Its that time of year again. Chiefs football is right around the corner and I'm stuck talking Donkeys on a daily basis. Considering that the last 3+ years I have used this website as my outlet to *****, cheer, analyze and hear from other Chiefs fans, I thought that there wasn't a better way to start this football season.
With that said, I'm really excited about the Chiefs this year. I would be lying if I said that the pre season hasn't gave me doubt about this team, but my self perceived football knowledge has curbed this panic with rational thought.
I am just a firm believer that the pre season cannot be used as a gauge for a team like KC because they are a game plan team, meaning that there is not one particular scheme that is used from game to game. Instead Todd Haley and staff create different schemes and formations depending on who they play, so the outcome is a different look every week. Unlike most teams in the league that are going to run the same style offense no matter who they are playing. They practice that particular scheme week in and week out, resulting in a more polished look in the pre season.
Considering that there is no actual game planning done in the pre season, a game plan style offense like the Chiefs are just running through the motions against defenses that are trying to nail down their particular scheme before the season starts.
So if the Chiefs don't have a favored scheme and they are not game planning, then what are they doing during the pre season?
I'll tell you exactly what they are doing. They are creating matchup opportunities to evaluate on tape. They are running behind questionable offensive lineman to see if they can block and they are throwing to questionable wide receivers to see if they can make this team and help this team win.
They are also throwing to guys like Dwayne Bowe to see if they have improved or are as reliable as they were the previous year. They are running behind Casey Weigmann or Branden Albert to see exactly where their physical skills are at compared to where the staff expects them to be.
They are creating a four week evaluation project.
The other thing that should be noted is that Todd Haley didn't walk in after the lockout and start running team scrimmages and formation walk through's. He got those guys in shape first!
He said from the first moment that he became the head coach that the players would have to be in a certain level of physical condition to play.
Unlike most coaches around the league, he did not stray from this notion because of the lockout. Not only did they only do conditioning for the first few weeks of camp, most starters never played the first pre season game.
So while other teams were learning their playbooks and perfecting their schemes, the Chiefs were doing cardio! You might not believe in that method.....
Apparently John Fox doesn't believe in that method either. That's why half of his team is banged up. Example you ask........
As I am standing on the sidelines at Dove Valley with the rest of the Denver press watching Broncos training camp, I see new signing Ty Warren come running out of the locker room in full gear. Everybody is excited and talking about how this guy is going to change their defense.
Keep in mind that Ty Warren didn't play all of last year, went through a locked out off season and just entered a climate that is literally one mile high. So whats the first thing that the coaches have him doing?
Well, hitting the sleds and working on block shedding of coarse! The next day he's in scrimmage going 100% against other grown men. 10 days later hes injured and hes out for the year. Wonder why? What a bad break. What a shame. That's what I heard.
All along I was telling myself, Todd Haley would have never let that happen.
Pre season is not about winning, Its about getting better and finding out who is going to help you win down the stretch. If coach Haley made a mistake this pre season, it was playing Tony Moeaki, Matt Cassel and the rest of the starters too far into that fourth game. But then again, he was making up for lost time during conditioning.
I expect the well conditioned, well coached Chiefs to have an exciting, healthy year. Just like last year. Don't get too caught up in pre-season. The 1972 undefeated Dolphins lost 3 of 4 pre season games. the 2007 undefeated Patriots went 2-2 in pre season and of coarse, the Detroit Lions 0-16 actually went 4-0 in pre season that year.
Scott Pioli is always building for the long term. They might not win as many games because of a more difficult schedule, but this team will always be moving in the right direction.