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fordfixer
11-23-2011, 02:01 AM
Advance Scouting: Kansas City Chiefs
http://www.timesonline.com/sports/steel ... 55c9e.html (http://www.timesonline.com/sports/steelers/advance-scouting-kansas-city-chiefs/article_00c43fef-3499-5d9a-b38e-80359b155c9e.html)

AP/Elise Amendola
No sunshine for K.C.

Kansas City quarterback Tyler Palko (4) was picked off three times and sacked three other times against New England on Monday.


Posted: Tuesday, November 22, 2011
By Mike Bires mbires@timesonline.com

PITTSBURGH - Like many of the players he coaches, Mike Tomlin was glued to his TV for Monday Night Football. He wanted to scout the next opponent, in particular the man who'll play quarterback Sunday night against Tomlin's Steelers.

That would be Tyler Palko.

A former star at West Allegheny High School and the University of Pittsburgh, Palko made his first pro start in a 34-3 loss to the Patriots (7-3) in New England. Palko's next assignment comes against another Super Bowl contender. That's the Steelers (7-3), who play the Chiefs (4-6) at Arrowhead Stadium on Sunday night.

"We are familiar with him, he's been a part of us," Tomlin said of Palko. "What we do know about Tyler is that he's an extremely sharp football guy. He's a very quick study. He's very good above the neck. He makes good decisions."

Two years ago, Palko spent about two weeks with the Steelers.

On Nov. 25, 2009, he was signed to the practice squad after backup QB Charlie Batch suffered a wrist injury in a 27-24 overtime loss in Kansas City.

Three days later, Palko was signed to the 53-man active roster when Ben Roethlisberger was ruled out of the Nov. 29 game in Baltimore with concussion symptoms.

Palko was the backup for Dennis Dixon in that 13-10 loss to the Ravens but didn't play.

"I know (Tyler) will be excited about playing us," Tomlin said. "Being a Pittsburgh guy, born and raised, this is an awesome opportunity for him, one that I'm sure he's excited about and preparing to take advantage of. He's got a nice complement of weapons offensively."

Here's a look at the weapons Palko has to work with as well as a glimpse of what the Chiefs look like defensively:

OFFENSE

A year after winning the AFC West with a 10-6 record, the Chiefs will be hard-pressed to make the playoffs this year as they've really struggled mightily offensively. Last year when quarterback Matt Cassel, running back Jamaal Charles, wide receiver Dwayne Bowe and guard Brian Waters made the Pro Bowl, they ranked 14th in the NFL by scoring 22.9 points per game. This year, they're 29th at 14.4. In three of their 10 games, they've only scored three points.

Of course, it hurt to lose Charles to a season-ending knee injury in Week 2. He rushed for 1,120 and 1,467 yards the past two years. Then Cassel was lost for the season two weeks ago with a broken hand.

"Obviously with the inexperience with a new quarterback, we should anticipate them potentially leaning heavily on their running game," Tomlin said.

Even without Charles, the Chiefs have had some success running the ball. With a trio of backs splitting time, K.C. ranks ninth in the league in rushing. Jackie Battle (436), Dexter McCluster (330) and Thomas Jones (252) share the load.

"If you look at their running game, the things that concern you are that Jackie Battle and Dexter McCluster, both of them are averaging 4.6 yards per tote," Tomlin said. "We can't allow these guys to run off clips of 4.6 per and play the kind of ball we desire to play."

At wide receiver, Bowe will be hard-pressed to match his numbers from last year when he caught 72 passes for 1,162 yards and 15 TDs (This year he has 48 for 750 and just four TDs).

The Chiefs other two receivers are, like Palko, former WPIAL stars: Steve Breaston of Woodland Hills and Jon Baldwin of Aliquippa.

Baldwin, the Chiefs' No. 1 pick in this year's draft, missed the first five games of the season with a broken hand injured in a training camp fight with Jones. In the five games he's played, Baldwin has 11 catches for 139 yards and a touchdown.

"He's fast emerging over the past couple of weeks," Tomlin said of Baldwin. "He's big. He plays big down the field. He's just starting to scratch the surface in terms of what he is capable of doing. We're probably as familiar with that as anyone outside of Kansas City in the NFL."

Against the Patriots, no one played well offensively for the Chiefs. Palko completed 25 of 38 passes for 236 yards. But he threw three interceptions and was sacked three times.

DEFENSE

In the second year of Romeo Crennel's tenure as coordinator, the Chiefs expected to improve after finishing 14th in the league last year in total defense. After all, K.C. was stockpiling first-round drafts picks on defense -- linebacker Tamba Hali in 2006, defensive tackle Glenn Dorsey in '08, defensive end Tyson Jackson in '09 and safety Eric Berry in '10.

But the Chiefs rank 23rd in total defense and 25th in scoring defense (25.2 ppg).

And even though Hali, the ex-Penn Stater, has recorded six sacks, the Chiefs rank last in the NFL with 12 as a team.

"If you look at them defensively, they have top-tier talent at every level," Tomlin said. "If you start up front, they have high-round draft picks in Tyson Jackson and Glenn Dorsey, LSU men. They are top-five type pedigree men. They are capable of being very disruptive in the middle. They have a savvy veteran (on the defensive line) in Kelly Gregg. He's a guy that we have experience with, being a former Baltimore Raven.

"At the linebacker level, no question they are led by Tamba Hali ... he plays with a great motor. Generally, he out-tempos everyone."

In the secondary, the Chiefs are playing without Berry, who blew out his knee in the season opener. But they have three other defensive backs who've combined for nine interceptions, which is five more than the Steelers have as a team. Cornerback Brandon Flowers is tied for fifth in the NFL with four picks. Free safety Kendrick Lewis has three while corner Brandon Carr has two.

"They are playing very good football for them," Tomlin said of the Kansas City secondary. "They are challenging people. They are very combative, getting their hands on balls, producing turnovers. They are an impressive tandem."

WindyCitySteel
11-23-2011, 08:58 AM
KC is awful. This could be the week we see a turnover explosion.

On a side note, if it feels like we always play there, that's because this will be the 12th meeting since 1992, 11 of which were in KC.

http://www.pro-football-reference.com/b ... kan&yr=all (http://www.pro-football-reference.com/boxscores/game_query.cgi?tm1=pit&tm2=kan&yr=all)

Based on the pattern in the previous 11, looks like we're due for a win.

steelblood
11-23-2011, 12:07 PM
Yeah, I think I remember that 2009 game. We were supposed to crush them that game too. Didn't happen. They may not be a good team, but we have hardly been dominant on the road.

Sugar
11-23-2011, 12:56 PM
Yeah, I think I remember that 2009 game. We were supposed to crush them that game too. Didn't happen. They may not be a good team, but we have hardly been dominant on the road.

:Agree

There are no gimee's in the NFL. This is a team playing on their home turf in prime time. It's a great opportunity for the Steelers to show the league what they're in for the rest of the year. It's also an opportunity to show that they have the consistency that they'll need for a championship run.

Eich
11-23-2011, 01:40 PM
It's funny to read articles like that. The author starts off each section with how weak or poorly they are playing and then the Coach (Tomlin in this case) is quoted with saying how good they are !

Perfect example:


But the Chiefs rank 23rd in total defense and 25th in scoring defense (25.2 ppg).

And even though Hali, the ex-Penn Stater, has recorded six sacks, the Chiefs rank last in the NFL with 12 as a team.

"If you look at them defensively, they have top-tier talent at every level," Tomlin said. "If you start up front, they have high-round draft picks in Tyson Jackson and Glenn Dorsey, LSU men. They are top-five type pedigree men. They are capable of being very disruptive in the middle. They have a savvy veteran (on the defensive line) in Kelly Gregg. He's a guy that we have experience with, being a former Baltimore Raven.

RuthlessBurgher
11-23-2011, 02:27 PM
Where's Hardliner this week?

The Chiefs offense must be putrid...they only managed to put up a 3 spot on that awful NE defense.

Granted, if they still had Cassel, Charles, Moeaki, etc. they'd be better, but they are not good right now.

fordfixer
11-23-2011, 03:25 PM
Where's Hardliner this week?

The Chiefs offense must be putrid...they only managed to put up a 3 spot on that awful NE defense.

Granted, if they still had Cassel, Charles, Moeaki, etc. they'd be better, but they are not good right now.


I haven't seen him around for awhile. Thought he would show up this week for sure

hawaiiansteel
11-23-2011, 04:12 PM
Palko's struggles don't alter Tomlin's opinion

By Mark Kaboly, PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Wednesday, November 23, 2011


In the two weeks that Tyler Palko spent with the Steelers in 2009, he made quite an impression on Mike Tomlin.

Despite Palko's shortcomings in his first NFL start in Kansas City's 34-3 loss to New England on Monday night, Tomlin isn't about to sleep on one of the most decorated high school quarterbacks to come out of Western Pennsylvania.

"What we do know about Tyler is that he is an extremely sharp football guy," Tomlin said at his weekly news conference Tuesday. "He is a very quick study, very good above the neck and makes good decisions. I know he will be excited playing us, to be honest with you."

A week after playing the Patriots in Foxborough, Palko will have another daunting task when he makes his second prime-time start in as many weeks Sunday night when the Chiefs host the Steelers at Arrowhead Stadium.

"I imagine that everybody who plays at that position in this league has a gory story about how it started for them," Tomlin said. "That is just the nature of this game and that position."

However, Sunday's game is sure to have a little more meaning for Palko, who grew up in nearby Imperial and won three WPIAL Class AAA titles and a state championship at West Allegheny.

"Being a Pittsburgh born-and-raised guy, this is an awesome opportunity for him and I am sure he is preparing to take advantage of," Tomlin said.

Palko looked good at times Monday against the Patriots, and bad at others. He completed 25 of 38 passes for 236 yards, but that wasn't nearly enough to overcome the three interceptions he threw - two of which were deflected.

"This game is hard enough as it is without making mistakes," said Palko, who had thrown only 13 career passes before Monday night. "When you make mistakes it's going to show up, and show up at inopportune times."

Tomlin isn't expecting a similar performance from Palko against the Steelers.

"That young man (will be) up to the task because I know him personally," Tomlin said.

Tomlin trusted Palko two years ago when he signed him because of injuries suffered to Ben Roethlisberger and Charlie Batch against the Chiefs the week before.

Palko was signed to back up starter Dennis Dixon in Baltimore — a game in which the Steelers lost in overtime, 20-17.

"He learned our offense extremely quickly," Tomlin said. "He is a very intelligent man, of course. He is a son of a coach (West Allegheny's Bob Palko), and I think that oozes out of him in conversation. He is a good football man and one that we respect."

Tomlin studied Palko two other times, albeit in the preseason.

Palko was 4 of 8 for 53 yards in 20-7 loss in the Hall of Fame game in 2007 while with the Saints. Two years later with Arizona, Palko was 8 of 15 for 103 yards and a touchdown in a 20-10 loss.

Palko, a three-year starter at Pitt, also spent time with the California Redwoods of the UFL and Montreal Alouettes of the CFL before signing with the Steelers on Nov. 25, 2009. He was cut two weeks later.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsbu ... z1eYcfd92I (http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/steelers/s_768693.html#ixzz1eYcfd92I)

ter1230_4
11-23-2011, 04:56 PM
What I remember about the 2009 game against the Chiefs is that after three quarters the Steelers had outgained them by almost 300 yards (400 to 100) and the score was tied at 17. That's what happens when you give up kickoff returns for TD's, turn it over in the red zone, etc. Then after the Steelers went ahead by a TD in the 4th quarter, the Chiefs were able to drive over 90 yards to tie it up. And in OT Ben gets a concussion and the Steelers lose. Broke a 10 game home losing streak for the Chiefs. I hope the Steelers remember that debacle and prepare accordingly.

hawaiiansteel
11-25-2011, 11:21 PM
Maturing Steelers have come a long way since ‘09 meltdown against Kansas City

By Associated Press, Published: November 23


PITTSBURGH — Two years later, Brett Keisel is still stunned.

Ask the Pittsburgh Steelers defensive end how the then-defending Super Bowl champions lost five straight games late in the 2009 season to knock themselves out of playoff contention and his rapidly expanding beard shakes from side to side.

“We missed the playoffs by one game, one whole game,” Keisel said. “You think about what you could have done differently. It can haunt you.”

Perhaps the most stunning loss during the slide was a 27-24 overtime defeat in Kansas City, a game in which the Steelers outgained the then-2-7 Chiefs by more than 200 yards and enjoyed a 10-point second-half lead.

Three turnovers, eight penalties and an uncharacteristic late defensive collapse sent Pittsburgh into a tailspin. Losses to woeful Cleveland and Oakland followed even after coach Mike Tomlin promised to “unleash hell” in December.

Could the Steelers have made a legitimate bid for back-to-back championships? Keisel isn’t sure. The only thing he knows is three meltdowns against so-so teams cost his team the opportunity.

The memory remains fresh, one of the reasons why the Steelers (7-3) have been one of the NFL’s best teams over the last two years heading into Sunday’s visit to struggling Kansas City (4-6).

Pittsburgh is 23-8 (playoffs included) since the streak ended. The Steelers and the Falcons are the only two teams in the league who have not lost to a club with a losing record during that span.

In a league where there seems to be at least one head-scratcher every weekend (Baltimore at Seattle two weeks ago, for example) that’s saying something.

The Steelers insist there is no secret. At a place where “the standard is the standard,” the standard doesn’t mention losing to teams you’re supposed to beat.

Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger points to a no-nonsense attitude set by the team leadership that trickles through the locker room.

“I think a lot of the guys’ mentality is, we don’t look at a team as, their record is not that good, we need to play down a level,” he said. “We need to play at our level of play, regardless of who we play. We just judge it off our expectation of ourselves.”

And the Steelers expect to get a little payback on Sunday night against the injury-ravaged Chiefs, who claimed quarterback Kyle Orton off waivers Wednesday in an attempt to salvage their quickly unraveling season.

Though veteran tight end Heath Miller called the loss to Kansas City “a long time ago,” the Steelers are hoping to avoid déjà vu.

Nose tackle Chris Hoke points out there are few feelings more frustrating than peeking at the schedule when the season is drawing to a close and thinking, what if?

“The last thing you want is to look back and go, ‘man, if we’d only have gotten this one, if we’d only have gotten that one,’” Hoke said. “That’s why we need to win this game. You’ve got to get ‘em when you can get ‘em.”

The Steelers will try to get ‘em with Roethlisberger playing through a fractured right thumb. He participated in a full practice Wednesday and expects to start against the Chiefs, though the thumb will be constantly monitored.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/re ... story.html (http://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/redskins/maturing-steelers-have-come-a-long-way-since-09-meltdown-against-kansas-city/2011/11/23/gIQAHuR3oN_story.html)