewhere in the 65,000 range. It was one of the better crowds Arrowhead has seen in the last two years.

The crowd noise did not affect the Raiders, who were not called for a single false start.

In pre-game ceremonies, the Chiefs honored Bob Johnson, the original rider of Warpaint, back to the days the horse was introduced at Municipal Stadium. Given today’s politics, they wouldn’t allow Johnson to wear the Indian costume that he wore back in the day.

Special teams report

Kickoffs – Ryan Succop had five kickoffs, one was an onside attempt late in the game. The others landed at the minus-7, minus-3, the Raiders 3 and minus-6. Two kicks were returned, each one for 23 yards.

Punts – Dustin Colquitt punted five times for 33, 49, 57, 45 and 52 yards. That was a 47.3 gross average, with a net average of 39.6 yards. His plays changed field position a total of 198 yards.

FGs – Succop was good on all three kicks, including one from 52 yards, his longest FG of the season. The other s were from 30 and 42 yards. He’s now made 13 consecutive field goals.

Returns – Javier Arenas made the ultimate returners mistake by muffing a punt and allowing Oakland to recover the fumble. He ended up returning five punts for 59 yards, with a long return of 27 yards and an average return of 11.8 yards. Shaun Draughn returned two kickoffs for an average of 26 yards each.

Coverage – The Chiefs allowed a 27-yard punt return and a pair of 23-yard kickoff returns. Tackles in coverage were led by LB Cory Greenwood and CB Jalil Brown with two each, and RB Nate Eachus, LB Brandon Siler and TE Jake O’Connell had the other tackles.

Personnel report

Inactive players for the Chiefs against the Raiders were QB Ricky Stanzi, WR Devon Wylie, S Tysyn Hartmann, LB Bryan Kehl, OL Bryan Mattison, DE Glenn Dorsey and TE Steve Maneri.

That’s four consecutive games that Dorsey has missed due to his left calf injury. Missing one-fourth of the season is not a good thing for a guy in the last year of his contract. He’s going to have just half-a-season to improve his negotiating position when he returns to the lineup.

Replacing Dorsey in the starting lineup was Ropati Pitoitua. With Maneri out, rookie OT Donald Stephenson saw a great deal of time on the field as a tight end, including one play when he was the only TE in the huddle.

Inactive players for Oakland were QB Terrelle Pryor, RB Taiwan Jones, CB Shawntae Spencer, LB Travis Goethel, OT Khalif Barnes, OL Lucas Nix and DE Jack Crawford.

Misc.

WR Dwayne Bowe now has 393 career receptions with the Chiefs moving into fourth place in team history. He passed Chris Burford who had 391 catches … CB Stanford Routt’s interception was the 12th of his career and second with the Chiefs … LB Derrick Johnson led the Chiefs defense with 10 total tackles, including three for negative yardage … Oakland sacks came from LB Rolando McClain, LB Philip Wheeler and DE Richard Seymour. Overall the Raiders were given credit for 11 hits on Chiefs quarterbacks.

Old Teammates Seek Out Stanford Routt

From Arrowhead Stadium

The Raiders made it plain on the first offensive play of the game – they were going to be looking for former teammate Stanford Routt.

They found him on that first play, as Carson Palmer’s pass to WR Darrius Heyward-Bey was grabbed instead by Routt for an interception, only the fifth of the season for the Chiefs defense.

But that wasn’t the last time the Raiders went at Routt, including a touchdown play in the third quarter when Routt had the coverage on Heyward-Bey and then could not make the tackle. The Oakland receiver ran 32 yards for a touchdown.

Such is life on the NFL corner.

“That’s football, you’ve always got to expect that,” Routt said after the game. “You think about that with every quarterback and every team you go against as a corner. It wasn’t anything deeper than what you all are trying to make it out to be.”

That may be true, but the Raiders did not visit Brandon Flowers’ side of the field nearly as much as they went to their left and against Routt, who was drafted by Oakland and spent his first seven NFL seasons wearing the silver and black.

“It’s a crap shoot,” Palmer said of concentrating on Routt rather than Flowers. “He does some things really well. We attacked him with some running game stuff and ran some plays at him. We had a great game plan, took some shots at him and came out with a win.”

But Palmer was not happy with himself on his first pass, the one that Routt picked off.

“He got me on a pretty good play,” Palmer said. “I have to give Darrius a better chance to make a play on that ball and try to get a completion out of that. He had a good jump on him, knew the play was coming. We tried to set the tone of the game with that one, but unfortunately he got the best of me.”

Ultimately the tone of the game was the inability of the Chiefs to get to Palmer and to force any turnovers after that first one.

“It was a tight game, they just made more plays than we did,” said Routt. “It’s always going to be like that in a division rivalry game.”

Despite the deep rut the Chiefs are in, Routt insists that he sees no one giving up on the team or the season.

“There’s no one in here losing confidence,” Routt said. “Obviously we don’t want to be where we are right now. But as far as I’m concerned as long as this isn’t the last game of the season, there’s still hope and there’s still room to fight. Nobody in this room is going to hang their head. We’re going to come back and fight, plain and simple. We are going back to work.”

Officials Report: Quietly Effective

From Arrowhead Stadium

Bill Vinovich and his crew of officials were barely noticeable in Sunday’s game between the Chiefs and Raiders. That’s just the way it’s supposed to be, as they controlled the extra-curricular stuff without making the yellow hanky a constant.

The only spot where they should have been more active was when Oakland DE Richard Seymour tried to drill Chiefs QB Matt Cassel into the ground. He was flagged for roughing the passer, but deserved consideration for being thrown out of the game at that point. It was a cheap shot of the type the Raiders used to do all the time.

This edition of the Raiders played a pretty clean game, something that didn’t appear to be much different than what the Chiefs were getting done. There were several huddles with the officials and the Chiefs coaching staff during the game. Most of these came during TV timeouts and seemed to deal with something the coaches did not like about what the Raiders were doing.

There was only one replay review, and that came from the booth on Matt Cassel’s pass that was intercepted by Oakland CB Pat Lee. Replay confirmed the ruling of interception.

Here’s the hanky report:

#

Team

Squad

Player

Penalty

Yards

1.

Chiefs

Defense

S. Routt

Illegal contact

Minus-5

2.

Raiders

Offense

J. Veldheer

Illegal block

Minus-10

3.

Chiefs

Offense

J. Allen

Holding

Minus-10

4.

Chiefs

Kick ret.

A.Bailey

Holding

Minus-10

5.

Chiefs

Offense

T. Moeaki

Holding

Minus-10

6.

Chiefs

FG def.

J. Brown

Offside

Minus-5

7.

Raiders

Defense

R. Seymour

Roughing passer

Minus-10

8.

Chiefs

Kickoff

J. Houston

Offside

Offsetting

9.

Raiders

Kick ret.

T. Banch

Illegal bat

Offsetting

The Chiefs lost 12 rushing yards on the two holding calls, losing 32 yards in field position. When Bailey was flagged on a kick return, it cost them 23 yards in field position.

The worst was Brown being offside on a FG try. Oakland’s Sebastian Janikowski missed the kick from 37 yards. But given 5 more yards, he made it from the 32-yard line.

4 Keys To Chiefs Victory Over Raiders / Recap

From Arrowhead Stadium

Here’s a look at the 4 pre-game keys to a Chiefs victory on Sunday and whether they achieved those items. There are three possible grades: Mission Accomplished, Push and, Failed Assignment.

4

Hit Carson Palmer early, often and do not stop

Quarterbacks do not like to get hit. No news flash there. Thirty-two year old quarterbacks really don’t like get smashed and jostled as they try to throw the ball. What the Chiefs must do is hit the Raiders 32-year old quarterback Carson Palmer. He’s been sacked 12 times this season, or once every 21.1 passing plays. That’s pretty good pass protection. But this is not just a question of sacks, because Palmer is very good at avoiding sacks by getting rid of the ball with his quick release. That’s fine. But when he flicks the pass away, they need to make him pay. He’s not mobile, so his breaking the pocket isn’t going to be a big worry for the Chiefs. In three of the Raiders four losses, Palmer was sacked three times in each game. If the Chiefs can’t pressure Palmer, he will pick them apart and they will get bitten by the big-play bug once again.

OUTCOME – FAILED ASSIGNMENT. The Chiefs could not sack Palmer and press box stats had them hitting him only three times in 28 passing plays. Palmer had time to pick apart the Chiefs defense when it counted.

3

Involve Hillis, Draughn, Gray even Eachus to help Jamaal

For the Chiefs to be able to win this game they cannot put the game’s outcome into the hands of QB Brady Quinn. That’s not going to work; it’s a ticket to 1-6 on the season and continuing the Raiders winning streak at Arrowhead Stadium. To keep Quinn as simply the game manager who hits an occasional pass, they must run the ball. They must run and run and run. Miami ran for 263 yards in beating the Raiders; Denver ran for 165 yards in beating the Raiders. The Chiefs need something close to 200 rushing yards and they can’t rely on Jamaal Charles to do all of that. It sounds like Peyton Hillis is ready to go, so it’s time he produced; so far his free agent signing was a waste of time and money for the Chiefs. They need to involve Shaun Draughn and rookies Cyrus Gray and Nate Eachus as well.

OUTCOME – FAILED ASSIGNMENT. The Chiefs couldn’t even get Jamaal Charles involved in the running game. Eachus and Gray never touched the ball, with Hillis and Draughn running just six times.

2

Win the punt and kick return games for a change

The Raiders have not returned a punt or kickoff for a touchdown this season. Overall, their averages are worse than the Chiefs. Oakland has averaged 6 yards per punt return and 22.6 yards per kickoff return. The Chiefs are 11 yards on punts and 22.2 on kickoffs. But the Chiefs have not returned a punt for more than 25 yards and not returned a kickoff for more than 41 yards. They rely almost exclusively on punter Dustin Colquitt to effect field position in the kicking game. That’s got to change and the fastest way to do that is to pop a return, maybe even take one back for a score. The Chiefs have now gone 38 games without scoring a kickoff return or punt return touchdown. That must change.

OUTCOME –FAILED ASSIGMENT. Javier Arenas and his muffed punt was the turning point of the game. It set up the Raiders first TD at a time when the score was just 6-6.

1

Eliminate the mistakes that are killing them

One does not have to be named Lombardi or Stram to figure out what has ailed the Chiefs in the first six weeks of the 2012 season – their own mistakes. If they want to win, they have to end. Giveaways must stop; they are minus-15 in the turnover ratio with 21 total giveaways. No team comes close to matching that league worst number. They have given away more interceptions than any team in the league and lost more fumbles than any team in the league. Long term, the turnover ratio must change and that takes both offense and defense making contributions. Short term, like Sunday against the Raiders, the Chiefs must start by not giving the visitors the ball. Oakland is among the bottom teams in the league at takeaways with just 7 in six games. They are aiming to get well against the Chiefs and it’s not hard to understand why. The Chiefs can’t let that happen.

OUTCOME – FAILED ASSIGNMENT. Four giveaways, five penalties, and three sacks – it was an awful replay of what they’ve done all season.

Report Card: Chiefs vs. Raiders


From Arrowhead Stadium

PASSING OFFENSE: D – Although the passing game produced the Chiefs only touchdown of the game, there are no good grades for part of the game that threw two interceptions, gave up three sacks and couldn’t throw for more than 219 yards on 34 passing attempts, just 6.44 yards per attempt. Ugly.

RUSHING OFFENSE: F – They had just 102 rushing yards, but take out the yardage gained by quarterbacks and that’s only 49 yards. Then, take out the 15 yards gained by WR Dexter McCluster in the Wildcat formation and that’s 34 yards on 11 carries for the Chiefs running backs. Jamaal Charles five carries? That’s inexcusable.

PASS DEFENSE: F – These were not the old Raiders who liked to throw the football no matter the situation. These Raiders are much smarter. Carson Palmer hit only 50 percent of his throws (14 of 28) but they averaged 7.46 yards per attempt. Palmer threw a pair of TD passes and only one interception, on the first offensive play of the game. Most important, the Chiefs couldn’t sack Palmer. Press box stats had them hitting the Raiders passer just three times.

RUSH DEFENSE: F – When the Raiders had to run the ball, control the clock and salt away their victory, they turned to Darren McFadden. All he did in that fourth quarter was run 12 times for 73 yards, finishing the game with 114 yards on 29 carries.

SPECIAL TEAMS: F – There’s no way the special teams can get any passing grade if they turn the ball over. Javier Arenas’ muffed punt turned into a touchdown for the Raiders and set up a situation the Chiefs could not overcome.

COACHING: F – How does Jamaal Charles touch the ball only eight times in 59 offensive plays? And how does the head coach not have an answer for that after the game? Little of what the Chiefs did worked against the Raiders. The players and coaches share the blame on that.

Where Was Jamaal Charles?


From Arrowhead Stadium

A head coach has a lot of things to consider during the course of a game.

But he should always know the status and workload of his best offensive player.

When Jamaal Charles touched the ball just eight times in 59 offensive plays, everyone wants to know why?

“I’m not exactly sure,” Romeo Crennel said after the game when he was asked why Charles had only five carries in the game. “We were rotating our running backs in there. (Peyton) Hillis was back and he was able to get some caries; he was somewhat effective. When a guy’s effective we kind of stay with him a little bit. Hillis was abl,e to break some tackles and get some things done.”

For the record, Hillis ran four times for 23 yards. He had runs of 1, 3, 17 and 2 yards, in that order. So after breaking some tackles on that 17-yard run in the third quarter, Hillis got the ball only one more time. Charles got the ball two more times but his runs of 8 and 4 yards were wiped out by holding penalties against LG Jeff Allen and TE Tony Moeaki.

It’s fuzzy offensive and personnel use logic that does not make a lot of sense.

“I’m just out there playing football and trying to help my team win,” said Charles when asked about his inactivity. “Whatever I’m asked to do, I’m going to do.”

On Charles tally sheet he had runs of 0, 2, 0, 4, -2, 8 and 4 yards. Those last two runs were wiped out by penalties. He had three passes thrown to him, catching them all for 5, -4 and 5 yards. Do the math and it’s 8 touches for 10 yards.

“I think our guys up front, our linebackers and defensive linemen did an outstanding job,” said Raiders head coach Dennis Allen. “That’s an explosive offense we played as far as the running game is concerned. That was a focus of ours going into the football game. I thought we did a good job there.”

Charles said the Raiders did not do anything in particular to limit his effectiveness.

“It was more ourselves, we always find a way to beat ourselves,” said Charles. “We’ve just got to find a way to start making some plays and not kill ourselves.”

He also assured reporters after the game there was no injury problem, something Crennel also confirmed. “As far as I know,” the coach said when asked if Charles was OK. “To the best of my knowledge no (restraints on using the running back).”

Added Charles: “I was on the field from the start of the game to the end of the game.”

It was just during the game that he was invisible.

Play Of The Game: Arenas Fumble Sets Up TD

From Arrowhead Stadium

QUARTER – 2nd period, 1-minute, 50 seconds to play in the half.

SCORE – Tied at 6-6.

DOWN & DISTANCE – 4th-and-5 for the Raiders at the 50-yard line.

SET – Chiefs were in punt return, with Javier Arenas back as the returner.

Turnovers have been the overriding theme of the 2012 Chiefs season. But almost all of those have come from a sputtering offense that is constantly playing from behind.

But the kicking game contributed the biggest turnover of the game. Oakland punter Shane Lechler had a field position punt of 36 yards to the right side of the Chiefs return. Javier Arenas settled under the ball like he has so many others in the last three years. But whether he was trying to judge the coverage or thinking about running before securing the ball it went through his arms and flopped on the ground.

What Arenas was thinking we don’t know because he was nowhere to be found in the Chiefs locker room after the game.

The Raiders long snapper Jon Condo was hustling down the field and recovered the ball, returning it for three more yards and giving Oakland possession at the Chiefs 11-yard line with now 1:30 to play in the first half.

Three players later, QB Carson Palmer connected with WR Denarius More for a 9-yard touchdown pass and the Raiders went to the locker room leading 13-6 at half-time.

The game was never tied after that, and by the fourth quarter the Oakland lead grew to 17 points.

“It was huge, huge to get seven points at that point in the game,” said Raiders head coach Dennis Allen. “That was a big break for us and a big momentum builder for us. That was the huge play of the game I felt.”

Cassel Steps In, But Cant’ Change The Vibe

From Arrowhead Stadium

He promised he wasn’t going to quit, or pout, that nobody was going to get him down.

So Matt Cassel was ready when Brady Quinn came off the field and had a faraway look in his eyes. Quinn went to the locker room and after spending a week as the backup quarterback, Cassel was back in the driver’s seat of the Chiefs offense.

And the results were much the same as those he produced in the season’s first five games that ultimately led to his benching. There was some good, there was some bad. It was not the type of performance that won back the job for Cassel.

If he starts or plays in San Diego will depend on how Quinn recovers from his injury.

“I’ll be ready to go,” Cassel said. “As I said last week, whatever the situation is, I’ll be ready to play. I don’t know what Brady’s situation is right now. We’ll find out more but right now physically I’m fine.”

Cassel missed the Tampa Bay game recovering from his own head injury that he suffered against Baltimore. He also got knocked around by the Raiders, including a personal foul call on Oakland’s Richard Seymour where he tried to pile drive the quarterback.

He completed 20 of his 30 throws, a 66.7 completion percentage, better than his season average of 59.6 percent. He picked up 218 yards through the air, or 7.3 yards per attempt. That was better than the 6.3-yard average for the season.

However, he turned the ball over twice. An interception came in the scoring zone and he was part of a fumbled snap with C Ryan Lilja that was recovered deep in Chiefs territory.

“We have to quit shooting ourselves in the foot, we’ve got to quit making the mistakes,” Cassel said. “Until we get that stuff cleaned up, that’s going to be the result. We have to focus on that and we will.”

The interception came because Cassel and WR Jon Baldwin were not on the same page.

“There was a miscommunication there,” said Cassel. “He thought I signaled something different. It’s the little things.”

The snap was the second time Lilja and Cassel have botched the exchange.

“A snap, that is something that is very fundamental in football,” said Cassel. “All of a sudden that goes wrong and that leads to bad football. We’ve got to stop that and eliminate it.”

That’s supposedly what the Chiefs have been working on for weeks now and seem to be making little progress.

“You just have to keep putting your best foot forward and push through,” said Cassel. “I haven’t been though a season like this. I haven’t been part of a season either where we have had so many things go wrong, whether it’s tipped balls or me making a bad decision.

“I’ve never been around a team that has had this many things go the wrong direction and at some point the luck has to change and go in our direction.”

Quinn Lasts A Dozen Plays At QB


From Arrowhead Stadium

Sunday was not much of a birthday present for Brady Quinn.

On Saturday, with family and friends in town, Quinn celebrated his 28th birthday. But the real celebration was going to be at Arrowhead when he started against the Oakland Raiders.

It was a high that lasted 12 plays. At some point in the team’s third position, Quinn took a blow to the head serious enough to have him removed from the game and sent to the locker room. He did not return.

“Brady got hit in the head, so we are evaluating that,” said head coach Romeo Crennel. The Chiefs reported the injury came on play No. 12 when Quinn threw an interception. More than likely the blow came on the play before that when LB Rolando McClain ran a delayed blitz and sacked him for a seven-yard loss. McClain did not hit him in the head, but television replay shows Quinn’s head may have bounced off the playing surface.

After the interception, Quinn came off the field without assistance and it was only after he said something to Matt Cassel on the sideline that medical personnel came over to look at him. Head trainer David Price checked him over, followed by a couple of the doctors on the sideline. That’s when Quinn went to the locker room.

“We’ll see what the doctors say about his condition and adapt accordingly,” said Crennel.

In his dozen plays leading the Chiefs offense, Quinn threw four passes. His first completion to RB Jamaal Charles went for 5 yards and his second completion was also to Charles, but went for minus-4 yards. He badly overthrew WR Dwayne Bowe and his fourth and final attempt was intercepted by Oakland FS Matt Giordano. Quinn scrambled on two of his plays, picking up 18 yards, including a 12-yard run in a 3rd-and-6 play.

In all, the Chiefs produced 17 yards in those 12 plays, with five of the snaps going for zero or negative yardage and a giveaway with the interception.

Where the Chiefs go at quarterback will depend on what doctors have to say, but Crennel wasn’t able to even speculate.

“I need to find out the medical situation of Quinn first,” said the coach. “Then probably the most experienced guy will give us the best chance if that guy is available.”

Column: Drastic Change Is The Only Hope


From Arrowhead Stadium

It’s darn tiring to come out of each game in the Chiefs schedule trying to find new and different ways to express the same opinion – that the 2012 Chiefs suck.

I’ve tried hard over the season’s first seven weeks to circle the elephant in the 2012 season, writing qualifiers like they “might be” the worst team in the league. At this point there’s no longer any reason to shade the statement. As the calendar is about to turn from October to November, the Chiefs are hands down the worst team in the National Football League.

They don’t have the worst talent, they don’t have the worst coach or coaching staff, they don’t even have the worst general manager or owner. But all those parts working together have brought us absolutely the sorriest team in the NFL. Only one other team sits with just one victory at this point, and that’s the Carolina Panthers. They’ve already fired their general manager, so I’m not sure who is going to get the football guillotine next in Charlotte. But if the Panthers keep losing, someone will lose their job. That’s part of what the NFL is about.

Bench the starting quarterback – give me a break! What ails the Chiefs goes so much deeper than Matt Cassel and his ability to lead the offense in a productive and winning fashion. No, this is a situation that reeks from every nook and cranny of the franchise, most especially from the very top. This stain on the name of the Chiefs has been brought to the Red & Gold Nation by Clark Hunt and Scott Pioli, managing owner and his hand-picked general manager.

What ails the Chiefs is something organic; almost a living being that has invaded the building and gnawed away at the tradition, the talent and the hopes of an entire organization. Changing quarterbacks isn’t going to help this. Firing Romeo Crennel isn’t going to change what’s happening. Even firing Pioli is not going to guarantee that a corner has been turned or the bleeding stopped.

This starts at the very top with young Mr. Hunt. Nobody is going to fire him for running the franchise into ground, although one wonders what his three siblings think about the entire situation. They all own the same amount of the team as Clark does. At the urging of their late father, they all agreed that Clark was the man to run the team. He’d spent hours over the years with Lamar, learning how the league operates, learning how to make a profit-and-loss statement sing, and learning how to deal with television networks and the players association.

He learned a lot from his father, but missed one thing – he did not learn how to run a football team. Clark Hunt may know plenty about maximizing the income from Arrowhead Stadium and its renovation, and it’s doubtful that there’s much about crunching the numbers that he needs to be educated about.

That doesn’t necessarily create an environment for a football team that would lead to winning and championships. Understand this from the get-go: the Hunts make more money if the Chiefs are a winning team on the field. More tickets are sold, more sponsorships are arranged, more concessions and parking revenue is generated. It’s financially attractive for the Chiefs to be a winner.

In the all powerful NFL it’s a chicken and egg question – do teams need to win games and championships to be successful? That might seem a silly premise, but there are more than a few owners that want to win but look to the profit margin first. If they can be a great business, sometimes that’s enough for them.

We haven’t had enough time with Young Mr. Hunt to see where his real love lies with the Chiefs. Much like his father he’s a stoic guy, not prone to public displays of emotion; heck he’s not prone to anything publicly including words and pictures. There doesn’t seem to be any doubt however, that his scoreboard is different than his father.

Lamar Hunt learned the hard way that to really enjoy his football team, he needed to have a football person in charge, a man with the power to mold teams that would take the field and provide hope and entertainment. For a long period the Chiefs did not have that. Jack Steadman may have been a good businessman, but he didn’t know dip about football. From 1972 through 1988 with Steadman being the man that wrestled control away from Hank Stram, the Chiefs made the playoffs one time. And they answered that amazing finish in 1986 by firing the head coach 10 days after losing in the playoffs.

Clark Hunt wanted “his” football guy running the team after he became the Hunt in charge. Not only did he dispatch Carl Peterson about a year ahead of when the President-GM planned to walk away, but he wiped out the entire structure that Peterson had built. Talented football people were shoved out the door and Pioli was brought in. He got “his” football guy.

It’s been a disaster, one of Clark Hunt’s own making. A long suffering but loyal fan following has lost faith and hope. They have been angry for weeks now and nothing comes about to provoke a change. The next step is the one that will ruin the Hunt Family franchise and that’s apathy. It’s better that the fans are angry, paying hard earned money to fly banners around the stadium calling for firings and benching. It shows there is a faint heart beat in Chiefs Nation.

But that too will be snuffed if Clark Hunt does not have the guts to admit he went the wrong way when he hired Pioli. What has happened in this 2012 season is not bad luck. It’s not injuries or happenstance. It’s bad football, very bad football.

It’s the type of football that costs people jobs. That’s the way of the NFL.

Chiefs Continue To Sink Out of Sight, Losing 26-16


From Arrowhead Stadium

It was 10 months ago that the Oakland Raiders visited Kansas City, grabbed a victory in overtime and went on to finish the season with an 8-8 record. The Chiefs finished that 2011 season at 7-9 but late-season victories over previously unbeaten Green Bay and playoffs bound Denver painted a picture of hope for the future.

Hope died on Sunday. The Raiders returned to Kansas City and smacked the Chiefs around for the sixth consecutive time, taking a 26-16 victory and showing the NFL world and especially those who live in the Chiefs Nation a picture of a rebuilding franchise with real hope in the AFC West. The Raiders have a new owner, new general manager, a new head coach and a new way of doing things.

Turnovers, mistakes, penalties all those now very familiar plot elements to the Chiefs 2012 season were in evidence again on this Sunday. The hope that the bye week had been a time for reflection and building a momentum towards a successful finish died on the vine very quickly on this sunny October afternoon.

The Raiders are now 3-4 and positioned to enjoy being part of the discussion when it comes to the AFC West. The Chiefs are now 1-5 and the only thing they can be positioning themselves for positioning for a better spot in the 2013 NFL Draft order. Ahead is a short week, with a road trip to San Diego to face the Chargers on Thursday night.

“They wanted very much to win this one, but we didn’t get it done,” said Chiefs head coach Romeo Crennel. “We’ve got a short week, so we have to try to get the guys up mentally and physically to play a game Thursday night.”

The difference in this game for both teams was mistakes – the Raiders committed very few, while the Chiefs continued their habit of shooting themselves in the foot. Oakland had just one turnover, while the Chiefs had four. With those gifts, the Raiders were able to set up 13 points or almost enough to beat the Chiefs with those takeaways alone. The Chiefs one takeaway led to a punt. There were five penalties walked off for 59 yards against the Chiefs, losing several positive gains on offense and in the kicking game. The Raiders were flagged just twice for 20 yards. Kansas City allowed three sacks of quarterbacks Brady Quinn and Matt Cassel, while the Raiders kept quarterback Carson Palmer upright the entire game.

Coming out of the bye week, the Chiefs were desperate enough for change that Crennel gave Cassel the hook and handed the starting job to Quinn, who did not survive the first quarter, leaving with a concussion after throwing an interception.

“We’ll see what the doctors say about his condition and we’ll adapt accordingly,” Crennel said of Quinn after the game.

Cassel was Cassel, throwing for 218 yards and a touchdown, but also turning the ball over two more times on a fumbled snap and an interception. That’s 16 turnovers for him alone. The Chiefs as a team have 25 giveaways. Normally the giving kind, the Raiders were only too happy to accept those gifts.

“You don’t play the same every week in the NFL,” Allen said after the game. “The key is can you overcome when you don’t play well and still win football games. That’s what we were able to do last week (in coming from behind to beat Jacksonville. This week we executed well from the start of the game and we got a few takeaways.”

While the Chiefs were stumbling about, the Raiders were not flashy, just methodical in taking advantage of the opportunities they received, turning those four takeaways into 13 points. After throwing an interception on the first offensive play of the game, Palmer played well, throwing touchdown passes to wide receivers Denarius Moore and Darrius Heyward-Bey. Kicker Sebastian Janikowski added four field goals to the winning equation.

The key moment in the game may have come in the last minute of the first half. The score was tied at 6-6, as Janikowski hit field goals from 36 and 35 yards, while Ryan Succop made FGs of 30 and 42 yards for the Chiefs. The Raiders recovered a muffed punt by returner Javier Arenas. That set up Oakland at the Kansas City 11-yard line and Palmer took the offense into the end zone on three plays, throwing a nine-yard touchdown pass to Moore. The PAT from Janikowski gave the Raiders a 13-6 lead that they carried into halftime.

“It was huge,” Allen said of the fumble and subsequent Raiders touchdown. “To get seven points there was a big break for us and a big momentum builder.”

In the third quarter, Palmer connected with Heyward-Bey for a 32-yard touchdown play while Janikowski was good on FGs from 29 and 32 yards. That 29-yarder was set up by a Chiefs fumbled snap between Cassel and C Ryan Lilja. Succop added a 52-yard FG and the Chiefs only touchdown came late in the game on a Cassel to wide receiver Dexter McCluster 10-yard scoring pass.

The Raiders were able to kill the clock thanks to RB Darren McFadden, who carried 12 times in the fourth quarter for 73 yards. He finished the game with 114 yards on 29 carries The Chiefs ran for 102 yards on 22 carries but 53 of those yards came from Quinn and Cassel, while Charles had just four yards on five carries.

“I think our guys up front did an outstanding job of getting off blocks and limiting them as far as their running game was concerned,” said Allen. “That’s an explosive offense when it comes to the running game and it was a focus of ours.”

If the Chiefs can’t run the ball and stop the run, there isn’t much they can do that’s positive. On this Sunday it left them scratching the ground and searching for answers to never ending questions of what went wrong.

“From the practices we had this week, I thought they were some of our best,” said RT Eric Winston. “We are pros and we are going to be pros about it. We can’t be moping around and we can’t be licking our wounds.”

They don’t have any time for that, not with Thursday night football ahead.

“These guys are down right now,” said Crennel. “They aren’t going to cancel the game so we are going to have to go play it.”

Raiders Go Home With Another K.C. Victory

From Arrowhead Stadium

Once one of pro football’s most storied and intense rivalries, the Chiefs and Raiders have been little more than just another game on an NFL weekend.

That was true again on Sunday, where for the sixth consecutive year Oakland rolled into town and rolled back out with a 23-9 victory over the Chiefs. The 6-game winning streak matches the longest held by any visitor to Kansas City in the history of the franchise.

The Brady Quinn ended quickly as he was sacked hard, threw a very bad interception and somewhere in the middle of all that he suffered a concussion and left the game. Matt Cassel came in and it was more of what the Chiefs have shown all season, turnovers, mistakes, blown opportunities.

Here’s what we found after the game:

Pre-Game Report: Raiders @ Chiefs


From Arrowhead Stadium

2:30 p.m. CDT – Kickoff for the Raiders and Chiefs is just 35 minutes away. Enjoy the game and remember our coverage starts in earnest a few minutes after the game’s final play and will continue into the early morning hours. Comeback often for updates.

2:25 p.m. CDT – Chiefs head coach Romeo Crennel and Raiders top man Dennis Allen enjoying a conversation at the 45-yard line. These guys are both defensive coaches by background but to say there is a generation gap doesn’t describe the difference in age – it’s more like three generation gaps. Crennel is 65 years old; in his first year as head coach of the Raiders, Allen just turned 40 a month ago.

2:20 p.m. CDT – This game matches the league’s two worst teams when it comes to scoring on their first possession; neither team has a touchdown in six first possessions this year.

2:15 p.m. CDT – new Raiders GM Reggie McKenzie is having a long conversation with Chiefs RB coach Maurice Carthon at the 30-yard line. These two guys played against each other back in the day. On the other side of the field at the 35-yard line, that’s former Chiefs offensive coordinator Al Saunders talking with GM Scott Pioli. Saunders carries the title senior offensive assistant on the Raiders coaching staff.

2:10 p.m. CDT – Raiders K Sebastian Janikowski has an unusual routine in warming up before a game. Unlike Ryan Succop who starts on short FGs and moves back in five-yard increments, Janikowski walked out and his first kick was from 51 yards. he was just wide left towards the east goal posts. He then strolled around on the field for a bit, before trying one from 57 yards that he nailed with yards to spare. Whatever he does, it works in Kansas City – over his career he’s 28 of 32 in the building. He made 18 in a row before last year when he hit the crossbar from 59 yards.

2:05 p.m. CDT – Kicking towards the west goal posts, Chiefs K Ryan Succop hit a low, line drive from 56 yards out.

2 p.m. CDT – Just about perfect weather conditions for the players today. There are only a few clouds in the sky, with plenty of sunshine at this point and no threat of rain anywhere in the vicinity. There is almost no wind, as the stadium flags are barely moving and the wind is coming out of the east-southeast. It’s 48 degrees right now, with temperature at kickoff expected to be 53 degrees.

1:55 p.m. CDT – A new banner is flying above the stadium right now, reading “Return Hope Fire Pioli Save Our Chiefs.”

1:50 p.m. CDT – Starting QB Brady Quinn and QB coach Jim Zorn were out early doing a little one-on-one time on the field. They ran through some plays and Quinn made some drops and threw passes at various points. There was also a lot of conversation between throws. Quinn is making his first start at Arrowhead as a quarterback for the Chiefs. It’s not his first Arrowhead start however, as he opened for the Cleveland Browns in December 2009 against the Chiefs.

1:45 p.m. CDT – Inactive players for Oakland today are QB Terrelle Pryor, RB Taiwan Jones, CB Shawntae Spencer, LB Travis Goethel, OT Khalif Barnes, OL Lucas Nix, DE Jack Crawford.

1:40 p.m. CDT – DE Glenn Dorsey missing another game now brings to four that he’s missed due to the left calf injury that he suffered during practice. Missing one-fourth of the season is not a good thing for a guy in the last year of his contract. He’s going to have just half-a-season to improve his negotiating position when he returns to the lineup. Replacing Dorsey in the starting lineup is Ropati Pitoitua.

1:35 p.m. CDT – Inactive players for the Chiefs against the Raiders: QB Ricky Stanzi, WR Devon Wylie, S Tysyn Hartmann, LB Bryan Kehl, OL Bryan Mattison, DE Glenn Dorsey, TE Steve Maneri.

1:30 p.m. CDT – A plane is circling the stadium this afternoon with a banner that reads: “Blackout Arrowhead Nov. 18 – Save Our Chiefs.” This is from the same folks that financed the “Fire Pioli, Bench Cassel” banner at the most recent Arrowhead game.

1:25 p.m. CDT – We’ll see the list of inactive players here in a few minutes and I would expect DE Glenn Dorsey to be on that list. Although he practiced this past week for the first time in some weeks on that injured left calf, he was not moving very well on Friday and worked away from the defensive line on conditioning. The other two players likely to land on the inactive list along with QB Ricky Stanzi are TE Steve Maneri (ankle) and CB Jalil Brown (groin). Stay tuned.

1:20 p.m. CDT – Former Chiefs-now Raiders special teams coach Steve Hoffman getting a lot of love on the field this afternoon from former coaching colleagues and Chiefs players like LB Andy Studebaker and LS Thomas Gafford. P Dustin Colquitt and K Ryan Succop stopped by for hugs as well.

1:15 p.m. CDT – Good afternoon from the Truman Sports Complex where the Chiefs have their only 3 o’clock start for a home game this season, welcoming long-time rival the Oakland Raiders. We are high above the playing field this afternoon and will provide some details and info for the next 70 minutes or so as the teams warm-up and get ready to face each other for the 107th time.

Raiders & Chiefs Again … Game-Day Cup O’Chiefs

It’s the Raiders and Chiefs for the 107th time and nothing more really needs to be written or said.

Still, there’s always more to the storyline in the National Football League and that’s certainly true when it comes to the Hunt Family franchise and the seventh game of the 2012 season. The Raiders and Chiefs will kick off this AFC West slugfest from Arrowhead Stadium at 3:05 p.m. with TV coverage on CBS.

Heaven knows why the league and television network arranged the schedule so this game could be played so late in the afternoon. A couple of teams with a combined record of 3-9 are not going to draw much national interest. That doesn’t mean the folks in middle America and the San Francisco Bay Area aren’t going to see an interesting and entertaining competition between these long-time rivals.

The Chiefs have decided to take their next step forward with Brady Quinn as their starting quarterback. There’s nothing about his ascension to the job that was held for so long by Matt Cassel that means Quinn will keep the spot for the next 10 games. Head coach Romeo Crennel says he won’t have a quick hook and does not want to put Quinn in a position where he’s looking over his shoulder.

Yet, should Quinn stumble about and the Chiefs continue to lose, there’s little doubt that Cassel would return to the No. 1 spot. The change was made for one reason only – Crennel needs victories. If the Chiefs can’t add to that single victory they earned in New Orleans, Crennel will find himself out of a job in January. …Read More!

Silver & Black And Red & Gold Leftovers

Oh those kids.

Jamaal Charles seems like he’s been around the Chiefs for a long time. But it’s easy to forget that Charles is just 25 years old; he won’t be 26 until the end of December. There are many things he does not know about.

For instance, old school vehicles like an El Camino.

“What is it?” Charles asked this week when he heard that fellow running back Peyton Hillis had compared Charles to a Ferrari and himself to an El Camino.

Why should Charles know about an El Camino? The last time Chevrolet made the coupe utility vehicle was 1987. Charles was born in December 1986.

“Somebody cut up a car then they added a truck on the back?” Charles asked, with a healthy dose of incredulity in his words.

‘I guess he’s kind of right, compared to me he’s like a big truck, a big monster truck and I’m more like a Lamborghini.”

The last El Camino was made for the 1987 model year and among the plants where it was constructed was the Leeds Assembly Plant, not far away from Arrowhead Stadium, a site both Hillis and Charles drive past almost every single day.

“I didn’t know that,” said Hillis when he was told the El Camino came off the assembly line just over the hill from the Chiefs facility. “I might go down there and see if I can find enough parts and maybe get one built.” …Read More!

NFL Fines & Transactions – 10/27

NFL – fined:

  • Arizona S Rashad Johnson $21,000 for an illegal blindside block against Minnesota.
  • Chicago WR Brandon Marshall $10,500 for wearing an unapproved shoe color (orange) against Detroit.
  • Detroit CB Alphonso Smith $15,750 for a horse-collar tackle against Chicago.

Cleveland – placed LB Scott Fujita (neck) on the injured-reserve list; promoted DE Brian Sanford from the practice squad.

Jacksonville – released OT Herb Taylor and LB Brandon Marshall; activated DE John Chick from the PUP List; promoted QB John Parker Wilson from the practice squad.

New England – promoted DB Malcolm Williams from the practice squad.

N.Y. Jets – released WR Jason Hill; promoted TE Hayden Smith from the practice squad.

Pittsburgh – promoted S Da’Mon Cromartie-Smith from the practice squad; released OL John Malecki.

Zebra Look: Officials for Raiders-Chiefs

Comeback referee of the year Bill Vinovich will lead one of the most experienced officiating crews in the league on Sunday for the Raiders-Chiefs game at Arrowhead Stadium.

Vinovich (on the right) is back doing on the field work after missing the last four seasons due to health concerns. He was diagnosed with an aortic aneurysm in late 2006 and doctors told him that the physical strain of on-field work would put him at jeopardy. Since then he’s been working game days as a replay official and also serving as the league’s Western Regional Supervisor of Officials.

But this year he got the go-ahead from doctors to resume on-field work. Vinovich does not have his own crew, but instead fills in for other referees. This will be his third game back and he’s stepping in for Jeff Triplette. But the rest of Triplette’s very experience group will be on the field Sunday.

That group includes line judge Jeff Bergman, who ended up in the middle of NFL controversy in the game between Denver and San Diego. Bergman saw one of the Chargers equipment people handling sticky stuff in hand towels that were being used by the players during timeouts. Bergman attempted to confiscate the substance and at first the Chargers employee refused to turn over the substance. Bergman ordered him to empty his pockets, where a skin-colored clear type tape was discovered and confiscated. The NFL is currently investigating. …Read More!

Brady’s Birthday Bash . . . Saturday Cup O’Chiefs

Should your path cross on Saturday with Chiefs quarterback Brady Quinn wish him a Happy Birthday.

To finish up the week where he was installed as the Chiefs starter, Quinn will enjoy birthday No. 28 with family and friends that are in town for the weekend. The next day, at the age of 28 years and 1 day, he will try to begin rewriting his career and the Chiefs season when he directs the offense against the Oakland Raiders.

“It doesn’t get much better than this, that’s for sure,” said Quinn. “It’ll be exciting for me, a lot of emotion.”

Quinn is now a 28-year old quarterback that has been in the league for six seasons now and has not established himself as a productive or winning quarterback. This chance with the Chiefs may be the final opportunity for him to achieve the level of performance expected of him when the Cleveland Browns selected him in the first round of the 2007 NFL Draft.

Len Dawson understands where Quinn is coming from as he gets ready for this situation. Fifty years ago, Dawson was in a very similar juncture in his career, signing with the Dallas Texans of the American Football League because it offered the chance to actually play the game, rather than sit on the bench with Pittsburgh and Cleveland like he had done for five years.

“It’s a tough position to be in, because until the last few weeks he was not getting the practice time to improve,” Dawson said of Quinn. “But nobody wants to hear that. They want him to go out and win. That’s No. 1 for the position – how many games did your team win?” …Read More!

NFL Transactions – 10/26

NFL fined:

  • Baltimore Ravens $20,000 for not listing the shoulder injury of FS Ed Reed on their team injury report.

Atlanta – released DB Terrence Johnson.

Carolina – promoted DT Nate Chandler from the practice squad; released DT Frank Kearse.

Cleveland – placed LB Scott Fujita (neck) on the injured-reserve list.

Jacksonville – signed CB Kevin Rutland.

Minnesota – placed CB Chris Cook (wrist) on the injured-reserve list with a return designation.

New England – placed CB Ras-I Dowling (thigh) on the injured-reserve list.

Tennessee – placed RB Jovan Ringer (knee) on the injured-reserve list; promoted S Tracy Wilson from the practice squad.

4 Keys To Victory For Chiefs Over Raiders

4

Hit Carson Palmer early, often and do not stop

Quarterbacks do not like to get hit. No news flash there. Thirty-two year old quarterbacks really don’t like get smashed and jostled as they try to throw the ball. What the Chiefs must do is hit the Raiders 32-year old quarterback Carson Palmer. He’s been sacked 12 times this season, or once every 21.1 passing plays. That’s pretty good pass protection. But this is not just a question of sacks, because Palmer is very good at avoiding sacks by getting rid of the ball with his quick release. That’s fine. But when he flicks the pass away, they need to make him pay. He’s not mobile, so his breaking the pocket isn’t going to be a big worry for the Chiefs. In three of the Raiders four losses, Palmer was sacked three times in each game. If the Chiefs can’t pressure Palmer, he will pick them apart and they will get bitten by the big-play bug once again. …Read More!

College Football Week #9 – NFL Draft Prospects

There are a lot of talented players that will be active this Saturday and have the chance to be active next year on Sunday afternoon in the NFL.

Here’s this Saturday’s college football lineup on most of the major television outlets, and we’ve listed a draft prospect for each school. To make life easier, we’ve bundled them all together. It’s never too early to get ready for an NFL Draft.

Enjoy.

Chiefs Practice Update – 10/26

From Arrowhead Stadium

In an effort to get something extra going for his football team, Romeo Crennel held Friday practice inside Arrowhead Stadium, returning to a habit begun by Todd Haley several years ago. Based on the team’s home record over the last four years (11-16) it hasn’t provided much help.

The team’s injury report to the NFL listed as questionable DE Glenn Dorsey (calf), TE Steve Maneri (ankle) and CB Jalil Brown (groin). Listed as probable were RB Peyton Hillis (ankle), QB Matt Cassel (head) and WR Devon Wylie (hamstring). The head coach said all six could be on the active roster for Sunday’s game against Oakland.

If that proves to be the case it will be the first time this season that Crennel has not had one of his seven game-day inactive players decided for him on Friday because they could not play.

“That’s a good situation to be in that you have all your guys,” said Crennel. “It makes for some tough decisions, but that’s a good thing.”

Based on the open period of practice for the media on Friday, it would appear that Dorsey will miss his fourth straight game and Maneri would be very questionable given how he was running during the workout.

The Raiders have declared two of the 20 players on their injury report as out of Sunday’s game:

OUT: OT Khalif Barnes (groin), CB Shawntae Spencer (foot).

QUESTIONABLE: DT Desmond Bryant (elbow), LB Keenan Clayton (shoulder), TE Richard Gordon (hamstring), RB Taiwan Jones (knee), DE Matt Shaughnessy (shoulder), DE Dave Tollefson (shoulder).

PROBABLE: LB Miles Burris (elbow/quad), WR Juron Criner (hip), LB Travis Goethel (back), RB Mike Goodson (hip), K Sebastian Janikowski (groin), DT Tommy Kelly (shoulder), RB Darren McFadden (shoulder), S Michael Mitchell (ankle), TE Brandon Myers (knee), C Alex Parsons (back), DT Richard Seymour (knee), WR Rod Streater (knee).

Chiefs Need An Offensive Defense/Friday Cup O’Chiefs

Romeo Crennel can change quarterbacks every game and it’s not going to matter unless he fixes the Chiefs defense.

Considered the strength of the team coming into the 2012 season, Crennel’s defense has been a major disappointment. On a team where underachieving is rampant, the players on that side of the ball are among the worst offenders.

Although they rank in the middle of the league this week at No. 15 in yards allowed, that’s a rather meaningless number. They are 30th in points allowed, giving up 183 in six games or 30.5 points per game. They are 23rd in offensive touchdowns allowed with 18, or three per game.

“We give up too many big plays which allow points,” Crennel said Thursday as the Chiefs continued preparations for this Sunday’s game against Oakland. “On defense, there are a thousand different stats that you have, but the one that means the most and makes the most difference is the points allowed. If you can keep points off the board then you’ve got a chance to win.”

So what’s the goal for a defense when it comes to points allowed? The league average this week is 150.1 points, with the top five teams being the 78 points allowed by Chicago (5-1), 100 points given up by San Francisco (5-2), 106 points allowed by Seattle (4-3), the 113 points scored against Atlanta (6-0) and the 117 points given up by Miami (3-3).

The common denominator is that none of those teams has a losing record. …Read More!

College Preview: Notre Dame @ Oklahoma

  • Notre Dame @ Oklahoma
  • Gaylord Family-Memorial Stadium, Norman, Oklahoma
  • October 28th, 7 p.m. CDT, ABC

Notre Dame

#52 C Braxston Cave, Redshirt-Senior – 6-3, 304 pounds, 5.18 seconds in the 40-yard dash, 4th-round potential for NFL Draft.

A foot injury that required surgery ended his 2011 season after nine games and that brought to an end a streak of 22 straight starts. But he was granted a fifth-season of eligibility by Notre Dame since he saw action in just 2:03 of action in his freshman season before an injury knocked him out for the rest of the season. He was back in the starting lineup at center for the Irish. During his time in South Bend, Cave has practiced at both center and guard. In the 2010 season, he started all 13 games at center. He graduated in May with a degree in psychology and is now enrolled in graduate school in South Bend. He’s out of Granger, Indiana where he went to Penn High School, where he helped the team to a 12-1 record in his senior season. He also participated in track, where he threw the shot put 51-feet and the discus 145-feet. …Read More!

College Preview: Mississippi State @ Alabama

  • Mississippi State @ Alabama
  • Bryant-Denny Stadium, Tuscaloosa, Alabama
  • October 27th, 7:30 p.m. CDT, ESPN

Mississippi State

#13 CB Johnthan Banks, Senior – 6-1, 185 pounds, 4.52 seconds in the 40-yard dash, 1st-round NFL Draft prospect.

Banks comes into the big matchup against the Crimson Tide off a very good performance against Middle Tennessee State last Sunday. He had eight tackles, an interception and he deflected a pair of passes. So far this season, he has 4 interceptions in 7 games. He earned immediate playing time as a true freshman and made contributions. Just ask former Florida QB Tim Tebow. Banks picked off Tebow twice, returning each one for a touchdown, including one return that went for 100 yards. Over his 45-game career in Starkville, Banks has 16 interceptions, including 3 that he returned for touchdowns. With that are 101 total tackles, 5 forced fumbles, 4 sacks and a punt return touchdown. A Mississippi native, he played at East Webster High School in Maben where he excelled at football, basketball and baseball. Banks joined the varsity football team when he was an eighth grader he was so talented and played on both sides of the ball including quarterback, running back, cornerback and safety. He once returned 3 punts for touchdowns in a single game. In baseball, he led EWHS to 1A state titles during his freshman and junior seasons. He’s 23 years old. …Read More!

College Preview: Tennessee @ South Carolina

  • Tennessee @ South Carolina
  • Williams-Brice Stadium, Columbia, South Carolina
  • October 27th, 11 a.m. CDT, ESPN

Tennessee

#11 WR Justin Hunter, Junior – 6-4, 205 pounds, 4.49 seconds in the 40-yard dash, 1st-round potential for the NFL Draft.

He’s one of the most gifted athletes in the SEC with great speed and leaping ability to go with his prototypical size for an NFL wide receiver. So far this season, he’s caught 39 passes for 567 yards and 4 TD catches. Against Georgia State he had 8 catches for 146 yards and 3 scores. In his career with the Volunteers, he has played 23 games with 72 catches for 1,296 yards and 13 touchdowns. Hunter is out of Virginia Beach and Ocean Lakes High school, where he was named a 3A All-State wide receiver and was considered one of the top recruits in the country that senior season. In his last two years, he caught a total of 80 passes for 1,259 yards and 22 touchdowns. Hunter played basketball and participated in track and field and he was a nationally ranked jumper, posting bests in the long jump (25-feet, 3 ΒΎ inches), high jump (7-2) and the triple jump (49-feet, 5 inches). …Read More!

College Preview: Cincinnati @ Louisville

  • Cincinnati @ Louisville
  • Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium, Louisville, Kentucky
  • October 26th, 7 p.m. CDT, ESPN2

Cincinnati

#54 DE Walter Stewart, Redshirt-Senior – 6-3, 249 pounds, 4.78 seconds in the 40-yard dash; 5th-round draft potential.

A talented and speedy rusher off the edge of the Bearcats defense, Stewart has been declared out of the Louisville game with an undisclosed injury. Cincinnati reports it only as an upper body injury. How soon he returns could depend on prognosis given him when he goes for a second opinion on his injury. Stewart had 5 sacks to open the season. During his time in Cincinnati, he’s been willing to be moved from position to position as he added weight and strength each season. He’s the active leader in the Big East Conference with 17.5 career sacks and has 141 career tackles in 41 games with 32.5 tackles for loss and 8 forced fumbles. Stewart came out of Ashville, Ohio and played at Teays Valley High School where he earned second-team All-Ohio honors and finished his college career with 30 sacks and 11 forced fumbles. Stewart is 22 years old. …Read More!

College Preview: Florida vs. Georgia

  • Florida vs. Georgia
  • Everbank Field, Jacksonville, Florida
  • October 27th, 2:30 p.m. CDT, CBS

Florida

#3 OLB Jelani Jenkins, Redshirt-Junior – 6-0, 237 pounds, 4.54 seconds in the 40-yard dash, 2nd-round potential in NFL Draft.

A broken right thumb back in early September kept Jenkins off the field for what amounted to three games. He had surgery on that thumb after suffering the injury against Texas A&M. Then, a hamstring injury cost him playing time as well as he’s played only four games. But that’s about the only that that has slowed him down in his redshirt-junior season. Last year, Jackson was the third leading tackler on the Gators defense with 75 total stops. He’s played both middle linebacker and the weak-side position. Scouts wonder about his size, as he’s a bit short on most NFL teams’ charts for what they are looking for at various positions. But Jenkins has been very productive during his time in Gainesville, with 162 total tackles in 42 games with 11.5 tackles for loss, 5 sacks and 2 INTs. Coming out of Our Lady of Good Counsel High School in Olney, Maryland, Jenkins was considered the best schoolboy linebacker prospect in the country, selecting Florida over just about every other major program in the country. …Read More!

College Preview: Ohio State @ Penn State

  • Ohio State @ Penn State
  • Beaver Stadium, State College, Pennsylvania
  • October 27th, 4:30 p.m. CDT, ESPN

Ohio State

#6 OLB Etienne Sabino, Senior – 6-3, 238 pounds, 4.63 seconds in the 40-yard dash, 5th-round draft potential.

Sabino likely will return to action next week after missing three games due to a broken fibula that he suffered back on October 6th in a big victory over Nebraska. Up to that point, he was the team’s third leading tackler with 37 stops, 2 sacks and an interception. In his first two seasons in Columbus, he played in all 26 games, most of that on special teams. As a freshman, he returned a blocked punt 20 yards for a touchdown against Purdue. Over his career, he’s played in 45 games with 111 total tackles, 10 tackles for loss, 5 sacks, a forced fumble and an interception. Sabino is out of North Miami Beach, Florida where he played at Dr. Krop High School and was named All-Florida after his senior season when he had 146 tackles, 7 sacks and 5 forced fumbles. He also played basketball and threw the discus in track and field. …Read More!

NFL Transactions – 10/25

NFL – fined Chicago WR Earl Bennett $10,500 for breaking league uniform rules. Bennett wore orange shoes during Monday night’s game against Detroit.

Houston – placed DT David Hunter on the injured-reserve list.

Jacksonville – placed LB Daryl Smith (groin) on the injured-reserve list designated for return.

Tampa Bay – activated DE Da’Quan Bowers from the PUP List; released DB LeQuan Lewis.

College Preview: Michigan @ Nebraska

  • Michigan @ Nebraska
  • Memorial Stadium, Lincoln, Nebraska
  • October 27th, 7 p.m. CDT, ESPN2

Michigan

#88 DE Craig Roh, Senior – 6-4, 280 pounds, 4.87 seconds in the 40-yard dash, 6th-round draft potential.

The last two seasons have been highlighted for Roh by changing positions twice and adding extra weight in each case to play that spot. He moved from linebacker to defensive end in 2011 and this year added more weight when he moved into the strong-side defensive end spot. As a true freshman he started all 12 games at OLB, then was switched between OLB and DE in the 3-3-5 defense that former coach Rich Rodriquez instituted in Ann Arbor. Last year it was weak-side DE and now strong-side DE. Overall he’s started 45 consecutive games with 132 career tackles, 23.4 tackles for loss, 8 sacks, 3 forced fumbles and an interception. Roh came out of Chaparral High School in Scottsdale, Arizona, where he helped lead his team to a 4A state championship as a senior and the semi-finals as a junior. Finished his high school career with 30.5 sacks and was named Gatorade’s Player of the Year in Arizona as a junior and senior. He’ll be 22 years old in January. …Read More!

Chiefs Practice Update – 10/25

From the Truman Sports Complex

The subject of discussion with Romeo Crennel and the media horde on Thursday was signs.

The head coach had a sign put up outside the Chiefs locker room several weeks ago that said Eliminate Bad Football. On Wednesday, that sign was gone and replaced by one that read Play Good Football.

“I thought that after we put that bad football sign up, we didn’t eliminate bad football, so I thought maybe if I changed it and put up the sign that said ‘play good football,’ we might play some good football and put that in the forefront of their mind,” Crennel said on Thursday. “The initial thought process was that if you eliminate bad football, get them to think about eliminating bad football, you would eliminate it. And, if it doesn’t get eliminated, then you need to try something different, so let’s put up ‘let’s play some good football,‘ and now that’s a thought in their mind and hopefully that will carry over to Sunday.”

One wag suggested possibly a Win the Super Bowl sign.

“We’re not ready for that yet,” Crennel said. …Read More!

College Preview: Clemson @ Wake Forest

  • Clemson @ Wake Forest
  • Groves Stadium, Winston-Salem, North Carolina
  • September 25th, 6:30 p.m. CDT, ESPN

Clemson

#10 QB Tajh Boyd, Redshirt-Junior – 6-0Β½, 225 pounds, 4.68 seconds in the 40-yard dash, 3rd/4th-round potential for the NFL Draft.

After a strong sophomore season when he became the Tigers starting quarterback, Boyd came into the 2012 season after losing 20 pounds. That’s given him better mobility and he’s using his legs this season to make plays and elude the rush. So far this season, he’s completed 67 percent of his passes for 1,908 yards or 8.6 yards per passing play. He’s thrown 15 TDs against 6 INTs and has been sacked 15 times. In 7 games, Clemson is 6-1 with their only loss coming at Florida State. His best game came against Boston College when he threw for 367 yards and 3 TDs in a 45-31 victory. Over this season, he’s run for 251 yards on 91 carries with 4 TD runs. In his career, Boyd has thrown 52 TD passes and 21 INTs. He’s from Hampton, Virginia, an area that starting with Michael Vick has produced a string of talented quarterbacks. At Phoebus High School, Boyd led his team to a pair of state titles and had a 43-2 record as the starting quarterback. He played his senior season with a torn ACL but did not have surgery until January, after the season was completed. …Read More!

College Preview: Michigan State @ Wisconsin

  • Michigan State @ Wisconsin
  • Camp Randall Stadium, Madison, Wisconsin
  • October 27th, 2:30 p.m. CDT, ABC

Michigan State

#5 CB Johnny Adams, Redshirt-Senior – 5-11, 177 pounds, 4.52 seconds in the 40-yard dash, 2nd-round potential in the NFL Draft.

Adams is a three-year starter at cornerback for the Spartans and he knows how to make a big play on defense. So far in 8 games he has 23 tackles with 3 tackles for loss, a sack, an interception and a forced fumble. Over his 50-game career in East Lansing he has 145 total tackles, 11 tackles for loss, 4 sacks and 9 INTs. He returned two of those picks for scores, including one in his true freshman season (2008) when he ran 40 yards for a touchdown with nine seconds to play in the first half of a game against Purdue. Adams missed 10 games in the 2009 season and was granted a medical redshirt season due to a shoulder injury. At Buchtel High School in Akron, Ohio, he was a four-year starter in football and earned multiple All-City selections. As a senior he was named the team’s MVP with just more than 1,800 all-purpose yards and 15 TDs on offense. He also played basketball and ran track. Adams is 23 years old. …Read More!

Wanted: Arrowhead Advantage/Thursday Cup O’Chiefs

When Arrowhead Stadium opened 40 years ago there was a short period where visiting teams could be intimidated by the talent the Chiefs put on the field; Hall of Fame players like Bobby Bell, Willie Lanier, Buck Buchanan, Emmitt Thomas and Jan Stenerud.

There was a time back in the 1990s when the Chiefs defense and loudest crowd in pro football made Arrowhead the toughest place to play in the NFL. And, there was a time in the first years of this century when the high-octane Vermeil’s Flying Circus offense made Arrowhead a miserable stop for visitors.

None of those times is now. The talent on the field, the noise from the stands, or a skilled facet of the game are nowhere to be seen with this year’s Chiefs; Arrowhead Stadium has become just another building where the NFL plays football.

And, the Chiefs do not win. Since the franchise was retooled before the 2009 season with GM Scott Pioli leading the way, the team is:

  • Overall: 22-33, .400.
  • Home: 11-17, .393.
  • Away: 11-16, .407.

The Oakland Raiders, the longest-held rival of the Hunt Family franchise, once went 13 years and won at Arrowhead just once. But the Silver & Black have now won five consecutive games in the Chiefs building. That’s the longest active Kansas City winning streak for a visitor and just one game behind the record six straight Arrowhead games won by the Pittsburgh Steelers (1974, 1976, 1979, 1985, 1987, 1992.)

Home-field advantage no longer belongs to the Chiefs, even against their most storied rival. …Read More!

NFL Honors & Transactions – 10/24

AFC – named Tennessee RB Chris Johnson offensive player of the week, Oakland DE Lamarr Houston, defensive player of the week, New England DB Devin McCourty, special teams player of the week.

NFC – named Minnesota RB Adrian Peterson offensive player of the week, Chicago CB Charles Tillman defensive player of the week, San Francisco P Andy Lee special teams player of the week.

Carolina – placed LB Jon Beason on the injured reserve list; claimed DB James Dockery on waivers from Cleveland.

Cleveland – placed LB Scott Fujita (neck) on the injured-reserve list.

Dallas – placed LB Sean Lee (toe) on the injured-reserve list; played P Chris Jones on the injured-reserve list; signed LB Ernie Sims.

Detroit – placed WR Nate Burleson (leg) on the injured-reserve list; signed WR Brian Robiskie

Tennessee – placed LB Zach Diles on the injured-reserve list; signed LB Xavier Adibi.

Chiefs Practice Update – 10/24

From the Truman Sports Complex

Stanford Routt is keeping his thoughts and feelings about this Sunday’s game against his old team very simple.

“This week it’s the Raiders vs. the Chiefs, Sunday afternoon at 3 o’clock,” Routt said Wednesday after the Chiefs completed their afternoon practice. “I don’t really get into all the inside story lines.”

Routt was selected by the Raiders in the second round of the 2005 NFL Draft and he played his first seven seasons wearing silver and black, playing in 110 games with 53 starts.

“All I know is that the Chiefs play the Raiders on Sunday, plain and simple,” Routt said. “We are 1-5 and they are 2-4.

“We both have to get a win to get back up towards the lead in the AFC West.”

All 61 available players were taking part in Wednesday’s full pads session, the first time that’s happened this season. Going into practice, head coach Romeo Crennel did not label any of his players as limited participants either, although they were certainly going to keep an eye on four players – RB Peyton Hillis (ankle), DE Glenn Dorsey (calf), TE Steve Maneri (ankle) and WR Devon Wylie (hamstring). …Read More!

Dealing With Injury . . . Wednesday Cup O’Chiefs

Football is a collision sport.

Collision sports cause injuries. Every football team has them; just like the players on any roster, the injuries come in many different sizes and shapes. Successful teams learn to deal with their injuries. Troubled teams can’t get past the strains, sprains, bumps and bruises.

Count the Chiefs among that latter group. They are 1-5 on the season and there have been a host of injuries to deal with for Romeo Crennel and his coaching staff. As the Chiefs return to full-time practice work on Wednesday and begin the long haul of the final 10 weeks of the season, they are as healthy as they’ve been all season.

If nothing happened over the team’s day off on Tuesday, there will be only four players on the injury list to start the practice week: RB Peyton Hillis (ankle), DE Glenn Dorsey (calf), TE Steve Maneri (ankle) and WR Devon Wylie (hamstring).

There should be serious discussion within the upper reaches of Chiefs management about their injury situation; they’ve had more than their share of problems this season, more than enough to consider it more than bad luck or the vagrancies of the game that the training room has been so crowded.

Last year, there was a string of bad luck when they lost three important players in three weeks because of knee injuries – TE Tony Moeaki, SS Eric Berry and RB Jamaal Charles. But only one of those injuries involved a collision – that’s when Buffalo WR Stevie Johnson went after Berry’s left knee in the opener.

Right now 24 of the 53 players on the active roster have been listed on the injury report over the first six weeks of the season. Two other players – TE Kevin Boss (concussion) and C Rodney Hudson (leg) – are now on the injured-reserve list and off the active roster where they began the season. …Read More!

NFL Transactions – 10/23

NFL – suspended former Chiefs DB Donald Washington three games for violating the league’s personal conduct policy.

Carolina – claimed LB Doug Hogue on waivers from Detroit.

Dallas – signed DB Charlie Peprah.

Jacksonville – released DE Ryan Davis; signed RB Keith Totson.

Philadelphia – released C Steve Vallos; signed C Matt Tennant.

Washington – released RB Ryan Grant; signed RB Keiland Williams.

Former Chiefs DB Suspended By NFL

Donald Washington, the Chiefs disappointing fourth-round choice in the 2009 NFL Draft selected by GM Scott Pioli has been suspended by the NFL for three games for violating the league’s personal conduct policy.

Washington was arrested in the early morning hours of July 21 by the Illinois State Police about five miles west of Effingham on Interstate 70. Originally pulled over for speeding (86 mph in a 65 mph zone), authorities later charged him with suspicion of driving under the influence of drugs, unlawful possession of cannabis and driving with a suspended license.

Police also found crushed pills in Washington’s possession that may have been a controlled substance.

At Ohio State where he played his college ball, Washington faced several disciplinary problems, including a suspension. Despite those problems, Pioli selected him with the 102nd choice of the ’09 NFL Draft. He never made the transition to being a major contributor for the Chiefs defense and special teams. The Indianapolis native played in 32 games with 5 starts. He had 57 defensive tackles and one forced fumble, as well as 14 tackles in the kicking game.

Washington was released on August 31 and has not signed with any other team. If he is signed by another team, he will have to sit out three games.

The Panic Button Is Pushed … Tuesday Cup O’Chiefs

Let’s make one thing clear right from the jump – if you happen to think the Chiefs have seen the last of Matt Cassel then you are sadly mistaken.

Yes, he’s been benched, a move that’s hard to argue with considering the team’s record and his level of production.

But because the Chiefs refused to bring in any type of top competition over four years for Cassel, the fact that Brady Quinn is now the starting quarterback has no legs whatsoever. History tells us that Quinn will have his problems and the call will go out for second-year QB Ricky Stanzi. That’s an even greater disaster waiting to happen.

Matt Cassel will get another chance to be the Chiefs starting quarterback. …Read More!

The Replacements Greeted By Shotguns

One of the first wire service datelines posted during the 1987 NFL players strike came from Kansas City:

Kansas City, MO (AP) – Violence marked the second day of the NFL strike today when two Kansas City Chiefs players arrived for picket duty brandishing shotguns … the two Kansas City players – tight end Paul Coffman and linebacker Dino Hackett – carried shotguns and stood in the back of a pickup truck driven by nose tackle Bill Maas when the group arrived at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City. They brandished their guns and were yelling “We’re looking for scabs.”

There were incidents in other NFL cities with windows being smashed on buses carrying replacement players and automobiles being vandalized. But it was in Kansas City where most of the attention landed with Hackett and Coffman carrying shotguns.

“Our attempt was to have a little fun and fire-up all the guys on the picket line; those guns were not loaded,” Hackett several years ago when he talked about the moment. “I guess it didn’t come across the way we had hoped because we sure came out of the thing looking like a bunch of cowboys.”

At the time, Hackett was quoted as saying: “We just wanted to keep this as lighthearted as possible. But this is serious business. This is our livelihood.”

As a group the ’87 Chiefs were very pro-union and had nearly 100 percent support as the walkout began. Almost the entire roster and injured-reserve list showed up on that Wednesday to setup a picket line. Several representatives of AFL-CIO affiliated unions also joined the picket line.

No one was expecting shotguns.

“It painted us in a bad light and we apologized at that time,” Hackett said. “I apologize now. You know you’re young and stupid and you go off and try to show we were completely supportive of our union. We just got carried away. It was a different time.”

The 1987 Replacement Chiefs


#93 NT Bill Acker

  • 6-3, 255 pounds/William Berry Acker, Jr./Born: November 7, 1956 in Freer, TX/Freer High School.
  • University of Texas 1975, 1977-79/6th-round, selection #142 in the 1980 NFL Draft by St. Louis Cardinals.
  • NFL (55/6): 1980/81 St. Louis (24/4); 1982 Chiefs (3/0); 1983 Cincinnati (0/0); 1983/84 Buffalo (26/0); 1987 replacement Chiefs (2/2).
  • Signed October 7, 1987.

#65 LS Kevin Adkins

  • 6-1, 205 pounds/James Kevin Adkins/Born: August 27, 1965 in Midwest City, OK/Midwest City High School.
  • University of Oklahoma 1984-86/He was not selected in NFL Draft.
  • NFL (2/0): 1987 replacement Chiefs (2/0).
  • Signed September 30.

#52 C/G John Aimonetti

  • 6-3, 278 pounds/Born: November 22, 1963 in San Jose, CA.
  • San Jose State University 1982-84, 1986/He was not selected in NFL Draft.
  • NFL (0/0): 1987 Denver training camp; 1987 replacement Chiefs (0/0).
  • Signed September 23.

#42 RB Greg Allen

  • 5-11, 200 pounds/Gregory Allen/Born: April 4, 1959 in Milton, FL/Milton High School.
  • Florida State University 1981-84/2nd-round, selection #35 in 1985 NFL Draft by the Cleveland Browns.
  • NFL (9/0): 1985/86 Cleveland (7/0); 1986 Tampa Bay (2/0); 1987 Indianapolis training camp; 1987 replacement Chiefs (0/0).
  • Signed October 7.

#46 CB Greg Atterberry

  • 5-10, 183 pounds/Born: July 19, 1962 in Denmark, SC.
  • University of Central Florida 1981, 1983/Not selected in the NFL Draft.
  • NFL: 1986 Chiefs training camp; 1986 CFL/Winnipeg; 1987 replacement Chiefs (0/0).
  • Signed on September 30; released October 6.

#69 DT James Black

  • 6-4, 280 pounds/James R. Black III/Born: November 4, 1956 in Xenia, OH/West Side High School, Gary, IN.
  • South Carolina State University/Not selected in the NFL Draft.
  • NFL (1/0) & USFL: 1981 Chiefs training camp; 1982 Chiefs training camp; 1983 New Orleans training camp; 1984 USFL/Pittsburgh; 1985 USFL/Denver, 1987 replacement Chiefs (1/0).
  • Signed September 23; placed on injured-reserve list with a sprained knee October 9.

#82 WR Nate Blanks

  • 6-0, 180 pounds/Born: October 9, 1965.
  • University of Western Illinois 1985-86/Not selected in the NFL Draft.
  • NFL (0/0): 1987 Seattle training camp; 1987 replacement Chiefs (0/0).
  • Signed September 23; released October 15.

#62 G James Boyd

  • 6-3, 285 pounds.
  • N.W. Louisiana State/Not selected in the NFL Draft.
  • NFL: 1987 replacement Chiefs (0/0).
  • Signed September 23.

#86 WR Eric Brown

  • 6-2, 180 pounds/Born: September 7, 1964/Mercy High School in St. Louis, MO.
  • University of Tulsa/Not selected in the NFL Draft.
  • NFL (3/2): 1987 St. Louis training camp; 1987 replacement Chiefs (3/2).
  • Signed September 23.

#45 CB Trent Bryant

  • 5-10, 180 pounds/Trent Baron Bryant/Born: August 14, 1959 in Arkadelphia, AR/Arkadelphia High School.
  • University of Arkansas 1977-80/10th-round, selection #259 in 1981 NFL Draft by Baltimore Colts.
  • NFL (32/5): 1981 Baltimore training camp; 1981 Washington (4/0); 1982-83 Chiefs (25/0); 1984 USFL/Chicago; 1985 USFL/Arizona; 1986 USFL/Los Angeles Express; 1987 replacement Chiefs (3/2).
  • Signed September 24.

#48 DB Jeff Colter

  • 5-10, 171 pounds/Jeffrey Colter/Born: April 23, 1961 in Tucson, AZ/Amphitheater High School.
  • University of Kansas 1981-83/Not selected in the NFL Draft.
  • NFL (17/0): 1984 Minnesota (16/0); 1987 replacement Chiefs (1/0).
  • Signed September 24; placed on left squad list on October 7.

#66 OT Dan Doubiago

  • 6-5, 283 pounds/Born: September 25, 1960 in Escondido, CA /Mendocino (CA) High School
  • University of Utah 1979-80, 1982/Not selected in the NFL Draft.
  • NFL (3/0) & USFL: 1983 Seattle training camp; 1984 USFL/Pittsburgh; 1985 USFL/Los Angeles; 1987 Chiefs training camp; 1987 replacement Chiefs (3/0).
  • Signed September 23.

#26 SS Cornelius Dozier

  • 6-2, 190 pounds/Cornelius Leslie Dozier/Born: February 5, 1964 in Ennis, TX/South Oak Cliff High School-Dallas.
  • Southern Methodist University 1982-85/Not selected in NFL Draft.
  • NFL (2/0) & CFL: 1986 Raiders training camp; 1987 CFL/Ottawa; 1987 replacement Chiefs (2/0).
  • Signed September 28.

#25 CB Jack Epps

  • 6-0, 195 pounds/John Michael Epps/Born: March 20, 1963 in Tulsa, OK/Shawnee Mission West High School-Overland Park, KS.
  • Kansas State University 1983-85/Not selected in NFL Draft.
  • NFL (3/2): 1986 Chiefs injured-reserve list; 1987 Tampa Bay training camp; 1987 replacement Chiefs (3/2).
  • Signed on September 23.

#12 QB Alex Espinoza

  • 6-1, 193 pounds/Alex A. Espinoza/Born: May 31, 1964 in Los Angeles, CA/St. Paul High School, East Los Angeles, CA.
  • Iowa State University-Cal State Fullerton/Not selected in NFL Draft
  • NFL (1/0): 1986 CFL/Winnipeg; 1987 replacement Chiefs (1/0); 1991-92 World League of American Football/Frankfurt.
  • Signed September 28.

#84 WR Richard Estell

  • 6-2, 210 pounds/Richard Wayne Estell/Born October 12, 1963 in Kansas City, KS/J.C. Harmon High School.
  • University of Kansas 1982-85/Not selected in NFL Draft.
  • NFL (2/0): 1986 Chiefs training camp; 1987 Indianapolis training camp; 1987 replacement Chiefs (2/0).
  • Signed September 28.

#41 S Chris Evans

  • 5-11, 198 pounds.
  • University of North Alabama/Not selected in NFL Draft.
  • NFL (0/0): 1987 N.Y. Jets training camp; 1987 replacement Chiefs (0/0).
  • Signed September 23; placed on waivers October 6.

#90 DL Jeff Faulkner

  • 6-3, 270 pounds/Jeffrey E. Faulkner/Born: April 4, 1964 in St. Thomas, Virgin Islands/American High School-Miami, FL.
  • Southern University 1985-86/Not selected in the NFL Draft.
  • NFL (52/23)& Arena League: 1987 Chiefs training camp; 1987 replacement Chiefs (3/1); 1988 Arena League/Chicago; 1988 Minnesota training camp; 1989 Minnesota training camp; 1990 Indianapolis (7/0); 1991-92 Phoenix (32/19); 1993 New Orleans (1/0); 1993 Washington (5/3); 1994 Washington training camp; 1995 Tampa Bay released before camp; 1996 N.Y. Jets (4/0).
  • Signed September 23.

#46 CB Jitter Fields

  • 5-8, 185 pounds/Alfred Gene Fields, Jr./Born: August 16, 1982 in Dallas, TX/Grady Spruce High School-Dallas.
  • University of Texas 1980-83/5th-round, selection #123 in 1984 NFL Draft by New Orleans.
  • NFL (19/0), CFL, USFL & Arena League: 1984 New Orleans (13/0); 1985 CFL/Saskatchewan; 1986 USFL/San Antonio; 1986 CFL/Ottawa; 1987 replacement Indianapolis (1/0); 1987 replacement Chiefs (2/0); 1987 Chiefs (3/0); 1988 Chiefs training camp; 1991-93 Arena Football (Detroit, Arizona, Dallas.)
  • Signed October 15.

#65 OL David Fonoti

  • 6-4, 290 pounds/Born: August 17, 1963 in Aiea, Hawaii.
  • Arizona State University 1983-85/He was not selected in the NFL Draft.
  • NFL (0/0): 1986 Washington training camp; 1987 replacement Chiefs (0/0).
  • Signed on September 28; arthroscopic surgery on left knee cartilage on October 2; placed on injured-reserve list on October 6.

#95 LB Randy Frazier

  • 6-3, 235 pounds/Phillip Randy Frazier/Born: June 18, 1964 in Letcher County, KY/Whitesburg (KY) High School.
  • Morehead State University/He was not selected in the NFL Draft.
  • NFL (3/0): 1987 Chiefs training camp; 1987 replacement Chiefs (3/0).
  • Signed September 23.

#71 OL Lee Getz

  • 6-3, 250 pounds/E. Lee Gretz/Born: April 2, 1964 in Hunterton, NJ/Voorhees High School-Glen Gardener, NJ.
  • Rutgers University 1983-86/Not selected in NFL Draft.
  • NFL (3/0): 1987 Pittsburgh training camp; 1987 replacement Chiefs (3/0)
  • Signed September 25.

#2 P Kelly Goodburn

  • 6-2, 195 pounds/Kelly Joe Goodburn/Born: April 4, 1962 in Cherokee, IA/Eastwood High School-Correctionville, IA.
  • Iowa State University 1981-84, Emporia State University 1985/He was not selected in the NFL Draft.
  • NFL (85/0): 1986 Chiefs training camp; 1987 Chiefs training camp; 1987 replacement Chiefs (3/0); 1987 Chiefs (10/0); 1988-90 Chiefs (35/0); 1990-93 Washington (37/0)
  • Signed September 23.

#39 RB Steve Griffin

  • 5-10, 205 pounds/Stephen Giovanni Griffin/Born: August 14, 1964 in Tampa, FL/C. Leon King High School-Tampa.
  • Tennessee State University/Not selected in the NFL Draft.
  • NFL (1/0): 1987 Dallas training camp; 1987 replacement Chiefs (1/0).
  • Signed September 25.

#92 NT Keith Guthrie

  • 6-4, 261 pounds/Keith Edwin Guthrie/Born: August 17, 1963 in Tyler, TX/John Tyler High School.
  • Texas A&M University/6th-round, selection #144 in 1984 NFL Draft by San Diego.
  • NFL (11/2): 1984 San Diego (11/2); 1987 replacement Chiefs (0/0).
  • Signed September 23; placed on injured-reserve list after surgery on left knee, October 6.

#4 K James Hamrick

  • 5-11, 175 pounds/James McNeil Hamrick/Born: August 31, 1963 in Jacksonville, FL/Annandale (VA) High School; Angleton (TX) High School
  • Rice University 1983-85/He was not selected in the NFL Draft.
  • NFL (3/0): 1986 San Diego training camp; 1987 replacement Chiefs (3/0).
  • Signed September 23.

#50 LB James Harrell

  • 6-2, 240 pounds/James Clarence Harrell, Jr./Born: July 19, 1957 in Tampa, FL/Chamberlain High School-Tampa.
  • University of Florida 1977-78/He was not selected in the NFL Draft.
  • NFL (89/32) & USFL (18/16): 1979 Denver training camp; 1979-1983 Detroit (55/8); 1984-85 Tampa Bay/USFL (18/16); 1985-86 Detroit (23/17); 1987 Detroit training camp; 1987 replacement Chiefs (3/3); 1987 Chiefs (8/1).
  • Signed October 1.

#92 LB Bob Harris

  • 6-2, 221 pounds/Robert Gregory Harris/Born: November 11, 1960 in Everett, WA/Cedar Grove High School, Ellenwood, GA.
  • Auburn University 1979-82/8th-round, selection #211, 1983 NFL Draft by St. Louis Cardinals.
  • NFL (37/14): 1983-85 St. Louis (34/11); 1986 St. Louis training camp; 1987 Chiefs training camp; 1987 replacement Chiefs (3/3).
  • Signed September 29.

#64 LG James Harvey

  • 6-4, 270 pounds/James M. Harvey/Born: November 27, 1965 in New Orleans, LA/Columbia (MS) High School.
  • Jackson State University 1983-86/He was not selected in the NFL Draft.
  • NFL (4/3): 1987 Chiefs training camp; 1987 replacement Chiefs (3/3); 1988 Chiefs (1/0).
  • Signed September 23.

#89 WR Eric Hodges

  • 6-1, 189 pounds/Eric Neal Hodges/Born: June 3, 1964 in Philadelphia, PA/Central High School.
  • University of Florida 1985-86/Not selected in NFL Draft.
  • NFL (1/0): 1986 Seattle training camp; 1986 Tampa Bay training camp; 1987 Denver training camp; 1987 replacement Chiefs (1/0)
  • Claimed on waivers October 8 from Denver.

#97 LB Tony Holloway

  • 6-0, 235 pounds/Anthony Lambert Holloway/Born: April 21, 1964 in Puerto Rico/West High School, Bellevue, NE.
  • University of Nebraska 1983, 1985-86/He was not selected in the NFL Draft.
  • NFL (1/1): 1987 Cleveland training camp; 1987 replacement Chiefs (1/1).
  • Signed September 23.

#57 ILB Bruce Holmes

  • 6-2, 220 pounds/Bruce Barton Holmes /Born: October 24, 1964 in El Paso, TX/Henry Ford High School in Detroit, MI.
  • University of Minnesota 1983-86/12th-round, selection #325, 1987 NFL Draft by Chiefs.
  • NFL (3/3): 1987 Chiefs training camp; 1987 replacement Chiefs (3/3).
  • Signed September 23.

#79 OT Doug Hoppock

  • 6-4, 280 pounds/Douglas Gene Hoppock/Born: January 30, 1960 in Wichita, KS/Southeast High School.
  • Kansas State University 1978-80, 1982/Not selected in the NFL Draft.
  • NFL (3/3) & USFL: 1983 USFL/Denver; 1984 USFL/Chicago; 1985 USFL/Denver; 1987 replacement Chiefs (3/3).
  • Signed September 23.

#11 QB Doug Hudson

  • 6-2, 201 pounds/Doug Benjamin Hudson/Born: September 11, 1964 in Memphis, TN/Gulf Breeze (FL) High School.
  • Nicholls State University 1983-86/7th-round, selection #186 in the 1987 NFL Draft by Chiefs.
  • NFL (1/1): 1987 Chiefs training camp; 1987 replacement Chiefs (1/1); 1987 Chiefs (0/0).
  • Signed October 16.

#55 C Glenn Hyde

  • 6-3, 252 pounds/Glenn Thatcher Hyde/Born: March 14, 1951 in Boston MA/Berwick Academy, Lexington, MA.
  • University of Pittsburgh 1970-73/Not selected in the NFL Draft.
  • NFL (115/13), WFL (11) & USFL (35): 1974 WFL/Chicago; 1975 WFL/Charlotte; 1976-81 NFL/Denver (88/12); 1982 Baltimore Colts (5/0); 1983 USFL/Denver; 1984 USFL/Chicago; 1985 NFL/Denver (11/0); 1986 Seattle (3/0); 1987 replacement Chiefs (2/1); 1987 Chiefs 6/0).
  • Signed October 8.

#97 DE Ken Johnson

  • 6-5, 260 pounds/Kenneth Eugene Johnson/Born: March 25, 1955 in Nashville, TN/Stratford High School.
  • Knoxville College/4th-round, selection #83 in the 1979 NFL Draft by Buffalo.
  • NFL (76/25): 1979-84 Buffalo (74/24); 1985 Bills training camp; 1987 replacement Chiefs (2/1).
  • Signed October 9.

#96 LB Fred Jones

  • 6-3, 240 pounds/Fredrick Daniel Jones/Born: September 2, 1965 in Miami, FL/South Miami High School.
  • Florida State University 1983-86/Not selected in NFL Draft.
  • NFL (2/0): 1987 San Diego training camp; 1987 replacement Chiefs (2/0).
  • Claimed on waivers October 6 from San Diego.

#81 TE Rod E. Jones

  • 6-4, 240 pounds/Roderick Earl Jones/Born: March 3, 1964 in Richmond, CA/El Cerrito (CA) High School.
  • University of Washington 1984-86/8th-round, selection #223 in 1987 NFL Draft by New York Giants.
  • NFL (3/1): 1987 N.Y. Giants training camp; 1987 replacement Chiefs (3/1).
  • Signed September 23.

#80 TE Stein Koss

  • 6-2, 225 pounds/Stein Jeffrey Koss/Born: August 21, 1963 in Durango, CO/Durango High School.
  • Arizona State University 1983-86/Not selected in the NFL Draft.
  • NFL (2/2): 1987 Chiefs training camp; 1987 replacement Chiefs (2/2).
  • Signed September 25.

#40 RB Ken Lacy

  • 6-0, 222 pounds/Kenneth Wayne Lacy/Born: November 1, 1960 in Waco, TX/Kimball High School, Dallas, TX.
  • University of Tulsa 1980-82/Not selected in NFL Draft.
  • NFL (20/0) & USFL: 1983-84 USFL/Michigan Panthers; 1984-85 Chiefs (17/); 1987 replacement Chiefs (3/1).
  • Signed September 24.

#48 CB Garcia Lane

  • 5-9, 180 pounds/Garcia R. Lane/Born: December 31, 1961 in Youngstown, OH/South High School.
  • Ohio State University /3rd-round NFL Supplemental Draft of USFL players, selection #61 by Chiefs.
  • NFL (17/1) & USFL: 1983-84 USFL/Philadelphia; 1985 USFL/Baltimore; 1985 Chiefs (16/0); 1987 replacement Chiefs (1/1).
  • Signed October 15.

#60 DE Chris Lindstrom

  • 6-7, 260 pounds/Christopher Andrew Lindstrom/Born: August 3, 1960 in Weymouth, MA/South High School.
  • Boston University/8th-round, selection #205 in the 1982 NFL Draft by the St. Louis Cardinals.
  • NFL (17/3): 1982 St. Louis training camp; 1983 Cincinnati (1/0); San Francisco (0/0); 1985 Tampa Bay (15/2); 1987 replacement Chiefs (3/3).
  • Signed September 24.

#35 FB Marlon McIntyre

  • 5-11, 230 pounds/Born: August 28, 1962 in Belle Vernon, PA/Belle Vernon High School.
  • University of Pittsburgh 1981-84/8th-round, selection #218 in the 1985 NFL Draft by Los Angeles Rams.
  • NFL (0/0): 1985 L.A. Rams camp, 1986 Indianapolis camp, 1987 Chiefs replacements (0/0).
  • Signed on October 1; placed on exempt/left team list on October 9.

#87 Dave Montagne

  • 6-2, 184 pounds/David Andrew Montagne/Born: April 18, 1964 in Berkley, CA/Miramonte (CA) High School
  • Oregon State University 1984-86/Not selected in NFL Draft.
  • NFL (3/2): 1987 Chiefs training camp; 1987 Chiefs replacements (3/2).
  • Signed September 23.

#68 DE Mitchell Morris

  • 6-4, 255-pounds/Born: June 21, 1963 in Kansas City, MO/Southeast High School in Kansas City.
  • Wichita State University 1983-86/Not selected in the NFL Draft.
  • NFL (0/0): 1987 Seattle training camp; 1987 replacement Chiefs (0/0).
  • Signed October 9.

#53 LB Gary Moten

  • 6-1, 210 pounds/Born: April 3, 1961 in Galveston, TX/Brazoswood High School in Clute, TX.
  • Southern Methodist University 1979-82/7th-round, selection #175 in the 1983 NFL Draft by San Francisco.
  • NFL, CFL & USFL: 1983 San Francisco (6/0); 1984 San Francisco injured-reserve list; 1985 USFL/Los Angeles & New Jersey (10/0); 1985 CFL/Saskatchewan; 1986 CFL/Toronto; 1987 replacement Chiefs (1/0).
  • Signed September 29.

#91 DE Lloyd Mumphrey

  • 6-3, 260 pounds/Lloyd Ellis Mumphrey/Born: February 14, 1961 in Memphis, TN/Westwood High School in Memphis.
  • Mississippi Valley State University/ Not selected in the NFL Draft.
  • NFL (3/2) & CFL: 1985 San Francisco injured-reserve list; 1987-88 CFL/Edmonton; 1987 replacement Chiefs (3/2); 1989 CFL/Ottawa.
  • Signed September 29.

#42 FB Lloyd Murray

  • 6-0, 215 pounds/Born: March 11, 1963 in Boise, ID.
  • Mid-America Nazarene College 1984-85/Not selected in NFL Draft.
  • NFL (0/0): 1986 Chiefs training camp; 1987 replacement Chiefs.
  • Signed September 23; released on October 6.

#85 WR Kenny Nash

  • 6-2, 193 pounds/Kenneth I. Nash/Born: October 28, 1962 in Los Angeles, CA/Esperanza High School, Anaheim, CA.
  • San Jose State University 1985-86/Not selected in the NFL Draft.
  • NFL (1/0): 1987 N.Y. Jets training camp; 1987 replacement Chiefs (1/0)
  • Signed September 23.

#70 OT Mark Nelson

  • 6-4, 270 pounds/Mark David Nelson/Born: June 22, 1964 in Bloomington, MN/Thomas Jefferson High School.
  • Iowa State University & Bowling Green State University/Not selected in the NFL Draft.
  • NFL (1/0): 1987 Chiefs training camp; 1987 replacement Chiefs (1/0).
  • Signed September 23.

#49 SS Ted Nelson

  • 5-10, 200 pounds/Theodore R. Nelson III/Born: January 1, 1965 in Pittsburgh, PA/Peabody High School, Pittsburgh.
  • University of Nevada-Las Vegas 1986/Not selected in NFL Draft.
  • NFL (3/3): 1987 Chiefs training camp; 1987 replacement Chiefs (3/3); 1988 Chiefs training camp.
  • Signed September 23.

#11 QB Sandy Osiecki

  • 6-5, 202 pounds/Stanley Eugene Osiecki/Born: May 18, 1960 in Ansonia, CT/Ansonia High School.
  • Arizona State University/Not selected in the NFL Draft.
  • NFL (4/0): 1984 Chiefs (4/0); 1987 replacement Chiefs (0/0).
  • Signed September 28; placed on waivers October 9.

#43 RB Robert Parker

  • 6-1, 201 pounds/Robert Lewis Parker/Born: January 7, 1963 in Alexander City, AL/Benjamin Russell High School in Alexander City.
  • Northeastern Oklahoma A&M 1982-83/Brigham Young University 1984, 1986/He was not selected in the NFL Draft.
  • NFL (3/2): 1987 Chiefs training camp; 1987 replacement Chiefs; 1988 Chiefs training camp.
  • Signed September 23.

#62 C Jim Pietrzak

  • 6-5, 260 pounds/James Michael Pietrzak/Born: February 21, 1953 in Hamtramck, MI/University High School-Detroit
  • Eastern Michigan State University/6th-round, selection #132 in the 1974 NFL Draft by the N.Y. Giants.
  • NFL (140/9): 1974-79 New York Giants (61/0); 1979-84 New Orleans Saints (77/7); 1987 replacement Chiefs (2/2).
  • Signed October 2; placed on left-squad list October 15.

#41 FB Woodie Pippens

  • 5-11, 225 pounds/Abram Woodrow Pippens/Born: February 7, 1963 in Cleveland, OH/Rhodes High School.
  • Thiel College (Greenville, PA)/He was not selected in NFL Draft.
  • NFL (2/0): 1985 Pittsburgh training camp; 1986 Chiefs camp and Chiefs injured-reserve list; 1987 replacement Chiefs (2.0).
  • Signed October 6.

#77 OT Steve Rogers

  • 6-4, 250 pounds/Steven C. Rogers/Born: January 9, 1959 in Escondido, CA/Orange Glen High School.
  • Oregon State University, Brigham Young University/He was not selected in NFL Draft.
  • NFL (3/3): 1987 replacement Chiefs (3/3).
  • Signed October 2.

#27 S Blane Smith

  • 5-10, 190 pounds/Blane Eric Smith/Born: December 22, 1959 in Houston, TX/Jack Yates High School.
  • Southern Methodist University 1978, 1980-82/He was not selected in NFL Draft.
  • NFL (3/1) & USFL: 1983 Cleveland training camp; 1984-85 USFL/Pittsburgh & Houston; 1986 Indianapolis; 1987 replacement Chiefs (3/1).
  • Signed September 25.

#47 RB Chris Smith

  • 6-0, 242 pounds/Chris Montane Smith/Born: June 1, 1963 in Cincinnati, OH/LaSalle High School.
  • University of Notre Dame 1981-84/He was not selected in the NFL Draft.
  • NFL (4/3): 1986 Chiefs (1/0); 1987 Chiefs training camp; 1987 replacement Chiefs (3/3).
  • Signed September 23.

OT Franky Smith

  • 6-7, 310 pounds/Franky Lee Smith/Born: January 16, 1959 in Birmingham, AL/Jackson-Olin High School.
  • Alabama A&M University/8th-round, selection #221 in 1978 NFL Draft by Denver.
  • NFL (4/2): 1978-79 Denver; 1980 Chiefs (4/2); 1981-83 CFL/Winnipeg; 1984-85 USFL/Birmingham; 1987 replacement Chiefs (0/0).
  • Signed October 1; placed on reserve-left squad list October 7.

#94 MLB Gary Spann

  • 6-1, 216 pounds/Gary Lynn Spann/Born: February3, 1963 in Dallas, TX/South Oak Cliff High School.
  • Texas Christian University 1981-84/10th-round, selection #263 in the 1985 NFL Draft by Green Bay.
  • NFL (2/1): 1986 Green Bay training camp; 1987 replacement Chiefs (2/1).
  • Signed September 24.

#1 QB Matt Stevens

  • 6-0, 190 pounds/Matthew Anthony Stevens/Born: July 30, 1964 in Sulphur, LA/Fountain Valley High School, CA.
  • University of California-Los Angeles 1985-86/He was not selected in the NFL Draft.
  • NFL (3/2): 1987 Chiefs training camp; 1987 replacement Chiefs (3/2).
  • Signed September 23.

#21 RB Ralph Stockemer

  • 6-1, 215 pounds/Ralph William Stockemer/Born: December 20, 1962 in Shreveport, LA/Alma (AR) High School.
  • Baylor University 1983-85/He was not selected in the NFL Draft.
  • NFL (2/0): 1986 San Diego training camp; 1987 Chiefs training camp; 1987 replacement Chiefs (2/0).
  • Signed September 23.

#68 DT Terry Summers

  • 6-3, 275 pounds/Born: November 2, 1962 in Ada, OK/Ada High School.
  • Oklahoma 1981-82, East Central Oklahoma State University 1985-86/He was not selected in the NFL Draft.
  • NFL (0/0): 1987 New Orleans training camp; 1987 replacement Chiefs.
  • Signed on September 23; placed on waivers October 9.

#38 CB Carlton Thomas

  • 6-0, 195 pounds/Carlton Fitzgerald Thomas/Born: November 25, 1963 in Portsmouth, VA/Woodrow Wilson High School
  • Elizabeth City State University /He was not selected in the NFL Draft.
  • NFL (4/2): 1987 Chiefs training camp; 1987 replacement Chiefs (3/2); 1987 Chiefs (1/0); 1988 Chiefs training camp.
  • Signed September 23.

#58 G Arland Thompson

  • 6-4, 265 pounds/Arland Baron Thompson/Born: September 19, 1957 in Lockney, TX/Plainview High School
  • Baylor University 1976-79/4th-round, selection #103 in the 1980 NFL Draft by Chicago.
  • NFL (17/5), USFL & Arena League: 1980 Denver (2/0); 1981 Green Bay (9/1); 1982 Baltimore Colts (3/1); 1983 USFL/Denver; 1984-85 USFL/San Antonio (18/18); 1987 replacement Chiefs (3/3); 1988 Arena/Detroit.
  • Signed September 28.

#83 WR John Trahan

  • 5-9, 160 pounds/John Trahan/Born: April 19, 1961 in Grand Forks, ND/Thomas Jefferson High School, Denver, CO.
  • Southern Colorado University 1981-84/He was not selected in the NFL Draft.
  • NFL (3/3): 1985 Denver training camp; 1987 Chiefs training camp; 1987 replacement Chiefs (3/3).
  • Signed September 24.

#98 DT John Walker

  • 6-6, 270 pounds/John Wayne Walker/Born: September 12, 1961 in Omaha, NE/Benson High School.
  • University of Nebraska-Omaha/5th-round, selection #136 in the 1983 NFL Draft by N.Y. Jets.
  • NFL (3/2) & USFL: 1983-84 N.Y. Jets; 1985 USFL/Baltimore; 1987 replacement Chiefs (3/2).
  • Signed September 30.

#88 TE Riley Walton

  • 6-4, 245 pounds/Riley Henry Walton/Born: August 6, 1962 in Nashville, TN/Pearl High School.
  • Tennessee State University/He was not selected in the NFL Draft.
  • NFL (2/0): 1987 Chicago training camp; 1987 replacement Chiefs (2/0).
  • Signed October 2.

#6 K Paul Woodside

  • 6-0, 175 pounds.
  • University of West Virginia/12th-round, selection #333 in the 1985 NFL Draft by Buffalo.
  • NFL (0/0): 1985 Buffalo training camp; 1986 Washington training camp; 1987 replacement Chiefs (0/0).
  • Signed September 28; placed on waivers October 6.

#23 DB Kevin Wyatt

  • 5-10, 199 pounds/Kevin Michael Wyatt/Born: March 14, 1964 in Norfolk, VA/ Rockhurst High School, Kansas City, MO.
  • University of Arkansas/5th-round, selection #136 in the 1986 NFL Draft by the Miami Dolphins.
  • NFL (18/0): 1986 San Diego (16/0); 1987 San Diego training camp; 1987 Green Bay training camp; 1987 replacement Chiefs (2/0).
  • Signed September 23.

NFL Transactions – 10/22

Carolina – fired GM Marty Hurney; placed CB Chris Gamble (shoulder) on the injured-reserve list.

Cleveland – promoted G Jarrod Shaw from the practice squad; placed G Jason Pinkston (blood clot) on the injured-reserve list.

Detroit – signed DB Justin Miller; released LB Doug Hogue

St. Louis – signed OT Chris Williams; released OL Quinn Ojinnaka.

San Diego – signed WR Danario Alexander; placed K Nate Kaeding (groin) on the injured-reserve list.

Washington – placed TE Fred Davis (Achilles) on the injured-reserve list; signed TE Chris Cooley.

Quinn-Cassel Swap Spots Without Fanfare

From the Truman Sports Complex

With the exception of the media horde moving from one side of the locker room to the other, there was no indication that anything had significantly changed with the Chiefs as they returned from their bye week.

That mass of media was chasing quarterback: the new starter in Brady Quinn and the former starter and now No. 2 Matt Cassel.

Quinn wasn’t celebrating his ascension and Cassel wasn’t happy with his demotion, but it’s one of those steps that happen with losing football teams – something has to change.

In this case, the Chiefs and specifically head coach Romeo Crennel felt the most impact would come from a different starting quarterback. Crennel told the quarterbacks and the media that Quinn would not get a quick hook – he’ll get the chance to make the job his.

“I’m not worried about anything else but getting better this week, Oakland and the game plan,” Quinn said. “They are a talented defense. I know coach (Dennis) Allen, he’s an impressive coach. There’s a lot to prepare for and that’s what I’m focused on right now.” …Read More!

Chiefs Practice Report – 10/22

From the Truman Sports Complex

For the first time in ages, the Chiefs had all 61 available players taking part in the early part of practice on Monday afternoon.

Working outside in windy and humid conditions, all 53 players on the active roster and all 8 players on the practice squad were working in position drills.

“On the injury front, we should be relatively healthy,” said head coach Romeo Crennel. “We’ve got four guys who are going to be limited who hadn’t been practicing, so we’ll have to see how much they can do and will do.”

The bye week helped some players heal and head coach Romeo Crennel said only four players would be limited in their participation during Monday’s session: …Read More!

Cassel Out, Quinn In As Chiefs Starting QB

From the Truman Sports Complex

Chiefs head coach Romeo Crennel announced Monday that he was making a change at quarterback as the Chiefs return to work after the bye weekend.

Matt Cassel has been benched and Brady Quinn becomes the No. 1 quarterback, starting with the team’s practice on Monday and then this coming Sunday against Oakland at Arrowhead Stadium.

“It seems like we are in a rut as far as this team goes,” Crennel said. “During my evaluation in trying to impact the team I felt like probably the most impactful move I could make to get everyone’s attention was to change the quarterback. So I’m changing the quarterback and Brady Quinn will be the starter and Matt Cassel will be the backup.

“Hopefully that gets everyone’s attention and hopefully that impacts the team.” …Read More!

NFL Week #7/Sunday Best – 10/21


How the week was won

Home teams were 7-5 with Monday night’s Detroit at Chicago meeting to play.

Road winners did it by average of 6 points; Home winners did it by an average of 8.3 points.

Biggest blowout was Houston by 30 over Baltimore; closest game was Tennessee by 1 point over Buffalo.

Best offensive day was Tampa Bay with 513 yards in losing to New Orleans; the Buccaneers also had the most passing yardage at 415 yards. Washington had the best day running the ball with 248 rushing yards against the New York Giants; they also lost

Best defensive day was by Houston allowing just 176 yards in beating Baltimore; Oakland held Jacksonville to a mere 54 rushing yards and Arizona allowed Minnesota only 43 net passing yards. …Read More!

What’s Next For Under-a-Chiefers?

So how was that bye weekend? How enjoyable was a Sunday where the red and gold clad lads of the Hunt Family franchise didn’t rip your guts out with another underachiefing performance?

The Chiefs started Sunday at 1-5. They ended the day with the same 1-5 record and that’s an improvement over recent performances. They are no longer tied for the league’s worst – that honor (?) falls to Cleveland as the Browns are now 1-6.

After a bye weekend of reflection and some darn strong apple cider I’m here to provide a ray of hope for Chiefs fans:

This 2012 Chiefs team is not as bad as its record indicates.

Yes, I know the Parcellsian mantra that a team is what it is and the record reflects that. But the Chiefs have too many talented players to be a 1-5 team. Don’t get me wrong; they aren’t nearly as talented as apparently GM Scott Pioli thought they were before the season started. A bunch of fans and media-types bought into that and drank the Kool-Aid. The Chiefs never had enough talent to be a real contender; not now, not back in September, not on the first day of training camp.

But they do have talent on both sides of the ball and in the kicking game. And, it’s enough to win games. I can see this team playing .500 football over the rest of the season. I’m serious. …Read More!

Book Excerpt #3: Ten-Gallon War

The new book Ten-Gallon War is about a slice of Chiefs history that most fans and folks in Kansas City do not know. Those first three years of the American Football League they were the Dallas Texans, competing head-to-head in Dallas with the NFL’s newest expansion team, the Dallas Cowboys. Author John Eisenberg captures the flavor of the times so different from today in professional football. Here’s the second of three excerpts from the book. Here’s the link to the first one.Β Here’s the link to the second installment.

A week after their snowy win in Denver, the Texans were obliterating the Raiders at the Cotton Bowl. The date was November 25, 1962. Up by two touchdowns early in the third quarter, they were on their way to their third straight victory and ninth in eleven games. They had become the exciting, winning team Lamar had always wanted, and with the Chargers falling off badly because of a quarterback controversy (veteran Jack Kemp or rookie John Hadl?) and injuries to several key players, the Texans were running away with the Western Division title.

A year earlier, Dawson had been on the bench in Cleveland, Curtis McClinton had been at Kansas, and Fred Arbanas had been out with a back injury after being selected in the 1961 draft. (The Texans tried to cut him, but he hired a lawyer who told the team it was obligated to treat his injury.) Now, Dawson was throwing passes to Arbanas, Burford, and others, and McClinton had emerged as Abner Haynes’ backfield mate. The Texans, quite simply, were loaded. …Read More!

NFL Transactions – 10/20

NFL – fined Detroit DE Lawrence Jackson, $15,750 for an illegal hit vs. Philadelphia.

Baltimore – activated LB Terrell Suggs from the physically-unable-to-perform list; released LB Sergio Kindle.

New England – promoted LB Jeff Tarpinian from the practice squad; released C Matt Tennant

New Orleans – activated LB Jonathan Vilma from the physically-unable-to-perform list; released WR Greg Camarillo.

N.Y. Giants – activated DT Chris Canty from the physically-unable-to-perform list; placed RB Da’Rel Scott (knee) on the injured-reserve list.

Pittsburgh – promoted OL John Malecki from the practice squad; released DL Corbin Bryant.

Tampa Bay – promoted DB LeQuan Lewis from the practice squad.

Bye Week Notes To Tantalize

Last year, Marty Schottenheimer was the coach/GM of the championship team in the United Football League.

This week, Marty’s lawsuit may have helped sink the rest of the league’s current season and its future.

The UFL shut down this weekend, unable to pay its coaches, staff and players. The league had been active since the middle of September with five weekends worth of games for the four teams: Sacramento, Las Vegas, Omaha and Virginia.

Early this week Schottenheimer sued the UFL and league founder Bill Hambrecht in San Francisco Superior Court seeking $2.3 million in money due him under his contract for the 2011 season as GM/head coach of the Virginia Destroyers. In the suit, it says the ownership has not paid him $1.1 million in salary, plus $150,000 in bonuses and $100,000 in expenses. The other million dollars involved in the suit is for damages.

The website courthousenews.com quoted from the filing: …Read More!

Book Excerpt #2: Ten-Gallon War

The new book Ten-Gallon War is about a slice of Chiefs history that most fans and folks in Kansas City do not know. Those first three years of the American Football League they were the Dallas Texans, competing head-to-head in Dallas with the NFL’s newest expansion team, the Dallas Cowboys. Author John Eisenberg captures the flavor of the times so different from today in professional football. Here’s the second of three excerpts from the book. Here’s the link to the first one.

The Texans knew it was a big game when Sherrill Headrick vomited on the field in the first quarter, right in the huddle. The linebacker they called “Psycho” retched into a locker room toilet before every game, but he only unloaded on the field when the stakes were high.

“Damn, Sherrill!” E.J. Holub shouted as the linebacker spewed into the grass at Nickerson Field, at Boston University, on the evening of October 12, 1962.

When Headrick finished, he wiped his mouth with his right hand and called the alignment for the next play. Then he looked around the huddle, his eyes glistening in the dim stadium lights. “Let’s beat their asses,” he said with unnerving calm. …Read More!

College Preview: Kansas State @ West Virginia

  • Kansas State @ West Virginia
  • Mountaineer Field, Morgantown, West Virginia
  • October 20th, 6 p.m. CDT, Fox

Kansas State

#24 CB Nigel Malone, Senior – 5-9Β½, 185 pounds, 4.45 seconds in the 40-yard dash, 6th-round draft potential.

Junior-college transfer out of California, Malone started every game in 2011 and had seven interceptions for the Wildcats. That performance earned him first-team Big 12 Conference honors. In his first game for K-State he had two interceptions against Eastern Kentucky. This year, through 6 games he has been part of 27 tackles with 2 INTs and a forced fumble. His college football career began at the City College of San Francisco, where he was ranked nationally as one of the best junior college defensive backs in the country. The CCSF Wildcats were 22-2 in his two seasons there. Out of Manteca, California, he attended Sierra High School, where he had 12 interceptions in his last two seasons there. He set and still holds school records for catches, receiving yardage, interceptions and fumble recoveries. He’s 22 years old. …Read More!

NFL Transactions – 10/19

NFL fined:

  • Buffalo Bills and Washington Redskins $20,000 each for violations of the league’s injury report procedures. The Bills were fined with not listing DE Mario Williams and a wrist injury on their weekly report. The Redskins were fined for not updating the media during the game on the condition of QB Robert Griffin III after he suffered a concussion.
  • Minnesota S Harrison Smith, $15,750 for a horse-collar tackle vs. Washington.
  • N.Y. Jets DE Quinton Coples, $10,000 for twisting a facemask in game against Indianapolis; OLB Aaron Maybin, $7,875 for elbowing Colts QB Andrew Luck.

Buffalo – released G Reggie Wells; promoted C David Snow from the practice squad.

College Preview: South Florida @ Louisville

  • South Florida @ Louisville
  • Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium, Louisville, Kentucky
  • October 20, 2:30 p.m. CDT, ABC

South Florida

#46 DT Corey Grissom, Redshirt-Senior – 6-1, 316 pounds, 5.35 seconds in the 40-yard dash, 5th-round potential for the NFL Draft.

A three-year starter at DT for the Bulls, where his big, lower body allows him to anchor, and gives him enough muscle to provide quickness to get into the backfield. Grissom broke his right ankle in April’s spring practice and he had to have surgery; that limited him in the early part of the season. Injuries forced a redshirt season in 2008 and then limited his playing time in 2009. But in the last two seasons he started 25 games was productive, with 54 tackles, 2.5 sacks, 9 tackles for loss and several forced fumbles. Grissom grew up in LaGrange, Georgia, playing at Troup County High School. He racked up 13 sacks in his senior season and was named all-region. Also a wrestler for two years at TCHS, his first name is Ticory, but he prefers Cory. …Read More!

College Preview: LSU @ Texas A&M

  • Louisiana State @ Texas A&M
  • Kyle Field, College Station, Texas
  • October 20, 11 a.m. CDT, ESPN

LSU

#46 MLB Kevin Minter, Redshirt-Junior – 6-1, 245 pounds, 4.64 seconds in the 40-yard dash, late 1st-early 2nd-round prospect for NFL Draft.

In his second season as a starter in the Tigers defense, Minter began the season a bit inconsistent – much like the rest of his teammates. But he broke through against Florida with 20 total tackles 2 sacks and a forced fumble; that earned him SEC Defensive Player of the Week for that performance. Right now he’s the leading tackler on Les Miles’ defense with 63 total tackles, 8.5 tackles for loss and 2 sacks. In his three seasons so far on the field, Minter has played in 32 games and 18 starts with 139 total tackles, 12 tackles for loss, 3 sacks, 4 passes broken up and 2 forced fumbles. He’s from Suwanee, Georgia and went to Peachtree Ridge High School, where he was a Class 5A first-team defense All-Georgia selection. In that senior season, Minter had 113 tackles and played only 10 games. He will be 22 in December. …Read More!

College Preview: Purdue @ Ohio State

  • Purdue @ Ohio State
  • Ohio Stadium, Columbus, Ohio
  • October 20, 11 a.m. CDT, ABC

Purdue

#93 DT Kawann Short, Redshirt-Senior – 6-2Β½, 315 pounds, 5.28 seconds in the 40-yard dash, 2nd-round draft potential.

Short is coming off a huge junior season in 2011 when he was named Purdue’s defensive MVP and first-team All-Big Ten Conference defensive tackle. This season, Short has 20 total tackles, 9 tackles for loss, 4 sacks and 4 blocked FGs in five games. Over his career, Short has been a special teams demon, owner of a school record six blocked kicks that show his short burst quickness and power that he’s displayed off the snap. He played at Central High School in his hometown of East Chicago, Indiana, where in his junior/senior seasons he had 17.5 sacks among his 165 total tackles. Short was also part of the basketball team and was a member of the school’s Class 4A state championship team in 2007. He’s 23 years old and will be another year older before the 2013 NFL Draft. …Read More!

The ’87 Strike’s Most Famous Picket Line Fight

“I turned around and I saw what was happening,” former Chiefs LB Dino Hackett remembered. “I just ran over there yelling ‘Jack, Jack, get off him. That’s Otis, Otis Taylor.’ I couldn’t believe my eyes.”

It was two days into the 1987 players strike in the NFL and picketing members of the Chiefs had already become notorious when some of them showed up with shotguns. That was in the morning.

Later that day would come another incident that would paint a picture of striking Chiefs players out of control – linebacker Jack Del Rio and Chiefs Hall of Fame wide receiver Otis Taylor ended up in a physical confrontation, a fight heard round the NFL. By the time they were pulled apart, Thomas had a blood dripping down the side of his face and Del Rio had marks around his neck. Each blamed the other and there’s no question it was an embarrassment to all involved. It turned into a lawsuit and recriminations that were felt years later.

The television cameras and most of the media had departed from the scene as had most of the picketing players. Hackett, Del Rio and tight end Paul Coffman stood guard in front of the entrance to the Chiefs offices on the south side of Arrowhead Stadium. At the time Taylor was a scout for the Chiefs. Del Rio would become an NFL head coach in Jacksonville; he’s currently the defensive coordinator of the Denver Broncos. On that day in front of Arrowhead, he was a striking football player fueled by a cooler of beer and a short fuse.

“I’m emotional by nature,” Del Rio once said. “That’s how I’m wired.”

So too was Taylor, one of the greatest players to wear a Chiefs uniform and he was part of so many iconic moments in team history.

Del Rio refused to discuss the incident over the last decade, constantly replying “that’s old news.” Taylor has struggled with various physical ailments over the last 10-15 years but made his feelings known in his autobiography The Need to Win: Football from My Own Heart written with Mark Stallard and published in 2003.

“I may have been as much of an instigator as he was because I was taking a firm line too,” Taylor wrote. “I wasn’t going to let anybody push me or run over me and that’s what Del Rio was trying to do. We yelled at each other and he rushed me.”

Here’s what apparently happened:

Sports agent Charles Meek of Topeka pulled up in front of the Chiefs offices entrance at Arrowhead with Eugene Battle, a defensive back from Washburn that was coming in for an afternoon workout at the stadium. When Meek left the offices and walked back to his car he found the left rear tire slashed.

“That’s pretty chicken s*@t,” Meeks said to Del Rio who was the closest picketing player.

“You’re a scab,” Del Rio fired back.

Back and forth went the conversation as Meek blamed the strikers for slashing his tire. Del Rio denied any involvement.

Meek walked back into the offices to find help.

“We called AAA to see how much it would cost to replace the tire and I went out with the kid to look at the car,” wrote Taylor. “As I attempted to walk through the picket line Jack Del Rio didn’t recognize me. I guess he thought I was a replacement player too.

“Del Rio started yelling ‘dirty scab’ and ‘lowlife’ at me and then I yelled back and he rushed me.”

At the time, Del Rio was a 6-4, 246-pound linebacker who was 24 years old and in his third NFL season. Taylor, who played at 6-3, 215 pounds, was 45 years old and had been out of the NFL for a dozen years.

Del Rio put Taylor in a head lock and then flipped him onto the ground, landing on top of the former receiver.

By then Hackett, Meeks and a member of Chiefs security arrived and pulled the combatants apart. Taylor said that once Del Rio realized who he was fighting with he said. “Hey Otis, I used to love watching you. You were a great player.”

The Kansas City police were called and took statements from all parties. Del Rio said he was just defending himself and he was not charged with any crime. Neither was Taylor.

“Otis Taylor just attacked me,” Del, Rio said at the time. “I didn’t do anything to hurt him. He grabbed me and once I rolled on top of him and assumed the dominant position, I let him go. I did not try to go after him. Most men wouldn’t have been as calm as I was in the situation.”

Six days later, Taylor filed a criminal complaint against Del Rio with the Kansas City police department claiming he was assaulted. Less than two weeks later, Taylor filed a $1 million civil lawsuit against Del Rio, the NFL Players Association and the team’s player representative kicker Nick Lowery. According to the suit, Taylor sustained bruises, lacerations, contusions, sprains and strains, along with continuing pain, headaches, nervousness and insomnia and was under a doctor’s care.

The day after the lawsuit was filed Del Rio filed an assault complaint against Taylor with the Kansas City Police Department. In his paperwork, Del Rio said he was attacked by Taylor, who grabbed him, knocked a plastic mug out of his hands and ripped a picket sign off his back.

Nothing came of the assault complaints as the Kansas City police had better things to do. It took two years before Taylor’s lawsuit was settled out of court with no word on the terms of the settlement. But Taylor noted in his book that the entire incident took an emotional toll on his feelings about the Chiefs organization. Two years later he was released from his job as a scout.

“Nobody in the Chiefs organization offered any kind of satisfaction to me for going out and trying to be a good worker,” Taylor wrote. “After all was said and done I was basically on my own. They didn’t even give me any kind of recognition after getting my ass kicked.”

1987 Replacement Chiefs Roster

1987 Kansas City Chiefs Replacement Squad

(all players signed by the Chiefs)

#

Name Pos. College HT WT Exp G S

93

Acker, Bill

NT

Texas

6-3

255

6

2 2

65

Adkins, Kevin

LS

Oklahoma

6-1

205

R

2 0

52

Aimonetti, John

C/G

San Jose State

6-3

278

1

0 0

42

Allen, Greg

RB

Florida State

5-11

200

3

0 0

46

Atterberry, Greg

DB

Central Florida

5-10

183

1

0 0

69

Black, James

DE

So. Carolina St.

6-4

280

R

1 0

82

Blanks, Nate

WR

West. Illinois

6-0

180

R

0 0

62

Boyd, James

G

N.W. Louisiana

6-3

285

1

0 0

86

Brown, Eric

WR

Tulsa

6-2

180

R

2 1

45

Bryant, Trent

DB

Arkansas

5-10

180

4

3 2

48

Colter, Jeff

DB

Kansas

5-10

171

2

1 0

66

Doubiago, Dan

OT

Utah

6-5

283

1

3 0

26

Dozier, Cornelius

S

SMU

6-2

190

1

2 0

25

Epps, Jack

FS

Kansas St.

6-0

197

1

3 2

12

Espinoza, Alex

QB

Iowa St.

6-1

193

1

1 0

84

Estell, Richard

WR

Kansas

6-2

210

1

2 0

41

Evans, Chris

DB

No. Alabama

5-11

198

R

0 0

90

Faulkner, Jeff

DT

Southern

6-3

270

R

3 1

46

Fields, Jitter

DB

Texas

5-8

185

2

2 0

65

Fonoti, David

OT

Arizona State

6-4

290

1

0 0

95

Frazier, Randy

LB

Morehead St.

6-3

235

R

3 0

71

Getz, Lee

G

Rutgers

6-3

250

R

3 0

2

Goodburn, Kelly

P

Emporia St.

6-2

195

1

3 0

39

Griffin, Steve

RB

Tennessee St.

5-10

205

R

1 0

92

Guthrie Keith

DL

Texas A&M

6-4

265

1

0 0

4

Hamrick, James

K

Rice

5-11

177

R

3 0

50

Harrell, James

LB

Florida

6-2

240

8

3 3

92

Harris, Bob

LB

Auburn

6-2

221

4

3 3

64

Harvey, James

G

Jackson St.

6-3

270

R

3 3

89

Hodges, Eric

WR

Florida

6-1

189

R

1 0

97

Holloway, Tony

LB

Nebraska

6-0

235

R

1 1

57

Holmes, Bruce

ILB

Minnesota

6-2

220

R

3 3

79

Hoppock, Doug

OT

Kansas State

6-4

280

1

3 3

11

Hudson, Doug

QB

Nicholls St.

6-2

201

R

1 1

55

Hyde, Glenn

C

Pittsburgh

6-3

253

11

2 1

97

Johnson, Ken

DE

Knoxville

6-5

253

7

2 1

96

Jones, Fred

LB

Florida State

6-3

240

R

2 0

81

Jones, Rod E.

TE

Washington

6-4

240

R

3 1

80

Koss, Stein

OT

Arizona St.

6-2

225

R

2 2

40

Lacy, Ken

RB

Tulsa

6-0

222

3

3 1

48

Lane, Garcia

DB

Ohio State

5-9

180

2

1 1

60

Lindstrom, Chris

DE

Boston Univ.

6-7

260

3

3 3

35

McIntyre, Marlon

FB

Pitt

5-11

230

1

0 0

87

Montagne, Dave

WR

Oregon St.

6-2

184

R

3 2

68

Morris, Mitchell

DE

Wichita State

6-4

255

R

0 0

53

Moten, Gary

LB

SMU

6-1

210

2

1 0

91

Mumphrey, Lloyd

DE

Miss. Valley St.

6-3

260

R

3 2

42

Murray, Lloyd

FB

M-A Nazarene

6-0

215

1

0 0

85

Nash, Kenny

WR

San Jose St.

6-2

193

R

1 0

70

Nelson, Mark

OT

Bowling Green

6-4

270

R

1 0

49

Nelson, Teddy

CB

UNLV

5-10

190

R

3 3

11

Osiecki, Sandy

QB

Arizona State

6-5

205

2

0 0

43

Parker, Robert

RB

BYU

6-1

201

R

3 2

62

Pietrzak, Jim

C

E. Michigan

6-5

260

12

2 2

41

Pippens, Woodie

RB

Thiel College

5-11

225

R

2 0

77

Rogers, Steve

OT

BYU

6-4

260

1

3 3

31

Ross, Kevin

CB

Temple

5-9

182

4

1 1

27

Smith, Blane

S

SMU

5-10

190

1

3 1

47

Smith, Chris

RB

Notre Dame

6-1

232

1

3 3

*

Smith, Franky

OT

Alabama A&M

6-7

310

2

0 0

94

Spann, Gary

MLB

TCU

6-1

218

1

2 1

1

Stevens, Matt

QB

UCLA

6-0

190

R

3 2

21

Stockemer, Ralph

RB

Baylor

6-1

212

1

2 0

68

Summers, Terry

DE

E. Central Ok

6-3

275

R

0 0

38

Thomas, Carlton

CB

Elizabeth City

6-0

195

1

3 2

58

Thompson, Arland

G

Baylor

6-4

265

4

3 3

83

Trahan, John

WR

So. Colorado

5-9

160

1

3 3

98

Walker, John

DT

Neb.-Omaha

6-6

270

1

3 2

88

Walton, Riley

TE

Tennessee St.

6-4

245

1

2 0

6

Woodside, Paul

PK

West Virginia

6-0

175

1

0 0

23

Wyatt, Kevin

DB

Arkansas

5-10

199

3

2 0

Chiefs MVP? It’s The Punter … Friday Cup O’Chiefs

It’s hard for the head coach of a 1-5 team that’s playing like the worst club in the NFL right now to find positives in his team’s performance.

Romeo Crennel was asked the other day to name three positives about his team. He ended up talking about the things his team did to get into positions where they eventually didn’t get the job done, and why they’ve lost five of six.

The offense has been inconsistent and even the best producer on that side of the ball in RB Jamaal Charles has struggled at times. The defense has also been inconsistent, even the top performer so far, OLB Justin Houston.

If looking for a most valuable player for the Chiefs over the first six games it comes down to one man – punter Dustin Colquitt. Without him, it’s hard to imagine how much worse things would look after six games. Colquitt’s left leg and foot have consistently changed field position in favor of the Chiefs. That the offense and defense could do nothing with those opportunities is why the team stands among the bottom teams of the AFC West, AFC and the NFL.

It might be damning with faint praise for the 8-year veteran to name him the most valuable player of the start of the Chiefs 2012 season. But that’s what he’s been. …Read More!

NFL Transactions – 10/18

Detroit – signed CB Alphonso Smith; released RB Keiland Williams.

San Diego – signed WR Danario Alexander.

Tampa Bay – released LB Markus White.

Game Preview: Connecticut @ Syracuse

  • Connecticut @ Syracuse
  • Carrier Dome, Syracuse, New York
  • October 19, 7 p.m. CDT, ESPN

Connecticut

#48 OLB Trevardo Williams, Senior – 6-1, 234 pounds, 4.52 seconds in the 40-yard dash, 2nd-round prospect for the NFL Draft.

Dominant defensive end in the Huskies defense, he’ll move to outside linebacker in the pros and has the skill-set to make that happen. Despite his relatively diminutive size, Williams has been called the most disruptive defensive lineman in the Big East Conference. This season he’s been on everybody’s watch lists and has already produced 7 sacks. Last season he led UConn with 12.5 sacks. Over 44 games, he has 119 total tackles, 40 tackles for loss, 27 sacks and 5 forced fumbles. Williams was born in Jamaica and lived there until he was nine years old. He grew up in Bridgeport, Connecticut and attended Central High School, where he was twice named all-state. He began his post-high school work at Canterbury School to get his grades up to NCAA standards. He’ll be 22 years old on New Year’s Eve. …Read More!

The 1987 Replacement Chiefs Game-by-Game

Sunday, October 4, 1987 in Los Angeles

The replacement season began for the Chiefs in a sweltering southern California where they were awakened by an earthquake and then played under Santa Ana wind conditions that drove the temperatures over 100 degrees.

Not even 11,000 turned out to see these replacement teams and there was little doubt which team was better as the Los Angeles Raiders scored a 35-17 victory over the Chiefs. At half-time the Chiefs were down 21-0 and never got back into a position to win the game thanks to losing three fumbles, two of those at the Raiders 1-yard line.

“The number one thing we wanted to do was not turn over the ball,” said head coach Frank Gansz. “We also had to score when we had field position. We had to play field position football realizing that the team that made the mistakes would probably come up on the short end.”

It began very poorly as the Chiefs won the opening toss and CB Kevin Wyatt took the kickoff at the Chiefs 3-yard line returning it 28 yards before he fumbled and the ball was recovered by Raiders LB Mike Noble at the Chiefs 31-yard line. Two plays later, QB Vince Evans connected with WR Carl Aikens for a 27-yard touchdown play. After the PAT kick, the Chiefs were less than a minute into replacement football and had lost a fumble and given up a touchdown.

The Raiders scored on their next possession as they went 7 plays and 65 yards before RB Craig Ellis scored on a 2-yard run. The key plays were a pair of Evans completions to Aikens for 21 and WR Greg Lathan for 33 yards. Evans added his own touchdown on a 4-yard bootleg, finishing up an 82-yard drive.

Before the first half ended the Chiefs twice drove to the Los Angeles 1-yard line, only to see RB Ken Lacy fumble the ball away both times.

The Chiefs first replacement points came in the kicking game where LB Bob Harris blocked a Raiders punt, picked up the ball and ran 23 yards for the score. Evans got that score back for the Raiders throwing 32 yards to former Chiefs draft choice Ethan Horton for a Raiders TD. Before the quarter was over, Chiefs QB Matt Stevens hooked up with TE Rod Jones for a 4-yard score.

“I thought Matt Stevens did an excellent job,” said Gansz. “He moved the football very, very well for us. We kept things pretty simple and the biggest thing is that Matt didn’t turn it over. He had to take some sacks and he had some tough plays to make.”

Twice in the fourth quarter the Chiefs drove deep into Raiders territory, but managed just a field goal.

“They have really tried very, very hard under very difficult circumstances for them to say the least,” said head coach Frank Gansz after the game. “I’m very proud of the way they conducted themselves. It’s tough to lose, but we’ll bounce right back.”

  • Los Angeles Raiders 35, Kansas City Chiefs 17
  • Sunday, October 4, 1987, 3 p.m. CDT
  • Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum

    1

    2

    3

    4

    Final

    Kansas City Chiefs

    0

    0

    14

    3

    17

    Los Angeles Raiders

    14

    7

    7

    7

    35

    Temperature: 105 degrees. Surface: grass. Attendance: 10,708. Time: 2:57

Scoring

First Quarter

Raiders – Carl Aikens 27-yard pass from Vince Evans, David Hardy kick. Raiders 7-0.

Raiders – Craig Ellis 2-yard run, Hardy kick. Raiders 14-0.

Second Quarter

Raiders – Evans 4-yard run, Hardy kick. Raiders 21-0.

Third Quarter

Chiefs – Bob Harris 23-yard blocked punt return, James Hamrick kick. Raiders 21-7.

Raiders – Ethan Horton 32-yard pass from Evans, Hardy kick. Raiders 28-7.

Chiefs – Rod E. Jones 4-yard pass from Matt Stevens, Hamrick kick. Raiders 28-14.

Fourth Quarter

Raiders – Ellis 8-yard run, Hardy kick. Raiders 35-14.

Chiefs – Hamrick 40-yard field goal. Raiders 35-17.

Team Statistics

Chiefs

Raiders

First Downs

22

21

Runs-Yards-TD

35-131-0

39-252-3

Comp-Att-TD-INT

14-25-1-0

10-18-2-0

Gross Passing Yards

162

248

Sacked-Yards

3-25

0-0

Net Passing Yards

137

248

Total Yards

268

500

Fumbles/Lost

3/3

3/2

Total Turnovers

3

2

Penalties-Yards

4-30

9-79

Individual Statistics

Passing

Chiefs: Matt Stevens – 14 of 25 for 162 yards, 1 TD, 0 INT.

Raiders: Vince Evans – 10 of 18 for 248, 2 TDs, 0 INT.

Rushing

Chiefs: Ken Lacy 13-45, Robert Parker 12-39, Chris Smith 8-39, Matt Stevens 1-6, Ralph Stockemer 1-2.

Raiders: Craig Ellis 12-20, Vince Evans 4-63, Rob Harrison 9-49, Rick Calhoun 7-36, Ethan Horton 7-34.

Receiving

Chiefs: Eric Brown 5-69, Rod E. Jones 3-25, Stein Koss 2-25, Kenny Nash 2-22, Dave Montagne 1-16, Robert Parker 1-5.

Raiders: Greg Lathan 2-66, David Williams 2-64, Carl Aikens 2-48, Ethan Horton 1-32, Craig Ellis 1-15, Rob Harrison 1-15, Ron Wheeler 1-8.

Kick Returns

Chiefs: Kevin Wyatt 4-100, Ken Lacy 2-35

Raiders: Rick Calhoun 3-58.

Punt Returns

Chiefs: Kevin Wyatt 1-0.

Raiders: Lance Harkey 2-17.

Punting

Chiefs: Kelly Goodburn 4-175-43.8.

Raiders: Vince Gamache 1-40-40.0.

Field Goals

Chiefs: James Hamrick 1 of 1.

Raiders: David Hardy 0 of 1.

Sacks

Raiders: Ron Brown 2, Dan McMilllen 1.

Tackles

Chiefs: Bob Harris 8, Jack Epps 8, James Harrell 7.

Sunday, October 11 1987 in Miami

On one sideline was Frank Gansz working his fourth game as an NFL head coach. On the other sideline was Don Shula leading the Miami Dolphins. The second replacement game would be the 380th of his storied head coaching career.

Dolphins 42, Chiefs 0.

It was one of the most lopsided games in NFL history when it came to coaching pedigrees and that’s how it played out on the field at Joe Robbie Stadium, the first regular-season game hosted by the building.

So the first man to advance a football in the stadium that’s still used by the Fins was Kevin Wyatt, who returned the opening kickoff 21 yards. Robert Parker had the first offensive gain, running for two yards on the first down play. It would be almost three minutes into the game before the first pass would be completed, as Matt Stevens connected with Jon Trahan for 5 yards.

But the first points were scored by Miami RB Ricky Isom on a 6-yard touchdown run. The Dolphins would go on to score every point that day, including defensive scores when Miami returned a pair of fumbles for touchdowns. Both came in the third quarter on fumbles by Parker and Chris Smith. The Chiefs had four turnovers in the game.

Offensively, the Chiefs were hampered when starting QB Matt Stevens suffered a separated left shoulder midway through the first quarter and was replaced by Alex Espinoza. Late in the fourth quarter, Espinoza was knocked out of the game with a concussion. The emergency third quarterback on the game-day roster was TE Stein Koss, but he was out of the game with a rib injury. So Stevens, his left shoulder strapped down, went back and finished out the fourth quarter by doing nothing but handing off.

“That was a bad day for us,” said Stevens. “I don’t know if those guys were just geeked up because they were going into the new stadium, or they were just so much better than we were, but they crushed us. We had trouble holding onto the ball and anytime that happens you are going to have a really difficult time winning games.”

Replacement Game #2

  • Miami Dolphins 42, Kansas City Chiefs 0
  • Sunday, October 11, 1987, Noon CDT
  • Joe Robbie Stadium

    1

    2

    3

    4

    Final

    Kansas City Chiefs

    0

    0

    0

    0

    0

    Miami Dolphins

    7

    7

    21

    7

    42

    Temperature: 76 degrees. Surface: grass. Attendance: 25,867. Time: 2:56.

Scoring

First Quarter

Dolphins – Ricky Isom 6-yard run, Willie Beecher kick. Dolphins 7-0.

Second Quarter

Dolphins – Ronald Scott 2-yard run, Beecher kicker. Dolphins 14-0.

Third Quarter

Dolphins – Ronald Scott 4-yard run, Beecher kick. Dolphins 21-0.

Dolphins – Liffort Hobley 55-yard fumble return, Beecher kick. Dolphins 28-0.

Dolphins – Trell Hooper 59-yard fumble return, Beecher kick. Dolphins 35-0.

Fourth Quarter

Dolphins – Ronald Scott 3-yard rush, Beecher kick. Dolphins 42-0.

Team Statistics

Chiefs

Dolphins

First Downs

8

25

Runs-Yards-TD

30-90-0

35-202-4

Comp-Att-TD-INT

10-18-0-2

17-31-0-0

Gross Passing Yards

74

142

Sacked-Yards

4-32

0-0

Net Passing Yards

42

142

Total Yards

132

344

Fumbles/Lost

3/2

2/1

Total Turnovers

4

1

Penalties-Yards

6-85

7-60

Individual Statistics

Passing

Chiefs: Alex Espinoza – 9 of 14 for 69 yards, 0 TD, 2 INTs; Matt Stevens – 1 of 4 for 5 yards, 0 TDs, 0 INTs.

Dolphins: Kyle Mackery 14 of 28 for 127 yards, 0 TD, 0 INT; Scott Stankavage 3 of 3 for 15 yards, 0 TD, 0 INT.

Rushing

Chiefs: Robert Parker 20-46, Chris Smith 5-19, Woodie Pippens 3-16, Alex Espinoza 1-5, Ken Lacy 1-4.

Dolphins: Ronald Scott 18-99, Kyle Mackey 4-38, Rickey Isom 6-25, Mark Konecny 1-19, Pete Roth 3-10.

Receiving

Chiefs: Chris Smith 2-21, John Trahan 2-15, Dave Montagne 2-13, Woodie Pippens 2-12, Robert Parker 1-9, Ralph Stockemer 1-4.

Dolphins: Lawrence Sampleton 5-45, John Tagliaferri 4-29, Mark Konecny 4-24, Leland Douglas 1-17, Dameon Reilly 1-16, Willie Smith 1-8, David Lewis 1-3.

Kick Returns

Chiefs: Robert Parker 3-49, Kevin Wyatt 1-21, Stephen Griffin 1-16, Eric Smith 1-10.

Dolphins: Pete Roth 1-23.

Punt Returns

Chiefs: Dave Montagne 1-8, Kevin Wyatt 1-4.

Raiders: Mike Caterbone 3-14.

Punting

Chiefs: Kelly Goodburn 8-286-35.8.

Raiders: Stacy Gore 4-149-37.3.

Field Goals

Raiders: Willie Beecher 0 for 1.

Sacks

Raiders: Ike Readon 2, Mike Lambrecht 1, Stanley Scott 1.

Interceptions

Raiders: Liffort Hobley 2.

Tackles

Chiefs: Blane Smith 5, Tedy Nelson 5, Bob Harris 5, Bill Acker 5.

Sunday, October 18, 1987 in Kansas City

Replacement football finally had a chance to show itself in a 3 o’clock start against Denver at Arrowhead Stadium. Everyone involved – the players on both teams – the coaches and the fans all knew this was the last gasp for replacement ball. The NFL strike had been called off on Thursday and starting the next day on Monday, things would return to normal around the NFL, with the real players in place.

So the late afternoon game played under perfect weather conditions was a swan song for almost all the players on the field that day.

The replacement Chiefs were not able to earn a victory against the Broncos, losing 26-17 in what was their best overall performance of the three. It was in the first half of that game when the Chiefs held their first lead of the replacement games with a 4-yard touchdown run by RB Robert Parker. The PAT kick gave the Chiefs a 14-12 edge with about 9 minutes, 30 seconds left to play in the first half.

However, by the end of the half the Broncos had reclaimed the lead and did not give it up the rest of the day. Frank Gansz’ team had 3 more giveaways and added 7 penalties. Other than Parker’s TD, the only scores for the Chiefs came from the special teams – CB Jitter Fields returned a punt 85 yards for a score and kicker James Hamrick hit a 25-yard field goal.

It was the best performance of the three games by the Chiefs defense, spurred on by the arrival of Kevin Ross, who crossed the picket line early in the week so he was allowed to play. Ross had an interception

The game started as all Chiefs replacement games did with a bit of excitement. With all the quarterback injuries suffered the previous week, 1987 Chiefs draft choice Doug Hudson was signed on Friday, the day after the strike ended. He had two days to practice with the team and ended up starting against the Broncos. On the first possession he missed on his first pass and was sacked. On his second possession, Hudson fumbled a snap, recovering in his own end zone where he was tackled for a safety. Hudson had five offensive plays with an incompletion, a sack, two handoffs and fumbled snap that went for a safety.

He was replaced by the injured Matt Stevens who finished out the game.

Afterwards, Frank Gansz told his replacements that they were proud of them and the effort they put forth.

“This is an experience they’re not going to forget,” Gansz said. “They’re not going to forget being Kansas City Chiefs. They were very proud of being Chiefs. I don’t feel, good about losing but they’re a terrific bunch of kids.”

Replacement Game #3

  • Denver Broncos 26, Kansas City Chiefs 17
  • Sunday, October 18, 1987, 3 p.m. CDT
  • Arrowhead Stadium
  • 1

    2

    3

    4

    Final

    Denver Broncos

    9

    10

    0

    7

    26

    Kansas City Chiefs

    7

    7

    3

    0

    17

    Temperature: 71 degrees. Surface: turf. Attendance: 20,296. Time: 3:24

Scoring

First Quarter

Broncos – Ryan tackled Doug Hudson in end zone. Denver 2-0.

Broncos – Bobby Micho 26-yard pass from Ken Karcher, Mike Clendenen kick. Denver 9-0.

Chiefs – Jitter Fields 85-yard punt return, James Hambrick kick. Denver 9-7.

Second Quarter

Broncos – Clendenen 35-yard FG. Denver 12-7.

Chiefs – Robert Parker 4-yard run, Hambrick kick. Chiefs 14-12.

Broncos – Shane Swanson 35-yard pass from Karcher, Clendenen kick. Denver 19-14.

Third Quarter

Chiefs – Hamrick 25-yard FG. Denver 19-17.

Fourth Quarter

Broncos – Micho 5-yard pass from Karcher, Clendenen kick. Broncos 26-17.

Team Statistics

Broncos

Chiefs

First Downs

23

16

Runs-Yards-TD

35-98-0

31-122-1

Comp-Att-TD-INT

25-39-3-2

17-29-0-1

Gross Passing Yards

275

148

Sacked-Yards

0-0

2-23

Net Passing Yards

275

125

Total Yards

373

247

Fumbles/Lost

3/2

4/2

Total Turnovers

4

3

Penalties-Yards

6-50

7-60

Individual Statistics

Passing

Chiefs: Matt Stevens 17 of 28 for 148 yards, 0 TDs, 1 INTs; Doug Hudson 0 for 1 for 0 yards, 0 TDs, 0 INTs.

Broncos: Ken Karcher 25 of 39 for 275 yards, 3 TDs, 2 INTs.

Rushing

Chiefs: Robert Parker 15-65, Chris Smith 13-56, Matt Stevens 2-1, Doug Hudson 1-0.

Broncos: Nathan Poole 18-63, Joe Dudek 12-26, Ken Karcher 4-5, Scott Caldwell 1-4.

Receiving

Chiefs: Rod E. Jones 5-51, Robert Parker 5-30, John Trahan 2-25, Richard Estell 3-24, Dave Montagne 2-18.

Broncos: Bobby Micho 9-105, Shane Swanson 6-87, Joe Dudek 5-22, Mitch Andrews 1-20, Rick Massie 1-19, Scott Caldwell 1-12, Nathan Poole 1-9, Laron Brown 1-1.

Kick Returns

Chiefs: Garcia Lane 2-37, Jitter Fields 1-3, Ken Lacy 2-9.

Broncos: Shane Swanson 3-91, Kevin Clark 1-25, Laron Brown 1-22.

Punt Returns

Chiefs: Jitter Fields 2-123, 1 TD.

Broncos: Shane Swanson 6-112.

Punting

Chiefs: Kelly Goodburn 6-273-45.5

Broncos: Ralph Giacomarro 4-183-45.8.

Field Goals

Chiefs: James Hamrick 1 of 1.

Broncos: Mike Clendenen 1 of 1.

Interceptions

Chiefs: Trent Bryan 1, Kevin Ross 1.

Broncos: Kevin Clark 1.

Sacks

Broncos: Tim Lucas 1, Jeff Tupper .5, Ray Woodard .5.

Tackles

Chiefs: Bob Harris 23, Blane Smith 9, James Harrell 9.

Replacements Depth Chart

Offense

First Team Second Team Third Team

WR

83 John Trahan (3/3)

86 Eric Brown (2/1)

85 Kenny Nash (1/0)

WR

87 David Montagne (3/2)

84 Richard Estell (2/0)

TE

80 Stein Koss (2/2)

81 Rod E. Jones (3/1)

88 Riley Walton (2/0)

LT

77 Steve Rogers (3/3)

66 Dan Doubiago (3/0)

LG

64 James Harvey (3/3)

71 Lee Getz (3/0)

C

62 Jim Pietrzak (2/2)

55 Glenn Hyde (2/1)

RG

58 Arland Thompson (3/3)

70 Mark Nelson (1/0)

RT

79 Doug Hoppock (3/3)

QB

1 Matt Stevens (3/2)

12 Alex Espinoza (1/0)

11 Doug Hudson (1/1)

FB

47 Chris Smith (3/3)

21 Ralph Stockemer (2/0)

41 Woodie Pippens (2/0)

RB

43 Robert Parker (3/2)

40 Ken Lacy (3/1)

39 Steve Griffin (1/0)

Defense

LE

60 Chris Lindstrom (3/3)

LT

93 Bill Acker (2/2)

90 Jeff Faulkner (3/1)

69 James Black (1/0)

RT

98 John Walker (3/2)

97 Tony Holloway (1/1)

RE

91 Lloyd Mumphrey (3/2)

97 Ken Johnson (2/1)

LOLB

50 James Harrell (3/2)

94 Gary Spann (2/1)

96 Fred Jones (2/0)

MLB

92 Bob Harris (3/3)

53 Gary Moten (1/0)

ROLB

57 Bruce Holmes (3/3)

95 Randy Frazier (3/0)

LCB

48 Garcia Lane (1/1)

45 Trent Bryant (3/2)

23 Kevin Wyatt (2/0)

SS

49 Ted Nelson (3/3)

26 Cornelius Dozier (2/0)

8 Jeff Colter (1/0)

FS

25 Jack Epps (3/2)

27 Blane Smith (3/1)

RCB

31 Kevin Ross (1/1)

38 Carlton Thomas (3/2)

46 Jitter Fields (2/0)

Specialists

P

2 Kelly Goodburn (3/0)

K

4 James Hamrick (3/0)

KC

65 Kevin Adkins (2/0)

62 Jim Pietrzak

55 Glenn Hyde

H

2 Kelly Goodburn

87 David Montagne

PR

23 Kevin Wyatt

87 David Montagne

85 Jitter Fields

KR

23 Kevin Wyatt

40 Ken Lacy

43 Robert Parker Β  Β  Β  Β  Β  Β 39 Steve Griffin

Coaching Staff

Head Coach: Frank Gansz.

Coordinators: Homer Smith/Offense-QBs, John Paul Young/Defense, Ed Beckman/Special Teams.

Offense: Richard Wood/Receivers, Billie Matthews/Running Backs, Carl Mauck/Offensive Line, J.D. Helm/Tight Ends & Quality Control.

Defense: Don Lawrence/Defensive Line, Mark Hatley/Linebackers & Quality Control, Dave Brazil/Defensive Backs.

Strength & Conditioning: C.T. Hewgley.

So Did Pioli Say Anything? … Thursday Cup O’Chiefs

If you missed it Wednesday let me inform you that GM Scott Pioli was on one of his bi-annual media blitzes. It’s when the normally reticent to speak leader of the Chiefs football operation is convinced to drop his guard speak to members of the media horde.

I can assure you that Pioli hates doing this. But it’s necessary and I give him points for finally understanding that, or at least listening to those that do.

He talked with both sports radio stations, the local fish wrap, at least one local sports hairdo and the Associated Press. What he told all of them was largely the same, although his conversations came in one-on-one fashion.

Where was bobgretz.com? We did not dine at the Pioli trough and that wasn’t his decision. It was mine and there are two reasons: …Read More!

NFL Honors & Transactions – 10/17

AFC – named Denver QB Peyton Manning offensive player of the week, Buffalo S Jairus Byrd defensive player of the week, Baltimore kick returner Jacoby Jones special teams player of the week.

NFC – named Green Bay QB Aaron Rodgers offensive player of the week, N.Y. Giants S Antrel Rolle defensive player of the week, Detroit K Jason Hanson special teams player of the week.

Arizona – signed OT Pat McQuistan.

Baltimore – placed LB Ray Lewis (triceps) on the injured-reserve list designated for return; promoted LB Josh Bynes from the practice squad.

Carolina – placed LB Kenny Onatolu on the injured reserve list; promoted DB Ron Parker from the practice squad.

Chicago – signed DB Zackary Bowman.

Green Bay – placed LB D.J. Smith (knee) on the injured reserve list.

Indianapolis – signed DE Lawrence Guy from the Green Bay practice squad; signed TE Weslye Saunders.

N.Y. Jets – released with injury settlement FB John Connor; promoted LB Marcus Dowtin off the practice squad.

College Preview: Oregon @ Arizona State

  • Oregon @ Arizona State
  • Sun Devil Stadium, Tempe, Arizona
  • October 18, 8 p.m. CDT, ESPN

Oregon

#47 MLB Kiko Alonso, Redshirt-Senior – 6-3, 242 pounds, 4.74 seconds in the 40-yard dash, 4th-round NFL Draft potential.

There have been trials and tribulations for Alonso during his five years in Eugene, sometimes keeping the talented athlete off the field. He suffered an ACL injury during 2010 spring practice and also had to deal with a DUI arrest that ultimately led to his suspension for the 2010 season. In the spring of 2011, he was arrested on burglary, criminal mischief and criminal trespass charges and was suspended by the team. He broke into a stranger’s home and was discovered sleeping in a bed there. He pleaded guilty to misdemeanor chargers and was sentenced to two years of probation and alcohol treatment. Alonso was also reinstated to the team before the 2011 season began. He wrapped up that junior season by being named the defensive player of the game for the Rose Bowl victory over Wisconsin, where he had 5 tackles, 1.5 sacks and an interception. He’s persevered and had his career best game two weeks ago, when he had 10 tackles, a sack, a forced fumble and recovered fumble against Washington in a big victory for the Ducks. In 30 games on the field, he’s had 98 total tackles, 14 tackles for loss, 3.5 sacks, 4 INTs, 2 forced fumbles and 3 quarterback hurries. Born in Massachusetts, Alonso went to high school in Los Gatos, California where he was one of the state’s leading tacklers and earned all-state honors in three different seasons. As a senior, he had 7 sacks and also led his team in receiving and finishing as the school’s third-leading scorer. His off-field problems will have the NFL wary about using a high draft choice on Alonso; he’s got first round ability, but will likely be selected further down the road. …Read More!

Chiefs Bye-Week Practice Update – 10/17

From the Truman Sports Complex

Fast and furious was the theme of the Chiefs day of work on Wednesday as they held their second practice of bye week.

Romeo Crennel put them in pads for an abbreviated session and then the boys were flying out of the parking lot, most headed to the KCI for flights home, to Las Vegas or South Beach.

“We are trying to improve our individual technique,” Crennel said of his goal for Wednesday’s practice. “We have been concentrating on ourselves, trying to improve ourselves.”

It’s starting to sound like RB Peyton Hillis may finally be ready to come back from the high ankle sprain he suffered in New Orleans more than three weeks ago. “He did a little bit more and went through individual drills with the running backs so that was a good sign,” Crennel said. “Hopefully he will continue his improvement.”

DE Glenn Dorsey (calf) and WR Devon Wyle (hamstring) were both still in the rehab area and not participating in the football portion of practice.

C Ryan Lilja was on the field, but he was not working in the Chiefs offensive line drills. Lilja’s been dealing with a back injury for several weeks although he’s not left the field for any plays.

All the other players listed by Crennel on an injury report were involved in some manner with practice. RB Jamaal Charles has a back issue, but he was working in practice. TE Steve Maneri pushed through on his sore ankle.

Otherwise, everyone else was available for practice before they headed home for a long weekend away from the training complex.

They report back on Monday.

Chiefs Workout Special Teamers

Heaven knows there must be some rhyme or reason to it, but the Chiefs worked out a kicker, punter and several long snappers on Tuesday.

Considering all the problems the team has with a 1-5 start, those three positions have been some of the most productive players on the team.

Is there a method in explaining what they are up too? It’s hard to conjure up reasons, other than just doing due diligence with the players on the street.

Here’s who came through the facility on Tuesday:

  • Kicker – Matt Szymanski (who was with the Chiefs in training camp).
  • Punter – Dan Sepulveda (formerly with Pittsburgh).
  • Long snapper – Bryce Davis (formerly with Cincinnati), Patrick Scales (formerly with Baltimore), Joe Zelenka (formerly with Atlanta.)

NFL Transactions – 10/16

Arizona – released DB Crezdon Butler; NFL suspension lifted on WR Gerell Robinson; released WR Gerell Robinson.

Baltimore – placed CB Lardarius Webb (knee) on the injured-reserve list; promoted RB Bobby Rainey from the practice squad.

Buffalo – signed DB Delano Howell

Chicago – released OT Chris Williams

Denver – NFL 3-game suspension lifted on LB D.J. Williams.

Houston – placed DE Tim Jamison (Achilles) on the injured-reserve list; promoted DE David Hunter from the practice squad.

Indianapolis – released LB Jerry Brown, QB Chandler Harnish.

Jacksonville – released TE Zach Miller from the injured-reserve list.

Philadelphia – fired defensive coordinator Juan Castillo; promoted Todd Bowles to defensive coordinator.

Pittsburgh – suspended NT Alameda Ta’amu for 2 games for conduct detrimental to the team; signed DE Corbin Bryant.

Welcome To A Quarterback Controversy

Romeo Crennel doesn’t like quarterback controversy.

So why did he create one?

The Chiefs head coach announced on Tuesday that Matt Cassel has been cleared to return to non-contact practice work with the team after missing a week because of a concussion. In doing so Crennel made sure the assembled media understood that Cassel and Brady Quinn would split the snaps in practice during the bye week.

“What I’ve told them is I’m rotating the quarterbacks,” Crennel said. “They will get equal reps; both will work with the first team.”

Take a comment like that, add in two average to bad quarterbacks and a 1-5 record, stir and presto – quarterback controversy.

And quite frankly at this point of what is rapidly becoming a lost season, so what? Maybe a controversy at the game’s most important position is the way to go? Coaches generally run as fast as they can away from quarterback controversy. At 1-5, Crennel is running full speed into one with his announcement.

“Both will get work and then we’ll evaluate it and next week we’re going to get ready for game week, then we will make a decision and go from there,” Crennel said. …Read More!

Chiefs Bye Week Practice Update – 10/16

From the Truman Sports Complex

While the big news of Tuesday was the return to practice of QB Matt Cassel, there were other players and their injuries that drew mention as the Chiefs began two days of bye week practices at their facility.

For the first time since September 23rd when he suffered a high ankle sprain, RB Peyton Hillis was back working in practice with his teammates. Hillis has missed the last three games and did not take part in any football practices during that period. He was with the running backs as they went through their positional drills early in Tuesday’s practice.

According to head coach Romeo Crennel, RB Jamaal Charles was limited in his practice work because of a bruised back that he suffered last Sunday against Tampa Bay.

DE Glenn Dorsey was still in the rehab area on Tuesday, riding the stationary bike and pushing a weighted sled. He’s been out for several weeks due to a calf injury. WR Devon Wylie was on the same rehab schedule as Dorsey, as he tries to get his hamstring feeling well enough that he can get back on the field.

Crennel also said that C Ryan Lilja (back) and TE Steve Maneri (ankle) would be limited in the number of practice snaps they would see this week.

The coach made it plain that if it was up to him, the Chiefs would have at least three practices this week and less time off. The labor agreement between players and owners guarantees players Thursday through Sunday off during the bye week.

“There is a lot that needs to be done in the improvement area,” Crennel said. “But we have to work within the structure that we have. You can’t change it, so you have to make the best of it.”

Cassel Cleared For Practice, But Not Play

From the Truman Sports Complex

Head coach Romeo Crennel said late Tuesday morning that QB Matt Cassel has been cleared by doctors for non-contact practice.

That’s the first step back for Cassel in dealing with the after-effects of the concussion he suffered 9 days ago in a game against Baltimore.

The clearance means that Cassel has passed the required tests in the NFL concussion protocol. He will get tested again on Monday of next week. If there are no further problems, he would be cleared to play in the game on October 28th against Oakland.

But will he start? Crennel wasn’t saying yes or not on October 16th, 12 days ahead of the game.

“I’ve told the quarterbacks (Cassel and Brady Quinn) that they will get equal reps,” Crennel said of his practice plan for this week. “Both will work with the first team. We have two days to work through this and get some good work.

“I understand there is speculation on what ifs and what ands, but my stance is that both of them will get work and then we will evaluate it and next week when we are getting ready for a game week, we’ll make a decision and go from there.”

Crennel said that what he saw of Cassel over the last two days he’s capable of returning to work.

“He’s bounced back pretty good,” Crennel said. “He is ready to go. He’s bright-eyed, excited about getting back on the field and working with his teammates. I think he’ll go out there and do a good job.”

They Are What They Are … Tuesday Cup O’Chiefs

As a football coach and executive, Bill Parcells has said a lot of memorable things over the years. His most repeated comment has been:

“You are what you are.”

Romeo Crennel touched that notion on Monday when he talked to the media horde about his Chiefs as they head into their bye week after a 28-point pasting from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

“We’re a 1-5 football team and that means you’re not very good,” Crennel said.

The 2012 Chiefs are what they are – one of the worst performing teams in the league this season. They are one of six teams with just one victory and one of two teams that has dropped five games – the other 1-5 team is Cleveland. They are minus-79 in points and only Tennessee is worse (minus-90). In a league driven by parity, the Chiefs have lost three straight, tied for the longest current losing streak in the league with Carolina.

Whether they are the NFL’s worst team is a question that will be answered in the weeks ahead as they try to stop the bleeding of their poor start.

The first step is the Chiefs have a weekend off this coming Sunday. Is that good or bad for this team at this point on the football calendar? …Read More!

NFL Transactions – 10/15

Buffalo – signed DE Shawne Merriman, S Delano Howell; released DT Jay Ross, OL David Snow.

Chicago – released RB Kahlil Bell; signed TE Brody Eldridge.

Green Bay – claimed RB Johnny White on waivers from Buffalo; placed RB Brandon Saine (knee) on the injured-reserve list.

Jacksonville – released CB Kevin Rutland; signed S Chris Harris.

Oakland – signed TE Mickey Shuler.

First Quarter Told Romeo It Would Be A Long Day

When Romeo Crennel said after Sunday’s 28-point loss to Tampa Bay that he did not have a clue as to why his team had played so poorly he was speaking of one specific area of their performance: the first quarter.

Specifically, it was the fact the Chiefs were unable to score any points in the first 15 minutes and collected five penalties in the process.

It has been a major point of emphasis between the head coach and his players over the last few weeks – faster starts and fewer penalties. Apparently the message has been garbled because it did not get through to performance on the field.

“I was referring to that first quarter where it’s important in the game to get off to a good start, particularly when you’re on the road and we had like five penalties,” Crennel said Monday afternoon at the team’s facility. “I expect more from our guys as far as the decisions they make as it relates to penalties and field position; field position is critical, and I’ve been talking to them about it. I thought that they understood the importance of field position.

“They didn’t do it maliciously; they were trying to play football. They made some bad choices as it related to penalties so that hurt.” …Read More!

NFL’s Sunday Best – 10/14

Longest Plays

108 – Baltimore WR Jacoby Jones kickoff return for TD vs. Dallas. (W)

82 – Pittsburgh WR Mike Wallace catch for TD vs. Tennessee. (L)(Thu)

79 – Atlanta CB Asante Samuel interception return for TD vs. Oakland. (W)

78 – Tampa Bay CB Ronde Barber interception return for TD vs. Chiefs. (W)

76 – Washington CB Robert Griffin TD run vs. Minnesota. (W) (That’s RG3 on the right after TD run.)

71 – Cleveland WR Josh Gordon TD catch vs. Cincinnati. (W)

70 – Philadelphia WR Jeremy Maclin TD catch vs. Detroit. (L)

66 – N.Y. Giants RB David Wilson kickoff return vs. San Francisco. (W)

66 – Seattle P Jon Ryan punt vs. New England. (W)

65 – St. Louis WR Chris Givens catch vs. Miami. (L)

65 – Cincinnati P Kevin Huber punt vs. Cleveland. (L) …Read More!

Notes, Quotes: Lewis Happy To Be Back

From Raymond James Stadium, Tampa

It was not the way the day played out in his mind over the weeks that he was rehabbing his right shoulder.

Kendrick Lewis missed two pre-season games and then five games in the regular season because of the injury he suffered in St. Louis during the second exhibition game in August.

Antsy to get back on the field, it happened Sunday in Tampa, where he played the whole game, starting at free safety and finishing the day up with 3 total tackles.

“I put my best foot forward and did what I had to do,” Lewis said. “There are still some things that we need to correct, need to concentrate on to make ourselves better as a team, and that’s what it’s all about – looking at each individual and trying to better ourselves.”

The Chiefs defense fell apart in the second half against the Bucs and Lewis isn’t sure he knows the exact reason why.

“I can’t tell you what the exact problem is,” Lewis said. “I’ll just tell you that we have to get better. We’ve got to earn how to play defense for four quarters no matter how the game is going and that’s the bottom line.”

Ronde making history

When a player has been on the field in the NFL for 16 years, he’s bound to make some history. That’s certainly the case with Tampa Bay DB Ronde Barber.

The twin brother of the retired Giants RB Tiki Barber, Ronde is 37 years old and still making plays and adjusting record books just by stepping on the field. By starting Sunday’s Chiefs-Buccaneers game, Barber has tied LB Derrick Brooks for 221 starts. When he opens against New Orleans this coming Sunday, he’ll own the record outright. He’s started 204 consecutive games, the longest current streak in the league. Sitting at No. 2 is Washington LB London Fletcher with 189 straight starts.

His 78-yard interception return for a score was the 15th touchdown of his career. Among active players his 12 TDs on fumble or interception returns is tied with Charles Woodson for the No. 1 spot. He’s just one behind the all-time career leaders in that category; Darren Sharper and Rod Woodson had 13 each. His 8 INT interception TDs ranks him seventh.

Injury report

On the first offensive play of the game, RB Jamaal Charles left the field under his own power but escorted by several medical personnel. No word was given on what his injury might have been, but Charles was back on the field without any apparent problems for the rest of the game.

Atmosphere report

The Bucs reported paid attendance of 46,500 and given the number of empty seats in the upper deck, that appeared to be a fairly accurate number. Those fans that were there made some noise but nothing that drowned out snap counts or the like. It was one of the smaller crowds the Chiefs have played in front of in many seasons.

The Chiefs were in their home red jerseys for this game as the Buccaneers went with white tops because of the heat and sunshine. Since light colors reflect sunlight and darker colors absorb the light and heat.

It was one of the smaller crowds the Chiefs have played in front of in many seasons.

Honored at half-time was former Bucs offensive lineman Paul Gruber. His name went up on the team’s ring of honor on the faΓ§ade of the upper deck inside the stadium. Gruber was the team’s starting left tackle for 12 seasons (1988-99) after he was selected with the fourth pick of the first round of the 1988 NFL draft. That was 183 games and starts for Gruber. His is the fourth name that’s been posted joining former coach John McKay, DL Leroy Selmon and TE Jimmie Giles.

Special teams report

Overall this was the best part of the Chiefs performance on Sunday; of course that may be damning the kicking game with faint praise.

Kickoffs/Placements – Ryan Succop was his usual solid self. He made his 38-yard FG and knocked three kickoffs into the end zone. Two were returned for a total of 39 yards.

Punting – Dustin Colquitt was sensational, bottling up the Bucs in their own territory as his coverage team downed punts at the 2 and 1-yard line.

Coverage – Allowed a 9-yard punt return and a 23-yard kickoff return and that was it. Press box stats gave coverage tackles to LB Jovan Belcher, RB Shaun Draughn, LB Edgar Jones, LB Andy Studebaker, RB Nate Eachus and RB Cyrus Gray.

Returns – They had no kickoff returns and Javier Arenas had two punt returns for 10 and 1-yard.

Personnel report

The inactive players for the Chiefs against the Bucs were QB Matt Cassel, RB Peyton Hillis, DE Glenn Dorsey, WR Devon Wylie, C Bryan Mattison, S Tysyn Hartman and LB Bryan Kehl.

QB Ricky Stanzi and FS Kendrick Lewis were active for the first time this season. Lewis missed 7 games (2 pre-season, 5 in the regular season) due to his right shoulder injury. That’s now 57 players that have been dressed for action on game day for the Chiefs this season.

Brady Quinn got his first start at quarterback for the Chiefs and the 13th start of his NFL career. All of the previous 12 were in Cleveland, the last on December 20, 2009 against the Chiefs at Arrowhead.

Inactive players for the Buccaneers against the Chiefs were RB Michael Smith, DB Keith Tandy, LB Najee Goode, OL Cody Wallace, WR Chris Owusu, TE Danny Noble and DE Markus White.

Officials: Busy But Appeared To Get Things Right

From Raymond James Stadium, Tampa

There was no question that the Walt Coleman’s crew was engaged and active in their handling of the Chiefs-Buccaneers game on Sunday.

They threw 15 penalty flags and 13 were walked off, with the Chiefs leading the way with 7 for 55 yards. The Bucs had 6 penalties and lost 33 yards.

(That’s head linesman Jerry Bergman to the right, using a pink whistle as part of the league’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month.)

There were three replay reviews on the afternoon and all requested by the replay official and only one on-field call was changed:

– In the second quarter the replay review upheld the officials on the field that the Chiefs had downed a Dustin Colquitt punt at the Tampa Bay 1-yard line.

– In the third quarter the replay review upheld the Ronde Barber interception and 78-yard return.

– Early in the fourth quarter the replay review changed the on-field call that said Chiefs LB Edgar Jones had gone out of bounds at the Tampa Bay 1-yard line. They looked at the tape and it showed that Jones got the ball across the goal line and inside the pylon for a touchdown.

Here’s the hanky report:

#

Team

Squad

Player

Penalty

Yards

1.

Chiefs

Punt

B. Siler

Holding

Minus-10

2.

Chiefs

Defense

T. Hali

Illegal block

Minus-10

3.

Bucs

Offense

D. Dotson

Illegal use hands

Declined

4.

Chiefs

Punt Ret.

E. Jones

Holding

Minus-7

5.

Chiefs

Offense

E. Winston

Holding

Minus-10

6.

Chiefs

Punt

J. Brown

False start

Minus-4

7.

Bucs

Punt Ret.

Q. Black

Neutral zone

Minus-5

8.

Bucs

Kick Ret.

*

Illegal wedge

Minus-6

9.

Bucs

Offense

J. Zuttah

Holding

Minus-10

10.

Chiefs

Defense

B. Flowers

Holding

Minus-5

11.

Bucs

Defense

M. Bennett

Neutral zone

Minus-5

12.

Chiefs

Punt

*

Delay of game

Declined

13.

Bucs

Offense

J. Freeman

False start

Minus-5

14.

Bucs

Punt Ret.

E. Lorig

Illegal block

Minus-10

15.

Chiefs

Defense

J. Belcher

Un. Roughness

Minus-15

TB-Keys Recap

From Raymond James Stadium, Tampa

Here’s a look at the 4 pre-game keys to a Chiefs victory on Sunday and whether they achieved those items. There are three possible grades: Mission Accomplished, Push and, Failed Assignment.

4

Do something different — Get a lead

It’s hard to believe that over 5 games the Chiefs have never held a lead at any point in the games. They’ve played 308 minutes, 33 seconds of football on the clock and haven’t been in front at any time, not a single second. Not counting the 0-0 score at the start of games, they’ve been tied with their opponents for only 25 minutes, 43 seconds. Being behind for what amounts to 283 minutes develops a mindset in the psyche of a football team. There’s no reason they should have to put themselves through that time-after-time. Score first, answer a FG with a touchdown. Whatever this team does, it needs to change the formula and getting a lead would do that.

OUTCOME – FAILED ASSIGNMENT. It appeared they would have the chance to score first, but they stumbled about and ended up giving up a TD pass before they were able to put a field goal on the scoreboard. By constantly playing from behind, the Chiefs have never given themselves a fair chance to win.

3

Confuse Josh Freeman

After the 2010 season, the NFL thought they’d found another young franchise quarterback in Josh Freeman. The Grandview-Kansas State product had a great season, starting 16 games and throwing 25 TD passes to just 6 INTs and a 95.9 passer rating. That was followed up last year by a bad season, as he played 15 games with 16 TDs and 22 INTs and a 74.6 passer rating. He had seven games where he threw more than one interception and only four games where he threw more than one TD pass. It was an ugly season for all the Bucs, and especially Freeman. He’s big, smart and talented, and to handle him a defense has to make him move his feet in the pocket, double clutch on some throws and make him think twice. That’s got to come with coverage and with the rush. Stop the run, force the pass and then make Freeman’s day difficult.

OUTCOME – FAILED ASSIGNMENT. At no time did Grandview and K-State’s own quarterback product look overly concerned about what the Chiefs were doing defensively. They sent some extra rushers at him, but the big strong Freeman was able to keep them off and use his athletic ability and size to still get things done.

2

Protect Brady Quinn

Quinn is a big, strapping specimen of a young man, with lots of time in the weight room where he has developed biceps that match those of famous referee Ed Hochuli. He’s 6-3, 235 pounds and most of that is muscle. Yet with his inactivity over the last three seasons, the Chiefs need to keep the Buccaneers defense away from him in the pocket. Quinn figures to have plenty of challenges in his first start since December 2009 and he doesn’t need the added responsibility of trying to throw while being horizontal. They have an outside pass rusher in DE Michael Bennett with 4 sacks in 4 games. Inside, DT Gerald McCoy has three sacks. Brandon Albert and Eric Winston need to control Bennett and it will be up to the interior trio of Jeff Allen-Ryan Lilja-Jon Asamoah to deal with McCoy.

OUTCOME – Accomplished, not that it mattered. The Chiefs did not allow a sack of Quinn, which was really important in giving the offense any chance to get things. In the end, it was a good effort wasted.

1

Don’t be guests bringing gifts to the party

How many times does it have to be said – the Chiefs cannot help the other team by giving the ball away on turnovers, allowing sacks and racking up penalties that destroy field position advantages and wipe out positive plays. They have 19 interceptions and fumbles lost, allowed 13 sacks and they have 29 penalties. They are the worst team in the league with giveaways at 19; no other team has more than 14. They are tied for 22nd in fewest sacks allowed. There penalty total is not huge compared to other teams in the league, but they’ve come at some of the worst times, especially on special teams. Tampa Bay is not a team on the same level of talent, experience or production like Baltimore. They need help; don’t give it to them.

OUTCOME – Failed assignment. Two more giveaways, another half-dozen-plus penalties – all of that combined to give the Buccaneers more opportunities than they needed to win the game.

Report Card: Chiefs vs. Buccaneers


From Raymond James Stadium, Tampa

PASSING OFFENSE: F – The change at quarterback did nothing to jump start the Chiefs offense, and in particular the passing game. Brady Quinn averaged just 4.7 yards per attempt, with no pass completion going for more than 19 yards among the 22 he did connect on. Pass protection was good, but the receivers were not, as two interceptions came when receivers couldn’t grab the ball.

RUSHING OFFENSE: F – Give credit to the Buccaneers defense, but there was no push on the line of scrimmage from the offensive line. Tampa Bay made six tackles for negative yardage against the Chiefs run game.

PASS DEFENSE: F – The Bucs wide receivers scorched the Chiefs defense as Josh Freeman threw for 328 yards, his highest total in a victory over his short NFL career. Giving up a pair of 62-yard completions alone was going to give the K.C. cover guys a negative grade. OLB Tamba Hali got a sack and OLB Justin Houston grabbed his first NFL interception, but that hardly made up for the bombs that were exploding in the secondary.

RUSH DEFENSE: D – Tampa Bay didn’t need to rely on their running game, but when it was needed, the Bucs were able to get yardage on the Chiefs, averaging 6 yards per carry and breaking off runs of 35 and 23 yards. They ran for 145 yards, only five of those yards from the quarterback.

SPECIAL TEAMS: C – Give kicker Ryan Succop and punter Dustin Colquitt credit for continuing to be the most consistent part of the 2012 Chiefs. After his first punt was partially blocked, Colquitt came back and ended up averaging 46 yards a punt, with a 42.5-yard net average. Coverage was excellent on both punts and kickoffs. The return game didn’t produce or this grade would be higher but the blocked punt that went for a touchdown was the high point of the game for the Chiefs..

COACHING: F – There is now way that a team loses by 28 points to a team with a losing record and the coaches get passing grades; no way. The first time we heard Romeo say he didn’t know why his team was so bad it was funny. It’s grown old at this point. Somebody better find out and make some changes soon before they chase away every ticket buying fan in the Midwest.

Play of the Game – Ronde Barber’s 78-yard INT return


From Raymond James Stadium, Tampa

QUARTER – 3rd period, 9 minutes, 51 seconds to play in the period.

SCORE – Buccaneers led 14-3.

DOWN & DISTANCE – 3rd-and-5 for the Chiefs offense at the Buccaneers 28-yard line.

SET – Chiefs were in a 1-back, 1-tight end, 3-wide receiver alignment with Brady Quinn in the shotgun.

Ronde Barber is 37 years old and in his 16th NFL season. If there were doubts in anyone’s mind that the oldest member of the Buccaneers can still make a contribution they should have been wiped out on his 78-yard interception return for a touchdown.

In a game with plenty of twist and turns, it was Barber’s remarkable interception that left the Chiefs for dead. The Bucs had just come out of the half-time locker room and put up and offensive touchdown to give them a 14-3 lead.

Just a few minutes later the Chiefs had driven the ball into Tampa Bay territory and faced a 3rd-and-5 play. Brady Quinn took the snap in the shotgun position and looked left, trying to find WR Dexter McCluster.

“I thought I put the ball in a good spot,” said Quinn. “I got hit on the play and all the sudden I looked up and saw him running.”

McCluster had two defensive backs around him. CB E.J. Biggers was on one side and Barber was on the other.

“I was covering the inside slant and E.J. actually made a great play,” said Barber. “I just snatched it off the ground before it hit and then it was a pretty easy 78-yard run from there.”

As far as McCluster is concerned, the whole play was a “crazy situation.”

“The ball was going to hit the ground and his (Biggers) arm was there and it hit off him and it was just there,” said McCluster, who added that he never had possession of the ball. “It’s one of those things that happens one in a million times and that was the one.”

Head coach Romeo Crennel thought the ball hit the ground, but after the replay review, the call on the field was upheld.

“They couldn’t tell definitely on the replay so they ruled it as a touchdown,” Crennel said.

It turned into a 10-point swing for the Chiefs. They were trailing by 11 points and already in field goal position. So if they had at least gotten a field goal they would have trailed by 8 points. Then, the blocked punt and touchdown play would have left the Chiefs just 1-point behind with 14 minutes to play in the game.

It Was One of Those Island Days For Routt

From Raymond James Stadium, Tampa

One of the reasons that cornerback is one of the toughest positions to play in pro football comes down to this – sometimes a corner can play perfectly, with the correct technique and decision making and still lose on the play.

And, when it happens it always happens where everyone watching the game knows what went down.

Just ask Stanford Routt, Chiefs cornerback on the island Sunday in the loss to the Buccaneers.

“It’s football you know what I mean?” said Routt. “It is what it is. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, but you never get down on yourself. It happens. Sometimes you’ve got to tip your hat to the other guy.”

If that’s the case then there would have been a lot of hat tipping around the Raymond James Stadium field on this Sunday. Both Routt and CB Brandon Flowers felt the burn of a Tampa Bay passing game that seemed to be hitting just about everything over the Chiefs secondary.

The first was a 62-yard touchdown play from Josh Freeman to Mike Williams. He beat Routt for the catch and then ran for a touchdown, with FS Kendrick Lewis missing a tackle attempt.

“We knew they were going to give us single-high man press coverage; we’d been saying all week that it’s disrespectful towards us,” said Williams. “They are both (Routt and Flowers) good corners, but we still think that’s disrespect towards a receiver when you play single-high man coverage.”

Williams later beat Flowers for a 36-yard play.

In the second half, Freeman connected with WR Tiquan Underwood on a 62-yard play where the ball was thrown up for grabs. Routt was all over Underwood and appeared in good position, but Underwood made the catch by tipping the ball in the air to himself.

“It was a great play by the defender,” Underwood said of Routt. “He got inside and had a great PBU (pass break-up) but fortunately the ball bounced where I could still catch it. I just had good concentration.

“Coming into the game we knew these guys played a lot of man coverage and rightly so they’ve got some great corners. Guys stepped up and just made plays today. Josh put the ball where it needed to be and we were executing pretty well throughout the day.”

Signed away as an unrestricted free agent from the Chargers during the off-season, Vincent Jackson had two touchdown catches where both times he beat zone coverage in the middle of the defense.

“That’s life when you are on the island,” Routt said.

Sometimes the day on the island is nice and sunny, but other days it’s hurricane season.

“It’s always sunny because there is always another day,” said Routt. I know the season is not lost. We only have one win right now and we have to get our second one.”

Chiefs Running Game Goes AWOL


From Raymond James Stadium, Tampa

Peyton Hillis was back home in Kansas City, still rehabbing his high ankle sprain. Shaun Draughn was dressed and on the field, but he too was nursing an ankle injury. Rookie Cyrus Gray was coming off the flu that laid him up for two days.

And then there was the battered body of Jamaal Charles, who has been carrying a workload that he’s never experienced before.

On Friday, Chiefs head coach Romeo Crennel said everything was fine with his running back group and that they would be ready to go on Sunday against Tampa Bay.

But with rookie Nate Eachus the only relatively healthy back available, the Chiefs running attack never got going against the Buccaneers. They ran the ball 30 times for just 80 yards.

That’s easily the fewest rushing yards the Chiefs have had this year (115 yards vs. San Diego the previous low) and it’s the lowest rushing total they’ve had since Game No. 13 of last season when they ran for 65 yards against the New York Jets.

Charles got 22 yards on the longest run of the day, so the other 68 yards for the Chiefs came on 29 runs. That’s just 2.3 yards per carry.

“They came in as one of the best running teams in the NFL and I thought our guys did an incredible job,” said Tampa Bay head coach Greg Schiano. “I think it was something like 2.7 yards per carry. If you can do that in the NFL, you have a chance to really play good defense.”

Coming into the game, the Chiefs offense was the No. 2 ranked rushing attack in the league, averaging 180.8 yards a game. Tampa Bay was the league’s No. 4 ranked defense against the run, allowing 73.8 yards per game.

Obviously, the Bucs defense played far closer to his production and potential than the Chiefs offense was able to do.

No question the Bucs played good defense. They had six plays where they stopped Chiefs runners for negative yardage, with Charles losing 7 yards on two plays and Draughn losing 9 yards on 4 runs.

“Tampa Bay made it tougher,” said Chiefs head coach Romeo Crennel. “But that doesn’t mean we are not going to run the ball, because they are a pretty good run defense. You’ve got to attempt to run and there were some spots we thought we could gain some yards and we weren’t able to gain the yards we felt we could.”

Naturally the scoreboard in the fourth quarter took the Chiefs out of their running game as they tried to make a comeback through the air. But those attempts fell flat.

“They had a great game plan on trying to stop our run,” said Charles. “They were really bringing some extra run support for some of the runs.”

Charles was injured on the Chiefs’ first offensive play of the game after he caught a pass that lost a yard. It turned out to be nothing so serious as it limited him the rest of the day, as he walked off under his own power and said after the game he was fine.

Bouncing Charles around and keep him under wraps was something the Bucs were well aware would be required of their defense if they planned to win the game.

“It was just execution,” said rookie S Mark Barron, who also had an interception. “Everybody communicated, everybody was on the same page, everybody did their job and when we execute we can play like that.”

Chiefs TD Comes In Strange Way

From Raymond James Stadium, Tampa

Near as Edgar Jones could remember, before Sunday’s game against Tampa Bay, the Chiefs linebacker had not scored a touchdown since his high school days in Louisiana.

No matter the level of competition, Jones had never scored a touchdown like the one that happened against the Buccaneers. Ultimately the official scorer ruled that Jones returned a fumble 11 yards for a touchdown.

It looked more like an interception, but it was definitely a blocked punt that started the ball rolling and a player can’t throw a pass with a blocked punt. Whatever it was technically, it was the only touchdown the Chiefs scored in losing to Tampa Bay 38-10.

“I was going down field blocking guy,” Jones said. “The only reason I turned around was because I heard the fans.”

What had happened was that the ball was loose in the end zone because Buccaneers punter Michael Koenen’s punt had been blocked by Chiefs RB Shaun Draughn and the ball had stayed behind the line of scrimmage and was bouncing around the end zone.

Koenen and Draughn were racing after it and then others were headed to the end zone as well. Koenen picked the ball up and rather than make the smart play of running out of the back of the end zone for a safety, he threw the ball.

“He looked right at me and threw it,” Jones said. “I couldn’t believe he did that. I’m not sure what he was trying to do, but it came right to me.”

And Jones headed right for the left edge of the end zone. Unsure whether he could get in, he leaped and was able to tuck the ball past the pylon in bounds for the touchdown. It took a replay review before the officials would give him the score.

“I wanted to get in there; I was just trying to make a play,” Jones said. “We needed something good to happen and Shaun’s block set that whole thing up.”

So just what was Koenen trying to do when he picked up the ball and threw it forward?

“I was thinking two points (safety) or get it out of there,” Koenen said afterwards. “I should have just fell on it.”

Luckily for the Chiefs he did not because it would be their only touchdown of the game.

“A crazy day, but that’s the game of football,” Jones said. “A lot of things happen. Some things we can control, some things we can’t control.”

The QB Battle: Freeman Easily Beats Quinn


From Raymond James Stadium, Tampa

Both starting quarterbacks came into Sunday’s game after layoffs.

For Tampa Bay’s Josh Freeman it was two weeks. For the Chiefs’ Brady Quinn it was 34 months.

The layoff was helpful for Freeman against the Chiefs, while Quinn spent a lot of the game trying to knock the rust off from playing just once in the previous 39 regular season games.

Freeman helped lead the Buccaneers to a 38-10 victory over the Chiefs, throwing for more than 300 yards with three touchdown passes. Quinn struggled in his performance, throwing for just 180 yards and two interceptions, although he was victimized by his receiver on both of those turnovers.

Here’s the tale of the tape between Freeman and Quinn:

Freeman

Quinn

26

Attempts

38

15

Completions

22

57.7%

Comp. %

57.9%

328

Yards

180

12.6

Avg. Per Att.

4.7

21.9

Avg. Per Comp.

8.2

3

TD passes

0

1

Interceptions

2

124.7

Passer rating

48.1

1/10

Sacked/Yards

0/0

“Going in to today we felt extremely confident,” Quinn said after the game. “But overall, there wasn’t enough consistency. We continued to stall out and shoot ourselves in the foot. There were again, turnovers that continue to plague us or penalties.”

Quinn’s first interception went off the hands of TE Steve Maneri, while the second one appeared to be in the hands of Dexter McCluster for a time, before it was grabbed by CB Ronde Barber, who returned the ball 78 yards for a touchdown.

“It was not the quarterback’s fault,” Chiefs head coach Romeo Crennel said of Quinn’s picks. “He wasn’t as sharp as he would have been if he had plenty of reps, but he wasn’t the cause of it (interceptions). I thought he commanded the offense pretty nicely.”

But as befell Matt Cassel through the first five games of the season, Quinn had to deal with the bounces going against him and his offense. He confesses that’s the hardest part of keeping the locker room morale high.

“I think the hardest thing for us right now is when you see plays like (Barber’s interception) where you see a chance and then it turns into a big play for the other team,” Quinn said. “At some point the luck is going to turn our way and I think we need to keep believing in ourselves and the tides are going to turn. We’re going to get a win and get on a roll.”

A three-game losing streak before their bye last weekend had Buccaneers fans questioning Freeman and his productivity. There won’t be any questions like that this week, because he was on the mark all day, making only one mistake, when one of his throws was grabbed by Chiefs OLB Justin Houston.

“Nothing anybody says outside of our building has any effect on us,” said Freeman. People will say they want to throw the ball deep or they want to run the ball. But we know who we are and you just have to continue to work, continue to preparer like we’ve been preparing. We’ve got the talent, we’ve got the pieces, we just have to go out and play.”

Freeman didn’t have any problem going deep against the Chiefs, completing passes of 62, 62, 42 and 36 yards. His receivers Mike Williams, Tiquan Underwood and Vincent Jackson were busy and making plays – a combined 10 catches for 247 yards and 3 TDs.

“Mike is a guy that has been making plays since his rookie year,” said Freeman. “Vincent is a guy that we know is going to make those plays. Even Tiquan stepped up and made that play that he did. We have all the faith in the world in those guys. When we get a one-on-one matchup, we like to take advantage.”

The Bucs took advantage of both Chiefs CBs Brandon Flowers and Stanford Routt.

“I thought Josh kept his cool throughout the game when things didn’t go well,” said Tampa Bay head coach Greg Schiano. “Sure there are going to be throws he’s going to wish he had back and things he wished he did differently. It’s a slow process but he’s getting better.”

Column: Chiefs Quit; Continue Backward Slide


From Raymond James Stadium, Tampa

It’s the worst thing that can be said of any athlete or athletic team. To say that a player or a group of men quit on the field of competition is to paint them with a scarlet Q that only Hester Prynne would understand.

In 32 seasons of hanging around the Chiefs I’ve seen a lot of bad football. I think back on a lot of players and groups that went through tough times and couldn’t buy a victory if they were on sale at Wal-Mart. With the exception of some individuals, I never thought anyone just outright quit.

Until Sunday, that is. When the Chiefs put together another miserable performance and were beaten by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 38-10. In the Florida sunshine I saw a football team, and particularly a defense that quit in the fourth quarter. There is no other explanation for the performance that Romeo Crennel’s defense put forth. In the last 10-plus minutes of the game, the Chiefs defense allowed the Bucs 17 points. They did so by allowing drives of 7 plays for 69 yards (FG), 5 plays for 85 yards (TD) and 5 plays for 53 yards (TD).

In those possessions, they gave up Tampa offensive plays that went for 23, 35 and 62 yards. They helped out with a 15-yard gift on an unsportsmanlike penalty call.

When all this began, they trailed the Bucs by 11 points with 14 minutes to play. There was plenty of time to mount a comeback, something along the lines of what they were able to do in New Orleans when they were down by 11 points at the start of the fourth quarter. But when Tampa QB Josh Freeman hit WR Tiquan Underwood for 62 yards four plays after the K.C. touchdown, the wind was sucked right out of the Chiefs defense.

From that point on, they quit.

It wasn’t all at once, and likely it wasn’t all 11 players on the field; I don’t want to use the Eric Winston broad brush to smear everyone on the defense. But there is no other explanation of how they sat back and just allowed the Bucs to go up and down the field. This was Josh Freeman, and not Drew Brees. Other than one sack by OLB Tamba Hali, the Chiefs seldom breathed on Freeman and they certainly didn’t in the fourth quarter.

The final period has been a problem point for the Buccaneers this year, so they decided to keep their foot on the gas pedal and keep playing for points. That usually comes a team’s way when the other guys don’t just take their foot off the gas, but they park the car and abandon it by the side of the road.

No team comes through losing without looking like losers. This is professional football, and it’s not a land where moral victories count, or “hey we played better and only lost by 3 points” counts, or trust us, “we’ll get this thing turned around” counts.

All that matters is the scoreboard, and it runs for 60 minutes, sometimes even more. A professional plays for 60 minutes. A professional defense goes down swinging no matter what the score happens to be or the particulars of the situation. The Chiefs were backed into a corner and rather than fight back and try to make some sort of advancement, they stood there and allowed the Bucs to continue to pound away at them.

In the final moments and afterwards, there was no rancor in the air, no sense of embarrassment or anger at the Bucs or the defense at all. The post-game commentary was the same – we have to get this fixed, we aren’t playing up to our capability, we are better than this.

It might be time for all fans of red and gold to accept the fact this won’t be fixed, that this team and particularly this defense is already playing up to what they can achieve. Maybe, they are not any better than what they’ve shown. Actually, it’s time that Clark Hunt and the Hunt Family accept the fact that something is organically wrong with their franchise. This isn’t bad luck, or the bounces going against the Chiefs – which they always seem to do – or injuries. This is about a fatal missing piece in the puzzle that was put together and called the 2012 Chiefs.

Not only is this team leading the NFL under-achievers, but they are starting to develop the habits of losing football teams, like packing up the bags before the final seconds have ticked off the clock. Firing assistant coaches, slashing a head coach, even bombing a general manager isn’t going to be enough.

If Clark Hunt doesn’t want to run the family’s favorite investment into the ground, he needs to bring in a football swat team that he will listen to and accept their evaluations. Think outside the box, hire some football consultants – Ron Wolf, Dan Reeves, Marty Schottenheimer to name just a few – and have them look at every decision that’s been made in the last four years.

Character was supposed to be the benchmark for this team, the right 53 as it has been called. A team with character does not perform in the fourth quarter the way this one did. This is not a time for the Chiefs from top to bottom, to quit and that includes ownership. The fans deserve far more than that; they deserve a team and organization that plays until the clock reads 00:00.

They didn’t get that on Sunday in Tampa.

Chiefs Continue Losing Ways, Falling 38-10 to Bucs


From Raymond James Stadium, Tampa

One thing that can be said for the 2012 Kansas City Chiefs is they find interesting ways to lose football games.

They dropped their fifth game of the season Sunday, falling to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 38-10 and moving their record on the season to 1-5 and securing their hold as the most under-achieving team in the first half of this National Football League season.

“I don’t understand why we play the way we play,” said head coach Romeo Crennel. “It was disappointing today the way we executed … it was a team effort that screwed things up and we’ve got to fix it as a team.”

In a game they just had to win, the Chiefs barely competed for the victory. They trailed 7-3 at half-time and all things seemed possible. But when the teams returned for the second half the Buccaneers needed only a span of 190 seconds in the third quarter to put two touchdowns on the scoreboard, one from their offense and one from their defense. Down 21-3 after the second score, there was no way the Chiefs were going to be able to make up that type of deficit.

They got it to an 11-point difference on one of the strangest touchdowns of the season, but then promptly game up 17 points in the fourth quarter and the Chiefs added this 28-point defeat to their ugly 2012 dance card.

“It’s just not good,” said RB Jamaal Charles. “I’m so sick of it.”

Sick is exactly what it is. The Chiefs hit their bye week with their confidence at its lowest nadir in many, many years. Against a now 2-3 team like the Buccaneers, Crennel’s team couldn’t make enough good plays to beat all the bad plays and mistakes they made. Although he threw three touchdown passes, it wasn’t Tampa Bay quarterback and Grandview’s own Josh Freeman that won this game for the Buccaneers. It was the Pewter’s defense that kept the Chiefs offense out of the end zone. RB Jamaal Charles was never allowed to run free, WR Dwayne Bowe was kept under wraps all day and QB Brady Quinn did not produce anything that would make the Chiefs forget about the injured Matt Cassel.

There were two more giveaways for the Chiefs, pushing their season total to 21. One went for six points, as Tampa Bay’s veteran CB Ronde Barber returned an interception 78 yards for a touchdown. That ball seemed to be in the hands of WR Dexter McCluster and somehow ended up in Barber’s paws. Quinn was designated with another interception in the first half on a ball that bounced off TE Steve Maneri.

The bouncing ball has not been going the Chiefs way this year and this Sunday was no exception. The only favorable bounce they saw produced their only touchdown on the afternoon – an 11-yard fumble return for a score by LB Edgar Jones on a blocked punt play early in the fourth quarter. The offense was inside the Bucs 20-yard line twice in 11 possessions and could not get a touchdown. The defense allowed 463 yards and four touchdowns.

“We couldn’t make some plays today and that hurt us,” Crennel said. “When the talent does what it is supposed to do, we can perform pretty good. Until we tighten up the turnovers, and tighten up the penalties and execute the way we need to, it will be tough.”

The first half was like so many of the initial 30 minutes the Chiefs have played each week of the ’12 season. They were in the game at half-time, as they went to the locker room down just 7-3. The Chiefs defense however, did register the first takeaway of the day, as OLB Justin Houston stepped in front of a pass intended for TE Dallas Clark and returned the interception 45 yards.

Just about six minutes later the Chiefs returned the favor as they were driving into the Bucs red zone; Quinn’s pass to Maneri bounced off the tight end and was grabbed out of the air and returned it 12 yards.

The teams traded possessions and then Freeman struck – connecting on a 62-yard touchdown play to WR Mike Williams who beat CB Stanford Routt on the play. The PAT by Connor Barth gave Tampa Bay a 7-0 lead and once again the Chiefs were in the familiar position of being behind on the scoreboard.

And, that’s where they stayed. When they got the ball back, Quinn led them on the best drive of the day, using 15 plays to go 59 yards in 7 minutes, 33 seconds before stalling inside the red zone again. They had to settle for a Ryan Succop field goal from 38 yards and the Chiefs trailed 7-3. That’s where the score stayed as the teams enjoyed intermission.

The Buccaneers really enjoyed the third quarter. They had won the coin toss at the start of the game and elected to defer until the second half. Starting with the ball at their own 20-yard line, Freeman took them on a 4-play, 80-yard drive, completing 3 of 3 passes for 76 yards, including the touchdown pass of 19 yards to WR Vincent Jackson.

Quinn and the Chiefs offense took their turn next and he had them moving again, and they were back in Tampa Bay territory. That’s when his pass to WR Dexter McCluster was tipped and bounced off McCluster and Tampa DB E.J. Biggers. The ball was about to hit the ground when Barber reached down and picked it off his shoe tops. He took off running down the sideline and with few of the Chiefs understanding what happened, he ran the 78 yards for the score. The PAT kick made Tampa Bay’s lead 21-3.

Early in the fourth quarter came the most unusual play of the season to date. Tampa Bay punter Michael Koenen’s kick was blocked by Chiefs RB Shaun Draughn. The ball was rolling around in the end zone and both Koenen and Draughn were trying to get it in their hands. For Draughn, it would have been a touchdown. For Keonen, he should have been trying to make sure he got the ball and the Bucs would have given up just a safety.

But Keonen grabbed the ball and threw it back into the field of play. It was caught out of the air by Jones, who then ran towards the end zone, extending his arm inside the left pylon and getting his first touchdown since high school. Succop’s PAT kick made the score 24-10, and there was a faint heartbeat on the Chiefs sideline.

Tampa Bay drove a stake through that heart over their next three possessions, as Barth hit a 27-yard field goal, Freeman connected on a 17-yard TD pass to Jackson and then RB LaGarrette Blount had a 12-yard touchdown run and the Buccaneers had their second victory of the season.

And the Chiefs head into their bye week as baffled as their head coach professes to be as to why they are 1-5 and looking miserable in the process.

“We’ve got a week here where we can spend a lot of time looking at ourselves,” said LB Derrick Johnson. “The answers to our problems are within this team.”

Bounces Go Against Chiefs in Loss to Tampa Bay


From Raymond James Stadium, Tampa

Another game, but it was the same old way to lose for the 2012 Kansas City Chiefs.

Oh they threw some different wrinkles into the mix against the Buccaneers on a hot and humid October afternoon in Florida.

Sadly for them the outcome was the same as it was against Atlanta, Buffalo, San Diego and Baltimore – a loss. This time it was 24-10, moving their record to 1-5 on the season.

Turnovers again killed the Chiefs as they gave the ball away twice, one that was returned 78 yards for a touchdown by the most ancient of Buccaneers, 37-year old CB Ronde Barber.

The Chiefs only TD came from the special teams in one of the more unusual plays of the year as LB Edgar Jones intercepted a pass thrown by Tampa Bay punter Michael Koenen, after Koenen’s punt was blocked by Chiefs RB Shaun Draughn, and ran it in 11 yards for six points.

Brady Quinn made his first start for the Chiefs but the results did not turn out to be much different, as he was tagged with two interceptions, in both cases it was due to his receiver being unable to hold onto the ball.

There were a lot of twists and turns in this one and here’s our coverage:

A Look At Chiefs-Bucs Pre-Game


From Raymond James Stadium, Tampa

11:25 a.m. CDT – Both teams are wrapping up their pre-game sessions and so are we. Remember that from late afternoon, through Sunday night and into Monday morning, we will bring you complete coverage of what happens today here in Tampa. Enjoy the day.

11:15 a.m. CDT – It will be interesting to see how effective DE Ropati Pitoitua is today wearing a huge brace on his left arm to protect his hyper-extended elbow. With hand fighting such a vital part of taking care of business on the defensive line it would seem No. 75 is at a disadvantage.

11:10 a.m. CDT – We are less than an hour from kickoff and it’s a late arriving, or in this case maybe a not arriving crowd for this game. Lots of Bucs fans hanging out at the pirate ship in the north end zone but few have gotten into the stands. It’s hard to gauge the presence of Chiefs fans given that the teams both have fans wearing red. There are a handful of noticeable red and gold t-shirts in attendance.

11:05 a.m. CDT – The National Weather Service forecast for today is mostly sunny, with wind out of the east running between 8 and 10 mph. Temperatures should reach 90 degrees by the end of the game. Current temp is 82 degrees.

11 a.m. CDT — Starting lineup changes have Jamon Meredith stepping in at RG for Ted Larsen. On defense, E.J. Biggers will start in place of CB Aqib Talib. The only different starters for the Chiefs are QB Brady Quinn and DE Ropati Pitoitua, going for Matt Cassel and Glenn Dorsey.

10:55 a.m. CDT — K Ryan Succop was good from 52 yards towards the south goal posts, and he hit from 55 yards towards the north end zone. Connor Barth hit from 55 yards towards the south end zone.

10:50 a.m. CDT – Bucs K Connor Barth got his start with the Chiefs but was released in 2009 and landed in Tampa Bay where he’s been the kicker since ’09. Barth has been very successful, hitting 72 of 84 FGs for an 85.7% success rate. He’s not missed a FG of less than 40 yards and he’s 6 of 8 on kicks of 50 yards or more.

10:40 a.m. CDT – For the Chiefs QB Ricky Stanzi and FS Kendrick Lewis are game-day active players for the first time this season. Lewis missed 7 games (2 pre-season, 5 regular season) due to his right shoulder injury.

10:35 a.m. CDT – Inactive players for the Buccaneers against the Chiefs are RB Michael Smith, DB Keith Tandy, LB Najee Goode, OL Cody Wallace, WR Chris Owusu, TE Danny Noble and DE Markus White.

10:32 a.m. CDT – The inactive players for the Chiefs against the Bucs are QB Matt Cassel, RB Peyton Hillis, DE Glenn Dorsey, WR Devon Wylie, C Bryan Mattison, S Tysyn Hartman and LB Bryan Kehl.

10:30 a.m. CDT – As always, OLB Tamba Hali was on the field for 30 minutes going through his normal pre-game hand-fighting session with taekwondo expert Master Joe Kim. He’s been joined the last few games by Justin Houston. They’ve cut short their session a bit today, likely due to the temperatures and humidity. It’s already a very warm day in Tampa.

10:25 a.m. CDT – We should know the inactive players for both teams sometime in the next 10 minutes, but we are already aware of 4 players that won’t dress for the Chiefs – QB Matt Cassel, DE Glenn Dorsey, RB Peyton Hillis and WR Devon Wylie. Only three more to add to that group.

10:20 a.m. CDT – Interesting contrast between pre-game last Sunday at Arrowhead Stadium and today at RJS. Last week with the Baltimore Ravens in town there was very little fraternizing between the teams during the warm-up period, especially among coaches and staff. Today here in Tampa, there is a lot of by-play between the two teams. Little huddles of players talking to players, assistant coaches talking to assistant coaches. RT Eric Winston is hearing from a lot of Bucs, probably about the events of the past week and his notoriety.

10:15 a.m. CDT – Good morning from Florida where the day has dawned bright, hot and humid. The Chiefs and Buccaneers will kick off in 105 minutes in a game that both teams need to win. We’ll be updating you throughout the next hour plus as the teams get prepared for the kickoff at just after 12 noon. The picture above bares no resemblance to the actual crowd that will be inside the stadium today. I just liked the picture because of the pirate ship in the background and the palm trees in the foreground.

It’s A Must Win . . . Game-Day Cup O’Chiefs

From Tampa, Florida

It’s the 1-3 Buccaneers hosting the 1-4 Chiefs on an autumn Sunday afternoon in the Florida sunshine.

Kickoff is just after 12 noon at Raymond James Stadium with the television broadcast on CBS.

That’s a broadcast that won’t be seen in the Tampa area because this game is blacked out. A crowd somewhere south of 50,000 is expected. It is an afternoon that only the two teams involved seemed to care about.

“I think their situation is similar to ours,” said Chiefs head coach Romeo Crennel. “They probably feel this is a game they need to win. We feel this is a game we need to win. So it should be a good football game.”

This isn’t a game that Chiefs need to win; it’s a game they must win. It is an October Super Bowl for Crennel’s team after everything that has happened in the last month. Should the Chiefs be holding any type of thoughts about turning their dismal start into a strong finish, it must start by beating the Buccaneers. …Read More!

NFL Transactions – 11/13

NFL – fined Arizona WR Larry Fitzgerald, $7,875 for grabbing the face mask of a St. Louis defensive back.

Buffalo – released RB Johnny White, S Delano Howell; promoted DL Jay Ross, OL David Snow from the practice squad.

Tampa Bay – NFL suspended CB Aqib Talib 4 games for violating the league’s performance enhancing drug policy; promoted DE Markus White from the practice squad.

Talib Suspended By NFL

From Tampa, Florida

Former University of Kansas defensive back Aqib Talib has frequently found himself in trouble during his NFL career with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

That continued on Saturday when his 4-game NFL suspension was announced for violating the league’s drug policy. He will not be on the field Sunday against the Chiefs, forcing the Bucs to make adjustments after most of the practice week was gone.

Talib tested positive for Adderall, a drug frequently given to people with attention deficit disorder. Talib admitted taking Adderall and doing it without a prescription.

Adderall is considered a performance enhancing drug by the NFL and that’s why the suspension went to 4 games immediately.

With Talib out, veteran defensive back Brandon McDonald may move into the starting spot for the Bucs at left corner or possible former seventh-round selection E.J. Biggers.

In four games, Talib had 21 tackles, an interception and 7 passes defensed. He also blocked a punt.

Seafood In Tampa? Nah, it’s Steak At Bern’s

From Tampa, Florida

One would expect that along the western coast of Florida the choice of a nice meal for visitors in Tampa-St. Petersburg would be seafood.

Not so fast. After three decades of traveling the NFL circuit I can tell you that one of the top three restaurants in America is in Tampa and its No. 1 seller is cow, not fish.

It’s hard to even begin to describe Bern’s Steakhouse, but I will do my best because should life or business take you to Tampa, this is a must do, not-to-be missed restaurant.

Bern’s has been part of Tampa for 56 years now and when you walk in the front door you are greeted by an entry that looks like it hasn’t been touched in 56 years. Red velvet on the walls, really bad reproductions of famous statuary, paintings that look like those you used to notice at your grandmother’s house.

But once you are seated, nobody cares about dΓ©cor. …Read More!

College Preview: South Carolina @ LSU

  • South Carolina @ LSU
  • Tiger Stadium, Baton Rouge, Louisiana
  • October 13, 7 p.m. CDT, ESPN

South Carolina

#98 DE Devin Taylor, Redshirt-Senior – 6-6Β½, 267 pounds, 4.76 seconds in the 40-yard dash, 1st/2nd-round NFL Draft prospect.

He’s a three-year starter along the Gamecocks defensive line and this year in 6 games he’s had 16 total tackles, with 1.5 sacks and 2 quarterback hurries. That’s a bit of a disappointment as he hasn’t been able to take advantage of the attention other members of the South Carolina defense attract, like fellow DE Jadeveon Clowney. Last year he had 42 tackles and 6 sacks. Over his 45-game career, Taylor has started 38 games and produced 132 total tackles, 31 tackles for loss and 17 sacks. He’s a big, lanky defender with a good motor who sometimes struggles after his initial burst off the snap to make plays. Taylor is out of Beaufort, South Carolina, where he led Beaufort High School to the state 4-A championship game as a senior. In his last two seasons there he totaled 190 tackles with 14 sacks. Despite his size, he won the state triple jump title as a senior with a leap of 48-feet, 3 inches. …Read More!

Week #3 Of Real Zebras’ Return

It’s the third week for the real NFL officials and after two weeks they’ve reminded everyone that they are not perfect. They are just better than the replacement zebras who worked the first three weeks of the season.

Last Sunday, Peter Morelli’s crew was a big part of the outcome of the Chiefs-Ravens game with their rulings of in the grasp and the offensive pass interference call (pick) on Dexter McCluster.

This week in Tampa, the Chiefs and Buccaneers will have Walt Coleman and his crew working the game.

(That’s Coleman delivering bad news to Dallas defensive coordinator Rob Ryan in a game last season.)

Coleman is a veteran NFL referee, having been the white hat for the last 18 seasons and a league official since 1989, making this his 24th season in the league. That kind of tenure tells us that he’s a competent leader for his crew, but there are a lot of moments in NFL history where Coleman has found controversy.

The Raiders-Patriots post-season game in the snow in Foxboro and the Tuck Rule play – that was one of Coleman’s games. So was a 2002 Vikings-Packers game where the league office admitted several days after the game that there had been 9 officiating errors in the game. …Read More!

College Preview: Southern Cal @ Washington

  • Southern Cal @ Washington
  • Century Link Field, Seattle, Washington
  • October 13, 6 p.m. CDT, FOX

Southern Cal

#7 FS T.J. McDonald, Senior – 6-1, 205 pounds, 4.54 seconds in the 40-yard dash, 1st-round prospect for the NFL Draft.

He’s in his third season as the starter at free safety for the Trojans, where he’s following in the footsteps of his father Tim who was a two-time All-America and team captain at USC. Tim McDonald played 13 years in the NFL with the Cardinals and 49ers. T.J. McDonald is a two-time captain for Southern Cal. After 5 games he’s the leading tackler for head coach Lane Kiffin with 38 stops, along with an interception and a blocked kick. Over his career, McDonald has 201 total tackles, 7 interceptions and 3 blocked punts or kicks. He’s out of Edison High School in Fresno, where his father was the head coach. As a senior, he played safety, linebacker, defensive end, fullback, tight end and wide receiver. This past summer he joined 15 of his teammates on a trip to Haiti where they built homes for people that were still without a place to live after the earthquake that devastated the country in 2010. …Read More!

Bucs Struggling At Gate

When the Chiefs and Buccaneers kickoff at noon Sunday at Raymond James Stadium, folks down the street at several busy watering holes will not see the TV broadcast.

For the third time in three home games this season, the Bucs have failed to reach the number of tickets sold to achieve a sellout and lift the television blackout.

The team hasn’t said how many tickets remain available for the game between the 1-4 Chiefs and the 1-3 Bucs, but media estimates in Tampa-St. Petersburg put the tickets available total somewhere near 20,000.

It’s the 16th blackout in the last 18 regular-season home games at the 65,908-seat Raymond James.

Tampa ownership and management did not sit back after 5 blackouts last season. There was a reduction of ticket prices on 80 percent of the seats. They were also the first NFL team that went with the 85 percent rule, allowing them to reduce by 15 percent the number of sold tickets that would be considered a sellout. None of that has worked for home games this season against Carolina, Washington and the Chiefs.

So apparently, Cam Newton, Robert Griffin III and Matt Cassel, Brady Quinn weren’t enough to sell out the building.

College Preview: Illinois @ Michigan

  • Illinois @ Michigan
  • Michigan Stadium, Ann Arbor, Michigan
  • October 13, 2:30 p.m. CDT, ABC

Illinois

#99 DE Michael Buchanan, Senior – 6-5, 250 pounds, 4.75 seconds in the 40-yard dash, 1st/2nd-round potential in the draft.

Since joining the Illini program, Buchanan has played in 40 games on defense and has been a starter for the last three seasons. This year in 6 games already he’s had 24 total tackles, 5 tackles for loss and 2.5 sacks. Last year he earned second-team All-Big Ten Conference honors after pulling down 7.5 sacks. Over his 40-game career he has 12 sacks, 2 forced fumbles and an interception. The 21-year old Buchanan is out of Homewood, Illinois and Homewood-Flossmoor High School. In his last two seasons he had 15 sacks and had 100 tackles and 5 sacks in just 9 games as a senior. …Read More!

Jamaal Still Standing . . . Saturday Cup O’Chiefs

Consider this: Jamaal Charles will not be 26 years old until a few days before the final game of the 2012 regular schedule.

In his fifth NFL season, Charles is still a youngster. At least he was until the last month or so. Charles may still be 25 chronologically, but his body has taken quite a pounding.

So far in five games Charles has touched the ball 117 times, or 23.4 per game. At no point in his NFL career did he have more than 78 touches after five games on the season.

On his current pace, he’ll finish the 2012 schedule with 374 touches.

That’s if he finishes the season.

“I missed the whole football season last year,” Charles said this week. “I’m just happy to be playing football again. I’m not worrying about the carries.

“I’m just going to make the most of my opportunity. We’ve got guys hurt and I’ve got to step up.” …Read More!

College Preview: Stanford @ Notre Dame

  • Stanford @ Notre Dame
  • Notre Dame Stadium, South Bend, Indiana
  • October 13, 2:30 p.m. CDT, NBC

Stanford

#11 ILB Shayne Skov, Senior – 6-3, 242 pounds, 4.65 seconds in the 40-yard dash, 1st-round potential in the draft.

Skov is a 4-year starter for the Cardinal, opening 7 games in his freshman season when he appeared in all 13 games. He missed most of the 2011 season with a knee ligament injury that he suffered in the third game of the season and did not return until pre-season camp. He ended up missing the 2012 season opener when he was suspended for one game after he was arrest on DUI charges back in January. In 2010 he was the leading tackler on the Stanford defense while playing inside with 84 total stops. He’s also played at outside linebacker as well. Overall in 31 games he has 192 total tackles, 20.5 tackles for loss, 9 sacks and 2 forced fumbles. Skov is out of Trinity-Pawling School in Pawling, New York. He was born in San Francisco and grew up in Piedmont, California until his sophomore year in high school when he moved to Dutchess County, New York. …Read More!

NFL Transactions – 11/12

NFL fined:

  • Indianapolis DE Cory Redding, $7,875, unnecessary hit against Green Bay.
  • San Diego LB Melvin Ingram, $15,750, illegal hit on the quarterback in New Orleans game.

Cleveland – promoted WR Josh Cooper from the practice squad.

N.Y. Jets – placed CB Darrelle Revis (knee) on the injured-reserve list; promoted S Antonio Allen from the practice squad.

Pittsburgh – released TE Weslye Saunders.

College Preview: Alabama @ Missouri

  • Alabama @ Missouri
  • Faurot Field, Columbia, Missouri
  • October 13, 2:30 p.m. CDT, CBS

Alabama

#32 LB C.J. Mosley, Junior – 6-1, 232 pounds, 4.56 seconds in the 40-yard dash, 1st-round draft prospect.

Just another one of those talented defenders that Nick Saban seems to churn out with every recruiting class that walks into the Crimson Tide’s front door. Mosley is out of the mold of Courtney Upshaw, Dont’a Hightower and Rolando McClain. He’s started his third season with Alabama in a big way, earning several defensive player of the week honors already. Mosley is leading the team in tackles with 39, plus he scored his third career touchdown on an interception return against Michigan. He’s recovered completely from an elbow injury that hampered him all of last season. He’s out of Theodore, Alabama, where he was a Parade Magazine All-America selection. He was twice named Alabama 6A All-State. He had over 500 tackles in his high-school career, with 18 sacks and 7 interceptions. …Read More!

Four Keys For The Chiefs To Beat The Bucs

4

Do something different — Get a lead

It’s hard to believe that over 5 games the Chiefs have never held a lead at any point in the games. They’ve played 308 minutes, 33 seconds of football on the clock and haven’t been in front at any time, not a single second. Not counting the 0-0 score at the start of games, they’ve been tied with their opponents for only 25 minutes, 43 seconds. Being behind for what amounts to 283 minutes develops a mindset in the psyche of a football team. There’s no reason they should have to put themselves through that time-after-time. Score first, answer a FG with a touchdown. Whatever this team does, it needs to change the formula and getting a lead would do that. …Read More!

College Preview: Texas vs. Oklahoma

  • Texas vs. Oklahoma
  • Cotton Bowl, Dallas, Texas
  • October 13, 11 a.m. CDT, ABC

Texas

#23 CB Carrington Byndom, Junior – 5-11, 180 pounds, 4.45 seconds in the 40-yard dash, 1st/2nd-round draft prospect.

Texas coach Mack Brown said earlier this year that Byndom had a chance to be the best defensive back the Longhorns have had and that’s saying a lot because they’ve had draft picks out of the secondary almost every draft; that’s 9 DBs selected in the last 7 drafts. Byndom had problems last week against the West Virginia passing attack led by QB Geno Smith, showing his lack of maturity although he did have four tackles and he blocked a punt. He has appeared in 30 games with 18 consecutive starts and 96 total tackles, 3 INTs, 16 passes broken up. Byndom is out of Lufkin, Texas where he was honored not only for his football play and his academics. He was selected All-District three consecutive years. He also played baseball and competed in track and field, winning several district titles in the long jump and a 4×100 relay, and second place in the 200 meters and the triple jump. …Read More!

Chiefs Practice Update – 10/12

From the Truman Sports Complex

If the Chiefs are going to rely on the running game for their offensive attack again this Sunday, they may have a few less legs to run with against the Buccaneers.

Friday morning RB Peyton Hillis was declared out of Sunday’s game because of an ankle sprain. It will be the third game Hillis has missed since suffering the injury in the second half of the New Orleans game.

Romeo Crennel also said that DE Glenn Dorsey (calf) and WR Devon Wylie (hamstring) will not play, along with QB Matt Cassel (concussion).

On the Chiefs report to the league office for this week here’s how it broke down:

Questionable – WR Jon Baldwin (hamstring), WR Terrance Copper (calf), RB Cyrus Gray (illness) and DE Ropati Pitoitua (elbow).

Probable — CB Jalil Brown (hamstring), RB Shaun Draughn (ankle), FS Kendrick Lewis (shoulder) and C Ryan Lilja (back)

Gray missed his second straight practice because of the flue. Draughn has a sprained ankle.

That leaves Jamaal Charles and Nate Eachus as the only healthy backs, although healthy is a relative term with Charles considering the work he’s gotten in recent games.

Crennel expects Gray to be ready for action on Sunday despite the fact he missed two key days of preparation because of the illness. Draughn has been on the practice field all week and should be on the active roster for game day.

“He’s not OK; he’s still got an ankle (injury), but he’s working through it,” Crennel said. “Shaun has enough toughness that he’ll be able to tough it out.” …Read More!

It’s Brady’s Bunch In Tampa … Friday Cup O’Chiefs

“If the guy wasn’t a worthy quarterback, he wouldn’t be in the NFL.”

That’s how Chiefs head coach Romeo Crennel described his new starting quarterback Brady Quinn. With Matt Cassel out because of a concussion, Quinn will start when the Chiefs face the Buccaneers in Tampa on Sunday. It’s his first start in the NFL since December 2009.

The last few years have provided evidence that the NFL is not convinced Quinn is a worthy starting quarterback for the league. Obviously GM Scott Pioli, Crennel, offensive coordinator Brian Daboll or some combination of that trio thinks otherwise, or they would not have signed him in the off-season to supposedly “compete” for the starting quarterback job with Cassel.

Of course we all learned that Pioli’s definition of competition and the dictionary definition are two very different things. Quinn was never given a shot at the starting job in the off-season or training camp. In fact he was told coming in that Cassel was the starter. Apparently, they wanted him to compete with Ricky Stanzi for the No. 2 spot. He certainly did that well enough in the pre-season, with a lot of help from Stanzi who was awful in August.

So now Quinn is the starter. …Read More!

NFL Transactions – 10/11

NFL – fined N.Y. Jets G Matt Slauson $10,000 for an illegal peel-back block against Houston LB Brian Cushing.

Carolina – signed C Thomas Austin.

Cleveland – released QB Thaddeus Lewis.

Denver – claimed WR Trindon Holliday on waivers from Houston; released DB Duke Ihenacho.

Chiefs Practice Update 10/11

From the Truman Sports Complex

Kendrick Lewis says he’s ready to play and he declared himself active for Sunday’s game in Tampa.

The third-year free safety still has to get the stamp of approval from head coach Romeo Crennel, but Lewis said after practice on Thursday that his shoulder has healed to the point that he’s ready to play and that he worked with the No. 1 defense this week in practice.

“I’m saying I’m feeling good, I’m feeling confident and ready to go out and help my team,” he said.

Lewis suffered the right shoulder injury in the Chiefs pre-season game back in the middle of August against the Rams in St. Louis. He missed the final two pre-season games and then the first five games of the 2012 season. He played most of the 2011 season with a separated shoulder but did not go to the sidelines largely because his running mate at safety Eric Berry was out for the season with a knee injury. It led to off-season surgery for Lewis.

This time there was no surgery, but it’s only been in the last week to 10 days that Lewis says his shoulder has felt like it should. Crennel wanted to see him in contact work during practice, but the head coach allowed earlier Thursday that while Lewis took part in Wednesday’s limited contact in a practice with full pads, he still wasn’t sure if his safety was ready. “It’s one of those you really won’t know until you get to the game and he gets to play,” said Crennel.

Lewis wants that time to be now.

“Right now my shoulder is feeling better than it has,” Lewis said. “The soreness and pain that I was feeling has gone away, so now I am able to do things and not worry about it. I’m just going out there now and playing football.”

The rest of the injury news:Β  …Read More!

College Report – Arizona State @ Colorado

  • Arizona State @ Colorado
  • Folsom Field, Boulder, Colorado
  • October 11, 8 p.m. CDT, ESPN

Arizona State

#32 WR Jamal Miles, Senior – 5-10, 180 pounds, 4.4 seconds in the 40-yard dash, 5th-round draft prospect.

His senior season did not start out well for Miles as he was suspended by his head coach for the season opener because of “failure to meet team standards.” There’s been no further explanation of what that means, but he returned for the Sun Devils second game. Miles also did not play in last year’s Las Vegas Bowl due to “personal reasons” according to ASU. Miles is one of the best returner prospects in the country that will be available for the 2013 NFL Draft. He’s been a versatile player for the folks in Tempe, as last year he was the only player in the country to score TDs as a receiver, kick returner, punt returner and passer. He’s played 35 games for the Sun Devils and has 105 receptions, for 801 yards and 10 TD catches. He also has 2 receiving scores and four return TDs on special teams. He’s averaged 23.4 yards on kickoff returns and 10.9 on punt returns, with returns of 99, 98 and 78 yards. Miles is out of Peoria, Arizona and Peoria High School where he was a running back. As a senior he ran for 2,168 yards on 231 carries with 29 rushing TDs. He’s 21 years old. …Read More!

Cassel Declared Out, Quinn In

From the Truman Sports Complex

Romeo Crennel confirmed late Thursday morning what everyone suspected – Matt Cassel will not play this Sunday when the Chiefs visit Tampa Bay to play the Buccaneers.

Doctors have not cleared Cassel to begin practicing after his concussion last Sunday. That puts Brady Quinn into the starting lineup with Ricky Stanzi moving up to the No. 2 spot.

“They have similar skill sets,” Crennel said when asked to compare Cassel and Quinn. “They can both throw the ball, they are both tall quarterbacks, they are both experienced. The biggest difference is Matt has more game time.

“Quinn has been in the league, he’s been on different teams and he’s seen different operations and how things are done. I think he’s excited about the opportunity and he’ll make the best of it.”

The last time Quinn started a regular-season NFL game was December 20, 2009 when he opened for Cleveland in its victory over the Chiefs at Arrowhead. Since then, his only game action was the series of plays that he was part of at the end of the Baltimore game, after Cassel was injured.

“You may not have ridden a bicycle for a long time, but as soon as you get on, you remember everything you need to remember,” Crennel said. “I think that’s the same way here.

“If the guy wasn’t a worthy quarterback, he wouldn’t be in the NFL.”

Romeo Runs To Save Job … Thursday Cup O’Chiefs

The Chiefs did what? They threw only 7 passes in the first half against Baltimore? What could Romeo Crennel possibly be thinking?

That was just part of the reaction that rolled through Chiefs Nation on Sunday and into Monday after the Chiefs played the Ravens with one hand tied behind their offense’s back. In a National Football League that seems driven by the passing game, Romeo and his staff went the other way, pushing the running game hard at Baltimore.

Expect more of the same this Sunday against Tampa Bay and after a bye week, it’s going to be the same game plan in the weeks to come, or as long as Jamaal Charles remains in a vertical position on the field.

Crennel hasn’t coached for 40-plus years, with 30-plus seasons coming in the National Football League without learning the score. As a coach, and especially a head coach, continued employment depends on the score and his team having more points than the other guys when the numbers are totaled. …Read More!

NFL Transactions & Honors – 10/10

NFL – fined OLB Nick Perry $15,000 for a hit on Indianapolis QB Andrew Luck last Sunday.

AFC – Indianapolis WR Reggie Wayne named AFC offensive player of the week; Miami DT Randy Starks named AFC defensive player of the week; Pittsburgh kicker Shaun Suisham named the AFC special teams player of the week.

NFC – named New Orleans QB Drew Brees named the NFC offensive player of the week; Chicago CB Charles Tillman named NFC defensive player of the week; St. Louis P Johnny Hekker named NFC special teams player of the week.

Carolina – placed C Ryan Kalil (foot) on the injured-reserve list.

Cleveland – released DE Marcus Bernard.

Green Bay – placed RB Cedric Benson (foot) on the injured-reserve list, designated for return.

Houston – signed LB Barrett Ruud; promoted G Cody White from the practice squad; released WR Trindon Holliday.

Indianapolis – promoted LB Jerry Brown from the practice squad.

Miami – promoted LB Josh Kaddu from the practice squad.

New York Jets – placed LB Joshua Mauga on the injured-reserve list; signed DT Daniel Muir.

Philadelphia – released LB Adrian Moten.

San Francisco – released LB Eric Bakhtiari.

Chiefs/Cassel/Practice Update – 10/10

From the Truman Sports Complex

Quarterback Matt Cassel has not yet been cleared by doctors to take part in practice or any physical activity with the Chiefs according to head coach Romeo Crennel.

Cassel was briefly in the building on Wednesday, but did not take part in any meetings or activity with his teammates because of the concussion he suffered on Sunday against Baltimore.

“He’s been getting a series of tests as it relates to a concussion and he’s been seeing the doctors,” Crennel said. “Matt I think he’s getting better, but the league is very serious and cautious about concussions and about how they are handled; we have to follow the procedures on that as we go forward.”

Crennel did not declare Cassel out for Sunday’s game in Tampa, but he made it plain that Brady Quinn needed to get ready to play against the Buccaneers.

Cassel was one of four players listed by the Chiefs as not practicing on Wednesday. The others were — RB Peyton Hillis (ankle), DE Glenn Dorsey (calf) and WR Devon Wylie (hamstring).

Limited in their practice participation were – RB Shaun Draughn (ankle), C Ryan Lilja (back) and WR Jon Baldwin (hamstring). Listed as full participation were FS Kendrick Lewis (shoulder), CB Jalil Brown (hamstring) and DE Ropati Pitoitua (elbow).

From Tampa, the Buccaneers had three players on their practice report. Only CB Eric Wright was limited with an illness. Participating fully were G Carl Nicks (toe) and OT Jeremy Trueblood (illness).

A Second Look – Baltimore

One thing that came through in viewing the game tape of the Chiefs-Ravens game is that the Chiefs gave as good as they got from the Ravens. This was a game where the teams took turn hitting each other in the mouth and neither one backed down.

There was no way the Chiefs were going to be a factor in the outcome any other way, so their attitude was a major factor in why this game was in doubt until the two-minute warning. How much that attitude adjustment can be traced to the offensive focus on pounding the running game can be debated. How much was due to the opponent and the huge underdog status the Chiefs felt can also be talked about.

Now the question will be whether the Chiefs can repeat that type of attitude/performance against Tampa Bay this coming Sunday.

Here are some thoughts after watching the tape. …Read More!

NFL Transactions – 10/10

NFL – altered the terms of suspensions for players involved in the New Orleans Saints bounty program. Cleveland LB Scott Fujita had his suspension reduced from three games to one; Free agent DE Antony Hargrove’s suspension was dropped from eight games to seven; New Orleans DE Will Smith‘s four-game suspension was not changed; New Orleans LB Jonathan Vilma continues to face a one-season suspension, but he will collect six weeks of pay for time he spends on the physically unable to perform list.

Arizona – signed CB Crezdon Butler.

Buffalo – signed G Reggie Wells; placed OL Colin Brown (hamstring) on the injured-reserve list.

Houston – placed LB Brian Cushing (knee) on the injured-reserve list.

Indianapolis – signed NT Antonio Dixon; promoted LB Jerry Brown and DE Clifton Geathers from the practice squad; released CB Justin King.

Chiefs – signed OL Bryan Mattison; released DB Neiko Thorpe.

Tampa Bay – placed CB Anthony Gaitor (hamstring) on the injured-reserve list with designation for return; promoted LB Jacob Cutrera from the practice squad.

Washington – signed K Kai Forbath; signed LB Mario Addison from the Washington practice squad; released K Billy Cundiff.

Chiefs Roster Shuffle Continues/Update

The Chiefs continued on Tuesday to manipulate their roster for game and practice needs by releasing DB Neiko Thorpe and re-signing OL Bryan Mattison.

Those two went in opposite directions on Saturday when Thorpe was promoted from the practice squad and Mattison was released.

Effectively, it gives the Chiefs a 54-man roster since Mattison is available for practice and likely would be designated an inactive player on Sunday. Thorpe will be re-signed to the practice squad in time for Wednesday’s workout and will be available to practice all week.

Thorpe got on the field for 13 special teams snaps against Baltimore.

The Chiefs have also worked out two players in recent days: former Oklahoma TE Brody Eldridge and former Louisiana-Monroe DE Aaron Morgan. Eldridge spent two seasons with Indianapolis and signed with St. Louis before this season. He served a 4-game NFL suspension for violating the performance enhancing drug regulations. Once he was activated, he was released by the Rams last week. The 6-5, 265-pounder is a native of LaCygne, Kansas and played at Oklahoma. He was a 5th-round choice of the Colts in 2010. He’s 25 years old.

Morgan was released late last week by Jacksonville after spending most of the last two seasons with the Jaguars. The 6-4, 238-pound New Orleans native signed with the Jaguars out of Louisiana-Monroe in 2010. Morgan has played in 11 NFL games.

Numbers – Matt Cassel

Chiefs fans likely will get their wish this week when Brady Quinn likely will get his first start for the Chiefs. My cautionary statement: be careful what you wish for.

That is in no way an endorsement of concussed quarterback Matt Cassel. The Chiefs must get improved play at quarterback and Cassel has not provided it so far this season. But with the possible exception of Todd Haley’s stubborn insistence on playing Tyler Palko instead of Kyle Orton last season, coaches play the players they believe will give them the best chance to win football games.

Let me repeat that – and you can relate it to whatever business you are in – coaches/bosses play the individuals who they believe will give them the best chance to win football games/make money/increase production (pick your interpretation). Romeo Crennel is no exception.

Because the media is not allowed to watch practice, there is no possible way to know how Quinn has been performing – whether he makes the correct reads, whether he throws more accurately than Cassel, whether he grasps game plans as well or whether executes plays in practice. If Quinn starts on Sunday, it will be his first since the 2009 season when he had a 67.2 passer rating in nine starts with the Cleveland Browns. There is a reason he did not attempt a single pass for the Denver Broncos in 2010 and 2011 (and it wasn’t because John Elway was still flinging it for the Mile Highers.)

Having said all that, here is the breakdown on Cassel in the season’s first five games when he has never played a single down with the lead: …Read More!

The Price of Passion … Tuesday Cup O’Chiefs

Passion is a powerful human emotion, whether it comes from a single person or is generated by a group of like-minded people.

One of the reasons the National Football League has become America’s past-time and the Chiefs are the most favored team in Kansas City is the passion of football fans. They have invested not only a lot of money, but their hearts, minds and emotions in the guys that wear red and gold.

The team, coaches and players love that passion. On game day it can be a tactical advantage as it makes it hard for the visiting team to communicate. It always provides a shot of adrenalin when the home crowd makes noise.

But that attention and passion does not come free. There is a price that must be paid for that type of devotion. It’s not by the fans, because they are already paying steep prices just to get in the doors of Arrowhead Stadium.

It’s the team, coaches and players that have to understand the passion the crave from the stands is not complimentary. When things go bad, that passion is going to be expressed and often it’s not going to happen in a positive fashion. If the Chiefs are the factor that lights the fire of fans, that passion is going to burn through thick and thin. It’s just going to be expressed in different methods. …Read More!

NFL Transactions – 10/8

Arizona – placed RB Ryan Williams (shoulder) on the injured-reserve list.

Carolina – released DB Ron Parker

Cincinnati – placed RB Bernard Scott (knee) on the injured-reserve list; lifted roster exemption on LB Dontay Moch and returned him to the active roster.

Dallas – promoted RB Lance Dunbar from the practice squad

Indianapolis – placed G Seth Olsen (knee) on the injured-reserve list with a return designation; released TE Dominique Jones, WR Kris Adams

New Orleans – released LB Barrett Rudd; signed DB Elbert Mack

Winston Doesn’t Regret His Post-Game Tirade

From the Truman Sports Complex

Right tackle Eric Winston had a chance Monday afternoon to walk back his post-game comments expressing disgust with the cheering that was heard at Arrowhead Stadium when QB Matt Cassel was injured in the fourth quarter of Sunday’s game against Baltimore.

But he did not take his emotions and words back, although he did want to clarify something that he said.

“I meant what I said,” Winston said. “I’m happy with what I said. I guess the only thing that I didn’t clarify … I didn’t mean all 70,000 were cheering. It might have been 7,000. It might have been 700. It’s still too many. Of anything I said, that’s the one thing that may have been misconstrued. I just want people to know I didn’t think it was the whole stadium.”

Winston’s words went viral on Sunday and Monday and became discussion fodder for sports outlets from coast to coast, not just in Kansas City and the Midwest.

“I shouldn’t be surprised; I know better,” said Winston. “But I am surprised about the national play that it’s gotten. I’ve gotten an overwhelming amount of support. There are always going to be people that are upset. You aren’t going to make everyone happy.”

Concussion Leaves Cassel In Limbo

From the Truman Sports Complex

Matt Cassel’s status for the Chiefs next game or games is very much up in the air Monday as the team met to look at tape of their 9-6 loss to Baltimore.

Head coach Romeo Crennel confirmed that Cassel suffered a concussion early in the fourth quarter and that his ability to play in future games will depend on how he tests through the NFL protocol for head injuries.

“He’s being evaluated and they are going to run several tests to see where he is,” Crennel told the media hoard Monday afternoon at the team’s facility. “Generally concussions are not good. We’re going to give him an opportunity to get well.”

Crennel said it was too early to rule Cassel out of Sunday’s game against Tampa Bay.

“Just from what I’ve seen about concussions, they can be difficult,” Crennel said. “It’s an individual thing. Some recover faster than others, but with the emphasis on concussions in the league, they are making sure we do due diligence on the player’s health and making sure he’s not rushed back.”

Last week the Chiefs placed TE Kevin Boss on the injured-reserve list after team doctors decided they would not clear him to play after the concussion he suffered in the second game of the season against Buffalo. Is Cassel headed for the same outcome?

“I think it’s too early to tell that,” Crennel said. “It will depend on what the doctors tell me, what his base line is and what he’s capable of doing. If they don’t allow him to do anything, it’s going to be hard for him to be ready for the game. That’s a position where you need as many (practice) reps as you can get. We’ll see.”

Right now, Crennel and the offensive staff are focused on making sure Brady Quinn and Ricky Stanzi are ready to play.

“Brady Quinn has to get prepared to play and Ricky Stanzi has to get prepared,” Crennel said. “That’s what we have to make sure happens.”

NFL Sunday’s Best – 10/7

Longest Plays

77 – Washington WR Santana Moss TD catch vs. Atlanta. (L)

74 – Cleveland WR Josh Cribbs kick return vs. N.Y. Giants. (L)

68 – St. Louis P John Hekker punt vs. Arizona. (W)(Thu)

64 – Jacksonville P Bryan Anger punt vs. Chicago. (L)

63 – Atlanta P Matt Bosher punt vs. Washington. (W)

63 – Carolina P Brad Nortman punt vs. Seattle. (L)

62 – Cleveland WR Josh Gordon TD catch vs. N.Y. Giants. (L)

61 – New Orleans P Thomas Morstead punt vs. San Diego. (W)

61 – San Diego P Mike Scifres punt vs. New Orleans. (L)

(New Orleans QB Drew Brees broke the NFL record for consecutive games with a touchdown pass in 48 consecutive games.) …Read More!

Notes & Quotes: Ravens Survive Struggles


From Arrowhead Stadium

Let the 17-year veteran put Sunday’s 9-6 victory for the Baltimore Ravens into perspective.

“The ones that count the most are never the prettiest,” MLB Ray Lewis said. “The ones that count the most are the ones that you have to fight through. Anybody on each side of the ball will, tell you that they’ll take a “W” before anything. For us to go home right now 4-1 is huge.”

That’s how the Ravens flew home – thrilled to death that they had walked away with the prettiest ugly victory of the season to date. After a 10-day layoff it appeared Baltimore was slow coming out of the blocks in this game, as the Chiefs offense racked up over 200 yards in the first half, led by 125 rushing yards from Jamaal Charles.

“It was the tale of two halves,” said Lewis. “We made an adjustment on defense and in the second half he had 40 yards total. Anytime you take a speed guy that fast and he breaks a couple big ones the way he did, then you have success. They’re going to run the ball; that’s what they do. But the bottom line is they don’t score then they don’t win.”

What Flacco had to say about Cassel

Joe Flacco was on the Ravens sideline when Chiefs QB Matt Cassel went down and out in the fourth quarter. Flacco heard the cheering when Cassel was on the ground.

“You can’t pay attention to it,” Flacco said. “Fans tell you how they feel when you’re the quarterback and you team’s not winning. That’s just the way it is. That’s something we have to understand about playing this game. I always talk about quarterbacks being tough, getting jacked up every play, but there are things mentally that you have to be tough and go out there and continue to do it.

“I don’t think they are necessarily right for doing it but they’re telling you how they feel. It’s a tough situation. It doesn’t make you feel, good, I know that.”

Injury report

Obviously the major injury for the Chiefs was the head injury suffered by QB Matt Cassel. Head injury has become a euphemism around the Chiefs for concussion. If that’s the case then there’s little chance that he’ll be ready to be on the field this coming Sunday against the Buccaneers in Tampa.

RB Shaun Draughn limped off the field after covering a punt in the third quarter, but he returned to play on offense.

Atmosphere report

There’s certainly plenty of talk about the atmosphere around Arrowhead in the fourth quarter Sunday when QB Matt Cassel was knocked down and out by the Ravens defense.

First, there have been references made to 70,000 people in the stands during the game. At no time were there 70,000 people in the building. The Chiefs announced a paid crowd of 68,803, but there were plenty of empty seats throughout the bowl and it appears to be a crowd closer to 55,000 than 68,000. Unlike last Sunday when the bulk of the stadium left at half-time, they stayed into the fourth quarter for this game because it was only 3-3 at intermission.

The crowd was loud at times. It gave the Ravens rookie RT Kelechi Osemele plenty of problems as he was called twice for false starts.

It was Breast Cancer Awareness game so pink was the predominant color. Breast cancer survivor Molly Hammer sang the national anthem and did a great job. There was a special flyover of 10 plans that flew over the stadium as part of KC Flight. They released pink smoke as they flew over. What a site!

Special teams report

K Ryan Succop – He hit both of his FGs, these from 30 to 31. That’s now nine consecutive FGs and he’s made 10 of 11 this year. Succop kicked off three times during the game, booting the ball to the out of the end zone, to the minus-3 and then the goal line.

P Dustin Colquitt – He had a strong game with five punts that went for 34, 40, 51, 53 and 58 yards – that’s an average of 47.2 yards. His net average was 45.2 yards, as only one punt was returned and that for 10 yards. Three punts were inside the 20-yard line including his last punt that was downed at the Baltimore 2-yard line.

Returns – More and more different bodies getting their hands on the ball and the Chiefs had their best punt and kickoff returns this season so far. Terrance Copper had a 25-yard punt return and Shaun Draughn had a 41-yard kickoff return. Overall Draughn averaged 27.3 yards on three kickoff returns. Javier Arenas returned four punts for a total of eight yards. Arenas lost a nice return when the Chiefs were called for an illegal block.

Coverage – Very good thanks to the kickers. The Ravens had one punt return for 10 yards and two kickoff returns for an average of 26 yards and Baltimore fumbled the ball away. Press box stats had Copper, LB Edgar Jones and RB Cyrus Gray with special teams tackles.

Personnel report

Inactive players for the Chiefs were QB Ricky Stanzi, WR Devon Wylie, FS Kendrick Lewis, CB Jalil Brown, RB Peyton Hillis, DE Glenn Dorsey and DE Ropati Pitoitua. Only Stanzi was on the list by coaching decision. The others were all on the injury report this week: Wylie (hamstring), Lewis (shoulder), Brown (hamstring), Hillis (ankle), Dorsey (calf) and Pitoitua (elbow).

LB Bryan Kehl and DB Neiko Thorpe were part of the game-day roster for the first time. Allen Bailey was in the starting lineup at RDE for Dorsey. It was the first start of his NFL career.

With QB Brady Quinn getting on the field, the Chiefs have now had 55 players on the field this season.

Inactive players for the Ravens were CB Asa Jackson, S Christian Thompson, OL Jah Reid, TE Billy Bajema, DE DeAngelo Tyson, OLB Sergio Kindle and DT Bryan Hall. Only Reid was on the injury report during the week and four of the seven are rookies.

Pollard Enjoys His Arrowhead Return


From Arrowhead Stadium

The ice bag was taped tightly to his torso and it would stay there through the Ravens plane ride back to Baltimore.

Bernard Pollard was hurting, but he was also smiling through the pain in the visitors’ locker room at Arrowhead. For the first time since he was released by the Chiefs in 2009, Pollard was back in the building where he played his first three seasons in the NFL after being a second-round choice of the Chiefs in 2006.

The Ravens survived a strange afternoon and walked away with a 9-6 victory.

“It was big for us to get this win as a team,” said Pollard, in his second season with the Ravens. “I never think about anything having to do with me. It’s about our team playing together and coming into a hostile environment and winning. It’s never personal.”

It was a busy day for Pollard on the field, as he tied Ray Lewis for the most tackles on the Baltimore defense with 10 stops against the Chiefs.

He’s part of a team that steps on the field with many ways they can beat the other team.

“You are not going to win big, you are not going to put a lot of points on the board,” Pollard said. “You are not going to play perfect all the time. We have to have each other’s backs in all three phases of the game. I thought our defense played well, our offense came up with plays when they needed to. A win is a win and we’ll take it.”

The Ravens were surprised a bit by the conservative, run-first, run-only nature of the Chiefs offensive game plan. Jamaal Charles ran for 125 yards in the first half. But at half-time Baltimore’s defensive coaches and players came together and tweaked their game plan to adjust to what the Chiefs were doing.

“We have to continue to adapt well,” said Pollard. “We’ve got to get off the field and stop the run. Jamaal is just a home run hitter; I said that coming into this game. The guy can take it (out of the) yard.

“I think we made some adjustments in the second half and we did a good job.”

Officials Fingerprints All Over This Game

From Arrowhead Stadium

In their second week back on the job, referee Peter Morelli and his crew decided to get busy in this Chiefs-Ravens game.

They ended up throwing 16 flags, walking off 14 penalties, wiping out what appeared to be two Chiefs touchdowns in the fourth quarter. A Baltimore fumble recovered in the end zone was ruled no fumble and a TD pass was wiped out on an offensive pass interference flag.

There were plenty of replay reviews, but they were all generated by the replay booth. The Chiefs tried to challenge an officials’ in the grasp call where it appeared that Baltimore QB Joe Flacco fumbled. That was the ball the Chiefs recovered in the end zone. The decision could not be challenged because the whistle had blown so they put the red flag away.

There were four other plays with a replay review, all called for by the replay booth. All of the on-field calls were upheld.

Here are the penalties called on Sunday:

#

Team

Squad

Player

Penalty

Yds

1.

Chiefs

Punt Ret.

E. Jones

Holding

Minus-10

2.

Ravens

Offense

A. Boldin

Illegal block

Minus-10

3.

Chiefs

Offense

B. Albert

False start

Minus-5

4.

Ravens

Defense

J. Smith

Defensive holding

Declined

5.

Chiefs

Defense

S. Routt

Defensive holding

Minus-5

6.

Ravens

Offense

K. Osemele

False start

Minus-5

7.

Chiefs

Offense

S. Maneri

False start

Minus-5

8.

Chiefs

Offense

*

Delay of game

Minus-5

9.

Chiefs

Punt

*

Illegal touch

Declined

10.

Ravens

Defense

C. Williams

Pass interference

Minus-12

11.

Ravens

Offense

K. Osemele

False start

Minus-5

12.

Chiefs

Defense

S. Routt

Defensive holding

Declined

13.

Chiefs

Offense

D. Bowe

Pass interference

Minus-10

14.

Ravens

Punt Ret.

D. Thompson

Holding

Minus-1

15.

Chiefs

Punt Ret.

C. Greenwood

Holding

Minus-10

Keys To A Chiefs Victory/Recap

From Arrowhead Stadium

Here’s a look at the 4 pre-game keys to a Chiefs victory on Sunday and whether they achieved those items. There are three possible grades: Mission Accomplished, Push and, Failed Assignment.

4

Win the specials teams competition

It’s going to be tough for the Chiefs to win on offense or defense; the Ravens are one of the NFL’s best teams and if they show up in the attitude that they want to prove a point to the league, they will make for a miserable Sunday afternoon for the Chiefs. But there’s part of the game where Romeo Crennel’s team can get a boost and that’s in the kicking game. Baltimore is not especially strong in any area on special teams. The Chiefs have a more experienced kicker in Ryan Succop and a more experienced and better punter in Dustin Colquitt. Neither team has made any type of mark on returns, either punts or kickoffs.

OUTCOME – Accomplished, as the Chiefs finally got a positive effort from their kicking game in returns, coverage and they forced a turnover. Plus, punter Dustin Colquitt did his usual top-shelf job.

3

Limit big plays by the Ravens offense

In four games the Baltimore passing offense has 15 plays of 25 yards or more, almost four per-game. RB Ray Rice has a 43-yard run. Those types of big plays generally produce some sort of score, whether touchdown or FG. In all cases the big offensive plays tip the scale on field position. The Chiefs defense has given up 13 plays that went for 25 yards or more. They must step forward and keep that from happening against the Ravens. They can’t let WRs Torrey Smith or Anquan Boldin get deep on them, and they have to bottle-up RB Ray Rice. Stop the big plays.

OUTCOME – Accomplished, as the Ravens had only four plays for more than 20 yards out of 55 plays. Speedy WR Torrey Smith had a long catch of just 26 yards.

2

Score first; don’t fall behind

The season’s fifth game should be long enough for the Chiefs to actually have a lead at some point during the game. They have not led for a single second of time on the game clock in four weeks. That needs to end and the best way for the Chiefs to make that happen is to score first for a change. The performance on their first possessions has been just two field goals. They need a touchdown. Heaven knows what type of juice that would give the Chiefs if they were to open with a touchdown.

OUTCOME – Failed, as they continued to be unable to score early, or in this case score often.

1

Hold on to the ball

The Chiefs are the NFL’s worst team when it comes to turnovers; they’ve given the ball up 15 times, while only getting two takeaways. That’s a minus-13 turnover ratio, worst in the league. The No. 31 team is Dallas at minus-7. Baltimore sits tied for sixth with a plus-4 ratio. They have taken the ball away eight times, or an average of two per game. To win this game, the Chiefs can’t turn the ball over at all. Zero fumbles, zero interceptions. If an offensive player can’t do this, then he should be benched. Play to win means not making it easier for your opponent, no matter how good they might be.

OUTCOME – Failed with four more turnovers (2 fumbles lost, 2 interceptions) that give them 19 giveaways on the season. The Ravens turned that into all 9 points that they scored.

Report Card – Chiefs vs. Ravens


From Arrowhead Stadium

PASSING OFFENSE: F – What passing offense? There was very little throwing for the Chiefs and that was by design. The fact they felt they could not go out and throw the ball against the Ravens speaks volumes about where their confidence level is in the offense and starting QB Matt Cassel. Even being careful, they still had two interceptions. However, they did not allow a sack, even though Cassel got knocked out of the game due to pass rush pressure.

RUSHING OFFENSE: B – The Chiefs wanted to run the football and they did that in the first half with 179 yards on 34 carries. They would have gotten an A had they been able to run in the second half, but the Ravens defense adjusted and put the clamps on Jamaal Charles and friends. The second half had just 35 yards on 16 carries.

PASS DEFENSE: B – Against the pass, the Chiefs stepped up their efforts against the Ravens. They sacked QB Joe Flacco four times, they grabbed an interception and they held him to less than 50 percent on his completion percentage. With the exception on a 43-yard pass from Flacco to WR Anquan Boldin, there were no big plays and they kept the wraps on speedster WR Torrey Smith, who had just three catches for 38 yards.

RUSH DEFENSE: D – They wanted to stop Ravens RB Ray Rice and they didn’t get it done, as he ran for 102 yards on 17 carries. The moment of the game where they really needed to stop the run was on Baltimore’s final possession and they couldn’t get the Ravens off the field.

SPECIAL TEAMS: B – For the first time this season the kicking game was a plus for the Chiefs, rather than a detriment. They forced a turnover, when Baltimore coughed up possession on the kickoff to start the second half. They also had their longest punt and kickoff returns of the season to date, as WR Terrance Copper got off a nice 25-yard punt return and RB Shaun Draughn went 41 yards with a kickoff.

COACHING: D – Based on how they played the week before against San Diego, there was no way the Chiefs figured to be in the fight to win this game with Baltimore. Give Romeo Crennel and his staff credit for getting this team ready to play, especially the defense. But deduct points for an offensive game plan that showed no confidence in their players.

Play Of The Game #2 – Penalty Wipes Out Chiefs TD

From Arrowhead Stadium

QUARTER – 4th, 5 minutes, 24 seconds to play in the game.

SCORE – Baltimore led 9-6.

DOWN & DISTANCE – 3rd-and-11 for the Chiefs offense at the Ravens 15-yard line.

SET – Chiefs were in a 1-back, 1-tight end, 3-wide receiver set out of the shotgun.

It’s a basketball play that’s been brought to the football pick – the pick. Offensive players do it all the time, especially receivers on the outside of the formations, trying to help out a teammate that’s also spread wide on the same side of the field.

The Chiefs were penalized twice for pick plays against Baltimore. A 25-yard completion to WR Dexter McCluster was wiped out by an offensive pass interference call against WR Dwayne Bowe. That came early in the fourth quarter. The Chiefs ended up punting the ball away.

Late in the fourth quarter, it happened again, but the roles were reversed. QB Brady Quinn hooked up with Bowe for a 15-yard touchdown pass, but the score was nullified when McCluster was flagged for offensive pass interference.

The call really “surprised” McCluster.

“Honestly, I was running my route,” McCluster said. “He was beat and he lunged into me and the referee saw what he saw.

“Flags suck; it could have potentially been the game winner, but there’s nothing I can do about it. The call was the call and here we are.”

Instead of a touchdown, the ball was on the Ravens 25-yard line for a 3rd-and-21 play. Quinn threw to RB Cyrus Gray for 12 yards and then Ryan Succop came on and kicked the field goal on a 4th-and-9 play to make the score 9-6.

The Chiefs would not get another chance with the ball in their hands. It was another example of how it seems anything that can and will go wrong for these 2012 Chiefs.

“We have to keep fighting,” said McCluster. “We can’t feel bad for ourselves. We are all men, we are all competing in it together. We are all that we have.”

Play of the Game #1 – Fumbled Snap On 1st-and-Goal

From Arrowhead Stadium

QUARTER – 3rd, 11 minutes, 54 seconds to play in the period.

SCORE – Tied 3-3.

DOWN & DISTANCE – 1st-and-goal for the Chiefs offense at the Ravens 1-yard line.

SET – Chiefs were in a 1-back, 2-tight end, 2-wide receiver alignment.

A pass interference call against Baltimore’s Cary Williams who was trying to cover WR Dwayne Bowe came at the goal line. The officials marked the ball at the Ravens 1-yard line. The Chiefs were going for the lead, their first lead of the season and the first touchdown of the game. They would have three, maybe four chances at scoring.

But on first down, the snap from C Ryan Lilja on what was going to be a quarterback sneak by Matt Cassel was botched. The ball ended up on the ground in the end zone, where it was picked up by Baltimore’s FS Ed Reed and returned out for 13 yards until he was tackled by Chiefs LG Jeff Allen at the Baltimore 12-yard line.

“That’s my fault,” said Lilja, who was making his second start at the position. “I did not get it back there. I apologize to our fans and I apologize to our guys. You can’t do that obviously. You can’t do that down there. We have to fix that.

“I left it short and cost our team. You are leaning forward, trying to get that extra inch and I left it short. There’s no excuse for it.”

Reed sensed even before the snap that it was going to be a quarterback sneak.

“He was snapping so quickly and that’s why he probably fumbled it,” said Reed. “It hit the center’s leg and it was getting kicked around a little bit and I just grabbed it.”

Added Ravens SS Bernard Pollard: “I know they are kicking themselves in the butt because that is one thing you can’t do when you have the ball in the red zone. You can’t turn the ball over. I thought we did a good job of getting on it and creating the turnover.”

In a game with a lot of twists and turns, it was one of the key moments in deciding the outcome of the game.

“It was big obviously,” said Ravens head coach John Harbaugh. “That ended up being a 10-point swing. It was huge.”

Chiefs Will Wait For Cassel Status

From Arrowhead Stadium

After the Chiefs loss to the Ravens on Sunday nobody in the locker room or head coach Romeo Crennel was willing to detail the condition of QB Matt Cassel.

“They just told me he had a head injury,” Crennel said when asked if Cassel had been taken to a hospital. “I don’t know; I just came off the field.”

Cassel was still at Arrowhead after the game because RT Eric Winston spoke to him, although he was not willing to share any part of the conversation, including whether he was lucid or not.

“I had a conversation with him,” Winston said. “I talked to him, I said, “How are you feeling?” I said some words to him and that’s it.”

It was a 2nd-and-10 play from the Chiefs 30-yard line when Cassel dropped back to pass and threw short to Jamaal Charles who turned into a 16-yard gain and moved the sticks. Just as he was releasing the ball, Cassel was hit by Baltimore DT Haloti Ngata and Rush LB Paul Kruger. That’s 340 pounds, and 340 pounds that was moving pretty quickly at the time.

Ngata did not go for Cassel’s head, but hit him in the left shoulder area. Kruger hit Cassel in the upper chest at about the same time, taking him to the ground.

Cassel withered on the ground for a few seconds, but then was very still. He was down for about five minutes before he was helped to his feet and walked off under his own power. He spent a short time on the Chiefs bench where doctors and trainers looked him over and realized that his day over.

The Chiefs used the term “head injury” to describe Cassel’s problem. That’s a pretty sweeping label that could mean a number of different things, everything from a concussion, to neck problems.

Cassel can play with discomfort; remember that he was on the field starting a game the week after the removal of his appendix. But in today’s NFL, anything involving the head is going to be handled conservatively. The chances of him playing in Tampa would have to be considered pretty slim right now.

Before he left the game, Cassel had been ordinary in the Chiefs offensive plan for the day, which featured minimal passes and a lot of the running game. He completed 9 of 15 throws (60 percent) for 92 yards (6.1 yards per attempt), but there were two interceptions. He had a 38.1 passer rating.

Quinn Only Seems To Play At Arrowhead


From Arrowhead Stadium

Before Sunday, the last time Brady Quinn played in an NFL regular-season game was December 20, 2009. That was with the Cleveland Browns when they beat the Chiefs at Arrowhead 41-34.

It was 38 regular season games later that Quinn got to play again, and again it was at Arrowhead, as he came off the bench to replace the injured Matt Cassel in the Chiefs offense against Baltimore.

“It felt great to be out there,” Quinn said. “I was comfortable being at home, but right now I’m just here to support my teammates. Matt is our starter and I just prepare every week like I am a starter and I prepare myself for that moment.”

Depending on Cassel’s physical condition, Quinn may be forced to play in a stadium other than Arrowhead this coming Sunday against the Buccaneers in Tampa.

“Cassel if he’s cleared to play, we’ll have to evaluate it and we will see,” said head coach Romeo Crennel. “I was pleased with what he (Quinn) did today in the time that he got in because he hasn’t had many practice reps. I thought he did a nice job.”

Quinn went into the game with 9 minutes, 37 seconds to play in the game after Cassel took a big hit from Baltimore DT Haloti Ngata. There was no time to warm up but for a few tosses on the sideline. While it took awhile for Cassel to walk off, Quinn got his chance to get mentally prepared for his situation. The Chiefs were down 9-3 and held the ball at their own 46-yard line.

What happened next gave every Chiefs fan hope that Quinn can handle the job if he’s forced to play. The offense converted a 3rd-and-7 play on a Quinn to WR Dwayne Bowe 20-yard gain. He came back five plays later and Quinn again found Bowe on a slant that went for a touchdown. But WR Dexter McCluster was called for offensive pass interference. Quinn hit RB Cyrus Gray for 12 yards, but could not move the sticks and Ryan Succop kicked a FG and the difference on the scoreboard was just three points.

Quinn was three for three for 32 yards in the possession and he didn’t get back on the field. Baltimore held the ball and ran out the clock.

“I think it would have been tougher had it not been during a series,” Quinn said of his entrance into the huddle. “It’s understood by everyone that the series is still going on, we have to make play and continue, keep the drive going.”

Quinn said at no time during the week of preparation or during the game on Sunday was he told to do anything out of the ordinary to prepare for Sunday’s game. So he just went about his regular routine.

“Everyone is behind him, gives him confidence and everything else to prepare him,” Quinn said of Cassel. “We hope he is OK with everything that happened and like I said that’s the role I came here to fill.”

Chiefs Defensive Effort Wasted in Loss


From Arrowhead Stadium

Facing one of the most productive and powerful offenses in the NFL over four weeks, the Chiefs defense answered with one of their best performances in the last several years.

They did not allow a touchdown, only three field goals that were all set up by turnovers by the Chiefs offense. The last time they did not allow a team a TD in a game at Arrowhead was back in 2010 when they beat Denver 10-6 and the Broncos only had two field goals.

But it wasn’t enough to help their offense enough to overcome four more giveaways and the Chiefs are now 1-4.

“It was probably the best performance we’ve had on defense this season,” said ILB Derrick Johnson, who again led the Chiefs with six tackles against the Ravens. “We did the best job we’ve done at holding the yardage down and holding the scoring down. That’s hard to do in this league. We’re getting better as a defense.

“It’s tough to lose a game 9-6.”

They kept the Ravens from scoring a touchdown and did a lot more:

  • Allowed 298 offensive yards.
  • Sacked Baltimore QB Joe Flacco 4 times, two each by OLBs Tamba Hali and Justin Houston.
  • Gave up just two conversions on 11 third-down plays.
  • Forced 2 turnovers, with an interception by CB Brandon Flowers and a recovered fumble from the kickoff coverage team.

“I just had to make a play,” Flowers said of his interception. “Anquan Boldin ran a nice route. It was a double-double move where he came back to the ball. I came out of my break pretty well.”

The Chiefs defense went into the game with one overriding goal, and two smaller goals. They wanted to stop the run and they wanted to make sure that Ravens WR Torrey Smith did not beat them deep. The major goal was simply to play good, sound defensive football.

They pretty much got all of those things accomplished.

Rice did run for 102 yards, but he got loose only twice, once for 37 yards, another time for 26 yards. Smith caught just 3 passes for 38 yards, 26 coming on a single play. And, for the most part they played with very few mistakes.

“For the most part we just eliminated bad football,” said CB Stanford Routt. “We didn’t reinvent the wheel. We just eliminated a lot of mistakes we’ve been making the last four weeks. It was nothing special.”

The performance certainly got the attention of the Ravens.

“They played well; I think they’re a good defense,” said Flacco. “It was a close game and we basically wore them out. We weren’t able to convert on third down and keep those guys on the field. We never really got in a rhythm in the first half. We played better in the second half, but we weren’t able to capitalize when we were in the red zone.”

What disappointed the Chiefs was their inability to get Flacco and the Ravens off the field in the fourth quarter. Baltimore led 9-6 and had the ball at their 20-yard line with 4 minutes, 24 seconds to play. The Chiefs had two timeouts and the two-minute warning available to stop the clock. A Hali sack got them in a 3rd-and-15 situation, but Flacco was able to scramble out of the pocket and go up the middle of the field for 16 yards and a first down with 2:43 remaining.

The Chiefs defense again got the Ravens in a 3rd-and-1 situation with 2:00 to play. Rice ran to the right and was able to gain a yard and move the sticks, ending any chance the Chiefs had of getting one more shot with the ball.

“As a defense we take a lot of pride in stopping them during that crucial three to four-minute time knowing that they were going to run the ball,” said Johnson. “We knew they were going to run the ball and we couldn’t stop them.

“Really good defenses stop them. We’re not there yet. The defense has to do more to get the ball back to the offense, regardless of the situation.”

Column: Chiefs Play Offense Not To Lose

From Arrowhead Stadium

You’ve heard of the prevent defense.

Well the Chiefs introduced the prevent offense into the NFL on Sunday afternoon against the Baltimore Ravens. It allowed them to keep the game close, but they still lost 9-6 and are now playing .200 football on the season at 1-4.

Most fans believe the prevent defense simply prevents a team from winning. The same might be said for the prevent offense after Sunday’s game. The idea was to prevent the Chiefs from ending up in tough down-and-distance situations, to cut down on the turnovers and to provide improved protection for QB Matt Cassel.

Romeo Crennel called it “complimentary” football, and that’s all well and good to strive for a game plan where the offense doesn’t put the defense at a disadvantage and vice-a-versa. Throw in the special teams not hurting, but helping and that’s complimentary football. That’s what good teams do without even thinking about it. Good teams do that as second nature.

The Chiefs are not a good football team and they were playing complimentary football out of a fear of losing, a fear of more turnovers, a fear of exposing their struggling quarterback to more physical hits and missed passes. Bothered by their own inefficient offensive attack and scared to death of the Ravens defense, the Chiefs pulled in all the offensive sparkle. There were no gadget plays; there wasn’t a lot of motion and shifting. About 75 percent of the snaps came with the offense in a one-back, two tight ends and two wide receiver alignment.

The idea was to run the ball, and then run some more. The Chiefs had 68 offensive plays and 50 of those were running plays. Before he was knocked out of the game, Cassel threw 15 passes. None of those throws was down the middle of the field where they would have drawn the interest of Ravens FS Ed Reed. They were all to the outside, only a few drifting in to the hash marks. One of those was tipped in the air and intercepted. Cassel viewed one side of the field on his passes and didn’t worry about the other.

In the first half, it all seemed to work OK. They had a 116-yard edge in total offense and had run for 179 yards, while passing for 37 yards. Jamaal Charles already had 125 yards on 20 carries.

The score was tied 3-3 and the Chiefs felt good about what had happened.

But at intermission, the Ravens made adjustments. The Chiefs blockers had controlled the line of scrimmage in moving out the front seven of the Baltimore defense. A tweak here and a tweak there by the Ravens coaches and their defense came out in the second half and allowed 35 rushing yards on 16 carries and 122 yards on 27 plays overall.

The Chiefs stubbornly stuck to their game plan, even when Brady Quinn came into to replace the injured Cassel. The only time they tried something different it turned into a touchdown pass from Quinn to Bowe that was wiped out by a penalty on WR Dexter McCluster for offensive pass interference.

It was a game where negatives directed the Chiefs game plan. It wasn’t so much what they could do well, but what they didn’t do well and what the Ravens were capable of doing.

As a one-game mondus operandi it’s understandable, but only if it works and the only way it works is if the Chiefs win. The offense has reached a point where it cannot dictate the flow of the game. There is Charles running and Bowe catching, or Bowe sometimes catching. Charles had 33 touches in the game and produced 161 yards. Bowe was targeted on eight of the 18 passes thrown by Chiefs passers, but caught only six, none for more than 20 yards.

With Peyton Hillis out, Shaun Draughn and Cyrus Gray have not filled the role of providing quality relief for Charles. TE Tony Moeaki was invisible, relegated to blocking for most of the game; he had just one pass thrown in his direction. WR Steve Breaston barely got on the field and didn’t catch a pass. McCluster got on the field a lot, but there wasn’t a single pass thrown in his direction.

It was the Chiefs defense that was struggling coming into the game with injuries. But it was the offense that played like it was hamstrung, and it was … only the Chiefs did it to themselves.

“You do what you think you need to do to try to win a game with the team that you have,” said Crennel. “You try to figure out what it is they can do and how they need to play and we need to play a complimentary game that’s what we did today.

“The complimentary approach gives this team the best chance to win. I think we saw that today.”

No we didn’t. We just saw a different way to rack up another defeat. But what would anybody expect with the Chiefs waving a white flag on offense before the game even started.

Victory Bounces Away From Chiefs In 9-6 Loss

From Arrowhead Stadium

On a sun-splashed autumn afternoon the bodies and footballs were bouncing all over the surface at Arrowhead Stadium, almost as if they were greased or wet, which they weren’t. Sadly for the struggling Chiefs the bounces went the way of the Baltimore Ravens.

In a game with no touchdowns and a wealth of field goals (5), turnovers (6), offensive yards (636) and crazy bounces (too many to count), the Ravens went 4-1 on the season by beating the Chiefs 9-6. The loss left Romeo Crennel’s team at 1-4 on the season.

“We played much better overall football,” said the Chiefs head coach. “It could have been better, but I liked the way they played and approached the game. We are going to try to keep that going and be in every game. We played a complimentary game – everybody made a contribution, offense, defense and special teams. I think that’s the way we need to play going forward.”

The Chiefs offensive game plan was to run and limit the exposure of QB Matt Cassel to turnovers and the Ravens pass rush. But even at that, the Chiefs turned the ball over four times, with Cassel’s hand involved in each one – two interceptions and two apparently botched exchanges. Jamaal Charles ran for 125 yards in the first half, but just 15 yards in the second half as Baltimore’s defense adjusted and kept the Chiefs out of the end zone.

“We had to find a way to win this football game,” said Ravens head coach John Harbaugh. “We didn’t know which way it was going to go or what it was going to take. We had to just figure it out and do what it takes to win the game. We got one more stop and we got one more first down. That’s what we needed to do in the end.”

That’s certainly what the Ravens got done, but they also had some help from the football gods. On three different plays in the second half it appeared that the Chiefs had finally scored the game’s first touchdown. In reality they put no points on the board as a result of those three plays. The first play came when Cassel and center Ryan Lilja muffed the snap on a 1st-and-goal play at the Baltimore 1-yard line. The Ravens recovered the fumble.

“That’s my fault,” said Lilja. “It’s my job to finish the snap.”

Late in the fourth quarter, Chiefs quarterback Brady Quinn hit wide receiver Dwayne Bowe on a slant pattern that went to the end zone for what appeared to be a 15-yard touchdown. That was wiped off the board when wide receiver Dexter McCluster was called for offensive pass interference for setting a pick on a Ravens defender.

“I was shocked they threw the flag on me,” said McCluster

Quinn was in the game because Cassel left early in the fourth quarter with a head injury and did not return. His prognosis was unknown after the game.

Finally, on another play Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco appeared to fumble on a sack and the ball bounced into the end zone and was recovered by the Chiefs. However, officials ruled Flacco in the grasp and there was no fumble.

“I heard the whistle,” said Flacco. “I knew it wasn’t a fumble and I knew they couldn’t review it. I knew I was down.”

The Ravens were coming off a 10-day hiatus and in the first half they had trouble getting back in the action. Baltimore’s defense was dented by Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles for 125 yards on 20 carries in the first half, although the Ravens kept the Chiefs out of the end zone.

In the second half Charles had 10 carries for 15 yards.

“At half-time our defensive coaches made an adjustment with all of our fronts and our guys did a better job of getting off the blocks,” Harbaugh said. “Our timing wasn’t right, but we cleaned that up and played well in the second half.”

Kansas City came into the game as the NFL leader with 15 giveaways in four games. That’s now 19 giveaways in five games. A pair of Cassel interceptions and two fumbles set up all three of Baltimore’s field goals and continued a trend where the Chiefs try to compete while shooting themselves in the foot.

“You don’t win when you give the other team the ball,” said Lilja. “We keep proving that.”

A Chiefs turnover set up the only score of the first quarter. In the exchange between Cassel and rookie running back Cyrus Gray the ball came out and Ravens recovered at the Kansas City 42-yard line. Baltimore moved to the 12-yard line, but the K.C. defense stiffened and allowed only a 28-yard field goal by Justin Tucker for a 3-0 Ravens lead.

A Cassel to Bowe pass bounced through Bowe’s arms and into the hands of Baltimore cornerback Lardarius Webb for another giveaway by the Chiefs. The Ravens were not able to turn the gift into points, as they punted away the ball.

A 25-yard punt return by wide receiver Terrance Copper gave the Chiefs better field position and they were able to take advantage for the first time on the afternoon. They got a 30-yard field goal from Ryan Succop that tied the score 3-3.

The turnovers started again on the opening kickoff of the second half, as Baltimore’s returner Deonte Thompson coughed up the ball and it was recovered by Chiefs linebacker Edgar Jones. On a 1st-and-goal play at the Ravens one-yard line, Cassel and Lilja fumbled the snap and Ravens safety Ed Reed recovered. That led to a 26-yard Tucker field goal.

Near the end of the third quarter, a Cassel pass to Bowe sailed high, bounced off the receiver’s hands and was grabbed by Baltimore cornerback Cary Williams. Nine plays later, Tucker made a 39-yard field goal.

The Chiefs added a fourth quarter 3-pointer but when they had to stop the Ravens offense on a 3rd-and-1 play at the Baltimore 40-yard line with two minutes to play, the defense couldn’t hold RB Ray Rice. He got one-yard for a first down, finishing the game with 102 yards on 17 carries.

The Chiefs go back on the road this coming weekend to face the Buccaneers in Tampa. They have a lot of work to do.

“We’re going to try to keep that going in every game, play that complimentary game to give ourselves the best chance.”

Winston Calls Out Fans That Cheered Injury

From Arrowhead Stadium

Eric Winston had already taken his shower. But that did little to cool off the Chiefs right tackle.

He was hot and it had nothing to do with the sauna-like humidity that normally comes in a post-game locker room.

Winston was hot about some of the fans that filled the seats at Arrowhead Stadium on Sunday. Actually he was mad about those that cheered when quarterback Matt Cassel was injured in the fourth quarter and had to leave the game.

“We are athletes; we are not gladiators,” said Winston. “This isn’t the Roman Coliseum. People pay their hard-earned money to come in here, and I believe they can boo, they can cheer, they can do whatever they want. But when somebody gets hurt, there are long-lasting ramifications to the game we play — long-lasting ramifications.

“When you cheer somebody getting knocked out, I don’t care who it is, and it just so happened to be Matt Cassel, it’s sickening. It’s 100 percent sickening, and I’ve been in some rough times on some rough teams, and I’ve never been more embarrassed in my life to play football than in that moment right there.”

It’s true that throughout his career Winston has seen a lot of different things in the NFL, most of it good, some of it bad. But there was no doubting his disgust for what happened on Sunday, and as he talked about the situation he got more disgusted.

“I get emotional about it because these guys work their butts off,” Winston said. “Matt Cassel hasn’t done anything to you people, hasn’t done anything to the media writers that kill him, hasn’t done anything wrong to the people that come out here and cheer him.

“If he’s not the best quarterback, he’s not the best quarterback and that’s OK. But he’s a person, and he got knocked out in a game, and we’ve got 70,000 cheering that he got knocked out. Boo him all you want, boo me all you want. Throw me under the bus; tell me I’m doing a bad job. Say I got to protect him more, but if you’re one of those people that were out there cheering or even smiled when he got knocked out, I just want to let you know and I want everybody to know that I think it’s sickening and disgusting.”

Chiefs Fight But Give Away Another One


From Arrowhead Stadium

Give the Chiefs credit for this – they are a flawed football team with a collection of underachievers but they accepted the challenge on Sunday and went toe-to-toe with the Baltimore Ravens.

They still lost, but they put up a helluva fight and held the Ravens offense without a touchdown. Unfortunately, the Chiefs offense couldn’t score a TD either and it all came to a field goal inspired 9-6 conclusion. Baltimore went home with a 4-1 record and the Chiefs are now 1-4.

Turnovers reared their ugly head once again, as the Chiefs gave the ball away four times. The Ravens had a pair of turnovers as well, but the Chiefs answered those gifts by giving the ball back. Justin Tucker and Ryan Succop scored all the points on field goals, even though the game featured plenty of offensive yards.

Chiefs QB Matt Cassel went down in the fourth quarter due to a blow to the head in a pass rush and left the game. Brady Quinn took his spot, but the Chiefs were not able to get anything going offensively enough to reach the end zone.

So much to talk about, and here is our coverage.

Pre-Game Coverage – Chiefs & Ravens


From Arrowhead Stadium

11:25 a.m. CDT – That’s it for now from Chiefs-Ravens pre-game. Game coverage will begin Sunday afternoon and roll into the evening and early morning hours of Monday, so come back early and often. Enjoy the game.

11:20 a.m. CDT – Neiko Thorpe is wearing No. 38. LB Bryan Kehl who was added this week is active and he’s wearing No. 55.

11:15 a.m. CDT – Ravens SS Bernard Pollard on the field making his first return to Arrowhead since he was released by the Chiefs at the end of the 2009 pre-season. Pollard spent two years with Houston and then signed last year with Baltimore.

11:10 a.m. CDT -The Ravens are wearing patches on the left breast “AM” in honor of their late owner Art Modell who died earlier this year.

11:05 a.m. CDT – The activation of Neiko Thorpe from the practice squad gives the Chiefs eight defensive backs active today, but only three true cornerbacks in Brandon Flowers, Stanford Routt and Javier Arenas. Two of those eight in Thorpe and Tysyn Hartman are rookies. One more injury on the back side of the Chiefs defense and they could be in real trouble.

11 a.m. CDT – Kicking towards the east goal posts, Ryan Succop was wide left and short from 53 yards. Kicking towards the west goal posts Succop hit a line drive from 56 yards.

10:55 a.m. CDT – So far at least there has not been a lot of fraternization between the teams’ players, coaches or executives. The Chiefs have stayed in their area and the Ravens have stayed on their side and there have been very few hugs and conversations. Not sure what that means, but it was worth noting.

10:50 a.m. CDT – It’s a beautiful morning at the Truman Sports Complex and figures to be a perfect day for football. Current temperature is 43 degrees and it’s expected to get into the high 50s for kickoff. Wind is out of the west but it’s calm, with only a slight ruffle in the flags. It’s a high sky with no clouds visible.

10:45 a.m. CDT – October is Beast Cancer Awareness month and the NFL and its players are supporting the cause in today’s games, so expect to see a lot of pink on the players, whether it’s shoes, gloves, skull caps or towels. CB Brandon Flowers is on the field now wearing pink shoes, long pink socks and a long sleeves shirt that’s pink as well.

10:40 a.m. CDT – With both Glenn Dorsey and Ropati Pitoitua out of the game, the workload at defensive end will fall on Allen Bailey in the base and likely rotating in the sub defense with the other starting DE Tyson Jackson. The difference between a healthy team and one that’s banged up – the Ravens have four healthy rookies among their inactive players, while the Chiefs have one in WR Devon Wylie and he’s fighting an injury.

10:35 a.m. CDT – Inactive players for the Ravens today are CB Asa Jackson, S Christian Thompson, OL Jah Reid, TE Billy Bajema, DE DeAngelo Tyson, OLB Sergio Kindle and DT Bryan Hall.

10:33 a.m. CDT – Inactive players for the Chiefs today are QB Ricky Stanzi, WR Devon Wylie, FS Kendrick Lewis, CB Jalil Brown, RB Peyton Hillis, DE Glenn Dorsey and DE Ropati Pitoitua.

10:30 a.m. CDT – The banner flying behind a plane has already made several passes over the Truman Sports Complex in the last few minutes. We deserve better Fire Pioli. Bench Cassel is what it reads. Just two years ago GM Scott Pioli was considered a genius. But an overall record of 22-31 since taking over the team is bad news.

10:25 a.m. CDT – Late Saturday afternoon the Chiefs made a roster move, promoting DB Neiko Thorpe from the practice squad and releasing OL Bryan Mattison. It’s hard to believe that Thorpe would have been activated if he wasn’t going to be on the field for this game. With CB Jalil Brown (hamstring) and FS Kendrick Lewis (shoulder) likely to be inactive players today and with CB Brandon Flowers (foot) limping about, there’s no question the Chiefs were light in the secondary and will need help on special teams.

10:20 a.m. CDT – There have been very few players that have worked any harder on getting ready in pre-game than OLB Tamba Hali. The pass rusher was out early, around 9:40 a.m. and worked for at least 40 minutes one-on-one with taekwondo expert Master Joe Kim. He worked on short bursts, hand fighting and pass rushing moves. Hali’s hoodie is soaking wet from sweat.

10:15 a.m. CDT – Good morning from Week No. 5 of the 2012 NFL season as the Chiefs and Ravens prepare to kick it of just over 100 minutes from now. Baltimore at 3-1 is a heavy favorite to beat the 1-3 Chiefs. We will keep you informed on everything surrounding the game in the next 90 minutes or so. Make sure you come back frequently to check the updates.

They Must Stop The Bleeding … GameDay Cup O’Chiefs

From Arrowhead Stadium

It’s not exactly the type of rallying cry one would expect to see on a t-shirt or banner at the stadium.

But cornerback Stanford Routt capsulized the Chiefs situation perfectly this past week:

“We just have to go ahead and get our tails out of our butts and get going.”

It probably won’t be part of head coach Romeo Crennel’s pre-game speech, but that’s certainly what the Chiefs must do. They host the Baltimore Ravens in a game that will kick off just past 12 noon. TV coverage is on CBS.

There is a sign that’s been up just outside the Chiefs locker room at their practice facility that could become a t-shirt: Eliminate Bad Football. The only problem is that Crennel’s team seems incapable of doing just that. Bad football hasn’t been eliminated in the team’s 1-3 start; it seems to be a recurring theme.

Turnovers, penalties and mental errors have doomed any chance of victory for the Chiefs in three of the four games. Even in the game they won, they had bad football. They earned the victory only because New Orleans played even worse football. …Read More!

NFL Transactions – 10/6

Green Bay – activated DL Mike Neal from the reserve/suspended list; released DE Phillip Merling.

Indianapolis – promoted OT Tony Hills from the practice squad; released WR Kris Adams.

Chiefs – promoted DB Neiko Thorpe from the practice squad; released C/G Bryan Mattison.

Chiefs Add DB To Roster

On Saturday the Chiefs promoted rookie S Neiko Thorpe from the practice squad to the active roster.

With CB Jalil Brown, CB Brandon Flowers and FS Kendrick Lewis battling injuries the secondary could be depleted on Sunday against Baltimore if all three can’t play.

To make room for Thorpe, they released C/G Bryan Mattison, who was signed just over a week ago and had not played in a game with the Chiefs.

The 6-2, 185-pound Thorpe was not drafted coming out of Auburn, where he played 51 games and started 40 over his career. He was released on the final roster reduction before the start of the regular season and then was signed to the practice squad.

The 22-year old native of Tucker, Georgia has been wearing No. 38 in practice.

Will Trade BBQ for Crab Cakes – Ravens Week Extras

There will be many talented defensive players on the field Sunday when the Chiefs and Ravens faceoff at Arrowhead Stadium.

But the best defender will not be Ray Lewis, or Ed Reed, or Tamba Hali of the Chiefs.

It’s Haloti Ngata (right), the Baltimore defensive tackle is the most dominant defensive player that will play in this game.

“He’s a load,” said Chiefs C Ryan Lilja about the 6-4, 350-pound, 7-year veteran out of the University of Oregon. “He’s a big, strong, powerful guy but he can play quick and athletically which makes him two-dimensional. There are a lot of big powerful guys but they can’t move like he does. He’s a guy you’ve got to address.”

Ngata has gone to the last three Pro Bowls but he started this year by changing his preparation for the season. He added 20 pounds in the off-season to push his weight to the 350-pound level. Some of his teammates were concerned that he would lose his quickness and that he wasn’t in the best of shape. But Ngata knew what he was doing – he felt he needed to bulk up to survive the rigors of the 16-game regular season. He felt that in recent seasons he was exhausted and spent when January came around. …Read More!

College Report: Nebraska @ Ohio State

  • Nebraska @ Ohio State
  • Ohio Stadium, Columbus, Ohio
  • October 6, 7 p.m. CDT, ABC

Nebraska

#81 TE Ben Cotton, Senior – 6-6, 255 pounds, 4.86 seconds in the 40-yard dash, 3rd-round draft prospect.

The Iowa native is more blocker than catcher at the position, but he’s a pretty good athlete for a player that big. The son of Nebraska’s offensive line coach, Cotton has caught 3 passes to open the season for 15 yards. Overall during his 43 games and 29 starts with the Huskers he’s caught 25 passes for 281 yards and just one TD. The 23-year old Cotton is from Ames Iowa, where he was a two-way player, while also starting in basketball, baseball and he qualified for the Iowa state track meet in the discus. Cotton earned his degree in business last December, finishing with a 3.5 GPA and he’s been talking graduate school courses this fall. …Read More!

Checking on the Zebras For Week #5

Now that the real NFL officials are back handling the games, we think it’s a good idea to shed a little light on the zebras who are working Chiefs games.

This week the Chiefs get referee Peter Morelli and his crew. The last time they saw most of this group was the 2011 season finale in Denver.

Last week Morelli’s crew worked the Oakland at Denver game and for the most part kept their yellow hankies in their pockets. They walked off nine penalties for 71 yards, a remarkable figure given the Raiders being involved. There were only two major penalties that went for 15 yards – a facemask call against the Raiders and a roughing the passer flag against the Broncos. There were two replay challenges, one by each team and both calls were overturned upon review.

Morelli comes from a family of officials and he began working high school games in his native California in 1971 when he was 19 years old. He then moved on to college games in the Big West and Western Athletic Conference and was hired by the NFL in 1997. He was named a referee in 2003. He’s 60 years old. …Read More!

College Report: Georgia @ South Carolina

  • Georgia @ South Carolina
  • Williams-Brice Stadium, Columbia, South Carolina
  • October 6, 6 p.m. CDT, ESPN

Georgia

#36 SS Shawn Williams, Senior – 6-1, 217 pounds, 4.54 seconds in the 40-yard dash, late 1st-round draft prospect.

He’s the second leading tackler in the Bulldogs defense this year with 35. Williams is a two-year starter in the Georgia defense, working at both safety and last year at inside linebacker when injuries cost the Bulldogs several starters. He was picked as a team captain for the squad this season. Scouts compare him to Thomas Davis, a first-round choice as safety/linebacker in 2005 by Carolina. Over his four years in Athens, Williams has played 45 games with 21 starts, 146 total tackles and 4 interceptions. He was suspended for the first half of last year’s game with Florida after being punished by the SEC for a flagrant personal foul in a game against Vanderbilt. Attended Early County High School where he was a Class AA first-team defender. He had 59 tackles that year, along with 24 catches for 381 yards and 5 TDs. He was also the team’s punter, averaging 32 yards a kick. Williams is 21 years old. …Read More!

Turnover Time . . . Saturday Cup O’Chiefs

The Chiefs have said all the right things this past week about handling their problem with turnovers. They worked on ball security in their practices this week. The players have heard from their coaches about the death knell that giving the ball away sounds for their chances to win a game.

“I really believe for this offense and what we wanted coming into camp were three things,” said RT Eric Winston. “Don’t turn the ball over, end every drive with a kick and we wanted to run the ball well to stay in manageable third downs. When you do that, you are going to be successful.”

That’s been the message all week, but for the words to mean anything it will have to show itself on Sunday against Baltimore. This isn’t about talk. It’s about action. To have a chance to be competitive with the Ravens, the Chiefs cannot turn the ball over.

“You can’t win games when you turn the ball over like that,” C Ryan Lilja said of the team’s 15 giveaways. “We’re trying to focus on those things that cost you games.”

We’ve covered in the last two weeks a wealth of numbers that talk about the effect of turnovers on winning. It’s vividly displayed in the list of the top 10 teams in the league right now in turnover ratio: …Read More!

College Report: West Virginia @ Texas

  • West Virginia @ Texas
  • Darrell K. Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium, Austin, Texas
  • October 6, 6 p.m. CDT, Fox

West Virginia

#1 WR Tavon Austin, Senior – 5-8, 172 pounds, 4.38 seconds in the 40-yard dash, 2nd-round draft prospect.

Few players have run up the draft rankings this fall as fast as Austin has done with the Mountaineers. Benefitting from the presence of strong-armed QB Geno Smith, Austin has caught 48 passes for 560 yards and 7 TDs in four games. Against Baylor last weekend, he had 14 catches. Early in the season he had 11 catches against James Madison and then 13 vs. Maryland. Although small, he’s been explosive on offense and special teams, drawing comparisons to Dexter McCluster. In his WVU career, he has amassed 5,193 yards and 30 TDs on offense and special teams. On offense alone he’s had 265 touches for 3,156 yards and 27 TDs. He caught 101 passes last year and is on pace to catch close to 150 passes this year if Smith keeps firing and the Big 12 can’t figure out how to slow down the Mountaineers. Austin played at Dunbar High in Baltimore, where he was named Maryland’s offensive player of the year as a junior and senior. He set a state record for touchdowns (123), points (790) and offensive yards (9,258 yards). He ran for 2,660 yards and 34 TDs as senior. …Read More!

’12 Chiefs Historically Bad In First 3 Quarters

Here’s another one we dug up on the Chiefs problems with scoring points and not allowing points.

Since the formation of the American Football League in 1960, the 2012 Chiefs have allowed the most points in the first three quarters of the game over a season’s first four contests.

Most Points Allowed in 1-2-3 Quarters of First 4 Games

(1960-2012)

Rank

Team Year

Rec.

Pts. Opp.

Diff.

1.

Chiefs 2012

1-3

46 120

Minus-74

2.

N.Y. Giants 1966

0-3-1

41 118

Minus-77

3.

New England 1969

0-4

20 117

Minus-97

Pittsburgh 1968

0-4

47 117

Minus-70

5.

Washington 1998

0-4

44 114

Minus-70

6.

Cleveland 1975

0-4

30 113

Minus-83

7.

Atlanta 1993

0-4

53 112

Minus-59

Cincinnati 1999

0-4

42 112

Minus-70

Detroit 2002

1-3

61 112

Minus-61

Miami 1968

1-3

44 112

Minus-68

NFL Transactions – 10/5

NFL – fined:

  • Arizona K Jay Feely, $7,875 for unnecessary roughness vs. Miami.
  • Minnesota LB Chad Greenway, $21,000 for a helmet-to-helmet hit vs. Detroit.
  • New England LB Brandon Spikes, $21,000 for an illegal blindside block vs. Buffalo.
  • Tennessee G David Stewart, $7,875 for unnecessary roughness vs. Houston.

Denver – the NFL added three more games to the suspension of LB D.J. Williams. He’s already serving a 6-game drug suspension. He will miss 9 games total.

Jacksonville – signed WR Micheal Spurlock; promoted DE Ryan Davis from the practice squad; released DE Aaron Morgan and OT Daniel Baldridge.

College Report: Georgia Tech @ Clemson

  • Georgia Tech @ Clemson
  • Memorial Stadium, Clemson, South Carolina
  • October 6, 2:30 p.m. CDT, ESPN

Georgia Tech

#45 OLB Jeremiah Attaochu, Junior – 6-2, 240 pounds, 4.64 seconds in the 40-yard dash, 1st-round draft prospect.

Attaochu is being groomed for an NFL career playing in Tech’s 3-4 defense for defensive coordinator Al Groh who spent a lot of years in the pros as an assistant and even head coach of the N.Y. Jets. He played the strongside OLB. Last year he missed two games because of lower leg injury but he started 10 others, leading the team in sacks with six, along with 11.5 tackles for loss and 50 total tackles. He also had an interception and recovered a fumble. He served a suspension in the first half of the Duke game after taking a punch at Virginia Tech QB Logan Thomas. As a freshman in 2010, he finished the season with 23 total tackles and 3 sacks and ended up starting in the Independence Bowl. Attaochu is 19 years old and was born in Nigeria. His full-name is Jeremiah Ajimaoso Attaochu. He first played football in the ninth grade at Archbishop Carroll High School in Washington, D.C. As a senior he had 14 sacks and scored four touchdowns on blocked kicks or returned fumbles. He was team captain for two years. …Read More!

4 Keys For The Chiefs To Beat the Ravens

4

Win the specials teams competition

It’s going to be tough for the Chiefs to win on offense or defense; the Ravens are one of the NFL’s best teams and if they show up in the attitude that they want to prove a point to the league, they will make for a miserable Sunday afternoon for the Chiefs. But there’s part of the game where Romeo Crennel’s team can get a boost and that’s in the kicking game. Baltimore is not especially strong in any area on special teams. The Chiefs have a more experienced kicker in Ryan Succop and a more experienced and better punter in Dustin Colquitt. Neither team has made any type of mark on returns, either punts or kickoffs. …Read More!

College Report: LSU @ Florida

  • Louisiana State @ Florida
  • Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, Gainesville, Florida
  • October 6, 2:30 p.m. CDT, CBS

LSU

#99 DE Sam Montgomery, Redshirt Junior – 6-4, 245 pounds, 4.59 seconds in the 40-yard dash, early 1st-round draft potential.

He was the SEC Defensive Player of the Week two weeks ago against Auburn when he had 4 tackles, including 3.5 tackles for loss including a safety. He also had a sack. In five games this year he’s had 15 tackles, 6.5 tackles for loss, 2 sacks and 3 quarterback hurries. In his brief 24 games with the Tigers he has 82 total tackles 26 for minus yards and 13 sacks. Last year, he earned All-America mention for his performance at RDE in 14 games with 11 starts. He had 9 sacks on the season. He missed the last eight games of the 2010 season due to a right knee injury, starting the first five games at RDE. Given name is Sidney Sammual Montgomery. He’s 22 years old from Greenwood, South Carolina, where he had 26 sacks in his last two years at Greenwood High School on his way to all-state honors. …Read More!

Chiefs Practice Update – 10/5

From the Truman Sports Complex

In an effort to do anything possible to change the mojo around his team, Romeo Crennel did not take them to Arrowhead Stadium for Friday’s practice.

Instead, they stayed at their facility for the last session of preparation for Sunday’s game against Baltimore. Plus, the practice music of the previous week is gone. Now, it’s just the silence of the autumn wind blowing across the practice fields.

Crennel indicated that four Chiefs would be out of practice and will not play against the Ravens: RB Peyton Hillis (ankle), DE Glenn Dorsey (calf), CB Jalil Brown (hamstring) and WR Devon Wylie (hamstring). None of those four has practiced at all this week.

On their official injury report to the league office, the Chiefs listed Hillis, Wylie and Dorsey as out and Brown as doubtful, meaning there’s a 75 percent chance he will not play.

The head coach said everybody else on the injury report is in some state of limited practice: ILB Derrick Johnson (groin), DE Ropati Pitoitua (elbow), WR Jon Baldwin (hamstring), C Ryan Lilja (back), CB Brandon Flowers (foot) and FS Kendrick Lewis (shoulder).

On the injury/practice report to the league Pitoitua, Johnson and Lewis were listed as questionable, with Flowers, Baldwin and Lilja down as probable.

For the Ravens, OT Jah Reid is questionable with a calf injury and WR Torrey Smith is probable with an ankle injury.

An Amazing Career Continues . . . Friday Cup O’Chiefs

The first time Ray Lewis stepped on the field for a regular season game was September 1, 1996 in Baltimore when the 21-year old had an interception in a victory over the Oakland Raiders.

At the time, Jamaal Charles was eight years old, Dwayne Bowe was 11 and Matt Cassel was 13. Starting LG Jeff Allen was just going to kindergarten a few days before Lewis began his career.

This Sunday all those men will be on the field at Arrowhead Stadium when the Chiefs host the Ravens. It will be NFL game No. 294 for Lewis, regular season and playoffs. The first tackle he’s part of against the Chiefs will be No. 2,234 in his career.

Lewis remains the heart of the Ravens team. He’s their emotional leader and still a force on their defense even if he’s not the No. 1 player on that side of the ball. Injured teammate OLB Terrell Suggs would get that designation now, or possibly DT Haloti Ngata. That he’s still starting in the NFL is remarkable. That he’s still among the league’s best defenders is inexplicable.

“He is like none I’ve been around,” said Baltimore head coach John Harbaugh. “First of all he is a strong man; he has strong, strong faith; that’s where his strength lies. He’s a giver. He really likes to help people. As a football player, how many guys have done that, playing an inside linebacker position for this long at the level he is playing at? It’s an amazing combination.” …Read More!

Chiefs Turnover Performance Among NFL’s Worst

Eric Winston mentioned it while he was talking with the media on Thursday. The question was about turnovers, and part of his answer was:

“You are not going to win anything when you’re minus-13. It’s a simple bottom line thing. I saw a stat somewhere that it’s like third worst in NFL history after four games or something like that. It’s insane.”

I had missed that statistic, so I went off to research and sure enough, Winston was correct. Here are the worst turnover ratios in NFL history for teams after four games:

Team

Year

Record

TurnoverΒ Ratio

Washington

1954

0-4

Minus-15

Minnesota

1962

0-4

Minus-15

Chiefs

2012

1-3

Minus-13

Miami

1967

1-3

Minus-13

Detroit

1989

0-4

Minus-13

Detroit

1959

0-4

Minus-13

Buffalo

1967

1-3

Minus-13

NFL Transactions – 10/4

NFL – Washington QB Robert Griffin III named NFL offensive rookie of the month; New England DE Chandler Jones named NFL defensive rookie of the month.

AFC – Cincinnati WR A.J. Green named AFC offensive player of the month; Houston DE J.J. Watt named AFC defensive player of the month; Tennessee RB Darius Reynaud named AFC special teams player of the month.

NFC – Atlanta QB Matt Ryan named NFC offensive player of the month; Chicago CB Tim Jennings named NFC defensive player of the month; Minnesota WR Percy Harvin named NFC special teams player of the month.

Chiefs Practice Update – 10/4

From the Truman Sports Complex

There’s never a good time for a football team to have a banged up secondary.

But it’s especially bad when your defense is getting ready to play the Baltimore Ravens.

The status of CB Brandon Flowers, CB Jalil Brown and FS Kendrick Lewis is very much up in the air for Sunday’s game against the Ravens. The team’s best cover linebacker Derrick Johnson is fighting an injury as well.

That’s what became clear as Chiefs head coach Romeo Crennel ran through the injury situation on Thursday.

Good news was that Flowers was listed as a full participant in Thursday’s practice, after missing Wednesday’s workout. He’s still battling the heel injury he suffered on July 31, reinjuring the foot/heel problem that kept him out for over a month. He tweaked the injury again during Sunday’s game and he was off the field for awhile as trainers worked on retaping his foot.

After missing Wednesday’s workout, Brown did not practice on Thursday because of a hamstring injury that he suffered last Sunday in the game against San Diego. Lewis has yet to reach the point in his rehab where he’s ready to step back on the field. But he did not practice on Thursday due to personal reasons. …Read More!

College Report: Southern Cal @ Utah

  • Southern Cal @ Utah
  • Rice-Eccles Stadium, Salt Lake City, Utah
  • October 4, 8 p.m. CDT, ESPN

Southern Cal

#2 WR Robert Woods, Junior – 6-0, 190 pounds, 4.47 seconds in the 40-yard dash, 1st-round draft potential.

Woods is a talented receiver who has made a mark at USC in just two seasons and four games. This year, he’s caught 25 passes for 203 yards and 4 scores. Over his 29-game career with the Trojans, he’s produced a total of 3,946 yards of all-purpose yardage on 285 touches and 26 TDs. That’s 200 catches for 2,281 yards and 25 TDs. He’s averaged 24.8 yards on kickoff returns and 10.2 yards on punt returns. He’s not especially big physically so he relies on his speed and quickness. Woods is 20 years old, and came out of Junipero Serra High School in Gardena, California, where he was a two-way player with 3,291 receiving yards and 39 TD catches, with 264 tackles, 24 interceptions and 4 returned for TDs. He was also a nationally ranked sprinter, turning in his personal best times of 21.01 in the 200 meters and 46.17 in the 400 meters. …Read More!

Winning Without A Great QB . . . Thursday Cup O’Chiefs

It’s the worst excuse in pro football:

“We can’t win because we don’t have a franchise quarterback.”

First of all, it’s patently untrue. Is it easier to win with a franchise quarterback? Absolutely. But the lack of one doesn’t mean a team can’t win or even compete for a championship.

What has to happen is this – if a team does not have one of those half-dozen or so franchise quarterbacks in the league, the team’s management, coaches and locker room have to accept that fact, and they have to work around the situation, structuring the team and its approach so that what the quarterback lacks is made up in other areas.

How many franchise quarterbacks are there working today in the NFL? The Manning brothers, Tom Brady, Ben Roethlisberger, Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers and possibly Matt Ryan are franchise quarterbacks. The rest are at various stages of climbing up the ladder – Philip Rivers, Joe Flacco, Matt Schaub – but they aren’t there yet.

All the other teams have to make do. The Chiefs have been doing so for years. …Read More!

NFL Transactions – 10/3

NFL – fined Buffalo DT Kyle Williams $15,000 for a low hit on Patriots QB Tom Brady last Sunday.

AFC – New England QB Tom Brady named offensive player of the week; San Diego LB Donald Butler named defensive player of the week; Denver K Matt Prater named special teams player of the week.

NFC – Green Bay QB Aaron Rodgers named offensive player of the week; San Francisco LB Patrick Willis named defensive player of the week; St. Louis K Greg Zuerlein named special teams player of the week.

Houston – signed S Troy Nolan; released QB John Beck.

Jacksonville – reached injury settlement with DB Reggie Corner and he was released from the injured-reserve list.

Chiefs – placed TE Kevin Boss (concussion) on the injured-reserve list; signed LB Bryan Kehl.

Miami – promoted DB DeAndre Presley from the practice squad.

New Orleans – signed WR Greg Camarillo; released DB Elbert Mack.

New England – signed LB Bobby Carpenter.

N.Y. Jets – signed WR Jason Hill; placed WR Santonio Holmes (foot) to the injured-reserve list.

San Diego – signed CB Chris Carr; released WR Micheal Spurlock.

Cassel Isn’t Worried About Getting Yanked

From the Truman Sports Complex

“I don’t look over my shoulder.”

That’s what Matt Cassel said Wednesday when asked if recent comments by head coach Romeo Crennel have him wondering about his job security.

“I have tunnel vision,” Cassel said. “I go out and try to get better each and every day. For me, I don’t look over my shoulder. I just go out there and try to play the position.”

Cassel’s problems in playing the position have led to calls for his benching and the promotion of Brady Quinn to the starting job. Crennel fed those thoughts with comments on Monday about what it would take for him to make a change at quarterback. Some interpreted those comments as more time in practice for Brady Quinn.

That didn’t happen on Wednesday according to Quinn.

“My reps have been the exact same as they have been before,” Quinn said after Wednesday’s practice. “My job hasn’t changed. I still go out there and support Matt and the rest of our teammates.” …Read More!

Book Excerpt: Ten-Gallon War

The new book Ten-Gallon War is about a slice of Chiefs history that most fans and folks in Kansas City do not know. Those first three years of the American Football League they were the Dallas Texans, competing head-to-head in Dallas with the NFL’s newest expansion team, the Dallas Cowboys. Author John Eisenberg captures the flavor of the times so different from today in professional football. Eisenberg will speak on Thursday at noon in front of the Kansas City Rotary Club in the Truman Room at the Marriott-Muehlebach Hotel.

Abner Haynes stepped out of the Texans’ locker room at the south end of the Cotton Bowl and was immediately surrounded by autograph hunters who had been waiting for him. They jabbed pens, programs, and blank paper at the young halfback, who had just devastated the Denver Broncos with his running and pass receiving in a 34-7 victory for the Texans. The date was November 13, 1960.

When Haynes had obliged all of his fans, he walked slowly to his car, bones aching, and slid into the driver’s seat. Wheeling out of Fair Park, he drove through South Dallas on his way home to his wife and two young boys. Afternoon sunshine had pulled people out of their dens and into the parks and streets. When they spotted Haynes at stoplights, they waved and exclaimed, “Abner! Great game!” Few actually had attended the game — the Texans had announced a crowd of twenty-one thousand that was clearly a generous estimate – but they had either listened on the radio or heard that their local hero had another big day.

Just a few years earlier he had been a gawky, anonymous teenager in this all-black neighborhood, but now he was the toast of South Dallas – even all of Dallas, perhaps, or certainly its football fans. …Read More!

Chiefs Practice Update – 10/3

From the Truman Sports Complex

Post-Practice Update – The Chiefs reported that eight players did not practice on Wednesday, easily the most lengthy injury report of the season. Those that did not practice according to the Chiefs were – RB Peyton Hillis (ankle), WR Devon Wylie (hamstring), DE Glenn Dorsey (calf), CB Jalil Brown (hamstring), DE Ropati Pitoitua (elbow), ILB Derrick Johnson (groin), CB Brandon Flowers (heel) and WR Jon Baldwin (hamstring). Listed as limited participants were C Ryan Lilja (back) and FS Kendrick Lewis (shoulder).

Romeo Crennel wanted to make sure one thing was very clear to his football team as they returned to work on Wednesday, beginning preparations for Sunday’s game against Baltimore.

“We cannot feel sorry for ourselves,” the Chiefs head coach told the media horde. “Even though we don’t like where we are and how we got where we are, we can’t have that “woe is me” syndrome. We have to get ourselves mentally ready to play a good football team coming in. If we are not mentally ready, that will not allow us to perform the way we need to perform to have a chance to win the game.”

Eliminating mistakes was a big part of the theme for Wednesday around the Chiefs facility. …Read More!

Chiefs Lose Boss For Season; Add Linebacker

From the Truman Sports Complex

The Chiefs have placed TE Kevin Boss on the injured-reserve list, ending his 2012 season because of the concussion he suffered on September 16 in Buffalo.

“The doctors informed us they were not going to clear Kevin to play football the rest of this year,” head coach Romeo Crennel, said Wednesday morning. “Kevin was disappointed. We are disappointed because we felt he was a good addition to the team. We thought he would be able to help us. He wants to play football, but with his situation he’s not going to be able to play this year.”

In his short time as part of the Chiefs offense, Boss caught 3 passes for 65 yards, including a 29-yard catch against Buffalo and a 22-yard touchdown play against Atlanta.

To fill Boss’ roster spot, the Chiefs signed LB Bryan Kehl. In four NFL seasons, he played in 59 games with 5 starts, contributing 83 total tackles with an interception and 2 fumble recoveries.

The 6-2, 234-pound Utah native last played for the Washington Redskins, where he spent the pre-season and was released on August 31st. Before that he played for the St. Louis Rams for two seasons. Kehl came into the league as a 4th-round selection of the New York Giants in the 2008 NFL Draft. He was the 123rd selection.

Kehl played his college ball at Brigham Young.

A Second Look – San Diego

With the exception of DE Ropati Pitoitua and LT Branden Albert, nobody on the line of scrimmage for the Chiefs played well against San Diego. That’s why they got thumped; it’s very apparent from watching the tape.

Sooner or later somebody involved with the Chiefs game-day efforts has to find a way to get this team to come flying out of the gates faster on offense and defense. They sleep walk through the first quarter every week and put themselves in a hole that they have been able to climb out of just 25 percent of the time. Only in the Buffalo game did they not trail their opponent after each had the ball for the first time:

Offense

Game

Defense

11 plays for 56 yards, FG

1

Falcons go 80 yards in 12 plays for TD
6 plays for 34 yards, punt

2

Bills went 3 plays, for 9 yards, punt
14 plays for 82 yards, FG

3

Saints go 83 yards in 6 plays for TD
3 plays for 15 yards, then INT

4

Chargers go 76 yards in 9 plays for TD
33 plays, 187 yards, 6 points

Total

36 plays for 248 yards, 21 points

Now here are some thoughts on what was seen on the tape: …Read More!

NFL Transactions – 10/2

Cincinnati – signed TE Richard Quinn; released DB Chris Lewis-Harris.

Dallas – released DB LeQuan Lewis.

Detroit – released P Ben Graham from injured-reserve.

Miami – signed WR Jabar Gaffney; released WR Legedu Naanee, DT Andre Fluellen, LB Mike Rivera (injured).

New England – released DT Terrell McClain.

New York Jets – signed RB Lex Hilliard; released WR Patrick Turner.

Philadelphia – signed LB Adrian Moten; released LB Brian Rolle.

San Diego – signed CB Chris Carr to a 1-year contract.

Tampa Bay – signed TE Nate Byham; released DE Jeff Charleston.

Chiefs Workout Veteran Center

Tuesday is workout day around the NFL and the Chiefs on Tuesday had former Dallas center Andre Gurode in for a session.

Whether the continuing search for a snapper is just the team doing due diligence, or if there are concerns on the physical health of Ryan Lilja we don’t know for sure. But last week they worked out C/G Russ Hochstein and signed him.

Gurode, 6-4 and 334 pounds, came into the league as a 2nd-round selection of the Dallas Cowboys in the 2002 NFL Draft. He came out of the University of Colorado, where he was a first-team All-Big 12 selection in 2000-01, earning consensus All-America status. He spent nine seasons playing for the Cowboys, starting games at center and right guard. The Houston native earned 5 trips to the Pro Bowl.

He spent the 2011 season with the Baltimore Ravens. At this point in his career, Gurode has played in 151 games with 127 starts.

Bench Cassel? That’s A Mistake … Tuesday Cup O’Chiefs

Every year the Federal Aviation Administration does an extensive study of every accident or incident involving aircraft around the world from the previous year.

Whether it’s an ultra-light dropping into a farm field, or two jumbo jets accidently hitting each other’s wings on the tarmac, the FAA looks into the particulars. They publish all this material in a very thick book so it can be used as a teaching aid for those in aviation.

As they’ve investigated air accidents over the years, the FAA has established one element that’s a factor in so many incidents – it’s not the first mistake but the second one that causes the crash. It comes from pilots either untrained, unaware or in a state of panic and their reaction to a problem ultimately causes the crash.

That premise is transferable to life in general. It’s especially true right now in the world of the Kansas City Chiefs.

Mistakes have been made around Arrowhead Stadium; that is obvious. But the team’s recent history shows us that the reaction to problems hasn’t solved anything; it’s just caused greater problems. …Read More!

NFL Transactions – 10/1

Carolina – granted a roster exemption for NT Andre Neblett coming off a four-game NFL suspension.

Cincinnati – granted a roster exemption for LB Dontay Moch coming off a four-game NFL suspension.

Denver – granted a roster exemption for TE Virgil Green coming off a four-game NFL suspension; reinstated LB Joe Mays from the reserve-suspended list; placed C J.D. Walton (broken ankle) on the injured-reserve list; released LB Mike Mohamed.

Green Bay – granted a roster exemption for DE Mike Neal coming off a four-game NFL suspension.

Indianapolis – head coach Chuck Pagno has been diagnosed with a form of leukemia and has stepped aside, replaced on an interim basis by offensive coordinator Bruce Arians; promoted C A.Q. Shipley from the practice squad; released LB Mario Addison.

N.Y. Giants – granted a roster exemption for S Tyler Sash coming off a four-game NFL suspension.

N.Y. Jets – signed DB Aaron Berry; released TE Dedrick Epps (injured).

San Diego – will sign CB Chris Carr.

Seattle – reinstated OT Allen Barbre from the reserve/suspended list; released OT Allen Barbre.

Romeo Says Don’t Jump Off The Bandwagon

From the Truman Sports Complex

Romeo Crennel knows that his team’s performance over the first quarter of the 2012 season has not been what anybody expected. Crennel also knows that the 17-point loss to San Diego on Sunday at Arrowhead Stadium may have been a tipping point for many Chiefs fans.

But the head coach says hang in there and don’t walk away from this year’s squad just yet.

“I can understand that with a performance like that they want to be done, but they shouldn’t be because it’s still early in the season,” Crennel said Monday afternoon when he met with the media horde after speaking with his team. “I know that the indication that they have is that it’s not going to get any better, but I still believe that this team can be better and will be better

“I understand that there’s a lot of disappointment out there and I’m disappointed as well.”

Crennel also renewed his support of embattled starting quarterback Matt Cassel. …Read More!

Chiefs Injury Update – 10/1

From the Truman Sports Complex

There was good news and bad news on the injury front for the Chiefs on Monday, 24 hours after they fell to the San Diego Chargers.

That seems to be one of the story lines of the 2012 season – injuries with players down and players coming back.

The good news – head coach Romeo Crennel said there is no problem physically with ILB Derrick Johnson and that he should be ready to play this coming Sunday against Baltimore.

Not so with CB Jalil Brown, who has become one of the team’s better special teams performers. Brown suffered a hamstring injury and Crennel was pessimistic in his comments that the second-year DB will be ready to go against the Ravens.

“He played well on special teams, he made an impact,” said Crennel. “Not having him on teams will be an issue.”

Johnson missed the final 12 defensive plays against San Diego with an injury that hasn’t been defined by the Chiefs. As he was on the sideline, trainers were taping his upper thigh area, indicating a groin, quad or hamstring issue. Johnson has had problems with those in the past.

“I saw him today and he’s moving around good and I think he’s going to be alright,” said Crennel. …Read More!

Sunday’s Best – 9/30

LONGEST PLAYS

  • 105 – Minnesota WR Percy Harvin kick return TD vs. Detroit. (W)
  • 80 – Miami WR Brian Hartline TD catch vs. Arizona. (L)
  • 80 – New Orleans WR Josh Morgan TD catch vs. Green Bay. (L)
  • 77 – Minnesota CB Marcus Sherels on a punt return TD vs. Detroit. (W)
  • 69 – Seattle RB Leon Washington kick return vs. St. Louis. (L)
  • 68 – Oakland P Shane Lechler punt vs. Denver. (L)
  • 68 – Buffalo WR Donald Jones TD catch vs. New England. (L)
  • 68 – Arizona P Dave Zastudil punt vs. Miami. (W)
  • 66 – San Diego P Mike Scifres punt vs. Chiefs. (W)
  • 63 – Houston CB Kareem Jackson interception return TD vs. Tennessee. (W)
  • 63 – Baltimore CB Cary Williams interception return for TD vs. Cleveland. (W) …Read More!

Notes & Quotes – Alumni Honor Will Shields

From Arrowhead Stadium

Quite possibly the only thing the Chiefs did on Sunday to make their fans happy was to unveil the fact they have brought back the ring of honor inside Arrowhead Stadium.

The names of the Chiefs Hall of Fame members are back up on the façade of the upper level. The names had been there for years until they were taken down with the renovation of stadium.

Chiefs chairman Clark Hunt admitted that the Hunt Family had heard from the fans about their unhappiness that the names of the greatest contributors in franchise history were no longer visible.

“I heard from a number of fans who said they missed seeing the Ring of Honor inside the stadium bowl on game day,” Hunt said. The history of this franchise like the team itself belongs to the fans and as we celebrate Alumni Weekend and 50 years in Kansas City it was the perfect time to bring back the Ring of Honor.”

The Hunt Family – Norma, Lamar Jr., Sharron, Clark and David – unveiled Lamar Hunt’s name on the south side of the stadium before the game.

The decision thrilled many of the men who have their names back up inside the stadium.

“I think it’s fantastic,” said Chiefs and Pro Football Hall of Famer Willie Lanier. “Lamar Hunt’s name being there permanently so people can see it throughout the course of the game, I think it is tremendous. I give a lot of credit because someone obviously listened to a view, in order to make a change to what it was.”

Then at half-time, the name of Will Shields was unveiled in the east end zone. He is the 42nd member of the Chiefs Hall of Fame.

Injury report

During the second half, the Chiefs lost rookie LG Jeff Allen and ILB Derrick Johnson. Neither injury appeared to be anything serious as both players walked out of the locker room without any obvious problems. Not so for C Ryan Lilja who appeared in a bit of pain as he got dressed after spending time in the cold tube. Lilja went into the game with a sore back and he made every snap.

With Allen out, newly signed OL Russ Hochstein stepped in and finished up the final drive.

Atmosphere report

The announced paid attendance was 69,979, but of course there were not that many people inside Arrowhead. The crowd was good however, and was probably somewhere between 55,000 and 60,000. They made some noise at time, but the way the Chiefs played generally created boos rather than cheers.

At half-time, it was like somebody had pulled a plug at the stadium as fans streamed out of the exits and headed to the locker room. There were no traffic jams going home after this game.

Special teams report

Punting – On four punts, Dustin Colquitt averaged 51.3 yards and he put three of the four inside the 20-yard line. Only one punt was returned and that for no yardage, so his net was also 51.3 yards.

Kickoffs – K Ryan Succop had two touchbacks and hit another one to the minus-9 in the end zone that was brought out. His fourth kickoff landed in the end zone as well. Two were returned for an average of 26.5 yards.

Returns – The Chiefs shuffled the deck on kickoff returns, starting with Shaun Draughn instead of Javier Arenas, and then using Cyrus Gray. Draughn averaged 25.3 yards a return while Gray went for 33 yards. Four of the eight kickoffs were not returned with three touchbacks. Arenas still handed punt returns, catching 3 and returning them for an average of 13 yards.

Coverage – Only two kickoffs & punts were really turned when everything was all said and done. CB Jalil Brown and LB Edgar Jones had the tackles.

Penalties – A holding call on S Tysyn Hartman on a fourth quarter punt return by Arenas cost the Chiefs big in field position. Arenas returned the punt to the San Diego 30-yard line, but Hartman was called for holding. That meant when the Chiefs offense took over the ball, it was at their 38-yard line. That’s a swing of 32 yards.

Personnel report

Inactive players for the Chiefs were QB Ricky Stanzi, TE Kevin Boss, RB Peyton Hillis, C Bryan Mattison, WR Devon Wylie, DE Glenn Dorsey and FS Kendrick Lewis. Boss, Hillis, Dorsey and Lewis were all injury driven, while Stanzi, Mattison and Wylie were coaching decisions.

Starting in Dorsey’s spot at RDE was Ropati Pitoitua, with Abram Elam getting his fourth start in place of Lewis at free safety.

Playing in his 100th NFL game, Ryan Lilja made his first start at center, replacing Rodney Hudson. Also rookie Jeff Allen made his first NFL start, stepping in at left guard for Lilja.

NT Anthony Toribio was active for his first game of the season. He’d missed the three opening games recovering from an ankle injury. He did not play.

Russ Hochstein made his first appearance in a Chiefs uniform, stepping in for the injured Allen on the final possession.

Inactive players for the Chargers were K Nate Kaeding, SS Brandon Taylor, CB Shareece Wright, RB Curtis Brinkley, LB Jonas Mouton, DT Antonio Garay and TE Ladarius Green. The only one of those seven that was on the San Diego injury report was Wright, who did not practice last week because of a foot injury. Garay was a surprise in active, since he was listed as the Chargers starting nose tackle. Aubrayo Franklin stepped into the opening lineup for Garay.

They signed K Nick Novak on Friday to kick for the injured Kaeding (groin). To make room for him, they released G/T Reggie Wells.

Misc.: Arenas now ranks third in career punt return average with the Chiefs at 10.68 yards. That pushed him ahead of Tamarick Vanover at 10.66 yards and J.T. Smith at 10.6 yards. The team record is held by Noland Smith with a career average of 11.11 yards … OLB Tamba Hali got his first sack of the season, and that gives him 54.5 for his career and 9.5 of those have been against San Diego and QB Philip Rivers.

Officiating – Welcome Back Boys

From Arrowhead Stadium

As Bill Leavy led his officiating crew out of the tunnel and onto the field Sunday, they got a very nice ovation from the fans in the stands.

Like every NFL city, the fans were thrilled to have the real officials no longer locked out and on the field across the NFL.

As he met the captains at mid-field for the opening coin toss, Leavy told the players that the officials were happy to be back.

Then they went out and got busy, very busy on this Sunday, walking off 16 penalties and dealing with a number of replay reviews. It was especially evident that the league had mentioned to the officials that under the replacement guys, contact down the field between receivers and defenders had gotten out of hand.

So Leavy and his crew called 7 penalties involving coverage, including a pair of pass interference calls against SS Eric Berry when he was attempting to cover TE Antonio Gates in the first quarter.

“It was great to have those guys back,” said Chargers QB Philip Rivers. “The communication, the control of the game, you just feel like everybody was on the same page. There wasn’t a lot of indecision in the calls. It’s pretty unique when the refs get a standing ovation out of the tunnel and then it doesn’t take very long to get a loud boo.”

Chiefs fans had far more to boo with their team than with the zebras. There were replay reviews, challenges by both teams and from the replay booth itself:

– In the first quarter, the Chiefs challenged the placement of where Chargers WR Malcom Floyd stepped out of bounds and the review showed they were correct, and they moved it back six yards. San Diego still scored on the possession.

– In the second quarter, the Chargers challenged a call on the field that WR Dexter McCluster did not catch a pass. QB Matt Cassel had been hit as he was in his throwing motion and it appeared to be a sack, fumble and a San Diego recovery. But the replay review upheld the call and San Diego lost a timeout.

– Later in the second quarter when RB Jamaal Charles scored on a 37-yard run, the replay booth wanted to look at the last few steps taken by the Chiefs back as they were right on the sideline. They upheld the on-field call of a touchdown.

Here were the penalties called:

Team

Squad

Player

Penalty

Yds

Chiefs

Defense

E. Berry

Pass Interference

Minus-15

Chiefs

Defense

E. Berry

Pass Interference

Minus-13

Chiefs

Offense

T. Moeaki

False Start

Minus-5

Chargers

Offense

P. Rivers

Intentional Ground.

Minus-13

Chargers

Offense

T. Green

Holding

Declined

Chiefs

Offense

E. Winston

Illegal Formation

Minus-5

Chargers

Punt Ret.

R. Goodman

Holding

Minus-10

Chargers

Defense

Q. Jammer

Pass Interference

Minus-12

Chiefs

Defense

S. Routt

Pass interference

Minus-12

Chiefs

Offense

T. Moeaki

False Start

Minus-5

Chiefs

Offense

D. Bowe

Illegal touch

Declined

Chiefs

Offense

E. Winston

Holding

Minus-10

Chargers

Defense

A-Cason

Pass Interference

Minus-15

Chargers

Defense

Q. Jammer

Illegal Contact

Minus-5

Chargers

Defense

D. Butler

Personal Foul

Minus-15

Chargers

Defense

D. Butler

Illegal Contact

Minus-5

Chiefs

Punt Ret.

T. Hartman

Holding

Minus-10

Chiefs

Offense

*

Delay of Game

Minus-5

What’s Up With the Chargers On-Side Kick?


From Arrowhead Stadium

After San Diego kicker Nick Novak made a 45-yard field goal to set the final score on Sunday. He was very excited making the kick, especially when he was only signed on Friday to fill-in for the injured Nate Kaeding.

Novak was so fired up that with just 1 minute, 56 seconds to play and the Chargers leading by 17 points his kickoff was an onside kick. He said he got crossed up with the signals from the San Diego sideline and went with the onside attempt.

“It’s not what we intended to do,” Novak said. “It’s on me.”

There was certainly a conversation between Norv Turner and Romeo Crennel about the situation after the game, as the San Diego coach held on to his handshake for several seconds while he spoke and the Chiefs coach listened.

Afterwards, Crennel wasn’t in the mood to talk about the situation.

“If Norv wants to talk about what he said, then talk to Norv,” Crennel said. “Our job is to play football. Whatever happens on the football field, our job is to defend and play the plays that are out there. If you can’t play the plays that are out there, then you don’t need to be out there.”

There were different reactions in the Chiefs locker room after the game about the move.

“I was shocked,” said CB Javier Arenas. “We did not expect it. It’s the type of ball they wanted to play. We’ve got to be ready to go four quarters.”

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