Do Your Job To Win … Game-Day Cup O’Chiefs

From San Diego, California

A team that made the NFL playoffs last season starts a new year with an embarrassing 0-2 record and is blasted by 79 points in two games.

“It’s just that we’re better than that,” said ILB Derrick Johnson. “It just really hits your pride to play and finish like we have.”

Pride … it’s something that after two games some Chiefs fans wonder if this year’s team has any. It’s one thing to have one bad Sunday; it happens all the time in the NFL. But to put a pair of them back-to-back so that it’s the worst start and the worst back-to-back beatings in franchise history leaves the impression that pride is in short supply with the 2011 Chiefs.

But as they attempt to turn their season around Sunday afternoon at Qualcomm Stadium here in San Diego against the Chargers, a lack of pride isn’t the problem. (Kickoff at 3:05 CDT, with TV coverage on CBS.)

In fact, it may be too much pride standing between the Chiefs and a winning performance.

“One of our clear cut issues is these guys do have a lot of pride and they really care about our team and they really want to have success,” said Todd Haley. “Of all the things that have gone on that has gotten us in trouble these first two games, so many have clearly been seeing guys trying to do more than their job. Or too much on a particular play, and that takes them out of position and puts somebody else in a vulnerable position.

“It’s a fine line of do your job to your full potential and try to resist the urge to go outside that. It clearly gets us in trouble. You can see it all over the tape. That’s been a focus this week, trust your teammates and do your job.”

So much of that over extension is happening on defense, where the scheme being implemented by Romeo Crennel requires the front seven to handle the gaps at the line of scrimmage.

“For instance, say that I have the ‘A’ Gap and I see the ball going to the ‘B’ Gap,” said DE Wallace Gilberry. “I shed the ‘A’ Gap and run to the ‘B’ Gap and the next thing you know the guy with the ball has run from the ‘B’ Gap back to my ‘A’ Gap and I’m out of position. That puts the defense in a bind.

“That’s one thing that I have to focus on – just doing my job and just doing that assignment, focusing on that, and trusting that the guy next to me is going to do what he’s supposed to do.”

Do your job … it’s a coaching mantra that was something Bill Parcells said with nearly every breath when he was coaching the Giants, Patriots, Jets and Cowboys. A simple concept that any successful team must live by, you trust the guy next to you is going to do his job. If he doesn’t, then it’s up to the coaches to make a change, not for the players to try to step in and handle his job as well as their own.

Defense and offensive line is where this shows up the most, because they are groups that must collaborate.

“They want to make a play to turn the game so bad, or to get the season going the direction it needs to go, that they play outside of their capabilities,” said Haley. “That’s a tricky subject because you want guys trying hard and giving best effort, but sometimes you can try to do too much, which then puts your teammates in a vulnerable position, and that clearly has occurred. That’s a bad thing, but it’s a good thing.”

One of the other major problems the Chiefs have had in their stumble to 0-2 is communication. It’s been a problem in the secondary.

“We need go get on the same page, that’s for sure,” CB Brandon Carr said. “Communication is going to be big this week. We also have to just continue to stay positive at times like this where it could be easy to point fingers. If continue to stay positive and get on the same page, with everybody doing their job together, we should be okay.”

Said Haley:

“You’ll find in times like this when you’re not playing the way you know that you’re capable of playing that it usually comes down to communication across the board, coach-to-coach, player-to-player, coach-to-player, player-to-coach. Communication is one of those things that we just have to continue to stay focused on because communication will have a great deal of impact on the outcome of each play, each series.”

As far as the Chiefs are concerned, their chances of winning come down to holding on to the football, not making stupid penalties and doing their job, each and every individual, so that it blends together.

“That’s really what it is,” said ILB Derrick Johnson. “It isn’t something that is beyond comprehension. We just have to execute.”

So maybe that means stepping down the pride just a bit against the Chargers.

“We just need to play better football across the board, and that’s fundamental football, that’s using the technique to do your job first, not worry about doing other people’s jobs for them,” Haley said. “We know through experience and we know through watching and knowing our guys that we can be a good team. We can be a good team if we do those things.”

4 Responses to “Do Your Job To Win … Game-Day Cup O’Chiefs”

  • September 25, 2011  - Thomas Salmon says:

    There are many talented players on the Chiefs’ roster, despite the unfortunate injuries so far. There have certainly been mental mistakes and blown assisgnments (and there alway will be some), but the lack of coaching, game-planning and preparation of the players for game day in general falls mostly on the shoulder of the head coach. The lack of leadership puts our players in a position to be humiliated by inferior, but better prepared, opponents.

  • September 25, 2011  - el cid says:

    Haley was a first time HC, he may never be a good one. He makes mistakes that we have seen from an untried HC with other teams. But who is giving him this blank check? In any business, when you get a promotion, does your boss say good luck and I will see you in a few years? No, until they know you can do the job, somebody is looking over your shoulder and will advise you if you are heading down a wrong path. Not the Chiefs, supposedly Pioli does not like Haley, doubt it but ok. Why did he allow Haley to go thru so many OCs? Why is there not enough talent to cover one injury much less 3? What is Chiefs management doing, do they even know what is happening on the field and in the lockerroom, do they even care?

  • September 25, 2011  - Chuck says:

    Lets just hope that this damn CBS doesn’t “switch” to another game with over 12 minutes to play in the game like they did last week against the Lions. CBS really pissed me off when they did that.

  • September 25, 2011  - el cid says:

    Other than you and I, do you think CBS decided no one else was watching the game, so switch. By the by I saw the whole (hole) game and you what you missed would only have pissed you off more.

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