Titans-Chiefs Week:Herm Edwards

Chiefs Head Coach Herm Edwards answers questions about the upcoming game against the Titans

What do you think about Titans defensive linemen Albert Haynesworth and Kyle Vanden Bosch?

Edwards: "They are two fine players. I think their whole defense plays very physical and hard. Those two guys are the cornerstones, obviously, the inside guy and the outside guy. That's how you build your defense. You build it in the middle first. Their linebacker corps does a good job, also. They're very physical and they've got good speed. That's what it takes to play good defense."

What about when Haynesworth and Vanden Bosch swap positions?

Edwards: "They're trying to get some matchups, which you should try to do. Get your players matched up against some guys you feel like they have an opportunity to take advantage of. They do a good job of that."

What is the Chiefs' running back situation and is Kolby Smith is banged up?

Edwards: "Yeah, a little. We've got the one kid, Gilbert Harris, who is helping us out, too. Those are the guys that we have right now. They'll both be available to play. That's just kind of where we're at. We've got some injuries at certain positions and that doesn't help you. We're playing a lot of young players. We're kind of doing what the Titans did a couple years back. We're heading in that direction, to be quite honest. We're starting to play a lot of young players, draft the players and play them." 

Will Larry Johnson play again this year?

Edwards: "He's getting better. That's week-to-week right now. He's out this week, so we'll know more next week."

What has been the impact defensive coordinator Gunther Cunningham has had on the Chiefs' defense?

Edwards: "Very good. Gunther is a solid football coach. It's good to work with a guy that is a defensive-minded guy. We both kind of feel the same way about defense. He has some talented young players that he's trying to develop. We've done a fairly decent job for most of the season. We didn't fare well last week. We didn't play one of our better games. But for the most part, we've been playing pretty consistent defensively all year. That's a good thing with a lot of young guys, which is going to benefit us down the road."

What impact does it do to a team when their coach leaves in the middle of a season such as Falcons head coach Bobby Petrino?

Edwards: "Obviously, that's a tough situation for those guys. They've had a lot of things happen to that organization. But it starts with the ownership and they've got strong ownership. They'll find a way. But it's tough. It's tough on the players, tough on everybody, tough on the coach that leaves. It's never a good thing, but it was probably, in his mind, the best thing for him and his family. In the end, he probably looked at it in the long run and said it was probably what was best for the organization, too. They'll get over it. It's tough. They've got three games left. I think Emmitt Thomas is the interim head coach, which is great for him. They've got three games left, and they'll find a way to get through it."

Do the Chiefs have any motivation to spoil the Titans' playoff hopes this weekend?

Edwards: "Our motivation is to win the game. We've lost six in a row now. We've been fairly competitive in all of them, except the last one. It got out of hand early. We just need to win a game. This is our last home game of the season. We go on the road the next two, so it's kind of important to win one at home."

Is an 8-8 team on its way up or on its way down?

Edwards: "It's kind of funny in the league. You go 8-8 or 6-10 and all of the sudden you flip. There have been times when you were 6-10 and all of the sudden you flip it back and you're 10-6. At 8-8, you feel like, ‘You know what? We didn't have a bad year. We just had a so-so year.' You're probably two wins away from getting into the playoffs when you're 8-8. That's how you feel when the season's over with. If you wouldn't have given this one away and given that one away, you would have gotten in. But this league is so difficult. You never know every year. You look at a lot of teams, Super Bowl teams, Chicago has had their struggles this year. Obviously, Baltimore had a great record last year and they have struggled some. You never know. Injuries have something to do with that too."

What was the gamble of picking a receiver early in the draft and why has rookie receiver Dwayne Bowe been successful?

Edwards: "It is tough. Most rookie guys don't come in right away and light it up. He's been good for us. He's a big, physical guy. We liked him. We did a lot of work on the guy as far as bringing him in here, talking with him. We did a lot of background stuff on the guy. The thing you notice about the guy is when he went to LSU, he played right as a freshman. That was kind of important for us. We tried to draft players in the last two drafts that had played right away. We felt like when it got to this level, it wouldn't be too big for them. So we stuck him in there right away and he's been pretty good."

What is the toughness of developing a rookie receiver versus other positions?

Edwards: "Receivers, quarterbacks, they're tough. That's a tough position. You just hope that it's the right guy. He's going to be the right guy for us. There's no doubt about it."

Is there an acceptable percentage of no-gain or negative yardage plays on first down on offense?

Edwards: "I tell you what, we've not been very good. We're probably last in the league with a lot of negative plays on first down. So you're asking the wrong guy right here because we haven't been real good on that side of it."

Comment on Jared Allen and if Michael Roos can slow him down?

Edwards: "I think [Allen] is one of the better ones. He's having a great year. Obviously he's going to have a big test this week. That's always the matchups. You get matchups playing good players playing against good players. He'll have his work cut out, there's not doubt about it. But Jared's having a really good year."

What are the strengths of Roos?

Edwards: "I think, obviously, his ability to get the job done and doing it in a manner where he doesn't bring a lot of attention to himself. Those guys, generally the quiet guys, are very consistent. That's what it takes in this league to be a good player, over the long hall, to be consistent. When you're consistent, that makes the coach go to bed at night feeling very comfortable about that position. Here's a guy that's going to line up every week, he's going to play, I'm going to get the same kind of performance. When they have to play in a big game, it's not too big for them. If they have to play against a good player, it's not too big for him. So that's what he brings to the table."

Will the Chiefs benefit from the fact that the Titans have not played in Arrowhead Stadium since 1999?

Edwards: "I don't know if it's that so much. We used to have this mystique of winning at home. Now, we have lost a bunch of them at home this year thus far. We need to win one at home and the Titans are a good football team. They're still in the playoff hunt. They had a great chance to win at home last week against the Chargers and it kind of got away from them. But they're a very good football team."

How much does Tony Gonzales open things up for Chiefs running backs and receivers?

Edwards: "He is having a fine year, obviously. He has been that way his whole career. He's a very consistent player, a big-time player. He plays when he's a little knicked." He can do it all. He blocks well, he runs routes well and you're right. You have to pay attention to where he is at. That helps you on offense.

Do you think coaches around the league order hits on opposing players?

Edwards: "Oh, I don't know. You're asking the wrong guy. I don't know if that stuff goes on or not. A long time ago, it probably did, but I don't know if that's still the case any more."

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