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Cheifs Chatter

Not your father's Chiefs


by CK Rairden
Landmark columnist

These aren’t your father’s Kansas City Chiefs.

-Gone is the Marty/Gunther smash-mouth conservative game plan.

-Gone is the slow-witted lock on the same receiver QB.

-Gone is the fullback turned running back—turned running back-by-committee.

-Gone is offensive coordinator Jimmy Raye’s run, run, play action pass and punt, non-ball control offense.

-Gone is defensive coordinator Kurt Schottenheimer‘s bend-and- break defense.

Meet the new Chiefs.

• • •

Enter head coach Dick Vermeil. Vermeil is an old school coach who has evolved and learned to coach in today’s NFL environment. Vermeil took on the head coaching job of the Chiefs without closely examining the Chiefs situation in reference to the NFL salary cap. Once he learned of the awful cap situation Vermeil didn’t cry (well at least publicly). He just helped the team organize and bring in who they could with the available cap funds.

The Chiefs had no legitimate QB and no top-flight running back when Vermeil arrived in town. He contributed to the off-season moves that the Chiefs made in personnel and has surrounded himself with quality coaches.

Changes you will notice on game day—

Vermeil will facilitate duties to his staff. A game plan will be in place for game day.

• • •

Enter QB Trent Green. Green is an accurate QB who understands the offense that the Chiefs will employ. He came to the Chiefs with a surgically repaired knee and questions surrounding his health and his abilities. His knee has held up so far, and he began immediately taking on a leadership role. He had a good camp and pre-season and has adjusted well to the personnel in this offensive scheme. He continues to attempt to make the 2001 Chiefs his team. Questions will continue to surround his durability, but not his leadership.

Changes you will notice on game day—

A more accurate QB. A QB who uses multiple receivers. A leader under center.

• • •

Enter RB Priest Holmes. A RB who has always produced, but has been given few opportunities. With a career average of 4.6 yards per carry, and the ability to make catches and plays out of the backfield, Holmes is a nice fit for this offense. He’s never had a good opportunity, but if he can block well and pick up the blitz, his opportunity is now.

• • •

Changes you will notice on game day—

A running back, not a converted fullback. The ability to hit a hole quickly with a burst. Enough speed and vision to score from anywhere on the field.

• • •

Enter offensive coordinator Al Saunders. Saunders spent the last two seasons coaching the St. Louis Rams’ receivers and learning that offensive system. Saunders has already proven that he can make adjustments to his offense. He has begun by tweaking the system to fit the personnel. A concept not seen in KC for some time.

Changes you will notice on game day—

Multiple offensive sets. An unpredictable offense that can adjust on the fly to game situations. An offense that controls the ball.

• • •

Enter defensive coordinator Greg Robinson. Robinson was the leader of the Broncos defense for the last five seasons and brings a gambling in your face style defense to Arrowhead. He likes to blitz at times that are not predictable and use a variation of defensive sets.

Changes you will notice on game day—

Defensive players put in position to make plays. Defensive players put in position to make mistakes. A chance for the defense to create turnovers.

• • •

The changes being implemented will take time. There will be obvious growing pains that will show up on the field. But for those who grew tired of the Chiefs beating their collective heads against the wall with the old system, it’s a welcome change.