Coach thinking about changing pregame speech

By: DOUG TUCKER, AP Sports Writer
By: DOUG TUCKER, AP Sports Writer

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -- Herm Edwards is thinking about changing his pregame speech -- or perhaps giving it up altogether.

In all four games they've played this year, his Kansas City Chiefs have fallen immediately behind. The last two -- against Minnesota and San Diego -- they faced double-digit deficits at halftime only to rally in the third and fourth quarters and pull out a win.

"We're minus-27 in points scored in the first half," Edwards said Tuesday. "And in the second half we're plus-27. So obviously, my pregame speech going out is not very good. My halftime speech is probably a little bit better."

Their rapidly improving defense has pitched a shutout in each of the last two second halves, enabling a slow-starting offense to pull itself together.

One problem that keeps putting the offense in a hole has been poor kick returns. Just before the season started, the Chiefs acquired Eddie Drummond from the Detroit Lions as their return specialist, giving up on several candidates who had tried out during training camp for the job Dante Hall had held for four years. But Drummond has not been able to escape the shadow of the Chiefs' own goalposts on many kickoffs.

That was particularly true during last week's come-from-behind 30-16 victory in San Diego.

"We've had some horrendous field position on offense," Edwards said. "I don't think we've started a game past the 30 yet. It seems like we're always in the minus territory. Then you go three-and-out and punt, and you give the other team a short field. Our kickoff return is not very good. We're not even crossing the 20 sometimes.

"We have to do a better job in our kickoff return. I think the (league) average start is about the 26 or 28, and we're not even that. We're at the 21. You can't keep doing that."

Edwards said he has no plans to find a different returner.

"We've got to block it better," he said. "We're not blocking it very well. We're going to have to do some things differently. Every time I turned around, it seemed like San Diego was hitting us on the 15-yard line. You've got to get more than that."

After being on the road three of the first four games, the Chiefs are home the next two weeks against Jacksonville and Cincinnati, who will both come into town right after their bye week.

One thing Edwards said he's not worried about is a letdown this week after the Chiefs' big win in San Diego. He doesn't think any team that trailed in every game would have trouble maintaining its focus after such an emotional win.

"I don't think there's a letdown with this team," he said. "We've been in that tunnel for too long. It's been very dark the last couple of weeks. That thing was a mountain."


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