Haley & Staff Threw Kitchen Sink At Pats

From Gillette Stadium, Foxborough, Massachusetts

Todd Haley and his coaching staff could not be accused of playing their cards close to the vest Monday night against the Patriots.

On offense, defense and special teams, the Chiefs coached reached deep into their playbooks to find something different to throw at Bill Belichick’s team.

“It was a game we prepared very hard for,” Haley said, talking about his coaches and players.

That sure was apparent by what happened on the field:

OFFENSE – For the first time this season, the Chiefs made significant use of offensive formations with four wide receivers. They even had several snaps where there were five wide receivers on the field. Haley has said he does not like to have five wide, preferring instead to have a tight end in the game. But because of injuries in the New England defense, the Chiefs coaches decided to go after their secondary and the backups that were forced to play.

Plus, offensive coordinator Bill Muir was not in the coaching box, but on the sidelines. And, they pulled out the Wildcat for two plays, where Palko went in motion and the direct snap was made to WR Jerheme Urban, who was lined up in the shotgun position.

DEFENSE – Coordinator Romeo Crennel said the key was mixing things up against Tom Brady and that Patriots offense and that’s just what the Chiefs did. They barely used their base 3-4-4 defensive scheme, playing it less than a half dozen plays in the game. There new base defense was a 2-4-5, with the nose tackle out and nickel DB Javier Arenas on the field. For most of the game, Arenas lined up opposite WR Wes Welker in the slot.

They also used the sub-defense they’ve had all year with 2-3-6 and several times on 3rd-and-long situations, they had a 2-2-7 scheme on the field.

SPECIAL TEAMS – Bad luck ruined one of the best onside kick attempts the Chiefs have tried in many years. The call caught the Patriots by total surprise and only a bad bounce kept it for working perfectly.

“We tried some different things today and it was a game plan the coaches really worked hard on making happen,” said WR Steve Breaston. “We just didn’t always execute it the way it should have been.

“That was really the problem at every level, execution.”

Let’s start with the offense. Haley was quizzed after the game about whether he was calling the offensive plays Monday night.

“We were status quo with how we operated,” said Haley. “It was just as we’ve done all year. We made an alteration with having Bill down on the field. I just thought that we were at a point here, at this point in the season, that in order to try to get a little change going we should make the move. He talks to the offense all week and I just felt that being up in the box right now wasn’t the best place for him.”

As with everything Haley does with his team, whether Muir stays on the sideline for the rest of the year falls under the category of work in progress.

As for the offensive plays, the use of three, four and even five wide receivers on the field was not something that just happened when the Chiefs fell behind. At times, they had two running backs on the field, but FB Le’Ron McClain spent most of the game split wide in the slot as a receiver.

There were six receivers on the game roster, one more than normal. The group included Urban, who hasn’t played since the second week of the season and Jeremy Horne, who was promoted from the practice squad earlier on Monday in place of injured QB Matt Cassel.

“There were some matchups we were trying to get,” said Breaston. “We were trying to give Tyler more targets in different places.

It didn’t quite work out the way the Chiefs hoped as Dwayne Bowe, Jonathan Baldwin and Breaston had all of the wide receiver catches with 16 of the 25 completions. Urban, Horne and Terrance Copper did not catch a pass.

The Wildcat was where Urban was able to contribute. It may have been a by-product of his work the week before last in practice as the show team’s Tim Tebow. The snap went directly to Urban twice and he handed off to McCluster for eight and three-yard runs. Both plays came on third down and moved the chains.

“Jerheme did a bunch of good things,” said head coach Todd Haley. “He just keeps trying to make the better and playing his role.”

Defensively, the base defense Crennel called for most of the game was a 2-4-5. All the defensive linemen rotated in the two spots upfront, with the normal starting linebackers staying in and then Arenas joining the starting secondary. In this game, Donald Washington started at strong safety as Jon McGraw was inactive.

Arenas filled the slot coverage moving from side to side depending on where Welker lined up. Overall, the Chiefs did a good job, holding Welker to a pair of catches for 22 yards.

The key to the onside kick was the trickery shown by K Ryan Succop. He had the ball and the tee was in place. As he massaged the ball like he always does before kicking, the kick coverage unit was poised and ready to go.

Succop then put the ball down on the 35-yard line without the tee, and dribbled a kick to his left. It travelled the necessary 10 yards and Kendrick Lewis fell on the ball. But officials ruled, and instant replay confirmed, that the ball had touched a member of the Chiefs before it was 10 yards down the field. A funny hop on the ball sent it into the lower leg of LB Cory Greenwood.

He had no idea the ball hit him.

“I didn’t feel anything,” Greenwood said. “We were all very confused because they didn’t really explain what happened very well. That’s very disheartening to hear that it bounced off me.”

3 Responses to “Haley & Staff Threw Kitchen Sink At Pats”

  • November 22, 2011  - rufus says:

    And while that “kitchen sink” was flying, Amon Gordon, a nobody from nowhere and only a few games under his belt as a Chief made Glenn Dorsey look below average with his defensive line play.

    Javier Arenas shut Welker down all night. It was beautiful. He’s like gum on your shoe. Nice job.

  • November 22, 2011  - aPauled says:

    With our limited camera shots to the sideline…it sure looked like Haley was the one calling plays. In those limited moments Haly had his board, was talking on the headset and Muir was silent.

    Even outside of the kitchen sink…the play calling seemed to have rythm and reason most of the time. Less conservative and predictable…for the most part which was a positive change.

  • November 22, 2011  - el cid says:

    Gordon played well for one game. He got up but Dorsey had to get up for 8 games. Lesser players rise to the occassion for one game against one opponent but most do not/can not do it game in or out.

    And that is the problem with the Chiefs, to many lesser players on a team three years into a rebuild, that is bad.

    Right about Arenas but the NE TEs had a pretty good day. NE had more answers than the Chiefs had questions.

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