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

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

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

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

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

The Jaguars fall into that category.

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

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

That’s especially true along the offensive line, where the Jaguars starters average 6-4, 310 pounds. They have only two blockers in the No. 1 group that weigh less than 310 pounds. For comparisons sake, the Chiefs have two starters that have trouble topping 290 pounds – C Casey Wiegmann and RG Ryan Lilja.

“For instance, an example of it is the double teams you see from this offensive line are as good a double teams as I’ve seen to this point,” said Haley. “They do a tremendous job of getting movement on interior defensive linemen, most specifically three-techniques (defensive ends in the 3-4.) They move them and they’re not worried about much else.”

Defensively, they have two big men at the center of the 4-3 scheme, rookie DT Tyson Alualu (6-3, 305 pounds) and DT Terrance Knighton (6-3, 336 pounds). They are a disruptive duo at the heart of Jack Del Rio’s defensive unit.

“They’re a heavy blitzing team; we saw this first-hand last year,” Haley said. “This No. 96 (Knighton) has a funny nickname (Pot Roast), but he is a disruptive, strong, big force inside that truly can disrupt anything you’re trying to do. He did it at times last year and you see it continuing on tape and it looks like he’s just improved.”

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Just who will be the starting quarterback for the Jaguars against the Chiefs? Jacksonville coach Jack Del Rio has three options now that starter David Garrard was declared out of the game because of the concussion he suffered in Monday night’s game against Tennessee. One is a guy who has been with the team for less than a month and has a bruised thumb on his passing hand. Another is a guy who hasn’t started a game since the ’06 season. Choice No. 3 is a quarterback who hasn’t started a game since ’05.

More than likely, it will be Trent Edwards, who has been in Jacksonville since September 28 and has been working around a bruised right thumb all week. But it could be Todd Bouman, a member of the Jaguars several times before, but this time on the roster just since last Monday. Patrick Ramsey joined the Jags on Tuesday.

Here’s a breakdown on all three and what they’ve done over their careers against the Chiefs:

EDWARDS – Selected by Buffalo in the third round of the 2007 NFL Draft out of Stanford, he started 32 games over four seasons with the Bills, including the first two games of this season. All through the off-season, training camp and pre-season with Edwards as their starter, the Bills decided to cut bait with him after he was pulled by head coach Chan Gailey in favor of Ryan Fitzpatrick. That was on September 27th, and he was claimed on waivers by the Jaguars the next day.

He played just once against the Chiefs, back in the 2008 season when he was the starter for the Bills and they rolled into Arrowhead and walked away with a 54-31 victory. Edwards was 24 of 32 for 273 yards, two TD passes, no interceptions and a 121 passer rating.

Over his career, he’s thrown 25 scoring passes compared to 29 interceptions and a 75.8 career passer rating.

BOUMAN – Showed up in the NFL in 1997 undrafted out of St. Cloud State. He would be four years in the league before he stepped on the field with the Vikings. Now 38 years old, he’s spent time with six different organizations and has played in 43 games with six starts. His last start was the final game of the 2006 season against Tampa Bay while playing for New Orleans.

He was on the field once against the Chiefs, that during the 2004 season when he was with the Saints. He did not throw a pass. Over his career he’s thrown 11 TD passes and 11 interceptions with a career 75.5 passer rating.

RAMSEY – A first-round choice of the Redskins in the 2002 NFL Draft, Ramsey has now been on the roster of six different teams. The last time he started a game was in 2005, when he opened for the Redskins against Chicago.

Against the Chiefs, he played only once, in ’07 when he was with Denver. Ramsey threw a pair of incompletions. Over his career he’s played in 37 games with 22 starts. The Tulane product has 35 career TD passes and 30 interceptions with a passer rating of 74.9.

 

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As far as the Chiefs have been concerned this week, they’ve zeroed in less on who will play quarterback and more on Maurice Jones-Drew the diminutive dynamo that drives the Jags offense.

“He breaks a lot of tackles and makes a lot of big plays for them,” said FS Jon McGraw. “Their offense is centered around him, so he’s a big concern for us.”

Haley said his coaching staff described Jones-Drew as “a bowling ball with razor blades”. At 5-7, 208 pounds, Drew makes for an odd sight as he dashes and pushes through the offensive line.

In three games against the Chiefs, Jones-Drew has carried the ball 50 times for 225 yards, a 4.5-yard per carry average with three scoring runs. His longest run was a 52-yard touchdown dash at Arrowhead in October 2007.

Through six games, the Jaguars offense is split between the run and the pass with 375 total plays, 190 of those were running and 185 were passing snaps.

“They run it as efficiently or as close to as efficiently as anyone,” said Haley. “That, as any other week, will be the number one thing we’ve got to do is go out and stop the run as a defense. If we can do that, then we have to do the things we do when teams have to be throwing the football – push the pocket, disrupt the quarterback, reroute the receivers, understand the route pattern combinations we’re going to see and how they relate to the coverage we’re playing.”

NFL PERSONNEL FILE FOR SATURDAY, OCTOBER 23

  • BUCCANEERS – signed OT Derek Hardman off their practice squad; released FB Chris Pressley.
  • CHARGERS – placed LB Kion Wilson on the injured-reserve list (ankle) ending his season; signed WR Seyi Ajirotutu off their practice squad.
  • CHIEFS – signed WR Verran Tucker off their practice squad; released WR Jeremy Horne.
  • DOLPHINS – signed DE Clifton Geathers off their practice squad.
  • PATRIOTS – signed S Sergio Brown off their practice squad; released RB Thomas Clayton.
  • RAVENS – released LB Edgar Jones.
  • SAINTS – activated FS Darren Sharper from the reserve/PUP list.
  • SEAHAWKS – signed RB Chris Henry off their practice squad; released OT Breno Giacomini.

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