Brian Daboll brings new energy to Chiefs offense

Posted Aug 2, 2012

Daboll’s enthusiasm is unmistakable in St. Joseph

His players may be going half speed on tape, but he can’t slow down. The first week of the season is in seven short weeks.

Brian Daboll hasn’t taken off the bucket hat he sported minutes ago at the team walk-thru, and he hasn’t stopped taking down notes. He also hasn’t stopped talking, and Jack Bicknell, Jr., the offensive line coach, can’t get a word in during their post-practice film session. Daboll is like a child who can’t sit still.

A 37-year-old kid will call the Chiefs’ plays this year. Romeo Crennel couldn’t be happier.

“That’s why I hired Brian as we went through the process,” said Crennel when he broke the news of his hire. “So I’m excited about it. I know that he’ll do a good job for us and when we win games I think everybody will be excited about it.”

Coming off a tough offensive season, the Chiefs could use some excitement in Daboll’s area of expertise.

Fans know the story by now. Tony Moeaki went down in the preseason finale. Jamaal Charles went down in Week Two. Matt Cassel followed them later, and behind a patchwork offense the Chiefs struggled.

Only one team – the St. Louis Rams – scored fewer points last season. Meanwhile, Oakland and San Diego finished in the top ten in that category. The team that made the playoffs from the AFC West last season did not rank that high, but they added Peyton Manning to lead their attack this time around.

Daboll is just one year older than the Broncos’ four-time NFL MVP. Make a good catch or throw a good block, though, and he sounds more like a teenager.

His animated inner-child comes out often on the Missouri Western State University practice fields. Daboll screams praise from point-blank range at his offensive linemen and runs down the sidelines with his receivers. And when Matt Cassel executed the two minute drill, drove the unit into field goal range, and spiked the ball, Daboll had high-fives for all eleven starters as they came to the sideline.

“It takes everybody to do that,” Daboll said after Monday’s practice. “Not just the running backs, the line, the quarterback getting stuff set right, the tight ends, the receivers, a collective effort. We’re just trying to keep getting better at it.”

The coordinator has more toys to play with too. In Cleveland, Daboll had an upstart Peyton Hillis to work with, but not much else. And he coached the Miami Dolphins offense – featuring Matt Moore and Brandon Marshall – back into a top-ten unit during the second half of last season.

At this camp, Tony Moeaki and Kevin Boss catch passes down the seams. Charles and Hillis line up in the same backfield. And Jonathan Baldwin turns in circus catches for big gains from Matt Cassel, a former Pro Bowler.

Hillis saw Daboll do wonders with the 2010 Browns rushing attack. With more to work with in Kansas City, the Chiefs running back said the offense can reach new heights.

 “I think he gets the most out of a lot of guys,” said Hillis. “When I saw him travel around from New England to Cleveland to Miami, I saw he got a lot out of a lot of players. That’s just because he’s such a smart coach and knows how to connect with players.”

It’s not hard for Hillis to bond with his former coach. But as players learn his system and the man behind it, one lesson will stick with them.

Daboll loves football. He loves it like only a kid can.

“I get up every morning and try to get better,” Daboll said. “I love coming out here and working with the team, the players and the coaches. You’ve got to come out here and love what you do.”