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Cheifs Chatter

Chiefs Chatter

It's time to cure the disease

Posted 10-21-02

by CK Rairden
Landmark columnist

A frustrated head coach emerged after yet another heartbreaker with a new defensive strategy for the Kansas City Chiefs. The offense has to control the ball, score on all its possessions and keep a defense that Dick Vermeil accurately described as “the disease” off the field.

“You don’t put your weakest phase of your football team on the field. If you know what the disease is, you work like hell to try and cure it.

"But you sure as hell don’t give them the same vaccination that does not work we just put ‘em back on the field.” Vermeil stated.

I like that line of thinking and it is a good strategy. Unfortunately NFL rules state that if your offense doesn’t get a first down you either punt or surrender the ball on downs.

That means that the diseased defense of the Chiefs has to be put on the field. And for every game this season, that has meant chunks of yardage, tons of points by the opponents and a two game losing streak.


The head coach was not finished, “were supposed to be the best offense in football scoring 34 points a game and all that BS (and we can’t convert on third downs.)”

Now this line of thinking is warped. The Chiefs offense did struggle a bit late in the game, but they rolled up 34 points on one of the best defenses in the league. There is no way they can be expected to score on every possession except when they are practicing during the week against the diseased TURNSTILE defense. Denver scored on five of its last eight possessions and that was the difference.


A few weeks back Dick Vermeil mentioned that he didn’t even speak to defensive coordinator Greg Robinson during game days. That has to change. With Vermeil’s admission of his sickly defense in dire need of some sort of treatment someone from the Chiefs coaching staff needs to get in Robinson’s ear.

Dr. Vermeil has made a fine diagnosis of the sickness that is contagious and spreading throughout the Chiefs defense. It’s going to be impossible for this season as a vaccination may not be enough. This defense needs major surgery.

Using a scalpel to remove Lew Bush was a good move, and many other defenders need serious procedures as well. It’s time to send a message to the diseased starters on the defense that aren’t producing. That is a difficult proposition as the depth of this diseased TURNSTILE defense isn’t much to speak of either, but something has to be done.

The starting point needs to be the leader, Greg Robinson. It’s time to sit the coordinator down and tell him to seek professional advice and treatment. And with an angry Raiders crew blowing in to town next week with a ton of offensive weapons, Robinson needs to hit the couch, the vaccination line and even the O.R. table immediately.

(CK Rairden can be reached by email at