We barely have time to digest the close loss to the Chargers… and now this…
Two "short week" games in a row for the Eagles. That's two darts too many. And this time it's really a short week…
It works both ways. KC's Sunday's win over the Dallas Cowboys is forgotten. There's no more talk of the 17-16 victory over the Dallas Cowboys; instead, the Kansas City Chiefs' focus is on a different NFC East opponent, the Philadelphia Eagles, whom they face Thursday night.
“In this business you’re focused in on getting your team ready to play," coach Reid said during a conference call on Monday. "That’s where my energy is going to go. I haven’t really thought about that other part at all. I don’t necessarily plan on thinking about that. I want to make sure I concentrate on the game at hand and anything else becomes a distraction and I’m not going to let that happen.”
Chiefs offensive coordinator Doug Pederson also returns to Philly, where he has not only coached with Andy Reid, but also played for the Eagles in 1999, but those memories are put on the shelf for now, as we're just days away from Week 3.
“It’s a short week," Pederson said. "It’s kind of hard to get caught up in the emotion of everything. We’re still trying to game plan and put our guys in the best possible situation for Thursday night. You don’t have time to really get caught up and think about everything that’s going on.”
Involved in the Chiefs offensive game plan will be WR Dexter McCluster, who says the team's hopeful success against the Eagles has to start with personal belief.
"As an offense you always have to have that confidence in yourself, knowing that whatever defense they throw at you, you want to be successful," McCluster said. "Their defense is pretty fast. They run sideline to sideline, but our offense is about timing and if we’re on time, we should be okay.”
The man behind the plan to slow down the Eagles offensive attack is Chiefs' defensive coordinator Bob Sutton.
“In their system of offense, they’re not going to allow you an opportunity to substitute," Sutton said. "We recognize that; we deal with that all the time. You need to get your cleats into the ground; you need to get your eyes where they’re supposed to be and you still need to be able to play. I think, like most things, players and coaches are all adapting to it. You just accept it as part of it. We’re going to have to adjust to that on the game field. Our players are up to that challenge and we have to work hard and go. It’s going to be a challenge and it becomes even more challenging (when you’re facing) a great system with some great pieces.”
Chiefs CB Dunta Robinson, who returned from being away from the team for excused personal reasons, says coach Sutton always has his guys ready for any offensive attack, regardless of its style.
"Bob (Sutton) has been great," Robinson said. "He definitely gets us going. We work on certain things every week, no matter who we’re playing. You see the way this league is going with quarterbacks running; it’s the Michael Vick era. Michael Vick kind of invented this style of offense, this style of play. Now you see this on every football team; everybody is looking for a quarterback like that. We understand what we’re about to face and we’re preparing well and we’ll be ready for it.”
The Chiefs will practice on Tuesday, travel Wednesday and plan to use the national stage on Thursday night to begin 2013 at 3-0.
Andrew Kulha of Arrowhead Addict.com (which is the KC version of Bleeding Green Nation on SB.Nation) gave us this little snippet of what the Eagles will be up against on Thursday night…
"Defensively, the Chiefs are going to be aggressive and will look to put their stamp on opposing offenses. Speaking of offense, Reid is known as an offensive-minded coach, and you can already see the differences in Kansas City’s scoring unit."
"Adding a steady, accurate and athletic quarterback like Alex Smith was the perfect move for Kansas City, and we were able to see some of what this unit was able to do yesterday against the Cowboys’ defense."
"The first drive of the game for Kansas City was a beautiful one, and while most will focus on Smith’s touchdown pass to Jamaal Charles, there are two plays in that drive in particular that I think we should focus on."
The first highlight was Kansas City’s first offensive play of the game. It was first and ten from the Chiefs’ 23 yard line. The Chiefs came out with two tight ends, two receivers to the left, and Smith and Charles in the backfield. The kicker here is that Kansas City puts Dexter McCluster in an “orbit” motion, which means he’ll motion to the heel of the tight end and then arc around the backfield:
Believe it or not, this is actually a read-option play for Alex Smith. He has the option to hand it off to the diving Charles, but notice how he reads the defensive end coming down the line of scrimmage (who was left unblocked on purpose because he’s the read man), which is a clear pull read:
At this point Smith is charged with attacking the pitch read, thus forcing him to pick one player to cover. It he attacks Smith, he will pitch it to McCluster. If the pitch read plays McCluster or tries to slow-play the option, Smith will attack up field, and that’s exactly what the Chiefs’ quarterback does. The read-man tries to cut the option in half, and that gives Smith a nice running lane:
"The second play we’ll take a look at isn’t as intricately drawn up, but there are two specific things I’d like to take a look at. This happened on third and 15, and it was arguably the marquee play of the first drive."
"Here are the things I’d like you to notice… First, the protection wasn’t half bad. Notice the pocket right away, but also check out how No. 1 overall pick Eric Fisher is riding his pass-rusher downfield. That’s great pass protection against a quicker defender. Just take him downfield, which allows the quarterback to step up:
I bring this play up for a few reasons. First, it was good to see smart pass protection from the Chiefs’ rookie right tackle. Second, and most importantly, this play kept the first drive alive and was the difference between a field goal try and a touchdown."
"For those who still question if Smith is the best option for the Chiefs at quarterback, I present these two plays where he got it done with his feet. Having him at quarterback allows Reid to scheme creatively and keep defenses on their toes (triple option anybody?), but it’s also rather clear that Smith has what it takes to be the leader of this offense."
"After all, he also went 21-of-36 for 223 yards and two touchdowns. "
"The Reid-Smith combo really is a perfect fit, so if you’re a Chiefs fan, there’s plenty to be excited about after reviewing the tape of Kansas City’s first drive."
Thanks to Andrew Kulha for that piece of tape analysis and preview stuff… We Eagles fans have a lot to ponder in this short week… (You might have to play with your screen size to get the full effect of the visuals and Kulha's explanatory text in this scouting report).