Arrowhead Report: Thursday, October 7th

Posted Oct 7, 2010

Chiefs bringing out the pink this weekend

Todd Haley began his press conference today by talking about a project he’s undertook to review the total snaps played by each player this season. The tally is a culmination of each individual’s total snaps on offensive, defensive and special teams.

“We’re just really working hard to find more jobs for more people, to make the guy that we do end up putting in uniform on Sunday have a meaningful and bigger role for us each and every week,” Haley said. “I think that’s the way that we’ll continue to get better.”

Later in the presser, Haley specifically mentioned a handful of players that stood out to him in the study. Here are two of the more interesting examples that Haley mentioned...

Jackie Battle

Haley Says: “He has 67 plays, but 63 of them are on special teams.”

The Chiefs have been using Dexter McCluster as the third back behind Thomas Jones and Jamaal Charles. While McCluster’s role in the offense is unlikely to change, there are still areas where Battle can fit offensively.

A bigger back, Battle worked in some short-yardage situations with the first-team offense during the preseason. Maybe there will be a window for him in those packages. He also played a bit of fullback before injury in 2009.

Kendrick Lewis

Haley Says: “180 snaps, with 15-18 of them being on special teams…he’s one of our more higher-playing rookies across the board.”

Lewis’ role expanded when Jon McGraw suffered a hamstring injury prior to the Cleveland game. Most expected the Chiefs to give their rookie safeties a considerable amount of snaps, but Lewis and Eric Berry have taken over 90% of the safety reps over the first three games. It sounded as if Haley wanted to free up some extra reps for Lewis to become more involved in the special teams game.

The premise of counting reps isn’t necessarily about evening-out playing time. It’s more about using the 45-man roster as efficiently as possible on gameday. If you’re looking for a case study, Javier Arenas’ situation in Week One is a perfect example.

Against San Diego, Haley noticed that Arenas looked winded as the rookie was about to take the field for a punt return. Arenas had been playing a heavy load of nickel that night, so Haley told special teams coach Steve Hoffman to send in McCluster for the return instead. The result was a franchise-record 94-yard punt return TD that turned out to be a game-changer.

Injury Report

Yesterday, Haley was pleased with the team’s overall health coming out of the bye. Today, things got even better for the Chiefs.

Both Tyson Jackson (knee) and Ryan O’Callaghan (groin) put on full pads for the first time in weeks and practiced with their teammates. Jackson was upgraded to a limited practice participant yesterday and O’Callaghan was upgraded to the same status today. The official injury designations for Sunday will be announced tomorrow afternoon.

Reshard Langford (ankle) was the only Chief who did not practice. He continues to rehab on the stationary bikes while he is being held out.

Third-Down Emphasis

The Chiefs put an emphasis on third-down snaps today at practice. Thurs far, defensive third-downs have been an area where Kansas City has thrived. The Chiefs are currently fourth in the NFL, allowing opponents to convert their thirds at just a 26.7% clip. Overall, opponents are averaging just 14 first downs per game against Kansas City. That’s the third-least amount in the league.

Continuing third-down success against Indianapolis will likely be a key factor this weekend. Indianapolis’ offense ranks among the NFL’s top-10 with a 44.7% third-down percentage. Offensively, the Chiefs will look to improve upon their 26th ranking (32.5%) on third downs against the Colts 29th-ranked third-down defense (46.0%).

Bring On The Pink

The Chiefs will play in their first Breast Cancer Awareness Game this weekend as the NFL supports October’s National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Players will wear various styles of pink cleats (pictured upper right), gloves and towels. The Chiefs will also play with a special BCA football that features a pink ribbon embedded behind the NFL Shield.

“It’s not my style, but I’m going to wear them for sure,” LB Derrick Johnson said of the pink cleats. “It’s for a great cause.”

The Chiefs Women’s Organization has also been historically active in BCA efforts. Game-worn pink merchandise and footballs will be autographed following each game and auctioned at NFL Auction to support the cause.

If you haven’t noticed, we’ve also turned pink this week.

Brady Bunch…What?

Apparently Todd Haley is a fan of the Brady Bunch. As he began to answer a question today, his voice cracked and some Peter Brady talk ensued, followed by references about the Brady’s trip to Hawaii (you know, the to be continued episode). The entire exchange was one of the more comedic moments of Haley’s press conferences to date. Experience it for yourself here.

Don’t lie…you know you liked those Hawaii episodes. Enjoy.

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