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Arrowhead Report: Thursday, Sept. 16th

Posted Sep 16, 2010

Chiefs practice with five defensive linemen, third down talk and preparing for a scrambler in Cleveland

The Chiefs defensive line is in focus after a Wednesday’s practice in which the Chiefs had just five healthy defensive linemen.

Wallace Gilberry (back) began the practice session on the stationary bikes and did not practice, while Tyson Jackson once missed his second consecutive day of work after leaving Monday’s night’s game vs. San Diego with a knee injury. No additional comments were made on the status of either player outside of the club’s injury report.

If both players are still ailing on Sunday, their absence could open the door for youngsters Alex Magee and Anthony Toribio to get in their first game action of 2010; both were inactive on Monday vs. San Diego. Gilberry also serves a major role in Kansas City’s sub-packages, giving the Chiefs more personnel strategy to consider should he not be able to go against Cleveland.

 Other options for the Chiefs include the promotion of Dion Gales from the practice squad. Gales played in three games and recorded three tackles following a practice squad promotion last December. A corresponding roster move would have to be made should Kansas City choose to go down that route.

The Chiefs will release their final injury report of the week following tomorrow’s practice and must make all roster moves by late Saturday afternoon.

Feeding the Fans

Demorrio Williams has seen Arrowhead from both sides. He’s been the player who visited Arrowhead as a member of the opposition, forced to try and block out the deafening crowd noise in order to focus on his assignment, and he’s also the player who has fed off that energy as a member of the Chiefs.

During Monday Night Football, Williams experienced Arrowhead at its loudest decibel level since joining the team as a free agent in 2008.

“I just know what it’s like to play here, especially being with the enemy and coming into Kansas City when I played in Atlanta,” Williams said. “It was crazy, it was loud, there probably wasn’t a seat open anywhere and all you saw was red. That’s what our coach (in Atlanta) talked about. He said, ‘Y’all be ready because it’s going to be a different feeling.’”

The game that Williams is referring to occurred during his rookie season in 2004. That was the day that RBs Priest Holmes and Derrick Blaylock combined to score eight rushing touchdowns. Kansas City finished that day with 271 rushing yards and 269 passing yards, while Atlanta’s Michael Vick posted a QB rating of just 13.9.

“I feel like the fans play a big part in things – especially when we’re on defense with all the crowd noise,” Williams said. “That’s a plus for the defense and it’s something that I feel like brings a lot of energy for the team.”

Speaking of Arrowhead memories, newly signed LB Charlie Anderson has one of his own.

“I played here (in 2008) with the Dolphins.” Anderson remembered. “It was that record-breaking cold game and it was like the coldest game that I’ve ever played in. Hopefully we don’t too many more of those.”

The wind chill was -12 degrees that day with steady winds of 20 mph.

Third Down Conversions

One of the most problematic areas for the Chiefs against San Diego was the inability to convert third down opportunities. With just a 9% (1-of-11) conversion rate, the Chiefs defense was on the field for a total of 70 snaps; Kansas City’s offensive snap total was 49.

Despite ranking 31st in third-down efficiency a year ago (27.3%), Monday night’s third down percentage wasn’t something that marked as a red flag for Haley.

 “I can’t overplay the weather being a factor in some of the decision making, throws and how the throws were coached,” Haley said. “That was a little different deal there. I think that if you look at it a different way, than it would be the wrong way to look at it. I’m just making sure that we understand what we need to do to win the game, and in that game we did what we had to do to win the game. That is the bottom line; winning the game.”

QB Run Contain

The Chiefs have been running a few drills this week to prepare for Seneca Wallace’s scrambling ability, should he get the start at quarterback for Cleveland in place of the injured Jake Delhomme.

“He is a drop-back passer that can throw the football but he can also take off and run and hurt you from an athletic standpoint,” Haley said. “Anytime you have that and you go from one to the other, not that (Jake) hasn’t been a great runner over the years, but you do have a change of pace and you have to be prepared for both. So we’ve got to make sure that in practice that we do have some scrambles where we tell the quarterback to take off and run and are aware that that can happen.”

Delhomme did not practice for a second consecutive day on Thursday in Cleveland.

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