Atlanta Falcons: Preview of the Kansas City Chiefs

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Matt Cassel (7) has a 14-18 record heading into his fourth season as their starter. Here he looks to pass during an NFL football game against the Denver Broncos Sunday, Nov. 13, 2011, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Ed Zurga)

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Matt Cassel (7) has a 14-18 record heading into his fourth season as their starter. Here he looks to pass during an NFL football game against the Denver Broncos Sunday, Nov. 13, 2011, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Ed Zurga)

FLOWERY BRANCH – Falcons defensive coordinator Mike Nolan and Chiefs offensive coordinator Brian Daboll were in the same positions last season with the Miami Dolphins.

On Sunday, they will be pitted against each other when the Falcons face the Chiefs at 1 p.m. Sunday at Arrowhead Stadium.

“Brian is a very intelligent and great football coach,” Nolan said. “He’s got a real good mind. He’s had very good mentors as far as football goes. He’s been on the offensive and defensive side of the football. Brian is one of the sharpest coaches that I’ve been around. I was very impressed with him at Miami.”

Daboll will try to unleash running backs Jamaal Charles and Peyton Hillis against the Falcons.

“I do think that players like to play for him because I think he tries to utilize all of the players’ strengths,” Nolan said. “They have a lot of explosive players. I guess his biggest problem is who is he going to give the ball too next because I’m sure has a lot of guys who want the ball.”

In this preview of Kansas City, the Falcons coordinators break down the Chiefs’ offense, defense and special teams.



WR 15 Steve Breaston, 89 Jon Baldwin, 19 Devon Wylie

LT 76 Branden Albert, 79 Donald Stephenson

LG 65 Ryan Lilja, 71 Jeff Allen

C 61 Rodney Hudson

RG 73 Jon Asamoah

RT 74 Eric Winston

TE 80 Kevin Boss, 81 Tony Moeaki, 87 Steve Maneri, 85 Jake O’Connell

WR 82 Dwayne Bowe, 22 Dexter McCluster, 10 Terrance Copper

QB 7 Matt Cassel, 9 Brady Quinn, 12 Ricky Stanzi

RB 25 Jamaal Charles, 32 Shaun Draughn, 42 Cyrus Gray

RB 40 Peyton Hillis, 45 Nate Eachus

NOLAN ON KANSAS CITY TIGHT END TONY MOEAKI: “He’s done a good job. He’s a guy that Brian has been trying to feature. He’s using him a little bit like he used [Dustin] Keller at the Jets. He’s a big guy. He’s athletic. He catches the ball well. He serves more as their move tight end.”

NOLAN ON JAMAAL CHARLES AND DEXTER McCLUSTER: “As we all know, McCluster was a running back before. Now, he’s a receiver. But you are right about McCluster and Charles. They both have outstanding speed. They change direction a lot. The play will be going one way and they’ll decide to go the other way. You have to do a great job of everyone being disciplined on their cut backs as well. The difficult part of it not only those two guys, but you have [Peyton Hillis]. He’s a down-hill, run you over guy. They’ve got a lot of weapons. … the good thing is that there is only one ball. Only one guy gets to touch it at a time. They pose a problem, but I think our guys are excited about paying them.”

NOLAN ON KC QUARTERBACK MATT CASSEL: “He’s a very competitive player. I think he’s tough. I think he’s smart. It’s his job to put them in the best situation play-wise that they can get in the way that they are structured. I think he does an outstanding job of it. I’ve played him several times over the years. He’s always been a guy that you have to be really detailed and prepared for. I’ve got a lot of respect for him.”

NOLAN ON WIDE RECEIVER DWAYNE BOWE: He’s got very little playing time in the first game that he came back. Then last week got some more. I know him from the past. He’s a good player. He’s a big strong player that goes up for the ball. He’ll be a challenge to cover. He’s one of the league’s premier guys.



LDE 94 Tyson Jackson, 77 Ropati Pitoitua, 97 Allen Bailey

NT 98 Anthony Toribio, 92 Dontari Poe, 95 Jerrell Powe

RDE 72 Glenn Dorsey

LOLB 50 Justin Houston, 55 Cameron Sheffield

LILB 59 Jovan Belcher, 52 Brandon Siler

RILB 56 Derrick Johnson, 93 Cory Greenwood

ROLB 96 Andy Studebaker, 71 Edgar Jones

LCB 24 Brandon Flowers, 30 Jalil Brown, 35 Jacques Reeves

RCB 26 Stanford Routt, 21 Javier Arenas

SS 29 Eric Berry, 32 Abram Elam

FS 23 Kendrick Lewis, 34 Travis Daniels, 46 Tysyn Hartman

OFFENSIVE COORDINATOR DIRK KOETTER ON KANSAS CITY’S SECONDARY: “Kansas City’s secondary has been a little beat up over the preseason. One of their best players, [Brandon] Flowers has not been out there at all. The free safety [Kendrick Lewis] has been out the last couple of weeks. They’re banged up. They definitely have some talented guys back there and they are very well coached. Again, like I was just saying, the mystery is ‘are they playing the same thing in the preseason that they are going to play against the Falcons?’ We don’t know that. But we know we’re in for a big challenge.”

KOETTER ON THE CHIEFS INJURIES ON DEFENSE OVERALL: “That is part of the unknown going into this first game. We won’t see the first official injury report until [Wednesday.] . … The official guy that’s been ruled out [Tamba Hali] we can plan for that. Everybody else, we always plan like they are going to be there.”

KOETTER ON TYSON JACKSON AND GLENN DORSEY: “They are two really good run stoppers in their 3-4 defense. Both guys are powerful. Both guys play with their hands. They are two-gap players and they are good at it. Kansas City has a good run defense. A good front seven. A 3-4 defense gives you a different set of challenges than a 4-3 defense. We have to come up with a game plan that will allow us to put our best foot forward.”



P 2 Dustin Colquitt

K 6 Ryan Succop

KO 6 Ryan Succop

PC 43 Thomas Gafford, 93 Cory Greenwood, 96 Andy Studebaker

KC 43 Thomas Gafford, 93 Cory Greenwood, 96 Andy Studebaker

H 2 Dustin Colquitt, 9 Brady Quinn ,12 Ricky Stanzi

PR 21 Javier Arenas, 22 Dexter McCluster, 19 Devon Wylie

KR 21 Javier Arenas, 22 Dexter McCluster, 19 Devon Wylie

SPECIAL TEAMS COORDINATOR KEITH ARMSTRONG ON KANSAS CITY’S SPECIAL TEAMS UNITS: “They are big and they can run. They are sound. They are well-coached and they are physical. It will be a challenge. They’ve got a number of returners and they hit it. They have a change-up. They have a young guy who’s got a lot of speed and they’ve got a second-year guy in [Javier] Arenas, who can really hit you. He’s a physical returner. We’re going to have to do everything in our ability to get him on the ground.”


General manager Thomas Dimitroff discusses the 53-man roster

Practice report: Snelling, Owens return from injury

Smith won’t say who won their “open competitions” at RG, CB and Returner

Q and A with defensive coordiantor Mike Nolan

Falcons round out their practice squad

Falcons trim down to 53-man roster; Adkins, Franks, Meier and Zelenka cut

Falcons quotes after the 24-14 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars

Here’s a look at who’s on the bubble

Backup quarterback Luke McCown signed, Chris Redman released

Harry Douglas not the forgotten man in the Falcons offense

Corey Peters to be evaluated after six weeks

Falcons waive Parker Wilson, place Peters on injured list

5 things to look for from the starters vs. the Dolphins

Should the Falcons trade with Jax/London Jags for MJD?

Falcons third-round pick Lamar Holmes set to make his debut vs. Dolphins

Coordinators hand out their exhibition mid-term reports; backups need to step it up

Running back Michael Turner still a weapon

Falcons thin at left tackle after Will Svitek goes down; out for season

Falcons finally get fiesty in practice; a couple of fights breakout

Akeem Dent returns to practice; will play against Miami

Get instant updates on Twitter at AJCFalcons and you can join the Facebook Fan page at AJC Falcons.

78 comments Add your comment

[...] Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog) [...]


September 5th, 2012
6:15 am

wow, made Mcluster a reciever, wish they had done that for Norwood

Gray Mule

September 5th, 2012
6:40 am

Chief’s secondary defense appears to be their weakest point. They have more injured players and players that are not at top speed. This makes the difference, if Falcons can execute well.
This season, Falcons are on the road every other game, never two in a row at home. Something different every time out.
If Falcons can run the ball well, that will open up the pass game against the Chief’s banged up secondary. Hopefully, the two new coaches for the offense and defense make a big difference.

It’s been a long off season with two in a row playoff losses to end two promising seasons. Here’s hoping we can get to the playoffs and then win some games………


September 5th, 2012
7:00 am

Sounds to me that Mike, Mike, and Brian have missed their calling.
They should of been in NC this week.
No excuses deliver
You have the tools
You picked the players, team, deliver
If it is SF vs Titans, that is not a delivery

Rise Up Nation

September 5th, 2012
7:02 am

I think we play backwards this Sunday considering that Secondary is beat up….backwards meaning we establiah the pass first and then run late. Lets go birds! On D we have a tough order in stopping that monster Hillis and the speedster Charles….watch out for Bowe! KC better watch out for us!


September 5th, 2012
7:46 am

Is this a new feature on the AJC, having the coordinators break down an opponent’s depth chart like this?

I guess we’ll find out Sunday if the Falcons really are more explosive this year.

Oh, and has anyone heard how Owens beat out Franks yet?


September 5th, 2012
7:52 am

RISE UP!!!!! RISE UP!!!!! FALCONS 31 CHIEFS 14!!!!

Sly Boarders

September 5th, 2012
7:56 am

Enough talk already – put the ball on the ground and give it a kick! I’f I had to wait another week for the season to start, I’d punch Mike Hampton in the…

[...] to Original Content From Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog): read more Related Articles Share About Author [...]

Seen This B4

September 5th, 2012
8:08 am

Cassel just needs to drop in the pocket and hit his TEs and WRs crossing into that sweet spot in the soft middle of the falcan’t defense.


September 5th, 2012
8:21 am

your mom has a soft middle…

falcons will destroy the chiefs

Mike Hampton

September 5th, 2012
8:23 am

Mike Hampton

September 5th, 2012
8:26 am

He’s right about your mom, by the way. That’s a wild woman right there.

Seen This B4

September 5th, 2012
8:32 am

I guess you both would know.

[...] Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution caught up with some of the Falcons coaching staff to put together a preview of their upcoming [...]


September 5th, 2012
9:01 am

Hilarious, Suwanee and MIke.

Seen This B4

September 5th, 2012
9:02 am

Chiefs 20 – facan’ts 17

D man

September 5th, 2012
9:19 am

Falcons picked to win by Vegas. I think they will win in a laugher. We are just a lot stronger than they are. Can’t wait till kickoff.


September 5th, 2012
9:22 am

I like the way you did this, D’Led. Good work. Is the time right on this game. . .1:00?


September 5th, 2012
9:25 am

Nice feature with the coaches DOL. Let’s try to get this every week. A few early keys for Sunday:

(1) Looking for Reynolds to be much improved at Right Guard. Why else would we expect that the rookie is not out there learning early? Coach Pat Hill must be a meek-man whisperer, #65 is too big to be so soft. I expect him to play.

(2) I’m really looking for the Falcons to show multiple looks on defense. Bring safeties up in the box to challenge on obvious running downs. Disguise coverages, etc. I’ll never forget Jon Gruden’s amazing comments last year on MNF when we played the Saints. Were we THAT vanilla?

(3) The screen and draw game must be incorporated for the Falcons to be successful in passing the ball down the field this year (given our shaky O-line play). Look for the Falcons to get that on film against KC. Jacquizz Rodgers could be busy on Sunday.

(4) Matt Ryan should be upset. The national media has him pegged as a loser and the local fans think that he is scared in big games. I want this man to have a chip on his shoulder…step up and be the leader that we know he is.

(5) I will be looking at Akeem Dent closely on Sunday. Yes he is a legendary Astro, but I need to see him fill some holes and take on blockers correctly in the NFL. Run and fill. That’s what he is paid to do. So do it.

Early prediction: ATL 23, KC 17

P.S. What happened at RFK last Saturday to the Maroon Tigers was a shame. I’ve never seen such terrible officiating. DOL, check your sources. Even as a Georgia Ave. man, you should be worried about the quality of football in the meac. This was bush league bruh.


September 5th, 2012
9:28 am

Glen Dorsey takes the Chiefs to the Superbowl……NOT!

yo mama

September 5th, 2012
9:32 am

Guys thats not seenthisB4’s mom, it’s nicky menaj. whew that broad is ugly.


September 5th, 2012
9:41 am

Question? Why is Snelling still listed as the #2 back?
@ FBD, what happened?


September 5th, 2012
9:48 am

I like the new focus on coordinators during game week. Hope this is the new standard

military vet

September 5th, 2012
9:55 am

i know the falcons are trying to squeeze one more year out of tony g at tight end, but what about taking a look at kellen winslow…..still young and could add a playmaker to their offense..and i’m pretty sure he can be had for the cheap since he just got released this year by the seahawks…


September 5th, 2012
10:09 am

I think the Falcons will kick the new season off in style with a big win at KC. To me the key is Matt Ryan getting comfortable in the no huddle in a loud environment and the rushing attack needs to compliment the passing game. I look for Julio to have a big day.

Mr. Webster

September 5th, 2012
10:35 am

Kellen Winslow is deteriorating faster than you can say “cancer”. Gonzalez is smarter, has a better work ethic, and is in better shape. Winslow hasnt been a playmaker in years.

Cleveland Ave. Turk.

September 5th, 2012
10:56 am

Sam Baker will either make or break our season…………….Leh Go Falcons!!!!!!!

Cleveland Ave. Turk.

September 5th, 2012
10:58 am

I love moms with a soft middle..Lol!!!!…Hillarious

Interesting Statistic

September 5th, 2012
10:59 am

Peyton Manning, Eli Manning, Donovan McNabb, Tim Tebow, and Dan Marino only QBs to ever win in Arrowhead their first time visiting the Stadium…. Arrowhead is an interesting place to play…


September 5th, 2012
11:01 am

Tony Gonzalez would be smart to prep the Falcons offense for how loud Arrowhead can be…

Brian Hunt

September 5th, 2012
11:09 am

This will be a tough one. KC is a tough place to play,and the Chiefs at full strength are as talented as anybody. The Falcons are the better team, but no body should be shocked if they struggle in this one.

[...] Click here for full article [...]


September 5th, 2012
11:21 am

We got this!



September 5th, 2012
11:23 am

Interesting Statistic September 5th, 2012 10:59 am
Peyton Manning, Eli Manning, Donovan McNabb, Tim Tebow, and Dan Marino only QBs to ever win in Arrowhead their first time visiting the Stadium…. Arrowhead is an interesting place to play…
We can add Matt Ryan’s name to that list.


September 5th, 2012
11:38 am

Esquire………………….You must have extremely high hopes this season as evidenced by many of your recent posts. I just don’t see the improvement you see at all. Outside of the homer flavored AJC, very few see this team doing much. OL, LB’s, and depth are big time questions, and the jury is out on the DL, Secondary, and the new coordinators. The receivers appear to be the strength of the team, but I see nothing else that’s going to strike fear into the better teams. I see something between 8-8 and 10-6 but we will see.

Michael M.

September 5th, 2012
12:02 pm

Atlanta was to lose this game which is a gimmie for the Falcons…………………then they don’t deserve to win any game this year…………….I will take the Birds in this one……………huge lop-sided win……………………………………35-13…..Atlanta will win in all areas of the game……..time of possession, 1st downs,etc, etc…………………..Atlanta 35 Chiefs 13………………deal with it !

Mr. Panic Button

September 5th, 2012
12:05 pm

All I know is the Falcons better be ready offensively and defensively. I don’t want to see that same slow, timid start as in the past. I want to see aggressive, attacking schemes on both sides of the ball. The defense needs to swarm to the runner and put multiple hats on their players. Willie Mo needs to knock McCluster into next year–and Charles. Let’s Go Falcons Kick Some Chiefs Butt!!!

Cleveland Ave. Turk.

September 5th, 2012
12:08 pm

Let em know wat it iz micheal m…….realiy check u must be a aints fan. No real falcons fan would HATE like you on da home team. GO KICK ROCKS

Hide Yo Wife, Hide Yo Kids

September 5th, 2012
12:09 pm

Falcons storm the Cassel and throw the Chefs out of the kitchen.

I usually just read but...

September 5th, 2012
12:09 pm

That no soft middle!! That’s wet FLOUR!

Cleveland Ave. Turk.

September 5th, 2012
12:11 pm

Win we win da division and da confrence I want all da hates to go kill yaself!!!…Leh Go Matty Ice!!!!!!

Cleveland Ave. Turk.

September 5th, 2012
12:16 pm

Shot out to O.j Santiago and da hammer and scott case. Wat up tim dwight and shane dronett. Holla at me terrance mathis and wallace francis. Let it do wat it do bartkowski and billy white shoe and tommy nobis.


September 5th, 2012
12:18 pm

Falcons in a squeaker…19- 13. The better team wins, but the Arrowhead Effect will dampen down the explosive Falcons offense. Look for a lot of drives that stall around the 25-30 yard line.

Cleveland Ave. Turk.

September 5th, 2012
12:21 pm

All real falcons fans unite!!!!!……its time to get it..We takn our respect!!…Willy Mo dat new team song iz bangn!!! Dey gotta play dat n da dome dis year. Especially win we play dem crummy aints


September 5th, 2012
12:26 pm

realitycheck September 5th, 2012 11:38 am
Esquire………………….You must have extremely high hopes this ………………………….
I guess we’ll just have to play ‘em. It’s not high hopes, it changes that have been implemented to augment our talent base. Apparently you don’t think we have a running game and believe me, we have a balanced offense that you just haven’t seen yet. I mean, can you believe it……we are actually gonna run some screens and power sweeps this year. Holy Cow Batman!! Defenses can’t just sit on the line and wait for Turner’s eventual arrival. And without question we have the top receiver corp in the NFL this year, bar none. Sure, we’ve got question marks but I think our D has been upgraded especially with some position changes. We might even see Ray Edwards make an impact. You speak of our recievers, the aints have lived off of the pass with a lot less talent level in those key positions. Brees is above average and can make a so so WR look great when the ball hits his hands between the numbers every time.

Interesting that the Aints are only 7 point favorites at HOME over the Redskins……..hell, 3 of those are home field advantage….that doesn’t say much for the 2012 edition of the Aints.




September 5th, 2012
12:30 pm

realitycheck September 5th, 2012 11:38 am
Outside of the homer flavored AJC, very few see this team doing much.

Got any sources on that statement?

The Falcons are favored over a very good KC Chiefs team AT ARROWHEAD…………….




September 5th, 2012
12:33 pm

UPGRAYEDD September 5th, 2012 12:18 pm
Falcons in a squeaker…19- 13. The better team wins, but the Arrowhead Effect will dampen down the explosive Falcons offense. Look for a lot of drives that stall around the 25-30 yard line.


Neighbor, that 25-30 yard line is Matt Ryan’s wheelhouse.

Jimmy Crack

September 5th, 2012
12:50 pm

A scouting report to be regurgitated in coming weeks…

“Their coaches are great. Their schemes are great. They have done a good job preparing their team. They have explosive players. We will have our hands full.”


September 5th, 2012
12:53 pm

We can’t allow any big returns on special teams!!! If we can manage that & don’t allow any plays over 30 yards, we win. But if we allow Arenas, McCluster, or Charles break loss we’re in trouble bc they’ve got raw speed that we can’t match, especially Charles. Look for them to pick on Nicholas with swing passes that isolate him against Charles coming out of the backfield!