Kansas City, Mo. While sitting out a two-game suspension, Jared Allen learned a couple of things: Television analysts don't always know what they're talking about, and maybe couch potatoes sometimes do.
Forced to watch Kansas City's first two games on television, Allen said listening to the commentators could be frustrating.
"I haven't watched a game on Sunday since I was in college," he said. "The weirdest part is watching the game as it's played by people you play with and practice with. At times I wanted to yell, 'Shut up, you idiot. You don't know what you're talking about.'"
But the young defensive end who has recorded 271â2 sacks in his first three seasons was most struck by what he saw while scanning the defensive secondary to see how certain teammates were playing.
"I noticed how guys were getting back on plays, or sometimes not getting back - stuff you don't normally see when you're playing because you have your back to that part of the field," he said.
When he returned to work Monday to prepare for the Chiefs' home opener against Minnesota, Allen was quick to share this newfound insight with some of the defensive backs.
"I came in for meetings and I said, 'How could you guys misjudge this play? How could you misjudge that play?"' he said with a laugh.
"They're like, 'What are you talking about? How do you know about that?"'
But the joking was kept to a minimum. After all, Allen rejoined a team desperate for a win. The Chiefs are 0-2 for the second year in a row and lacking any offensive punch. With running back Larry Johnson still getting in game shape following his long contract holdout, the offense has scored only 13 points and averaged just 250 yards in losses at Houston and Chicago.
The defense, however, even without one of its top players, has been holding its own, allowing an average of 108 yards rushing and 169 passing.
"It's tough when you see the guys you've sweated with, bled with, all through training camp," Allen said. "They're playing good. But they got some bad breaks. You could see studying the film that, man, we were right on the verge of being really good. We've got to keep picking it up. A couple of times I thought we should have got the ball to our offense a little quicker. It's the little things that have been hurting us."
Allen said he worked out faithfully during his two-week suspension for multiple drunken-driving convictions.
"I was up every morning in the gym, running, going through what I know we do for individual drills. I did those on my own and kept up football movements. So I kept in the football mind-set," he said.
"I'm hoping to come back and provide that little bit extra, help us get over this hump."
He'll get the chance. Coach Herm Edwards put him right back on the first team when the Chiefs returned to practice on Wednesday.
"He's been working out, and he was refreshed," Edwards said. "We'll see how much stamina he has."
One concern is left tackle Damion McIntosh. In the loss Sunday at Houston, he banged up the injured left knee which had kept him out of most of training camp and sat out practice on Wednesday.
"I'll practice (Thursday) and see how it feels," he said. "I'll be ready to go on Sunday, I guess. In my mind, I think I'll be fine. I just have to go out there and get battle-tested, that's all."