Chiefs Notes: Willie Roaf Will Have His Hands Full

Chiefs Head Coach Dick Vermeil wasn't playing a mind game, was he, early in the week when wondering how whether the Colts could maintain any momentum generated by their domination of Denver in the wild-card round.

"I'd like to believe that maybe the game they had (against the Broncos) is an equivalent to the game the Vikings had against us," Vermeil said, recalling Minnesota's nearly-perfect play in a 45-20 pounding of the Chiefs at the Metrodome on Dec. 20. "You have a great big game and then -- well, can you do it twice in a row?

"I don't know."

The Vikings, remember, lost a week later on a last-second play in Arizona and fell out of the playoff picture.

Chiefs Quotes:
Chiefs corner Dexter McCleon, who had six interceptions this year, isn't so sure fellow CB Eric Warfield has the best idea when he says being physical is the best way of limiting Marvin Harrison.

"If you give him a free release from the line, he'll eat you up," Warfield said. "That was evident against Denver. You've got to get your hands on him."

Warfield isn't wrong, but that doesn't necessarily make him right.

"You can try to be physical, but people have tried everything you can think of against Marvin and nothing's worked," McCleon countered. "You just expect him to get his catches. You can't stop him, you can only hope to slow him down a little.

"Trying to chase that guy around is much harder than chasing a Randy Moss or a Terrell Owens," McCleon added. "He can get in and out of his breaks before you start running. He'll catch the ball and be upfield before you can blink. And he can stop on a dime. That makes him deadly."

Veteran tackle Willie Roaf, a nine-time Pro Bowler, understands why Colts second-year DE Dwight Freeney might relish the prospect of a head-to-head matchup against the Chiefs All-Pro veteran Sunday at Arrowhead.

"I remember in my rookie year, I played against Reggie White and he said some good things about me," Roaf recalled of a 1993 game with New Orleans. "Now this young guy is coming in here trying to make a name for himself, which he already has."

Well deserved, too, Roaf adds.

"He's a young up-and-coming player with a great motor," Roaf said of Freeney, who's recorded 24 sacks in his first two NFL seasons. "He's one of those players who can turn around a game by himself. He relies on his feet and hands for leverage, and that's given a lot of guys problems this year. I've already got a lot of respect for him.

"It's going to be a good battle, a good test for me."

Vermeil, the man who returned after to the NFL after 14 years out of the league, thinks he understands why Joe Gibbs would want to return to the Washington Redskins after an 11-year absence.

"He's driving the race car now," Vermeil said of Gibbs, who coached three Super Bowl champions at Washington before leaving to form his own auto racing team.

"He's a leader who wants to be hands-on, like he was with his auto racing team," Vermeil added. "But, he couldn't get in and drive. In the NFL he still can't go in the huddle and throw a pass or make a tackle, but he sure can direct things.

"I think I understand completely why he left, and I understand completely why he's back. Sooner or later you really understand what you're all about, what makes you move forward. He had a tremendous passion for (football), even though he was successful in his second career.

"He'll be a tremendous influence on the Redskins' organization -- as long as they let him."

Vermeil, who still maintains his family home in Chester County, Pa. -- the rural suburbs of Philadelphia -- on his selection as the Maxwell Club's Coach of the Year:

"Ron Jaworski is the president of the (Philadelphia-based) group, and he's like my adopted son," Vermeil said of his former Eagles quarterback. "He might have stacked (the voting)."

BY THE NUMBERS:
101 - The Chiefs average of rushing yards allowed in their current 13-game winning streak at Arrowhead Stadium.

34.3 - Kansas City's average point total during the home winning streak. 1993 -- the last season in which the Chiefs won a playoff game. 1997 -- the last season in which KC qualified for the playoffs. They were 13-3 then, too.

QUOTE TO NOTE:
"I could screw it up just as easy when I was younger." -- Dick Vermeil, asked if being the oldest coach in the playoffs (at age 67) also made him the wisest coach.


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