- Jan 22, 2006
- Reaction score
http://www.kansascity.com/mld/kansascity/sports/football/nfl/kansas_city_chiefs/15435057.htmEdwards wants Chiefs to grow as season goes
Coach doesn’t mind starting off against two playoff teams from last season.
By ADAM TEICHER
The Kansas City Star
Only one AFC team begins its schedule with two games against contestants from last season’s playoffs.
Herm Edwards isn’t complaining that it’s the Chiefs. In fact, he said he wouldn’t have it any other way.
“I think it’s great,” Edwards said. “I think you find out a lot about your football team.”
He may not feel that way in two weeks after the Chiefs play Cincinnati at Arrowhead Stadium on Sunday and at Denver the following week.
After an offseason of indecision, the Bengals apparently will have Carson Palmer at quarterback Sunday, meaning the Chiefs will see one of the game’s rising stars rather than journeyman Anthony Wright.
The Chiefs not only haven’t won in Denver since they were coached by Gunther Cunningham, but they also haven’t been competitive with the Broncos in the new Mile High Stadium.
The Chiefs gave few clues during an erratic preseason they are ready to be competitive against such an opening schedule, a point Edwards agreed with.
“You’re not where you want to be,” he said. “No one is. That’s the great thing about our league. You build your football team as the season goes along. We have to be better after four weeks than you are the first four, and after eight you have to be a lot better football team. I think we’ll do that. There are some things that we obviously should have done better in the preseason but we didn’t.
“The thing I learned about this football team is I know the strengths and weaknesses and I think you have to make sure you go into the season not kidding yourself. You have to find the holes that you have and from there you’ve got to help the players and then play to your strengths. We have to do that now. We have to game plan. We know what our players do well. We know some things that they need some help with. That’s the process of preseason football.”
If the Chiefs can survive their first two games and, as Edwards suggests, improve as the season moves on, they might be in good shape. The schedule flattens out after the Chiefs play the Bengals and Broncos, and they will play only two more of last year’s playoff teams over the following two months.
They have plenty of work to do to get there. On offense, Edwards has had issues at times with the play-calling of coordinator Mike Solari. The line the Chiefs hope to use against the Bengals hasn’t played together once in the preseason or practiced together since the early days of training camp.
The offensive line was already trying to fill the holes from offseason retirements of starting tackles Willie Roaf and John Welbourn.
“I think it’ll work out fine,” Edwards said. “I think we have some young guys and the acquisition of Kyle (Turley) was great. In the spring people wondered why we would do that. Why another tackle? Well, I’m glad we did that. It kind of worked out. He’s gotten better. I like Kyle Turley’s presence. He’s a guy that when you play a football game you want him on your side. He’s got a good guy next to him in Brian Waters.
“(Right tackle Kevin Sampson) has a good player next to him in Will Shields. I think that helps your tackles when you have those guards. That’s what we have.”
On defense, the Chiefs never put together a consistent pass rush and were leaky at times against the run. Now they will have to face Palmer, who threw for almost 4,000 yards last season before tearing knee ligaments in the playoff loss to Pittsburgh.
His recovery was remarkably rapid.
“A lot of people were wondering in the offseason that their quarterback might not be there,” Edwards said. “You know what? I’m glad he’s playing. I want him to play. I would be disappointed if they came in here without their starting quarterback. I want to see how good we are.
“That’s just me. That’s the kind of player I was, and I’ve always been that way. I want to play against the best guys. I don’t want to sugarcoat it. Let’s find out about ourselves. They’ve scored a lot of points the last couple of weeks. They’re a machine. That’s great.”
bengals at chiefs
•Noon Sunday at Arrowhead
•Chs. 5, 13; KCFX (101.1 FM)