Pre-Season Crab Cake Leftovers

From Baltimore, Maryland

Take a look at the picture above and you’ll understand why the media scum love to go to Baltimore to cover games.

Before its renovation, Arrowhead Stadium had the best press box in the NFL. It was right at the 50-yard line, at the club level of the stadium. The line of sight for the ink-stained wretches, tin throats and hairdos was the finest in the NFL.

The Arrowhead rehab created a new press box, one at the top of the stadium. Views of the field come only with very powerful binoculars, and while nobody has tried a telescope yet, it’s only a matter of time. The New Arrowhead is not unusual in that way, as the press seating has gone higher and farther away from the 50-yard line in about 90 percent of the new NFL stadiums.

M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore is different. It has the best press box set up in the NFL right now. It sits directly behind the lowest level in the seating bowl of the structure. Player uniform numbers are easy to see, and so is the game. So here’s a big thank you for Ravens ownership, led by Steve Bisciotti and former majority owner Art Modell.

Listen, the media horde gets in free, and that doesn’t provide us with a lot of say-so when it comes to matters like seating. But it’s not like the media doesn’t provide services to the league in publicizing their teams, coaches and players. Working with the media, not against it, is how the late Pete Rozelle led the NFL to the top of the American sports pyramid after the merger with Lamar Hunt’s AFL.

Those days, like good press box sight lines are a thing of the past.


Last year out in Boulder, the starting cornerbacks in the Buffaloes defense were Jimmy Smith and Jalil Brown. Those two met up again on Friday night. Smith is the first-round draft choice of the Ravens, while Brown was grabbed in the fourth round by the Chiefs.

Smith and Brown struggled in their roles. Friday evening was the first taste of game experience that Smith has gotten in the NFL. Brown has gotten a lot of playing time in practice and the pre-season opener, and he was making visible progress up the depth chart with the Chiefs defense.

Well, Chiefs WR Dwayne Bowe welcomed Smith to the NFL, torching him for a couple big-play catches in the first half. Meanwhile, when Brown got in the game in the second half, he was hit with a major pass interference penalty while trying to cover speedy WR David Reed.

“I thought I had good coverage on all the plays, but I’ve got to figure out a way to get that ball out,” Smith said. “I felt comfortable. I tried to slow the game down, but I still have the rookie jitters.

“But I definitely enjoyed my time out there.”

Brown was hit with a 25-yard pass interference call and allowed receivers to get away from his coverage twice for nice gains.

“I felt like I had some momentum going until tonight,” said Brown. “I just didn’t trust my fundamentals enough.”


Although the game plan for Friday’s game was vanilla, the Chiefs did reveal a few personnel packages that figure to be carried over into the regular season.

Right now, the base skill position players on offense were RB Jamaal Charles, FB Le’Ron McClain, TE Tony Moeaki, with Dwayne Bowe and Jerheme Urban at WR. When they went with three wide receivers, WR Steve Breaston entered the game, along with RB Dexter McCluster. Charles and McClain left the field. Several times they went with two tight ends, as Leonard Pope joined Moeaki and one of the WRs off the field.

Defensively, the Chiefs base 3-4 defense has held no surprises. DEs Tyson Jackson and Glenn Dorsey and NT Kelly Gregg are up front. At OLB are Andy Studebaker and Tamba Hali, with Derrick Johnson and Jovan Belcher manning the ILB spots. Brandon Flowers and Brandon Carr were on the corners with Eric Berry and Kendrick Lewis at safety.

The only sub-defense the Chiefs have used in this pre-season has been a dime package with six defensive backs on the field. This scheme has DEs Allen Bailey and Wallace Gilberry up front, with OLBs Hali and Cameron Sheffield, and ILB Johnson. Defensive backs include the four starters, along with Javier Arenas and Jon McGraw.

Here were the front-line special teams units. Remember, the guys that play in the kicking game always have a leg up on making the 53-man regular season roster.

KICK RETURN: Donald Washington, Justin Houston, Cory Greenwood, Demorrio Williams, Reshard Langford, Jackie Battle, Andy Studebaker, Allen Bailey, Jake O’Connell, Terrance Copper and Quinten Lawrence.

PUNT RETURN: Washington, Jalil Brown, Battle, O’Connell, Cory Greenwood, Brandon Siler, Justin Cole, Williams, Langford, Demon Washington and Lawrence.

PUNT: Verran Tucker, Battle, Studebaker, Houston, Thomas Gafford, Williams, O’Connell, Langford, Washington, Arenas and Dustin Colquitt.

KICKOFF: Ricky Price, Lawrence, Pierre Walters, Copper, Langford, Battle, Williams, Studebaker, Cory Greenwood, Travis Daniels and Ryan Succop.

10 Responses to “Pre-Season Crab Cake Leftovers”

  • August 20, 2011  - ED says:

    What concerns me watching game several times. One Flowers play is slipping. He’s been getting beating several times and it looks like more and more teams are going after him and avoiding Carr.

    Pass protection on the right side of the o-line is huge concern. Richardson just looks horrible in pass protection he keeps getting beat over and over again. We seriously are going to have to find a right tackle or leave tight end over there all season to help pass block.

  • August 20, 2011  - ED says:

    Last Cassel looks good but he needs help from his receivers. Cassel made some really good throws but he has to spread it around to guys like Breaston and Urban. Breaston looked open few times out there. Urban for all the hype he’s been getting in camp he hasn’t been able to be coverage in games. I think its time we move Tucker back up into that starting lineup to see how well he can do in there. Urban seems be good practice players but he isn’t showing up in games

  • August 20, 2011  - el cid says:

    Cassel need receivers, period. Bowe is carrying the load again. Baldwin, injured, has not impressed anyone I know of, at least no one is touting him as a starter (can hardly wait for “it takes years to be a starter in KC” mantra to begin). Most of the others seem to be slot recievers. But give Cassel a decent running attack and he will find Moeaki and Bowe, the others are just guys, nothing special so far.

    ED, got a kick out of Mims play at LT. Might make a starter in a year or two.

  • August 20, 2011  - lyle says:

    Interesting that McGraw is not on these special teams units. That probably indicates that his time with the chiefs is getting short.

  • August 20, 2011  - Evo says:

    Cassel will be exposed this season. His arm strength is laughable and has spotty accuracy past a 10 yard throw. How many years of saying we need receivers until we figure out Cassel isn’t the man?

  • August 21, 2011  - Michael says:

    It’s a little early to be drawing conclusions about the starters off of, what, two quarters of work?

    Cassel’s never going to be a superstar quarterback, but he can play at a pro bowl level with good players around him, and he’s a good, tough leader. I think Bowe, Breaston, Urban and Moeaki will be plenty good enough. Tucker is improving, and he may earn some time, too. Baldwin’s going to take some work, but Haley’s done it before.

    That Mims is a project is not news, but if he were able to become a starter in a year or two that would be big news.

  • August 21, 2011  - el cid says:

    How many receivers do the Chiefs carry on the final roster? Bowe, Breaston, Urban, Baldwin, Copper (spec. teams). Is the slot position a receiver or rb? Who is there? Seems to me Baldwin is not ready to step in, injury asside. What do we do with him, waste a spot on the bench until he is ready? IR? What? Like Michael says Cassel need “good players around him”. Looks like Haley will have to make some tough decisions at WR.

  • August 21, 2011  - Niblick says:

    I don’t think Baldwin will go on IR unless the injury is much worse than what’s been reported. Thumb, not a wrist injury. However, I feel he may be on the inactive list until he shows improvement both on and off the field. Perhaps in the second half he could be more of a factor. I think they will carry six WR – Bowe, Breaston, Urban, Baldwin, Copper, and Tucker. Only five would probaly be active on game day. I think the Baldwin situation makes them keep six.

  • August 21, 2011  - cychief24 says:

    Cassel made the Pro Bowl after leading us to the Division Championship for the first time since ’03. He played less than 2 weeks after an appendectomy.
    What the heck more do you want?
    I am so happy with Cassel and the direction Pioli/Haley are taking the Chiefs!

  • August 21, 2011  - el cid says:

    Hope springs eternal. Just our new draft picks seem to be destined to be backups at the start of the season. Yet we still seem short talented bodies. Maybe the draft has not mixed well enough yet.

    As for Baldwin, outside media reporting he will miss the first two weeks of the regular season. No one local seems to have a clue or a source with the Chiefs.

    Really hoped we would build on 10 wins last year but does not seem to be that way. Seems like we are taking a step back, but an outsider view. Just do not see anything coming from the Chiefs to support “we will be better than last year”. Just me.

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