View Full Version : Herm Speaks on keeping the spread, DJ at Middle Linebacker and the O-Line

Big Daddy Tek
12-10-2008, 01:11 AM
Herm Speaks 12/9 (http://www.bobgretz.com/chiefs-football/herm-speaks-129.html)

December 9, 2008 - Bob Gretz |
From Arrowhead Stadium
There were a lot of questions and a lot of answers in Herm Edwards weekly Tuesday press conference.
A lot of that questions and discussion centered around the offense and the future of Tyler Thipgen.
Here are the highlights.http://www.chiefscrowd.com/forums/images/imported/2008/12/10.jpg

ďWeíve got three weeks to decide. Me personally, Iím kind of leaning towards the way itís going. I kind of like it, because we are able to control the clock and we are able to run the ball. Thatís the whole key. You still have to run the ball in this league. I think we can still run the ball pretty good and we havenít turned the ball over a lot. Weíve turned it over four times and thatís a good sign.Ē

Analysis: If the head coach is leaning towards keeping the spread, then what else do we need to know? Nobody is going to overrule Edwards. The Chiefs offense has turned the ball over six times since the Jets game when they went to the spread, thatís four Tyler Thigpen interceptions and two fumbles (Thigpen and Jamaal Charles.) Thereís no question that Thigpenís control of the football has made all the difference in the world. The moment this offense starts turning the ball over, the Chiefs will go back towards a more conventional attack.
The next three weeks are crucial for the future of the spread offense with the Chiefs. First, itís the weather; all three of the final games will be played in cold weather. To survive, a team must run the ball and canít rely just on the pass. Second, now that theyíve played in the spread for seven games, there is plenty of tape for opposing teams to watch. There are fewer and fewer surprises for the opponent. Three, thatís especially true for San Diego, the first Chiefs foe who will see the KC spread for a second time. Itís one thing to watch it on tape; itís another thing to have experience against the offense in person.

ďThis offense has really helped our offensive line. I think weíve only had six sacks since weíve gone into this. Before it was a bunch more. Since the Jets game it has only been six. Itís helped everybody.

ďHeís (quarterback) in shotgun. heís already standing where heís going to be. He doesnít have to drop back. Now it drops a little bit of your play-action stuff out, but he can get rid of the ball and you take people out of the box. Thatís kind of helped us.Ē

Analysis: Hermís memory of the pass protection in the spread is better than reality; since the Jets game, the Chiefs have allowed 15 sacks in seven games. Thatís certainly better protection than what quarterbacks had in the first six games when they were dropped 18 times in the conventional pro-offensive set. Some might think the more mobile Thigpen has helped drop the sack totals. That would be true, but not for the reasons most people think. Mobile quarterbacks tend to get sacked more often than pocket passers. What Thigpen has done is this: when heís felt the pass rush pressure, heís taken off on the run; heís not taken off to pass. Thigpen has tucked the ball and generally made positive yardage. If he was running around back there trying to throw the ball, his sack total would be higher, as would his interception total. Thereís no question that the spread leaves running lanes for the quarterback to take off and run.

ďThere are two things (that make it work for him): as long as you donít turn it over and you can still run. Youíve got to be able to run the ball, especially now. See the weather out there? Youíve got to be able to run the ball if you are an outdoor team when itís cold. Somewhere along the line youíve got to run the football. I still believe when itís third and two you donít always have to throw a pass. Youíve got to be able to knock somebody off the ball and make a first down. If you get into the playoffs, I promise you those teams that send up in the final four, those are going to be teams that are physical and can run the football. The team that won the Super Bowl last year (New York Giants) can run the football. I donít think you can get away from it. Ē

COMMENT: If the Chiefs are going to use the spread as their offensive scheme it creates some interesting discussion and contemplation when it comes to the running game, starting with this: does Larry Johnson still fit? Is a big, power back workable in this offense, or should it be smaller, shiftier backs that are as good catching the ball as running. Johnson can still run the ball, but the fact the coaching staff feels they canít leave him in on obvious passing situations makes his role very limited.

ďI thought he played pretty well. He did a good job. Heís going to be there for the next three weeks. What it has helped him do, he has to be more focused because he has to make all the checks. He has to set the front. I think that helps him stay in the game. Heís got to get the call and communicate that. He was very good on the sidelines I thought as far as saying Ďhey coach, this is what they are doing, what do you want to do here.í We havenít seen that before because he hadnít been that guy. Now heís that guy and heís taken great pride in it. Ē

ANALYSIS: D.J. may cement a new contract with the Chiefs if he shows he can play the middle. On the outside, heís been too inconsistent or he would not have been moved inside. If Johnson shows he can handle the mental aspect of playing the middle, it paints a clearer picture for the Chiefs on their personnel needs for the defense in 2009.

12-10-2008, 02:31 PM
Thanks for the post and link.

If we stick with the Spread and the chiefs plan on getting a QB I hope we wait till round 2 at least.

Also, If DJ does well in the middle we can just focus on picking up a STUD DE in FA then our draft coudl focus on getting our Oline fixed.

Again great post thanks

12-10-2008, 08:07 PM
Thanks for the post and link.

If we stick with the Spread and the chiefs plan on getting a QB I hope we wait till round 2 at least.

Also, If DJ does well in the middle we can just focus on picking up a STUD DE in FA then our draft coudl focus on getting our Oline fixed.

Again great post thanks

Im not sure I entirely agree. I think if he does well at MLB, then we still have a need at OLB and a DE. I think we have to pick up at least one good LB either OLB if DJ does well or MLB if DJ goes back to the outside next year. I think we need one good established LB and another one to draft and maybe a rookie to train for the next year or two for depth.