KANSAS CITY, Mo. —The Chiefs like to think that their many offseason acquisitions provided the firepower to take them to some lofty offensive heights.
That might still happen, but all they have to show for their first two preseason games are two measly touchdowns. Even those were scored by backups: one by third-string quarterback Tyler Palko and the other by rookie free-agent wide receiver Jeremy Horne.
If the Chiefs are going to find some offensive momentum before the regular season, they'll have to do it tonight against Philadelphia in their first game at renovated Arrowhead Stadium. The starters probably won't play much in next week's game against Green Bay, also at Arrowhead.
"All we're focused on is going out and executing the offense," quarterback Matt Cassel said. "It's very limited in how much we game-plan — if we game-plan at all for any of these preseason games. We're just trying to execute the scheme as it's presented to us. There's no added pressure. It's just: Go out, play the game and try to execute."
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The Chiefs have for the most part run the ball well, particularly when they're giving it to Jamaal Charles. The passing game has had its moments, notably in Tampa Bay last week when Cassel was 14 of 19 with the touchdown throw to Horne.
"We've had some success at times and felt good about ourselves, but there are ebbs and flows during training camp and ebbs and flows during a game," wide receiver Jerheme Urban said. "A lot of times, it's how you handle that adversity, how you respond to it, that makes the difference."
But mostly the Chiefs remain an unknown quantity, at least to the outside world. They've kept much of their playbook under wraps since leaving training camp in St. Joseph.
Offseason additions such as Thomas Jones, Dexter McCluster, Tony Moeaki and Urban played well at camp, but their impact in the preseason has been minimal.
"Time will tell with that stuff," wide receiver Chris Chambers said. "There are still things we need to work on. For me to say we're going to be this or we're going to be that, it's hard to say at this point. We haven't played a whole game yet. Once we do that and once we game-plan, then we'll know how we're going to operate."
The Chiefs were unproductive offensively last year, and coach Todd Haley showed little patience for that ineffectiveness. He fired offensive coordinator Chan Gailey late in the preseason and assumed those duties himself.
Veteran play-caller Charlie Weis is now the coordinator, and Haley has displayed no such impatience this year. His attitude toward the offense is more one of quiet confidence.
"The offense in general (is) a work in progress," Haley said. "The key word is progress. It feels to me that each and every day, we've been able to see some of that efficiency in the offense, which includes running and throwing the football.
"The season's coming fast, and we need to be ready."
That certainly includes Cassel. Many of the front office's offseason moves were aimed at helping the team get more out of their sizable investment in Cassel.
While Cassel last year had some excuses — mainly that the Chiefs did a lousy job of surrounding him with talent - for the way he played, such an argument no longer appears valid.
"We've got a couple of weeks left here," Haley said. "We've got until Sept. 13 to have everybody ready, to have everybody on this roster ready, and he's one of those 53. Every chance Matt gets to take a snap and get a rep — and specifically every chance he gets to take a snap in a game — it will be an important part of his development. As I've said a few times, by quarterback standards, he just doesn't have a lot of experience playing in games."
Haley indicated many of the starters would play into the third quarter tonight. Asked if Cassel would be one of them, Haley wouldn't be specific but said, "This is a guy every snap counts for. Every snap is a big thing for him and for us in his development."