Reasons To Worry? … Sunday Cup O’Chiefs

Last week, Todd Haley indicated he wasn’t overly concerned about the state of his offense. The reason he gave for the lack of production was the fact that his coaching staff had spent no time “scheming” for opponents.

Fundamentals – that was the name of the game, and that’s what the Chiefs were working on when they had the ball said Haley.

After watching the Chiefs No. 1 offense put one field goal and less than 100 yards in rushing and passing yardage on the board, their fundamentals aren’t in very good shape either.

And that has turned the tenor of the conversation around the Chiefs from “hey, no problems on offense” to “we have another game and another week to get this fixed before we play Buffalo.”

It’s easy to understand the passing game having difficulties, given the lack of an off-season program. The Chiefs are handling things in the aerial attack that normally would have been worked on back in May and June. But concern arises with the team’s running game. They led the NFL last year in rushing yardage, but the three pre-season games have brought very poor production on the ground:

Game

Opponent

Runs

Yds

Avg

LG

TD

TFL-Yds

1.

Tampa Bay

24

86

3.6

17

0

5-12

2.

Baltimore

27

94

3.5

13

0

1-1

3.

St. Louis

20

58

2.9

12

0

2-2

Now, break that down by the first half play of the No. 1 offensive unit:

Game

Opponent

Runs

Yds

Avg

LG

TD

TFL-Yds

1.

Tampa Bay

13

49

3.8

17

0

1-2

2.

Baltimore

16

63

3.9

13

0

0-0

3.

St. Louis

6

14

2.3

4

0

0-0

Of those 35 first half running plays, 17 were for two yards or less. The individual numbers for Jamaal Charles, Thomas Jones and Le’Ron McClain, the designated starters in the K.C. offense have combined for 17 carries for 64 yards, with 44 of those yards belonging to Jones.

This hasn’t been a problem of injuries. Charles tweaked his left knee in Wednesday night’s practice, but he played against St. Louis. Starting LG Ryan Lilja did not play for an unknown reason, but he practiced most of the week and was in for the first pre-season games.

“The run game has got to show some life here,” Haley said after Friday night’s loss to the Rams. “We weren’t able to run it enough in the first half and that’s going to give you problems generally.”

That’s the funny thing about the running game – a team has to be successful to get the run game going. Start out throwing up one or two-yard runs, and the offensive situations become passing downs. Work at it stubbornly and before a coach knows it, his offense is three-and-out, three-and-out, and no part of the attack gets any type of production.

“We’ll have three practices (Sunday-Monday-Tuesday) and be on a plane and get a chance to go into what I think is one of the best pre-season atmospheres,” Haley said of the team’s trip this week to Green Bay. “It will be a big task for the offense. I believe in the guys. We’ve got to get things going. You can never say you have to do this or that or the other, but I would like to start to see some success offensively.”

Will Haley change his plans a bit to give his offensive starters more playing time in this final pre-season game than he originally had planned? He was not willing to make a commitment to change on Friday night because there is still an evaluation process that must be taken care of by the coaching staff.

“When you’re struggling the knee jerk reaction is to leave them in there, let them get better, but I’m convicted in what we’re doing,” Haley said.

So somewhere in this continuing training camp process, and within the evaluation procedures, the Chiefs offense and especially the running game must improve. Will it be as simple as a snap of the fingers and the compilation of a game plan for the Bills to turn around the offense on September 11?

It makes the game in Green Bay pretty important for that side of the ball.

“I don’t think we have a choice,” said QB Matt Cassel. “We’ll be ready to go come Buffalo. I guarantee these guys will be ready to go.”


30 Responses to “Reasons To Worry? … Sunday Cup O’Chiefs”

  • August 28, 2011  - bhive01 says:

    “We’ll be ready to go come Buffalo. I guarantee these guys will be ready to go.”

    Has Cassel been shopping at the Men’s Wearhouse?


  • August 28, 2011  - Haley's Ego says:

    “Reasons to worry”?

    Yes. Definitely.

    Last year we surprised some teams. That won’t be working in our favor this year.

    Looking like crap in pre-season is becoming a tradition for the Chiefs. So, while I’m not ready to hit the panic button just yet…it certainly does make me nervous.


  • August 28, 2011  - el cid says:

    Got to give it to Haley, if he can install an offense in three days. Wow, maybe there is no reason to be concerned.


  • August 28, 2011  - RW says:

    General observations. I get Haley’s deal about having the players in good physical condition for the long haul. Then, looking at many other teams in pre-season, most all of them have the sharpness and execution to start the season today while the Chiefs look dreadful. Could be worrisome or much ado about nothing but either way, half time of the Buffalo game should tell the tale.

    On the conditioning issue, Haley hasn’t been walking that walk in the off-season. Looks to me like he’s put on about 30lbs of fat so what message does that send to the players?

    I’m not a deep into your Mom’s basement NFL analyst by any means, but thought Gaither looked pretty, pretty, pretty (nod to Larry David), GOOD at LT in the Rams game. Good feet and obvious man-mountain size/strength were on display and impressive. Is this guy ready to live up to his potential?

    The receiving corps were UNimpressive. As stated earlier, we’ll all know alot more about the 2011 Chiefs by about half time of the Buffalo game so that said, I’m staying tuned.


  • August 28, 2011  - Fred says:

    I think Charlie Weis is about to be sorely missed.


  • August 28, 2011  - Sally2Dicks says:

    Let’s give them a few games of REAL football before we start passing judgement, if we start 0-2, then we can panic.


  • August 28, 2011  - TimR says:

    Yes, we’ll see on the 11th. My biggest fears are:

    1. The playcalling. Sequencing is so important. I think Muir just isn’t that good at it, regardless of experience.

    2. That Lilja & Weigman just won’t be able to hold up. If you remember last season, the Bills had a one man wrecking crew on their D line. I don’t care how experienced they are, if they don’t have the strength, quickness & explosion they’ll struggle. All the catch phrases in the world about being vets won’t stop them from getting tossed around or not being able to move the other guy. Stalemates on the O line are LOSSES!


  • August 28, 2011  - ed says:

    Havent got chance see Rams game yet but im more concerned with pass protection than i am run game. Run game will be fine once Charles gets more carries. But you have to wonder with Bill Muir becoming both OC and oline coach is it hurting overall development of the oline. I cant even evaluate Cassel improvement with the lack of consistent pass protection. What do u think Bob?


  • August 28, 2011  - kc smith says:

    Lets be honest, The Chiefs are loaded with skilled offensive players. Since 1970 Charles, Bowe, Breaston, Moeaki and Mccluster form argueably the best talent we’ve had ,I think the o-line is good enough, good job Pioli.The problem is to be a Super Bowl contender you must have a QB and a skilled offensive coach. Remember Chief fans in the 90′s Great Defense with conservative stick in the mud offenses.Haley if you want to keep your job Watch some of those games in the 90′s coachs Hackett and Raye QB’s Bono and Grbec. Watching these last preseason games , do the Chief practice throwing the ball? ouch!


  • August 28, 2011  - dinomight says:

    pre-season.


  • August 28, 2011  - dinomight says:

    Bob, are you sensationalizing just a little for those upcoming subscriptions? When all we are delivering in pre-season is “vanilla”, maybe we need to talk about something, invent some controversy, after all, that’s what sells print. Just ask Whit “wit-less” lock.


  • August 28, 2011  - dinomight says:

    Bob, didn’t you use to work with Whitlock???


  • August 28, 2011  - john says:

    I haven’t seen one thing that convinces me that this team will win 5 games.. Pre-season or not, this is Football! Bob,I wish I could do the $25, I believe your assesment of the team is accurate, and we are not playing as a team. Vanilla or not, move the ball to the end-zone, you get 6 on the board, get pushed around, go home.


  • August 28, 2011  - Future says:

    Stanzi would have won that game. Why do you think they pulled him out when he was clearly the one with the hot hand?


  • August 28, 2011  - Russell says:

    If Cassel does not turn the ball over(first 2 games)
    We will be ready for an early test@SD on the road and with the confidence built up by then, The Chiefs
    could actually be 3-0 and in perfect position to go into the regular season…..”WE” are talented enough for this scenario.


  • August 28, 2011  - ChuckP says:

    If Buffalo comes in and mauls us then we will know what kinda year its going to be. Buffalo is well below average, but it will tell us where we are really at in the scheme of things. I don’t think the Green Bay game will show us alot. Probably more of the same.


  • August 28, 2011  - ErnieB says:

    To me the biggest issue right now are the O Line and D Line; if you watched the line play you saw that we were physically overmatched (or just flat outplayed??). Reminded me of the playoff game. Remember the lack of rush defense in ’09? Ugh. DJ was the real leader of the D Friday night. Great job!


  • August 28, 2011  - Brian says:

    Because future, this is PRESEASON. So despite Stanzi looking really good and having the “hot hand” they still needed to get Palko some reps so they could evaluate him. If it were regular season and the wins actually mattered then I’m certain they would keep the player with the hot hand in the game.


  • August 28, 2011  - Niblick says:

    Normally in the last preseason game you may see the starters for one series, if that. Perhaps Haley will use them just a little more. They certainly need the reps and try to establish something, particularly on offense. I’m not concerned about the run game, but I certainly am in the passing game. The defense also needs reps, but I’m not quite as concerned. I have no idea what Haley will do. He hasn’t followed the norm any of this preseason.


  • August 28, 2011  - leo says:

    Jesus, quit your whining. This is preseason. Look at the Colts, they always suck in presesaon, and wham , they win. Remember Detroit a couple of years ago, they were 4-0 in the presean, and went 0-16 in the season. Is that whta you want. You get no trophies for winning the preseaon. The Chiefs have not had the whole starting squad in, Offense, or defense for ong, if at all. The reason you have seen nothing, is the plan stupid.
    Why show what you are all about, the idea is to start strong, and we need to. Why is it that all you whiners assume that we are going to suck. You are the biggest bunch of cry babies I have ever seen. While you are crying in you cherios, the NY Media decalred the Jets superbowl winners. How about a little support for the Chiefs.
    Good for you Haley.
    Go Chiefs.


  • August 28, 2011  - el cid says:

    Hahahahah, good one leo. 80+ players, all wanting to play in the NFL, are willing to set off their careers a year so the Chiefs look like chumps and can sneak up on the AFC West. Makes sense to me.


  • August 28, 2011  - aPauled says:

    I don’t think that we can dismiss the run game issues to “preseason”. The Chiefs O-line mauled people last year with pretty vanilla run plays. Dominating run teams can do that. I just haven’t seen the effort and will to dominate this year…esp from the O-line.


  • August 28, 2011  - True Red & Gold says:

    Nothing Leo said makes any sense. Sure the Chiefs are playing very basic football. We are concerned because they are getting beat badly at it. Tell me this Leo. Aren’t all the teams vanilla in preseason. If that is true and all the teams improve as supposedly the Chiefs are going to when they turn it on, then the Chiefs are sill 0 – 3 at this point.


  • August 28, 2011  - Michael says:

    Go to this link to check out the results from the 2010 Chiefs preseason:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2010_Kansas_City_Chiefs_season

    You’ll see that it is quite similar to what’s happened so far in the 2011 preseason. Just saying.


  • August 28, 2011  - Craig says:

    Hey guys great comments. Here is our opponents game plan for the year. Seven or eight in the box stuff the run and take away Bowe and make Cassel beat you through the air to the number 2 reciever and TE. Same game plan for the last 2 games of last year. Hopefully we have a better outcome than the games last year.


  • August 28, 2011  - Niblick says:

    All teams are vanilla in preseason. I think think the Chiefs have been even more vanilla. That’s no excuse for their execution, but I think you would agree they haven’t shown anything other than very basic plays. I think Charles has had like four carries. Cassell has been ineffective but he’s only thrown about 25 passes. Other starting QBs, who are healthy, have thrown much more.I think he and the passing gmae need more work this week. Breaston and Urban have only caught a couple of passes and been thrown to very little.


  • August 28, 2011  - el cid says:

    I have come to appreciate just how loyal Chief’s fans are. While I consider myself a fairly loyal fan, yes it is hard to believe, I have never consider the Chiefs being “more vanilla”. Is that possible? More vanilla than vanilla.

    I am tired of preseason and all it includes, let’s get the season started.


  • August 28, 2011  - Ray Ward says:

    I would dare say that the Chiefs are playing as bad offensively, especially with the starters, than any team in the league, and I’m sure stats would support that line of reasoning. We look to be weeks behind other teams, even the not so good teams. Now, I do take some comfort in knowing that we didn’t tear up the league last season, either, during preseason, but I’m just not convinced you can just flip a go switch, and the offense will all of a sudden have a 500 yard game. Our defense is also sporadic, but it still looks way ahead of our offense, which is also consistent from what we are hearing from practices. Anybody who thinks Buffalo and Detroit are going to be pushovers are wrong. If the entire team doesn’t step it up soon, we could easily start 0-2, with the toughest part of our schedule yet to come. (Detroit will likely be a heavy favorite at home). I hope I am overreacting, and that Haley knows exactly what he is doing, but we look like the Idaho State University Bengles JV team (my alma mata)right now.


  • August 28, 2011  - Jeremy says:

    Watched the Lions/Pats game. The announcers talked about the Lions treating the game like a real game. They looked very good. That’s all well and good, but here is the trick:

    The early Lions opponents now have that much more tape on what the Detroit Lions want to do this season. I doubt the Buffalo Bills will be putting much stock into the play calling of the Chiefs and what they will do during Game 1. There will be far less of a book on the 2011 Chiefs than there already is from watching the Lions and other teams going all out to win games that don’t matter.

    I’m sure the Tampa Bay Bucs are quite thankful for the extra tape.


  • August 29, 2011  - leo says:

    Niblick, watch the Rams game, nothing vanilla there. The Rams game planned, the played their starters the First half, the blitzed, everything. You are comparing aples and oranges. What makes no sense is you take. Watch the game, you will see the truth.




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