Chiefs Glad to Be Back on the Field

After a madcap week of off-the-field antics, the Kansas City Chiefs returned to Arrowhead. Though the team lost to the Arizona Cardinals 24-17 at least the first team offense punched it into the end zone. But the best news came from the first team defense as they pictched a first half shut out against a very good Cardinals offense.

After giving up 275 yards and 20 points to Minnesota's stout offense in the preseason opener, the KC defense made its bid to return the city's focus to the field by holding Kurt Warner and the Arizona offense to 127 total yards and no points in the first half of the second preseason game.

"We felt all along that we were getting better every day in practice. We work against one of the best offenses in the NFL, and sometimes we shut those guys down," said defensive tackle Lional Dalton. "But, we still needed to go out and do that against somebody else."

But then the second half started and the "Weekend at Bernie's" mishaps of the previous weekend in the Minnesota/Wisconsin north woods showed up, to a thankfully more limited degree, on the field at Arrowhead.

Third-team quarterback Damon Huard hit only 1 of 12 passes while throwing two interceptions before leaving the game with a head contusion. One was returned for a touchdown and another set one up as the Chiefs gift-wrapped 14 of the Cardinals' 24 second-half points in the 24-17 Kansas City loss.

"That second half was not pro football," said a disgusted coach Dick Vermeil. "It was a disguise."

Huard's charity in posting a 0.0 QB rating only returned that of Cardinals' cornerback David Macklin from the first half. He helped the Chiefs put up their 10 first-half points with a 33-yard pass interference penalty on the 74-yard first-series touchdown drive, and then added another 34 on a 42-yard march for a field goal.

"We might not have scored without the pass interference calls, and that would have been two weeks in a row (for the first-team offense)," grumbled Vermeil, unhappy with the lack of offensive efficiency.

With his team sitting on an 0-2 record, Vermeil sent his players off for their first weekend in Kansas City after breaking camp in River Falls, Wis.

CHIEFS NOTES:
Was it possible to have a lousier week than Lawrence Tynes had this past week?

After missing a 38-yard field goal against Minnesota and drawing his head coach's ire, Tynes was arrested following an early Sunday morning (Aug. 14) fight at a River Falls, Wisconsin nightclub. He faces felony battery charges after a bouncer's nose was broken in a scuffle police said was caught on video tape.

The video didn't get any better for Tynes against the Cardinals the following Saturday (Aug. 20).

Tynes missed two more kicks, of 38 and 46 yards, and Dick Vermeil didn't even try to hide his displeasure afterward.

"He's in the tank," Vermeil said of Tynes, who replaced the legendary Morten Andersen as KC's kicker in 2004. "You miss two field goals like that? Not in the National Football League.

"He's thrown up the red flag the entire camp in regard to being an accurate kicker on our practice field. We have a real concern."

Vermeil admitted the Chiefs had been looking for replacement kickers, but said the pickings were slim at the midpoint of the NFL preseason.

"Don't think we haven't been evaluating who's out there," he said. "Superman isn't there right now." However that may change very soon. On their local TV broadcast on Saturday night, President Carl Peterson noted that Kansas City would like to bring in another kicker to compete with Tynes.

STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL
Following his mistake and missed tackle that allowed a 50-yard gain in a Minnesota touchdown drive on Aug. 12, the Chiefs moved second-year DE Jared Allen to the second team in base defense and promoted third-year DE Jimmy Wilkerson to the starting position.

Allen, who had nine sacks last year as the rookie surprise of the Chiefs, still plays the rush end in the nickel, and Wilkerson thinks the rotation can work well for both players.

"It will keep both of us fresher," Wilkerson said. "I know Jared is a better pass rusher than I am. I'm a better run defender. That's something the coaches can use to their advantage. It'll certainly give the offensive tackles a different look."

The Chiefs have yet to look at another DE they brought in during the off-season to improve their pass rush. Carlos Hall, a player coordinator Gunther Cunningham liked during his three seasons in Tennessee, has not played in three weeks -- missing both preseason games -- with what he says is a triceps injury that prohibits him from fully extending his arms. During OTA's Hall was very impressive batting passes down and showing ability to get to the quarterback. That's something this defense needs and the return of Hall should increase the teams effectiveness in sacking opposing quarterbacks.

The Chiefs hope to get LB Kendrell Bell involved in some contact work soon, possibly this week, in the hope that the free agent acquisition from Pittsburgh can get a few preseason snaps before the Sept. 11 opener against the Jets.

The Chiefs have held Bell out of contact work; not to protect the groin/hernia that sidelined him for all but three games last year in Pittsburgh, but because of recurring shoulder problems.

Pro Bowl G Will Shields, who aggravated a long-standing back problem in the first training camp workout on July 28, has been slowly doing a little more each day at camp and could begin full-team activities this week.

SATURDAY INJURY REPORT UPDATE:
WR/KR Dante Hall sustained a knee injury against Arizona that bears watching. Initial reports did not think it serious, but he'll probably see limited, if any, action in the final preseason games.

As mention backup QB Damon Huard, who hit only 1 of 12 passes against Arizona with two interceptions, sustained a mild head trauma that may explain his shaky play.

Pro Bowl TE Tony Gonzalez missed the Arizona game while nursing a broken pinky finger. He continues to practice with his hand in a split and figures to be ready for the season opener.

Pro Bowl G Will Shields, sidelined with a back injury since the first day of training camp, likely will begin full team workouts this week and may see limited action Saturday night against Seattle.

Backup QB Todd Collins will likely miss at least another two weeks with a hand injury sustained when he hit his throwing hand on the helmet of a Minnesota Viking during the preseason opener.

RB Robert Holcombe could be out a month or longer after injuring his knee in the Vikings preseason opener. Holcombe doesn't believe the injury will require surgery, but it will take time to heal.

RT Kevin Sampson will likely miss at least another week or two after dislocating his big toe. He had been the Chiefs' starting right tackle throughout training camp.

DE Carlos Hall, acquired in an off-season trade with Tennessee, missed a second straight game against Arizona with what he says is a triceps injury that keeps him from extending his arms. He hopes to be able to return to practice sometime this week.

TE Jason Dunn did not play for a second straight game against Arizona because of a back injury.

Former starting safety Jerome Woods, now playing with the second unit and fighting for his job, missed the Arizona game with a sore knee, the same one that caused him to miss six games last year.

Suspended starting cornerback Eric Warfield, who will miss the season's first four games for violating the league's alcohol abuse policy, is battling back pain that caused him to undergo major surgery two years ago.

Defensive tackles John Browning hopes to be back in practice this week after getting a second opinion on the back injury that has sidelined him for more than two weeks.

DT Junior Siavii hopes to return to practice this week after missing the Arizona game with a swollen knee.

WR Freddie Mitchell continues to miss time with a knee injury he is trying to let heal on its own. Mitchell rejected the team's advice to undergo arthroscopic surgery.

LB Shawn Barber, a 2004 starter, likely will open the season on the PUP list after needing two operations to repair the knee he injured in Week Eight last year. He missed the rest of the season and has been able to do only light running in camp.

LB Mike Maslowski, who was hoping to resume his NFL career after an extensive series of complicated knee surgeries, has yet to receive clearance to return to practice.

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