Talking casually about Sunday's game between the Kansas City Chiefs and St. Louis Rams, I tell my friends I feel pretty confident in this team against a rookie quarterback. Granted, the No. 1 overall pick in the draft and someone as smart as Sam Bradford isn't your normal rookie but a rookie nonetheless.
The Chiefs coaching staff, particularly Romeo Crennel, has done a good job this year of, at times, outsmarting the opponent. I think you saw hints of that working against Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts (though it wasn't enough) and then you saw it blowing up in their faces last week against Philip Rivers and San Diego Chargers.
So how can the Chiefs outsmart Bradford and the Rams?
Last week against the New Orleans Saints, Bradford completed just 56 percent of his passes and threw two picks so there's a blueprint out there on how to beat him. The Saints employed a heavy blitz in that game, which isn't necessarily Crennel's style, so I'm especially curious how he plans to attack him. The Chiefs pass rush consists of Tamba Hali, and that's about it, so I'm not sure you can count on them to win a game for you.
"He manages the game well," Crennel said of Bradford on Friday, "he has the ability to move if the guys are covered and he can get outside the pocket and get away from the rush. I am impressed with what I see."
Lots of people are impressed with the rookie. Crennel is a smart guy and, like the Chiefs offense, can disguise some defenses and do other things to confuse the offense -- that's especially true with a rookie quarterback, who isn't Manning and hasn't seen every defense known to man.
Crennel says he doesn't "have any rookie QB playbooks because at this point in the season he has seen quite a bit. If it were earlier in the season you might be able to find some stuff that he hasn’t seen but he has seen quite a bit at this point."
Somehow I don't believe that last bit from Crennel. I do think the Chiefs can confuse him and I think they will. Will it be enough? That's one of those "We'll find out on Sunday" sort of things but I feel confident in Crennel's ability to exploit the weaknesses that come along with a rookie quarterback.