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Banged up Chiefs secondary readies to square off against Seahawks rookie QB Russell Wilson

Posted Aug 23, 2012

Javier Arenas says the Chiefs defense has a chip on its shoulder after last week’s disappointing effort in St. Louis

Javier Arenas doesn’t attempt to hide from the role he played in Kansas City’s less-than-impressive start to last weekend’s 31-17 Governor’s Cup loss in St. Louis.

It was Arenas who admittedly mugged Rams wide receiver Danny Amendola en route to St. Louis’ second touchdown in as many offensive drives. The Rams leapt to an early 14-0 advantage and never trailed.

“That was an irregular position that he put me in,” Arenas recalled of Amendola’s penalty-laced eight-yard touchdown reception. “I was running and then he all of a sudden stopped and I couldn’t stop as quickly as he did. It was pre-meditated when he stopped and it left me caught in an awkward position, but you learn about it and you move on.

“It was a great experience for me. I obviously wish it wouldn’t have happened, but it was a great experience for me because I am going to learn from it.”

Arenas continues to play a key part in Kansas City’s sub-package defenses. He often plays man-to-man coverage or blitzes off the edge when the Chiefs align in nickel or dime personnel and continues to hold down primary punt return duties as well.

Kansas City’s defense allowed Rams quarterback Sam Bradford to complete six of nine passing attempts for 102 yards and two touchdowns in the Governor’s Cup defeat. He finished with a 144.4 quarterback rating before exiting at the start of the second quarter.

Whether it was a sense of overconfidence following a dominant performance against Arizona in the preseason opener, a multitude of assignment breakdowns, or a mixture of both, Crennel wasn’t happy with Kansas City’s effort in St. Louis.  

"We're going to have to play a lot better if we're going to have a chance to win in the NFL,” Crennel said. “No one really played good. The defense couldn't stop anybody.”

Arenas says last week’s breakdowns has defenders re-focused heading into Friday night’s game against Seattle - especially after hearing Crennel’s criticism through the media and inside the team meeting room.

 “I think it brings the fight in the dog out of competitors,” Arenas said of Crennel’s disappointment. “We have competitors on this team. Each guy is a competitor, so when he brings stuff up like that we take it to heart and we take it personal. But we don’t’ let it discourage us. We go out there and, like I said, we learn from our mistakes.”

The Chiefs enter a unique situation against the Seahawks with a banged up secondary squaring off against a dynamic rookie quarterback.

Third-round draft pick Russell Wilson will get the start under center against a Chiefs secondary operating without cornerback Brandon Flowers or free safety Kendrick Lewis. Neither Flowers (foot) not Lewis (shoulder) practiced this week.

Jalil Brown and Abram Elam are expected to fill in as starters. The injuries will shuffle Kansas City’s sub-package personnel as well.

Wilson has turned in a stellar preseason thus far both running and passing the football. His consistent outings have peaked the interest of Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll, who elevated Wilson over free agent acquisition Matt Flynn to see what the rookie can do working with starters against a first-team defense.

The former University of Wisconsin quarterback owns a 110.5 quarterback rating through two preseason games and has connected on over 66% of his pass attempts for 279 yards with three touchdowns. He’s also leading the Seahawks in rushing with eight carries for 92 yards (11.5 avg.) and a touchdown.

“I’ve watched film of the quarterback and I see his capabilities, but at the same time I have to know my own job responsibilities.” Arenas said. “This is a preseason game, so why not go out there and work on the things that are going to get us better?

“All I can say is that whatever they ask me to do, I’ll go out there and try to do it and I’m pretty sure each guy in the secondary is approaching it the same way. We are rooting on any of the guys that are injured, but we’re looking at it as an opportunity to go out there and do what we’re asked.”

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