The third preseason game is typically thought of as a dress rehearsal for the regular season.
But will the Kansas City Chiefs treat it that way this year?
Because of the NFL lockout, the Chiefs began their training camp by taking things slow. Head coach Todd Haley held off a bit on beginning full-fledged contact and tackling and that led to a less than impressive preseason debut for the Chiefs.
In the second preseason game against the Baltimore Ravens, the Chiefs picked things up a bit and played their starters a little bit longer. Still, Haley pulled his starters long before the Ravens who used some of their key players throughout the entire first half.
Traditionally teams treat the third preseason game as if it is a regular season game. They game plan, open up the playbook a little bit and play their starters into the third quarter. Coaches often claim they want to get their players in the swing of going through a halftime period. Usually, after a series or two into the third quarter, the starters get yanked.
Once the fourth preseason game rolls around, coaches are extra cautious. Some only have their starters play a series. Some don’t play them at all. The fourth game is usually a showcase for the bottom of the roster guys who are about to be cut. These guy tend to be pretty desperate as they audition for the rest of the NFL or try to make one last impression on their current team. The football is usually dreadfully sloppy.
Thus far this preseason the Chiefs appear to be a step behind with the way they are approaching their preseason games. That makes me wonder how they will approach Friday night’s Governor’s Cup game against the Rams. Will they treat it like the traditional dress rehearsal game or will they pull their starters at the half or even earlier?
I have to think it is the former. Though the Chiefs have been slowly wading into the preseason pool, Friday will be their last chance to get solid, game-like snaps against an NFL opponent before the start of the regular season. Even if Todd Haley would rather treat the fourth preseason game more like a dress rehearsal, that tactic would be futile. The Chiefs play the Packers in the fourth preseason game and you can bet Green Bay will be taking the traditional route of resting their starters and playing their backups.
That means Friday is a critical game for Todd Haley and the Chiefs. Presumably the team feels relatively caught up by now.
What do you think Addicts? Will the Chiefs treat Friday’s game like a traditional dress rehearsal or will they continue their cautious approach to preseason play? Which would you prefer?