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Chiefs' inept offense struggles again at Oakland

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Chiefs' inept offense struggles again at Oakland

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) In the entire history of the Kansas City Chiefs, one steeped in tradition, they have never before ranked last in the NFL in scoring over the course of an entire season.

Guess that's one way to celebrate the franchise's 50th anniversary in Kansas City.

The Chiefs (2-12) were blanked by the Oakland Raiders, losers of six straight before Sunday, and thus failed to score an offensive touchdown for the fifth time in 14 games. The last time that happened to them was 1974, when they still managed to somehow win five games.

That's one more win than their best-case scenario this year.

``We continue to struggle to develop any consistency,'' Chiefs coach Romeo Crennel said Monday. ``We're not very good on offense. This past game we couldn't run, we couldn't throw it, and it's hard to be in a game when that happens.''

The Chiefs were playing their first full game without wide receiver Dwayne Bowe, who went on injured reserve Saturday night with injured ribs, and his absence was obvious.

Kansas City managed just 17 yards on 18 plays in the first half, and finished with 119 yards of total offense, all against an Oakland defense that had given up more points than any other team in the NFL. The last three teams the Raiders have held to fewer than 20 points have been the Chiefs, and their last shutout back in 2002 was also against Kansas City.

Asked whether the Chiefs' offense was the worst that Crennel has been part of in more than 40 years of coaching, he replied: ``Statistically, I think you might be able to say that.''

Kansas City, which hosts the Indianapolis Colts in its home finale on Sunday, has only managed 195 points through its first 14 games. That total is second only to last year's team for the fewest in franchise history at this point in the season.

The Chiefs' average of 13.9 points is nearly a third of league-leading New England's 36.1 points per game, and it's nearly two points worse than the Jacksonville Jaguars, who are their biggest competition for the league's worst record and the No. 1 pick in the NFL draft.

Kansas City has managed to score 106 points over its past eight games; the Seattle Seahawks have scored 108 in their past two.

``You try to look for answers, but I've said this before, unless you're looking in the mirror, you're looking at the wrong place,'' said right tackle Eric Winston. ``It's kind of easy right now to point fingers, say that guy's the problem. But until you look at yourself, you're not going to find any answers.''

Crennel said that punter Dustin Colquitt was the Chiefs' most valuable player on Sunday, and it wasn't hyperbole. Colquitt routinely gave them good field position.

When the defense held, the Chiefs' punchless offense just couldn't do anything with the ball.

``We've got to do a better job early on first and second down. We got to do a better job at being consistent,'' said quarterback Brady Quinn, who took such a beating from the Oakland front that he may be limited in practice this week with his own injured ribs.

``There's just not enough consistency,'' Quinn said. ``There's not anyone making any plays or making anything happen.''

That rings true in the passing game, where Quinn - who replaced incumbent Matt Cassel midway through the season - hasn't been able to get the offense untracked. He was 18 of 36 for just 136 yards with an interception against Oakland, and has now thrown six interceptions against two touchdown passes while going 1-5 as the starter.

``I mean, the entire first half we were third-and-long,'' Quinn said after the game. ``I don't care what team you are, you're going to have a hard time converting third-and-15 and third-and-16s when you're stuck in that position.''

Crennel said the key to avoiding such difficult third-down situations is to get the running game going, yet another element of the offense that the Raiders derailed.

Jamaal Charles came into the game off three straight 100-yard performances, but he was bottled up to the tune of nine carries for 10 yards. Peyton Hillis had the only other carry for Kansas City - it went for no gain - leaving the team with a total of 10 yards rushing.

``In my mind, (the solution) is the running game,'' Crennel said, ``because that's been the bright spot offensively. We have to be able to run the ball and we couldn't do that.''

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Barry Trotz's departure reminiscent of Joe Gibbs' resignation in 1993

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Associated Press

Barry Trotz's departure reminiscent of Joe Gibbs' resignation in 1993

The sudden resignation of Barry Trotz as the coach of the Stanley Cup champion Capitals is the most stunning Washington coaching departure since Joe Gibbs retired from the Redskins about 13 months after the team won its third Super Bowl in a 10-year span. 

In the years leading up to Gibbs’ departure, there were some rumblings that he might leave. As early as 1986, John Madden said that Gibbs was a candidate to burn out of the profession early. During the 1989 season, Gibbs said that he was contemplating retirement, but he retracted his words the next day. In 1990, columnist and TV pregame panelist Will McDonough reported that Gibbs would retire after the season. Retirement rumors popped up again in early 1992, just two days before Super Bowl XXVI. Again, Gibbs denied them. The Redskins easily beat the Bills to claim their third championship in 10 years and there was no apparent reason why such a successful coach would think about leaving. 

Redskins fans had become so used to hearing the Gibbs retirement reports that many just started to tune them out. So on the morning of March 5, 1993, when reports of Gibbs’ resignation as coach started to circulate, many were in a state of denial.

That turned out to be wishful thinking. The fans were given a hard jolt of reality when the team announced a noon press conference. 

There the coach was on TV, as promised, confirming the news. He said it was a family decision. 

“Every year, we get away and talk about it,” Gibbs said. “We always reach the same conclusion. This year, it was different. The boys didn’t encourage me one way or another, but they understood when I told them what I was thinking. I think Pat’s happier than anyone. This isn’t an easy lifestyle for a coach’s wife. The coach is the guy who stands up and hears everyone tell him how great he is. The wife is the one waiting at home alone while the coach is spending every night at the office. 

“I wanted more time with my family. I wanted more time with my sons. I look at this as a window of opportunity with them and I couldn’t let it pass.” 

Although he has been diagnosed with a condition that has caused some pain and some difficulty in sleeping, Gibbs said that health was not a factor in his decision. 

Richie Petitbon, the team’s longtime defensive coordinator, was named the team’s new head coach. It had to be one of the shortest job interviews ever. 

“I get a call from Mr. Cooke who tells me Joe has retired and that he wants me to coach the Redskins,” Petitbon said. “After I picked myself up off the floor, I said yes.” 

After hearing the news, most Redskins fans had to pick themselves up as well.  

Petitbon lasted only one season as the head coach and the other eight head coaches who followed, including Gibbs himself in a four-year second stint, have been unable to get the Redskins back to the Super Bowl. Coincidentally, the Caps’ head coaching job is widely expected to go to Todd Reirden, who was Trotz’s top assistant just as Pettitbon was Gibbs’. 

Washington fans hope that the Caps have better fortune with Trotz’s successors. 

More Redskins

- 53-man roster: Roster projection--Offense
- 53-man roster: Best players 25 or younger

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page, Facebook.com/TandlerNBCSand follow him on Twitter  @TandlerNBCSand on Instagram @RichTandler

 

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Need to Know: Post-minicamp Redskins 53-man roster projection—Defense

Need to Know: Post-minicamp Redskins 53-man roster projection—Defense

Here is what you need to know on this Tuesday, June 19, 37 days before the Washington Redskins start training camp.  

Redskins 53-man roster projection—Defense 

It may still be early to project the roster, but things are coming into focus after the round of practices in helmets and shorts. Here is my look at who I think will make it on defense; the offense was posted yesterday.

Defensive line (7)
Jonathan Allen, Da’Ron Payne, Matt Ioannidis, Anthony Lanier, Stacy McGee, Tim Settle, Ziggy Hood

I don’t think that McGee’s groin injury will be an issue, but it seemed that Jay Gruden was very tight-lipped about the whole thing, so we will have to wait until training camp starts. This is one more than they normally carry here and Hood’s presence on the roster could be in danger if injuries force the team to carry more players at another position. 

Outside linebacker (4)
Ryan Kerrigan, Preston Smith, Ryan Anderson, Pernell McPhee

Anderson is certain to make the roster, but he was mostly invisible during the offseason practices that were open to the media. The spotlight will be on last year’s second-round pick in training camp. After a zero-sack rookie season, Anderson will be under pressure to produce this season. 

Inside linebacker (5)
Zach Brown, Mason Foster, Zach Vigil, Josh Harvey-Clemons, Shaun Dion Hamilton

The player I have on the wrong side of the bubble here is Martrell Spaight. If he does work his way on, the spot most in jeopardy is Vigil’s. Harvey-Clemons got a lot of reps with the first team in OTAs and the team thinks he can help in nickel situations and perhaps more. And Gruden called Hamilton a potential future starter. So the two younger players seem safe, leaving Vigil vulnerable.

Cornerback (6)
Josh Norman, Quinton Dunbar, Fabian Moreau, Orlando Scandrick, Josh Holsey, Greg Stroman

As is the case with the running backs that I looked at yesterday, this group seems to be pretty well set. It’s not that it’s an exceptionally strong group, but there isn’t a lot of real competition. Behind these six are three undrafted free agents, and while Danny Johnson, Kenny Ladler, and Ranthony Texada all have had flashes in the offseason practices, they are extreme long shots to make the roster at this point. 

Safety (4)
D.J. Swearinger, Montae Nicholson, Deshazor Everett, Troy Apke

If there are concerns about Nicholson’s health—to be clear, as of now there are none—Fish Smithson could make it as a fifth safety. 

Specialists (3)
K Dustin Hopkins, P Tress Way, LS Nick Sundberg

It looks like the Redskins will have the same trio of specialists for the fourth straight year. I will look it up at some point but for now, I’ll say that it’s been a while since they had such stability here. 


Defensive players: 26
Rookies (5): 
Payne, Settle, Hamilton, Stroman, Apke
New to the Redskins in 2018 (7): Rookies plus McPhee, Scandrick
Not on 2017 Week 1 roster (13): Rookies plus new players plus Vigil (released in the final cut, re-signed later in the season). 

On the 53-man roster:

24 offense, 26 defense, 3 specialists
Rookies: 8
New to the Redskins in 2017: 12
Not on 2017 Week 1 roster: 16

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page, Facebook.com/TandlerNBCSand follow him on Twitter  @TandlerNBCSand on Instagram @RichTandler

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Timeline  

Days until:

—Training camp starts (7/26) 37
—Preseason opener @ Patriots (8/9) 51
—Roster cut to 53 (9/1) 74

The Redskins last played a game 170 days ago. They will open the 2018 NFL season at the Cardinals in 82 days. 

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