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Busy Head Coach/Coordinator & Notes

From St. Louis, Missouri

About 90 minutes before kickoff of all NFL games, whether pre-season or regular season, a pair of game officials is escorted into each locker room to meet with the head coaches. It’s a “Hi, how are you?” type meeting, where any issues involving that particular game are discussed.

On Thursday night at the Edwards Jones Dome when the officials went to the Chiefs locker room they got a surprise: the head coach wasn’t there.

Todd Haley was busy, so the officials had to go on the playing field to find him. When one is the head coach/offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach, there are plenty of things to do before the game, including watching your receivers and quarterbacks warm up.

It was the first game of the new offensive set up for the Chiefs, with Haley handling the play calling after removing Chan Gailey from the job.

“I made a few mistakes out there, but overall it felt good,” said Haley, who admitted he was a little rusty on the play calling end. “Obviously there are a couple plays that I would like to have back that came out of my mouth.

“The first series I had to remind myself a couple of times and they were yelling at me for being on the wrong airwaves. After I got the feel, I didn’t feel too out of synch with the game and what was going on. Overall, it was OK.”

“When I was an assistant coach and a coordinator I probably ran my mouth too much in games,” Haley said. “But I’ve always tried to pay attention. I’ve always been a guy on offense who was talking with defensive players. I was always paying attention when the other team had the ball.

“I’m not somebody as an offensive coordinator who would go and sit o n the bench and stick my head I n the call sheet and try to figure out what’s going on. I’ve always been up on the sideline and paying attention to defense and special teams. Hopefully that will help me going forward.”

BIG PLAYS FOR THE OFFENSE

While Haley’s approach on Thursday night did not lead to more touchdowns for the Chiefs offense – or any touchdowns for that matter – it sure returned the big play to the attack. Before the St. Louis game, the longest play of the pre-season for the Chiefs was a 31-yard run by RB Jamaal Charles.

Against the Rams, the Chiefs offense produced plays of 40, 41, 43 and 70 yards. RB Larry Johnson had a 41-yard run and WR Ashley Lelie combined on a 43-yard pass play with QB Tyler Thigpen. The surprise contributors was TE Sean Ryan acting like Tony Gonzalez as he went down the seam and picked up 40 yards and RB Dantrell Savage and his 70-yard scamper.

Ryan and starting QB Brodie Croyle seemed in synch in the first quarter as they combined on two completions for a total of 60 yards. The long play came when Ryan got between areas in the Rams zone coverage and Croyle him in stride and he was off.

“I saw the seam open up and Brodie saw it too and he put it right where it needed to be,” said Ryan. “I didn’t think it was going to be that wide open. I got to the 50 and I was like ‘oh oh, I don’t have enough speed to take this all the way’.”

Rather than enjoy his long p lay, Ryan was kicking himself for the holding penalty that cost the Chiefs a touchdown. After his catch and Johnson’s 41-yard run, the Chiefs ran a sweep right with Savage and he reached the end zone. But that’s when the hanky came out and the offense moved back 10 yards.

“Obviously penalties in the red zone kill you,” said Ryan. “I owe Dantrell on that one.”

Savage got a chance in the second quarter to show his style of running. Former coach Herm Edwards once describe it as a bowling ball with knives sticking out from all sides. The offense just took over possession at their two-yard line after the Rams downed a punt. Savage hit the right side of the line, bulled his way forward, broke several tackles and then got in the clear and went outside. By the time he was tackled, the ball was at the Rams 28-yard line.

“I basically read the fullback’s block and then took the ball outside,” said Savage. “A couple of guys were trying to tackle m e and I just kept moving my feet and broke it. I was kind of disturbed that the backside, the free safety caught me.

UPDATING THE ROSTER AND INJURIES

Like the rest of the NFL, the Chiefs must slice their roster to a maximum of 53 players by 3 p.m. CDT on Saturday. They can go lower than 53, if they already know they will bring in several players from the waiver wire on Sunday.

“I learned my lesson last year,” said Savage. “You just go about your business and they will do what they will do.”

Injuries could alter the Chiefs roster in the first week. There’s the question of QB Matt Cassel and how quickly he can come back from his sprained MCL in his left knee. There’s also the question of CB Brandon Flowers and how quickly he can bounce back from his left shoulder injury. Cassel and Flowers were two of six players who did not make the trip to St. Louis. The others were rookie TE Jake O’Connell (ankle), ILB Zach Thomas (hamstring), FS Jarrad Page and SS Bernard Pollard. The injuries of Page and Pollard are unknown.

All the remaining 69 players on the roster got into the game against the Rams.

OTHER STUFF

Press box stats had NT Tank Tyler as the Chiefs leading tackler with nine … S DaJuan Morgan had a big game, with seven tackles and an interception … ILB Corey Mays had a sack, as did OLB Tamba Hali and DE Wallace Gilberry … the Chiefs defense finished the pre-season with seven sacks and only two takeaways.

The victory by the Rams makes the Governor’s Cup series between the Chiefs and Rams now at 9-7 in favor of Kansas City. The overall Governor’s Cup series between Kansas City and St. Louis – whether it was the Cardinals or the Rams – now stands at 25-14-2 in favor of the Chiefs.

The crowd was announced at 46,616, well below the Edward Jones Dome capacity of 66,000-plus. Even the announced number seemed high, as there were empty seats everywhere. There were a surprisingly large number of Chiefs fans in the building. Unfortunately they didn’t get much to cheer about.

The real star of the game was St. Louis punter Donnie Jones. Last year, he was one of the best in the league and he showed no signs of dropping off his kicking on Thursday night. Jones had nine punts and averaged 47.6 gross yards and 43.2 net yards. More remarkable, he put seven of those nine punts inside the 20-yard line, with only one touchback. On those seven punts, the starting yard-line for the Chiefs offense was the 11, 1, 14, 2, 15, 12 and 6.


24 Responses to “Busy Head Coach/Coordinator & Notes”

  • September 4, 2009  - Patrick says:

    “While Haley’s approach on Thursday night did not lead to more touchdowns for the Chiefs offense – or any touchdowns for that matter – it sure returned the big play to the attack. Before the St. Louis game, the longest play of the pre-season for the Chiefs was a 31-yard run by RB Jamaal Charles.”

    My question is still can Haley’s offense do anything but make big plays? There was a series in the second half that went like this: 7 yard run, pass play, pass play, 7 yard run, pass play, pass play, punt.

    One of my buddies keeps saying I shouldn’t judge Haley’s play calling on one series, but this seems indicative of his style. He’s going to abandon the run (even when it’s working) to focus on throwing the ball (even though he has no decent QBs to throw it and very few proven people to catch it).


  • September 4, 2009  - Rin Tin Tin says:

    On a :roll: … ‘check’ speaks post game:

    “I made a few mistakes out there, but overall it felt good” said Haley who admitted that he was a little rusty on the play calling end.

    - translation: no TDs, only 3 FGs, an 0-4 record his – winless – after the equivalent of 1/4 of a regular NFL season’s worth of games.

    Cue Emmitt Smith, “Just For Men” men’s grey fades to dark hair color – “Oh, it was baaaaad.”

    :lol: & :razz:


  • September 4, 2009  - Rip 'em a new one says:

    Right now, this Chief’s team is, with a nod to Ronnie Milsap, “Lost in the 80s tonight”. If you’re a QB on a NFL roster about to get cut, you should get a long look from the Chiefs.

    Ditto: Olinemen. And if you’ve shown skills as a K/P return man? Name your price. It’s been said you have to hit bottom before you can start clawing your way back up but from the looks of things, this bunch is still in freefall.


  • September 4, 2009  - Rin Tin Tin says:

    If it was Herm E’s fault in 2008 then it was most certainly :roll: s fault last night – as has been throughout the ’09 season to date- you can’t have it both ways Herm Haters – ‘check’ doth stinketh!

    And if it wasn’t/isn’t the coaches, Herm/’check’, then it is just as Rin has said all along: “IT’S THE PLAYERS STUPID – NOT THE COACHING!”

    Like Bo, Rin knows…

    :cool: daddy-o


  • September 4, 2009  - Rin Tin Tin says:

    Then again, Rin talks out of his ass 110% of the time.

    :( Crappy-O


  • September 4, 2009  - Tenand6 says:

    IMHO, Haley has performed well to date. The coaching staff has made the most of what they have. Scott Pioli is on the clock. The Chiefs need a RT and a kick returner. I’m sure he’s all over it.

    This isn’t a one year fix. But, to my eyes, this is a better team on a better trajectory. The team has played pretty well in the first half of each pre-season game. The defense seems to be noticeably better. I like Haley as a play-caller. I think Cassel is our best QB and with a little help, I see light at the end of the tunnel.

    Haley and Pioli have made no excuses. They have handled a difficult problem like men— head on and solving problems instead of sweeping them under the rug.

    I like the people in charge and the direction of the team. Time will tell.


  • September 4, 2009  - Todd Haley says:

    No. That’s me coaching. I mean talking out of mine.

    :( Crappy-O


  • September 4, 2009  - Buster B. Davenport says:

    “I made a few mistakes out there, but overall it felt good,” said Haley, who admitted he was a little rusty on the play calling end. “Obviously there are a couple plays that I would like to have back that came out of my mouth.

    This morning, will Mr. Haley order himself to run and touch the fence for his mistakes?


  • September 4, 2009  - ED says:

    This has improved greatly over last year. The defense is actually putting pressure on the QB and tackling. For the last 6 or 7 years were among the worst tackling teams in the league. Right now the defense has made alot of strides since last year. As for Haley play calling he’s rusty it will get better the longer he does it. But he did dial up some big plays throughout the game. It will eventually lead to more touchdowns. I mean hey the offense shot themselves in the foot with penalties. And play-calling can’t stop that.

    Just glad the pre-season is over and ready for the real thing. Hope Cassell is back by the Raiders game.


  • September 4, 2009  - Rin Tin Tin says:

    No wait, tis actually I, Rin (Thanks for stopping by!), here to ruin yet another blog with my pointless words and stupid emoticons. :) :( ;) , etc., ad nausem.

    And now Clark has affirmed, Rin loves men!

    :( Crappy-O


  • September 4, 2009  - Will says:

    I agree with Ed. It may just be me, but I was actually encouraged by last night’s game. I saw visible signs of progress. I thought our open field tackling was better for one. I remember Gunther’s guys flying past the ball carrier or bouncing off after attempting an ESPN kill shot…but last night guys were wrapping up! Offensive line needs a lot of help on the right side…but overall, I’m encouraged. They’ll have to go double tight end formation with only two wide outs to keep the quarter back healthy! But, like I said, for some reason I’m actually encouraged…if we can get to the second half of the season without being destroyed, we could actually finish strong. I know one thing…complacency won’t have a place on the roster at all!


  • September 4, 2009  - Josh says:

    Will,

    I agree.

    I wonder if Bernard Pollard took notes on the hard hit AND tackle that McGraw put on that receiver in the first half. It’s not about just leading with your shoulder pads, Pollard! Wrap the guy up!


  • September 4, 2009  - Rin Tin Tin says:

    Speaking of :roll: – were we? Yup. The rookie Head Coach is bringing up the rear among ALL rookie NFL Head Coaches in 2009: 0-4.

    DET Lions Jim Schwartz – who took over an 0-16 team (worse than KC) – well, old Jimmy is 3-1.

    :shock: don’t look so shocked ‘search’, you & Rin both know that you hired the wrong man in KC.

    The others?

    STL Steve “I spanked Todd’s butt” Spagnuolo is also 3-1…his team too like KC was 2-14 ’08.

    SEATT Jim Mora is 4-0… Rex Ryan’s NYJ 2-2… interims now full guys like Singletary at SF is 3-0 while OAK Cable even at 1-3 is looking down at ‘check’.

    Ditto for TB Raheem Morris at 1-2 with still one more chance to win another; and even without Jay Cutler & Brandon Marshall poor Josh “My Orton is better then your ca$$el” McDaniels is 1-3 at DEN.

    A 64% winning mark for all rookie head coaches combined – not counting the .000 ONLY ONE who’s winless… the Head Coach, OFF CO-ORD, QB Coach and lapmaster extraordinaire… Hailme (love me, respect me, fear me; jus don’t expect me to win – for I CAN’T).

    ALL OF THEM ARE BETTER THAN :roll: – who, along with :shock: , were widely thought (least in KC) as being – ‘THE BEST’ HEAD COACH & GM CANDIDATES AVAILABLE IN ALL THE NFL.

    Uh huh.

    Right.

    ‘check’

    :lol: & :razz:


  • September 4, 2009  - Chris_Texas says:

    I agree with this our Defense looks better and I really like this Corey Mays if DJ can step up to his potential which he hasn’t done that will be a nice set of inside LB’s. Now just need to get that O-Line fixed maybe we can win one. If the Offense can chew up some clock and actually get in the end-zone without self distructing that defense might cause some havoc if a team actually has to come from behind. Guess will find out shortly as Baltimore will be a real test.


  • September 4, 2009  - Todd Haley says:

    And WHAT is that stench? Oh, it’s me the Head man in charge of this my :( crappy O-4 team.


  • September 4, 2009  - Brak says:

    The Offensive Line is horrible and has been for some time. Yes, Herm and Peterson had a lot to do with that, but Pioli and Haley have done very little to date. To me, that is the biggest disappointement of the off-season. The Chiefs will not win many games unless there is a marked improvement there.

    When the “1st” team offense had time, they looked good. Give credit to QB Croyle, he took some killer hits last night and kept getting up…I think I even caught a few smiles from him as well. Haley will make some good offensive calls this year.

    The first team defense looked solid.

    Overall, they are heading in the right direction. If Pioli and Haley can shore up the O-line this will be a pretty competitive team. They should win 5-6 games this year and be a fringe playoff team next year. After that, look out.

    Go Chiefs!


  • September 4, 2009  - Stiv says:

    Man I wish the comments section had an ignore feature for posters you’d rather not have to suffer.


  • September 4, 2009  - Rin Tin Tin says:

    Stiv is my lover!

    :( Crappy-O


  • September 4, 2009  - Todd Haley says:

    No he isn’t – Stiv is MY lover!

    :( Crappy-O-4 my team as am I


  • September 4, 2009  - SG says:

    “The Chiefs will not win many games unless there is a marked improvement there.”

    It’s all about the Right 53 (22) and from Pioli we expect more!


  • September 4, 2009  - Rin Tin Tin's Big Deuce says:

    (pause)oh wait. It was just a fart.


  • September 4, 2009  - Todd Haley says:

    (pause)oh wait. It was just a fart.


  • September 4, 2009  - Stiv says:

    Dan says ‘I was two rows behind the coach.’

    How did Todd’s farts smell?




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