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Chiefs looking for offense

August 29, 2011

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— Todd Haley has complete confidence the Kansas City Chiefs can figure out a way to get their offense going in the right direction.

Even if they manage to score once in a while going the wrong way.

The Chiefs’ high-profile starters struggled in their third consecutive preseason defeat Friday night, this time to the St. Louis Rams. The first team’s only scoring drive came after an interception set up prime field position, and it went one yard backward before Ryan Succop kicked a short field goal.

With one preseason game left, time is running out to get things straightened out.

“The body of work off the games this far hasn’t been too great, just in number of reps, so you’ve got to be smart about overjudging it or underjudging it,” Haley said Sunday. “I feel like again, we’re on schedule for how we’ve kind of decided to go about it.”

Even if that’s a marked departure from the rest of the league.

The Chiefs have been slow getting up to speed throughout training camp, wary about putting players on the field who aren’t in the proper condition.

That approach has carried over into preseason games, where Haley has played his starters sparingly and given the second team considerable reps.

Matt Cassel, coming off his first Pro Bowl selection, is just 12 of 27 for 132 yards in the preseason.

Among expected starting quarterbacks to have played three games so far, Cassel has attempted and completed the fewest number of passes for the least amount of yards.

The league’s top-ranked running attack has been equally quiet. Jamaal Charles and Thomas Jones, who combined to rush for 2,363 yards last season, each carried twice for four yards against the Rams. That despite the addition of former All-Pro fullback Le’Ron McClain, who was brought in as a free agent to help pave the way for his more elusive backfield mates.

“You know the difference between the preseason and the regular season. The regular season, it counts,” said Jones, who’s been in the league 12 years, tied for the second-longest tenure of anybody on the Chiefs roster. “So I don’t think it’s a situation where you turn it on right now. We’re just focused on getting better every day, we’re using every day to get more fundamentally sound.”

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