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Chiefs Playing the Underdog Card with Chargers

If it's a trap, it's not working

By Michael Gehlken
|  Thursday, Sep 9, 2010  |  Updated 4:35 PM PDT
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A wet Kansas City Chiefs fan plays with puppets in the rain during the game between the San Diego Chargers and the Kansas City Chiefs on October 25, 2009 at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri.

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The Chiefs management worked like a demolition crew after finishing 2-14 in 2008.

Boom head coach Herm Edwards; hire Todd Haley. Boom quarterback Tyler Thigpen; trade for Matt Cassel. Veteran tight end Tony Gonzalez knew a rebuilding project when he saw it and wanted no part of it. Boom Gonzalez.

Two offseasons, two draft classes, two new coordinators and one breakthrough running back later, could the Chiefs be further along in that rebuilding project than they're letting on?

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In a Wednesday teleconference, Haley and Cassel were very careful when discussing Monday night's matchup with the Chargers.

Asked about the growth of their offense, Cassel countered with how it's a process.

Asked to compare hyped, speedster rookie Dexter McCluster to Darren Sproles, Haley only discussed his great respect for what Sproles has accomplished at his size.

Later, Haley didn't stop with praising Chargers coach Norv Turner and the four-time defending AFC West champions. He went as far to say he wasn't particularly thrilled to be opening the newly renovated Arrowhead Stadium against them.

“If I had to choose, I don't know if I'd choose San Diego right out of the gate,” he said. “It's a good team. We're going to have to clearly play maybe above our potential, and we'll see how it goes.”

Nothing to see here, people. Just a team rebuilding. Keep on moving.

Maybe the Chiefs, who have eight wins over the past three years, are simply trying not get ahead of themselves. That's possible. But all this praise and self-deprecation is also how traps are set.

Come softly, talented Chargers. Rest your head on this here pillow while we hold a loaded revolver on the other side.

Of course, a trap is just an empty hole in the ground until someone falls in. Turner said the Chargers aren't making that mistake.

“I don't know what (rebuilding) means. I've never been around a team that thinks of themselves as rebuilding,” Turner said. “I know the Chiefs are a talented team, and I know they're going to go out there and try to win every game. They're going to be a challenge for us and a lot of people.”

Boom trap.

 Complete Coverage: San Diego Chargers

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