One of the most competitive battles in Chiefs camp is at nose tackle, where Anthony Toribio is starting ahead of first-round pick Dontari Poe and second-year man Jerrell Powe, a sixth-round pick in 2011.
By RANDY COVITZ
The Kansas City Star
Toribio made solo tackles in each of the No. 1 defenses series during the preseason opener Friday against Arizona, stopping LaRod Stephens-Howling in his tracks after a 1-yard gain; and dropping Alfonso Smith for a 1-yard loss. Powe was credited with a sack. Poe did not scratch the scoresheet.
Toribio made some plays, which we liked, Chiefs coach Romeo Crennel said. The young Poe, hes still learning, and he gave good effort. Hes trying to learn to do the things the way we want them. Hes not there yet.
And P-O-W-E he got in there, he made a play. Hes improved from where he was last year. The completion is still a competition. Its not a bad thing to have a couple or three guys to play the position, if they can do it.
Flowers heel healing
Cornerback Brandon Flowers, who suffered a heel injury during the July 31 night practice, is the only starter sidelined by an injury, and it will be two full weeks if he doesnt return today.
Hes getting better, but its not where he wants it to be yet, Crennel said, and having to do the job he has to do. Hes rehabbing and hes working at it, and hopefully one day, hell come out, and all of a sudden, Boom, hell feel great, and hell be ready to go, because they tell me those bruises hurt for a little bit, and all of a sudden they just disappear.
Crennel didnt hesitate to go for a fourth-and-1 from the Arizona 47 on the Chiefs first drive against Arizona.
The Chiefs emptied the backfield, and quarterback Matt Cassel picked up the first down with a 2-yard sneak, extending what would become a 72-yard touchdown drive.
If you want to generate some momentum and some confidence in your team, Crennel said, you can make that choice at that time. So we made the choice, and that kept the momentum going and allowed us drive down and score.
Might Crennel be so inclined to gamble like that in the regular season opener as opposed to the preseason?
Sometimes coaches have to practice as well, Crennel said with a chuckle. I was practice coaching then.
Replacement refs review
The Chiefs played their first preseason game with game officials who are temporarily replacing the regular referees during their labor impasse with the league. Crennel said he told his players before the game not to let the replacement refs affect their performance.
It doesnt do any good, whether you like it or not, to talk about the officials, Crennel said. Theyre not changing (calls). We go play the game. I told the players, Your job is to play, let the officials officiate. I hope theyre players, and not officials.
Asked how he thought the replacements handled the game, Crennel said: Hey, they officiated the game.
Challenge flag duties
When Crennel successfully challenged an officials call, turning a ruling of an incomplete pass into a fumble recovery by the Chiefs, assistant head coach Maurice Carthon had the red challenge flag and tossed it to the field.
We all work together, Crennel said of the Chiefs procedure on challenging a call. Ive got somebody upstairs, Ive got guys eyes downstairs, and they give me indications on what they think. And when I choose to throw it, I tell Maurice to throw it.
Does Crennel, 65, not think is arm is strong enough to toss the flag far enough to get the referees attention?
My arm is good, he said. Its the speed if the ball were down away from the bench, I dont have the speed I used to have.
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