Kansas City Chiefs
Green Bay Packers
Thursday, August 29, 7:00pm CDT
Kansas City area---CBS 5 KCTV
Topeka, Ks---CBS 13 WIBW
Kansas City Chiefs
Green Bay Packers
Thursday, August 29, 7:00pm CDT
Kansas City area---CBS 5 KCTV
Topeka, Ks---CBS 13 WIBW
Last edited by Chiefster; 08-29-2013 at 08:10 AM.
Weather forecast: 95 degrees, sunny
Chiefs Inside Slant from Yahoo Sports:
Successful NFL teams are built first on the line of scrimmage, with the offensive and defensive lines. That has been the credo for building teams for years and no place in the league has that been more in play than with the Kansas City Chiefs.
Whether it was former-former general manager Carl Peterson or former general manager Scott Pioli or current GM John Dorsey, they've all used high draft choices on the big guys up front. That method has achieved limited success for the Chiefs in the last decade, with just three appearances in the playoffs and no post-season victories.
Like Peterson (Joe Montana, Trent Green) and Pioli (Matt Cassel) before him, Dorsey invested a high-draft choice in a veteran quarterback, giving up a pair of second-round picks for Alex Smith.
The success of the 2013 offense will not be completely in the hands of Smith; he will need a lot of help from those big guys up front, where high draft choices have been invested. The No. 1 offensive line for the regular-season opener against Jacksonville will have two first-round tackles, two second rounders at left guard and center, and a third-round choice at right guard.
Peterson directed the selection of Albert in the first round of the 2008 NFL Draft. Pioli picked center Rodney Hudson, left guard Jeff Allen and right guard Jon Asamoah. Dorsey added right tackle Eric Fisher with the first choice of the 2012 NFL Draft.
From left to right the Chiefs line is 28, 23, 24, 25 and 22 years old - an average of 24.4 years of age. The No. 1 backup player is third-round (2012) guard/tackle Donald Stephenson; he's 24 years old.
That youth and lack of experience has made for an interesting training camp and preseason for the Chiefs offense.
"There are a lot of nuances, a lot of detailed things on every play that you have to remember," said Albert, the 28-year old elder statesman of the group. "You have to know where everybody's going, so you know what you're going to do. If you're hesitating or don't play fast, that's when things happen."
With Bob Sutton installing a very aggressive defense, the offensive line has had trouble through the month of August dealing even with their teammates. Those problems have continued into the preseason games - through three weeks they had allowed 16 sacks, or one every 8.2 passing plays. Smith went down five times and No. 2 quarterback Chase Daniel nine times.
"There's a lot that goes on with the protection unit, and so much of it falls on the offensive line, but I think, to everybody," said Smith. "There's a lot of guys that-especially quarterbacks, running backs, interior receivers, guys that are all involved depending on the play-we all have to be on the same page. It really falls on all of us."
The Chiefs running game also was not clicking in the preseason, averaging just 82.3 yards per game on 65 rushes; 10 of those runs were by quarterbacks racing away from pass rushers, so the running backs have just 134 yards or less than 45 yards per game.
"The one thing about that group is they are not afraid to work hard," Reid said of his offensive line. "We'll keep working with them, and as long as they do that then you get better at all of the things you must handle. That's how you go about it."
As the league's No. 1 draft choice there are a lot of eyes watching Fisher, who has struggled at times working at right tackle and playing through several injuries.
"I've been happy with his progress," Reid said of Fisher. "He's been banged a little and he's worked through that which a lot of guys wouldn't do. A lot of guys wouldn't be able to push themselves mentally and he's done that. He has to continue to get better ... I though he came out against what I thought was a good defensive front (Pittsburgh) and played very well."
Albert preaches patience to his young line mates.
"We are in this together and we have to work together to get this done," Albert said. "We have to listen to our coaches, get to the nitty-gritty and do the extra stuff that needs done. That's one thing I'm learning; I had been in (the same) offense the last three years and I knew every detail. But now, I'm like, 'Ok I got to get into my playbook and really know what's going on, ins-and-outs.' It's a day-to-day battle."
"We're scheming up and I think the players believe in it and then they execute it. There's some talent there performing at a high level and the coaches are doing a nice job of putting them in positions to make plays." -- Chiefs head coach Andy Reid on his team's special teams performance in the preseason.
Green Bay Packer Inside Slant:
Nineteen days, 10 practices, three games.
That's how short of a look the Packers needed with a previously decommissioned Vince Young to know he probably gives them a better chance of staying competitive in the event of a crisis at quarterback than Graham Harrell would.
Such was the big turn of events following Green Bay's lackluster 17-10 loss to the Seattle Seahawks in a marquee preseason game at Lambeau Field on Friday night.
Less than 24 hours later, word spread fast that the start of the Packers' roster reduction from 90 to 75 players by the NFL-mandated deadline of 3 p.m. CDT Tuesday involved none other than Harrell.
The team made the release of Harrell official Sunday before the players returned to the practice field in the afternoon.
"A tough decision to release Graham, even more so on a personal level," head coach Mike McCarthy said after practice. "Graham has been with us for three years, very fond of him. I thought he was developing and he was getting better. But, at the end of the day, we talk about creating opportunities and performance, and we feel at this particular time we're going to go in another direction with the two remaining quarterbacks."
So, after allowing Harrell to serve as Aaron Rodgers' mostly idle top backup last season, the Packers would seem to be giving the enviable - or dubious, depending on how one looks at it -- role of No. 2 quarterback to Young.
McCarthy, however, wasn't ready to anoint the former first-round draft pick and seventh-year pro at that spot less than three weeks after Green Bay signed him off the scrap heap. B.J. Coleman, a first-year player and the only other QB on the roster, hasn't been pigeon-holed as the No. 3 guy for the second straight season, at least not yet.
In fact, for what published depth charts are worth in the preseason, the Packers listed Coleman ahead of Young on their latest chart Sunday afternoon.
"We have two (backup) quarterbacks here, and the number two spot hasn't been answered," McCarthy said. "That's where we are. B.J. and Vince are going to compete, and they're going to take the majority of this football game."
McCarthy is referring to the team's final preseason outing, which comes Thursday night on the road against the Kansas City Chiefs.
His comments about putting the football in the hands of Young and Coleman for most of the game would be a good indication Rodgers won't see the field for more than a series or two. That would be in line with McCarthy's uncommon approach to this preseason, which has given Green Bay's unquestioned leader and arguably the NFL's best player limited exposure.
Rodgers has played only six series through the first three preseason games. The output by that No. 1 group, which has been short-handed from the outset of game play because of a few notable injuries, has been all of nine points on three field goals from Mason Crosby.
After making a surprise cameo appearance of just one possession in Friday's nationally televised third preseason game, which typically has been when McCarthy keeps his starters on the field into the second half, Rodgers feels his condensed workload this August has been sufficient prep work for the season ahead.
"I've played a lot of football," said Rodgers, a ninth-year veteran going into his sixth season as a starter. "I'll make sure my conditioning is where it needs to be for the first game (Sept. 8 at San Francisco), and we'll be fine."
The Packers' downsized first-string offense has been without new left tackle Bryan Bulaga and receivers Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb in the preseason games. While Bulaga is likely headed to season-ending injured reserve because of a torn ACL, Nelson and Cobb have been sidelined because of knee and biceps injuries, respectively.
The two playmakers, however, practiced on a limited basis Sunday. McCarthy, in turn, subsequently gave both players a chance to suit up and play Thursday.
That's especially encouraging news for Nelson, who was originally thought to be out for the rest of the preseason after he underwent surgery Aug. 5 to repair recurring nerve damage in a knee.
"Jordy and Aaron got an opportunity to work and get some time in individually (Sunday)," McCarthy said. "Jordy's been ahead of schedule since the first week (after the surgery). He looks good, so I'm hopeful that as the week goes and it goes smooth Jordy will be able to play this week."
If Nelson is cleared for Thursday's game, he knows he won't be out there long and doesn't feel he has to go to be game-ready for the season opener.
"I think that little bit of work is not going to make a difference if I get it or not, but we'll see," Nelson said Sunday.
As for Young, his grasp of Green Bay's complex system on offense in short order has gone a long way toward putting him within a week of possibly securing an in-season roster spot for the first time since he was with Philadelphia in 2011.
Young had been out of football after being cut by Buffalo last August until the Packers signed him to a one-year contract Aug. 5 for the veteran's minimum of $715,000 with no guaranteed money.
"Vince Young's making progress," McCarthy said Sunday. "He's more and more comfortable each week with our terminology and with our offense."
The Packers' comfort in Young, 30, at quarterback came to fruition Friday.
After Harrell struggled in five series after replacing Rodgers early in the second quarter, Young took over in Green Bay's second possession in the third quarter and promptly led the offense into the end zone for only the second time this preseason. Coleman had a touchdown pass in the 19-7 win at St. Louis on Aug. 17.
"This is a wordy system and a difficult system to pick up," said Rodgers, the Packers' longest-tenured active player. "He obviously came in after seven installs had been put in already. So, he was behind, but he's been picking it up and showing improvements."
Young's first of two series against the Seahawks entailed 11 plays covering 80 yards, culminating with a 1-yard touchdown toss to rookie fullback Jonathan Amosa.
Despite the layoff of nearly a full year, Young exhibited some of the instinctive decision-making and elusive footwork from his prime with the Tennessee Titans. His big drive included runs of 21 and 18 yards sandwiched around a 16-yard completion to tight end Andrew Quarless.
"I feel like Jermichael Finley got me in touch with a great masseuse out here, so she did a great job (with the legs)," said a smiling Young, crediting the Packers' top tight end, a former college teammate at Texas.
Young, who gave way to Coleman in the fourth quarter, led Green Bay's quartet of quarterbacks Friday with a 130.7 passer rating. He completed six of seven passes for 41 yards and added three carries for 39 yards.
"I haven't personally played a whole lot with him in these games, but he can make plays when things break down," starting right guard T.J. Lang said. "You saw (Friday), he made some big plays with his feet. He looked good moving the ball down the field."
Even with Harrell out of the picture after he had an abysmal 53.8 passer rating by completing only 17 of 29 passes for 120 yards with one interception this preseason, Young admitted Sunday "I'm not really feeling good about that right now," in regard to being the presumed the team's No. 2 QB.
"We're doing a lot of hard work behind the scenes," Young said of his integration in the offense. "I'm trying my hardest to try to catch up with the guys, but they're so more advanced right now. I'm trying my hardest to catch up with 'em right now."
If Rodgers indeed exits early or doesn't play Thursday, Young and Coleman could have a chance to run the offense behind the Packers' seemingly set starting line.
Don Barclay made the start at right tackle Friday for the second straight game. Barring an injury or a disastrous performance against the Chiefs, the job looks to be his over Marshall Newhouse, who regressed after being the starter early in camp.
Yet, the team's new depth chart Sunday still has Newhouse as the starter over Barclay.
"I feel very good about both Marshall and Don," McCarthy said. "I thought Don was very efficient in his time (Friday). I would say the same thing about Marshall. But, they both had plays where if their performance would have been better I think it could have been potential big plays for us on offense. That's where that's at, and we'll see how this week shakes out. But, I feel like we're in very good shape there."
The Packers pared the roster to 85 players Sunday.
Besides Harrell, those released were running back Angelo Pease, defensive tackle Gilbert Pena and receivers Alex Gillett, Omarius Hines and Justin Wilson. All of them are undrafted rookies.
The team signed Zach Ramirez, an undrafted rookie from Portland State, to compete with veteran incumbent Crosby.
"No doubt. We've got a lot of guys down right now, so you can't see the total package of the offense. But, Week 1, we will be ready. When the lights are on (in the regular season), I know we're going to put six (points) on the board." -- Tight end Jermichael Finley, when asked whether the offense can "turn it on" once the season starts after the injury-depleted No. 1 unit has yet to score a touchdown this preseason.
if your goin' stay hydrated !!! gonna be blisterin' hot out there
Go chiefs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
What I'm expecting/hoping to see tonight:
1. No injuries.
Yep. I guess that's about it.
Oh, and our special teams should be awesome! Since the only chance most of the people playing tonight have of making the team is if they play well on special teams, we can expect them to be going all out.
Oh, and I am curious to see how Tyler Bray plays, even though he will only be going up against 3rd and 4th stringers.