Dealing With D-Line Best … Friday Cup O’Chiefs

So far in this 2011 season, the Chiefs have gone head-to-head with some of the best defensive linemen in the National Football League.

In Detroit it was the dominating DT Ndamukong Suh. When Minnesota came to Arrowhead it was DE Jared Allen. In Indianapolis, they faced DE Dwight Freeney.

And now this coming Sunday in Oakland, the Chiefs go head-to-head with another one of the best defensive lineman in the NFL – Richard Seymour of the Raiders.

“Richard Seymour may be the best at his position in the league,” head coach Todd Haley said this week. “He’s a great player, very disruptive player potentially. We went into this week with an understanding that one of the key things that we would have to get done is handling him.

“It’s no different than going into Detroit or Indianapolis and seeing a (Dwight) Freeney or Detroit and seeing a (Ndamukong) Suh. You’re talking about a couple really good players that can be very disruptive, and it’ll fall really to everybody and us as coaches as far as how we plan to handle some of those things.”

So, how did the Chiefs handle Suh, Allen and Freeney? Here’s what the numbers said:

  • SUH: 3 total tackles, 1 sack for 9 yards, 2 QB hits.
  • ALLEN: 2 total tackles, 2 sacks for 6 yards and 2 QB hits.
  • FREENEY: 4 total tackles, 1.5 sacks for 11.5 yards and 4 QB hits.

“I think Freeney, we did a very good job on him,” Haley said. “I think we turned him free really one time and the other one we didn’t really feel should have ended up being a sack. I feel pretty good about the plan we had and how we executed it.

“Suh, it’s a little harder answer because of the result of the game. As far as what role he played in the game, I think we had a pretty good handle on what we were doing. He had a sack at the end of the half there where we scrambled around. Other than that I thought we did a pretty good job of keeping him from being the guy. Now there were a number of other guys that disrupted that game.”

With Allen, his one sack was for no yards on a scramble where QB Matt Cassel fell down. The other came when he chased Cassel on a bootleg and forced him out of bounds. Otherwise, the offense used Allen’s desire for sacks against him, allowing him to rush wide while running behind him at his empty spot at defensive end.

Generally, Seymour is a more disciplined player than Allen. He’s also more versatile than Freeney and plays with the same power that Suh displays. Sometimes he plays at end, sometimes he plays at tackle; he’s started both inside and outside this season for the Raiders.

There’s a very good chance that by the end of the game, everybody on the Chiefs offensive line will have had an opportunity to block the 11-year veteran out of the University of Georgia.

“He’s one of the best defensive tackles in the game,” said Cassel, who is a former teammate of Seymour in New England. “He’s big, he’s physical, he plays hard and it’s hard to block him one-on-one because he’s a talented guy and he’s a wide load. I think he’s a heck of a player. Obviously, he’s carried that over to Oakland as well.”

It’s not just Seymour, but veteran DT Tommy Kelly and second-year DE Lamarr Houston. Just this week they lost young DE Matt Shaughnessy for the season due to injury.

“It’s always the same with the Raiders on the defensive line, they’ve got big, strong, talented guys,” said LG Ryan Lilja. “Seymour is the best, but you can’t concentrate only on him, because that’s when the other guys will hurt you.”

Those types of talented and active players forced extra work for the offensive line and tight ends during practice this week.

“We’ll put certain people in position to give looks to those guys,” Haley said. “After practice, we’ll put them against certain players just to create some semblance of what they’re going to see in different ways.”

Cassel and the Chiefs offensive line know what they are going to see from the Raiders on Sunday. With the exception of second-year RG Jon Asamoah, they’ve seen it before and Asamoah got a small taste last year as a rookie in the Black Hole.

“It’s a tough place to play when that’s just something we have to adjust too,” said Asamoah. “But the toughest thing isn’t the fans or the noise. It’s the guys they have playing up front, like Seymour and Tommy Kelly. Those guys are good and they can disrupt things.”

9 Responses to “Dealing With D-Line Best … Friday Cup O’Chiefs”

  • October 21, 2011  - Chuck says:

    This will be a real “true grit” test for our beloved Chiefs. 3 of our superstars missing and one of the most hostile places in the league. If we can stay in this one till the finish I think many of us will be pleasantly surprised.

  • October 21, 2011  - Tenand6 says:

    We did a good job on Suh. I was stunned to see how well we handled him. A shame the game turned into a route because it looked like we had a good plan to handle Suh.

  • October 21, 2011  - ED J says:

    Agreeed Tenand6 we lost games last yr against Raiders not because of the o-line even though sometimes they overpowered us. We lost 1st game because of too many penalties. We lost second game because we didn’t have anything to play for so we didn’t go into the game with the right energy you need to beat this Raiders team. I mean we had secured the division and a playoff spot. If we want to win this game we better stay diciplined and not get involved in all the holding, false start, and personal foul penalties.

  • October 21, 2011  - el cid says:

    A bit revisionist, isn’t it? Handled Suh but got routed, maybe we did not handle the other 52 players very well. And EDJ, last year, we and the rest of the West lost to raiders, smoke and mirrors?

    We need this game and every game because the Chiefs dug themselves a hole to start the season and need to climb out one game at a time. There will be plenty of time to explain how we are really better than our record latter this year.

  • October 21, 2011  - Tim says:

    Yes, Seymore is great but the issue is our interior trio (LG,C,RG) is MUCH SMALLER than their interior DL. Asomoah is the only one on par. Hopefully, our game plan will have enough tricks to allow us to generate the points necessary to come out with a “W”.

  • October 21, 2011  - Justin says:

    Revisionist Cid? How about we gave the game away with penalties, turnovers and poor play. Sure Suh did not have banner day. He did not need it. .

    As for the Raiders, we barely lost the game there because they got about 3 free time outs at the end of the game to stop the clock. Also, they played a lot of the SAME teams we did. How did it come they did not win the division? OH they lost those games outside the division and we won. No smoke and mirrors.

    We are a 2-3 team. That is not good enough and you are right – we need this game to climb out 1 game at a time. C’mon man your negativity is often misdirected.

  • October 21, 2011  - Jimbo says:

    There are so many things about the Raiders to dislike. Their d-line has some big names & they get satisfactory results. They just are’nt very good at stopping the run. Therein lies our game plan. We must run and run well. Cassel won’t have a prayer without a run game.
    The Raiders of late have had good success blitzing the QB. We have to figure out what formations they are in that indicate a blitz is imminent. Cassel just does an audible hands off to Battle and off he goes untouched into the socondary for a big gain. Wow, that was easy.
    What I really dislike is the Raiders themselves. I was witness to the school yard antics in the Chiefs-Raiders rivalry in the 60′s. Back when there were no pansy rules protecting the QB & team brawls were almost legal. Horse collars, chop blocks and head hunting was the norm. Blood on uniforms and trash talking was a right of passage. Yeah, that was football. What happened on the field, stayed on the field. Whether they were limping, broken, gouged or dazed from a concussion they stayed on the field. Only the comatose or obvious compound fractured players left the field. I have disliked the Raiders longer than I have anything else in my life. That includes cauliflower and my ex wife.
    The Chiefs are not very good so far this year. Neither are the Raiders. When the Raiders are winning, the “Black Hole” is a place of comfort & joy for the Halloween dressed imbiciles who reside there. When the Raiders are losing it’s a comfort & joy for me watching those imbiciles start gnawing at each other and heading for the exits sticking pins in their voodoo dolls that look alot like Carson Palmer, Darren McFadden, Richard Seymour and Jordy Nelson.
    No, I’m not dreaming. I really, really dislike the Raiders.
    Go Chiefs.

  • October 21, 2011  - Niblick says:

    Jimbo-I liked your post but how did Jordy Nelson get into your post. He’s a Packer.

  • October 21, 2011  - Jimbo says:

    Niblick: I really meant Jacoby Ford not Jordy Nelson.
    Go Chiefs

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