Hali Leads Defensive Effort

From Arrowhead Stadium

Tamba Hali doesn’t talk to the media anymore. The reasons for his decision are well … unknown since he won’t speak to the media anymore. There’s nothing angry in his silence. He still says hello in the locker room like he has since his rookie year out of Penn State. There’s almost always a smile on his face.

He’s decided to let his play talk for him. On Sunday, he was shouting at the top of his lungs. Despite a sore right foot/ankle injury that has bothered him for about a month now, Hali took over the line of scrimmage on Sunday against San Francisco.

Whether his pass rush came from standing up as an outside linebacker or out of a three-point stance as a defensive end, he made the afternoon miserable for San Francisco QB Alex Smith.

Hali had three sacks on Sunday, matching his career best game that came against Denver at Arrowhead last year. And afterwards, he talked. But only to the folks in the Chiefs public relations department, who transcribed what he had to say.

“You now Romeo Crennel has come in here and really changed our identity and the things we’re doing we’re very happy about,” said Hali.

He gave credit to the defensive line for playing so well on the early downs and stifling the Niners running game.

“With them stopping the run, that allowed us to rush the quarterback,” Hali said. “We just had to stop the run. We knew they were a good team coming in as far as running the ball and Alex Smith had a good game against New Orleans last week and our whole focus was just stopping the run.”

Along with Hali’s three there were sacks from OLB Andy Studebaker and NT Ron Edwards. Yes, Ron Edwards, the man who seldom finds himself in position to take down the quarterback; he had one sack in the previous two seasons.

Sacks don’t always tell the story on pass rush pressure, although in this case five is a pretty good indication. Smith completed 55 percent of his passes, while averaging a puny 5.5 yards per passing attempt.

“We had a specific plan that we wanted to handle this quarterback, who was playing at a real high level,” said head coach Todd Haley. “Alex Smith, who is tough and is going to be one of the good quarterbacks in this league. We had a plan and it worked out that we were able to get off a couple blocks and get some sacks. I now the guys are excited about that, but the way we’re trying to do things doesn’t revolve around sacks.”

It revolves around frustrating the crap out of the opposing quarterback. There’s no doubt the pressure left Smith and the Niners frustrated.

“We couldn’t get into a rhythm,” said Smith. “We couldn’t do anything. We would get a first down then put ourselves in third and long. We didn’t get much done at all. I see a lot of room for improvement.”

As Hali said, one of the keys to that pressure was the Niners inability to run the football. They had just 43 yards on 15 carries, all by Frank Gore. His longest run was six yards. The 2.9-yard average was something magnificent for the Chiefs defense.

“We went in with the idea that we had to stop the run,” said LB Derrick Johnson. “He’s an exceptional player. When they couldn’t do that, it really opened things up for us.”

Enough that even Tamba Hali talked.

2 Responses to “Hali Leads Defensive Effort”

  • September 26, 2010  - Edward says:

    Hats off to the defense we have alot of 1st round picks on that side of the ball and now they’re starting to play like. From Hali, Berry, Dorsey, DJ, and Tjax. Those guys are all starting to live up those draft positions.

  • September 27, 2010  - dan in joplin says:

    Bob, I would like to know how Romeo led defenses have done against Peyton Manning in the past, just curious. The defense KICKED BUTT!!!!!! They were tougher, faster and more aggressive. Tamba is a best! This was my first time to see him in person other than camp and he goes NON STOP! Plus he is probably being held the majority of the time! When he gets to be a bigger name, they’ll start throwing that flag more!

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