There's been a lot of wondering going on at AP the last day or two. People are wondering why Thomas Jones is getting more carries than Jamaal Charles. They're wondering why Haley sounds as if he's half in love with TJ every time he mentions him. They're wondering if we're going to have a rough time with our offense this year. They're wondering if TJ is going to see more carries than he should.
One thing I don't hear people wondering about, though, is what our REAL offense will look like.
Allow me to explain. Or don't, and go read something else... but you'll be sorry, because this is good stuff (the material, not the writing).
Still have you? Great! See, here's the thing. Somehow, in the process of breaking down O-line and D-line performances, scrutinizing Matt Cassel, judging how Bowe's concentration looks, worrying about Jones, and going "ooooohhhh" every time JC touches the ball (as well we should, the guy's a stud), many of us (including yours truly) kind of lost sight of something.
Now I know we all KNOW that. It's been said roughly 15 more times than H2E's used the word "Casshole" (or to put it another way, a lot). We all use it to reassure ourselves when we see TJ getting a lot of carries, or when we feel like our offense is so conservative that it's almost gross. We KNOW it's preseason, we just keep forgetting a little bit every time we see those jerseys on the field.
What does all this mean? Why am I beating on this totally innocent and already dead horse? Why can't I just let it be an unspoken truth? Why do I have to remind you? Why does upamtn always debate me, when I'm clearly right all the time? How do Bewsaf and Kalo have enough time on their hands to do those awesome offensive/defensive breakdowns? Does time really even exist? And who in the name of all things holy told LeBron it was a good idea to do a program that lost him every fan outside of Miami (seriously, what a train wreck that was)?
Lots of questions, none of them with answers. Except one. I'm beating this dead horse because I'm about to let you in on a little secret; Haley messed up, along with Weis. They gave us, for just a single play, a glimpse of the future. Despite all the secrecy, all the boring play calls, all the "hey, let's line up a FB and TE and two WR's and run it between the tackles!". they let one play slip through the cracks.
Maybe it was intentional. Maybe they didn't think people would pay attention. But I've watched that Tampa Bay game about 7 times now, and I kept coming back to this one play. Behold, the future....
Come with me if you will to the 3:30 mark of the 2nd quarter. The Chiefs have 1st and 10 from their own 25, having just gotten a 1st down after two good runs by Charles.
For the 2nd play in a row, the Chiefs are in a shotgun formation with Dwayne Bowe and Chris Chambers split wide and JC in the backfield. The previous play, McCluster had lined up in the slot, then motioned to the spot immediately behind Leonard Pope (who was on the line) on the right side. When the ball was snapped, McCluster went right as if to go out for a short dump-off. However, Cassel waited a split second, then handed the ball off to Charles, who gained 4 yards for a first down. It could've been more, but Chambers let his CB loose and the guy made a very good tackle. Nothing huge.
Now we get to the play in question. As I said, we're again in shotgun. Only this time, JC and McCluster are both in the backfield, to the left and right of Cassel, respectively. Pope is now in the slot (right), with Bowe and Chambers split wide again (right and left, respectively, although that's not really crucial).
The ball is snapped. Both Dex and JC act as if they are blockers for a second, then Charles starts to drift left looking for the ball (or so it seems) and Dex drifts to the right. In the meantime, Bowe and Pope get downfield on the right side and take their men with them. Also in the meantime, Lilja and Weigmann let their guys get past them.
Here's the key to the play. Cassel puts everything he has into a pump-fake to Charles (overselling it, really, as he spins completely in a circle). Then he looks back the right and throws it to McCluster, who now has Lilja and Weigmann in front of him and some great open space to run.
The key is the fake. Watching the replay, you can see two LB's (patrolling the middle of the field) completely bite. One actually starts to take off towards Charles, the other completely freezes up. By the time Dex gets the ball, it's too late for either of them with our O-linemen having pulled and Dex out in space.
Final result? A 17 yard gain.
But it was so much more, folks. What we saw there was the future. That play is completely indefensible, at least on a consistent basis. Why? Because the defense absolutely HAS to respect Charles. If they don't, he kills them. So they either bite at least a little on the fake (which is all it will take), or they don't bite and the next time the play really IS to Charles and he takes it 20 yards... or more.
In my not-so-humble opinion, THAT is our real offense. Establishing JC and McCluster as home run threats, then forcing the defense to pick between the two.
Will they be on the field together every play? No, but that's what Bowe, Chambers, TJ, Pope (barely), and (hopefully) Moeaki are for. To keep the offense barely moving along until we get those guys back in.
So there you have it. Find the video if you can. 3:30 left until halftime, the Chiefs showed us a glimpse of what they have in store for us this season. And I have to say, I didn't hate it.