Offense, defense & special teams all contribute in Victory No. 2

From the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum

On a sunny Sunday afternoon in the East Bay, the Chiefs once again made themselves right at home in the house Al Davis built, vacated and now lives in again.

Victory No. 2 of the grueling and disappointing 2008 season came with a 20-13 decision over the Raiders and the Chiefs saw all three phases of their game contribute to the victory.

The offense got the job done with a strong drive in the second half that ate up clock and ended with RB Larry Johnson in the end zone. QB Tyler Thigpen led his group to 301 yards and successfully ran the game’s last minutes off the clock with several key first downs. TE Tony Gonzalez had eight catches for 110 yards.

The battered and bruised defense went into the game unsure of how many healthy bodies would be available to play on the defensive line. But they ended up forcing a big second-half turnover and did not give up a big play all day, allowing Oakland 271 total yards. After giving up 300 rushing yards in the season’s second week, they allowed just 139 yards in this game.

And the special teams stepped up and produced a touchdown on one of the most unusual plays of the day and kept Oakland’s explosive punt returner Johnnie Lee Higgins under wraps with good coverage.

The teams traded field goals in the first quarter, as both defenses stiffened in the scoring zone. The Chiefs won the pre-game coin toss but were unable to mount a scoring drive on their first possession. On its first chance with the ball, Oakland was able to drive the ball 80 yards on eight plays. The big plays were a 28-yard completion from QB JaMarcus Russell to TE Zach Miller and then a 16-yard hook-and-ladder play from Russell to WR Ronald Curry, who tossed a lateral to RB Darren McFadden …Read More!

Game-Day Inactives 11/30

From the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum

Game-day inactives for the Chiefs in Sunday’s game against the Raiders are:

  • CB Pat Surtain
  • CB Ricardo Colclough
  • TE Michael Merrritt
  • LB Pat Thomas
  • LB Donnie Edwards
  • T Andrew Carnahan
  • G Adrian Jones
  • WR Jeff Webb

Inactive for the Raiders are CB Michael Waddell, CB Darrick Brown, LB Ricky Brown, C Jake Grove, G Dylan Gandy, T James Marten and DE Greyson Gunheim.  Marques Tuiasosopo is the third inactive QB.  Grove is the Raiders starting center.  He’ll be replaced by John Wade.

Rocky Boiman and Demorrio Williams will start for Edwards and Thomas.  Wade Smith opens at right guard for Jones.

DT Antwon Burton was added to the team on Friday and he’s active today.  He’ll be wearing No. 61.

Game-day weather conditions are near perfect for the last day of November: clear skies, no chance of rain, with kickoff temperatures expected to be in the mid to upper 60s.  The Raiders declared the game a sellout.

The officiating crew of Pete Morelli is working this game.  Over the season, Morelli and his crew walk off on average 10.9 penalties per game.

Sunday Morning Cup O’Chiefs

From Millbrae, California

When the Chiefs and Raiders meet on Sunday afternoon at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum they will play the 100th game that mattered in the history of this storied rivalry.

They have played 96 times in the regular season and three times in the playoffs and they have combined for some of the greatest moments in pro football history.

But right now, guys like Dawson and Lamonica, Biletnikoff and Taylor, Bell and Hendricks, Rudnay and Otto wouldn’t recognize what’s happening on the field.

Can you really call it a rivalry when one team is 3-8 and the other is 1-10?

Can it really be another chapter in a storied history of games when one team is 1-19 in the last 20 games, while the other is 4-16 in the same time frame?

Since the Raiders made the Super Bowl at the end of the 2002 season, they have an NFL worst record of 22-69. The Chiefs in that same time-frame are now 44-47.

The Chiefs against the Raiders used to mean something. It mattered. That’s not the case right now and hasn’t been the case for some time. In fact, one would probably have to go back to the Y2K Bowl on January 2, 2000 when the Raiders beat the Chiefs 41-38 in overtime at Arrowhead Stadium. That victory allowed Oakland to finish .500 on the season and knocked Kansas City out of the playoffs.

How bad is this match up? CBS-TV is forced to broadcast the game because they carry the AFC. They’ve assigned their least active and talented broadcast crew in Bill Macatee and Steve Beuerlein. Kansas City and northern California will be the only areas of the country that see this game, and again that comes only because CBS must provide that coverage.

There will be little or no carryover from the previous 99 games when these teams play on Sunday. The only game that really matters is the 99th meeting, back in September when the Raiders rolled into Arrowhead and handed the Chiefs a 23-8 loss. In that game, the Raiders embarrassed the Chiefs by running for 300 yards. And, there wasn’t a single fight, which tells you there isn’t much emotion left in this battle.

Rivalries are built on two things: geography and playing games of importance. The Chiefs and Raiders have never been about geography. They have always been about playing games of importance.

Until now. …Read More!

How The Chiefs Can Beat The Raiders

From Millbrae, California

Today’s question: when was the last time the Chiefs won on the road?

Answer: Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum. On October 21, 2007, the Chiefs beat the Raiders 12-10.

Since then, the Chiefs are a miserable 1-19, winning only at home against Denver earlier this season.

As they have just about every week this season, the Chiefs come into their game on Sunday against the Raiders as an underdog, even though the silver and black is just 3-8 on the year. One of those victories came at Arrowhead Stadium back in September. That 23-8 defeat was the first indicator that the ’08 season was not going to be a good one for the red and gold.

With seven consecutive defeats, the Chiefs need a victory in a bad way. There’s no question they can win this game by doing all the necessary things and a few extra. …Read More!

Zebra Watch Week #12

There are always things that make you wonder about the guys in striped shirts.

And it’s not so much the guys on the field, but the folks who oversee the business of officiating in the NFL.

Take for instance the national television games, Thursday, Sunday and Monday night football. Go back to Monday night, November 10 when the 49ers and Cardinals played. In that game, Tony Corrente’s crew walked off a total of 20 penalties for 164 yards. No game that week had as many penalties and it ranks among the most penalized games of the season.

Since then, the prime-time games have had remarkably few penalties. The next Thursday night saw nine flags in the Jets-Patriots game. On Sunday night that week, the Cowboys-Redskins had just seven flags and that was from the crew of Jeff Triplette, one of the most active in the league. The Monday night game that week saw just five flags walked off in the Browns-Bills game by the crew of Jerome Boger, again one of the most active flag throwing groups in the league.

Let’s jump to last week. The Thursday night game featured the Bengals-Steelers and the crew of Ron Winter, again one of the league’s most active bunches. They walked off just six penalties. Sunday night football had the Colts-Chargers and Gene Steratore’s crew threw just eight flags and then this past Monday night, the Packers-Saints saw Walt Coleman and his guys throw just five flags.

Those three games were four of the least penalized games in the league.

It may be coincidence but I found it an interesting turn of events.

Here’s how the officials ranked last week and on the season. …Read More!

Saturday Morning Cup O’Chiefs

From Millbrae, California

The Chiefs boots hit the ground in the Bay Area Friday afternoon and when they got to their hotel near the San Francisco Airport, DT Antwon Burton (right) had to wait to get a key to his room.

The newest member of the Chiefs 53-man roster was added Friday, just before the team left Kansas City for their trip here to play the Raiders in Oakland on Sunday.

It was just another example of the constant ebb and flow of the club’s roster this season. It’s gotten to the point that the team’s hotel has to change room assignments at the last minute because there always seems to be somebody new along on the trip.

Bolden becomes the 74th player on the team’s active roster this year. When he plays on Sunday, and right now he’s scheduled to be part of the 45-man active roster, he will become the 69th player who has dressed for a game. If he gets on the field, he’ll be the 68th player to have played this year. It’s unlikely that Bolden will start; there have been 37 different players who have opened the game on offense and defense.

We’ve covered this ground before but it still does not do justice as to how unusual this season has been for the Chiefs when it comes to injuries. Teams that are struggling in the standings always seem to have more injuries than those teams sitting on top of the league’s eight divisions. But what’s happened to the Chiefs has set club records and is probably close to pushing NFL records for players used in a single season.

Last year, the Chiefs had 62 players step on the field.  Back in 1994 they had 63 players who got their uniforms dirty.  No other non-strike season had more players than that ’94 team so the Chiefs have shattered all records.

Here’s how they break down by position:

Position # of players on 53-roster
Defensive back


Defensive line




Offensive line


Special Teams


Running back


Wide receiver




Tight End


And the amazing thing is that there are still five games to play in this season. Obviously the ’08 Chiefs defense has had problems since the second week of the season, when the Oakland Raiders ran wild on them. Obviously, having 35 different players dress during the season does not help matters for Gunther Cunningham. …Read More!

Player Profile: Tank Tyler

Tank Tyler’s life is dominated by two things: football and music.

Football has brought him to the NFL and Kansas City, as he was a third-round draft choice of the Chiefs in 2007. After a rough rookie season, he’s been the Chiefs best defensive lineman this season, working hard on the interior of defensive front.

When he’s not involved in football, Tyler spends his time with music. He writes songs, both the lyrics and music, and likes to record his rap compositions. It tickles his creative fancy and also is his escape from football and seasons like the one the Chiefs are going through right now.   To find out more about Tank Tyler, click here.

Chiefs Update

From the Truman Sports Complex

Well, the Chiefs were unable to make it through the week without a roster move.

Just before they departed for the left coast Friday afternoon, the Chiefs made a roster move because of injuries along their defensive line.

Promoted from the practice squad was DT Antwon Burton.  To make room for him, LB Wes Dacus was released.  If Dacus clears waivers he’ll be added to the practice squad.

The move came about because of a rash of banged up defensive linemen.  DE Tamba Hali got very little practice time this week because of an ankle injury.  DT Tank Tyler got limited work because of a hip. DE-DT Alfonso Boone was limited all week because of a back issue.  DT Glenn Dorsey practiced all week but he’s been dealing with a knee injury that he suffered last week.

After Friday’s practice, Herm Edwards said he expected Hali to attempt to play on Sunday against the Raiders. How much he can contribute will be the question mark because of the lack of work. The Chiefs will list Hali, Boone and Tyler as questionable on the NFL injury report.  Joining that group will be WR Mark Bradley, who got some practice time in on Friday morning.

Listed as out are CB Pat Surtain, LB Donnie Edwards and G Adrian Jones.

Burton (6-2, 308) has played in seven games over the last two seasons with Denver, picking up nine tackles.  He joined the Broncos as a college free agent in 2006 out of Temple University.  He spent the last eight games of the ’06 season on the Broncos active roster.  He repeated that in ’07, starting on Denver’s practice squad before moving to the active roster for the second half of the season.  Bolden went to camp in ’08 with Cincinnati but was released before the start of the regular season.

Burton will wear No. 61 and will be active for Sunday’s game against the Raiders.

Podcasting: Len’s Look 11/28

Hall of Fame quarterback Len Dawson joins us again this week to continue analyzing the growth of Tyler Thigpen as an NFL quarterback.  Len talks about Thigpen’s turnovers from last week and what the next step must be for this young quarterback.  He also talks about the Chiefs defense and we talk about whether two teams that are 3-8 and 1-10 can really play a rivalry game.

Friday Morning Cup O’Chiefs

Word of a new deal between the schools was no secret, but on Thanksgiving Day they announced a new four-year contract with the Chiefs to hold the game between these rivals at Arrowhead through the 2012 season. The teams will play each other this Saturday in the second meeting at Arrowhead.

“This continues what everyone knows was the late Lamar Hunt’s dream” said Carl Peterson. “Without question this is a great positive for Kansas City, Jackson County and Arrowhead Stadium.”

It’s also a great financial deal for the two schools. In the Big 12 Conference, there is no sharing of revenue with the visiting team. KU officials estimated the deal was worth $1.5-2 million more for each school than if they hosted the home games.

“It’s good for both schools,” Peterson said. “It’s a great economic impact for the Kansas City community. We’d like to sustain this, but ultimately it’s their decision. We’re hopeful that this thing will continue.”

Last year’s game was huge as both MU and KU came into the contest with national championship dreams. The Jayhawks were unbeaten, the Tigers had one loss. Mizzou’s 36-28 victory was played before 80,527 fans, the second largest crowd in Arrowhead history. It was also one of the most highly watched college football games of the season.

The two schools have played each other 116 times, making it the oldest college football rivalry west of the Mississippi.

Also starting next season, Arrowhead will host the Kansas State-Iowa State series for at least two years. …Read More!

Answering Some Whys?

I’ll go through a game or a day, picking up information, seeing things happen and invariably write in my notebook next to something new or different, WHY?

I’ve had a bunch of those notations lately, so I spent some time trying to get answers to the various whys I have collected.

Like why does at least once a game Dwayne Bowe drop a pass that should have been an easy catch? It’s a weekly occurrence. These are never tough catches he flubs. In fact, they are generally the easiest passes to catch that he’ll see that day. We have seen in almost two seasons that he has very good hands and can make some remarkable catches. But the drops keep getting in the way.


So I ask around and the general consensus is that Bowe loses focus at times during games and that’s the biggest reason for his drops. It’s a very simple habit of watching the ball all the way into his hands, rather than grabbing at it and turning his head and eyes away from the catch point to look for running room up the field. The coaching staff has worked with Bowe on fixing this problem, but he can’t seem to get over the hump. It was a problem in the season opener against New England and it continued last Sunday against Buffalo. Right now it’s a flaw in his game. …Read More!

Chiefs Update Thanksgiving Day

From the Truman Sports Complex

The Chiefs went through a two-hour practice session Thanksgiving morning and then had the rest of the day off to enjoy the holiday with family and friends.

One piece of bad news was the addition of DE Tamba Hali to the injury list with a sore  ankle.  He did not work at all in Thursday’s  practice and Herm Edwards seemed pessimistic that he would be ready for action on Sunday against the Raiders.

DT Tank Tyler and DE/DT Alfonso Boone were both limited participants in Thursday’s work.  Depending on the improvement of Tyler (hip) and Boone (back) in the next few days, the Chiefs starting defensive line against Oakland could have Wallace Gilberry and Jason Babin at end with Glenn Dorsey and Ron Edwards at tackle.

Others who did not work on Thursday were CB Pat Surtain (quad), WR Mark Bradley (calf), LB Wes Dacus (knee), LB Donnie Edwards (knee/hamstring) and G Adrian Jones (ankle).

Both LB Pat Thomas (hamstring) and s Jarrad Page (groin) were full participants in the practice work.

The Chiefs will practice Friday morning at their facility and then take an afternoon flight to San Francisco where they will be headquartered until Sunday’s game across the bay in Oakland.

Podcast: Football 101 with Goose 11/27

A Thanksgiving Day treat for us as Rick Gosselin, best pro football writer in America, joins us for a conversation about Thanksgiving football, why scoring is up in the NFL, why the home teams are suddenly taking it on the chin, why the New York Giants are the best team in the NFL and one of the most unusual plays in the NFL rules that came down last week in Arizona.

Thanksgiving Cup O’Chiefs



If you think there wasn’t much for the Kansas City Chiefs to be thankful for during this disaesterous 2008 season, you would be wrong.

The Chiefs will get out of the office a few hours earlier than normal on Thursday so they can enjoy the Thanksgiving holiday.

And they all seem to have plenty to be thankful for this year. In fact, the timing of Thanksgiving in the midst of losing seven games in a row and 19 of the last 20 is actually a good reminder for many of them of what’s important in life.

“What we do here is very important,” safety Jon McGraw said. “But I think it’s always important to step back and put life into perspective. That doesn’t belittle what we do. Our job is to win football games and that’s important. Still there are things that are more important than football.

“There’s no better holiday to remind us all about how lucky we are than Thanksgiving. Just the opportunity to play this game and what it brings us is reason to be thankful. It’s a chance for us to remember what’s important.”

Herm Edwards will likely spend the holiday working. Wife Lia and the kids have gone off to California to see his mother and her parents. “I’ll probably just stay in the office and work,” Edwards said.

The head coach said he was most thankful for the people who serve.

“Whether it be military, police, fire department, all those people that do the things that we take for granted,” Edwards said. “We have to be thankful for them. They do a lot and it doesn’t get notice until something happens. I thought about that a lot this week.” …Read More!

Chiefs Update 11/26

From the Truman Sports Complex

Wednesday proved to be an unusual day for the 2008 Chiefs.

There were no roster moves.

The same 62 names that were on the active roster and practice squad last Wednesday were back for another week of work.

That may not seem like news, but it’s only the second time this season there hasn’t been a change in one of the rosters at mid-week.  The other time was the Wednesday-Thursday of the bye week.

Unless something unusual happens – it has been the season for that – the Chiefs will get through this week without a change to their roster.

The team went through a two-hour session outside under perfect conditions for a November 26: sunny skies, warm temperatures and very little wind.

What isn’t perfect is the injury report.  Not practicing were RG Adrian Jones (ankle), LB Donnie Edwards (knee/hamstring), DT Tank Tyler (hip), DT Alfonso Boone (back), WR Mark Bradley (calf) and LB Wes Dacus (hamstring).

Taking a full practice load were LB Pat Thomas, CB Pat Surtain and S Jarrad Page.  With Thomas back, he mixed in with Rocky Boiman at middle linebacker.

Podcasting: The NFL & Czar 11/26

Our man John Czarnecki of the Fox-TV NFL Pre-Game Show and joins us for another conversation about the NFL.  The conversation centers on four flash points around the NFL right now: the Eagles with Donovan McNabb, the Browns with GM and coach in trouble, the Lions where nobody knows what’s going on and the Chiefs, and what the league is saying about the situaiton in Kansas City.

Hank’s Gallery: Buffalo

Here’s a look at the Chiefs-Bills game through the camera lens of Hank Young.  Even in one frame views it doesn’t look very good,  although the pictures are top notch, as always.

Remember, click to enlarge.

Enjoy. …Read More!

Wednesday Morning Cup O’Chiefs

Let me anticipate the e-mail and questions. “So Gretz, what are D.T.’s chances for the Hall of Fame this time?”

After last year, I’ve given up trying to figure out my fellow voters, so my answer has become: Got me?

For those that do not know, I’m one of 44 media types who vote each year on membership in the Hall of Fame. I’ve been part of the board of selectors since January of 1996. Although frustrating at times, I consider the duties of a voter to be a great honor.

It’s frustrating at times because even though I’m part of the process, sometimes the process leaves me confused. How Andre Tippett and Fred Dean got in to the Hall last year and Derrick Thomas did not still does not make sense to me. No offense to either man, but when it comes to impacting a game, neither one could change the course of the action like Thomas.

D.T. is part of the semi-final group of 25 names and he should get to the final group of 15. However, take a close look at that list of 22 players and one position area dominates: defensive end-outside linebacker types.

Along with D.T. there are five others who played on the defensive edge: Richard Dent, Chris Doleman, Kevin Greene, Charles Haley and first-time nominee Bruce Smith. Throw in defensive tackles Cortez Kennedy and John Randle and suddenly it’s very crowded on the defensive front.

There’s little doubt in my mind that Smith will be a first-year inductee. He finished his career as the NFL’s leading all-time sacker. He played in four Super Bowls with the Bills.

When the board of selectors slices the group from 25 to 15 in voting that is going on now, D.T.’s chances will improve if some of those other DE/LB names drop off. Otherwise, the vote will get split up quite a bit when people consider the defensive end-linebacker position in the final voting the day before the Super Bowl in Tampa.

Hall membership remains too lopsided towards the offense and that’s something that was taken into account by the voters last year. It needs to continue this year. There really is no sure-fire selection among the offensive players, so maybe this will be another defensive year.


The Chiefs were part of a record setting weekend in the NFL. And that’s not necessarily a good thing. …Read More!

Getting to Know … Tank Tyler

Name: DeMarcus Lamon Tyler

Born: February 14, 1985 in Cotton Plant, Arkansas, a small town in northeastern Arkansas. The 2000 Census puts the population of Cotton Plant at 960 people living in a town that is one square mile in size.

Family: Father is John. Mother is Cathy. They divorced when Tank was 10 years old. His father works on a dredging boat, his mother is a manager for Cingular and his stepfather Jonathan McPherson is a barber. He has a younger brother.

Grew up in: Fayetteville, North Carolina, where he moved when he was 10 years old. Located in southeastern North Carolina, Fayetteville was established as trading post along the Cape Fear River in the mid 1700s. Eventually the town was named after General Lafayette, the French military hero who fought in the American Revolutionary War. He actually visited the town named after him in 1825. With a metro population of over 340,000, Fayetteville is home to the Fort Bragg Army base and the Pope Air Force Base. U.S. Army Airborne and Special Ops units are stationed at Fort Bragg. Among the famous folks who grew up in Fayetteville are pro golfer Ray Floyd, actress Julianne Moore, Oklahoma basketball coach Jeff Capel and football types like former Chiefs assistant coach Jimmy Raye, former Chiefs WR Joe Horn and the current owner of the Carolina Panthers, Jerry Richardson.

Where does “Tank” come from? “My freshman high school coach George Coltharp named me that. We were playing bull in the ring and I ran somebody over and ever since then I was Tank. In the neighborhood around that same time people started calling me Tank. I guess it was meant to be.”

What kind of place is Fayetteville for a youngster? “It’s very rough. There’s little opportunity there for a young black man. The high school I went to is in the middle of the ghetto. Right across the street was the house where the gang members hung around and up and down the street there were drugs. I had older people in my life that guided me. There were guys I knew that never got past the ninth grade and they were pushing me to make sure I got my school work done and graduated from high school. They all kept on me about staying in school and not doing what they were doing. My uncle was one of the most influential people in my life. He’s over in Afghanistan right now. He’s with the Special Forces and he basically raised me when I moved to North Carolina when I was 10 years old.”

Attended: E.E. Smith High School in Fayetteville and North Carolina State University in Raleigh.

Why did you end up at N.C. State? “My top three schools were Ohio State, Maryland and N.C. State. I decided to stay close to home. I had support systems there. My uncle at that time was teaching R.O.T.C. at N.C. State. But as soon as I signed to go there, he got shipped overseas. It still worked out for me.”

Favorite movie?Life with Martin Lawrence and Eddie Murphy. It just has that old southern feel to it. It’s a country movie, with some of my favorite actors in it.”

Favorite place? “I have two places: Atlanta and San Diego. It’s Atlanta for the music and San Diego just because it’s beautiful and peaceful.”

Music is a big part of your life, as you write lyrics and create rap songs. Where does that come from? “Music has been part of my life since I was 11 years old. I grew up in my neighborhood in Fayetteville around a lot of producers and artists. I got involved with them and I’ve been doing it ever since. I write music on my Blackberry sometimes. It takes up a lot of my time outside of football. I just relax and do music.”

Favorite meal? “Turkey and dressing, cranberry sauce, macaroni and cheese, candied yams, ham, dinner roles, strawberry shortcake and some caramel cake from my Momma.”

Best advice ever been given? “Keep your eyes on the prize. I’ve been told that one by many people, from my high school coach, to my uncle, to my step-dad. You go through so many adversities in life and you have to learn how to weather the storm. The only way to get through it is to keep your eye on the prize and remember your goal.”

What’s your ride? A Ford 250.

What was your first car? “It was a ’74 Cadillac El Dorado. It was white, with red interior and it was a convertible. My Dad gave it to me in 2004 … it had 83,000 miles on it when he gave it to me. I still have that car. It’s probably got about 130,000 miles on it now. I try not to drive it too much.”

What was your first job? “I was 10 years old and I was mowing grass every day during the summer. I got at least $30 a yard. I would go out early in the mornings before it go too hot.”

What do you always take with you on a road trip if you are driving back to Fayetteville? I’ve got to have an I-pod with all of Al Green’s songs on it, his greatest hits, everything he’s every done. He’s helped me get through things. Listening to him puts a real good feeling in my soul. That and nacho cheese Doritos. If I have those things and some bottled water, I’m good to go.”

What’s on your bucket list? “I want to make sure my Mom doesn’t have to work anymore. I want to carry out God’s will for me and I want to see the world and everything in it before I die.”

Tell us something nobody knows about you? “I like to be alone. I love to be around people, but you learn a lot of things when you are off by yourself. You learn more self-discipline. I’m never alone or scared. I’ll cut off all the lights in my house and be by myself.”

Herm Speaks 11/25

From Arrowhead Stadium

Herm Edwards had his best line of the season to date on Tuesday when he met with the media horde for his weekly press conference.

Edwards was asked about silly rumors that have floated this week that have connected him with the now open San Diego State head coaching job.

“I’ve got a college team right now and I’m coaching it,” Edwards said with a smile.

At least the head coach hasn’t lost his sense of humor. Despite the 1-10 record and the seven-game losing streak, the questioning was rather benign this week.

Still, there were some points of interest.


“Yeah, we talk all the time. He knows exactly what we’re trying to do. We’re all on the same page. That’s what’s great about this. You have to be on the same page. There is no gray area. Everyone signed off on this. We all signed off on this. This is what we’re going to do. You’ve got to have guts to do it and that’s why everyone doesn’t like doing this because it’s hard. Do you anticipate it being this hard? No. Are there some factors involved in this that maybe you didn’t expect? Yeah. You’re playing with your third-string quarterback, who all the sudden he’s developing. You lose two quarterbacks on the way and lose a couple of other players. That’s not an excuse but you can’t anticipate that. But it happens. Everyone is on the same page, everyone knows what the direction we are going in and at the end of the day we’ll be able to evaluate the football team and say OK, here’s what we need to do to continue to get better and improve.” 
…Read More!

D.T. Makes Hall Cut To 25

The potential class for the Pro Football Hall of Fame class of 2009 has been sliced to 25 players and part of that group is Chiefs LB Derrick Thomas.

The Hall of Fame in Canton announced the results of balloting by the board of selectors that was conducted earlier this month from an initial group of 133 names. Voters were asked to select 25 players, coaches or contributors.

The 25 modern-era semi-finalists list will be reduced by a mail ballot to 15 finalists. Along with two senior nominees, the Class of 2009 will be selected from that list of 17 men on Saturday, January 31, 2009, in Tampa, Florida the day before Super Bowl XLIII.  Rules provide that between four and seven new members will be selected.

WR Bob Hayes and DE Claude Humphrey are the senior nominees for this class.

Thomas is part of the 25 semi-finalists for the fifth consecutive year.

Joining him are first-year nominees DE Bruce Smith, CB Rod Woodson, TE Shannon Sharpe and DT John Randle.

There are three non-players on the list: former Commissioner Paul Tagliabue, former Browns-Ravens owner Art Modell and Buffalo Bills owner Ralph Wilson.

Other players among the 25: WR Cris Carter, RB Roger Craig, RB Terrell Davis, C Dermontti Dawson, DE Richard Dent, DE/LB Chris Doleman, DE/LB Kevin Greene, G Russ Grimm, P Ray Guy, DE/LB Charles Haley, CB Lester Hayes, DT Cortez Kennedy, G Bob Kuchenberg, G Randall McDaniel, WR Andre Reed, QB Ken Stabler and WR/Special Teamer Steve Tasker.

Four other members of the Chiefs did not make the cut to 25 players: DE Art Still, CB Albert Lewis, S Deron Cherry and K Nick Lowery.

The list of 15 finalists will be announced in early January.

Tuesday Morning Cup O’Chiefs

Fans love to talk about teams losing games at the end of a disasterous season to improve their draft positions.

In over 30 years of hanging around the National Football League, I’ve never met a coach, player or administrator who ever felt that way. The NFL is a high-performance business in the world of sports and winning is the only salve that cures any ills. No matter the record, no matter the week of the season, victory was the goal.

Why else would a team like the Raiders rise up on a November Sunday, go on the road dominate a team like the Denver Broncos? Maybe it mattered to Al Davis that he could stick one in Mike Shanahan, but the guys on the field and the coaches just wanted to win. They wanted to beat a division rival and if that knocked their own franchise down on the selection list a few pegs, then so be it.

But I know fans need to entertain themselves, especially when a season is as bad as the one they are watching with the Chiefs. It’s hard to find much redeeming value in 1-19 over the last 20 games other than helping draft position and hopefully bringing in more talented players.

Right now, the Chiefs sit at No. 2 on the draft board, just behind the winless Detroit Lions. Just behind the Chiefs is Cincinnati, by virtue of their tie with Philadelphia. Both St. Louis and Seattle are 2-9, while San Francisco and the Raiders are now 3-8.

Only once in the franchise’s history have the Texans-Chiefs had the first selection in the draft. That came in the 1963 AFL Draft, thanks to a trade with Oakland that brought the Raiders first-round choice for QB Cotton Davidson. That turned out to be the No. 1 pick when the Raiders finished 1-13. At the time of the draft in late 1962, the team was still in Dallas and selected Grambling DT Buck Buchanan (above).

Four times the Chiefs owned the second pick in the draft. In the 1964 AFL Draft, they selected QB Pete Beathard at No. 2. The other three times, the team grabbed a defensive end: 1978 Art Still, 1979 Mike Bell and 1988 Neil Smith.

Notice a trend there? Five times the Chiefs have had pick No. 1 or No. 2 and four times they have selected a defensive lineman, and only once did they take a quarterback. That’s just some food for thought for those already lining up behind QBs and pass rushers for that early selection. …Read More!

Champions In The Far North; Possible Help For Chiefs?

A couple of former members of the Chiefs are champions today in the Canadian Football League.

The Calgary Stampeders beat the Montreal Alouettes 22-14 Sunday evening in the CFL’s Grey Cup Championship at Olympic Stadium in Montreal.

Members of the winning team included former Chiefs second-round choice (2002) DT Eddie Freeman and rookie WR Jabari Arthur. Freeman is a starter for the Stampeders and finished the season with three sacks. Arthur signed with Calgary after he was released by the Chiefs on the NFL’s mandatory cutdown to 53 players before the first regular season game. Also on the roster for the Stamps is former KU running back Jon Cornish.

The Alouettes were coached by former NFL assistant Marc Trestman.

On the Calgary injured list are CB Julian Battle (3rd round-2003) and CB Lenny Walls, who spent the 2006 season with the Chiefs.

The winning effort against Montreal was led by QB Henry Burris who was named the game’s MVP. He threw for 328 yards and ran for 79 yards.

To read more about the Grey Cup, click here.

Now, as for help for the Chiefs in the CFL, at the first of the year, the best defensive player in the CFL will become a free agent. DE Cameron Wake (left) has won back-to-back defensive player of the year honors. This year, he had 23 sacks in 18 games for the B .C. Lions. That’s coming off his ’07 season when he had 16 sacks.

Wake played linebacker at Penn State under the name Derek Wake. When he went to Canada, he decided to use Cameron, his middle name. Back in 2005, Wake signed as a college free agent with the New York Giants but did not make the roster.

As for his NFL future, Wake is a tweener at 6-2, 241 pounds and in the CFL he saw left tackles that wouldn’t be considered even average blockers in the NFL.

Wake’s agents have told Canadian media that there are 21/22 NFL teams that have contacted them about their client and are interested in talking to him.

Will Lewis, the Seattle Seahawks’ director of pro scouting and a former CFL player said of Wake and a transition to the NFL: “I don’t think he’ll be as productive but, athletically, he’s improved himself.”

The most recent defensive end/linebacker types to come out of the CFL and sign with the Chiefs were R-Kal Truluck and Vaughn Booker.

Truluck (6-4, 255) played 20 games over two seasons (2002-03) and had 5.5 sacks.

Booker (6-5, 295) played in 56 games over four seasons (1994-97) and finished with 6.5 sacks wearing a Chiefs uniform.

Chiefs Update 11/24

From the Truman Sports Complex

It was not a long day for the Chiefs players on Monday at their facilities.  The players came in and looked at the tape of Sunday’s 23-point loss to Buffalo and then many of them were out the door.  The coaches remained, trying to sift through the rubble and prepare a game plan for this Sunday’s trip to Oakland to face the Raiders.

The Chiefs continue to be on a pace to set NFL records for the fewest sacks in a season.  After being shutout for the second game in a row, they remain stuck on six sacks in 11 games.  That’s a pace to register 8.7 sacks over a 16-game schedule.

Again, the club record for fewest sacks is 15, and that came in the nine-game 1982 season.  The record for fewest over a full season is 22, which came in 14 games. The lowest Chiefs total for a 16-game season is 23 sacks in 1988.

The league record for fewest sacks in a season is 11, set in the nine-game 1982 season by the Baltimore Colts.  The record for fewest sacks in a 16-game season is 13, also set by Baltimore, this time in 1981.  At the 11-game mark that season, the Colts had 10 sacks.

The only post-game injury the Chiefs made known on Sunday was WR Mark Bradley, who left the game in the second half because of further problems with a calf injury he’s battled for the last two weeks.  Although he played against Buffalo, DT Glenn Dorsey was hampered by a knee injury he suffered last week in practice.

Inactive because of physical problems for the Bills game were LBs Donnie Edwards and Pat Thomas, CB Pat  Surtain and G Adrian Jones.  Right now, it would appear that Surtain has the best chance physically of being available this week.  He took part in some of the practice sessions last week.

Would This Defense Be Better?

The Chiefs defense has struggled throughout the 2008 season. They have not been able to stop the running game of opponents. They have not been able to get the passer on the ground. They have not been able to keep opponents out of the end zone.

They are on the way to one of the worst defensive seasons in club history.

And to rub it in, in three of the last four games, they’ve faced former Chiefs defenders who were playing for the other team, in this case the winning side. It was Jimmy Wilkerson and Ryan Sims on Tampa Bay’s defense, Scott Fujita with the Saints and this past Sunday Kawika Mitchell returned to Arrowhead. Even coming up this Sunday they’ll face a former Chiefs defensive lineman, Terdell Sands with the Raiders.

In fact, it’s not hard to field a team of former Chiefs defenders around the league. Here’s the 10-man former Chiefs defense that’s now playing for other NFL teams.


He left the Chiefs in free agency after the ’07 season; the Chiefs were interested in re-signing him, but not for big dollars. Wilkerson signed with Tampa Bay and on Sunday against Detroit, he had two sacks against the Lions. That pushed his season total to four sacks, with 19 tackles and one forced fumble. Wilkerson was a sixth-round choice of the Chiefs in 2003. …Read More!

NFL Sunday Review 11/23

And then there were none.

The New York Jets eliminated the last unbeaten team from the 2008 NFL season on Sunday with their victory over the Tennessee Titans 34-13 in Nashville.

And suddenly, the team that struggled to beat the Chiefs in the waning days of October is making itself a force in the AFC.

“I’m not going to sit here and say we’ve established ourselves as the best team in football,” Jets QB Brett Favre said. “I think we beat the best team in football today, definitely if you go by record and the way that they’ve played. They have been the best team in football.”

The Jets are now 8-3 and have won back-to-back tough road games at New England and now Tennessee. They have won five straight for the first time since October 2004 and seven of their last eight.

Other outcomes of note from Sunday:

- With starting running back Brandon Jacobs out with a knee injury, the New York Giants took to the air to win their sixth in a row, beating Arizona 37-29. QB Eli Manning completed 26 of 33 for 240 yards with no interceptions as the Giants moved to 10-1, tied for the best record in the NFL. “He just continues to do whatever has to be done to win a game,” said Giants coach Tom Coughlin said.

- The Raiders rose up and won a game on the road, beating Denver 31-10 in a game that they dominated.

- Indianapolis kept its chances for the wildcard alive with a last-play victory on the road in San Diego, 23-20. Adam Vinatieri nailed a 51-yard field goal as time expired in Qualcomm Stadium for the winning points.

- For the first time in his NFL career, Donovan McNabb was benched. It happened in Philadelphia’s 36-7 loss to Baltimore, as McNabb was replaced by Kevin Kolb. Eagles coach Andy Reid said he would decide Monday whether to start McNabb or Kolb in the Thanksgiving Night game against Arizona. “That will be a decision he will make. The thing I will do is I will continue to prepare as if I am the starter,” McNabb said. “I’ve been a part of this thing for 10 years. You have to have short-term memory in this league, be able to focus on who you’re playing and be able to move on.”   UPDATE: Reid announced Monday morning that McNabb will start against Arizona.

- Besides the Chiefs, there were three other teams that had five turnovers: Jacksonville, Philadelphia and Cleveland. All three lost their games by 18, 29 and 10 points. …Read More!

Podcast: Post-Game Chiefs-Bills

From Arrowhead Stadium

From the Chiefs locker room after their 54-31 loss to the Buffalo Bills, listen as Herm Edwards, Tony Gonzalez, Tyler Thigpen, Derrick Johnson and Brian Waters talk about turnovers, mistakes and trying to regain that winning feeling.

Notes: Special Teams & Penalty Problems

From Arrowhead Stadium

Coming into the game, the Chiefs knew they had a chore on their hands handling the Buffalo special teams.

In the final wash, it was another segment of the game that they lost.

Returners Leodis McKelvin and Roscoe Parrish did not end up in the end zone. McKelvin did, but that was on an interception. McKelvin had the longest kick return of the day, going 46 yards on the opening play of the second half. Tack on a 15-yard penalty against K Connor Barth for grabbing McKelvin’s facemask and that ended up being a 61-yard net return.

It took Buffalo just four plays to score a touchdown.

That kickoff was the only time that Barth kicked deep and down the middle of the field. On six kickoffs, McKelvin only had two returns, as the Chiefs sprayed the ball into corners and hit short pop-up kickoffs. That limited the damage on the returns as Buffalo averaged just 17 yards on the half0dozen opportunities.

But on those kickoffs, the Bills took over at their 39, 25, 31 and 17, and at the Chiefs 33 and 32 yard lines. …Read More!

Worn Down Defense Can’t Stop Bills

From Arrowhead Stadium

It’s been a season of defensive failures for the Chiefs. Some of it has been record breaking.

Like Sunday against Buffalo. The Bills scored 54 points, the most ever allowed by a Dallas Texans-Kansas City Chiefs team. The previous high was 51, scored by Seattle in an overtime game in the Kingdome on November 27, 1983. The final of that game was 51-48 and the Chiefs blew a pair of 13-point leads in that one.

All those points did not get hung on the defense, not when the Bills defense scored on an interception return for a touchdown and not when the Chiefs offense turned the ball over four times and that set up 20 points for the Bills.

But even though three starters were back on the field, the Chiefs defense wasn’t good enough. Let’s count the ways:

- They did not force a turnover, only the second time this year that has happened. The other game was against Tennessee.

- They did not have a quarterback sack. That’s the seventh time in 11 games where they didn’t get the passer on the ground and that’s two games in a row. The Chiefs haven’t had a sack since Ron Edwards took down Philip Rivers late in the fourth quarter of the game in San Diego. They have just six sacks in 412 passing plays or one every 68.6 passing plays. That’s a historic pace in bad pressure on the quarterback.

- They were unable to stop the Bills running game, allowing 4.5 yards per carry with 171 yards on 38 carries. …Read More!

Edwards Up, Thigpen Down in QB Battle

From Arrowhead Stadium

In the battle of second-year quarterbacks that played out here on Sunday, Trent Edwards got his season back on track. Tyler Thigpen just went backwards.

That was the net results after Edwards led the Buffalo Bills to a 54-31 victory over Thigpen and the Chiefs.

Going into the game, Edwards a third-round pick out of Stanford was struggling and Thigpen, a seventh-round choice from Coastal Carolina was playing inspired football.

They reversed roles for this game. While Thigpen threw three touchdown passes, he also threw two interceptions, including one that was returned for a touchdown. He also had a fumble that set up points for the Bills.

Edwards did not throw an interception, but did throw a pair of touchdown passes and he scored twice on his own with runs off the bootleg.

Edwards was the star of the game for his team, Thigpen the goat for another Chiefs loss.

“That’s one thing I can’t do, I can’t turn the ball over,” Thigpen said. “I put this on my shoulders. I can’t turn the ball over. That’s the bottom line. You can’t win games when you do that.” …Read More!

Commentary: Backwards To Another Defeat

From Arrowhead Stadium

They thought they were beyond a game like this.

Over the last month, the Chiefs had played good football. It wasn’t winning football, but it had potential. They were doing the things needed for a team like them to have a chance to win. They were not giving the ball away, they were not making silly penalties and they were not losing the battle for field position

The big things were going their way. They were putting themselves in position to win. It was the little things here and there that were killing their chances at victory. Everyone felt progress was being made.

“Yeah, I thought we were beyond a game like this,” said safety Jarrad Page.

But the slope of rebuilding can be a slippery one. After climbing for the last month, the Chiefs slid backwards against the Bills. They went out and played in a manner that gave them no chance to win the game. None. Zero. Nada. Midway through the second quarter, the Chiefs actually had a lead, but it was a mirage because of the way they were playing.

No matter the makeup of a team’s roster, no matter the ratio of veterans to youngsters, no matter the level of experience, teams do not win when they finish minus-five in the turnover ratio. They do not win when they finish minus-3 in the penalty ratio. They do not win when they finish minus-three in the sack ratio.

That’s a recipe for defeat and that’s what the Chiefs served on this November Sunday. The Bills left town giving thanks a few days early for the gifts that were presented to them. …Read More!

Chiefs Give Bills Too Much Help And Lose, 54-31

From Arrowhead Stadium

When a team is struggling through a dreadful season of the type that the Chiefs are living with this year, there is one thing they simply cannot do on game day. They simply cannot help the other team. It’s the surefire way to add another defeat to their ledger.

Such was the plight of the Chiefs on this November Sunday.

Without their help, the Buffalo Bills may have won this game. But with the Chiefs providing five turnovers, the Bills had no problems grabbing a 54-31 victory.

Four of those Chiefs turnovers turned into 20 points for the Bills. Even if those were taken out of the equation, Buffalo still wins by three points. But as part of the equation, it made for a long, sad afternoon for Herm Edwards’ team.

And by the way, those 54 points were the most the Chiefs have ever allowed in 48 seasons and 11 games.

“They just had too many short fields,” Edwards said. “The defense did OK early, but then they kept having to defend short field and that became too much. The turnovers and the fouls, we can’t play like that and survive.” …Read More!

Game-Day Inactives 11/23

From Arrowhead Stadium

The inactive players for the Chiefs today against the Buffalo Bills are: 

  • CB Pat Surtain
  • CB Ricardo Colclough
  • TE Michael Merritt
  • LB Pat Thomas
  • LB Donnie Edwards
  • T Andrew Carnahan
  • G Adrian Jones
  • WR Jeff Webb

Alfonso Boone will start at defensive end but share time there with Jason Babin. Rocky Boiman will start for Thomas in the middle and Demorrio Williams will start for Edwards at one of the outside linebacker spots.  Wade Smith will open for Jones at right guard.

Inactive for the Bills are: CB Jabari Greer, DE Aaron Schobel, S Donte Whitner, RB Xavier Omon, G Jason Whittle, T Demetrius Bell and DET John McCargo.  

Gibran Hamdan is the third inactive quarterback for the Bills.

Weather conditions are very good: sunny skies, light wind and the temperature at kickoff is expected to be in the high 40s.  The Arrowhead field remains in very good condition at this point of the year.

Working the game is the officiating crew of Bill Leavy, traditionally one of the best groups in the league.  This season, Leavy’s crew is averaging 10.2 penalties per game, to rank fourth in fewest calls.

Sunday Morning Cup O’Chiefs

Last week, it was the No. 1 offense in the NFL against the No. 32 defense when the Saints and Chiefs faced off at Arrowhead Stadium.

This Sunday, it’s the No. 2 special teams group in the league against the No. 31 kicking teams when the Bills visit to play the Chiefs.

Much as the defense had the challenge of trying to slow down Drew Brees and the New Orleans offense, the kicking game has worked all week on ways to handle the Buffalo return game that features two of the best in the league: Leodis McKelvin on kickoffs (left) and Roscoe Parrish on punts (right).

Throw solid punting and kicking from Brian Moorman and Rian Lindell, and the Bills are about as good as the league has in the kicking game. In fact, if you look at the league rankings for the six important statistics in the kicking game, only San Francisco has had a better season than Buffalo.

Here’s the top five and how they rank after 10 games. Add those six positions up and that’s the total:

 #  Team Punt
1. San Francisco








2. Buffalo








3. N.Y. Giants








4. San Diego








5. Jacksonville
















There are six teams in the league with kickoff returns for a touchdown; Buffalo is one of them. There are six teams in the league with punt returns for a touchdown; the Bills are part of that group as well. They are the only team that’s enjoyed both this season. …Read More!

How the Chiefs Can Beat the Bills

The Buffalo Bills arrive at Arrowhead Stadium on Sunday trying to break their four-game losing streak. The Chiefs welcome them in hopes of breaking their six-game losing streak.

Unless they pull a Donovan McNabb tie, one team will see it’s losing streak end.

That team could be the Chiefs. At 1-9 they are the underdogs and well should be, considering their youth and injuries. But there are some bodies coming back this week for the defense in LB Derrick Johnson, DE Tamba Hali and CB Brandon Flowers. Unfortunately, it doesn’t sound good for DT Glenn Dorsey being a full-time force against the Bills because of a knee injury suffered during the week.

For the Chiefs to win, they must do all those normal things that teams do. They improve their chances if they get these three things done. …Read More!

Zebra Watch #11

Everybody around the league is still trying to figure out how Scott Green and his crew got the end of the Steelers-Chargers game screwed up even with the help of instant replay.

Beyond their bad call in that case there remains this question: how could Green and his group call one team for 13 penalties and their opponent for two penalties in a game that was decided by one-point and was close throughout the entire 60 minutes?

Again, the guys in the striped shirts are human, but that type of disparity does not make sense.

Something like that stands out even more in a season where the league crews have become more consistent. For the first time this year, the difference between the most active crew in the league and the least flag happy bunch is less than five penalties per game. Walt Coleman’s crew is walking off on average 9.8 penalties per game. The three crews of Ron Winter/Jeff Triplette/Jerome Boger are doing 14.2 penalties per game.

Here are the numbers: …Read More!

Saturday Morning Cup O’Chiefs

I’ve always enjoyed Paul Harvey and his radio newscasts, especially when he does the “and the rest of the story.”

That’s what I was thinking about this week when now Buffalo LB Kawika Mitchell (below) decided to throw the Chiefs front office under the bus when talking about his departure from the team.

Basically Mitchell laid his departure at the feet of Carl Peterson and the team’s unwillingness to pay him.

In truth, the decision for Mitchell to leave the Chiefs was made by Mitchell himself. Here’s how things went down after the end of the 2006 season.

First, Mitchell fired his previous agent Peter Schaeffer and hired super agent Tom Condon to handle his deal. Condon was determined to score a big contract for Mitchell. At the time the numbers were 10 and 5: that’s $10 million to sign and an average of $5 million a year over the length of the deal. Basically, he was looking for 5 years and $25 million.

After four seasons with the Chiefs, the front office in concert with the coaching staff made the decision they wanted to keep Mitchell. But they also decided they were not going to overpay. They classified him a good linebacker, not a great one.

The Chiefs offered Mitchell a deal that included a $3.2 million bonus. Mitchell wouldn’t take the offer and entered free agency. Unfortunately for him, once he was available on the open market, he got no offers better than what the Chiefs presented him.

Rather than accept the Chiefs offer, Mitchell decided to wait. In the end, he took the only offer he had for the 2007 season: a one-year deal from the New York Giants for $1 million. …Read More!

Can History Repeat Itself, Part Two



My little piece posted last night about the comparison to the situation that was faced 44 years ago by the Dallas Cowboys to the current Chiefs season caused a reaction. Not only has it come here to the site, but to other sites and outlets as well.

I thought I would touch on some of the things that I’ve read and heard in reaction to what I wrote. I don’t really do that too much and I should probably react to reaction more often. I’m still getting the hang of this Internet thing.

If you missed the piece, here’s the link.

So, let me rattle off some points:

1.) If you’ve read this site at all in its brief lifetime you have noticed that I’m a student of history. I believe in the George Santayana approach that he who does not study history, is doomed to repeat the failures of the past. One of the things lacking from a lot of today’s so-called journalism is context. Context doesn’t look good on TV, so they don’t go after that view. Sports talk radio doesn’t have the time or work ethic to provide context to a situation. Newspapers have the time and space, but nobody reads them anymore and quite frankly most of today’s sportswriters don’t want to be bothered. They are too busy trying to figure out how they can get jobs in radio and television.

I figure that’s what the Internet can bring to the party and that’s something this site will always have: context. I consider myself a student of the game of football and it’s a class that never ends. …Read More!

Player Profile: Mike Cox

One of many rookies to make the Chiefs opening day roster, Mike Cox was one of six first-year starters for the season opener in New England. He’s been part of the equation ever since as the team’s only true fullback.

That role has not brought him a lot of touches in 10 games, with just one carry and six catches for a total of 10 offensive yards.  But the 23-year old has done his share of blocking and done it well enough that in this season of roster turmoil, his spot on the 53-man list has not been in doubt.  It helps that he played for offensive coodinator Chan Gailey at Georgia Tech and knew the basics of the scheme the day he arrived as an undrafted college free agent. 

Coming out of small town in Pennsylvania, Cox has achieved one of his dreams by playing in the NFL. Find out more about this young man by clicking here.

Chiefs Update 11/21

From the Truman Sports Complex

Add DT Glenn Dorsey to the Chiefs injured list.  That news came down Friday as the Chiefs wrapped up preparation for Sunday’s game against Buffalo.

Dorsey will be listed as probable on the NFL’s official injury report with a knee injury.  He was limited in his participation in practice on Friday.  If he can’t go, expect Alfonso Boone to move inside and start for him.

Listed as out for Sunday’s game are LB Donnie Edwards, RG Adrian Jones, CB  Pat Surtain and LB Pat Thomas.

Listed as probable were WR Mark Bradley, CB Brandon Flowers, LB Derrick Johnson and S Jarrad Page. 

Demorrio Williams will fill Edwards slot when the Chiefs are in their base defense, with Rocky Boiman handling the middle for Thomas.  Wade Smith will continue to start at RG in place of Jones.

The Bills will be without two starters in their secondary as both S Donte Whitner and CB Jabari Greer are out of the game.  Whitner has a shoulder  injury, Greer is dealing with a knee  injury.  Also out is starting DE Aaron Schobel; Ryan Denney replaces him in the starting lineup.  On Friday the Bills sent LB Marcus Buggs to the injured-reserve list and brought up LB Dustin Fox from their practice squad.

Whitner missed the second half of Buffalo’s Monday night loss to Cleveland due to a separated right shoulder he suffered three weeks ago against the Jets. Greer injured his right knee in the Browns game. 

Whitner’s replacement, Bryan Scott is questionable because of a left knee injury.  If he can’t go George Wilson would start. Rookie Leodis McKelvin will likely start in place of Greer.

WR Josh Reed is listed as questionable, but he’s expected to play for the first time since spraining an ankle against Miami on Oct. 26. Reed practiced all week after missing the last three games.

Some familiar names coming to town on the Bills roster includes former Chiefs LB Kawika Mitchell, former KU tight end Derek Fine, rookie RB Xavier Oman out of Northwest Missouri State and punter Brian Moorman from Pittsburg State. 

On the Bills coaching staff are former Chiefs QB Alex Van Pelt (1993-94) who handles the quarterbacks on Dick Jauron’s staff.  Also part of the coaching staff are Chuck Lester, who was here with Marv Levy in the early 1980s and Nathaniel  Hackett, who handles the offensive quality control position. He’s the son of Paul Hackett, former Chiefs offensive coordinator.

One other note: LB Erik Walden, waived by the Chiefs on Tuesday was claimed on the waiver wire by Miami.

Podcasting: Len’s Look 11/21

Hall of Fame quarterback Len Dawson joins us to talk about the Chiefs.  Len continues to analyze the growth of Tyler Thigpen at quarterback and his need for a victory to validate himself and his offense.  Len also talks about the Chiefs lack of a pass rush and the poor special teams play that is hurting the team’s chances of victory.  He also spends some time talking about young Buffalo quarterback Trent Edwards.

Friday Morning Cup O’Chiefs

Two of the four starting quarterbacks from the 2007 NFL Draft class will be on display at Arrowhead Stadium on Sunday.

Third-round choice (No. 92 overall) Trent Edwards (below) will handle the opening snaps for the Buffalo Bills. Seventh-round choice (No. 217) Tyler Thigpen (right) will take the first snap for the Chiefs.

The other starters right now among the 11 quarterbacks taken were first round picks JaMarcus Russell with Oakland and Brady Quinn with Cleveland.

Right now, the star of the group would have to be Thigpen. He’s got more touchdown passes than any of the other throwers and half the 10 interceptions that Edwards brings to Arrowhead Stadium.

What he does not have is a victory as a starting quarterback. Thigpen is 0-5 despite his improved play. That leaves him trailing the other picks that have started at least one game. Edwards is 5-5, Russell is 2-7 and Quinn is 1-1.

Obviously a victory is what Thigpen is looking for this weekend.

“A lot of people look at statistics,” Thigpen said. “It doesn’t matter if he plays good, did he win? I think that’s the biggest thing. I think if I can get that out of the way, it’ll help out a lot for myself, and also for this team.”

Edwards had five victories in nine starts last year as a rookie. This year the Bills won the first four games of the season and five of the first six. But they’ve now lost four in a row and five of the last six. Part of the problem has been a drop in Edwards’ production at quarterback and an increase in interceptions. In the first month, he threw two INTs. In the last six games, he’s thrown eight picks, including three in the Bills’ loss Monday night to Cleveland.

“I’d say I’m still just as confident as I was,” Edwards said this week. “Obviously once you make some mistakes you try to tone it down a little bit. You’re trying not to force as many balls. That’s probably why I didn’t look as confident. We weren’t taking as many shots because of the defenses they were giving us.

“If there’s nothing downfield I can’t force it. That’s what was happening on those two interceptions. I made the mistakes by forcing the ball down the field.”

Here are the 11 quarterbacks drafted in 2007, with their round and overall selection spot and the teams they are currently with:

Spot Player TM G S ATT Comp YDS TD INT RTG
1-1 JaMarcus Russell OAK









1-22 Brady Quinn CLV









2-36 Kevin Kolb PHL









2-40 John Beck MIA









2-43 Drew Stanton DET









3-92 Trent Edwards BUF









4-103 Isaiah Stanback* DAL









5-151 Jeff Rowe** CIN









5-174 Troy Smith BAL









6-205 Jordan Palmer*** CIN









7-217 Tyler Thigpen**** KC









*-Stanback is on Cowboys roster as wide receiver. **-Rowe is on Bengals practice squad. ***-Palmer was released by the Redskins who drafted him and signed with Bengals. ****-Thigpen was claimed off Vikings waiver list in ’07 by the Chiefs.

…Read More!

Can History Repeat Itself?

Comparing events, people and situations over time is a funny business. No matter how similar the facts seem, the plots are never quite the same from generation to generation. While moments may seem like copies of each other, when held up to the light the differences become obvious.

Nevertheless, follow along with me on this football story.

A young man, the product of a Texas family that built a fortune in the oil business, owned a professional football team.

His club was going through a tough patch, losing far more often than it won. This wasn’t just one bad year, but several. The talent level of the team was low and what good players were on the roster were young and inexperienced.

The fans were grumbling. OK, they weren’t just grumbling, they were staying away. Attendance and interest were falling.

That natural reaction for any owner in this situation was to fire the head coach. But this owner happened to like the guy, liked what the coach stood for and liked his ideas on building a strong team that would contend for the playoffs over many seasons. The coach was defensive minded and the owner knew from football history that strong defensive teams tend to be more competitive for longer periods of time.

The owner also had a strong general manager to oversee the franchise and the G.M. was completely in the coach’s corner.

The situation called for action.

That’s just what the young man did.  He took action.

On February 5, 1964, Clint Murchison Jr. (below) gave the head coach of his Dallas Cowboys a 10-year extension on his contract. Up to that point, over four seasons Tom Landry had led the Cowboys to a record of 13-38-3. With one more year to go on his original contract, Landry now had an 11-year contract. It was something unheard of in the world of sports at the time.

The rest of the story is one of the great tales in the history of sports.  In 1964, the Cowboys went 5-8-1. The next year Dallas was 7-7. With the 1966 season, the Cowboys finished 10-3-1 and made the playoffs. They would end up making the playoffs 16 of next 17 years, with 11 appearances in the NFL/NFC Championship Game, five Super Bowl trips and two Super Bowl championships. Tom Landry was the head coach for all of those games.

Now that you know this bit of pro football history, let’s bring the picture back to the present. Another young man from an oil family has a struggling football team and a head coach who is drawing fire from fans for the poor play of his team. Some are calling for his firing.

So far it doesn’t sound like Clark Hunt is ready to pull the plug on Herm Edwards.

Despite losing 18 of the team’s last 19 games and racking up a 14-28 record over the last three years, Hunt has been nothing but supportive of Edwards. Remember just a few weeks ago he told the Ft. Worth Star-Telegram: “I think we’re headed in the right direction. It certainly isn’t going to be a straight line; there’s going to be a lot of ups and downs on this road. But I think Herm is the right type of coach to take us through the rebuilding.” Then, this week Hunt told the Kansas City Star: “… I’m encouraged and very interested to see the last six weeks and how we do in those games.”

Far be it for me to pass along advice to Clark Hunt. This is his business and he understands all angles of the franchise far better than me or anybody in the media. But if he really likes Edwards ideas and his way of rebuilding the franchise, then he should step forward and make it obvious. …Read More!

College Pass Rushers Part 2: Pro Potential

Whether they select a quarterback, pass rusher, middle linebacker or offensive lineman, the Chiefs will get the opportunity to draft one of the best players in the 2009 NFL Draft. They figure to again have a selection among the top five picks, maybe even as high as the No. 2 spot.

We checked out the top quarterbacks in early October. Now, with the Chiefs pass rush floundering and headed for the worst sacking season in club history, it’s time to look at the pass rushers. Yesterday, we hit on the top active sackers, both this season and over a career. If you missed that, you can read it right here.

Today, we look at a top 10 list of pass rushers rated on potential by scouts around the NFL.

Here’s our list:

1. Michael Johnson     DE    Georgia Tech    SR    6-7    258

Understand right off the bat that when it comes to Johnson, the Chiefs have a lot of inside information, since he was recruited to Georgia Tech by offensive coordinator Chan Gailey and there are two other former Tech assistant coaches on the Chiefs staff. As a physical specimen, Johnson is off the charts. He has size, speed, quickness and athletic ability. His body fat is that of somebody 100 pounds lighter and a long-distance runner. That’s caused him problems in the past with dehydration and cramping. Scouts think he relies too much on his speed to rush the passer. He sometimes has problems standing up to the run, which is why he was used only in pass rush situations until this season. Over his career he’s played in 46 games with 96 tackles and 16 sacks. …Read More!

Chiefs Update 11/20

From the Truman Sports Compex

It was a quiet Thursday around the Chiefs practice facility.  The team held a indoor practice that was just under two hours long.  The door to the roster did not swing open.

And, there was good news as TE Tony Gonzalez returned to practice.  Gonzalez missed Wednesday’s work because of a sore knee, an injury he suffered last Sunday against New Orleans.  But he was back to work on Thursday and was a full participant in practice.

So where DE Tamba Hali, LB Derrick Johnson and CB Brandon Flowers, so it looks like those three defensive starters will be back on the field  this Sunday against Buffalo.

Limited in practice work were LB Pat Thomas, CB Pat Surtain, S Jarrad Page and WR Mark Bradley.

Held out of practice were RG Adrian Jones and LB Donnie Edwards.

Podcasting: Football 101 with Goose 11/20

America’s best pro football writer Rick Gosselin joins us for another discussion about the world of football.  We talk about the Chiefs and their turnover ratio, roster rotation and lack of sacks.  Also, we talk about the fact that it’s too early to crown the Tennessee Titans as the Super Bowl front-runner, touch on the improvement of the Arizona Cardinals and their big game this weekend against the New York Giants and we also talk about how the top of the draft is shaping up for April 2009.

Thursday Morning Cup O’Chiefs

I’m sure the announcement on future sites for college basketball’s Final Four barely reached the radar screen of sports fans in Kansas City.

That’s too bad, because that announcement should have included Kansas City.

And it most certainly would have had Jackson County voters approved a rolling roof for the Truman Sports Complex (artist rendering right.)

That vote in April 2006 still remains a bit of a mystery. There were two issues on the ballot for Jackson County residents. The first was a sales tax to pay for the refurbishing of both Kaufmann and Arrowhead Stadiums. The price tag was $250 million per stadium.

The second issue was a use tax that would have been paid by business operating in Jackson County. That would have funded the rolling roof and the additions to Arrowhead that would have made the stadium weather proof and capable of holding events like the Super Bowl and the Final Four.

Voters overwhelmingly approved the first issue on the sales tax. Even though the NFL promised Kansas City a Super Bowl sometime in a 10-year window after construction of the roof, voters would not approve the use tax.

So Kansas City lost a Super Bowl, and now the city has no chance of hosting the Final Four. If you don’t know your college basketball history, no city has hosted more championship games than Kansas City. Most of those were played 40 to 50 years ago at Municipal Auditorium. The last one played in K.C. was the 50th Final Four in 1988. …Read More!

Best College Pass Rushers-Part 1

This is the first of two parts on the best pass rushers coming out of college football next spring. It’s obviously going to be an important part of the off-season discussion around the Chiefs after this season. There are two angles of evaluation: production on the college level and potential on the pro level. Today, Part 1 is about production. Part 2 comes on Thursday and it’s about potential.

His name is Greg Peach.

In college football, he’s the leading sacker in 2008 and the leading career sacker of quarterbacks, with 18 this year and 35.5 sacks over 46 games at Eastern Washington University.

Could he help the Chiefs anemic pass rush?

Pro football scouts aren’t so sure that Peach (left) the 6-2, 252-pounder out of Vancouver, Washington has the size and quickness to play defensive end in the NFL.

But right now with one game to go in his college career, Peach is the favorite to win this year’s Buck Buchanan Award, given to the best defensive player in Division I-AA football. Jared Allen won the same award five years ago in his last season at Idaho State. Allen played 41 games with 38.5 sacks. He was also 6-6 and 250 pounds.

The 11 pass rushers that rank at the top of the college career sacks list are all eligible for the 2009 NFL Draft. They all play either defensive end or outside linebacker. Among the top sackers in this current college season, only one can’t enter the draft: Butler DE Grant Hunter, who is a red-shirt freshman.

But most of the top career sackers do not have the physical numbers that pro football teams look for when it comes to outside pass rushers. Of the 11, only three are taller than 6-3 and only two are listed as bigger than 260 pounds. The best physical numbers in the group belong to Marcus Benard out of Jackson State. A junior college transfer out of Michigan, Benard is 6-4, 270 pounds. He had 14 tackles and 3.5 sacks last Saturday against Alabama A&M. At Grand Rapids Community College, he had 19 sacks over his first two seasons of college football. That gives him 42 in the last four years.

Among this year’s sack leaders are three players with prototype physical numbers to rush the passer off the edge in the pro game: Alex Carrington (6-5, 280) out of Arkansas State, Texas Tech’s Brandon Williams (6-5, 252) and Austen Lane (6-5, 258) out of Murray State.

Before this season, Carrington had just one career sack. But he’s leading the Sun Belt Conference this season with his 10.5 sacks in nine games. He’s a red-shirt Junior.

Williams (right) leads the Big 12 Conference this year with 10 sacks, including two of Texas QB Colt McCoy in the Red Raiders upset of the Longhorns. A true junior, Williams has 19.5 career sacks.

Lane leads the Ohio Valley Conference in sacks with 10, including 3.5 sacks in a game 10 days ago against Southeast Missouri State. He’s also a true junior. …Read More!

Chiefs Update 11/19

From the Truman Sports Complex

The spinning wheel that has been the 2008 Chiefs roster was in motion again on Wednesday.

Gone from the active roster are DE Turk McBride, LB Erik Walden and RB Dantrell Savage.

Added to the active roster were DE Andy Studebaker (top left), LB Curtis Gatewood (bottom left) and RB Jackie Battle.

Added to the practice squad was DT Antwon Burton. The Chiefs were expected to move DT T.J. Jackson off the practice squad to the injured reserve list because of a knee injury.

More importantly, the news of the day was that TE Tony Gonzalez did not practice with the team on Wednesday. Head coach Herm Edwards said it was a sore knee that Gonzalez injured last Sunday against the Saints that kept him out of the practice. Edwards does not expect the injury to keep Gonzalez off the field this Sunday against Buffalo. Over his 12-year career, Gonzalez has probably missed less than a dozen practices during the season. In that time frame he’s missed two games: one in 2006 with a shoulder injury and one in 1999 with a knee injury.

Also not taking part in the Wednesday practice session were WR Mark Bradley (calf), LB Donnie Edwards (hamstring/knee) and RB Adrian Jones (ankle).

Limited participants were DE Tamba Hali (ankle), S Jarrad Page (groin), CB Pat Surtain (quadriceps) and LB Pat Thomas (hamstring).

Back to full practice time were LB Derrick Johnson and CB Brandon Flowers.

Here are the details of the roster moves.

McBride went to the injured reserve list because of arm and shoulder injuries that he collected over the last two games. Walden and Savage were released. The Chiefs hope to add Savage to their practice squad if he clears waivers.

Battle came up from the practice squad for the second time this season. He’s been on the active roster for three games in ’08.

Studebaker (6-3, 248) was signed off the Philadelphia practice squad. He was a sixth-round choice of the Eagles in the 2008 NFL Draft after playing at Wheaton College in Illinois. He was a Division III All-America selection and finished his career with 30 sacks in 28 games. He’s wearing No. 96.

Gatewood (6-2, 248) spent nine weeks this season on the Washington Redskins practice squad. He signed with the Redskins as a college free agent out of Vanderbilt, where he played 47 games and finished his career with 110 tackles. He’s wearing No. 52.

To make room for Burton on the practice squad, the Chiefs sent Jackson to the injured reserve list with a knee injury that will require surgery.

Studebacker and Gatewood become players No. 72 and 73 to be on the Chiefs 53-man roster this season.

Hank’s Gallery: New Orleans

Our photo man Hank Young was on the field at Arrowhead last Sunday for the Chiefs-Saints game.  As usual, he snapped and captured some of the afternoon’s best moments.

For you viewing pleasure, here they are.

Remember, click on the picture to enlarge. …Read More!

Podcasting: The NFL & Czar 11/19

Our good friend John Czarnecki of the Fox-TV NFL Pre-Game Show and joins us to talk about what’s going on around the NFL. 

We talk with Czar about NFL officiating, the decline of the Chargers, the uptick of the Broncos and the coaching situation in Oakland.  We also touch on Pacman Jones and whether he’ll return to the Cowboys and the appeal hearings and meetings held in New York on Tuesday involving on-field and off-field actions.

Wednesday Morning Cup O’Chiefs

His name is Spencer Larsen and while he may not have put himself in the pro football record books this past weekend, he certainly will be remembered by the Denver Broncos.

Larsen became the first player in the Broncos 49-season history to start a game on both offense and defense. Denver’s roster has been riddled with injuries, especially in the offensive backfield. That forced Mike Shanahan to start Larsen at fullback and middle linebacker. Here’s the link to the NFL’s official gamebook showing the double start.

He also was on the kickoff and kick coverage teams. Larsen personifies the old saying “the more you can do.”

“I think it’s cool,” Larsen said after he helped the Broncos beat the Falcons in the Georgia Dome. “It’s a great experience and I credit the coaches for allowing me to do it. (Shanahan) is always looking out for his players and he knew that would be fun for me. It’s great for him to allow me to do that”

Now, don’t get the idea that Larsen was a 60-minute man. The last guy who did that in pro football was Chuck Bednarik of the Philadelphia Eagles back in the late 1950s. “Concrete Charlie” as he was called played at linebacker and center and never left the field.

Larsen saw three snaps as a fullback in the offense. He played much more on defense, where he finished with seven tackles. In all, he participated in 66 plays.

“For Spencer to play both fullback and start at mike linebacker and kickoff coverage and kickoff return kind of gives you an idea what he’s all about,” said Shanahan.

The week began for Larsen when Shanahan called him in and told him he would be starting at middle linebacker. At the University of Arizona, Larsen had played linebacker well enough to be selected in the sixth round of the 2008 NFL Draft.

That move at linebacker was kept quiet by Shanahan, who closed the last 30 minutes of his practices so the media would not see Larsen working at both positions. After practice, he would spend time with running backs coach Bobby Turner and learned several offensive packages put in for the game. …Read More!

Getting to Know … Mike Cox

Name: Michael Lawrence Cox.

Birthday: July 11, 1985 in Woodbury, N.J.

Family: Dr. Lawrence and Brenda Cox. Dad is a family physician and Mom teaches sixth grade science. He has an older sister Terra and younger brothers Matthew and Lucas. Matthew is a fullback at Bloomsburg State in Pennsylvania, while Lucas is a fullback at Georgia Tech. His father played football and wrestled collegiately at Temple University.

So when we are talking fullback, we are talking the Cox family? “That’s what my Dad played at Temple too. Yeah, we’ve got a long line of fullbacks going right now.”

A Wrestling Family: The Cox name is well known in Pennsylvania wrestling circles. His grandfather Dr. Ken Cox was the head coach at Lock Haven State College for nine years. His father wrestled collegiately at Temple and was good enough to make the NCAA wrestling tournament. His younger brother was a highly-ranked high school wrestler in Pennsylvania.

So why didn’t he wrestle at the high school? “It killed my family because I was the first one not to wrestle; I played basketball. It’s the ultimate man sport: it’s just you one-on-one with the opponent. There’s no help from teammates, there is no help from anybody else. The conditioning is unbelievable for wrestling. I just always enjoyed going out and playing basketball. You can’t just go out and play a pickup wrestling match. I always had to lose weight to play football and the whole weight thing in wrestling is so hard. When I was little I wrestled and I had to lose weight and it just ruined it for me.”

Grew up in: Lewisberry, Pennsylvania. It’s a small town that sits between the cities of Harrisburg and York in the southeastern part of the Keystone State. First settled in 1798, Lewisberry had less than 400 residents in the 2000 U.S. Census.

Attended: Red Land High School in nearby New Cumberland and then the Georgia Institute of Technology.

Why Georgia Tech? “It really came out of nowhere. They called at the end of my junior year and I went down there for an unofficial visit. I looked at their offense and I knew about Coach (Chan) Gailey because he had been coach with the Steelers. I really fell in love with the city of Atlanta and the pro offense he was running.”

What was the hardest class you took at Georgia Tech? “Oh man, just about all of them. I always struggled with my accounting and economics classes. I had to take managerial science class and I had to work really hard for my C but I was pretty proud. ”

What was your first job? “My brothers and I were the cleaning service at my Dad’s office, but I don’t count that. My first job I started in the sixth grade and still do it if I’m home and they need help; I worked at Bayshore Farms bailing hay, alfalfa and straw. Up in the loft where it’s 115 degrees, going out and throwing the bails, stacking them, that’s work.”

What’s your ride? “I have a 2007 Cadillac Escalade.”

What was your first car? “I was 14 years old and I had a car. I had a Hyundai Accent that was left for me by one of my Dad’s patients passed away. I drove that around the backyard when I could. When I was 16, my Dad went out and bought me a used Dodge Intrepid with about 80,000 miles on it.

On a road trip back to PA, what do you have to have in the car with you? “If I’ve got beef jerky and Dr. Pepper in the car, I’m good to go.”

What’s on your I-Pod? “I have everything from classic rock, a little bit of rap, a little less country. I’m a huge Billy Joel fan, so I’ve got a lot of him on there. AC/DC is on there too.”

If the TV is on, what are you watching? “Always watch Sports Center on ESPN and my favorite shows are The Office and That Seventies Show.”

What’s your favorite movie? “Absolutely, positively Rocky, the original.”

Who is your hero? “Growing up I was a huge Michael Jordan fan. But my Dad’s my hero. He helped me out with so much, pushing me in sports and school work since I was little.”

Favorite team growing up? “Redskins, because I have a little native American in me and they used to go to training camp in Carlisle, PA which wasn’t far from me.”

What’s on your bucket list? “I’m getting to do one thing right now, playing in the NFL, so I can cross that off. I know my sister wants to do this, but I’m afraid of heights; she wants me to go sky diving. I’d really like to travel around and go to Europe or Africa.”

Tell us something nobody around here knows about you? “I’m a descendent of Pat Garrett who shot Billy the Kid. He’s like my great, great, grandfather or something like that. My Grandma Garrett lives out in New Mexico.”

Herm Speaks 11/18

Another week and another session with the media horde for Herm Edwards. At this point in a 1-9 season, there’s only so much he can talk about.

We pulled the best from the 20-minute session.


“It’s just a matter of making the play. It’s the little plays, the little things that you do that get you off the field on defense or continue the drive on offense. It’s not always the obvious play. It’s plays that happen along the way that don’t get done. We talked about it Monday. We went through the last game and what took place and it wasn’t the obvious plays, it was the plays that go unnoticed that you kill drives with … penalty, dropped balls, missed tackle, those things that creep into the game that you can’t allow to happen if you are going to win, especially for us. We don’t have a lot of room for error.”

Analysis: The Chiefs youth, inexperience and injuries cut their chances of victory every week. It becomes a very fine line the team must walk to have a chance at winning the game. That’s a line that few teams can travel without falling down. Former NFL head coach Chuck Knox talked about the six plays that decide football games that nobody remembers or talks about. He always felt his team had to win four of those plays to win the game. Last week, the Chiefs were probably zero-for-six on those plays. …Read More!

Chiefs Update 11/18

From Arrowhead Stadium

DE Turk McBride has cracked a bone in one of his forearms and the Chiefs are currently trying to decide whether he can play with the injury or whether he’s done for the season.

McBride suffered the injury in Sunday’s game against New Orleans.  If doctors and trainers decide he can play, the Chiefs can cast and pad the forearm.  If they decide that playing will cause further damage, there’s a good chance McBride will end up on the injured reserve list.

When talking about his injured players on Tuesday afternoon, Herm Edwards labeled all of them as questionable for this Sunday’s game against Buffalo.  He’ll have a better idea on Pat Surtain, Brandon Flowers, Adrian Jones, Tamba Hali, Donnie Edwards, Derrick Johnson and Pat Thomas on Wednesday when the Chiefs return to the practice field.

Edwards did say that punter  Dustin Colquitt “should be fine” for Sunday’s game.  “I woudn’t say that he’s questionable,” the head coach added.

Second Look: Chiefs Pass Rush

Upon a second look, the Chiefs pass rush against New Orleans was just as invisible as the first look.

In 36 passing plays against the Kansas City defense, Saints QB Drew Brees was not sacked a single time.

That leaves the Chiefs with six sacks in 10 games. That works out to one sack every 52.7 passing plays.

That’s the worst pass rush in the NFL; Cincinnati is 31st with 11 sacks.

The Chiefs are well on their way to establishing a new franchise low for sacks; that’s 15 in nine games during the strike-shortened 1982 season. In a full 16-game season, the lowest total was 22 in 1976.

But this is even worse than that. The NFL record for pass rushing futility over a full season was established by the 1981 Baltimore Colts who had just 13 sacks in 16 games. The ’82 Colts had just 11 sacks in nine games during the 1982 strike season.

Right now the Chiefs are on pace to have 10 sacks.

Now, let’s re-focus on Sunday’s game against New Orleans. The Saints came in as the league’s top passing team and they were among the best in protection. Brees had been sacked eight times in 362 passing plays, or on every 46.3 pass snaps.

The Chiefs were without DE Tamba Hali and rookie DE Brian Johnston. The No. 3 defensive end on the depth chart was Jason Babin, signed just last week to the roster.

It proved to be a mismatch in favor of the Saints. In 36 passing plays, Brees not only wasn’t sacked, he was in danger of being sacked just once. He was hit after the throw only two times. In 36 attempts, there were 30 were there was no pressure at all from the Chiefs.

There was certainly no pressure from the interior of the pass rush. Not once in those 36 throws was Brees’ vision blocked or delivery changed because of a body coming directly at him. Tank Tyler, Glenn Dorsey and Ron Edwards were virtually invisible. …Read More!

Tuesday Morning Cup O’Chiefs

Let’s face facts: gambling has always been a big part of pro football.

Two of the most storied franchises in the league were founded by gamblers: the Pittsburgh Steelers and New York Giants. Legal bookmaking in Nevada surrounding the NFL is a multi-million dollar business. The NFL publishes its own injury reports in hopes of keeping information in front of the general public, and not the domain of gamblers with sources in the locker room and at the doctor’s office.

That under current serves as a backdrop for the sport; always there but seldom noticed. Until an incident like the one that happened in the Steelers-Chargers game on Sunday at Heinz Field.

Here are the details: With San Diego trailing 11-10 and the game clock about to run out, Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers completed a short pass over the middle to LaDainian Tomlinson of three yards. Tomlinson then lateraled the ball to Chris Chambers, who fumbled while trying to loft it back to tackle Marcus McNeil. Pittsburgh safety Troy Polamalu (above) burst through to disrupt the lateral, scooped up the fumble and ran 12 yards for a touchdown as the clock read 00:00.

After on-field discussion by the officiating crew of Scott Green and a replay review, the officials ruled there was an illegal forward pass and it had hit the turf and therefore the play was dead.

Except that’s not at all what happened. A confused Green admitted afterward to a pool reporter for the media at Heinz Field that the officials and their decision were wrong.

“We should have let the play go through in the end yes,” Green is quoted as saying by the pool reporter. “The rule was misinterpreted.  It was misinterpreted that instead of killing the play we should have let the play go through.” …Read More!

There’s A New D.T. On the Football Radar Screen

If you didn’t know his name and his lineage, you would only notice him because he’s a tall, good looking young man.

But knowing who he is, and who his father was, when you first see him, it takes your breath away.

Derrion Thomas is the son of the late Derrick Thomas. He’s a senior at Blue Springs South High School. Every day he grows more into the image of his father. His face is not quite as oval as his Dad’s, but he has the same sparkle in his eye. And his body … well he’s grown into a young man that’s as tall and only a few pounds lighter than the original D.T.

He’s starting to look like his father on the football field as well.

This past Friday evening in the Missouri state high school playoffs, this younger version of D.T. had four sacks in Blue Springs South upset over top-ranked Rockhurst. The Jaguars advanced to the state semi-finals this coming Friday night against Jefferson City.

Whether Derrion plays in this Friday’s game is unknown because of an arm injury he suffered against Rockhurst. The injury occurred in the first half; he played the entire second half with pretty much one arm.

The game, the sacks, the injury capped what was quite a Friday for the young man.

That type of performance in the setting of the playoffs would be memorable enough. But it was an unforgettable night for Derrion because he was wearing his father’s shoulder pads, the same pads that Derrick Thomas wore playing in his last game on January 2, 2000 at Arrowhead Stadium against the Oakland Raiders.

Derrion and his 10-year old brother Robert spent their lunch time on Friday at the Chiefs practice facility. The Chiefs Wives Organization (CWO) led by Lia Edwards held an event to honor some of the kids from the Derrick Thomas Academy. The DTA is a charter school in Kansas City, Missouri that primarily serves at risk, inner-city African-American students who face challenges at home, struggle in the typical public school environment, and/or are in dire need of a strong quality education.

Youngsters from DTA had an essay contest with the subject being Derrick Thomas and the best examples were selected and honored with a day with the Chiefs. Led by Edwards, Lori Peterson and other wives of Chiefs administrators, coaches and players, the kids from DTA got the chance to watch practice and get player autographs. Carl Peterson spoke to the group about D.T. and the importance of education, as did the team’s executive director of player development Lamonte Winston. Derrion got the chance to say hello to Gunther Cunningham (above) one of his father’s football mentors. …Read More!

Chiefs Update 11/17

From the Truman Sports Complex

When things are as bad as the 2008 season has been for the Chiefs, any good news helps.

This woudl qualify as at least a small piece of good news: the Chiefs no longer have the worst run defense in the NFL.

After 10 games the Chiefs have given up 1,654 rushing yards.  That total now puts them ahead of the Detroit Lions, who after giving up a pair of 100-plus rushers to Carolina on Sunday have allowed 1,715 yards.  It’s the first time since their bye week in October where the Chiefs have not been last in the league against the run.

They are however, still allowing more yards than any defense in the league, giving up 4,025 yards in 10 games.  That’s eight yards more than the Lions, at 4,017.

Unhappily, they are still on a pace to set the team record for most yards allowed in a season.  At 402.5 yards per game, that’s a pace to allow 6,440 yards on the season, which would break the mark held by the 2002 defense.

The Chiefs might be able to slow that pace with the return of some of their injured defenders. That, however, depends on them not losing any other players to injury.

 The team reported back to work on Monday, but they had no team workout.  That’s been Herm Edwards custom over the last few years: late in the season, cut back a bit on the on-field work to save the legs.

The team is very tight lipped these days with information on injuries, so what came out of the wash from Sunday’s loss to New Orleans is unknown at this time.

But there appears some hope that LB Derrick Johnson and CBs Brandon Flowers and Pat Surtain could return to practice work this coming week.  Johnson and Flowers have sore hamstrings and Surtain a quadriceps injury; all missed the last two games.

Now, there are questions surrounding LB Donnie Edwards, who was lifted from this past Sunday’s game in the fourth when he tweaked his hamstring.

There are also concerns with P Dustin Colquitt who did not kick well against New Orleans.  He’s been battling groin and calf injuries this season.

DE Tamba Hali and RG Adrian Jones both have ankle problems and missed Sunday’s game.  Their availability for this Sunday’s game against Buffalo remains in doubt.

NFL Sunday Review 11/16

Philadelphia QB Donovan McNabb didn’t even know it was possible that he could end up kissing his sister.

But that’s what McNabb and his Eagles teammates got on Sunday in Week No. 11 of the NFL season.

Ditto for the Cincinnati Bengals.

The Eagles and Bengals played to a 13-13 tie, the first in the NFL since the 2002 season and only the fifth tie score in the last 20 years of play (1989-2008).

No one was more surprised than McNabb (right) that it ended – 3 hours, 46 minutes after the opening kickoff – because the veteran quarterback thought it would keep going until someone scored, just like a playoff game.

“I didn’t know that,” said McNabb. “I’ve never been part of a tie. I never even knew it was in the rule book. I was looking forward to getting the opportunity to get out there and try to drive to win the game. But unfortunately with the rules, we settled with a tie.”

It was the first tied game since Nov. 10, 2002, when the Falcons and Steelers finished 34-34. These teams combined for 37 possessions that produced just a pair of touchdowns, one for each team. Combined they had 124 rushing yards.

“It almost feels like we lost because we were winning the majority of the game,” said Cincinnati WR T.J. Houshmandzadeh said. “It feels weird.”

Sunday’s highlight game was Tennessee’s visit to Jacksonville. The Titans won 24-14 to go 10-0 on the season. They became the 11th team in NFL history to start 10-0.

The day’s most unusual outcome came at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, when the Steelers beat San Diego 11-10. It was the first time an NFL game finished with that score. Only, it should not have finished with that score.

Troy Polamalu returned an errant lateral 12 yards for an apparent touchdown on the final play of the game, but the outcome was overturned on review — it was called an illegal forward pass — and the 11-10 final was restored.

After the game, referee Scott Green said the officials realized afterward the touchdown should have counted, though it wouldn’t have affected the result. …Read More!

Podcasting: Post-Game Report Chiefs-Saints 11/16

From Arrowhead Stadium

Sounds from the Chiefs post-game locker room after losing 30-20 to the New Orleans Saints, with Herm Edwards, Tyler Thigpen, Brian Waters, Turk  McBride, Jon McGraw and Damion McIntosh.

Tyler’s Day, L.J.’s Day & Other Notes

From Arrowhead Stadium

There was some good and there was some bad for Tyler Thigpen on Sunday against New Orleans.

First, he threw a pair of touchdown passes to Dwayne Bowe. That’s the fourth consecutive game where he’s had at least one TD throw, making him the first KC quarterback to do that since Trent Green in November-December of 2005.

But Thigpen also threw his first interception in his last 161 passing attempts. His last throw of the day was grabbed by Saints CB Usama Young. That came with 2 minutes, 18 seconds to play and his team down by 10 points.

Now here’s the really bad for Thigpen. He’s started five NFL games and he’s 0-5.

“We’ve got to do better,” Thigpen said after the game. “We’ve got to win a game. That’s the bottom line. It’s not about me. It’s not about what I do or what I put up stat-wise. It’s about this team and we want to win a game.” …Read More!

Red Zone Misery For Offense

From Arrowhead Stadium

They are frequently the toughest yards in football. First and goal means a lot of things and it takes a lot of precision and heart to make plays work in the shortest part of the field. It’s where brains combine with brawn. There has to be a good plan, and there has to be real feeling that nothing is going to stop this offense from cracking the goal line.

Right now, plenty of folks are debating whether the Chiefs had the brains or brawn when it comes to making some of plays within the 10-yard line. Their failure when they were that close to the end zone was one of the major reasons they dropped their sixth straight game, losing to the New Orleans Saints.

It wasn’t like the Chiefs were never able to punch the ball in when deep in New Orleans territory. Both of Tyler Thigpen’s touchdown passes to Dwayne Bowe came in second-and-goal situations, the first from six yards, the next one from five yards.

But two more times the Chiefs got to a first-and-goal situation and in each of them, they were forced to take a field goal because they could not move the ball. That’s eight points gone from a possible 14 points.

Yes, they lost by 10, but a lot of things change if the Chiefs can punch the ball in.

“It’s one thing we are going to have to work on offensively, our red zone offense,” said Thigpen. “When we get down there that close we’ve got to be able to put points on the board. We can’t settle for three points. We’ve got to have seven points.

“Kicking field goals is going to get you beat in the long run.”

With a big, bruising running back in Larry Johnson back on the field, the Chiefs figured to be perfectly set up to run some tough plays in the goal-to-go situations. Johnson never had a chance. The Saints defensive front overwhelmed the Chiefs offensive line in those situations and forced the play behind the line of scrimmage.

“I’m sure we are going to look at the tape and say we needed to be more physical,” said LG Brian Waters. “I’m sure we will see things we could have done differently, we will see things that we could have called differently. But it comes down to this: whatever is called, we have to execute it and we did not do that today.”

Here’s what the Chiefs did on their goal-to-go plays: …Read More!

Special Teams Hurt Chances For Victory

From Arrowhead Stadium

Over the last month, as all the defeats and injuries have formed an Everest like mountain for the Chiefs to climb, they have struggled at times with offense, and at times with defense.

And always they have struggled in the kicking game.

Never was that more evident that in Sunday’s loss to New Orleans. The Chiefs did not give up a score on special teams and they did not have a turnover. They did not botch a PAT attempt.

But they contributed mightily to the Chiefs loss. Even the always reliable Dustin Colquitt is getting pulled into the mess.

Let’s count the ways where the special teams did not help: …Read More!

COMMENTARY: Too Many Mistakes

From Arrowhead Stadium

When you are playing with a team as young and inexperienced and injury-riddled as the Chiefs, the margin for error is very slim.

Put it this way, the only person who could stand on it would be somebody with the last name of Wallenda, first  name Flying.

On the best of days with their finest performance the Chiefs are playing this 2008 season without a net. They could have played 10 wonderful games this year and still been 1-9 on the season. We all know that hasn’t happened; the 10 wonderful games. Obviously, the 1-9 is very real.

They very simply cannot help the other team on Sunday. There’s too much ground for them to makeup that they can slide backwards because of their own hand.

But that’s what the Chiefs did on Sunday against the New Orleans Saints. They slit their own throat. They made things easier for the visitors from the Big Easy, who were more than willing to accept all the help they could get because the ’08 season has not been kind to them either.

After three games where they were a factor down to the final minute, the Chiefs could do nothing to keep the Saints from the victory stand in this affair. On a beautiful, sunny November afternoon, the Chiefs took a step backwards.

Now, they didn’t go back to the bad old days of earlier this season where they embarrassed themselves against Oakland, and Atlanta and Carolina. But their performance was not up to the standard they had set in the last three games against the Jets, Buccaneers and Chargers.

In his locker room after the game and in his post-game press conference, Herm Edwards rattled off the sins committee by the Chiefs. It was a lengthy list: …Read More!

Offense, Defense, Kicking Game All Fail in 30-20 Loss

From Arrowhead Stadium

The offense had trouble in the red zone. The injury-riddled defense could not slow down the potent New Orleans offense. The special teams were atrocious. That doesn’t leave much left to be able to go out and win a football game.

Those factors combined to leave the Chiefs on the short side of the scoreboard once again, losing 30-20 to the Saints at Arrowhead Stadium.

Unlike the previous three games that came down to the final minute and where the Chiefs had an opportunity to win the game, this one was controlled throughout the second half by the Saints, who with the victory are now 5-5 on the season.

“The first half was a pretty good game,” said Herm Edwards. “What killed us was we got down in the red zone and we couldn’t score. When you play a team like this (New Orleans), you know they have a pretty good offense, with a good quarterback.

“That’s never good to get down there and settle for field goals against a high-powered offense like them.”

The visitors grabbed a three-point lead on the final play of the first half and then scored a pair of third quarter touchdowns that had the Chiefs fighting from behind and uphill for the game’s final 30 minutes.

Without four starters, the Chiefs defense actually held the Saints offense under its season average. But they still gave up 369 yards to QB Drew Brees and the No. 1 ranked NFL offense. The Saints scored three touchdowns and got three FGs from rookie kicker Garrett Hartley. WR Lance Moore finished with 102 yards on eight catches.

Offensively the Chiefs had a pair of touchdown passes between QB Tyler Thigpen and WR Dwayne Bowe and 330 yards in total offense. But the fact they had to settle for a pair of field goals in the red zone instead of touchdowns stymied their chances to break what is now a six-game losing streak.

“We knew we had to score more points than we did,” said Edwards. “We figured it was going to have to be 30 points unless we got some turnovers. We got the one and got the score. We just bogged down in the Red Zone and if those are scores, it’s an entirely different game.” …Read More!

Game-Day Inactives/New Orleans

From Arrowhead Stadium

The inactive players for the Chiefs against the Saints on Sunday are:

  • CB Pat Surtain
  • CB Brandon Flowers
  • TE Michael Merritt
  • LB Pat Thomas
  • LB Derrick Johnson
  • T Andrew Carnahan
  • G Adrian Jones
  • DE Tamba Hali

Because they have only two QBs on the active roster, there is no third inactive QB.

CB Maurice Leggett will start for Flowers, LB Wes Dacus will start for Thomas, LB Rocky Boiman will start for Johnson, G Wade Smith will start for Jones and DL Alfonso Boone will start for Hali.

Inactive for the Saints are: RB Reggie Bush, CB Aaron Glenn, FB Mike Karney, C Jonathan Goodwin, CB David Pittman, T Jermon Bushrod and WR David Patten.

The third inactive quarterback for the Saints is Joey Harrington.

Starting for Bush is veteran RB Deuce McAllister and starting at center for Goodwin is Matt Lehr.

Saints also made a roster move, sending injured DT Brian Young to the injured reserve list for the rest of the season.  They signed TE Buck Ortega to the active roster.

Weather at Arrowhead is sunny, clear and cool, with game-time temperatures expected to be in the low tomid 50s.

Lead official today is John Parry.  His crew is 11th out of 17 crews in average penalties walked off each game, at 12.3.

Sunday Morning Cup O’Chiefs

Somewhere, wherever it is that football coaches hang out when they leave this mortal playing field, Hank Stram is smiling today.

“What’d you say boys, what’d you say,” the Mentor is telling his fellow coaches. “My boys are going head-to-head boys, head-to-head.”

The Chiefs and Saints meet Sunday afternoon at Arrowhead Stadium; it’s only ninth meeting all-time between these teams and the fourth game in Kansas City.

But these two franchises share if not roots, then some common territory. And, it goes beyond the fact that the biggest victory in franchise history for the Chiefs came in New Orleans at Tulane Stadium in Super Bowl IV, when Stram was carried off the field (right).

The Dallas Texans could have very easily become the New Orleans Saints back in 1963. When Lamar Hunt decided the head-to-head battle with the Cowboys in Dallas wasn’t winnable, he looked for new cities for his football team. At the top of that list was New Orleans.

In his book “The Saints, the Superdome and the Scandal; An Insider’s Perspective” Dave Dixon writes about that time. Dixon would go on to help Hunt form World Championship Tennis (WCT). Dixon later helped form the United States Football League and was one of the forces that brought the NFL to New Orleans with the Saints in 1967.

Dixon writes:

“… immediately following the 1962 season, Lamar went so far as to bring his very capable business manager Jack Steadman, to New Orleans to work out a deal for me to become president, general manager, or a similar position at a flattering salary with two percent ownership in the team at no cost to me, provided a satisfactory stadium deal could be arranged at Tulane.”

That never happened for several reasons. At the time, colleges ruled the big stadiums and they had no desire to share them. Also, New Orleans civic leaders were more interested in a possible NFL team than a team from the AFL that at the time was still struggling to survive as a business entity.

Eventually Hunt hooked up with Kansas City’s outgoing mayor H. Roe Bartle and worked out a deal to move his Texans from Dallas to Kansas City. …Read More!

How The Chiefs Can Beat The Saints

The New Orleans Saints rank as one of the NFL’s most disappointing teams in this 2008 season.

The Chiefs rank as one of the worst.

That makes Sunday’s game at Arrowhead Stadium an important one for both teams. The Chiefs numbers are well known: 1-8, five-game losing streak and winners of one their last 18 games. The Saints are 4-5, and have not been above the .500 mark since the first week of the season. They are 0-4 in away games, although they did beat San Diego in London three weeks ago.

The Chiefs have actually played better football in the last month than the Saints. If they do all the obvious things, they have a chance to win. Here are three other items that will enhance those chances. …Read More!

Zebra Watch #10

Last Sunday in San Diego, the Chiefs had Ron Winter and his crew for the game against the Chargers. While there were a handful of plays where the Chiefs were unhappy with the crew for now blowing the whistle – specifically several pass interference calls – they actually got Winter’s crew on one of their better games. In nine games, the eight flags walked off against the Chiefs-Chargers were the second fewest of the season for that group, which is averaging 14 flags per game.

The last two weeks have seen the lightest flag activity of the NFL season. Games in week No. 10 averaged 11 penalties. The week before the average was 10.7 flags.

People wonder all the time what penalties get called most often in the league. Here are the top 10 flags from last week:

Rnk. Squad Penalty #
1. Offense False Start 35
2. Offense Holding 26
3. Defense Holding 15
4. Defense Offsides 14
5. Defense Pass Interference 10
6. Offense Pass Interference 8
7. Defense Unnecessary Roughness 7
  Defense Illegal Contact 7
9. Defense Encroachment 5
  Offense Delay of Game 5
  Punt Return Holding 5


Here are the week No. 10 numbers and the season to date for the NFL officiating crews: …Read More!

Saturday Morning Cup O’Chiefs

Another look at the turnover ratio and the Chiefs 2008 season.

In their last four games the Chiefs have finished even, plus-3, plus-3 and plus-2 in the turnover ratio. That’s four games and a plus-eight in turnovers.

Yet, they lost all four of those games, falling to Tennessee, the New York Jets, Tampa Bay and San Diego.

History tells us that should not have happened.

Over the 20 seasons prior to this one, Chiefs teams have won 75.5 percent of the games where they finished on the plus side of the turnover ratio. This year they have won 25 percent of their games on the plus side, as they are 1-3 in those games.

It’s just another example of how truly unusual this season has been for the Chiefs. Ask players and coaches about the turnover ratio not leading to victory and they are dumbfounded.

“You hear from the time you start playing football that turnovers are the key to victory,” said linebacker Rocky Boiman. “To get them and then not take advantage of the numbers is hard to understand.”

Over the 20 seasons (1988-2007) previous to this one, the Chiefs won 76 percent of the games when they were on the plus-side of the turnover ratio. They lost 75 percent of the games when they were on the minus-side of the ratio.

Here are the numbers: …Read More!

Player Profile: Rocky Boiman

Rocky is his real name.

No really, it isn’t a nickname he picked up as a boy in Cincinnati, at Notre Dame, or in NFL stints with Tennessee, Indianapolis and Philadelphia.

No, it’s right there on his birth certificate: Rocky Michael Boiman.

Signed to the Chiefs active roster back in October, Boiman is now part of the starting group, filling in for the injured Derrick Johnson. In a short period of time he’s shown his versatility, playing both inside and outside linebacker spots and he’s made contributions in the kicking game.

To find out more about Rocky, click here.

Chiefs Update 11/14

From the Truman Sports Complex

All was quiet around the Chiefs as they went through practice indoors for just over one hour on Friday morning.  Nothing has changed on the roster and injury front for Sunday’s game at Arrowhead Stadium against New Orleans.

Herm Edwards said that the following players were out: CB Pat Surtain, CB Brandon Flowers, LB Pat  Thomas, LB Derrick Johnson, G Adrian Jones and DE Tamba Hali “will probably be out” said Edwards.

S Jarrad Page was limited in his practice work Friday, but RB Jamaal Charles and DE Turk McBride were full go and both should play against the Saints.

As for New Orleans, on Friday they listed five players as out of the game with injuries, including RB Reggie Bush, who is trying to come back from a knee injury-surgery.  Also out are CB Aaron Glenn (ankle), C Jonathan Goodwin (knee), FB Mike Karney (Knee) and DT Brian Young (knee).

Listed as probable are WR Marques Colston (knee), T Jon Stinchcomb (calf), K Garrett Hartley (back) and RB Aaron Stecker (hamstring).

Podcasting: Len’s Look 11/14

Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback Len Dawson joins us for a discussion about the Chiefs, including discussion on the continued improvement of Tyler Thigpen, the play of the Chiefs offensive line and the defense and its goal of this week trying to slow down New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees.

As statistical note: Brees leads the NFL after nine games with 362 passes attempted.  During his 19-year career in pro football, the most passes Len attempted in a season was 357 in 1967.  That was over 14 games.

Friday Morning Cup O’Chiefs

Thursday night football saw the New York  Jets beat the New England Patriots 34-31 i n overtime on a 34-yard FG by Jay Feely. Details are here.

Over the next two mornings we are going to address the turnover ratio. Today we’ll look at what’s happened this year with the Chiefs and Saturday we’ll look back at history and why the Chiefs record and turnover ratio simply do not go together.

After points scored and allowed, it’s the most important statistics in football.

It’s takeaways, it’s giveaways, it’s the turnover ratio. It comes down to possession of the football and it’s all so critical for any team’s chances for success.

Except for the 2008 Chiefs. After nine games, they have one of the best turnover ratios in the league at plus nine. But they have one of the worst records at 1-8.

It has the Chiefs coaches puzzled and they have no explanation.

“I can’t explain that,” said Herm Edwards. “That goes against everything you know in the game about what’s important.”

As always, Gunther Cunningham was more blunt.

“It’s bleeping unbelievable,” said the Chiefs defensive coordinator. “To have the ball in our hands as many times as we have gotten it and not to have more to show for it, it’s just …”

The Chiefs have taken the ball away 20 times this year. That’s tied with Chicago for the most takeaways.

They have given the ball away 11 times. That’s tied for 10th for the fewest giveaways.

And they are 1-8.

Here’s the turnover ratio list for the league right now, along with each team’s record. …Read More!

Chiefs Update 11/13

From the Truman Sports Complex

Alert all media outlets.  Big news from the Chiefs.

The team did not make a roster move on Thursday.  Or at least they had not made a roster move as of 2:30 p.m.  The way this season has gone, anything is possible.

The Chiefs worked for just under two hours indoors on Thursday and there wasn’t much of a change in the injury report from Wednesday.

Listed as not practicing were LBs Derrick Johnson and Pat Thomas, G Adrian Jones and DE Tamba Hali.  Herm Edwards said Thursday he does not expect any of those players to play.

Listed as limited in their participation were CBs Pat Surtain and Brandon Flowers, S Jarrad Page and RB Jamaal Charles.   Edwards termed the limited players as only having a 40 percent chance of playing.

DE Turk McBride was a full participant in practice and Edwards said he expects him to play Sunday against New Orleans.

Podcast: Football 101 with Goose 11/13

Rick Gosselin of the Dallas Morning News, America’s best pro football writer, joins us for another conversation.  We talk about the New York Giants, the development of rookie quarterbacks Joe Flacco and Matt Ryan, the Tennessee Titans and the problems facing the Jacksonville  Jaguars.

Thursday Morning Cup O’Chiefs

The NFL’s yearly showcase comes after the first of the year with the playoffs and Super Bowl.

There was a time when those post-season games were considered bulletproof, immune from downturns in the economy and television ratings. It was pro football’s gold mine.

However, it’s been a long time since there has been an economic situation as bad as what the country is going through right now. The NFL has taken notice.

The league announced on Wednesday that it was going to lower the price of tickets for the playoffs approximately 10 percent. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell set ticket pricing guidelines to teams contending for the playoffs. Those teams set their own price on tickets. The league is now giving teams the right to price wildcard games at a lower price than divisional playoff games. That’s something new.

The average price for tickets to the playoffs and conference championship games last year was $121.

This year is the first time that some tickets to the Super Bowl at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa are priced at $1,000. One-fourth of the house will cost $1,000. There are 17,000 suite and club seats that will sale for $1,000. There are 53,000 tickets that will go for $800 and there are 1,000 tickets available for $500.

The league dropped the price of that last group of tickets by $200. It’s the first time the NFL has cut the cost of a Super Bowl ticket.

Where the NFL makes its money is on selling their TV rights. One of the jewels of those broadcasting deals is rights to the Super Bowl. NBC is charging $3 million for a 30-second spot. The network was able to sell most of their time over the summer, before the economic meltdown on Wall Street.

But the network has eight ad slots left and hasn’t been able to sell them for the last two months. Several big-time advertisers are out of the picture. General Motors won’t have any Super Bowl ads. FedEx has not bought ad time, even though they’ve been part of the game broadcast for the last dozen years. Garmin is sitting out this year’s Super Bowl. …Read More!

Second Look: Tyler Thigpen

Rolling the tape and reviewing Tyler Thigpen’s performance against San Diego last Sunday revealed an impressive performance for a quarterback making just his fourth NFL start.

Running the Chiefs spread offense out of the shotgun, Thigpen wasn’t flawless. But he was far more than just a game manager, far more than a guy just holding the spot. The kid from Carolina exhibited skills that every NFL quarterback must have to be successful.

He was accurate, he protected the ball and didn’t try to force the ball into tight areas. He stayed in the pocket for the most part but showed his escapability several times and was able to make something out of nothing. In running the offense, he quickly went through his reads and in only a handful of occasions did he lock on to his intended receiver. He did a good job of looking off defensive backs.

Best example was on the first TD pass, the 30-yarder to WR Mark Bradley. The Chargers sent five pass rushers at Thigpen. He kept his head and eyes on the left side of the field, and San Diego CB Quentin Jammer bought the fake. Bradley got a step behind Jammer and was five yards open when he caught Thigpen’s pass in the end zone. If anything, the ball was underthrown.

Now, Thigpen had some things going for him in this game. At the top of that list was pass protection. The Chargers were credited with a sack, but that came on a bootleg play when Thigpen ran out of bounds short of the line of scrimmage. Otherwise, in 44 passes that he attempted (41 officials attempts and two wiped out by penalty and the two-point conversion play) he was touched by the pass rush only twice, and knocked down after the throw just once. That came when LB Shaun Phillips beat RT Damion McIntosh with an inside move and forced Thigpen out of the pocket. A big help to the offensive line was the blitz pickup blocks by RB Dantrell Savage. …Read More!

Chiefs Update 11/12

From the Truman Sports Complex

The spinning roster wheel stopped at defensive end for the Chiefs on Wednesday. Rookie Brian Johnston went to the injured reserve list with a calf injury and is done for the remainder of the season. To take his spot on the roster, the Chiefs signed veteran DE Jason Babin (left) off the waiver wire.

Babin (6-3, 260) was a former first-round draft choice of the Houston Texans in 2004 out of Western Michigan University. He’s played in 47 NFL games with 22 starts for the Texans and Seattle, with 13 sacks and 147 total tackles. He joined the Seahawks last season in a trade from the Texans for safety Michael Boulware, but played in just two games. This season, he played in two games for the Seahawks with one tackle, but was released on September 17.

His best NFL game was the final contest of the 2005 season, when he had 13 tackles and two sacks for the Texans against San Francisco.

At Western Michigan, Babin finished his college career with 38 sacks while playing in 47 games for the Broncos. He also had 29 tackles, eight forced fumbles and three catches on offense for 35 yards. Babin is a native of Paw Paw, Michigan.

In other roster shuffling, Larry Johnson was returned to the active roster and RB Jackie Battle was released and re-signed to the practice squad.  Also added to the practice squad was QB Ingle Martin, who was released late last week to make room for safety Oliver Celestin. …Read More!

Podcasting: The NFL & Czar 11/12

John Czarnecki of the Fox-TV NFL Pre-Game Show and contributor to joins us for our weekly chat about pro football.  Czar addressed Herm Edwards decision to go for two points, more turmoil in RaidersLand, why the Jets would sign Ty Law, the NFL league office stepping on its own toes by rescinding fines, Jack Del Rio and the Jaguars in Jacksonville and the NFLPA losing a law suit to former players.

Hank’s San Diego Gallery

Our man Hank Young had another great day taking pictures of the Chiefs and Chargers,  Plus, he also got a shot of one of the prettiest sunsets you could ever expect to see.

Enjoy. …Read More!

Wednesday Morning Cup O’Chiefs

There’s one thing you’ve never read much about on this site and that’s fantasy football.

I must say that several years ago I missed the boat on this whole fantasy thing. When I think fantasy I don’t think football. I think about secluded tropical beaches, chilling beverages and numerous native girls rubbing me down with oils and lotions and then … hey, it’s my fantasy. Get lost!

For 30-plus years I’ve covered pro football and never once did I want to be a general manager. It’s much too hard of a job. I can assure you that the last thing I’d want to be is a fantasy football GM. Friends and families have called me over the years for advice on drafts, what players to activate and who to leave off their rosters for a weekend. They never call back.

But I’ve heard this week from a number of sources that the No. 1 name in fantasy football right now is Chiefs QB Tyler Thigpen. Relatively unknown just a month ago, Thigpen’s being claimed off the waiver wire by fantasy football owners looking for a boost in their scoring numbers.

According to the fantasy folks at, Tyler has produced 21, 21 and 24 fantasy points over the last three weeks. Among NFL quarterbacks, that was fifth, first and third in points. Supposedly those are huge numbers for a guy making his first four NFL starts.

Yet, there apparently remain quite a few fantasy players that can’t believe what he’s doing because Thigpen is unclaimed in 84 percent of the standard leagues on

I’m probably putting the kiss of death on Thigpen, but if anybody calls me right now I’d tell them that they should claim him and keep him active. First, he’s getting help with the return of Larry Johnson to the offense. I don’t think that L.J. will hurt Thigpen; I think he’ll help the young quarterback. Right now, the Chiefs need a reliable running game to take the pressure off Thigpen. Johnson can give that to them. …Read More!

Remembering D.T.’s Record Day

Could it possibly be 18 years ago?

It just doesn’t seem like it could be that many Chiefs seasons since Derrick Thomas chiseled his name into the NFL record books.

On November 11, 1990 at Arrowhead Stadium, Thomas set a new league record with seven sacks of Seattle quarterback Dave Krieg.

The performance broke the previous record of six sacks set by San Francisco’s Fred Dean 25 years ago (November 13, 1983) against New Orleans.

It’s a record that has not been broken since. Last year, New York Giants defensive end Osi Umenyiora had six sacks against Philadelphia. Thomas himself had six sacks in 1998 against Oakland, also at Arrowhead.

There have been a lot of passes thrown since that Veteran’s Day almost two decades ago. There have been a lot of pass rushers that have come through the pro football pipeline. The fact that none has been able to duplicate Thomas’ record is testimony to how remarkable an afternoon that day was for the second-year outside linebacker out of Alabama.

The Chiefs were 5-3 at that point in the ’90 season. The week before the Chiefs had beaten the Los Angeles Raiders 9-7 at Arrowhead.

It was a clear Indian summer afternoon, with temperatures at kickoff hitting 63 degrees. A crowd o f 71,285 fans were in the house for this battle between AFC West rivals. Just three weeks earlier the Chiefs were beaten by the Seahawks in Seattle, so they were seeking redemption.

Thomas’ record setting day began midway through the first quarter. Here’s how the sacks came:

- No. 1: Midway through the first quarter, on a third and 20 from the Seattle 28-yard line, Krieg was sacked for a five-yard loss.

- No. 2: Late in the first quarter, on a third and 10 play from the Seattle 15-yard line, Thomas took down Krieg for a 14-yard loss.

- No. 3: Late in the third quarter, on a third and 17 situation from the Seattle eight-yard line, Thomas sacked Krieg, knocking the ball loose. It was recovered in the end zone by DT Dan Saleaumua for a Chiefs touchdown.

- No. 4: Early in the fourth quarter, on a second and 10 play from the Kansas City 38-yard line, Thomas took Krieg down for a loss of 10 yards.

- No. 5: With 3:49 to play in the fourth quarter, on a first and 10 from the Seattle 35-yard line, Krieg was taken down by Thomas for a seven-yard loss.

- No. 6: Three plays later, on a first and 10 from the Chiefs 43-yard line, Thomas got Krieg again for minus-10 yards.

- No. 7: The record setter came on the next play, a second and 20 situation with Thomas dragging Krieg to the ground for the seventh time. On this play it was a six-yard loss.

In what should have been one of the most memorable moments of his life, D.T.’s afternoon was spoiled about 90 seconds after that record sack. Taking over at the Seattle 34-yard line with 48 seconds to play, Krieg completed passes of 16 and 25 yards. That set up the Seahawks with a first and 10 at the Chiefs 25-yard line. After an incompletion on first down, Krieg dropped back to pass again with the clock ticking off the game’s final seconds. Thomas came flying in from Krieg’s left side and grabbed at his waist as he threw the ball towards the end zone. That’s where WR Paul Skanski jumped up and pulled down the ball as the clock showed 0:00. Skanski’s touchdown and Norm Johnson’s PAT kick gave Seattle a 17-16 victory.

The outcome of that game tore at Thomas’ heart. Eight years later, when he had six sacks in a victory against the Raiders, Thomas still felt the pain. “At least we won this time,” D.T. said then. “I still can’t believe we didn’t win that game (in ’90).”

Herm Speaks 11/11

Injuries topped the discussion topics as Herm Edwards met with the media horde for his weekly Tuesday press conference.

Here are the passages of importance, with analysis, commentary and translation.


“The backup guys are going to have to go in and play. What gets you a little bit when you get down to these numbers is practice. It’s not the games so much as it’s practicing because the guys have to take more reps in practice. That can have something to do with it too. You have guys that are wounded and you have only so many guys on your roster and to get through practice guys are taking double reps and that always puts a strain on guys, especially this time of year. There are some things we will have to do to adjust during practice.

“When you go through a practice on a Wednesday there are probably about 120 plays run, being split both ways, 60 on offense, 60 on defense and then there are the special teams. Well, when you lose a group of guys at a certain position all of a sudden the guys that were the look team are not available because the first string guys are gone and all the sudden the look guy is now the first string guy. So instead of taking 60 reps he might take 80 or 90 reps; that’s what happens to you in practice. You have got to be careful. That can sometimes affect guys if they have to play a lot in the football game. So we have to look at that a little bit.”

Analysis: Edwards and his coaching staff are in a bind here. Unlike a veteran team that has been through football wars, this team is dominated by young and inexperienced players. Practice is very important and gearing things back at this point in the season is counter-productive. But the Chiefs may not have a choice because of the injuries. For instance, last week in preparation for the Chargers, the Chiefs needed to use two tight ends quite a bit in practice because San Diego’s offense generally has two tight ends on the field. That meant rookie TE Brad Cottam not only got plenty of snaps with the first team offense, but he had to take quite a few snaps with the scout team. In September, that’s not such a big deal. In November, the number of plays adds up and pushes some players closer to injury. It’s a vicious circle the Chiefs are in right now. …Read More!

Chiefs Update 11/11

From Arrowhead Stadium

Chiefs head coach Herm Edwards held his weekly press conference on Tuesday afternoon and easily could have used half of his alotted time talking about injuries.

No roster moves were announced by the team, but they did have a number of players in for workouts today. Expect at least one, maybe two moves on Wednesday when the Chiefs return to work.

Edwards did have an update on the injury report.  Here’s how it breaks down as of Tuesday afternoon and the players status for this weekend against New Orleans:

  • DE Brian Johnston is out with a calf injury. He’s a candidate for the Injured Reserve List.
  • DE Tamba Hali questionable with an ankle injury.
  • LB Derrick Johnson is out with his sore hamstring.
  • CB Pat Surtain is questionable with his quad injury.
  • LB Pat Thomas out with a hamstring injury.
  • RG Adrian Jones is out with a right ankle injury.
  • CB Brandon Flowers is questionable with a hamstring.
  • S DaJuan Morgan is questionable with a hamstring.
  • DE Turk McBride is questionable with a shoulder injury.  He could also be a candidate for the IR list.
  • RB Jamaal Charles is questionable with his sprained ankle.

The Chiefs have requested a roster exemption for RB Larry Johnson, returning from his NFL suspension.  Generally the Commissioner provides exemptions similar to the length of time the player was out of action.  Whether the Chiefs will receive the full week or just a few days they’ll know by Wednesday.

Tuesday Morning Cup O’Chiefs


 A special thank you to all the men and women who have served our country as members of the military.
Have a Happy Veterans Day!



It was 50 years ago when the two-point conversion was born.

The father of the two-pointer was the legendary Fritz Crisler (below), a guy who is major part of the history of college football in this country. Crisler coached at Princeton, Minnesota and Michigan and was later the athletic director at Michigan. He was at Michigan when he invented two-platoon football; separate squads for both offense and defense. Until that time players played both offense and defense.

He spent 41 years on the college football rules committee and he was chairman of this group for nine years. In 1958 he was one of the driving forces behind instituting the two-point option after a touchdown. In that very first year, it played an important role in the great rivalry between Oklahoma and Texas. The Longhorns decided after one of their touchdowns to go for two points. They made the play and went on to beat the Sooners 15-14.

The two pointer came to pro football with the American Football League in 1960. It was part of Lamar Hunt’s baby for the entire 10 years of league play. The franchise’s first two-point play came on November 24, 1960 when RB Curley Johnson caught a pass from QB Hunter Enis against the New York Titans. The Dallas Texans ended up losing that game 41-35.

When the AFL merged with the National Football League the two pointer did not come with them. The older league had no interest in bringing in what they considered the college play.

For years, Hunt would propose each spring at the league meetings a rules change to bring back the two-point attempt. For years the NFL old guard would vote it down. But Lamar finally wore them down and in the 1994 season the rule became part of the NFL.

That’s the history of the play that has been much discussed around Chiefs fans since Sunday afternoon. Herm Edwards wasn’t playing the percentages in his decision to go for two points and the victory against San Diego. It had everything to do with where his football team was at that moment and in this season.

But here are the percentages for the armchair coaches and second guessers: …Read More!

Getting to Know … Rocky Boiman

Name: Rocky Michael Boiman.

Born: January 24, 1980 in Cincinnati, Ohio. Grew up on the west side of Cincinnati

Family: Parents are Mike and Linda Boiman. Mike works on road maintenance for a township in the Cincinnati area. Mom Linda handles mortgage loans for a small Cincinnati bank. He has one younger sister Lindsay, who attends Cincinnati State.

Is your name really Rocky? “Yes, it’s on the birth certificate. It was really no one person I was named after. My parents liked the name, so they decided to make it my name rather than a nickname.”

High School: attended St. Xavier High School in Cincinnati. Founded in 1831, St. Xavier is the oldest high school in Cincinnati and one of the oldest in the nation, preceding many colleges and universities. Operated by the Jesuits, St. Xavier is the largest Catholic high school in Cincinnati and the surrounding region. Among famous alums are Hall of Fame pitcher and current U.S. Congressman Jim Bunning, former pro basketball and baseball player Bob Arnzen and former pro football players Lemar Marshall, Melvin Johnson and George Ratterman.

College: Notre Dame University. “That where I wanted to go to school when I was five years old. I grew up watching them. My parents were fans. I became a fan and it was definitely a dream come true when I had the opportunity to go there … it was my dream school and when they offered there was no way that I could have said no.”

What was the hardest class you took at Notre Dame? “Organic chemistry, by far, that was the hardest. I took it one summer. It was brutal. It was three hours of class a day and five-hour labs once or twice a week. It was no fun at all.”

If the TV is on, what are you watching? “I’m a History Channel kind of guy. Discovery Channel or news. I watch Glenn Beck, he’s my guy.”

What’s your favorite place? “Me and my parents have a little piece of land in the Bahamas. That’s kind of our family thing we’ve done together. We are putting a little house on it. San Salvador Island. It’s nothing spectacular, but it’s pretty cool.” (It’s widely believed that during his first expedition to the New World, San Salvador Island was the first land sighted and visited by Christopher Columbus on October 12, 1492.)

What’s your ride? “I just have a Chevy Silverado pickup truck out here. I also have a 2007 Corvette back home.”

What was your first car? It was a Chevy truck that belonged to my Dad. It wasn’t anything great, but I was happy to be able to drive it.”

Favorite movies? “My all-time favorite movie is Predator. My Dad took me to see it when I was eight years old. Pulp Fiction is one of my favorite movies. Casino.
Aliens I, II and III.”

What was your first job? “I worked at a quickie mart kind of place. It was called the Okeana Quick Stop, out in the country from Cincinnati. It was near my house. It had the gas station. I ran the register and we rented movies and had a little fresh pizza. I was doing everything, making $5.10 an hour and running the show. It was fun. The boss I worked for was a good guy. It wasn’t a bad job.”

What’s your favorite team? “I would have to say the Cincinnati Reds. I always root for them.”

What’s the best advice you were ever given? “I would say, the Boiman Law is if you want something done right, you do it yourself. I learned that from my Dad. I learned a ton of valuable lessons from him.”

Who is your hero? “My parents. They raised me well.”

Best thing about being a pro football player. “You get paid money to do what you love. Sometimes you forget you get a pay check for being around here. It’s fun. There are a lot of ups and downs; it’s such a microcosm for life. If you do things right, you get a reward. And sometimes you do everything right and things don’t go your way. That’s how life is. There are so many valuable lessons that can be learned from this game. ”

What’s your favorite meal? “I’m a steak and potatoes guy. Pretty simple.”

Bucket List? “I would like to write a song. I would like to ride in a fighter jet and travel over in Europe to places I’ve not been.”

Chiefs Update 11/10

From the Truman Sports Complex

You know that revolving door that’s attached to the Chiefs roster, the one that spins on a regular basis?

Well get ready, it’s going to start spinning again.

In the day after the Chiefs one-point loss in San Diego to the Chargers it was time to evaluate the carnage from Sunday.  It’s not pretty.

Although final decisions were still in the works, it appears that a pair of defense ends – Turk McBride and rookie Brian Johnston – are likely headed for the injured reserve list.  McBride was not active for Sunday’s game with what’s been termed a shoulder injury.  Johnston suffered a torn calf muscle in the game.

And Tamba Hali is unlikely to play this coming week against New Orleans because of an ankle injury suffered in San Diego. 

That makes defensive end a priority as the Chiefs fish in the NFL personnel waters.  Linebacker may be as well.  LB Derrick Johnson did not play in San Diego because of a hamstring injury and the Chiefs don’t expect him back this Sunday.  MLB Pat Thomas left the game with a hamstring injury and he’s unlikely to play against New Orleans.  LB Donnie Edwards left the game with a right thigh/knee injury, but he returned and played the second half.  How he feels on Wednesday may leave him questionable for Sunday’s game as well.

It does not appear that CB Brandon Flowers (hamstring) will be ready to go this Sunday as well, so there’s a chance the Chiefs will have five, maybe six new starters on the defense. 

On offense the Chiefs must still evaluate RG Adrian Jones, who left the game with a knee injury and RB Jamaal Charles, who got a minimal number of snaps because of his sore ankle.

The Chiefs spent Monday looking at the tape of the loss in San Diego.  In the house was RB Larry Johnson, coming off his one-week NFL suspension.  He’ll be on the practice field on Wednesday when the Chiefs return to practice.  Right there will be another roster move, as they need to make room so he can return to the 53-man list.

Podcast: Post-Game in San Diego 11/9

From San Diego, California

It was again a very quiet Chiefs locker room after their loss Sunday to the Chargers at Qualcomm Stadium.

Herm Edwards, Tyler Thigpen, Jon McGraw and Connor Barth talk about the game, the plays and where the Chiefs go from here.

The Snap That Changed The Game & Notes

From San Diego, California

It’s the easiest play in the game of football, the point after touchdown kick.  Going into this weekend’s games, there had been over 600 PAT kick plays in the league.  Only three had not been successful.  The success rate was 99 percent.

But the simpliest play in the game became a major thorn in the side of the Chiefs on Sunday at Qualcomm Stadium.  A poor snap from Thomas Gafford and a poor decision by rookie kicker Connor Barth led to holder  Dustin Colquitt trying to throw a pass that went incomplete.

At the end of the game, that botched PAT would be a huge difference in the game.  Had the play worked like it should, the Chiefs would have kicked  another PAT after their late fourth quarter touchdown and stolen out of San Diego  with a one-point victory.  Instead, Herm Edwards decided to go for two points and the victory. 

Through the first half of the season, two-point attempts had a success rate of 46 percent.

So what happened?

“I want to wait and see the tape,” Colquitt said. “It happened so fast, I want to make sure of what I saw.”

What happened was Gafford’s snap bounced back to Colquitt, who was able to gather it in and actually get the ball placed for Barth.

“Dustin got it down, but it just happened so quick,” said Barth.  “I kind of hesitated and now that I think about it, I wish I would have just tried to knock it through somehow.” …Read More!

Battered Defense Did What It Could

From San Diego, California

At the end of the game, the decision by Herm Edwards to go for two points and win Sunday’s game against the Chargers came down to this.

“When you are 1-7 there’s no question what you do,” said the head coach. “These guys deserved to win a football game. These guys were so beat up on defense it wouldn’t have been fair to not try to go for two points. I’m not sure we could have stopped them anymore. We were running out of bodies.”

In what has been a disastrous season for the Chiefs defense, Sunday afternoon at Qualcomm Stadium may have been their Alamo. Yes, eventually they were overrun by a superior force in the San Diego offense. But this bruised and battered group put up a fight to the end.

When one body went down on the rampart, another jumped in. Some were just arrived recruits, guys that had a total of three practices with the team. They gave up a lot of yards (400) but they didn’t give up a lot of points and in the fourth quarter they stopped the Chargers on three plays inside the last five minutes of the game that gave the Chiefs offense one last chance.

“I’ve never been part of anything like this,” said veteran LB Donnie Edwards, who at one point limped off the field in the first half, only to return in the second. “We had guys falling all over the place and we hung in there and got things done. We deserved to win this game.” …Read More!

Another Chapter In The Thigpen Story

From San Diego, California.

If you want to know how much progress Tyler Thigpen has made in the last month, the evidence was clearly presented at the end of the first half on Sunday at Qualcomm Stadium.

The Chiefs had a seven-point lead with one minute 23 seconds to play. They also had the ball at their own 20-yard line.

This screamed for three running plays to kill what was left of the second quarter. That’s Herm Edwards-Chain Gailey offensive football; take the lead into the locker room at half-time.

And on first down, they did run the ball, gaining four yards with Dantrell Savage.

Then, on second down all the sudden Thigpen was back to pass. He threw for 11 yards and a first down to Tony Gonzalez. On the next play with 38 seconds left, another pass play was called as Thigpen ran the bootleg to his right. He ended up running and was tackled for minus yardage making it officially a sack.

The half ended with three running plays, although the last one was called for a Hail Mary throw. When there was nothing open, Thigpen took off on what turned out to be a meaningless run.

But what was shown in that final first half possession was the growing confidence level in Thigpen.

“I think they are starting to trust me with more things” said Thigpen. “I just wish we could have won the game. That’s what we need more than anything. It’s a win.” …Read More!

COMMENTARY: Can’t Hide The Pain

From San Diego, California

It’s impossible at this point for Herm Edwards to hide the pain.

Not after the last three weeks and especially not after what happened at Qualcomm Stadium on Sunday against the Chargers.

“I can’t remember three games in a row being that close in games and not finding a way to win one of them,” Edwards said after the Chiefs 20-19 loss. “We’ve been close, we’ve been preaching that. This one came down to the last play.

“These guys deserved to win.”

Edwards dropped his head and shook it from side-to-side, like he was trying to throw a bad headache out of his cranium. More accurately, he was trying to figure out he was going to live with another broken heart.

The Chiefs had come to southern California as the weekend’s biggest underdog in the NFL. The Chargers were favored by 15.5 points. As often happens with media types who never take the time to scratch beyond the surface of the standings, the Chiefs arrived to ridicule on the airwaves and on sports pages of San Diego. This was considered an easy game for the Chargers, a quick victory on their way to getting back into the race for first place in the AFC West.

This was the Chargers’ homecoming game. That’s what happens when a team is 1-7. …Read More!

Chiefs Drop Heartbreaker to Chargers, 20-19

From San Diego, California

There was no doubt in Herm Edwards mind. Not after everything his football team had been through on Sunday afternoon at Qualcomm Stadium.

He was going for the victory.

And when Tyler Thigpen’s two-point conversion pass to Tony Gonzalez was knocked down in the end zone, the Chiefs lost a third consecutive game that they had the chance to win.

San Diego 20, Chiefs 19.

For the third week in a row the Chiefs were positioned in the game’s final five minutes to pull out a victory. Like the previous two weeks, they came up short. They are now 1-8 on the season and have lost four straight games. They’ve also lost 17 of their last 18 games dating back over the last calendar year.

This defeat may have been the most gut wrenching of the three recent games, maybe of the 17 that came before Sunday. It had a different plot than the previous two games. This time the Chiefs fell behind in the fourth quarter. But they came back and put together a 14-play, 60-yard drive and scored on a three-yard TD pass from Thigpen to Gonzalez.

Edwards decided immediately to go for two points and the victory rather than the tie.

This team has played too hard to settle for anything less,” said Edwards who had seen his game push several games into overtime over the last three years only to lose the coin toss and never get a chance to have the ball back. …Read More!

Game Day Inactives

From San Diego, California

For their game Sunday afternoon against the Chargers, the Chiefs placed eight players on the inactive list to reach the limit of 45 players.  Because they do not have a third quarterback to make inactive, they had to sit down an extra position player.

Inactive for the Chiefs will be:

  • CB Pat Surtain
  • CB Brandon Flowers
  • S DaJuan Morgan
  • TE Michael Merritt
  • LB Derrick Johnson
  • T Barry Richardson
  • T Andrew Carnahan
  • DE Turk McBride

If the Chiefs need a third quarterback, WR Mark Bradley will fill the role.  Of the six players added last week to the roster, five are active for today’s game.  LB Rocky Boilman will start for Johnson and rookie CB Maurice Leggett will start for Flowers.  Newly signed CB David Macklin is expected to be the nickel back.  Alphonso Boone has moved into the starting spot for McBride.  Rookie Kevin Robinson will replace rookie Dantrell Savage on punt returns.  Savage will still handle the kick returns.

It’s a cloudy and windy day in San Diego, with game-time temperatures expected to be in the mid 60s.  There was a brief and light rain shower as the team was arriving at the stadium and conditions could provide more  light rain at kickoff.

Inactive for the Chargers today are: LB Anthony Waters, LB Derek Smith, G Kynan Forney, T Corey Clark, WR Buster Davis, TE Kris Wilson and DT Ian Scott.  Charlie Whitehurst is the third inactive quarterback behind Philip Rivers and Billy Volek.

Clark Hunt on Herm

In Sunday’s edition of the Ft. Worth Star-Telegram, Clark Hunt talks about his head coach Herm Edwards and the rebuilding job going on around the Chiefs.

Those Herm Haters out there are not going to like this.

“We went into the year knowing that we were going into a rebuilding mode,” Hunt told the Star-Telegram. “The great thing about coach Edwards is he’s not afraid to play young players. We have the youngest roster in the league. If you look at starters, they’re the youngest by I think a full year, which is a very big gap. I would say he’s done a good job in terms of achieving the goals that we set out.

“Do I wish we’d won a few more games to this point? Absolutely. But I think we all knew it was going to be difficult.

“I think we’re headed in the right direction. It certainly isn’t going to be a straight line; there’s going to be a lot of ups and downs on this road. But I think Herm is the right type of coach to take us through the rebuilding.”

How The Chiefs Can Beat the Chargers

From La Jolla, California

Under clear blue skies and temperatures in the high 70s, the Chiefs went through a short walk-through practice on Saturday at University High School. It was more of a mental practice than physical. Just enough to get the blood moving and another opportunity to go over the details before Sunday’s game against the Chargers.

On paper, this doesn’t look good for the Chiefs. San Diego is coming off its bye week. The Chargers have been a disappointment this year and as a veteran team, they know it’s time for them to turn it on. Denver’s victory over Cleveland on Thursday night also brings a sense of urgency to Norv Turner’s team.

The Chiefs could play the same type of game they did against the New York Jets and Tampa Bay and get walloped by the Chargers. But beyond the obvious elements we always mention, there are several other key items that if the Chiefs can accomplish them, will greatly improve their chances for victory. …Read More!

Saturday Morning Cup O’Chiefs

From La Jolla, California

The Chiefs arrived here in sunny Southern California on Friday afternoon and there were a lot of new faces on the plane as the Chiefs get ready to play the Chargers on Sunday in San Diego.

It’s all part of the revolving door that has been the Chiefs roster this year.

Just this week the following players have been added to the roster: S Oliver Celestin, CB Ricardo Colclough, DE Wallace Gilberry, CB David Macklin, TE Michael Merritt and WR-Returner Kevin Robinson. That’s six out of 53 players who were not part of the crew that played against Tampa Bay last Sunday.

There’s a good chance that at least four, maybe five of those players will be active against the Chargers.

LB Rocky Boiman (right)will be in the starting lineup for the injured Derrick Johnson (hamstring). Boiman joined the team on October. 15. Plus, there’s WR Mark Bradley who has become the Chiefs starting No. 2 receiver; he joined the team on October 1.

That’s the kind of year it’s been for Herm Edwards and his coaching staff. Since the team settled on its 53-man roster with the end of the pre-season and the league mandated cut down, the roster has been in flux. Some of that has been planned by the Chiefs as they continue to search for more and better players for their young rosters. To read more about the churning of the roster, read the piece I wrote on right here.

Some of the moves have been caused by injury. Whether S Jarrad Page (groin), S DaJuan Morgan (thigh) and CB Brandon Flowers (hamstring) play on Sunday remains in doubt as the Chiefs will hold a short walk-through practice later this morning at University High School. That’s why Celestin, Colclough and Macklin will likely be active. There’s a very good chance that rookie Maurice Leggett will join rookie Brandon Carr as the starting cornerbacks, with Macklin playing the nickel back role.

And with the shoulder injury that DE Turk McBride  is nursing, there’s a chance that Gilberry will get playing time along with rookie Brian Johnston.

Here’s how the movement has gone since that first 53-man roster: …Read More!

Zebra Watch #9

The NFL has reached the midway point and according to the league their officials are having a bang-up season.

Of course, don’t tell that to Chiefs TE Tony Gonzalez who was hit with an offensive pass interference flag last week that should never have been thrown. Don’t ask DE Turk McBride who got docked again for a borderline roughing the passer call. And, don’t ask QB Tyler Thigpen who didn’t get a roughing the passer call when he was already on the ground and 300 pounds of Ryan Sims landed on his head.

Consistency remains a major problem in the NFL and it’s especially visible when it comes to protecting the quarterback. The league has made that an understandable priority, but they are all over the place in their rulings.

According to the league, out of 18,118 plays through the first eight weeks of the season, the NFL says 97.6 percent were properly officiated. That marks only a .1 percent drop from this same point in 2007.

“We have approximately 155 plays a game, so you’re talking about averaging three mistakes a game,” said Mike Pereira, the league’s top man in charge of the officials. “More so, they’re calls we didn’t make that we should have. That makes up probably two-thirds of that figure, but it’s right on line (with previous seasons).”

You can read more of his comments this week on FOXSPORTS.COM right here.

Here’s the one thing Pereira said that makes me shiver. In talking about player safety, he said of his officials:

“If you have any doubt, throw (the flag),” Pereira said. “I’m encouraging our guys to do that. That’s where we need to be in terms of player safety.”

There’s a fine line between player safety and taking the guts out of the game. The NFL needs to make sure it does not go too far, or they might as well make the sport flag football.

Here’s how Pereira’s boys did last week: …Read More!

Player Profile: Herb Taylor

When he’s been asked, Herb Taylor has answered the call at both left and right tackle and he has played pretty well.

But so far Taylor he hasn’t been able to crack the starting group along the Chiefs offensive line. But the second-year Texas native makes what contributions he can right now on special teams and on the practice field while he waits for his chance to start.

The big man from TCU loves life and his Texas roots. Get to know more about Herb Taylor and why he no longer wears the glasses you see in the picture to the right. Click here.

Chiefs Update 11/7

From the Truman Sports Complex

The roster door took another spin on Friday morning as the Chiefs added S Oliver Celestin to the 53-man active roster.

Celestin (5-11, 195) has played in 50 NFL games over five seasons with the New York Jets, Seattle and Arizona.   He had five special teams tackles in  two games with the Cardinals earlier this season.  He was released on October 29th.

Out of Texas Southern University, Celestin entered the NFL as a college free agent with Cleveland in 2003.  He went to training camp in  2004 with Minnesota. Celestin is a native of New Orleans.

He was needed because of injuries to safeties Jarrad Page (groin) and DaJuan Morgan (thigh), who both now appear unlikely to play on Sunday in San Diego.

To make room for Celestin, the Chiefs released QB Ingle Martin.  That leaves them with two QBs for the Chargers game.  WR Mark Bradley is the third QB if total disaster strikes.

LB Derrick Johnson (hamstring), CB Pat Surtian (quad), CB Brandon Flowers (hamstring) and DE Turk McBride (shoulder) are all listed as questionable for the game.  They did not take part in the team’s one-hour workout Friday morning.  Limited in work in that session were Page and Morgan.

If McBride does not play, there’s a good  chance four of the playes that joined this team this week could be active for Sunday’s game: Celestin, David Macklin, Ricardo Colclough and Wallace Gilberry.

The team leaves Friday afternoon for San Diego.

Friday Morning Cup O’Chiefs

Over at USA Today they got their hands on the 2008 salary numbers for the entire NFL.

In fact, the newspaper has a data base that covers NFL salaries for the last nine seasons. You can check it out yourself right here.

Now, before we get started, a note on these numbers: in the past, there has always been discrepancies in the figures that USA Today gets from the NFL Players Association and what the clubs have listed on their payrolls. Generally, those differences come down not to wrong figures but different methodology.

These numbers are in the ballpark. If they weren’t, you wouldn’t be reading them here.

According to USA Today, the highest paid player in the NFL this year is Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (right), who will cash by the end of the year $27.7 million in salary and bonuses. The highest paid defensive player was former Chiefs defensive end Jared Allen, who hit the jackpot with Minnesota as he’ll collect $21,119,256 from the Vikings in salary and bonuses.

The newspaper says the highest-paid member of the Chiefs this season will be first-round draft choices Branden Albert and Glenn Dorsey. USA Today reports Albert will take home nearly $9.5 million this year, while Dorsey’s rookie contract was structured differently and he’ll pocket $6.93 million.

After the rookies, the top 10 for the Chiefs in salary and bonuses rounds out with: CB Pat Surtain ($6 million), LG Brian Waters ($5.28 million), LB Demorrio Williams ($4 million), LB Donnie Edwards ($3.75 million), RB Larry Johnson ($3.6 million), P Dustin Colquitt ($3.13 million), CB Brandon Flowers ($3.03 million) and QB Damon Huard ($2.63 million).

Look at those 10 players and only four have played in every game this season: Dorsey, Waters, Williams and Flowers. Albert, Surtain, Edwards, Colquitt and Huard have missed time because of injuries. Johnson has been off three games because of team sanctions and a one-game NFL suspension that he’s serving this week.

Williams and WR Devard Darling ($2 million) were the big free agent signings by the Chiefs before the ’08 season and both are no longer in the starting lineup. That cost the team $4 million in signing bonuses.

Top 20 Highest Paid Players

 Player  Team  Pos. Total Pay
(In Millions)
1. Ben Roethlisberger PIT QB $27.7
2. Jared Allen MIN DE $21.1
3. Larry Fitzgerald ARZ WR $17.1
4. JaMarcus Russell OAK QB $16.87
5. Michael Turner ATL RB $16.0
6. Chris Snee NYG G $14.89
7. Asante Samuel PHL CB $14.14
8. Randy Moss NE WR $14.006
9. Flozell Adams DAL T $14.005
10. Tommy Kelly OAK DT $13.97
11. Terrell Owens DAL WR $13.73
12. Bernard Berrian MIN WR $13.70
13. Michael Roos TEN T $13.50
14. Jeff Faine TB C $13.1
15. Will Smith NO DE $12.95
16. Tony Romo DAL QB $12.88
17. Travelle Wharton CAR G $12.85
18. Antwan Odom CIN DE $12.8
19. Terence Newman DAL CB $12.61
20. Marion Barber DAL RB $12.52

When it comes down to base salary for this year, Surtain has the highest number at $5.65 million, followed by Donnie Edwards ($3.25 million). …Read More!

Chan Talks About the Offense

Remember the old Abbott & Costello routine about “Who’s on first, what’s on second and I don’t know is on third base.”

That’s the type of season it’s been for offensive coordinator Chan Gailey. It hasn’t been who is on first, but who is the starting quarterback, what are the Chiefs going to do and I don’t know who the running back is going to be.

“You have to be adaptable in this game,” Gailey said after the Chiefs finished their Thursday practice session. “What was it a couple years ago when the Falcons and the Broncos were both in the Super Bowl and they had not lost a player all year to injury. That’s pretty unusual on one end. This has been pretty unusual on the other.”

As the Chiefs get ready to start the second half of the 2008 season, Gailey took a few moments to talk about the team’s offense, where it’s been and where it is going.

Give us your evaluation of the offense over the first eight games.

“Certainly inconsistent is the term that’s been used most often and I think that’s right. From week to week we struggled to keep doing the things we were doing well and we struggled to improve what we weren’t doing well. Some weeks we looked good and some weeks we looked awful. If we can create a more consistent offense, that’s what I’m looking for. There are lots of reasons it’s happened and reasons become excuses if you let that happen. I don’t want to do that.”

Whether it’s a reason or an excuse, the situation at quarterback can’t be ignored. This weekend you will start the same quarterback for the third game in a row; that’s the first time that’s happen this year. That has to have been the major reason/excuse/problem that you’ve had to deal with.

“That will help, but remember we will be starting a new tailback, so it’s always something. That’s part of the game. In the NFL you are going to have injuries and it’s going to give somebody else opportunities. If you can create consistency it helps you and keeping your guys on the field and keeping them playing is the fastest way to make that happen and you have a much better chance for success.” …Read More!

Chiefs Update 11/6

From the Truman Sports Complex

The Chiefs face one of the best passing offenses in the NFL this coming weekend when they travel to San Diego.  The Chargers are seventh in yards gained through the air and QB Philip Rivers has thrown 19 touchdown passes and completed nearly 64 percent of his throws.

They will have to defense this attack with a patchwork secondary that seems to be losing pieces by the day.  The Chiefs had a two-hour practice session on Thursday and not participating were CB Pat Surtain (quad), FS Jarrad Page (groin) and LB Derrick  Johnson (hamstring).  Limited in participation was S DaJuan Morgan with what Herm Edwards described as a leg injury (thigh) from Wednesday’s practice and DE Turk McBride (shoulder).

So right now the Chiefs have two healthy safeties and five available cornerbacks with Surtain out.  In that group is Brandon Flowers who is coming off a hamstring injury from last Sunday’s game.  That’s an injury that’s notoriously slow to heal. Two others joined the team on Wednesday in David Macklin and Ricardo  Colclough.

Somehow the Chiefs will have to patch all  that together and make it work against the Chargers offense that has scored 23 touchdowns.  The Chiefs have just 13 offensive touchdowns as a comparison.

The Chiefs began their Thursday practice outside, but Edwards moved them inside when high winds made it impossible for the film crew to be stabilized in their lifts.

Podcasting: Football 101 With Goose 11/6

The best pro football writer in America, Rick Gosselin of the Dallas Morning News joins us again to talk about Tyler Thigpen (could he be the next Tony Romo), mobility at quarterback in pro football, the problems of the San Diego Chargers and his mid-season award winners, including a former Chiefs linebacker who has made a big difference with his new team.

Thursday Morning Cup O’Chiefs

Thursday night football returns to the NFL this evening and it’s a game that Chiefs fans will take notice of for several reasons.

The Denver Broncos are in Cleveland to face the Browns. At 5-3, the Broncos are struggling to stay on top of the AFC West. Their defense is in shambles and so is their running game. It’s going to be quite a chore for Mike Shanahan to make something out of what is left of this 2008 season.

On the other side, the Browns will start Brady Quinn (right) at quarterback in place of Derek Anderson. They become the 13th team in the league this year to change their starting quarterback at least once because of performance and injury. The number will reach No. 14 this weekend when Shaun Hill becomes the starter in San Francisco and possibly No. 15 if Pittsburgh starter Ben Roethlisberger can’t go and he’s replaced by Byron Leftwich.

It wasn’t so long ago that Quinn was tops on the list for Chiefs fans when they talked about the team’s quarterback of the future. The Chiefs inquired about Quinn and his status with the Browns earlier this year – at the time Brodie Croyle was first injured – but found out that the folks running the Cleveland franchise have no plans to deal their young quarterback.

Now Quinn finally has his chance to play. Since joining the Browns last year, he’s appeared in just one regular season game: last year’s season finale when he hit three of eight passes for 45 yards and led the Browns to a field goal. His last start at quarterback was the 2007 Sugar Bowl, when Notre Dame got smoked by LSU 41-14.

He now has his chance to start again and he’s got eight games to convince the Browns they didn’t blow it last year by giving up two draft choices, including the team’s ’08 first-round pick, so they could grab him.

“Honestly, I’m not looking past this week,” Quinn said. “The biggest thing is getting a win this week. I’m not looking at eight games. I’m looking at one game.” …Read More!

Gunther Talks About Defense

After last Sunday’s overtime loss to Tampa Bay, Chiefs defensive coordinator Gunther Cunningham ran into Norma and Tavia Hunt. They asked him about the game, his defense and the season to date. Cunningham tried to explain to the First Ladies of the franchise what it’s been like in this 2008 Chiefs season trying to integrate so many inexperienced and young players into the defense.

“Tavia says it’s like begin a mother and nurturing your children,” Gunther said. “She hit the nail on the head. To go in every day and look them in the eyes in the meeting room and see them looking back and they are just waiting to soak something up.

“People around here have challenged me that I need to get on them more. I’ve told them all, go in that room look them in the eyes and see what I see. I’ve never lost respect for any coach or player on this team that’s in the room; they want to do it so badly. I don’t have to yell. I stand there in practice and watch and they are out there busting their butts.”

None more so than Cunningham, whose worth ethic is legendary. Over the last couple weeks, he’s pretty much cut off contact with the outside world. E-mails go unread. The voice-mail light has been blinking in his office for weeks. There’s no time for anything but making the Chiefs a better defensive team.

So there’s no sitting down for interviews with Gunther at this time of the year. We conducted our conversation on the run, as he walked off the practice field on Wednesday afternoon. …Read More!

Chiefs Update 11/5

From the Truman Sports Complex

The continuing shuffle of the Chiefs roster went on Wednesday as the team added three players to the active roster and one to the practice squad.

They also had a lively two-hour practice indoors, as Herm Edwards literally turned up the heat on his team, pushing the thermostat for the indoor facility to 75 degrees to condition his team for their trip this Sunday to southern California and a game with the San Diego Chargers.

Not taking part in practice were LB Derrick Johnson (hamstring) and CB Pat Surtain (quad). Edwards has already ruled Surtain out of Sunday’s game and said Johnson was unlikely to play. Limited in participation was S Jarrad Page (groin).

Good news was that CB Brandon Flowers (hamstring) and P Dustin Colquitt (groin) both practiced.

Joining the 53-man active roster were CB David Macklin, CB Ricardo Colclough and DE Wallace Gilberry. Joining the practice squad was running back Omar Cuff.

Macklin and Colclough are both veteran cornerbacks and that’s a departure for the Chiefs in this season of rebuilding, one that Edwards acknowledged after practice.

“To go in and play right now, it’s tough to get another young guy ready in there because they don’t know the system,” said Edwards. “Macklin has been in the system with Tony (Dungy) and he can go play nickel and corner. He can help us there, and he’s going to be up this week.”

“Up” means that Edwards expects Macklin to be active for Sunday’s game against San Diego and he acknowledged Colclough could be active as well.

Macklin (5-9, 193) (top) is a 30-year old corner with more than 100 games of NFL experience with Indianapolis, Arizona and Washington. He entered the NFL as a third round pick of the Colts in the 2000 NFL Draft out of Penn State. Macklin spent four seasons with the Colts, three seasons with the Cardinals and last year with the Redskins. In the ’08 pre-season he was with the St. Louis Rams but was released prior to the start of the regular season. He has 14 career interceptions and two more in the post-season. He will wear No. 34 with the Chiefs.

Colclough (5-11, 194) (right) is a 28-year old cornerback who has played in 36 NFL games with Pittsburgh and Cleveland. He came into the NFL as a second-round choice of the Steelers in the 2004 NFL Draft out of Tusculum College. He owns a Super Bowl ring from his time with the Steelers, when he played in Super Bowl XL against Seattle. Colclough spent parts of four seasons with the Steelers and played last year as well with the Browns. He signed as an unrestricted free agent with Carolina but was released prior to the start of the regular season. He has one career interception and 2.5 career sacks. He’s also returned kickoffs and punts over his career. He will wear No. 30 with the Chiefs.

Gilberry (6-2, 268) (left) is an NFL rookie who went to training camp with the New York Giants and was part of the team’s practice squad last week. He was signed by the Giants as a college free agent out of the University of Alabama, where he played in 50 games and made 33 starts for the Crimson Tide. In that time he had 21.5 sacks and earned All-SEC honors as a senior last year. Since he was signed off the Giants practice squad he must remain on the Chiefs active roster for three games. He will wear No. 94 for the Chiefs.

Cuff (5-10, 195) is an NFL rookie who went to training camp with the Tennessee Titans. He spent one week on the Cleveland practice squad after the Titans released him before the start of the regular season. Tennessee signed him as a college free agent out of the University of Delaware, where he played 41 games, running for 4,364 yards and 65 touchdowns.

Hank’s Gallery: Tampa Bay

Some more great photos from Hank Young of the Chiefs ovetime game against Tampa Bay.

Click picture to enlarge. …Read More!

Podcast: The NFL and Czar 11/5

Our friend John Czarnecki of the Fox-TV NFL Pre-Game Show and of joins us to talk about the Chiefs and what he saw from the team’s performance against Tampa Bay.  We also talk about the Raiders awful showing against Atlanta, the decision by Detroit to sign Daunte Culpepper, Cleveland’s promotion of Brady Quinn to the starting QB spot and the biggest surprises and biggest disappointments of the first half of the NFL season.

Wednesday Morning Cup O’Chiefs

On Tuesday during his regularly weekly press conference with the unwashed media horde Herm Edwards talked about what’s happened over the last two weeks with his team and although they’ve lost two close games, why they’ve played better football.

“… early with the quarterback situation, we never had a consistent guy back there. It seemed like every week we changed the position. Now all of a sudden, the quarterback has been playing for two weeks, he’s done a good job; we’ve been able to score about 25 points per game. Hopefully we can continue to build on that. Now we’ve got some other adjacent players that are out. That affects you. That’s the way this league is. You’ve got to adjust, and we’ve been able to do that.”

Edwards went on to say that the teams at the top of the offensive stats have had quarterback stability; while the teams at the bottom have struggled with the position.

Obviously that makes sense, but in this case the head coach knows of what he speaks.

Here are the league’s top 10 offenses right now and their quarterback situation:

Rank Team Quarterback
1. New Orleans Drew Brees
2. Arizona Kurt Warner
3. Denver Jay Cutler
4. Houston Matt Schaub, Sage Rosenfels
5. N.Y. Giants Peyton Manning
6. Philadelphia Donovan McNabb
7. Atlanta Matt Ryan
8. Tampa Bay Jeff Garcia, Brian Griese
9. Miami Chad Pennington
10. Washington Jason Campbell

Houston is now without Schaub for the next month due to a knee injury suffered last Sunday against Minnesota. In Tampa, Garcia has started five games, while Griese started four games. Every other team has experienced no changes at the position.

Now here are the league’s worst 10 offenses right now and their quarterback situation:

Rank Team Quarterback
32. Cincinnati Carson Palmer, Ryan Fitzpatrick
31. Seattle Matt Hasselbeck, Seneca Wallace, Charlie Frye
30. St. Louis Marc Bulger, Trent Green
29. Oakland JaMarcus Russell
28. Cleveland Derek Anderson, now Brady Quinn
27. Detroit Jon Kitna, Dan Orlovsky, now Daunte Culpepper
26. Chiefs Brodie Croyle, Damon Huard, Tyler Thigpen
25. Pittsburgh Ben Roethlisberger, Byron Leftwich
24. San Francisco J.T. O’Sullivan and now Shaun Hill
23. Jacksonville David Garrard

Of those bottom 10 offenses, only Jacksonville and Oakland have not had changes at quarterback, due to performance or injury. Four of those 10 teams lost their opening day starter to injury. Russell has struggled in his first season as starter, and the upheaval of losing an offensive minded head coach like Lane Kiffin probably didn’t help. His passer rating is 69, his completion percentage is 48.6 and he’s averaging 5.97 yards per attempt. Garrard has thrown five interceptions after throwing only three in the ’07 season. The Jaguars have been hampered by major injury problems along the offensive line.

All of this is just more evidence that the Chiefs No. 1 goal for 2009 has to be stabilizing the quarterback position. …Read More!

Getting to Know … Herb Taylor

Name: Herbert Reginald Taylor II.

Born: September 22, 1984 in Houston, Texas.

Family: Herb Taylor Sr. and Maxine Davis. He has an older brother and sister from his father, but he was raised as an only child. He grew up in the Houston suburb of Missouri City, around a lot of family. Started originally as a railroad town, the first housing development built there in the late 1890s was advertised in the as “a land of genial sunshine and eternal summer” in St. Louis and surrounding areas. Eventually enough people from St. Louis moved there and it became known as Missouri City. Today approximately 62,000 people live in the city.

High School: L.V. Hightower High School in Missouri City, where he played football, baseball and was part of the track team for the Hurricanes. He was a first baseman in baseball and he considered going to college on a baseball scholarship. He threw the discus for the track team. Another Hightower grad was point guard D. J. Augustin, who played at the University of Texas and is now in the NBA.

College: Texas Christian University in Ft. Worth where after red-shirting his first season (2002), he played four seasons, starting 48 consecutive games for the Horned Frogs, which remains a school record.

Is high school football really that big in Texas? Is it really like the movie and TV show Friday Night Lights? “It is. Whether it’s in the city or the countryside, high school football is about the biggest thing going. The last game I played in was at the Astrodome we had 50,000-plus fans at the game.”

How come we don’t see you wearing sunglasses on the field anymore like you did last year? “I had Lasik eye surgery. In high school I didn’t wear anything and I was just squinting all the time. Then at TCU our head trainer sent me to the eye doctor and they had some glasses that fit firmly under my helmet. I couldn’t wear contacts because my eyes would get really red, watery and irritated. I had the Lasik in January and now I see the world in a new light. It’s pretty neat.”

If the TV is on, what are you watching? “I’m not a big TV guy. I throw in movies, that’s about all the TV I watch.”

What’s your favorite meal? “Seafood, whatever I see, I eat. Now really, it would be fried shrimp, fried catfish, fried chicken, some greens, mashed potatoes, macaroni and cheese, some rolls, my mother’s peach cobbler and my grandmother’s dressing.”

Best advice you ever received? “My old coach Eddie Williamson from TCU he would say ‘Play the ball where the monkey drops it.’ Meaning, no matter what situation life throws at you, play it , go on with it, don’t worry about why it happened, keep going forward and keep moving and play it the hardest you can.”

What’s your favorite movie?Transformers. I was into transformers when I was little and they turned it into a great movie. I really liked it.”

What was your first job? “It was J.C. Penny and I was a sales person on the floor in the men’s department. I was the man to look for when you needed some clothes. I did it my last semester in high school. I got about $6.75 an hour.”

What’s your ride? “A 2007 Lincoln Mark LT.”

What was your first car? “It was a ’97 Honda Accord and I started out with about 100,000 miles. I got rid of it my junior year of college so it had about 220,000 miles on it then.”

What was the hardest class you had in college? “Statistics, because I had it my freshman year at eight o’clock in the morning. I’m a math guy, but statistics at eight o’clock in the morning is never a good thing.”

Who is your hero? “My mother. I’ve seen her go through a lot. She’s a strong lady. She keeps on pushing. She’s the heart and soul.”

What’s your favorite team? “The Boston Red Sox. I loved them since I was a kid. I don’t know why. When I was little, it was the Houston Oilers and the Dallas Cowboys.”

What’s your bucket list? “I want to visit all seven continents. My Mom wants to sky dive with me, but that’s not something I want to do, so you can put it in her bucket list. Free falling out of a perfectly safe airplane, just doesn’t make sense to me.”

What’s your goal in life? “To actually make a positive footprint on people’s lives, especially younger kids; middle school to high school age. There are a lot of kids in that age group that don’t get it. I’d like to help them.”

Tell us something nobody knows about Herb Taylor? “I’m an awesome dancer. I’m light on my feet. Being from Texas, I can two-step. I learned to salsa a little bit in the last year; my girlfriend made me learn how to do that one. I like to dance.”

A Mid-Season Look At The NFL

The league has reached the midway point. Everybody team has played at least eight of their 16 scheduled games. When Baltimore, Dallas, Tampa Bay and Washington get through their bye this week, every team will be at nine games and counting down towards the push to the playoffs.

As things have fallen so far, there are two teams on top of the league: Tennessee (8-0) and the New York Giants (7-1).

There are seven teams at the bottom of the league: Detroit (0-8), Cincinnati (1-8), the Chiefs (1-7), Oakland (2-6), Seattle (2-6), St. Louis (2-6) and San Francisco (2-6).

The other 23 teams are bunched in the middle from six victories to three.

Remarkably, the Chiefs are not eliminated from anything in the AFC West, which remains the worst division in the league. They are just three games behind Denver with eight games to play, including one against the Broncos. The same is true in the league’s second worst division, where the Arizona Cardinals lead at 5-3 and Seattle, San Francisco and St. Louis are all just three games behind.

What are the Titans chances of going unbeaten? Well, LenDale White (right) and the rest of that Tennessee squad has challenges the next two weeks at Chicago and at Jacksonville. Then things look pretty good until the final two games of the year, when they host Pittsburgh and then finish the season in Indianapolis.

What are the Lions chances of going winless? Pretty good, although they have five of their last eight at Ford Field. This weekend may be their only real shot at a victory as they host Jacksonville.

Here are the best games to watch over the next eight weeks: …Read More!

Herm Speaks 11/4

From Arrowhead Stadium

By the time that Herm Edwards got done going over the Chiefs roster moves with the media horde at the start of his weekly Tuesday press conference, he was almost out of energy. That’s the type of season it has been for this team.

But as always, Edwards had enough left in his tank to answer questions and here are some of the important passages and our commentary, translation and analysis.


“If you get a quarterback who just drops back or is a pocket passer, he’s easy to rush because he’s always in the same spot. If he can move, then you are worried about containing the guy, about him getting outside and throwing on the move. That’s when the train is delayed. It’s the quarterback that can make the play when the train is delayed, who can run around, buying himself some time … that’s what the guy from the Bucs (Jeff) Garcia did. He bought some time, got outside the pocket; he threw it here, threw it there and made some big plays. That’s what Tyler can do. He has the ability to do that. Now that being said, he can also throw it to the other guy doing that. There is some risk and some reward in that.”

Translation: The reason Thigpen is still the Chiefs starter comes down to one thing in the head coach’s mind and that’s his lack of interceptions in the last two games. The moment that Thigpen starts throwing the ball to the other team, we will see Quinn Gray taking snaps and running the Chiefs offense.


“The quarterback helps the whole team, the defense, he helps everybody. We have played more consistent on defense the last two weeks because the quarterback has played consistent. Our offense has played and moved the ball. It’s always that way and he hasn’t turned it over. If you do that, you have a chance to be competitive. If you look at the games where we had our troubles, we gave up some big plays on defense and we turned the ball over on offense. Right now, we are plus-seven in the last two games in turnover ratio … and we lost two games. That doesn’t compute but we have to continue to play that way.”

Analysis: Settling the quarterback position is the No. 1 priority for the franchise from this point until the start of the 2009 season. Not establishing a quarterback, whether a youngster or a veteran, creates too much uncertainty that filters down and affects the rest of the roster. It’s too early to make Thigpen the guy, but right now he’s in the driver’s seat. If he can keep the car on the road, his opportunity improves every week. …Read More!

Chiefs Update 11/4

From Arrowhead Stadium

The revolving door to the Chiefs roster was spinning again on Tuesday and they aren’t done for this week.

The Chiefs have released P  Steve Weatherford, CB Tyron Brackenridge and TE John Paul Foschi.

They have added to the active 53-man roster WR Kevin Robinson and TE Michael Merritt.  Both players have practiced for the last three weeks, Robinson from the Physically-Unable-to-Perform List and Merritt from the Non-Football Injury list.  The Chiefs were forced to make a decision on them this week, as they could have either cut them, returned them to those lists for the rest of the season or activated them.

At this point with eight games to play, the Chiefs have all 12 of their 2008 draft choices on the active roster.  They now have 18 rookies on the active roster, along with three first-year players.  That’s 21 of 51 or 41 percent of the roster is a first-year player.  Seventeen of those 21 were on the field last Sunday against Tampa Bay.

Right now the Chiefs have two roster spots open and will add a third as soon as they place injured RB Kolby Smith on injured reserve for the rest of the season.  Herm Edwards confirmed Tuesday that Smith’s right knee injury will require surgery and end the second-year back’s season.

The release of Weatherford obviously indicates that Dustin Colquitt is ready to kick again after missing two games with a groin injury. 

Edwards said Tuesday that CB Patrick Surtain (quad) will not play against San Diego this coming Sunday and described LB Derrick Johnson (hamstring) as questionable.  He said he expects both CB Brandon Flowers (hamstring) and LB Wes Dacus (groin) to be available for play against the Chargers.

The Chiefs will likely add at least one cornerback to their active roster and one running back to their practice squad in time for Wednesday’s practice.

Tuesday Morning Cup O’Chiefs

With his 37-yard touchdown pass to QB Tyler Thigpen on Sunday, WR Mark Bradley joined a select group.

Certainly, not as select as Thigpen who became the first quarterback in club history to catch a touchdown pass. That’s him below celebrating his score against Tampa Bay.

But Bradley became part of a group of 33 players who have thrown a pass for the Dallas Texans-Kansas City Chiefs over the last 49 seasons of play and they were not quarterbacks. He’s now one of eight guys in that group to throw for a TD pass.

There’s a Pro Football Hall of Famer on the list in RB Marcus Allen. There are several members of the Chiefs Hall of Fame in the group, led by RB Ed Podolak. There are wide receivers like Bradley, running backs Allen and Podolak, punters in Louie Aguiar, Jerrel Wilson and Bob Grupp and even a pair of tight ends in Walter White and Tony Gonzalez.

These would-be quarterbacks are led by Podolak, who over his career completed four of six passes for 82 yards. Podolak did not throw a touchdown, but did throw an interception. Allen threw three passes for the Chiefs, including a pair of TD passes in the 1997 season. One of those went for one-yard to TE Ted Popson and the other was a 14-yard scoring throw to WR Danan Hughes.

Now Hughes was among the most successful throwers, hitting both of his throws for a total of 55 yards. The longest pass thrown by a non-quarterback also went for a touchdown. It came when rookie RB Warren McVea hooked up with WR Frank Pitts for a 50-yard TD pass on November 9, 1969 at Municipal Stadium against San Diego.

Here’s a complete list of the non-quarterbacks who have thrown passes for the franchise. …Read More!

Chiefs Update 11/3

From the Truman Sports Complex

Larry  Johnson’s one-game NFL suspension began Monday as the Chiefs returned to work after their overtime loss to Tampa Bay.

With the league action, the Chiefs have an open roster spot right now.  They likely will have another one if further tests on RB Kolby Smith’s right knee show that his injury is severe enough to end his season.  That was the prognosis after the game.  If that’s the case, then the Chiefs will have a pair of roster spots to work with as they begin the second half of the season.

LB Derrick Johnson (hamstring), CB Brandon Flowers (hamstring) and CB Patrick Surtain (quad) were not in the locker room during the open media period so the status of their injuries is unknown.  P Dustin Colquitt continues to feel better and hopes that this weekend will bring his return to the lineup from a groin injury that has cost him the last two games.

The first half of the season has certainly been a tough one for the Chiefs.  Their eight opponents currently have a 36-24 record, with six of the eight teams sporting winning records at this time.  The final eight games on the Chiefs schedule come against seven opponents who have a combined record of 23-34, with only one team currently sporting a winning record: the 5-3 Buffalo Bills.

NFL Sunday Review #9

After Sunday’s action in the NFL, there remains one unbeaten team: the Tennessee Titans, who had to go to overtime to beat Green Bay 19-16 and move their record to 8-0.

And there is now just one winless team, the Detroit Lions, after they lost 27-23 to the Chicago Bears.

That’s due to a nice victory for the Cincinnati Bengals 21-19 over Jacksonville.

The Bengals are now 1-8.

“We were 0-8, but I think we’re a good 0-8 team, if that’s possible,” said Bengals WR T.J. Houshmandzadeh. “I was just telling them (his teammates): Are we going to the playoffs? Probably not. But we’re all men and play with pride. Basically, play with pride and let’s try to make this thing look somewhat respectable.”

For one day, Bengals and respectable could be used in the same sentence.

They now join the Chiefs as the only other one victory team in the league.

Here are some other performances and events from Sunday No. 9 of the 2008 NFL season: …Read More!

Comebacks, Injuries & Other Notes

From Arrowhead Stadium

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers joined the NFL in 1976 as an expansion team.  In fact, in that first season of play, the Bucs were actually part of the AFC West.

In the 33 seasons of play, Tampa Bay had never experienced a comeback like the one the Bucs had on Sunday against the Chiefs.  That 21-point deficit topped a pair of previous 17-point opponent leads that the Bucs wiped  out.  One was in 1979 against Baltimore, the other was in 1983 against Chicago.  In both of those games, the Bucs won by a field goal in overtime.

“It’s a hard league to win in, you know that,” said Tampa Bay coach Jon Gruden. “To be 6-3 and alive and have a chance to re-group and get some guys back is exciting.  We’ve got to play better than we did today and last week.  But we do have character and we are in the race and that’s significant.”

Also, the victory was No. 57 with the Bucs for Gruden, allowing him to pass Tony Dungy and become the winningest coach in franchise history.


The Chiefs will move another player to the injured reserve list this week, as RB Kolby Smith’s season is done because of ligament damage to his right knee.  …Read More!

The Amazing World of Tyler Thigpen

From Arrowhead Stadium

Just two weeks ago, Tyler Thigpen was considered a joke. Media pundits made fun of him. One sports radio yokel said that quarterbacks at KU, K-State and Missouri were better quarterbacks and would get more done than Thigpen could in the Chiefs offense.

Nobody’s laughing now. In the last two weeks Thigpen has established several things. One, the Minnesota Vikings were correct when they drafted him in 2007 out of Coastal Carolina. Second, the Vikings were right to be upset when the Chiefs claimed him on waivers at the end of the ’07 pre-season. Third, the Chiefs were smart to grab him and add him to their roster last year.

And the biggest is four: Thigpen is no joke. He’s not yet ready for a bust in Canton, but the young man from South Carolina has now strung together the two best starts the Chiefs have had at quarterback in some time.

Oh, and five: he can catch the ball too!

Last week he outplayed NFL legend Brett Favre; when Favre played his first NFL game, Thigpen was seven years old. This Sunday, he was going against Tampa Bay’s Jeff Garcia, whose first season of professional football was in 1994 in the Canadian Football League. Thigpen was 10 years old at the time.

Here are his numbers for the last two weeks: …Read More!

Gamebook: Play-by-Play and Statistics

Here’s the link to the official NFL Gamebook for the Chiefs-Bucs game.

Click here.

The Killer Return

From Arrowhead Stadium

The Chiefs had a remarkable 24-3 lead on the first-half scoreboard. Connor Barth banged through a 39-yard field goal and two minutes, 13 seconds remained in the half.

This was territory foreign to the Chiefs. How unusual:

-The last time they scored 24 points in a half was on September 30, 2007 when they scored 24 in the second half at San Diego in a victory over the Chargers. It was one of four wins they had last year.

They last time they had a 21-point lead at half-time … well that’s not important now because over the last 133 seconds of the half, Tampa Bay scored 10 points and changed the entire tenor of the game. It got the Bucs back into the action and put some doubt in the mind of the Chiefs.

An overtime game has many turning points, but the big U-turn in momentum on this sunny Sunday was the 97-yard kickoff return for a touchdown by Bucs rookie Clifton Smith.

Barth’s kickoff hung in the air for just a shade over four seconds and landed at the three-yard line. Smith took the ball, the Tampa Bay wedge set for a left return and he went straight up the field. On the right side of the Chiefs coverage unit, from Barth to the sidelines were Maurice Leggett, DaJuan Morgan, Erik Walden, Tyron Brackenridge and Devard Darling.

Not one of them touched Smith. Demorrio Williams came from the left side and made a diving attempt to tackle him. The only Chiefs coverage guy with a chance was Jon McGraw, but he chased him for 20 yards and then missed a diving tackle from behind at the 30-yard line.

Smith chugged into the end zone. It was only the second kickoff return for a touchdown in Tampa Bay history. The Bucs came into the league in 1976, so that’s two kickoff returns in 33 seasons. …Read More!

Podcast: Post-Game Report Tampa Bay 11/2

From Arrowhead Stadium

The Chiefs fell 30-27 in overtime to the Tampa Bay Bucs and we went inside the Chiefs locker room to get the reaction of the players to what happened Sunday afternoon.


From Arrowhead Stadium

If you can’t see the progress the Kansas City Chiefs are making as a team these days, then you are either blind, lacking in IQ or such a Chiefs Hater that your venom has left you brain dead.

“I’ll tell you what, we are a good football team, there’s no doubt about that,” Tony Gonzalez said after the Chiefs 30-27 loss to Tampa Bay on Sunday. “We are not as bad as everybody thought we were, I don’t care what anybody says.  I think you’re full of it if you think we are still that bad.

“We are playing really hard, we are executing; we have to keep it up and keep improving.

For the second week in a row, the Chiefs went out and played inspired and improved football. And for the second week in a row, they were unable to close the deal.

How can a team finish two games in eight days at plus-6 in the turnover column and be 0-2? It’s hard to believe, but that’s what happened to the Chiefs.

In both cases it was oh so predictable. The Jets had the old, mostly steady hand of Brett Favre to lead their comeback. On this Sunday, a veteran Tampa Bay team took the best shots the Chiefs had to offer and were still able to go home with an overtime victory.

Right now, the Chiefs best shots are not good enough to knock out a team like the Bucs. Tampa Bay was struggling, but they were never knocked down, not even when they were down by 21 points. Not even when they were down 11 points at the start of the fourth quarter.

They found a way to win. …Read More!

Chiefs Blow Early Lead, Fall To Bucs in OT, 30-27

From Arrowhead Stadium

It was a day where one team was good enough to overcome its mistakes and take advantage of those made by their opponent.

That team was not the Kansas City Chiefs. It was the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Matt Bryant’s 34-yard FG four minutes, 36 seconds into overtime provided a sad ending for what may have been the Chiefs best performance in weeks. The 30-27 loss left the Chiefs 1-7 on the season and it happened in the most painful of manners.

For the second week in a row, the Chiefs had a chance to win this game. They did plenty of things right, but when it came down to making plays to win the game, they did not get the job done. The 6-3 Buccaneers did, and they flew home happy.

“They made the plays at the end with about five minutes when the game could go either way,” said Herm Edwards. “We didn’t make enough plays, similar to last week.”

For the second week in a row, the Chiefs finished the game plus-3 in the turnover battle. That they lost both games is almost unimaginable given the history of what happens when teams are plus-3.

They also blew a 21-point first half lead and they led by 11 points at the start of the fourth quarter. It was then that the veteran Bucs turned it on, scoring 17 points in the final period and overtime to earn the victory.

“We were kind of playing at the end with some reserve guys,” Edwards said of his team, which was hit by injuries to RB Kolby Smith, LB Derrick Johnson and CB Brandon Flowers. “But you’ve got to give Tampa credit. They came back and made the plays at the end to win the game.” …Read More!

Game-Day Inactives 11/2

From Arrowhead Stadium

The Chiefs game-day inactives announced this morning are:

  • P Dustin Colquitt
  • CB Patrick Surtain
  • RB Larry Johnson
  • LB Wes Dacus
  • C-G Wade Smith
  • T Andrew Carnahan
  • WR Jeff Webb

Ingle Martin is the inactive third quarterback.

The Bucs left starting LG Arron Sears (concussion) and RB Warrick Dunn (back) and backup WR Maurice  Stovall (hamstring) at home, so they top the game-day inactives for Tampa.  Rookie Jeremy Zuttah is expected to start for Sears and former Chiefs RB Michael Bennett should start for Dunn.

Also starting SS Jermaine Phillips is out with a broken arm suffered last week.  Sabby Piscitelli will take his place.

Rounding out the inactives for the Bucs are QB Brian Griese, WR Dexter Jackson and FB B.J. Askew.

Rookie Josh Johnson is the third inactive quarterback.

Weather conditions were pefect Sunday morning, with clear skies, plenty of sun and game-time temperatures expected at 70 to 75 degrees.

Chiefs Pre-Game Update 11/2

From Arrowhead Stadium

The Chiefs made a roster move on Saturday ahead of their game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers here on Sunday.

They promoted RB Jackie Battle from the practice squad to the active roster. Battle will be very active in the kicking game against the Bucs.

Although he will be under suspension starting Monday, Larry Johnson is still on the active roster, so to make room for Battle they released DT T.J. Jackson. They hope to sign him to the practice squad.

Battle joined the Chiefs almost a year ago as part of their practice squad. He was add to the active roster for the final three games and scored a touchdown against Detroit in Game No. 15.

The Chiefs will gain a roster spot on Monday when Johnson begins his one-week suspension.

Sunday Morning Cup O’Chiefs

The NFL’s man of many faces is at Arrowhead Stadium today.

That would be “Chuckie” otherwise known as Jon Gruden.

The Tampa Bay coach might be the most entertaining head coach to watch in the NFL now that Bill Cowher has been on the sidelines for the last few years. When he was leading the Steelers, the Chin was always emotional, always running onto the field to high five his players, spittle flying everywhere when he yelled at players, coaches and officials.

There’s really nobody other than Gruden worth watching. New York Giants coach Tom Coughlin is fun to watch when he gets really mad and his face turns red and it looks like he’s going to explode. Maybe, just maybe Mike Singletary might bring some emotion to the sideline, although he shouldn’t drop his pants while he’s on the field.

No, it’s only Chuckie and his many faces. You can bet that the Fox network that is stuck broadcasting this game that most of the country doesn’t care about will zoom in plenty on Gruden. He does not try to hide his disgust, his anger or his bewilderment, especially when it comes to his own players. It can be exasperating for the more sensitive players.

Fans of the Chiefs have seen it before. Gruden led the Raiders into Arrowhead four times, going 2-2. What Chiefs fan can forget the Y2K game on January 1, 2000, when Oakland grabbed a 41-38 decision in overtime. The outcome knocked the Chiefs out of the playoffs and Gruden skipped across the Arrowhead field in delight after the field goal that decided the game.

This will be the first time that Gruden has brought a team to Kansas City as the favorite of the oddsmakers.

“Well, it’s a great venue,” Gruden said this week of Arrowhead. “You’ll see that yourself. It’s a great facility, it’s a loud place. Jiminy Christmas – they’ve got a tremendous, devoted base of fans. They’ve got a nice tradition there. You’ll see the Hall of Fame up there – Willie Lanier and Bobby Bell and a lot of great players have played there. They’ve had very good football teams over the years. It’s the only show in town, in my opinion. When they play on Sunday, everybody’s interested. It’s just a neat place to play. I’ve got a lot of respect for Carl Peterson, Herman Edwards and the Chiefs organization.

You’ve got to love any coach who in the 21st Century uses “Jiminy Christmas”! …Read More!

Non-Quarterback Passers for the Texans-Chiefs, 1960-2008


Pos Player Att Cmp Yds TD INT Plays
RB Ed Podolak 6 4 82 0 1 16, 19, 23,24y
WR Danan Hughes 2 2 55 0 0 25, 30y
RB Warren McVea 4 1 50 1 0 50y
WR Carlos Carson 1 1 48 1 0 48y
TE Walter White 2 1 44 0 1 44y
TE Tony Gonzalez 1 1 40 0 0 40y
WR Mark Bradley 1 1 37 1 0 37y
P Louie Aguiar 1 1 35 0 0 35y
RB Curtis McClinton 4 1 33 1 0 33y
WR Sylvester Morris 1 1 31 0 0 31y
RB Marcus Allen 3 2 29 2 0 1, 14y
P Jerrel Wilson 4 2 29 0 0 9, 20y
RB Abner Haynes 4 1 24 0 0 24y
RB Jewerl Thomas 2 1 18 1 1 18y
RB Bert Coan 1 1 18 1 0 18y
RB Mike Garrett 6 1 17 1 1 17y
RB Theotis Brown 1 1 11 0 0 11y
WR Frank Jackson 2 1 9 0 1 9y
WR Marques Hagans 1 1 5 0 0 5y
RB Johnny Robinson 1 0 0 0 1 0
RB Jack Spikes 2 0 0 0 0 0
WR Otis Taylor 1 0 0 0 1 0
RB Leroy Keyes 1 0 0 0 0 0
WR Henry Marshall 3 0 0 0 1 0
P Bob Grupp 1 0 0 0 0 0
FB James Hadnot 1 0 0 0 1 0
RB Ethan Horton 1 0 0 0 0 0
RB Boyce Green 1 0 0 0 1 0
RB Harvey Williams 1 0 0 0 0 0
RB Paul Palmer 1 0 0 0 0 0
RB James Saxon 1 0 0 0 1 0
RB Priest Holmes 2 0 0 0 0 0
RB Larry Johnson 2 0 0 0 0 0
Total 33 players 66 25 615 9 11 72.5 rating

How The Chiefs Can Beat the Bucs

On paper, the Chiefs don’t seem to have much chance to beat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday at Arrowhead. They are 1-6; the Bucs are 5-3. The Chiefs offense is No. 27 in the league; Tampa Bay is No. 13. Kansas City’s defense I s ranked No. 31; the Bucs “D” is ranked No. 5.

How can they win? Like always, they have to be able to run and stop the run. They have to win the turnover and field positions battles. That’s every week. Here are a few other areas where the game could be decided and what the Chiefs must get done.

Zebra Watch #8

Chiefs fans will get to see Mr. Muscles on Sunday. The crew handling the Chiefs-Buccaneers game at Arrowhead Stadium is led by Ed Hochuli.

Over the last several years, Hochuli has become a bit a lightning rod among the striped shirts for criticism from within and without the league. At one time, he was the head of the NFL officials association. He also never seems to shy away from TV time, as his crew has always been one of the league’s most active groups. Then there are those guns; Hochuli spends plenty of time in the weight room and loves showing off those biceps.

He took a big hit earlier this season when his call on what was a fumble, but ruled an incompletion may have kept the San Diego Chargers from beating the Denver Broncos. Hochuli apologized on the field to San Diego coach Norv Turner and then began answering e-mail from fans on the subject until the league office told him to stop.

It’s been an interesting season for Hochuli’s crew. They began the year as one of the most active, averaging 15.4 penalties for 127 yards over their first five games. But in the last two games, they’ve averaged just six flags for 53 yards.

Why the big drop? That’s the stuff that makes people wonder about the consistency of the officiating in the league from week to week.

Hochuli and his crew are coming off a weekend where they stayed at home. …Read More!

Saturday Morning Cup O’Chiefs

When the NFL went to 32 teams and reshuffled its deck in 2002 to create four divisions of four teams each in two different conferences, they also set up a scheduled formula that guaranteed every team would play in every league-city at least once in eight years.

If all things remain the same, the Tampa Bay Bucs will be back in Kansas City to play in 2016.

That will certainly be a shorter time away than the current drought. When Jon Gruden walks in the door on with his team on Sunday it will be the Bucs first appearance in Kansas City since the 1986 season.

That 22-year absence was the longest span between games for a team visiting another city in the NFL. Actually, there’s a longer drought, since the Bucs who were born in 1976 have never played in Buffalo.

Let’s go back to October 26, 1986. A giant crowd of 36,230 turned out to see the 4-3 Chiefs host the 1-6 Bucs. The outcome was a 27-20 Chiefs victory. Quarterbacking for Kansas City was Bill Kenney (top). Handling the duties for Tampa Bay was a guy named Steve Young (bottom). On this afternoon, Kenney would outplay the future Hall of Famer, completing 15 of 29 throws for 230 yards and a touchdown. Young hit 11 of 20 passes for only 124 yards and a TD.

WR Stephone Paige and RBs Michael Pruitt and Jeff Smith had the Chiefs touchdowns. S Deron Cherry had an interception of Young. John Mackovic was the head coach of the Chiefs and Leeman Bennett the head coach of the Bucs. Now those are some names for the past.

By the beginning of the next season, Mackovic and Bennett had both been fired. Mackovic got the ax despite the Chiefs making the playoffs that year for the first time in 15 seasons. Young was also gone from the Bucs, traded to San Francisco. Kenney lost his starting job to Todd Blackledge.

None of those names will be anywhere near Arrowhead on Sunday, when Tyler Thigpen and Jeff Garcia lead their teams.

With the passing of Sunday’s game, the longest drought in visits falls to the New Orleans Saints, who have not been at Arrowhead since 1997. But they will be there in two weeks. After that it will be the Dallas Cowboys, who haven’t performed in Kansas City since 1998. Right now Jerry Jones’ team is set for Arrowhead in the 2009 season.

The longest absence for the Chiefs on the road is Philadelphia, where they haven’t played since 1998. The Chiefs are scheduled to visit the City of Brotherly Love next season. …Read More!


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         Copyright 2010 Bob Gretz. May not be used or reprinted without the expressed written consent of Bob Gretz.