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Cheifs Chatter

Take a Memo

Coaches turn into turkeys

Posted 11-26-02

by CK Rairden
Landmark columnist

The Chiefs coaching staff decided to celebrate Thanksgiving four days early. Turning into a plethora of Thanksgiving turkeys, the staff made mistake after mistake and served up a nice gift for the Seattle Seahawks.

The Chiefs found themselves in a fourth and eight situation from the Seattle 33-yard line with a 10-0 lead and all the momentum. Instead of showing some guts and either attempting a 50-yard FG or going for the first down the team elected to punt. The result was a 3-play 92-yard drive by the Seahawks and a loss of momentum.

Greg Robinson’s defense didn’t bend at all— it just broke down completely. And that would continue in record proportions for the rest of the game.


After trading TD’s and with the score 17-14 Chiefs, the team moved into position to take back control of the game with a first and goal from the Seahawks one-yard line with 1:05 to go in the half. The first mistake, the Chiefs called a timeout.

The second mistake, the Chiefs try to get cute and throw a pass with the NFL’s best scoring back in the league in the I formation behind Trent Green. The result: an interception and a complete change in momentum with a long drive resulting in a touchdown. The game was over right there.

Dick Vermeil and his coaching staff made every fundamental mistake possible and took not only their best player our of the game at a crucial moment but served up a victory on a Thanksgiving platter for the woeful Seahawks.

The Chiefs coaches should donate their entire salaries to charity this week as they never even bothered to punch the time clock as they sleepwalked through the game.

It was never more apparent when Dick Vermeil was quizzed in the post game press conference about the ill-timed time out. “I wish I could remember all that right now, but I don’t my mind is really exhausted right now so I can’t say anything accurately," Vermeil stated.

It was only the turning point of the game, why should the head coach recall that blunder? Sigh—it’s only scribbled on the memo pad in LARGE LETTERS several times.

Take A Memo:

-When there is one minute left in the half and you have the ball on your opponent’s 1-yard line—You don’t call a timeout! Unless there is a chance of a delay of game warning that will cost your team five yards, you want the clock to keep running.

-First and goal from the one-yard line, turn and hand the ball to Priest Holmes. How hard is this?

-Stop punting the ball from inside the opponent’s 35-yard line with the TURNSTILE defense.

-The Chiefs never punted from inside their own territory all game, but attempted only one FG with the league's best FG kicker.

-What a brilliant move playing Ray Crockett just because he “knows” this useless defensive scheme.

-Matt Hasselbeck must know it also; he had a career high in passing yards by the middle of the third quarter.

-Can someone tell Greg Wesley to run right through the QB’s chest when he has a straight-on clean shot on a blitz instead of swinging at his head and missing?


But hey—since the Chiefs gave away any shot at playing a meaningful game in the next month, I’ll still be in a giving mood also—

Here’s a nice list of do’s and don’ts for the Chiefs—

-Don’t blitz Ray Crockett—he’s too old and too slow to get to the quarterback even if he’s unblocked.

-Don’t blitz Greg Wesley; he can get to the quarterback but only leaps over the QB as he whiffs.

-Don’t take Scott Fujita out on third and seven and ask Mike Maslowski and Marvcus Patton to attempt to cover a WR.

-Don’t run press coverage with Ray Crockett and Eric Warfield.

-Don’t stack the line of scrimmage with 10 guys in the box with a team on the 46-yard line. He might run for a 46-yard TD and end the game.

-Don’t make plans for the playoffs for this year.

-Don’t bring Greg Robinson back next season.


-Do start to get Marc Boerigter involved in the offense, for once again the team won’t play a meaningful game in December, and it’s time for “Wait ‘til next year.

-Do give Priest Holmes the ball when it is 1st and goal from the one-yard line. He’s the guy who wears number 31, you may have noticed him—he piled up 307 yards total offense against the Seahawks.

-Do begin to play DE R-Kal Truluck, and LB Quinton Caver, how much worse can the defense be with those two seeing time? It’s evaluation time for next season. Once again, it’s before a December game is played.


Wild card Picture—

Wait ‘Til Next year.

(CK Rairden can be reached by email at