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Archive for Tuesday, September 4, 1990

KANSAS CITY DEFENSE PROVIDES PRESEASON PUNCH

September 4, 1990

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— The Kansas City Chiefs' offense scored a grand total of three touchdowns in four exhibition games.

That's exactly how many TDs the Chiefs' big-play defense scored in Friday night's 27-14 exhibition finale against the Packers at Arrowhead Stadium.

"I kept wanting those guys to fall down so we could get back on offense," said Kansas City quarterback Steve DeBerg, referring to Derrick Thomas, Leonard Griffin and Chris Martin, who all scored defensive touchdowns in the first half. "I don't know how much we had the ball in the first half but it must not have been more than a series or two."

Actually the Chiefs, 1-3 in the exhibition season, had the ball four times the first half, managing only a field goal on offense.

Time of possession was almost identical: Kansas City 15:14; Green Bay 14:46.

NOT TOO IMPRESSIVE an offensive show heading into Sunday's regular-season opener against Minnesota at Arrowhead. Kickoff is noon.

Still nobody's panicking, ostensibly because the Chiefs used standout fullback Christian Okoye sparingly during the preseason. He gained 17 yards on six carries versus the Packers and finished the preseason with 49 yards on 15 carries.

KC coach Marty Schottenheimer spent the practice games looking at reserve fullbacks Barry Word and Bill Jones. Word, who spent three months in prison in 1986 on drug charges, spent the '87 season and two games in '88 with New Orleans.

The Saints retained his rights until August of last year, preventing him from joining another team last season. The Chiefs picked him up this past offseason.

He gained 57 yards on 10 carries versus the Pack and finished the preseason with 90 yards on 19 carries.

JONES, A second-year pro out of Southwest Texas State who spent last season on KC's developmental squad, gained 28 yards on three carries against Green Bay. He totaled 57 yards on 13 carries in the four exhibitions.

Veteran James Saxon finished the preseason with 22 yards on nine carries.

"You get a gut feeling," said Word, whose gut feeling that he'd survive today's cuts was correct.

Teams must reduce rosters from 60 to 47 today.

"You know where you stand by reps in practice, coaches giving you a pat on the butt," Word said. "The guys here have been great. A lot of them didn't know about my past. They haven't treated me any differently.

"MY GOAL IS to get people to like me, to say, `Barry's not such a bad guy,' and maybe that'll spread. I don't mind talking about my past. I'll tell anybody about what happened to me."

Meanwhile, it looks as if the Chiefs' defense may survive even if corner Albert Lewis, who has demanded a trade, decides to skip the season.

On Friday, elated general manager Carl Peterson said he could not recall a game in which a defense scored three times. For the record, Thomas and Griffin returned fumbles 13 yards and 45 yards respectively, while Martin galloped 29 yards with an interception.

"We plan to repeat this every week," said second-year linebacker Derrick Thomas.

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