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Tomlin on the Chiefs

Posted Nov 12, 2012

Coach Mike Tomlin takes a look at this week’s opponent – the Kansas City Chiefs:

On Chiefs RB Jamaal Charles seeing a dip in production …

A. It’s probably a myriad of those things. They’re probably better equipped to answer that than myself. I know they’ve been behind some and sometimes game circumstances dictate how often your featured runner gets touches.

On difference in Chiefs’ offense compared to when Todd Haley was their coach …

A. They’re different. I can relate them to the Cleveland group that we’ve been familiar with schematically when Coach Romeo Crennel and Brian (Daboll) were in Cleveland. I draw correlations to that as opposed to looking at what they did with Todd a year ago.

On whether Haley is helping with the Kansas City personnel …

A. It can be. But make no mistake about it, it’s not changing our process in terms of how we prepare and the manner in which we put our plan together. It’s not going to change at all. Todd’s not going to stand up and give any grand speeches about their personnel or things of that nature. We’re going through our normal processes in terms of preparing ourselves. If anything, he provides a nugget or two or some clarity when we get mixed signals in terms of what we see on tape or maybe what we perceive they’re capable of.

On the strength of the Chiefs’ offense …

A. They have quality guys that can run the football. Jamaal Charles leads the charge. He is in the top-five or top-six in the NFL in rushing. He is one of those one-hit guys but any time the ball is snapped he is capable of scoring from long distance. He has already had a 91-yard touchdown this year. They picked up Peyton Hillis, somebody we are very familiar with. He is a contrasting runner to Charles but a great complement to him. He is a powerful, deliberate, one-cut and downhill runner. He finishes with a strong run demeanor. He supplements Charles and supplements him well. Dexter McCluster is a wide receiver, a running back and a Wildcat guy. We better be prepared to defend him.

On the Kansas City wide receivers …

A. At wide receiver, it starts with Dwayne Bowe. He is fifth in the NFL in third-down receptions. He is a big, strong and combative guy. He is probably one of the best combative catch guys in football. He draws a lot of defensive pass interference penalties. He is strong at the catch point, and he is tough to get on the ground. I think the same thing can be said for Jonathan Baldwin, a young and talented first-round pick from next door at the University of Pittsburgh. He is playing opposite of Bowe. I know he is not unfamiliar with Heinz Field and playing in that environment. He is a big guy. He plays big. He is tough to deal with down the field, and he is also tough to get on the ground. We have our hands full with those guys, particularly in combat situations.

On whether the Chiefs’ linebackers are the strength of the defense …

A. Looking at them on defense, what stands out are their linebackers. Tamba Hali is an impressive guy when you watch him on tape. He has a relentless motor. His partner in crime is Justin Houston. Together they have 11 sacks. They put consistent pressure on the quarterback. You don’t know what side they are coming from, they flop. Both guys play on the right and left side. Derrick Johnson is their inside linebacker. He leads the charge. He is a sideline-to-sideline tackler. He is very quick. He reads and reacts. He takes the calculated risks associated with inside linebackers. He will run through gaps. He will run underneath blocks and still make consistent plays. He is very good in coverage, particularly in underneath coverage and man-to-man versus running backs.

On why the Chiefs have struggled through the first half of the 2012 season …

A. You ask why they are 1-7, quite honestly it’s because they have turned the ball over and have significantly lost the turnover battle. They are minus-21 on the season, which puts them last in the NFL. I’d like to think that is something comforting for us but it’s not like we’ve been a juggernaut when it comes to getting turnovers. We’ve done a better job getting off the field but we haven’t done a great job getting turnovers. We are probably one of the worst in the league in that area. We are preparing for Monday’s opportunity and we are excited about doing it.

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