News out of the AFC West has seemed to dominate the NFL headlines this week. Part of it is due to the fact the league is at it’s quietest point of the entire year as this is the space in time between the end of OTA’s and the start of official training camp. Players and coaches are taking time away leaving only a light drizzle of news to satiate the football-hungry masses.
On Thursday, the Oakland Raiders announced the long-term deal of quarterback Derek Carr at 5-years/$125 million. Also on Thursday, the Kansas City Chiefs announced they had extended Head Coach Andy Reid for five more years. (Terms undisclosed). Additionally, the Chiefs announced they had parted ways with General Manager John Dorsey.
In the opposite world that is Kansas City, the timing seems to be odd. The Chiefs are enjoying their best success in recent memory as they have made the playoffs in three of the last four seasons and won the AFC West last season with a 12-4 record. Their Wild Card round playoff win over the Houston Texans last season was their first playoff win in 22 seasons.
Why let the GM, who has been the architect of that success, go now? Usually the Head Coach is shown the door before the GM or they are let go simultaneously so the new GM isn’t stuck with a coach he doesn’t like.
Whether Dorsey was fired or whether it was a mutual decision seems to be dependent on who you ask but the answer will be evident if Dorsey accepts another front office position within the next season or two. Regardless, his stamp on the team will resonate for many seasons hence as the young players he’s drafted mature.
Eyes will be on the Chiefs to see if they can maintain their recent success without Dorsey and what will become of the Chiefs’ bold move to trade up (from slot 27 to 10) in the 2017 NFL Draft in order to select quarterback Patrick Mahomes.
The end to quiet time could be coming to an end sooner than we think… Can the Chiefs maintain and stay at the top of the AFC West? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.
The Greg One
If you need to be motivated for this game, you may want to check your pulse! The game between the San Diego Chargers and the Kansas City Chiefs is of huge importance for both teams. If the Chargers win, they are in the post-season. If they Chiefs win, they have a chance, however so slight, to grab the last wild card spot as well. It is week 17 and this is no time to hold anything back.
With that in mind, the coaches have to walk the fine line between getting their team too fired up, which would cause reckless play, and too loose, which could cause lazy mistakes. Let’s take a look at how Coach McCoy (Chargers) and Coach Reid (Chiefs) can spin what they know in a way that will inspire just the right amount of emotion and confidence. Remember, these are my words, not actual quotes. Please comment below and let me know how you would motivate your players in this situation.
Kansas City Chiefs: Coach Andy Reid
- Win and We Have a Chance: “Let’s face it men, we need some help to make the playoffs. After we beat the Chargers, we still need the Browns and the Jags to win in order to make the playoffs. Yes, that sounds like a longshot. That’s okay! Longshots come in all the time! Strange things happen in sports. It will not upset me to win this game and not make the playoffs. What would really eat at me would be to lose this game and then watch the Jags and the Browns win their games. Then we would have to live with the fact that we had the post-season in our hands and we let it slip through our fingers. Can you live with that?”
- Next Man Up: “We are all very well aware that we lost Alex (Smith). Well boo hoo for us! What are we going to do? Cry? Not me. I’m going to help get Chase (Daniel) prepared to play a football game. Chase can play! We almost beat these guys in San Diego last season with Chase at the helm and our second team in the game! He is a quality professional quarterback. We are fine.”
- Meet Their Intensity: “The Chargers are going to come out on fire! If they beat us, they are in. They know that and we know that. If we go out flat, they will run away with the game. We need to go out there like a team that believes that they will be playing next week. We need to show them early that all their excitement is for naught. That being said, they showed last week that they have the ability and the heart to come from behind, so if we get them down, we need to step on their throats and keep them down. Hold nothing back. We have all offseason to rest.”
- Ball Control: “Last time we played these guys we held the ball on offense for 39 minutes! That gave Philip Rivers and their offense 21 minutes with the ball. It is hard for a team to score points when they do not have the football! The Chargers are decent against the pass, but they have been getting torched on the ground. That plays right into our hands. We need to run it down their throats and methodically move down the field. If we get them worried enough about the run, it will open things up for the passing game. I foresee a lot of long drives for our offense. The keys will be to not turn over the ball, move the chains, and do not settling for field goals! If we can do that, we will win this game.”
- Home Field Advantage: “No one likes coming into Arrowhead Stadium to play. We have one of the loudest crowds in the history of the NFL. That is an advantage that we need to capitalize on. If we let them get out in front early, that will quiet our crowd and there goes our advantage. Again, I must emphasize the importance of starting the game with a bang. Score early and often. The crowd will feed off of our momentum and life will be very difficult for the boys in blue.”
San Diego Chargers: Coach Mike McCoy
- Inspiring Comeback: “Men, we showed a lot of heart last week in San Francisco. To come back from 21 down on two occasions against a very good Niners defense is not something just any team can do. Did we do that for nothing? Because if we lose this week, that victory was wasted. Keep believing, men. If you show the same heart this week that you showed in the second half of last week’s game, we will be on to the tournament! I’ll be honest with you, as great as that victory was I would be much happier with a nice comfortable early lead that we stretch throughout the game.”
- Win and We’re In: “I doubt I need to explain this to you, but do you all completely understand our situation? We are one game away from competing in the tournament! If and when we beat the Chiefs, we are on to the post-season. We are in control of our own destiny. Are you going to let the Chiefs take away what is ours? Are you going to waltz into Arrowhead Stadium and lay an egg and have to spend the entire offseason wondering “what if?” Not me! I’m not going down without a fight! In fact, I have no intension of going down to defeat! This is our destiny, not theirs. Let’s go on and see what the football gods have in store for the San Diego Chargers.”
- Offense: “We need to control the ball much better than we did in our last meeting with the Chiefs. We need holes for our running backs. Running backs, we may need you to break a tackle, fight for extra yards, or juke someone out of their jocks! I don’t want any excuses! We need to be able to run the ball and protect our quarterback! You know that Philip is banged up. You also know that he is tough as nails, but he is also human. Keep him clean. Receivers, you can help with that too. Get open ASAP! They have a good pass defense. Who cares? We will get open and we will move the football. No excuses!“
- Defense: “WE MUS STOP THE RUN! If we cannot stop Charles and their other backs, we cannot win this game. The Chiefs offense runs through Jamaal Charles! Hit him every play! Wrap up on all tackles! Team tackle! Make Chase Daniel beat us….or at least try to beat us.”
- Professional Football Players: “We are all aware that Alex Smith is out for this game. We are also aware that Charles and Bowe are on the injury report as questionable. I have an opinion about this situation. My opinion is…..I don’t care! We will be facing professional football players. If you recall, their second team, led by the same QB we will face tomorrow, took us to overtime last year in week 17. We took them lightly last season. We should know better this season. I say we play as if we are going against the best team in the league and we have to play with great intensity and we must shut up that crowd early and break their spirit. We have been going with the next man up philosophy all season. They are using it now. We know it works for us. It doesn’t have to work for them. Get them down and keep them down and it’s off to the playoffs.”
There you have it! That is how I would address both teams before this giant of a game. I’d love to hear your opinion and your ideas how to do the same. Thanks for the read and Go Chargers!
(Thanks to KCChiefs.com and NFLRush.com for the pics)
Over the years, coaches of all sports have been the subject of an argument. “Are coaches an important part of winning?” Opponents will tell you that players make the plays. No coach has ever thrown a game winning touchdown or made a game saving tackle. Coaches are little more than glorified organizers who make sure that their best players are on the field and have been educated on the opponent’s tendencies. Supporters, will tell you that along with the aforementioned responsibilities, a large part of the coaches value to his team is to take his players to the next level…mentally.
Yes, Coaching 101 says that a coach must be a motivational speaker, a psychiatrist, and a father to his players. “These players are professionals, making millions of dollars, they don’t need motivation!” Wrong! Despite what seems logical, how many times have you seen a team (even a Chargers team) come into a game flat and get beaten by the underdog? Unfortunately, that has been a trait that has tarnished the Chargers reputation for many years, especially during the Norv Turner era (God rest his soul).
So, what can a coach say to get his team up for a game? Sometimes very little is needed. Other times, the coach must dig deep and say things that his players may not have considered that will motivate them to work harder on the field and take the other team seriously, whether they are undefeated, or winless.
This week, Chiefs Head Coach Andy Reid must convince his team that they can go on the road and beat the home favorite. While he is doing that, Coach Mike McCoy, of the Chargers must work hard to make his team believe that they have to bring their A game if they want to win. He must build up the Chiefs, while not breaking the spirit of this own team.
Here are five thoughts that the coaches can spin to help their players take the field, ready to win:
Chiefs – (Reid’s job – Build up players as road dogs)
- Don’t believe the hype! Who have the Chargers beaten? A Seattle team that was looking past them. No one else. Other than Seattle, the Chargers have beaten teams that have a combined record of 4-19. They have yet to face a team of quality, since week two (Buffalo being a possible exception, but they can be glossed over).
- Despite a couple of good weeks out of Branden Oliver, the Chargers are still 25th on the ground and still have a beat up offensive line. The Chiefs must confuse and/or overpower the inexperienced line, snuff out the run, and get to the quarterback. Coming off of the bye week, they should feel as though the health advantage is on their side of the field.
- Chiefs rank seventh in pass defense. Sometimes you need to emphasis your strengths. IF, the defense can shut down the run and force the Chargers to become one-dimensional, this plays into the strengths of the Chiefs. Kansas City enters the game with 15 sacks and two interceptions on the year.
- Proud tradition and great rivalry. First matchup between these franchises was Saturday, Sept. 10, 1960 when the Los Angeles Chargers beat the Dallas Texans 21-20. The overall record 52-54-1, shows one of the most even matchups in league history. There is no love lost here.
- Awfully hard to come back from a 2-4 start when the Chargers would be 6-1 and Broncos will most likely by 5-1 by the end of their game against the 49ers. Like all AFC West teams, the Chiefs have some difficult games in their future. A 3-3 team would be far easier to sell as a contender than a 2-4 team.
Chargers – (McCoy’s job is to keep players focused on the game at hand, not the Broncos)
- Chiefs coming off of a bye week – They will be rested, while the Chargers are busted-up. A team that had two weeks to heal and prepare cannot be overlooked. Remember, the Raiders were coming off of a bye week as well and made the game far closer than most believe it should have been.
- Winning Streak – Shut up the doubters. Despite a five game winning streak, there are still some out there who do not respect what the Chargers have done. “Wait until they face a real team”, is the phase most often used. The truth is that a team can only play the teams on their schedule. So far, the Chargers have beaten five out of six and have themselves to blame for their one loss. Let the hater hate and just go out and treat teams as if they should have known better than to show up to our house and even try to walk away victorious.
- Better team wins – It’s no secret, the Chargers are considered by most, if not all, to be a better team than the Chiefs. Although that can make it hard to stay focused, it can be used as motivation as well. The players must feel as though they are being invaded by an enemy who is trying to take what they have. A family cannot allow lesser teams to just walk into their house and take what they want. If you are better, prove it! Send them back to Kansas City praying that by their next meeting, week 17, the Chargers have already locked up home field advantage and will just send out the second and third string against them. NO MERCY!
- KC’s second string embarrassed our boys last season – Speaking of the second string, one cannot forget that the Chiefs second string players gave the Chargers all they could handle last season in week 17. A simple reminder of how they almost didn’t make the playoffs because they couldn’t stop a bunch of backups should help keep their heads in the game.
- Don’t let their record fool you – Even though Kansas City is only 2-3, they are considered by most to be a decent team, with the ability to beat anyone on any given Sunday. Proof of this can be found in their 41-14 thrashing of the New England Patriots just two games ago.
So there you have it, five directions that each coach could go to motivate their teams. Whether or not one believes that this type of motivation should be necessary at the professional level, the reality is that it helps a great deal. Never underestimate the value of a good BS artist……I mean motivational coach.
Enjoy the game and please leave comments below. I’d love to discuss this with you.
We all know the playoff scenario. On Sunday the Chargers need the Ravens and Dolphins to lose even to have a chance at getting into the playoffs. The Ravens plays at Cincinnati and the Dolphins host the Jets. It’s a possibility the cards can fall into place and both games go the Chargers way. That really isn’t the important thing.
The Chargers must beat Kansas City at home on Sunday.
We all want to see the Chargers in the playoffs but the Chargers don’t need to worry about things that aren’t in their control. Even if one of the above mentioned teams wins, it is no excuse for the Chargers to play with anything less than their absolute best. By the time the Chargers come out of the tunnel at Quaalcomm stadium, they will know if they are playing for a spot in the playoffs or not. If so great. If not, doesn’t matter. The win is what matters.
There are rumors that it is common for Andy Reid to rest starters when he knows his team is set to make the playoffs. Wide receiver Dwayne Bowe won’t be playing due to a concussion. Stud pass rusher Tamba Hali will not play due to injuries. Jamaal Charles playing time may be restricted. This game has no bearing on the Chiefs playoff seeding. They are in and they are playing on wild card weekend.
Whether they’re playing the Chiefs reserves or the starters, the Chargers winning will signal a successful beginning of the Telesco/McCoy era. The Chargers are guaranteed at least a .500 record. They were 7-9 last season and they are 8-7 now. A win gives them a winning season and means they closed the season on a 4-game winning streak. The Chargers need that momentum going into the offseason.
We have witnessed a return of Pro Bowl Philip Rivers. Rivers is the fourth highest ranked quarterback in the league and is in the top five in almost every passing category there is. The new offense implemented by McCoy and conducted by OC Ken Whisenhunt has kept Rivers standing upright and completing passes all over the field, putting up sensational numbers.
Ryan Mathews has played in every game this season, a first for him in his career. As a result, he has posted a career high in yards with 1,111 yards and 6 touchdowns. Mathews has played very well the last half of the season. Next season is Mathews’ last season before his rookie contract expires. A repeat of this season’s effort could earn him a veteran contract. The one-two combination of Mathews and Woodhead has been a success and will be lethal if Mathews can show he is durable enough to be counted on week in and week out.
The offensive line has turned into a cohesive unit and with one week left Rivers has been sacked almost 20 fewer times than he was last season. DJ Fluker has been every bit worth his draft position to the point where his exclusion from the Pro Bowl should be considered a snub. King Dunlap has played admirably. Clary at guard has been a great decision. The entire line is playing their best when it counts, at the end of the season. This line will only get better.
All the new names on defense from rookies Mantei Teo, Jahleel Addae and Tourek Williams to guys getting starters minutes like Thomas Keiser and Andrew Gachkar have thrived. They will make great second unit once the injured stars like Dwight Freeney, Larry English, Melvin Ingram and rookie draft pick Steve Williams return at full strength next season.
A 9-7 record highlighted by a four game end of season win streak is the objective. That’s a wave of momentum that can sway free agents to San Diego, highlights areas to enhance in the draft and sends the team into the offseason on a high. That momentum then flows into offseason workouts, minicamps, training camp and preseason. Playoffs or not, getting the win is the most important thing the Chargers can do for themselves.
The Greg One
The Kansas City Chiefs have been very busy in free agency. The moves they have made indicate that they believe they will be contenders in the AFC West. It sure looks like they’re trying to do just that.
Several key signings came early in free agency. Makes me think Andy Reid means business this offseason. These key additions have me convinced the Chiefs will not be a two win team. I feel the AFC West will be improved across the board next season. Well, maybe not Oakland, but we’ll talk about that at a later date. Today we discuss the Kansas City Chiefs recent moves in free agency. Below I will list and discuss the players signed, key stats from 2012, and what they bring to the table.
QB QB Rating Comp/Att Pct. Yards Yds/Gm TD/Int.
Alex Smith 104.1 153/218 70.2 1737 173.7 13/5
Chase Daniel 108.3 1/1 100 10 .600 0/0
WR Rec Yards TD Avg. Long
Donnie Avery 60 781 3 13 48
Anthony Fasano 41 332 5 8.1 22
OL GP Sacks Allowed
Geoff Schwartz 13 0
DE Tackles Solo/Asst Total Sacks/Int.
Mike DeVito 27/25 52 1/0
Dunta Robinson 67/13 80 1.5/1
Sean Smith 53/6 59 0/2
Now my thoughts on each player.
A. Smith – This is a decision the 49ers will regret sooner, rather than later. A major upgrade at QB for KC. Smith is an above average QB with the ability to run. In my opinion, Smith could become elite with Reid’s coaching.
Chase Daniels – Adds depth at QB but I would not want Smith to go down.
D. Avery – Avery will need to be covered. He adds depth at WR. Avery and Fasano should help free up Bowe for single coverage.
A. Fasano – Good blocker with solid hands. 5 TD’s last year. Another solid weapon for Smith.
G. Schwartz- Will help solidify the O-Line in K.C.
M. DeVito – Good rotational player. Solid tackling ability.
D. Robinson – Will see a lot of nickel situations. Chiefs secondary is already decent. Brings veteran leadership to the team.
S. Smith – Two thumbs up on this one. Smith, Flowers and Robinson Oh My! Sean beefs up the secondary. Very solid zone cornerback.