Items To Consider … Tuesday Cup O’Chiefs

It was somewhere over the Rockies on Monday afternoon that I began pondering the meaning of life.

When you are on a three-hour flight in one of those lip-stick tubes they call airplanes today, jammed into three across seating where it’s a constant elbow war for control of the arm rests, there are a lot of things that flash through your mind.

And since we are generally talking about the world of pro football in these epistles, there were a lot of names, performances and situations around the Chiefs that flickered through my cranium as we jumped from cloud to cloud. Here are just a few:


What the heck was Leonard Pope doing ripping off his helmet in the end zone after scoring a 4thQ touchdown against the Chargers? Under the heading of dumb penalties, the 15-yards walked off against the Chiefs for Pope’s faux pas ranks as the dumbest. Every player knows the rule that helmets must be worn by all players on the field. That penalty forced Ryan Succop to kickoff from the 20-yard line. Great field position for the Chargers was just ahead. But Succop saved Pope’s butt with a great kickoff that eventually, allowed the Chargers to start a possession just inside the 5-minute mark at their 33-yard line.


And what of Succop? On the right, that’s San Diego LB Takeo Spikes giving him an encouraging word after Succop missed a 38-yard FG on Sunday. Talk about the bloom being off the rose with the 7th-round selection in the 2001. His miss from 38 yards is something that’s not supposed to happen under any circumstances. Today’s NFL kickers in the NFL are almost automatic from inside the 30-yard line. Last year, AFC kickers were 92 percent between the 30 and 39-yard lines. On FGs between the 40 and 49-yard line, the league average last year was 73 percent and overall kickers made 82.4 percent of their field goal attempts.

Succop is now 2 of 5 this season, missing from 38, 44 and 49 yards, while hitting a pair of 33-yard FGs. Overall, that’s just 40 percent for this season. Over his career, Succop is now 47 of 60, or 78.3 percent.

So sold have been the Chiefs on Succop that in the last two training camps, they have not brought in anyone to compete against him. This year they signed Todd Carter for three weeks, but he was more of a “lookie Lou” kicker because of his ability to kickoff for distance and hang time.

I would think that Succop is safe for awhile. But I would also think that come 2012, there might be some real competition in the building for him.


One of these days the bounces will start going the right way for the Chiefs defense. That day wasn’t in San Diego. Twice in the second quarter, the Chiefs knocked the ball out of the hands of Chargers QB Phillip Rivers and WR Patrick Crayton. But C Nick Hardwick fell on Rivers’ fumble and Crayton got the ball back himself.

Then, in the second half ILB Derrick Johnson had another shot for an interception as he leaped into the air and knocked down a Rivers pass. It would have been a tough catch, but D.J. had a chance.

That’s three potential takeaways that never happened. If the opponent is going to help, then the Chiefs have to find a way to take advantage.


Maybe it’s time to just have Javier Arenas serve as the team’s returner, both kicks and punts, and start backing off his defensive snaps.

Essentially where Arenas is most productive on defense is not as a coverage guy in the nickel defense, but as a blitzer off the edge. Arenas is very good at the delayed blitz, or coming through the bigger bodies and getting into the backfield without the blockers finding him.

Against the Chargers, Arenas starting putting together some field position returns that really helped the Chiefs. His 37-yard kickoff return and his 35-yard punt returns were both the best of the season so far. It’s time to take Dexter McCluster out of the returning mix, and allow him to concentrate all his touches on offense.

With fewer defensive snaps, Arenas could concentrate on the returns a spot where he will have a better chance to influence the flow of the game than as a defensive back. One of the things that makes Arenas so good as a returner comes from opponents thinking they can give him a shot up high and they will knock him down. But time-after-time in the last two years, Arenas gets hit around the shoulders and just bounces off tacklers and keeps on going.


Are the Chiefs still the worst team in the league after three weeks?

The three most important numbers in the NFL say yes – victories, points scored, points allowed.

There are five teams sitting at 0-3 in this opening month. Here are the stats:



Pts Scored

Pts Allowed

Point Diff.






St. Louis




















Coming up on the schedule in the next two weeks for the Chiefs are games against Minnesota and Indianapolis. Opportunity will be there to climb out of the bottom of the league over the fortnight.

22 Responses to “Items To Consider … Tuesday Cup O’Chiefs”

  • September 27, 2011  - Anonymous says:

    One more thing to ponder:
    Is the rumor true that Haley took over the play calling in the second half? If so, isn’t it time Haley takes over for good? We’ve tried letting an 0-line coach call the plays in the past. So far this year it looks a lot like the disaster with Mike Solari.

  • September 27, 2011  - MarkInTexas says:

    It’s ridiculous that we are headed into the 4th regular season game with no clear offensive coordination. If Haley fails in KC, it will be his inability to hire and retain a legitimate offensive coordinator.

  • September 27, 2011  - Chuck says:

    Do you smell 2 victories on the horizon???? Vikes up next then onto Indy. 2-3 here we come. In reality all 3 teams are impotent.

  • September 27, 2011  - Tim says:

    Haley needs to resign himself to the fact that HE is the one that should coordinate the Offense. He was hired for his expertise in that area. They play calling in the second half was reminicent of his efforts in the AZ super bowl run. THAT’S what we need. The sooner he comes to grips with this reality, the better KC will be. I understand his intellectual desire regarding the belief he can better coach the entire team if he has an O coord., but the reality is he’ll never let it go & continued friction & problems will persisit. He needs to admit he’s in the mold of Sean Payton, Mike McCarthy, et al.

  • September 27, 2011  - traumaman says:

    Where do you folks get the idea Haley is an accomplished Offensive Coordinator? Forgive me for pointing out the obvious; last I checked, AZ lost the Superbowl with Haley as offensive coordinator. Where I come from we don’t put second place on any pedestals. Don’t forget Haley’s boss at AZ, the former Steelers Offensive Coordinator, wouldn’t even let Haley off the play calling leash.

    Ironicly, the most accomplished Offensive Coordinator Todd Haley has had is Chan Gaily. He promptly was run out of town by the head coach. It’s becoming very clear as well that had Pioli kept Gaily as the Head Coach, this franchise would have competent play callers and the entire team would not be going regressing as it is under a head coach that epitomizes the “Peter Principle.” All of that being said, I do like Haley’s style.

  • September 27, 2011  - Tenand6 says:

    Haley is a great O coordinator and play-caller. Check the tape. Talk to the players. Do a little research and check out who wanted Haley as an O coordinator and head coach.

    I think Haley and maybe Pioli, who knows, were too clever by half in the off season. They knew it would be an abbreviated off season and made two smart but perhaps false assumptions:

    1. Lack of conditioning by the players would require a less aggressive, football-centric training camp in order to avoid injuries; and

    2. An accomplished offensive coordinator would be disruptive coming in without an off season to teach a tweaked system.

    The injuries occurred anyway and Bill Muir is not a better play-caller than Haley or someone with that expertise— shortened off season or not.

    Now, I wouldn’t fire Haley because that off season won’t occur again for at least another 10 years. He thought it through, make calculated guesses and things didn’t work out as planned.

    I like his thinking but the results didn’t come in to port.

    The Chiefs need a new quarterback, better drafts and personnel pickups and a normal off season. Haley, like all other head coaches, will be fine with a franchise qb and better than average drafts.

    Scott Pioli is in the clock. At least, that’s how I see it.

  • September 27, 2011  - jim says:

    In another blog, it was suggested that Cassell may still have rib issues. Let’s see; did he have a punctured lung and BROKEN rib and not perform well, or did somebody else have those issues an manage to get the ball down field and lead his team to a win???? Enough with the excuses, already.

    Traumaman, you are quite correct…….Haley did loose the Super Bowl as O coridnator. Point being, he WAS THERE as O Cordinator.

    We generally agreed that Chan, while a good coach and O cordinator, was not the man to lead the Chiefs under Haley with his propensity for wide open get the ball down field offensive game plan. Problem quickly became, “OK, then who is?”, and we STILL don’t know that answer. I have no problem with Chan leaving and am happy he’s having success. It just wasn’t gonna work here.So, T-man, you chastise Haley to the full degree, the finish with “I do like Haley”style.” How does that work, exactly?

    Muir is NOT the answer, IMO, and Haley should take complete reins of playcalling. Then, it would be his and his alone, with no excuses except for execution, if it remain Iron-deficient anemic.

    I fully expect to see a change at QB after the bye week. I think we should all expect to see a change after the bye week. While Cassell is a hard worker, good leader, yada, yada, yada, he just isn’t getting the job done. Is the playcalling and game planning holding him back…….I’d guess not. He seems to refuse to throw somebody open or give more than a cursory look at anything over 7-10 yards. When he actually threw to Breaston, Bowe and Pope, he had some results. The throw to Breaston down the sideline when Breaston was open by 8 yards and got, are you ready…..OVERTHROWN, was a sure walk it in six.

    Hats off to Romeo and the D. Keep up the jgood work.

  • September 27, 2011  - leonard says:

    Tenand6, I could not agree more. Haley’s progarm is an all year plan. They took his scheme away with the lockout. The argument that Haley was not a good O Coordinator is stupid. The Cardinals lost because the D gave up a long TD drive with no time left. Who was D Coordinator, well I buddy Pandergast. You know, the guy that was our D coordinator in 2009.

  • September 27, 2011  - el cid says:

    Tenand6 can see it two ways:

    1. Fire Haley. He dreamed up a one of a kind plan for this season, Muir and conditioning plan. The only HC in the entire NFL with the best way to do things. Both bad ideas, apparently endorsed by Hunt and Pioli.

    2. Keep Haley. He is a first time HC and can he do worse than he attempted this year? Besides if you dump him, Hunt would owe him dead money and we would hve a rebuild on a rebuild, 5 more years of fumbling around in the dark by Pioli.

    3 Either way, the QB situation has to be addressed. Cassel is or isn’t what Haley wants. If we go into the ’12 season with Cassel and do not draft a QB of the future, well….Let’s just say what you see is what you will get, no real upside at his age and experience.

  • September 27, 2011  - leonard says:

    El Cid, What??? Now you know what someone else is thiking. You are truly amazing. What next, a TV Show. You and Kreskin. I thin tenand6 has a rational opinion , and yours is overly irrational, and whiney.

  • September 27, 2011  - Kiowa says:

    And still no word on picking up another RB, probably cause no one wants to come play for such an impotent offense that just tries to do nothing on the field. Cassel can piss off, and Piolo should piss off as well giving Cassel so much money based on one season in a much better coached system. And Clark Hunt should sell the team to someone who knows anything about business and football, and not ruin the great Lamar Hunt’s great name and legacy!

  • September 27, 2011  - Rick says:

    “September 27, 2011 – traumaman says:

    Where do you folks get the idea Haley is an accomplished Offensive Coordinator? Forgive me for pointing out the obvious; last I checked, AZ lost the Superbowl with Haley as offensive coordinator. Where I come from we don’t put second place on any pedestals.”

    This is absurd! If you had actually watched any of the games during Arizona’s improbable run to the Super Bowl, you would know that it was their offense that carried them there. You also would know that the only reason the Cardinals had a chance to win the SB vs Pittsburgh, was due to their offense.

    To lay the blame of Arizona not winning that SB at Haley’s feet is both stupid and agonizingly dishonest.

  • September 27, 2011  - leonard says:

    Kiowa, RB’s don’t care who they play for, it is the money stupid. Point is, there are not many RB’s out there that will fit this team, or they would be here. Why do you think they are avaialable?

  • September 27, 2011  - aPauled says:

    Agree tenand6. Those were Haley’s miscalculations. Why don’t we change our focus/anger to Pioli?
    1) Pioli brought in Matt Cassel for $$$ and here’s the bigger problem…no one to compete with him.
    2) Pioli drafted Tyson Jackson at #3 along with Alex Magee, Donald Washington, etc. in 2009.
    3) Pioli took 2 backups/returners in Rnd 2 of the 2010 draft, McCluster and Arenas. Rnd 2 should provide cornerstone players…not returners.
    4) Pioli has acquired no OL depth until he picked up Gaither this year. (Granted he did bring back Weigmann and Lilja as stop gaps.)

  • September 27, 2011  - Jimbo says:

    I’m reading these comments and thinking to myself, boy, these guys are cranky and a little bit agitated. Well, I am too. The Chiefs have more problems right now than living next door to “Dennis the Menace”.
    I’m hesitent to analyze what is wrong with Chiefs 2011 when there are so many of them. We need a QB change, the sooner the better.
    Cassel is one frightened, noodle armed choir boy that is allergic to first down markers and wide open receivers.
    Succop has become the only guy I don’t want to see on the field until it’s time to cap off a touchdown.
    Eric Berry’ replacements are nail biters that make my fingers bleed. Out tight ends have the talent and intelligence of 8th graders.
    Lastly the coaching quandry. Let’s see, Haley is a badass OC, we knew that before he got here. As a head coach I am still in the wait & see mode.
    Romeo is a guy players like to play for & he has a way of bringing out the best in them.
    That leaves Muir, he is a big ???. If in fact he called all the plays in SD, he made some good adjustments and there may some future for us. I guess the jury is still out on a few problems. Maybe the Viking game will open up more aggravations or maybe a few smiles cuz I’ve had a permanent smirk on my face for 3 weeks now. We shall see.
    Go Chiefs.

  • September 27, 2011  - Tenand6 says:

    el cid— Are you under the impression that I am ok with Cassel as the Chiefs QB going forward? If so, I am not.

    Beyond that, I don’t have a problem with Todd Haley as a head coach. His imperfections, like all other head coaches, are minimized with a franchise QB. That’s Pioli’s job and his job alone. Pioli signed Cassel to a nice contract after working with him for years. My guess is that Cassel will never experience consistent success with any NFL team. And, Haley will never experience consistent success without a franchise QB.

    Pioli has one job: Get a top flight QB. Period. After that, everything gets much easier.

  • September 27, 2011  - RW says:

    First, the votes are coming in from outer precincts and Pioli is losing the base support among those who thought him to be the GM from on high to what he’s become: Overrated. Over sold and he’s under delivered. As far as I’m concerned, you can put Hunt Jr. in that same category and therein lies the rub because owners don’t fire themselves.

    Secondly, Cassel needs pushing. David Garrard is sitting out there, a competent, experienced NFL QB at a price and more than capable of putting Cassel either on the bench or pushed to perform at a higher level. Must be the dollars (More misery pinching from Hunt Jr.) as to why Garrard is on the beach and the Chiefs are over at the quicksand pit?

    Finally, like Haley or don’t like him, he’s the pioneer to get the arrows if the team continues its current downward course. Only so many kevlar flak jackets to go around and Haley won’t have one so in a sense, he’ll be served up as the reason why the Chiefs stink this season. Doesn’t make it right but does allow the guys in the executive suites to survive and get their excuses in line for 2012.

  • September 27, 2011  - el cid says:

    Well not sure there are answers to our collective concerns. But the season is young a win against the vikes will change a lot of attitudes. Won’t change Cassel, Haley, or Pioli but will give us all a needed break.

    Leonard, when you see any of “el cid” posts just do not read them, It is easy, try it. Because you lame opinions do not matter to me and I mostly ignor them. Good luck with your viess.

  • September 27, 2011  - Niblick says:

    I’m actually going to post something other than all the criticism of Haley, Pioli, Hunt, and Cassell.
    I just saw where Steve Slaton got released by Houston. I think we should definitely take at look at him. He would give us some more options at RB other than McCluster and Battle. McCluster is too apt to get hurt with more than ten or so touches.

  • September 27, 2011  - el cid says:

    True but how do we make the Chiefs even give them a look? The last additions were Becht and Horne, not exactly earth shaking, talent adding, superbowl bound moves.

  • September 27, 2011  - Kiowa says:

    Leonard, you can go piss off too, calling me stupid? Just voicing how I feel, doesn’t make you any smarter!
    There is absolutely no harm in bringing in guys like Westbrook or Portis, who cares what style they suit, they have been around and can adapt for a year of help to the team.

  • September 27, 2011  - Kiowa says:

    And Slaton, why not, give him a look.

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