Vrabel and Waters, the respective leaders on each side of the football, were each given full play-calling duties during team drills to finish out the week of practice.
“(Vrabel) and Coach Waters were going mano y mano on calling their sides of the ball,” Haley said. “It got down to crunch time and I happen to be standing over by Mike, and RAC (Romeo Crennel) and I were talking. Then, all the sudden, I heard Mike (whispering) ‘you got any suggestions?’ Meanwhile Coach Waters had a small army gathered around him.”
And Vrabel’s side of the story?
“I think Todd spins it a lot of different ways,” Vrabe fired back. “I know he was over there calling plays on the offensive side, and when they don’t work, he’s looking for somebody else to call the plays.”
Vrabel went on to admit that the offense scored a victory over his defensive unit on Thursday, but he also made sure to note that it wasn’t Haley’s play-calling that did the defense in.
“I will say this; the play that Todd called, we stopped,” Vrabel smiled.
Overall, coaches and players believe that the new approach to bye-week practices was successful. The team was able to work on Indianapolis, correct mistakes and gain a new appreciation of the coaching perspective.
“It forced us to be real involved with the meetings, the practice schedule and making calls, so I think that it’s helped me and the other guys that were able to be coaches,” Vrabel said. “It’s a whole different ballgame. You’re thinking about what you’re going to call and the certain personnel that they’ve got in. Looking forward to Indy, we set up the walk-thru of what they like to do.”
“You constantly have to be in the practice the whole time talking and coaching up,” Copper said. “Sometimes, when you’re just out there playing, once you come out off your reps you are kind of relaxing a little bit. But with coaching, there’s never a relaxing moment.”
One Door Is Shut
After serving a week as an honorary NFL assistant, Mike Vrabel’s post-career coaching aspirations remain in-tact. He did, however, close one door towards a potential future in coaching.
“I told Todd that the one thing he’s taught me is that I’ll never coach with him,” Vrabel joked. “This helped me make that decision. I told him that after three days I may want to coach, but I’m not going to coach on your staff.”
With the exception of offensive coordinator Charlie Weis making his return to practice, the Chiefs injury situation remained the same on Thursday.
The Chiefs were not required to submit an official injury report this week and won’t have to do so until next Wednesday afternoon.
“We needed time, for a bunch of different reasons,” Haley said. “The time will be good and we just need to continue to use it wisely. Next week it will be full steam ahead.”
From start to finish, Chiefs practice was a chipper place on Thursday. The cheers first started ringing when players were relieved of their typical over-and-back runs to start practice. Once practice concluded, the locker room was a fury of activity with players joking around before heading out to spend a weekend off.
Chiefs players and coaches will have Friday – Sunday off before re-convening on Monday morning.
3-0 Playoff Odds
Many of you have asked for the statistics, so here they are.
Over the last five years, 21 of the 27 teams to start 3-0 or better have made the playoffs. That’s a playoff percentage of 77.8%. What’s interesting, however, is that five of the six teams that missed the playoffs did so in the past two seasons.
Since 2005, these are the teams that have missed the playoffs following a 3-0 start…
2009 Broncos (6-0 start; 8-8 record)
2009 Giants (5-0 start; 9-7 record)
2008 Bills (4-0 start; 7-9 record)
2008 Broncos (3-0 start; 8-8 record)
2008 Cowboys (3-0 start; 9-7 record)
2006 Bengals (3-0 start; 8-8 record)