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Arrowhead Report: Broncos Week Begins

Posted Nov 9, 2011

Chiefs ready to begin second half, a look at pass rush comparisons, remembering a high school Tim Tebow and more


Sensing his team needed extra rest after Sunday’s 31-3 loss to the Dolphins, Todd Haley sent the Chiefs home.

There wasn’t a lifting or running period on Monday. Film study was available, but not mandatory. In essence, it was a victory Monday without the victory.

Tuesday was much of the same. It was the players’ normally scheduled day off and, once again, players were encouraged to stay away from the team facility.

“I told them to get away, recharge emotionally and physically at this halfway point and really tried to stress to stay away from the building,” Haley said.

Despite Haley’s urging, the Chiefs training facility still got plenty of use.

Players said they were ready to move past last Sunday’s result as quickly as possible and begin a second half of the season with the goal of repeating as AFC West champions.

“It’s was big for us to get that losing taste out of our mouth and just move forward against the Denver Broncos,” RB Dexter McCluster said. “This game coming up against the Broncos can really be a turning point for us in the second half of the season in getting us feeling good in the locker room again and helping us do what we want to accomplish, which is to win the AFC West.”

“As these last couple days have gone on and now into today, I think the guys are excited,” Haley added. “They understand the challenge in front of them and they understand that it starts this week against a division team that’s playing really good football and we need to go out and play our best.”

A win on Sunday guarantees the Chiefs a share of first place for another week. A loss pulls Denver into a three-way tie for second place with all three teams sitting one game behind the division leader.

“All I know is that we haven’t won that many games at home this year,” DE Wallace Gilberry said, remembering the Chiefs 7-1 home record a season ago. “That’s what we need to start doing in this second half - winning at home.”

Oakland and San Diego, both currently tied with the Chiefs atop the AFC West, play Thursday night on NFL Network.

Pass Rush Imbalance?

With no sacks against the Dolphins last week, Kansas City sits at the season’s midpoint with just 9.0 quarterback takedowns. That total ranks 32nd in the NFL and is a full 3.0 sacks behind 31st-ranked Tampa Bay.

The league average is currently 19.0 sacks.

“When we lose, I’m disappointed in all areas of our team, but I think we’ve done a very good job of creating pressure on the quarterback,” Haley said. “It hasn’t translated in sacks, but as myself and our defensive staff, including [Defensive Coordinator] Romeo [Crennel], we sit down and our goals as a defense don’t involve sack numbers. It involves creating pressure on the quarterback that forces the quarterback to make decisions that are in our favor, not theirs.”

Tamba Hali is currently the only player on the Chiefs defense with multiple sacks this season. He’s tallied 6.0 thus far, while Wallace Gilberry, Kelly Gregg and Derrick Johnson have each recorded one sack apiece.

Denver, on the other hand, has seen seven different defenders tally at least 1.5 sacks or more. Rookie Von Miller paces the Broncos with 6.5 sacks and currently ranks 2nd in the AFC.

After seeing QB Matt Cassel sacked five times last week, and hurried on another nine pass attempts, the Chiefs enter this week’s matchup mindful of Denver’s ability to bring pressure from multiple areas.

“They like to bring multiple-blitz looks,” Cassel said. “They’ll change up their fronts. They’ll give you different personnel. They just do a great job overall of mixing and matching looks, and we have to be prepared for everything.”

Gilberry Remembers High School Tebow

Wallace Gilberry was a junior at Alabama when future Heisman Trophy winner and first-round draft pick Tim Tebow visited Tuscaloosa on an official recruiting visit.

Tebow, who was a five-star quarterback prospect from Nease High School in St. Augustine, Florida at the time, left an impression on Gilberry that is still memorable some six years later.

“I remember when he was on his recruiting visit to Alabama and all he wanted to do was go work out,” Gilberry recalled. “It was like six or seven o’clock at night. That’s just the type of guy he is.”

Of course, Alabama came up short in the recruiting battle as Tebow eventually signed with the University of Florida.

“He was a Florida guy,” Gilberry said. “I believe he had a Florida mailbox, if I’m not mistaken. So we didn’t really stand a chance.”

Williams Nicked Up

Demorrio Williams is the latest Chief to hit the injury list after missing Wednesday’s practice because of a groin injury. Williams is joined on the report by Jon McGraw and Javier Arenas, both of whom missed Sunday’s game against Miami because of injury.

McGraw missed three practices last week after injuring his shoulder against San Diego, but returned as a limited practice participant today.

Arenas missed the first game of his career when an ankle injury landed him on the injury report following last Friday’s practice. He was able to practice in full during Wednesday’s session.

Chiefs Injury Report

LB Demorrio Williams – Did Not Participate in Practice (Groin)

S Jon McGraw – Limited Participation (Shoulder)

CB Javier Arenas – Full Participation (Ankle)

Broncos Injury Report

The Broncos listed seven players on Wednesday’s injury report.

Did Not Participate in Practice: LB Wesley Woodyard (Knee)

Limited Participation: S Brian Dawkins (Thigh), TE Virgil Green (Neck), FB Spencer Larsen (Shoulder), S Rahim Moore (Concussion), CB Cassius Vaughn (Hamstring)

Full Participation: RB Willis McGahee (Hand)

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