Brissett or Driskel, it doesn’t matter, Florida is in big trouble

Less than an hour before kickoff of the Florida/LSU game in Baton Rouge comes this tweet from Tracy Wolfson:

Jacoby Brissett out warming up. Jeff Driskell not.

This is bad news for a lot of people: Will Muschamp, Charlie Weis, Driskel, Brissett and Verne Lundquist, who is likely to fall asleep by halftime of what is sure to be an absolute blowout. It looks like the true freshman will be replacing the other true freshman against the second ridiculously scary defense the Gators have had to face in as many weeks.

Driskel replaced John Brantley last week against Alabama after the Tide knocked him out of the game. Now Driskel seems questionable at best leaving Brissett as the next option. A kid who has never played a down of college football, taking his first snap in the Bayou against the nation’s No. 1 team. Good luck with that.

LSU isn’t literally an NFL defense like you may hear often today. That’s hyperbole. But will most all of the players Brissett sees today one day be in the NFL? Yes. And he’s going to see a lot of them, mostly charging through his offensive line while frothing at the mouth.

If I was Florida offensive coordinator Charlie Weis, I’d think of getting the ball out of Brissett’s hands as quickly as possible, just to protect your future investment. Although that might leave Chris Rainey and Jeff Demps open to certain injury, and you don’t want to lose them. Maybe take a knee on every down and just punt? This literally may be Florida’s best option.

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Report: Haley stripped Weis of play-calling duties during second half

Kansas City Chiefs head coach Todd Haley watches during the third quarter against the Denver Broncos at Invesco Field at Mile High in Denver on November 14, 2010. Denver beat the AFC West division leader Kansas City 49-29. UPI/Gary C. Caskey

Apparently the Chiefs’ inability to move the ball offensively against Baltimore on Sunday was not coordinator Charlie Weis’ fault, but head coach Todd Haley’s.

According to Bob Fescoe of 610 Sports in Kansas City, Haley stripped Weis of his play-calling duties during the second half of the Chiefs’ 30-7 loss to the Ravens on Sunday.

From the Sporting News:

Jason Whitlock, of Fox Sports, tweeted during the game that the Chiefs’ offensive miscues were a direct reflection of Haley’s play-calling.

For much of the latter half of the season, rumors persisted that Haley and Weis were having issues working together, and then the announcement came that Weis was leaving Kansas City following the end of the NFL regular season to become new Florida coach Will Muschamp’s offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach.

If the report is true, then Haley has some explaining to do. Jamaal Charles, the Chiefs’ most explosive offensive playmaker, received just three touches in the second half. As John Paulsen put it to me over Skype, “that’s inexcusable.”

For the game, Baltimore held Kansas City to just eight first downs and 53 yards passing. The Ravens are good, but they’re not that good. If there were an abrupt change in playcallers, then it would make sense that the Chiefs struggled mightily to move the ball during the second half.

In some respects, I don’t blame Haley for doing what he did. Hey, Weis isn’t going to be around next year and the offense had been a sinking ship ever since he announced that he was heading to Florida, so why wouldn’t Haley try to correct the problem before it was too late? After all, it is his team and he would ultimately be the one who had to answer to why the Chiefs once again lost another playoff game.

That said, it’s not fair to Matt Cassel and the rest of the players for Haley to make a move like that. The offense had worked under Weis all season and seeing as how the score was only 10-7 at halftime, it’s not like the Chiefs were out of the game. It makes you wonder if that was Haley’s plan from the start and as soon as the offense started sputtering, he was going to remove Weis as the playcaller.

We’ll see what Haley says in his final press conference later this week.

Chiefs’ playoff woes continue as Ravens advance to Pittsburgh

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Matt Cassel (R) is sacked by Baltimore Ravens defensive tackle Kelly Gregg during the second half of their AFC Wild Card NFL playoff football game in Kansas City, Missouri January 9, 2011. REUTERS/Dave Kaup (UNITED STATES – Tags: SPORT FOOTBALL)

Here are six quick-hit observations from the Ravens’ 30-7 trouncing of the Chiefs in Sunday’s Wildcard Round.

1. Baltimore’s defense once again comes to play.
What’s the quickest way to quiet a hostile crowd? How about giving them nothing to celebrate. Outside of Jamaal Charles’ 41-yard touchdown run in the first quarter, the Chiefs could do nothing offensively. The talk coming into this game was how KC could take advantage of Baltimore’s secondary but all the Ravens did was shut down the Chiefs’ vertical passing game (did anyone tell Dwayne Bowe what time the game started?) and force five turnovers. Matt Cassel’s protection wasn’t great but it’s not like he had anywhere to go with the ball either. Every time he looked downfield, a Baltimore defender was blanketing one of his outside receivers. How dominant was the Ravens defense on Sunday? They held the Chiefs to eight first downs and only 53 yards passing. Unreal.

Bonus observations:

– What a hit by Ed Reed on Dexter McCluster in the second quarter to force a punt after the Chiefs had reached midfield. That hurt me on my couch.

– The Ravens’ defenders have to stop trying to lateral the ball back to teammates after interceptions. I know sometimes they wind up getting more yards and it makes for a nice highlight, but Haruki Nakamura almost cost his team points by foolishly trying to flip the ball back to a teammate after a pick on the first drive of the second half. Talk about a momentum killer.

2. This loss isn’t on the Chiefs’ defense.
Kansas City may have given up 30 points but it’s hard for a defense to stop any offense when it’s on the field for the entire game. By the time the Ravens put together that 10-minute scoring drive in the fourth quarter, the Chiefs’ defense was gassed. KC’s offense couldn’t sustain drives and even worse, they turned the ball over five times. In the second quarter, the Chiefs did a nice job by forcing a three-and-out following a turnover. In the first half, they also did well taking away the Ravens’ vertical passing game because Joe Flacco really didn’t have anyone to throw to down field. But as the game wore on and as they got more tired, the Ravens were able to methodically drive up the field and take time off the clock. Romeo Crennel’s unit did all it could but in the end, it needed more help from Charlie Weis’ offense.

3. Speaking of which…Weis’ announcement hurt the Chiefs offensively.
In two games since news broke that offensive coordinator Charlie Weis was leaving Kansas City for the same position at the University of Florida, the Chiefs scored a total of 17 points in back-to-back home losses. Even though Todd Haley and the players said otherwise, the news proved to be a distraction. It had to be. No matter if your team won the Super Bowl or lost in the first round, your playcaller was gone. All the credit in the world goes to the Ravens for completely taking away the Chiefs’ vertical passing game and forcing five turnovers. But it makes you wonder whether or not Kansas City’s offense would have had more success had everything been status quo with their offense heading into the playoffs. Obviously Weis isn’t the reason the Chiefs lost, but his offense certainly didn’t help their cause.

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Maybe Charlie Weis’ head is already in Florida

game at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri, USA, 02 January 2011. EPA/LARRY W. SMITH fotoglif865099

Here are three quick-hit observations from the Raiders’ 31-10 upset over the Chiefs on Sunday.

1. The Chiefs just did themselves a huge disservice.
Coaches and players always say that it doesn’t matter who they play in the playoffs. “We’ll take on anyone – we don’t care,” is what they’ll say. With this loss, the Chiefs will play the Ravens next weekend instead of the Jets (assuming the Colts beat the Titans later this afternoon). Sorry, but that’s a huge difference. The Jets’ pass rush has been non-existent since earlier in the season and Mark Sanchez is playing with a torn shoulder. The Ravens, on the other hand, can get after the quarterback, have the better quarterback and proved last year in Foxboro that they don’t mind playing on the road in the postseason. Get a Chief liquored up enough and I bet they’d tell you they’d rather face the Jets next week rather than Baltimore.

2. Did Charlie Weis already leave for Florida?
That looked like the Kansas City offense from earlier this season. In their final tune up before the playoffs, the Chiefs’ offense was held to 10 points, was limited to 201 total yards (including just 86 through the air) and turned the ball over twice. They had zero rhythm, they couldn’t sustain drives and Matt Cassel was a disaster. It’s not fair to place all the blame on Weis because the players have to execute, but it makes you wonder if his head isn’t already in Gainesville after accepting Florida’s offer to become its next offensive coordinator.

3. Tom Cable should retain his job.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports that Cable is unlikely to return as head coach of the Raiders in 2011. Why? Oakland finished 8-8 and went undefeated (6-0) in division play this year. Despite having scattered talent, Cable didn’t have a lot to work with and Al Davis’ prized offseason acquisition, Jason Campbell, was highly inconsistent. Yet, they were in the playoff hunt into the final two weeks of the season. Maybe Davis will promote offensive coordinator Hue Jackson after the Raiders’ offense blossomed throughout the course of the year, but would Jackson provide an upgrade? For once, Davis should stay the course and provide his team with some stability at the head coach position.

Charlie Weis ditching Chiefs to return to college football?

The success the Chiefs have enjoyed this season under offensive coordinator Charlie Weis may be short lived.’s Chris Mortensen reports that Weis will likely part ways with the Chiefs in order to become the University of Florida’s next offensive coordinator. He has ties with new Gator coach Will Muschamp, who was hired at Florida to replace Urban Meyer.

The thought is that Weis eventually wants to become a head coach again at the college level. If he has success at Florida and in the SEC, he would be on the fast track to land another coaching gig soon. What’s interesting is that he’ll implement his pro-style attack after the Gators ran the spread for six years under Meyer. The question is, does Florida have the personnel to make a switch like that?

For now, Weis will coach the Chiefs during the playoffs. They’ll host the Jets next weekend in the Wildcard Round and he’ll stay with them throughout the postseason. Matt Cassel has really come on as a passer under Weis, so it’s unfortunate that Kansas City will lose its offensive coordinator after only one season. But the Chiefs had to figure that Weis wouldn’t be around long if he found success.

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