Looking For More Ugliness … Game-Day Cup O’Chiefs

So is there really such a thing as an ugly victory?

I mean come on, winning is hard to do, and anything that takes so much work and effort, how can that be ugly? I always figured it was like a newborn. When a baby is born, about one out of 100 is actually beautiful. The other 99 have scrunched up faces, misshapen heads, bumps, bruises and assorted other markings. A month later they don’t look anything like the day they were born.

The only time that a newborn is truly beautiful is when it’s yours. Then, there is nothing on earth that’s prettier.

So far this year, the Chiefs have birthed a couple of victories, the kind that have been labeled ugly. Not that it matters much to them.

“Call them what you want,” said CB Brandon Flowers. “Just call them wins.”

The Chiefs go for No. 3 on Sunday at Arrowhead Stadium against the 0-2 San Francisco 49ers. Kickoff is noon and you can see the game on the Fox-TV network.

Whether the outcome is labeled another ugly victory remains to be seen, but the Chiefs could care less. The chance to go 3-0 for the first time since 2003 makes the look inconsequential.

“Are there ugly wins? Sure. Absolutely,” said veteran G Brian Waters. “We have played better in the past and been 0-2. So we are happy with the wins … it’s hard to get overly excited about the way we have played. It’s easy to get excited about what we know we can do in the future.”  

When a team is coming off a season where it lost 12 games and has lost 38 over the last three seasons, expect no apologies for finishing the game with more points. No way. No how. It doesn’t matter; that’s the message that Todd Haley has been beating into the heads of his team for the last few weeks.

Haley is trying to convince his team, and more specifically his younger players, that the past and future are not worth their time and effort right now. What matters is the moment, the next game, and the next play. It’s the one-play at a time, one-game at a time mantra that seems like such a cliché, but is proven true time after time.

“If you’re thinking about something that’s occurred and you can’t do anything about it or if you’re thinking about something that hasn’t happened yet; you’re focus is not on the task at hand,” said Haley. “That’s something that I believe firmly in and is part of becoming a good team.”

The Chiefs are not a good football team right now. But they are a winning team, and at the start of any season that matters more than being good. Some have misread Haley’s statement that his team was the best team and that’s why it won these first two games. What he’s said and what he’s meant is that his team played better than their opponents on that Monday night and last Sunday afternoon, and that’s why they were able to win.

To keep winning, they have to play better. They have to become a good football team.

“We are nowhere near where we want to be,” said Waters. “We know that we have a lot better football left in us. The biggest key for us is that we are trying to get better. There are some things that we don’t want to do. We understand that there are some things that losing teams do. Those are the things that we are trying to stay away from.

“We feel we can play a lot better football and that’s a great feeling when you are 2-0.”

But if somebody wants to call them ugly wins, even the Chiefs themselves, then so be it.

“When you come out of a game and you realize there were a lot of things you didn’t do right and you still got a victory, well you can tell when one is ugly,” Waters said. “You can tell. You give each other a look like, ‘Wooo, got out of that one!’ It happens. Every team in this league is going to be able to walk away from a game where they think they made it a lot harder than it had to be. There isn’t a team in the league that would give them back.”

There are four teams in the AFC that are 2-0 entering the weekend. So Brian Waters, does that mean the Chiefs are one of the best teams in the conference?

“We are concentrating on the 49ers,” Waters said. “We are taking it day by day. When the season is over we just want to have a chance to get into the tournament. The only way we can do that is to take it week-by-week.”


That was the description both QB Matt Cassel and LG Brian Waters gave for San Francisco 49ers DE Justin Smith (left). The former University of Missouri product and native of Jefferson City, Smith is the motor of the aggressive San Francisco defense. He’s done that with a non-stop motor. He does not take plays off, he does not conserve energy. At the age of 31, he’s still playing like he has throughout his career.

“He’s one of those guys that made that his calling card, that he’s the type of player that you have to work hard against all day long,” said Waters. “You watch the tape and he’s all over the field. He’s running down with running backs and receivers, trying to get involved in every play. You respect guys like that and you show him that respect by preparing for him even more.”

Chiefs fans who may not remember him from his college days at Mizzou or early in his career at Cincinnati, he plays with much the same intensity as OLB Tamba Hali.

“Very much so, just a bigger version,” Waters said. “Tamba is a supreme athlete, Justin realizes he’s not a supreme athlete, but he does understand that his strength is his power and the fact that in this game, there are a lot of plays made by guys outworking the other guy. He knows that and that’s what he’s based his career around.”

Over his career, Smith has missed just one game, and that came in his rookie season when he was trying to work out the details of a contract with the Bengals. He’s now opened the last 143 consecutive games since that rookie season in ’01. He came into this season with 833 career tackles, 56.5 sacks, three INTs, nine forced fumbles and seven fumbles recovered.


All of the 49ers coordinators are former Chiefs coaches or players in Jimmy Raye, Greg Manusky and Kurt Schottenheimer. San Francisco also has another former K.C. assistant coach and coordinator in Mike Solari. He’s handling the 49ers offensive line, after spending two years with Seattle. In 2007, he was the Chiefs offensive coordinator under Herm Edwards. That was his 11th consecutive season with the Chiefs organization.

One man who will definitely see out Solari today is LG Brian Waters. In the first six seasons of his playing career, Solari was his coach.

“I don’t think I would be half the football player I have been or am without having been with Mike Solari in my career,” Waters said. “He taught me a lot of great things about football. He was a technician as an offensive line coach. There are still things today that he said back then and I repeat in my head today. That’s the type of coach he was. He beat in techniques, he beat in calls. I definitely appreciate all the help that he gave me.

“For the most part he was a teacher, more than a yeller. He definitely was not a cusser. He didn’t feel the need to use those particular words all the time. Everybody is different. ”


  • BEARS – have ruled out starting LT Chris Williams (hamstring) from Monday night’s game against the Packers.
  • BROWNS – placed LB D’Qwell Jackson (pectoral injury) on the injured-reserve list, ending his season; signed WR Sam Aiken.
  • CHARGERS – restricted free agent LT Marcus McNeil signed his 1-year tender offer for $630,000; signed RB Curtis Brinkley from their practice squad; released CB Dante Hughes.
  • COLTS – signed WR Blair White from their practice squad; released injured LB Ramon Humber.
  • PATRIOTS – signed LB Shawn Crable from their practice squad.

7 Responses to “Looking For More Ugliness … Game-Day Cup O’Chiefs”

  • September 26, 2010  - Nate says:

    Good stuff Bob. By the way the Chiefs are 5W and 5L their last 10 games. They are getting better and there is nothing ugly about the way the defense is playing! Nate

  • September 26, 2010  - Brandon says:

    Ugly or not, I’m hoping for a win today.


  • September 26, 2010  - Tenand6 says:

    Is Haley making reference to the play of his QB when he talks about “ugly”? If we had a top QB, I can’t believe Haley would be talking about this team winning “ugly.” Or, not being “pretty” to watch.

  • September 26, 2010  - Brandon says:

    Can’t remember who it was and I’m too lazy to look it up, but there was someone who mentioned that perhaps the throwing game isn’t totally coming down to Cassel’s play. Receiver separation has been brought up as a major issue. He doesn’t have the best offensive line in the world and if the receivers aren’t getting open then where is he supposed to throw the ball?

    Weis needs to figure that question out. Hopefully he does that today.

  • September 26, 2010  - Edward says:

    I mentioned how receivers weren’t doing a good job getting separation when running their routes. Bob tried to corner Charlie Weis in an interview couple days ago preety much asking him is Cassel lack of production is more so on the players around him (receivers) vs his own play and Weis dodge the question. The o-line looks alot better than last yr. If I had to grade them they’re about a C compared to last yr where they started out as an F and finish as a D. I still think we definately need to look at investing into some more young pieces to add to the o-line but the problem with the passing game is the receivers.

    We just don’t have anyone being a major spark. Mcluster was brought in to be that Wes Welker type and he’s been falling down alot on his routes. Chambers starting to look old he’s not doing a good enough job getting separation. Bowe I think is a more product of just not being more involved in the game plan. Weis has to find away to get him more involved. Moeaki is the only player who consistently been getting open and we can’t depend on a rookie tight end to carry this passing game.

    If you actually watch the games its not like Cassel the first two games have been consistently overthrowing or underthrowing guys. Its not like he’s been consistently throwing in tight coverage when guys are running wide open down the field. The problem has been lack of production from receiver position. Everybody assumes because on paper we suppose to have better receiving core we will have better production on the field. Ask the Cowboys how that’s working out. Anything can look good on paper until it actually translate on the field then its just a perception and not a reality.

  • September 26, 2010  - Brandon says:

    Holy crap. That was not ugly.

  • September 27, 2010  - Dave says:

    Haha nice one, Brandon.

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