Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Tamba Hali is expecting some extracurricular activity on Sunday when his team takes on the division rival Oakland Raiders. Rivalry games — even ones between teams who have not been very good in recent history — have a tendency to be spirited, but Hali said the Raiders take it a step further.
“It’s a tradition,” Hali told the Kansas City Star on Wednesday. “The Raiders, they come in, they cheapshot, they hit you. I’m not saying (any) names. It is what it is. We’ve got to be ready to play and keep our composure, stayed poised and be able to get this win.
“The core guys that have been here, they understand what we’ve got going on Sunday. (The Raiders) are coming in and they’re a good team and a fast team and they play dirty. We’ve got to come out swinging.”
The Raiders have been known as an aggressive team for years, and that is particularly evident when they step inside the Black Hole in Oakland. However, Richard Seymour said there is a difference between playing dirty and playing hard and insists his team focuses on the latter.
“Any time you play the game, you should play with a chip on your shoulder,” Seymour said. “You should play with an attitude. But in terms of being dirty, going out to hurt guys, I don’t think I play that way or any of my teammates (play that way). I don’t stand for it. But we do play tough and physical. I do believe that’s the way the game is supposed to be played. I respect guys that play the same way.”
If the Raiders have been playing dirty on defense, it hasn’t been effective as they are giving up over 28 points per game. Oakland has yet to find its identity, which was evident when they nearly lost to the Jaguars last weekend after hanging tough with the Falcons the week before. If the cheap shots Hali speaks of exist, they haven’t exactly given Oakland an advantage.
Photo credit: AP Photo/Paul Spinelli