Green happy with defensive Edwards


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Jan 22, 2006
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Published Sunday, May 21, 2006

Green happy with defensive Edwards

Chiefs QB likes new coach's give and take with players

By Rick Dean
The Capital-Journal

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- He's going to miss his old boss, his mentor, his friend. One doesn't form the relationship quarterback Trent Green developed with coach Dick Vermeil and not miss him tremendously following his retirement as the Chiefs head coach.

"Anytime you spend that much time with one coach and go through as many things as we did --my knee injury (in St. Louis), the trade and the first (24-interception) season here, the passing of my father last year -- there's a lot of emotion involved,'' Green said.

"He was there supporting me and my family through it all,'' Green added. "He's done great things for my career, and our relationship will continue.''

At the same time, though, Green now finds himself strangely energized by the prospect of playing for a defensive coach, a former NFL cornerback who can't resist the natural urge to cheer on his defenders while playfully dogging his offensive players during his first on-field sessions as Kansas City's new head coach.

Playing for new Chiefs coach Herm Edwards will be a change, Green says. And the Chiefs may be better off for making it.

"I like what he stands for, his approach to coaching and his players,'' Green said. "He's played in this league and has insight into what players are thinking. That's refreshing, and I'm excited.

"We're having a lot of give and take (between offense and defense), and that's fun. I've had that in the past with Gunther (Cunningham, KC's defensive coordinator) and some of the defensive players, and it makes practice fun. Now we've got a head coach who tends to side with the defense -- it's his comfort zone, what he did as a player -- but that certainly isn't a negative for the offense.''
A crowd estimated at 15,000 fans gathered at Arrowhead on Saturday to watch the Chiefs' only public workout before training camp opens in late July.

Most came looking for signs of defensive improvement. Others watched for subtle changes in the Kansas City offense after the departure of the offensive-minded Vermeil and coordinator Al Saunders.

Not that they would have spotted any on the second day of a May workout, but they may not notice much in the regular season, either.

The Chiefs used a nice run-pass blend built around Green and running back Priest Holmes to develop the NFL's top-ranked offense of the past two seasons. The approach of Edwards and new offensive coordinator Mike Solari may be slightly more conservative behind the rushing of bruising back Larry Johnson, but Green says a balanced attack will forever be a staple of the Don Coryell offense.

"Different coordinators have tried to put their personal stamp on this offense, and maybe (Solari) will too,'' Green said.

"I've seen all kinds of variations. When Norv Turner ran this offense (at Dallas and Washington) he emphasized the tight end and fullback coming out of the backfield. At St. Louis, we had four great wideouts and emphasized them. Now with Larry we may go back to more of a running game, but I'm comfortable with however we do it.''

He'll be even more comfortable if an improved Chiefs defense makes it no longer necessary to score 24 points a game -- the Chiefs gave up an average of 21 last year -- to win.

NOTES -- Top draft choice Tamba Hali was the Chiefs' first-unit left defensive end Saturday, but that does not mean incumbent Eric Hicks has lost his job. Hicks will do only limited work until training camp while recovering from offseason shoulder surgery.

The only other change on the first defensive unit saw former Denver starter Lenny Walls playing at right cornerback, the spot vacated by the release of Eric Warfield.

With Pro Bowl left tackle Willie Roaf missing the mini-camp for personal reasons, Jordan Black manned his position with the No. 1 offense.

Tight end Tony Gonzalez did only a limited workout for the second straight day while nursing a sore foot.
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