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August 14, 2004

KC's Preseason Game #1 (loss to the Giants) « Kansas City Chiefs »

I am quite pleased with KC's first exhibition game, a loss to the NY Giants.

The 1st team was up 14-0 and the second team had us up 17-7. I didn't get to actually watch the game, but from the online stats, it seemed as if Kansas City put in thw 2nd team and then the 3rd team one series earlier than the Giants each time. Playing "one level down" resulted in 14 of the Giants points, from what I can tell. But that's really immaterial, other than the back-ups getting some excellent work.

Remember I told you about Richard Smith? This undrafted free agent WR has truly demonstrated that he's good enough to be a starter. He had a 1st-down reception on 3rd-and-11, and had another long gainer as part of a TD drive, as well.
And Kris Wilson showed why KC drafted him in the 2nd round. This guy is going to score at least 8 TDs in the regular season. Drafted to add mismatches against LBs and Safeties, he beat a cornerback for a touchdown.
Jared Allen showed he's ready to be a long snapper, and despite being "too small" to be effective at DE this year (supposedly), he got a sack.
RB Jonathan Smith had a few decent runs and some big catches...but also fumbled deep in KC territory, so I'm not sold on him.
Julian Battle still isn't ready to start at CB.
The D-line started off quite well, stuffing several runs for 1 yard or less. The defense forced the Giants to punt on their 1st two series. There were some breakdowns later, and one long gain allowed to Ron Dayne by the first team defense...but I'm still not too concerned, yet. Yet. It is the first preseason game, the players are still learning Gunther's defense, and you never put in anything close to your full package in preseason.
Interesting point: the big gain was allowed by Scott Fujita. I've been a big fan of his, since he forced his way into the starting line up as a rookie after being a 5th-round pick. He's a very smart player...but that might be the problem. He excelled in Greg Robinson's 'thinking-man's defense'; he often played at a pro-bowl level. But he's not doing as well in the Gunther's 'attack defense', whereas Monty Biesel is. I wouldn't be surprised if Fujita loses his starting job to Biesel, and while I wouldn't be excited to see that, I'm all for it if Fujita can't do the job and the switch makes the team better. The word from training camp is that Biesel is playing well enough to start, but playing behind Shawn Barber who is much stronger in this system than Fujita.
Maslowski may be done. He was a monster instinct player, but it took too long for him to crack the starting line-up due to questions about his speed. Once there, he got injured too quickly to leave an enduring stamp on the position. I hope he gets better, but it is looking like a lost cause...
Casey Clausen may have won the #3 job from Damon Huard. KC is still not totally sure about Todd Collins, it seems, because despite wanting a future star to develop at 3rd QB, we always end up going with someone with NFL experience and proven mediocrity there, just in case Green goes down and Collins can't cut it. But Clausen ran the two minute drill quite well, nearly scoring a late TD before running out of time. Some good completions on that drive, so if he continues to do well, he should lock down the spot. Heck, the fact that he played with the 3rd team rather than Huard says something right there, doesn't it?

“Incredible,” Green said of the line's play. “They picked up right where they left off. I think we had over 150 total yards and 40 yards rushing in the first quarter. You can't ask for more of an offensive line than that. Plus, no sacks.”
Who is John Tait again...?

Jimmy Wilkerson's sack of Eli Manning forced a FG instead of a TD. Wilkerson will be in the rotation on the D-Line.

I'm also rather perplexed by the willingness of KC sportswriters to use 4th quarter lapses by the 3rd-team defense to "prove" KC's defense will have the same problems as last year. Many of these guys won't even be on the roster when the season opens. Ridiculous. There was one breakdown by the starting defense, but many more successes, including CB Eric Warfield breaking up two passes, a couple sacks and some stuffs on running plays...and we were lacking Jerome Woods, who had tweaked his hamstring. We need more games to be sure, but I'm not worried about our defense.

All in all, we got exactly what we needed out of the first preseason game: a chance to play against a different team, to evaluate some young players who were doing well in camp, and to knock some rust off. We did all those things, and the 1st team easily won their part. I'm pleased.

Posted by Nathan at 09:19 AM | Comments (0)
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