Chiefs struggled in all areas at New England
Todd Haley and his coaching staff could not be
accused of playing their cards close to the vest when the Chiefs faced
the Patriots on Monday night in Foxboro. On offense, defense and
special teams, the Chiefs coaches reached deep into their playbooks to
find something different to throw at Bill Belichick's team.
"It was a game we prepared very hard for," Haley
said, talking about his coaches and players.
That sure was apparent by what happened on the
For the first time this season, the Chiefs made
significant use of offensive formations with four wide receivers. They
even had several snaps where there were five wide receivers on the
field. Haley has said he does not like to have five wide, preferring
instead to have a tight end in the game. But because of injuries in the
New England defense, the Chiefs coaches decided to go after their
secondary and the backups that were forced to play.
Plus, offensive coordinator Bill Muir was not in
the coaching box, but on the sidelines. And, they pulled out the
Wildcat for two plays, where quarterback Tyler Palko went in motion and
the direct snap was made to wide receiver Jerheme Urban, who was lined
up in the shotgun position. He handed off both times to running back
Dexter Cluster for third down conversion runs of eight and three yards.
Defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel said the key
was mixing things up against Tom Brady and that Patriots offense and
that's just what the Chiefs did. They barely used their base 3-4-4
defensive scheme, playing it less than a half dozen plays in the game.
There new base defense was a 2-4-5, with the nose tackle out and nickel
defensive back Javier Arenas on the field. For most of the game, Arenas
lined up opposite wide receiver Wes Welker in the slot. They also used
the sub-defense they've had all year with 2-3-6 and several times on
3rd-and-long situations, they had a 2-2-7 scheme on the field.
Bad luck ruined one of the best onside kick
attempts the Chiefs have tried in many years. The call caught the
Patriots by total surprise and only a bad bounce off the leg of a
Chiefs player before it went the necessary 10 yards kept it for working
"We tried some different things today and it was a
game plan the coaches really worked hard on making happen," said WR
Steve Breaston. "We just didn't always execute it the way it should
"That was really the problem at every level, execution."
Muir remains Chiefs' play-caller
--Coach Todd Haley was quizzed after the Monday
night game about whether he was calling the offensive plays rather than
coordinator Bill Muir.
"We were status quo with how we operated," said
Haley. "It was just as we've done all year. We made an alteration with
having Bill down on the field. I just thought that we were at a point
here, at this point in the season, that in order to try to get a little
change going we should make the move. He talks to the offense all week
and I just felt that being up in the box right now wasn't the best
place for him."
As with everything Haley does with his team,
whether Muir stays on the sideline for the rest of the year falls under
the category of work in progress.
--The decision to place QB Matt Cassel on the
injured-reserve list with his right hand injury was put off as long as
possible. They finally made the move Monday, ending his season.
"That's not to say that he wouldn't be throwing
the ball and things like that if we had kept him (on the active
roster)," head coach Todd Haley said. "We put a lot of thought into it
and time as an organization with our doctors obviously, and we just
made the decision that we thought was in the best interest of us and
--The Chiefs may consider bringing in a veteran
quarterback to add to their roster, but there's no doubt in the mind of
head coach Todd Haley who his starter will be for the final six games
of the 2011 season.
"That was a big stage to come in and have your
first real action as a quarterback," Haley said of Palko's first NFL
start coming on the road against the Patriots on Monday night. "I have
a lot of confidence in Tyler. That's bred through watching him work,
prepare and do his job. He'll get better. He won't be satisfied with
that, and that's a good thing."
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