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Cheifs Chatter

Take a Memo:

New ways to blow a lead

Posted 10-21-02

by CK Rairden
Landmark columnist

The Chiefs defense is now finding new and more interesting ways to blow fourth quarter leads each week. There are not enough adjectives to describe how bad the KC Chiefs defense has become.

However, the fans are sure sending plenty of expletives for the Greg Robinson and the TURNSTILE defense.

As I composed the notes for the “Take A Memo” column this week, I began to feel like Bill Murray in the movie “Groundhog Day.” Wait—haven’t I used that before? Hmm, that sounds familiar…Many seemed to be exactly as the notes that I had produced for the first six games.

That led me to a change of plans for this week’s column, from “Take A Memo” to—
“See I Told You So!”

(Oh stop complaining—there are a few new ones at the end of the column.)

Originally posted 9/10/02 Game One:

—The bend but don’t break defense bent, then broke and broke and broke and broke and broke and broke and....

—Anyone still believe the Chiefs interior defensive line doesn’t need some serious help?

—Anyone still believe that Priest Holmes is a fluke?

Originally posted 9/17/02 Game Two:

—Ladies and gentleman introducing your starting KC Chiefs cornerbacks, Eric Torchfield and William THE Burnee.

—Home field advantage is long gone.

—This defense has zero playmakers.

—A winnable game and a great opportunity from the fast start were wasted.

Originally posted 9/24/02 Game Three:

—The Kansas City Chiefs defense is beginning to resemble a baseball relief pitcher. They can stop an offense for a few ‘innings,’ but then they are just hammered.

—Greg Robinson believes this defense is starting to gel? This defense is Jell-O.

—I will never get tired of watching Priest Holmes.

—Recipe for disaster.

1) Take a cup full of slow linebackers.

2) A cup full of corners who can’t cover.

3) Add two slow safeties that are late in coverage help.

4) And throw in a gaggle of defensive linemen who have trouble
getting a pass rush.

5) Final ingredient: a defensive coordinator who out-thinks himself and his players, but not the opposing offensive coordinator.

Originally posted 10/01/02 Game Four:

—Wow, the Chiefs’ defense is really, really slow.

—John Tait still gets beat way too much. He is the weak link of an otherwise potent O-Line

—Al Saunders is now entering the upper echelon of offensive coordinators.

Originally posted 10/08/02 Game Five:

—Greg Robinson names one of his defenses the 3-0-8 spinner defense. I’m changing that. You can now call it the 3-0-8 TURNSTILE defense. Opponents just pass right through it on their way to lots of yardage and eventually the end zone.

—Can you imagine how good this team could be with a defense?

—Can you imagine how good the Chiefs defense could be with—

A) A new defensive coordinator

B) A defensive line that could tackle and generate a pass rush

C) Fast, hard hitting linebackers

D) Safeties that could cover and tackle

E) Corners that could play press coverage without getting burned several times a game.

—Kind of scary, but Trent Green doesn’t seem to panic anymore.

—I once called RB Priest Holmes a “poor man’s” Marshall Faulk. That was an obvious mistake. He’s an underpaid Marshall Faulk.

—Don’t look now but Trent Green has a 2-1 TD to INT ratio, is hitting on 65% of his passes and has a 100.4 QB rating.

—That may have been what Dick Vermeil had in mind when he sent a number one draft pick to the 0-5 Rams two seasons ago.

Originally posted 10/15/02 Game Six:

—The Chiefs blitzes don’t work because the defense is so slow. The blitzing defenders come untouched many times but are so slow that they arrive at the QB too late to disrupt the play.

—A golden opportunity wasted by this loss, but this offense is still a blast to watch. They continue to develop offensive weapons, and Trent Green is maturing with each snap.

—Shaunard Harts and Scott Fujita played well on the defense, other than that this defense can’t tackle, can’t stop the run, and can’t stop the pass. Is there any more to say about Greg Robinson‘s TURNSTILE defense? Nothing that can be printed here.

—The older, slower defensive personnel and coordinator dictate that unless the Chiefs offense gets the ball in the 4th quarter with more than 10 seconds remaining, the Chiefs can’t count on any defensive stops.

—This has been obvious since the beginning of the season, and still nothing has been done about it. And that’s an embarrassment.

Oh alright—here are a few new notes from this week’s Memo pad—

—The fourth quarter magic is gone. The Chiefs have now been outscored 35-17 in the last two games blowing 10 and 14-point leads in the final quarter.

—Cover two will not work with this defense. The safeties are always out of position.

—If you are going to ask a linebacker to cover a TE like Shannon Sharpe don’t ask Glen Cadrez or Mike Maslowski.

—Here is what little pass rush, a lousy defensive scheme, and defensive backs and linebackers that can’t cover can produce:

QB’s Performances vs Chiefs (2002):

Kelly Holcomb 27-39 for 326 yards, 0 INT, 3 TD (Week 1) Win
Mark Brunell 25-36 for 320 yards, 0 INT, 2 TD (Week 2) Loss
Tom Brady 39-54 for 410 yards, 1 INT, 4 TD (Week 3) Loss
Jay Fiedler 29-45 for 310 yards, 4 INT, 1 TD (Week 4) Win
Chad Pennington 23-30 for 245 yards, 1 INT, 2 TD (Week 5) Win
Drew Brees 28-41 for 319 yards, 2 INT, 2 TD (Week 6) Loss
Brian Griese 30-50 for 376 yards, 0 INT, 2 TD (Week 7) Loss

—All this and an angry All-Pro QB is scheduled to make an appearance at Arrowhead stadium next week.

(CK Rairden can be reached by email at