Chiefs looking for fix for struggling offense Print
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Tuesday, 09 October 2007 12:20
NFL Headline News

 KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -Quarterback Damon Huard's MRI showed no damage to his injured shoulder and the veteran may be ready to start Sunday against Cincinnati, Kansas City coach Herm Edwards said Tuesday.
``We'll go through practice (on Wednesday) and see what he can do,'' Edwards said. ``He feels a lot better. He's worked out the last two days.''
Huard, 34, got a shoulder contusion in Sunday's 17-7 loss to Jacksonville in which Kansas City rushed for only 10 yards. Backup Brodie Croyle, a second-year pro the Chiefs have been hoping to make their quarterback of the future, replaced Huard in the fourth quarter and threw a 13-yard touchdown pass on the final play.
``Damon felt OK today, but he hasn't thrown,'' Edwards said Tuesday. ``So we'll have to see where he's at throwing the ball. And we'll go through our practice schedule like we always do. Brodie always takes a lot of (practice plays). If Damon can do it and he feels good, then he'll go.''
Whoever steps in at quarterback will be directing what has been thus far one of the NFL's most feeble attacks. The Chiefs (2-3) are averaging 66 yards rushing - what used to be a decent first half for Larry Johnson.
And Johnson? The two-time Pro Bowler is 22nd in rushing with only 275 yards. He is averaging 3.3 yards per carry and hasn't scored a touchdown in five games.
Johnson has been criticized for flashes of frustration as well as his sharply declining production after missing training camp and signing a six-year, $45 million deal.
But who can blame him?
The offensive line has been getting consistently beaten. With defenses crowding up close, he frequently doesn't have a chance to get free. Against Minnesota in one particularly painful sequence, he was thrown for losses on three consecutive carries.
The big contract has not changed Johnson's style or desire, Edwards said.
``Now I think he's even more motivated,'' the coach said. ``It's a lot of things.''
Johnson has also been getting booed at home. But so has the rest of an offense that goes against Cincinnati on Sunday ranked 32nd overall in rushing, 28th overall in total offense and 30th overall in points per game.
Sure, it's too early for league rankings to take on great meaning. Those things will sort themselves out over the course of a 16-game season.
But there is no doubt the Kansas City offense is anemic. Other than signing up an entirely new offensive line, can anything be done to salvage this season?
``We've got the players we have, and they're good players,'' Edwards said Tuesday. ``We have to define some things. We have to define things a little bit better. We have to have the ability to stick with the run and don't abandon it.''
In the loss to Jacksonville, the Chiefs had one of the worst offensive days in their history. They ran for only 10 yards - second worst since the franchise began as the Dallas Texans in 1960. They had barely 200 yards of total offense until Croyle led a late 70-yard touchdown drive, culminating with a 13-yard TD pass on the final play from scrimmage that averted the first home shutout since 1994.
``We have to establish the line of scrimmage a little bit better and maybe define some runs a little bit better for us,'' Edwards said. ``And just work on it that way. It's back to basics. It's fundamentals and techniques. It always is. You have to have confidence in practice and take it on the field and do it.''
Edwards insisted the mounting frustration has not caused any locker room dissension.
``We're fine. This team's fine,'' he said. ``There's always going to be something going on. There's a lot of teams frustrated right now. A lot of coaches frustrated.
``I have a good pulse of this football team. When there's something that needs to be said or done, I can handle it. I can handle it. Trust me.''
 

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