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 Peter King on Chiefs Offense

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Posts : 604
Join date : 2010-04-03
Age : 39
Location : Oklahoma

PostSubject: Peter King on Chiefs Offense   Mon Aug 22, 2011 1:48 pm

Chiefs, St. Joseph, Mo.: Finally, lots of options for Cassel.

The fantasy football nerds got to Todd Haley a few times last year. He'd be eating dinner somewhere in Kansas City, and a fan would come up and say hello, and, even after a win, would throw in a Great game, but I wish you'd give the ball to Jamaal Charles a little more. He's dominating out there, coach, and he only got it 12 times today ...

"We led the league in rushing,'' Haley said, "and all I ever hear is how we don't run the ball the right way because Jamaal's not getting it 25 times a game. It's anti-TEAM. The way fans looked at what we did on offense was so fantasy football driven. You know, the curse of the NFL -- the scroll on the bottom of the screen, with all the individual stats. Fortunately for us, Jamaal's such a good team player. He says, 'Coach, I get it. Whatever you want me to do, I'm here.' ''

The Chiefs led the NFL in rushing by 133 yards over Oakland. Charles, the wispy and explosive back, gained 1,467 yards, 6.4 yards a pop. Thomas Jones gained 896, for 3.7 a rush. Thus the hand-wringing. Haley's theory is he's eating the clock and keeping Charles healthy for 16 weeks, and he has zero regrets.

Now, to make the offense more explosive, he's focusing on the passing game. Multiple receiver sets, namely. And on this afternoon in humid western Missouri, the Chiefs' offensive versatility with Matt Cassel under center is on display.

Cassel had a good year last year, a B year, with 27 touchdowns and just seven interceptions. That part was great. The completion percentage, 58.2 percent, was just OK. Twenty-five NFL quarterbacks were better. This year, Cassel knows he has to be better, and the multiplicity of the passing game -- even after the late-week distraction of top pick Jonathan Baldwin -- is better.

I couldn't keep up with the different formations I saw in the afternoon practice, with Dwayne Bowe and Tony Moeaki the relative constants. Bowe's split wide right, mostly, and Moeaki either tight to the formation, or in the slot right or left. On one set, third-down back Dexter McCluster is the single back, with Charles in the slot; one another, Charles is the single back and McCluster off the field. Steve Breaston, the Arizona import, and another former Card, Jerheme Urban, are in the slot or split wide left.

One can see how much Cassel gravitates to Moeaki. He's Dallas Clark. The way Peyton Manning flexes Clark tight and wide and in the slot is the way Kansas City wants to use Moeaki, who had 47 catches a year ago but could have 80 in this offense if he stays healthy, which has been a problem at times for him in college and the NFL."You can make Moeaki whatever,'' said Haley. "You can make him Wes Welker if you want.''

And on one set, huge tight end Leonard Pope was a sixth offensive lineman, lined up next to the right tackle, and Moeaki was in the slot.

"I try to learn everything,'' Moeaki said after practice. "I want my position coach to have confidence that they can put me anywhere and have confidence in me to run the play right.''

I told him he looks like Dallas Clark, the way he was used in this practice. "I watch a lot of Dallas Clark film,'' he said. "We both went to Iowa, and so it's good to be able to see what he's been able to do in the NFL. I watch him to see how he gets open against all different defenses. That's helped me.''

Now for the Baldwin postscript. On Friday, word leaked that Baldwin hurt his hand or wrist in a fight with Thomas Jones and will be out for the rest of the preseason. (The team clammed up tight.)

Baldwin came in from Pitt in the first round with lots of questions; his character was widely questioned by NFL general managers, and Chiefs GM Scott Pioli went out on a limb to take him. Pioli has emphasized character so much that the Baldwin pick was a big surprise to his peers. Clearly, Pioli felt Baldwin's transgressions -- mainly, speaking out publicly against his coaches -- were overblown.

But when I heard about this fight, and heard that it was Jones, I felt sure it had something to do with the offense's most respected leader putting the immature kid in his place. The team had no comment about it, but here's the story with Baldwin now: He's got an 0-and-2 count on him, he just fouled a ball off, and he can't afford to have another strike against him.

Because he's a first-round pick, he'll get multiple chances to make it right. But if he screws up a couple more times, it could turn into a painfully costly mistake for the Pioli regime.

For now, the Chiefs have enough weapons to replace him. For now. But they didn't draft him, and they didn't draft him in the first round, to get into locker-room fights. The pressure's on him to wise up.

Before the fight, Haley said: "My philosophy is you put your best 11 on the field as often as you can. I like the options we're going to have to be able to do that, and to do it in different ways. When I think back to what we had in 2009, you throw up on your shirt a little bit. But now we've got the chance to do a few things.''

And now the focus will be on Cassel to be more efficient, and to extend drives.


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PostSubject: Re: Peter King on Chiefs Offense   Mon Aug 22, 2011 6:26 pm

We use Pope too much, and not enough Moeaki. I actually like Pope too.

I also love what Haley is doing with the offense. Weis was just too conservative. We have a lot of slot options between Breaston, McCluster, Moeaki, and Charles. Bowe will obviously man one WR spot on the outside. Urban will start off with the other one, but Baldwin will slowly take more and more snaps away from him. Hell even if Colbert is healthy and back in his A form he has the ability to be a very good WR for us too. Its too bad we might have to lose him if he doesn't beat out Urban just because Copper has to stay on the team for the ST's unit that the NFL is trying to ruin.

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