Okay...so I just read the breaking news. Childress was fired!! But on with what I was writing before I read that.
Any given Sunday. So prognosticating would be of great benefit. However, first, lets eyeball predicting the Chiefs down the stretch. And really, it is becoming easier and easier to see how Haley's plans work in turning this team around. A fairly straightforward, piece at a time approach to fixing this team.
Fundamentals. Conditioning of the body and mind. Stretching each phase as you can, and if you stretch too far, come back and work on the basics. His mindset on mental approaches is just like his conditioning drills. Set up a solid, steady regimin to build muscle and stamina and as you get stronger add a little weight. Only this time, I didn't see it coming in the form of a 325 pound fullback. Ah the days of the Frig.
We had seen the need for some beef in the backfield as the leaps into the endzone on earlier goal line stands made us cringe and hold our breath until we saw no injury to our valuable running backs. We already knew Smith wanted to get his hands on the ball (s)....ok, last time I'll poke at that issue. But, realistically this is a good plan. We do need some size in that backfield to open up the middle for the short runs. We had seen the failure of 3rd and short attempts. Our backs and line are built for speed, not up the gut pushes.
The point is, we are still experimenting, still tinkering and still learning who we are and what tools we really have on this team. I like Verran Tucker's skills...but Haley does not turn over the keys easily. But I think we are seeing him slowly becoming more and more a "trusted" member of the receiving corps. Just remember, McCluster is first in line to run by Chambers. That is likely to happen as soon as he gets back on the field. And whether it shows it on the depth chart or not..the line up will be Bowe, McCluster and Tucker. Three receiver set with McCluster and Tucker down the sidelines and Bowe across the middle. Or Moeaki. Or all of the above. With Bowe staying on fire and the speed on the outsides now in trusted hands, can you not see the receiving corps being as dangerous as the running game?
The Haters have crawled back into the wordwork and I would predict we will see that remain through the course of the year. Haley has the Chiefs believing. He has Bowe believing. And perhaps, the fans are starting to get the realization that they also believe. They believe the Chiefs Will.
Now for the Prognostication. The fun part.
Road wins are now going to be a focus. Why...because they will need to learn how to win on the road for the playoffs. Haley will use this weekend as a launch for that campaign. He will also focus on our slow starts. And I have yet to criticize the coaching, but Weis needs to rewrite the script. Rather then start conservative and get more imaginative as the game goes on, we have to start out imaginative. Not wild. Not crazy...quit slobbering Haley. I said imaginative, not crazy (I will point out I like how he pushed the limits...it was a lesson in learning our limits and doing things when they had to be done). With a big bull on a 3rd and short early, teach him to stay on his feet a bit more and block the view of that running back tossing the ball back to Cassel for that flea flicker. Or use him like a pulling guard and run the sweeps or screens. And maybe, just maybe line us up in a three wide receiver set and watch Tucker and McCluster fly down field and let Bowe come under the middle. We've seen them tinkering with the receiving game. I think they are about to open a can of "why didn't we see this coming".
Defense. I really thought they were going to do this a few weeks ago. I really have expected them to open up the defense as well. We are just one above the bottom on blitzing. That will change. To gain defensive momentum, and keep the bend but not break approach unbreakable, you have to have a strong presence. The offense has to be wary of what they are doing, otherwise they will know how to break you. Time to flex a little muscle. Time for the turnovers to return and for Hali to be stepping over QBs on their backside.
Look for it. Haley will ask for some fire on the road this weekend. We'll see how we test out at one of the more supposedly hard stadiums.