Hali's return should tune up Chiefs pass rush

Associated Press  |  Last updated September 13, 2012
(Eds: Updates. With AP Photos.) By DAVE SKRETTA AP Sports Writer Tamba Hali woke up Sunday morning, went for a walk and then settled in to watch the Kansas City Chiefs on television. He much prefers his regular routine. The Pro Bowl linebacker was back on the practice field Wednesday after serving a one-week suspension for violating the league's substance-abuse policy. Hali apologized for the transgression, but refused to get into the details about what caused the NFL to discipline him. ''I've got to be careful of what I say,'' Hali said after practice, sweat dripping off his face. ''I can't elaborate on anything. I'm just very sorry for what went on.'' Hali said that he didn't have any problem with the suspension levied by the NFL, and preferred to shift the focus back to the field and the Chiefs' game Sunday at Buffalo, where he'll try to bolster a pass rush that was virtually nonexistent in a 40-24 loss to the Atlanta Falcons last weekend. Justin Houston had the only sack for the Chiefs, who allowed Matt Ryan to shred their secondary all afternoon. He finished with 299 yards and three touchdowns passing. ''I'm sure these guys are desperate. They want to win,'' Hali said. ''Coming into this game, yeah, it'll be a lot more emotional. And then we'll have to settle down and play a little more poised.'' Hali has earned a reputation over the past few years for doing both: Bringing some much-needed emotion to a defense that's otherwise lacked an identity, and for providing the kind of play that allows everyone else on the field to feel a little more comfortable in their roles. The former first-round draft pick has started every game he's played the past six seasons, making more than 260 tackles and 53 1/2 sacks while forcing a staggering 22 fumbles. It's little wonder that after Hali made 14 1/2 sacks two years ago, Chiefs general manager Scott Pioli made it a priority to sign him to a long-term deal. A five-year, $60 million contract with $35 million guaranteed was completed just after the start of training camp last summer and Hali responded with 12 sacks en route to his first Pro Bowl appearance. ''The way he approaches the game and the way he plays, down-in and down-out, that impacts the guys around him, because I think they want to play up to the level he plays,'' Chiefs coach Romeo Crennel said. ''If we can get guys up to the level he plays, then you've lifted the team.'' Kansas City certainly could use a lift after the way it played against Atlanta. The sight of Julio Jones scoring touchdowns, and Roddy White finding open space in the secondary, are probably just as vivid in the Chiefs' minds as Ryan sitting in the pocket all afternoon. Along with the sack by Houston, Kansas City had just three ''quarterback hurries.'' ''Being able to have such a dynamic pass rusher out there, it really helps,'' Bills quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick said. ''I know that there's always going to be issues with him in terms of us having to protect against him and know where he is on every snap. I think that changes the defense a lot.'' Linebacker Derrick Johnson said that Hali had already apologized to his teammates for being suspended for Week 1, and the apology was readily accepted. ''We stick by Tamba all the way. He's one of our brothers, our family members, and we know he's all in with us,'' Johnson said. ''Tamba is our best player on defense. He's going to get to the quarterback, he's going to help the back line - he's going to help me out.'' That's something he couldn't do last Sunday, when he was watching from home. ''Being away, having to watch our team, wasn't something I liked,'' said Hali, who watched the game with his daughter and mother. ''It wasn't fun screaming at the TV. ''We played a good team, and it's always frustrating when I can't be out there, or any other players can't be out there to contribute, but they played as best they can,'' he said. ''But me personally, I was frustrated.''
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Michael Irvin rips Texans for not trading for Tony Romo

Richard Sherman on trade talk: ‘I just laugh it off, man’

Grumpy writer complains about 'SI for Kids' reporter

Report: Archie Miller closing in on seven-year deal to coach Indiana

Alex Rodriguez said he 'made an ass of' himself denying PED allegations

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

LaVar Ball finally got what he deserved

Adrian Peterson makes statement, says it is ‘not all about the money’

WATCH: Florida's Chiozza sends Wisconsin home on incredible buzzer-beater

LaVar Ball gets Crying Jordan, meme treatment after UCLA loss

Celtics upset Suns tried to pad Devin Booker’s stats

Five teams that may be interested in Blake Griffin this summer

Best of Yardbarker: Did Team USA's victory save the World Baseball Classic?

The Rewind: George Mason's improbable run to the Final Four

Breaking down the Naismith Award race

Box Score 3/24: Waiting on West Virginia

Eat, Drink, Watch: Weekends are for upsets

The 'Once again, Barry Bonds is the best power hitter in San Francisco' quiz

With Team USA's victory, World Baseball Classic (finally) lived up to its potential

The NFL distraction playbook

Which Sweet 16 team should you be rooting for?

The Aesthetic: The world of player exclusive sneakers

Lingering issues for each 2016 MLB postseason team

Box Score 3/23: Team USA wins their first WBC title

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Best of Yardbarker: Did Team USA's victory save the World Baseball Classic?

The Rewind: George Mason's improbable run to the Final Four

Breaking down the Naismith Award race

Eat, Drink, Watch: Weekends are for upsets

The 'Once again, Barry Bonds is the best power hitter in San Francisco' quiz

The NFL distraction playbook

With Team USA's victory the WBC (finally) lived up to its potential

The Aesthetic: The world of player exclusive sneakers

Which Sweet 16 team should you be rooting for?

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Steph Curry pushes OKC's buttons

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker