The Kansas City Chiefs are 0-3 for the second straight season, but unlike last year the losses have been followed up with a flurry of roster changes. Running back Larry Johnson sees the moves as a sign the Chiefs are serious about improving.
“The last couple (of years), nobody would do anything about it. I swear I was just sitting next to Monty Beisel, and I’m not sitting next to him anymore. There were a lot of guys I was sitting next to, seen, said hi to and they’re not here any more.
“They’re dedicated to always making this team better day in and day out. You always see this team changing. This from my perspective is the first time I’ve actually seen them try to do something about it right now rather than wait until the draft or whatever.”
Johnson said the player moves have most of the Chiefs scared for their jobs, another novelty.
“Most guys never had that fear,” Johnson said. “I’d see on guys’ faces: ‘Oh, I’m going to be here. I’ll just ride it out.’ When (Dick) Vermeil was here, I would see guys real, real comfortable. I wish I could be that comfortable. I know I’m not comfortable. My reputation is on the line as far as being with this team. I have to prove myself day in and day out.”
There critics of Todd Haley and Scott Pioli feel there’s a problem with players fearing for their position, that it’s too tough on them mentally. Well, you know what, this is a big boy league and if you can’t handle it then go play in the UFL. I love that the players on an 0-3 team know they can show up at any point and be sent packing. If the Chiefs turn things around, are one of the better teams in the league and the men in charge are still singing the same song about everyone under fire at all times then maybe we can start talking about it being too much.
If there are any “name” players that have to worry about their job security, it’s LJ. He has his guaranteed contract since he made the roster out of training camp, but that doesn’t mean Pioli will hesitate to cut bait if Johnson keeps running two yards forward and falling down.
Devard Darling might be on injured reserve with a knee injury, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t keeping himself busy. He will play host to the MVP of his summer football camp.
Leanne Gibbs, 13, and her family will be treated to a Chiefs weekend of fun, from October 2-5, 2009. The first female MVP will experience a weekend of chauffeured limousines, outings with Darling and his family, a ‘meet and greet’ with Kansas City Chiefs players and coaches, and a tour of the practice facility and Arrowhead Stadium. Game Day will be extra special with special VIP seating for young Gibbs and her family, and lunch served at the stadium while watching the game.
I have this funny feeling that Leanne will enjoy this weekend much more than any of the Chiefs players.
Talk at Giants practice this week has surrounded comments that Fox analyst Tony Siragusa made about running back Brandon Jacobs “tip-toeing” to the line last week in Tampa Bay. When asked about the comments, Jacobs didn’t have much to say.
“I don’t care about analysts. They are analysts. They are going to say what they’ve got to say. I am here, we are 3-0, and that’s all I am focusing on. I don’t want to talk about the comment that was made by Tony Siragusa. I don’t really care about a Tony Siragusa. Next question.”
The problem is that there have been a lot of questions surrounding the Giants’ running game this season. Through the first three games, the 6-4, 264-pound Jacobs has rushed for 196 yards and one touchdown and is averaging 3.4 yards per carry. Jacobs is still searching for his first 100-yard game of the season after a season-high 92 yards last week against Tampa Bay.
“No, I don’t feel that I’m doing anything (differently),” Jacobs said. “I feel like I’m running the same way I was running last year. Getting a little bit smarter, being patient, let the scheme happen for me. You just can’t run in there and think that you can outrun your blocks.”
If there is anything slowing Jacobs down, it might be that he is thinking too much and trying to make the right read, according to offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride. Jacobs might be too patient and thinking more than running on instinct, he says.
“If there is an error that is slowing him down, it is because he wants to be perfect,” Gilbride said. “He is trying to make the perfect read, if that is it. Sometimes you just have to trust your instincts and go out and play. But I certainly don’t see anybody that is tip-toeing.”
Speaking again about funny feelings, I have one that tells me Jacobs is going to make it his mission to not only get into the end zone often Sunday but specifically right in front of Siragusa, who will be working the game as part of the Fox crew.
Especially with the Giants other running back, Ahmad Bradshaw, nursing an ankle injury, Jacobs is primed to put up huge numbers against the Chiefs.