|Still upbeat, Chiefs' Edwards faces former team|
|Written by Admin|
|Thursday, 23 October 2008 13:31|
After hearing a few familiar voices on the other end of a conference call with New York reporters, the Kansas City Chiefs coach came up with a grand plan that drew big laughs - like back in the old days.
``We need to get some marshmallows and do some s'mores,'' Edwards said. ``That's what we need to do.''
Edwards' return to the Meadowlands won't exactly provide any kumbaya moments, but he has needed to maintain his sense of humor in a season like this. After all, he's facing his old team without his top two quarterbacks or his Pro Bowl running back and with a besieged defense that has let opponents run all over it.
as a head coach. You deal with it. You learn a lot about yourself, where you stand and what you stand for when you go through times like this.''
Edwards coached the Jets from 2001-05 and led them to the playoffs three times before leaving to take the job with the Chiefs. He returned to Giants Stadium for the first time last season, when the Jets won 13-10 in overtime to end disappointing seasons for both teams.
This time around, Edwards' Chiefs (1-5) are flailing while the Jets (3-3) are facing a game that many believe they need to win if they have any plans on being a playoff-caliber team.
``We don't want to be 3-4,'' safety Kerry Rhodes said. ``It would be a positive step for us, getting the win in this game at home. At the beginning of the season, you set goals and you want to be a team that wins at home in front of our fans.''
The Jets opened as 10 1/2-point favorites and the line grew to 13 when news came that the Chiefs' top two quarterbacks were done for the season.
``I haven't gotten to the fifth one yet,'' said Edwards, who used five quarterbacks in his last season with the Jets. ``I've only gotten to three so far, so we're doing well.''
Brodie Croyle (left knee) and Damon Huard (right hand) both suffered season-ending injuries in last week's 34-10 loss to Tennessee. Third-stringer Tyler Thigpen, who threw three interceptions in a blowout loss to Atlanta in his only NFL start, will get the chance to lead the Chiefs for at least this weekend.
``As a team you want one quarterback going into the season and playing the whole season,'' Thigpen said ``The reality of it is, the way the NFL works, you're never guaranteed any game. No. 1 could go down. In our case No. 1 and No. 2 went down. With this situation, we're going to make the most of it.''
Just because they're facing a guy making his second NFL start doesn't mean the Jets are taking him lightly.
``There's really no, 'OK, well he's not going and he's going, so we can relax,''' nose tackle Kris Jenkins said. ``No we can't. You have to play well.''
The Chiefs will be without Larry Johnson for the second straight week as punishment for violating team rules. Police and the NFL are investigating a report the two-time Pro Bowl running back spat several times on woman at a Kansas City nightclub.
``It's on me,'' Edwards said of benching Johnson. ``That's the best thing to do for the football team right now. I'll leave it at that.''
The Chiefs also aren't sure if they'll have punter Dustin Colquitt, who's nursing a groin injury.
``Distractions happen,'' center Rudy Niswanger said. ``There's not a team in the NFL that doesn't have injuries. Granted, we seem to have more than most. But regardless of how many people get hurt, how many people go on IR, how many are deactivated, Sunday is still going to come.''
And it can't come soon enough for the Jets, looking to erase the aftertaste of their 16-13 overtime loss at Oakland last Sunday. After a terrific start, Brett Favre has struggled in his last two games with one touchdown and four interceptions.
``We're trying to find a balance,'' Favre said. ``No one's at fault here. We have capable guys not only in the passing game, but we obviously have capable guys in the run game. How we mix the two is a work in progress.''
Favre will be facing a pair of rookie cornerbacks in the Chiefs' secondary, Brandon Flowers and Brandon Carr.
``Our two corners have never seen him before except on television, now they get to play against him,'' Edwards said. ``I'm pretty sure he's licking his chops.''
The Jets were uncertain if they'd have leading receiver Laveranues Coles for the game after he suffered a concussion last week. Still, the Chiefs know the Jets have enough weapons to compensate.
``They've done a good job at running the football the last couple weeks,'' Edwards said. ``They're a balanced offense. They're going to run the ball and throw it.''
nd-highest total of his career, and has a good opportunity for another big week. Kansas City's run defense is last in the NFL and has allowed 537 yards rushing in the last two games.
``The thing about it is, we've got 10 more games left, everybody's going to come in trying to run against us now,'' safety Bernard Pollard said. ``We emphasize that, but the thing about it is we've go to go out there and stop it. It's been horrible.''
AP Sports Writer Doug Tucker in Kansas City contributed to this story.