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Former Chief Talks About Recent Issues with the Team

Former Kansas City Chiefs offensive lineman and future Hall of Fame guard Will Shields talked with the guys at 810 WHB on Monday about a few issues with the Chiefs.

Shields addressed Matt Cassel, from holding onto the ball too long to his injured knee, the wide receivers, the readiness of Bobby Wade and the Jamaal Charles deactivation.

Interestingly, Shields seemed to indicate that at some point the Chiefs players won't want to put up with Todd Haley's hard-nosed, my way or the highway attitude.  It's interesting stuff.

I've taken a few snippets from the interview and put them below.  Take a look.

On Matt Cassel holding onto the ball too long:

"I was thinking the same thing - he holds onto it a little longer but he tends to move in the pocket a little longer.  It's never hitting that fifth step, settling and throwing the ball. 

"The keys for a lot of other seasoned vets that have played a lot is when they hit that back step and start to settle....especially when you've been hit as much as he has, that could be a problem that he is so used to having, to move and scramble and buy a little extra time to get the ball, and that creates a whole other issue.

"Last year, he played behind a line that beforehand wasn't having an issue of giving up quarterback sacks.  Maybe it is the simple fact of being able to dissect a defense a little better and faster and getting the ball out a little crisper to where he wants to put the ball and that might create those happy feet or the simple fact of him trying to move around in the pocket a little bit."

On Matt Cassel's injured knee:

‘I don't think so. I don't think it's an issue.  If you saw how he first hurt his knee, it was when he was scrambling trying to get away from someone.  It wasn't like someone came in low and hit him in stride or (while he was) throwing a pass.  When that happens, I think that makes someone more conscious of  ‘Hey if I plant my foot to throw the ball someone could be around my knee.'  I think those guys get more skiddish than someone who was running down the field and someone fell on their legs."

On the wide receivers:

"It's a catch-22.  We love quarterbacks that can buy some time and make that homerun hit.  On the other end of the spectrum, you have to have those wide receivers that are willing to go lay out and make those plays and keep working back for the ball so that when he (Cassel) is buying more time it's worth his while.

"It seemed that the more he scrambled and making things happen he was having to still put the ball in a perfect spot.  It just seemed that the receivers have to make it happen.  You've gotta go out and make the quarterback look good regardless."

On Bobby Wade:

"I was very surprised that he could bring in a new guy for a week and he's almost become his favorite target already.  It could be that those are the routes that are in this scheme that are supposed to be open more than others.  If you look at the Patriots, it's the same offense, same scheme, it's more or less the Wes Welkers and guys underneath that make it happen with these check downs.  That's where they make their bread and butter.

"Really, this offense is more of a control, down the field offense, kill ‘em underneath, then when they start shooting the underneath routes you go deep on them.  Then besides that you have a hard-nosed running back that runs tough every game.  And that's how they set their tone - it's not an offense looking to score 40, 50 points every game."

On the offensive line:

"They didn't play bad.  They kept him upright for the majority of the game.  The run game picked up a little bit and that's what you want to see -progression each week. 

On Jamaal Charles deactivation:

"The reason you haven't noticed it in the past is because it was always a set , standard of guys.  You never saw a Dante Hall sitting just to sit.  It's always predicated off of injuries and things like that because they have their starting group.

"The new en vogue piece is going with who's going to best benefit us that week.  The communication part has to be internally - as a coach they may not feel they need to explain that but as a player you're cognizant and say what is going on?  I was a starter last week and now I'm not or not even dressing the week after.  In the other sense, they may use it as a motivational tool saying this guys gives us what we need this week so hopefully next week when you're called up you play like game busters to stay up.

"At some point, they'll say enough is enough and basically there are going to be people who put their foot down and say we're going to take all this yelling and screaming or you have to move me on to somewhere else. 

"I think it will create problems, and if you remember last year on their Super Bowl run, he had the same issue with Boldin and all those guys and they were basically putting their foot down saying all this stuff you're doing we're not happy with. 

"So, they went through the same issues but now as a head coach it gives you more power but you're more in the spotlight.  More people are watching everything you do.  You have to check your Ps and Qs and say hey I'm going to be me, and that's fine, but make sure you do what you have to do behind closed doors and get it all out or else it's going to be a downward spiral. "