Tamba Hali is helping to heat up the Chiefs vs. Raiders rivalry by firing the first shot ahead of this weekends game.
Hali, in comments made to the Kansas City Star, called out the Raiders for dirty play.
“It’s a tradition,” Hali said. “The Raiders, they come in, they cheapshot, they hit you. I’m not saying (any) names. It is what it is. We’ve got to be ready to play and keep our composure, stayed poised and be able to get this win.”
Hali didn’t stop there. He said the guys that have been with the Chiefs for a while, know what to expect when the Raiders come to town.
“The core guys that have been here, they understand what we’ve got going on Sunday,” he said. “(The Raiders) are coming in and they’re a good team and a fast team and they play dirty. We’ve got to come out swinging.
“We’ve got to be ready for that. You can let these guys come in and if they do it and you let them do it, they’re going to enjoy themselves doing it and they’ll run over you. So you have to be prepared for that and stay with the game plan.”
Isn’t it refreshing to hear some Chiefs players talking about a game with some passion?
We can debate whether or not it is fair for Hali to label the Raiders dirty but what matters to me is that he is making it clear that he doesn’t like the Raiders. He doesn’t like the way they play and he wants his teammates to be read to kick the crap out of them.
It seems like a long time since any Chiefs player has been vocal and passionate about taking on a division rival. The Scott Pioli era has been full of boyscout soundbites about how every game is equally important.
Get out of here with that nonsense.
The Pioli Chiefs are soft, especially when playing the Raiders. Oakland has come into KC and manhandled the Chiefs on multiple occasions. While that may be fun for Raiders fans, it doesn’t make for a good game and it certainly doesn’t do anything positive for the rivalry.
The Chiefs need a leader on defense and it appears that the normally quiet and businesslike Hali is realizing that. KC’s defense is loaded with talent and some guys that are capable of playing a tough style of defense. If ever I’ve seen a team that seems to be thinking too much it is the Chiefs.
Maybe Hali is on to something. Maybe the Chiefs need to come out and play with aggression and instinct. Romeo Crennel is a big proponent of everyone playing technically sound football but it may be that the KC defense is too focused on technique. The whole point of learning the little things well is that when the time comes, you don’t have to think because you’ve already done the work.
The Raiders certainly aren’t going to appreciate Hali’s words. In fact, Radiers DT Richard Seymour has already responded.
“Any time you play the game, you should play with a chip on your shoulder,” Seymour said. “You should play with an attitude.
“But in terms of being dirty, going out to hurt guys, I don’t think I play that way or any of my teammates (play that way). I don’t stand for it. But we do play tough and physical. I do believe that’s the way the game is supposed to be played. I respect guys that play the same way.”
The Chiefs may be 1-5 and the Raiders 2-4 but it sure seems like the rivalry is alive and well.
Here’s hoping the good guys come out on top this time.