The Kansas City Chiefs were bad pretty much everywhere on offense in 2011 but they were particularly pathetic when they managed to get to the red zone.
The Chiefs averaged just 3.58 points in the red area and so the team’s new offensive coordinator Brian Daboll is targeting red zone work early.
“When you get into the red zone you want to score points and our philosophy is touchdown/check-down,” Daboll told KCChiefs.com. “We’re out here and we’re working new plays. We’re working some vertical plays that take shots into the end zone and if we’ve got them, we’ll try to stick them in there. If not, we’ll check-down and live to see another play.
“But the mindset that I want all of us to have on offense, both players and coaches, is that we’re on the attack. We want to score seven points and we’re going to try to do that.”
KC’s poor performance in 2011 likely had a lot to do with injuries. In 2010, Matt Cassel was excellent in the red zone, tossing 27 touchdowns on the season. It seemed when KC got inside the 20, a TD Special was always about to be served up from Cassel and WR Dwayne Bowe.
But injuries to Cassel and RB Jamaal Charles derailed the KC offense last season. They had trouble just getting to the red zone and when they did, it was usually a FG they came away with.
Daboll hopes to change all that.
“There are some red zone specific plays, but there are also plays that we’ve had since Day One and it depends on situations throughout that area of the field,” Daboll said. “A second-and-two on the 15 might be a lot different than a second-and-two from the five, so you have to sort through those plays and make sure you’re trying to call the best ones in that situation.”
The Chiefs should have no shortage of red zone weapons in 2012. They will have two big targets in Tony Moeaki and Kevin Boss as well as big, physical threats on the outside in Bowe and Jon Baldwin. If all goes well, KC could have a lot of jump-ball TDs this season.