After Denver ran for 299 total yards in Oakland behind a read-option attack, Chiefs Head Coach Todd Haley knows what’s coming when the Broncos take the field in Kansas City Sunday.
“I would think when they rush for close to 300 yards,” Haley said in a conference call, “that we have a good chance to see it.”
“It” is the read-option — the scheme that gave the Raider defense fits in Week 9.
Quarterback Tim Tebow and running back Willis McGahee each eclipsed the 100-yard mark as the Broncos seized control of the game on the ground with a two-man option attack.
Haley expects the Denver offense to employ a similar game plan this week.
“I think it’s a great challenge; I would expect to see it,” Haley said. “I wouldn’t be sad if we didn’t see it, but I think it’s a multidimensional offense, becoming that more and more each week. You see that as guys get comfortable with what they’re doing and who they’re doing it with, and I think it’s pretty impressive right now.”
Whether it’s in the read-option or not, Haley expects to see plenty of McGahee when the Chiefs and Broncos meet.
Since arriving in Denver in the offseason, McGahee has quickly emerged as the Broncos feature-back and he’s coming off his best outing of the year — a 163-yard, two-touchdown performance vs. the Raiders.
“He’s running the ball very effectively, I think that shows,” Haley said. “He’s on pace to have a terrific, terrific year, and I don’t think it’s by accident. I think he’s a strong, fast back that whenever he’s had opportunities and been healthy, he’s a great challenge to defend as a defense.
“I’ve got to say I’m not surprised because I think he’s a heck of a player.”
Haley heaped some praise on another Broncos veteran who contributed in a big way to Denver’s recent victory.
Cornerback Champ Bailey intercepted Carson Palmer twice, proving yet again why quarterbacks should be weary of challenging him.
“He is one of, if not the elite corner in the league,” Haley said. “He’s been that way for a long time. He’s a heck of a competitor, heck of a talent and has always been a pain in the butt for the receivers coach or coordinator or head coach to play offense against.”
He can be “a pain in the butt” for opposing quarterbacks as well.
“As a QB you’re always cognizant of the fact that Champ Bailey is out there,” Chiefs quarterback Matt Cassel said in a conference call. “He’s one of the best in the game at that position so you just have to be aware and sometimes be careful.”
Bailey’s ability is enhanced by a strong pass rush and the Cassel knows to expect pressure with Elvis Dumervil and Von Miller rushing the quarterback.
“They give you a multitude of fronts and looks and personnel groups,” Cassel said of the Denver defense. “Dumervil -– obviously you always have to have an eye on him.”
“At the same time, Von Miller has come in and done a tremendous job. He creates a lot of pressure himself. … We’ve got our work cut out for us, there is no doubt about it.”