This Flower(s) Hits … Friday Cup O’Chiefs

From the Truman Sports Complex

From the time he was eight years old and was first introduced to organized football Brandon Flowers has played cornerback.

Through PeeWee ball, Pop Warner, junior high, high school, college and the NFL, all the Florida native knows is life on the corner, it’s ups and downs, the feeling of living on a football island and knowing he can do everything right and still be beaten for the winning touchdown pass.

It’s what he does and he’s doing it very well. Among the 53 players on the Chiefs roster for the first seven games of the 2010 season, Flowers has turned in the best performance. In his third year in the league, he’s elevated himself to a spot among the top cornerbacks in the league. When Sports Illustrated writer Peter King selected his mid-season All-Pro team in the current issue of the magazine, he picked Flowers as one of the two cornerbacks.

But understand this about Flowers – he’s not just a cornerback, he’s a football player. Yes, he’s one of the best cover corners in the league, who loves the challenge of dealing with the best receivers on the opposing team. That’s only part of what makes him among the NFL’s best players.

The willingness of Flowers to provide run support elevates him above others at his position. He’s the fourth leading tackler on the team with 37 total tackles. That’s remarkable when it’s remembered that he plays away from the snap and only on one side of the field. He has a pair of interceptions, including one that he returned for a touchdown against Cleveland. Flowers also forced a fumble.

But it’s his ability to throw his body around against the running game that makes him special.  

There are and have been plenty of cornerbacks over the years that will tiptoe towards a sweep coming on his side of the field. Or, they will dance with a wide receiver that is blocking him, peaking over his opponent’s shoulder as somebody else makes the tackle. Deion Sanders will likely earn selection to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in early February in his first year of eligibility. But he won’t get a bust in Canton because of his run support. The next time he throws his body into a running back coming off the edge will his first.

With Flowers, it’s an every game thing. And, he’s proud of it.

“When a receiver catches a ball, I pride myself on no yards after the catch,” Flowers said. “Against the run, I just try to be like another safety in the box. I want to add as much extra value to my team as I can.”

His value grows game-by-game now. He’s the best cover man on the Chiefs defense. He’s the best open-field tackler on the Chiefs defense and he’s one of the fastest and strongest players on the Chiefs defense.

“He’s good, very good,” said teammate DE Shaun Smith. “He’s not afraid of anything out there.”

Said veteran OLB Mike Vrabel: “I think anytime you find a defense that is playing well against the run, it’s going to have 11 guys playing the run and he (Flowers) definitely does that. He shows up all the time. That’s how you keep runs from bouncing outside and picking up big yardage.”

Most impressed in what Flowers has done this year is head coach Todd Haley.

“He is a football player,” Haley said. “I talk about receivers being football players and not just pass catchers; Brandon is a football player now. I don’t know that I would take any other corner over Brandon in a run-support standpoint. This guy comes up and strikes, tackles and makes big plays.

“That was almost a game changer on the fumble he caused (by Buffalo WR Lee Evans that Vrabel recovered, but had his elbow out of bounds when he did.) He’s out there in space one-on-one with a guy that the week before made the corner look like he was standing in quick sand and ran in for a touchdown. You make the play he made causing the fumble, and we recovered it, it was just a bad break of where we were on the field.

“He is a heady, smart player.”

That intelligence came through last Sunday against the Bills. It was late in the overtime period and the Chiefs had just punted the ball back to Buffalo. On first down, Evans ran down the left side of the defense and got a step on Flowers. Having just an instant to react, Flowers reached out and grabbed Evans. The pass was incomplete, but Flowers was flagged for defensive holding. Instead of a potentially game deciding bomb, it was a five-yard penalty.

“I felt him getting away from me and I knew I couldn’t let that happen,” Flowers said. “A penalty there is better than a big pass play.”

Said Haley: “If Brandon says that is what he thought, I trust him and I am all in with him … I think Brandon Flowers has done nothing but get better from day one. I think he has a chance to be a great player in this league, I really do.”

He has definitely earned the respect of his defensive teammates who have watched him grow over the last three years.

“The man is not one of those pretty corners, who just stands around when the ball goes the other way and looks pretty in his nice clean uniform,” said Smith. “The ball bounces outside and there’s a pile where we talk the guy with the ball and when you peel people off, there he is at the bottom. It happens all the time.”

Smith and Flowers are starting to click before the ball is even snapped. Sometimes Smith will see something in the formation or senses through some other manner about the direction of an offensive play. That’s when he’ll signal Flowers on the outside, just a little tap on his thigh, or a look provides information.

“It’s easy to talk in practice when everything is quiet,” Flowers said. “But when we are playing in Arrowhead with our screaming fans, it’s tougher to know where everybody will be. He gives me a certain look and I know he’s going to be shading to the outside, or maybe moving inside off the snap. It’s a beautiful thing we are creating right now.”

One of the most impressive things about Flowers play is that when he tackles, he wraps up the ball carrier. Less and less of that are seen in the NFL these days, especially from defensive backs who are going for the big, crunching, ESPN highlight hit.

Flowers is always wrapping his arms around the guy with the ball, and that makes him one of the best open field tacklers in the league.

“It goes back to when I was eight years old,” Flowers said. “If you couldn’t hit, if you couldn’t be physical, you couldn’t make the team. Being physical at an early age just stuck with me from Pop Warner, to high school, to college.

“We preach it around here. It’s why sometimes we throw on the (shoulder) pads to practice when everybody else in the league is in shells. You can’t forget about the little things and fundamentals. That’s one thing Coach Haley and this coaching staff have touched on a lot, just wrapping up every practice.”

For Brandon Flowers, bringing down a running back in the open field on a running play is just as important as breaking up a pass down the field to a wide receiver.

“I just feel like when a play comes my way, any kind of play, I just think I should handle that,” said Flowers. “Whether it’s pass or run, if I don’t make the tackle that makes me as angry as if I don’t get a pass knocked down. It’s my chance to make a play.”


  • AFC – named Chargers QB Philip Rivers as offensive player of the month; Titans safety Michael Griffin as defensive player of the month; Dolphins K Dan Carpenter as special teams player of the month.
  • NFC – named Falcons WR Roddy White as offensive player of the month; Giants DE Osi Umenyiora as defensive player of the month; Lions returner Stefan Logan as special teams player of the month.
  • NFL – named Rams QB Sam Bradford the offensive rookie of the month; Lions DT Ndamukong Suh as defensive rookie of the month.
  • CHARGERS – signed WR Kelley Washington; released OL Adam Terry.
  • COWBOYS – signed CB Bryan McCann off their practice squad.
  • SEAHAWKS – announced that Charlie Whitehurst would start at quarterback this Sunday against the New York Giants.

10 Responses to “This Flower(s) Hits … Friday Cup O’Chiefs”

  • November 5, 2010  - Tom says:

    Brandon Flowers is the best corner the Chiefs have had since Hasty and Carter. One of the few things that Herm got right.

  • November 5, 2010  - gorillafan says:

    I put him above Hasty and Carter, or will atleast be soon. Its awesome to watch. HE may become better than Revis, god I hope so, Im tired of listening on how great Revis is. Drives me nuts, just like the Moss crap now.

  • November 5, 2010  - el cid says:

    Flowers is good but not annointed to the level of Hasty or Carter, YET. When we have a better partner at CB and teams challenge Flowers MORE then we can agrue. They just do not attack Flowers with Carr and Arenas available to run past/around.

    Noticed the Chiefs are on the NFL channel more. Starting to use their film to show how defenses do not stop the run. Sort of nice.

  • November 5, 2010  - gorillafan says:

    Yeah, I like the attention we are getting.

    What is your opinion el cid on Carr? I dont think he will ever develope to be an elite shut down corner. I think he is just good enough to keep the Chiefs from going after another corner to pair up with Flowers and be a force like Hasty adn Carter were together. But I dont think he stinks by any means, just that he is average and thats probably where he will stay.

    But I guess I shouldn’t jump the gun, he’s only in this 3rd yr….

  • November 5, 2010  - dan in joplin says:

    I remeber standing next to this guy @ training camp and thinking to myself, “this is an NFL football player”?!? Boy is he ever!

  • November 5, 2010  - el cid says:

    Carr, hummm. Not sure but Crennel is playing a bend, don’t break defense. That will go a long way into covering his shortcomings. Doesn’t need to be a shutdown CB. Do not think he will ever be a shutdown type.

    Figure a 3rd rounder will be used for a CB in 2011. Sorry to disappoint but doubt Arenas can ever be the starting CB, may be the only disappointment of the 2010 draft. Not a bad kid just not a starting CB type, cannot the wear and tear, probably a nickle or dime type. If he does not get better on special teams, in a hurry, may not play there either.

  • November 5, 2010  - gorillafan says:

    Yeah, I have been VERY disappointed in his returns so far

  • November 5, 2010  - Edward says:

    Guys come down. Carr was a 5th round pick and is playing ok Give kid time to develop. Flowers a 2nd rd pick is developing at an accelerated rate much like you would want from a 2nd rd pick. Flowers if he continues should be pro-bowl corner this season. Carr will continue to get better don’t know what the ceiling yet for him but its definately too early for us to be drafting another corner when we need more younger lineman, WR, and a young nose tackle.

  • November 6, 2010  - William says:

    Carr is big and physical and also wraps up. He is still getting better. One of the reasons he seems to bother people, is because of Flowers ability, the ball usually goes Carr’s way. Inevitably at some point, he will be beaten…and more often than Flowers, simply because of the number of chances. I like the Brandon brothers. I totally disagree with the comments against Carr here. Carr is a lunch pail guy. Tough. I’ll take him any day.

  • November 6, 2010  - el cid says:

    Realy worry about reading skills here.

    Carr is ok but not a shutdown type. His “short career” shows he is more of cover 2, zone type. Nothing wrong with that. So get over other peoples dislike for him, everyone want both CBs to be shutdown types. Know of any team the 2??

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