We let ourselves get one dimensional...and now the Defenses are on to us. You stack the box to limit the run and put pressure on the QB of the Chiefs. It seems to have been a success, albeit last weeks game was a bit of a mirage as the early barrage of Donkey points made us get out of our game plan. But the question is valid. Did we finally find the wall on our running game approach. Do we have to let Cassel open up the field from the get go?
Interestingly, Haley is viewed as a risk taker. But one thing you will notice, he is not a risk taker when it comes to how he handles players. He is very consistant in how he sets his line ups and how he works players into the lineup. He does not throw players under the bus. That is why we all screamed when 2.7 kept getting carries. And now we scream for where the heck is Chambers and why isn't he getting yanked. Haley is very careful on how players are integrated into the gameplan.
We saw at the start of the year, Jones, Jones, Charles on the running game. Even though we screamed, it worked. Now we have seen more of a Charles, Charles, Jones. Hard to tell if that will work out as well as the Charles run away at the end of last season. Injuries have also clouded what may have been the true plan. We had seen a consistant push of getting McCluster implemented into the system. The one benefit of the recent injuries on both sides of the ball has given us, is the chance for other players to get some good experience and looks. Verran Tucker has shown some skill...will Haley push him more and more into the game plan to stretch the field? One reason likely that Chambers has been kept in the game is the protect the ball and game management mentality. We trust veterans until the younger players gain our trust and show us that we have no choice but to play them. That is Haley's mentality. He made DJ earn the trust and respect. Same for Charles last year. Same for McCluster this year as we all saw the talent, but there was not an obvious rush to push him into the game.
The only real player we have seen jump past that implementation method has been Berry. But the youth movement of the secondary pretty well dictated that had to happen. Who else could we have really played there..the injuries are showing we are weak in the backup safety area. Berry is a trial by fire. And for the skeptics, he is doing better then you think.
How about Cassel? Game management 101? I think more of Implementation of the Haley Process 101. "Fixing" the QB. Would you have had us throw, throw, throw and Cassel be reverted to sack after sack like last year and then frustration and interceptions and a repeat of us groaning about our offensive line of 2009. The reason the line seems to have turned the corner this year is because of the game management style. It best utilitizes what skills are there, otherwise the defenses come blowing thru to sack or hurry Cassel. But the truth has caught up to us. The defenses have adjusted. They are now stacking the box.
We are now looking down the barrel of the gun. Have we fixed the QB? His numbers looked pretty good lately in comparison to previous. I think we will see a different way about the team down the stretch. Whether it was this point that Haley wanted to progress the implementation or not, I think the defenses are forcing our hand. For skeptics and lovers alike, it is time for Cassel to take the reins.
Berry has to continue his improvement. Either Chambers has to step up, or Verran Tucker and McCluster have to become the other side of the ball with Bowe. DJ has to become not only the skilled player he is, he has to recognize his leadership role and become a voice on the defense.
Tamba. It's time to turn the motor down a notch....let the defenders take you down with those choke holds and let them bend your face back a bit with those mask holds. You'll get the calls that should be there.
Jones and Charles. The one benefit of the box being stacked? If you get past the box, there's only green field ahead to the endzone. Screens, field reverse, and pull the guards. We'll see more of that in coming weeks. The lineman are going to be earning their pay and realizing benefits of Haley's conditioning.
We're going to see what Weiss is made of.
Oh, and Crennel. Yeah, we've seen the defensive effort drop off lately. But I don't think we have to worry about Crennel's defense. He'll make the adjustments.
Special teams. Become aggressive. Spend some time on the blocking dummies. Drive through the blocks and hits!