Time For A Muzzle … Wednesday Cup O’Chiefs

Mistakes are part of life. The only way they can be positive and productive is if something is learned from our failures, generally with the idea of making sure they don’t happen again.

This is a concept that apparently Dwayne Bowe has not been able to grasp, despite having numerous opportunities to do so.

The Chiefs wide receiver is at it again. Rather than getting as far away from the controversy involving the ESPN the Magazine article about the road trip habits of his teammates in 2007, Bowe has again opened his yap and breathed new life into what was a dead story.

Speaking on an Atlanta radio station last week while attending a football camp, Bowe again said he was misquoted by the writer of an article about road trip stories from athletes. In that piece, Bowe said in his rookie season on a trip to San Diego, some of his teammates arranged for various women to stay in the team’s hotel during the Chiefs visit there. His claims of an entire top floor of women flown in by Chiefs players was scandalous on the surface and ridiculous and likely fabricated in reality.

When asked by the show hosts on 790 the Fan if he took some grief from teammates over the incident, Bowe said:

“No, because now they are finding out that it definitely wasn’t me. Definitely, but I took that like a man. People that really know the Dwayne Bowe that clowns but on a serious note won’t let anything out of the locker room that is not supposed to be out.” …Read More!

Enrique’s Chiefs Video Of The Day

Over the years our man Enrique has rolled video tape on just about anything and everything Chiefs related that was available to him in Mexico. Despite his distance from middle America, he has developed quite a collection of memories from the last 20 years. In this quiet time for Chiefs football, we are going to bring some of these videos to you with commentary from Enrique. Enjoy!



…Read More!

Chiefs Sign First of Seven Draft Picks

On Tuesday afternoon the Chiefs announced the signing of 5th-round selection S Kendrick Lewis, the first of their seven 2010 draft choices to ink a contract.

Lewis was the 136th player selected in April’s NFL Draft, joining the Chiefs  out of the University of Mississippi. The Louisiana native spent a lot of time with the team’s No. 1 defense at free safety during the spring practices. He should compete for playing time if not a starting spot when training camp opens in a month.

Lewis was represented by James “Bus” Cook out of Hattiesburg, Mississippi. Cook is better known as the agent for QB Brett Favre.

A Smile For The Ages … Tuesday Cup O’Chiefs

Look at that smile. So vivid, so endearing, even now 27 years after he’s gone, it still provides a shot of life. It’s hard not to smile back.

Joe Delaney had one of the best smiles that ever walked through a Chiefs locker room. Shy and quiet by nature, he was always ready to push back his lips and show his pearly whites. For two years his teammates all remember one thing about him – no matter what time they walked into the locker room at Arrowhead Stadium, Joe was already there, sitting in front of his locker, sipping from a cup of coffee and ready to flash that smile to everyone.

It was on June 29, 1983 in Monroe, Louisiana that Joe Delaney drowned while trying to save three boys who were under water in a construction pond next to an amusement park. He was 24 years old.

Some three generations of Chiefs fans never got the chance to see him play. They know the story of his selfless act of heroism and they’ve heard of his tragic death. His remarkable rookie season of 1981 is recorded in the history books – his Pro Bowl trip where he was the only rookie starter, his Chiefs MVP award, the AFC Rookie of the Year, the All-Rookie teams and even a spot on a first-unit All-Pro team.

But that doesn’t begin to cover Joe Delaney the running back. Three generations of fans never got the chance to see him flying out of the backfield, headed for the corner and shifting into high gear. Oh my, it was something special. A crack in the defense was all he needed. He would explode out his stance so fast at the snap of the ball that quarterbacks Bill Kenney and Steve Fuller took awhile to adjust to handing off to him. …Read More!

Lewis Understands Disaster … Monday Cup O’Chiefs

Over this past weekend all of the NFL rookies landed at a resort in Carlsbad, California for the league’s annual Rookie Symposium. It’s a three-day session designed to make for a smoother transition to playing professional football for the guys just coming out of college.

There will be a lot of talk about dealing with the ups and downs of the first year. There will be advice and methods given them to help with the pressure they’ll feel from family, teammates, coaches, fans, groupies and even the media.

Fifth-round draft choice Kendrick Lewis of the Chiefs will be in the audience. He’ll likely be paying attention to every detail of every speaker, taking copious notes and pondering all the information. That’s the type of person he’s shown himself to be around the Chiefs since they selected in the NFL Draft.

Lewis could just as easily be at the microphone, telling his fellow rookies how to handle a difficult situation. Lewis celebrated his 22nd birthday about 10 days ago and he’s not yet played in an NFL game or even taken part in a pro training camp. But he has dealt with upheaval. He saw his life and that of his family turned upside down in such a profound manner that anything the speakers cover in three days will seem miniscule in comparison.

Five years ago this August, he was preparing for the season opening game of his senior year at O. Perry Walker High School in the Algiers neighborhood of New Orleans. Lewis was a highly recruited wide receiver who was courted by most of the teams in the Southeastern Conference, everybody from South Carolina, to Tennessee, to Georgia and Mississippi.

Within 48 hours, his life would be changed forever. …Read More!

Why It’s Buyer Beware … Weekend Cup O’Chiefs

Every year the enthusiasm level of NFL fans goes up around the first of March. For the last decade or so, that’s when the free agency market has gotten started each off-season.

Fans of 32 teams hope their management opens up the franchise’s vault and throws millions of dollars at the biggest and best names on the free agent list. Those clubs that sign the big names get a lot of attention and are thought to be the league’s movers and shakers. Those clubs sitting on the sidelines when those big, early contracts get done are considered slow on the trigger, cheap or football idiots.

Oh, how many times I’ve heard from Chiefs fans unhappy that the cream of the crop among free agents never stepped foot in Kansas City. Lamar Hunt, Carl Peterson, Dick Vermeil, Herm Edwards, Scott Pioli, Todd Haley and Clark Hunt were all suspect.

At various points they allowed Julian Peterson to leave San Francisco and sign with Seattle (2006) on a seven-year, $54 million deal. Or, they didn’t sign Adalius Thomas (2007) when he left Baltimore and got a free agent contract from New England worth $35 million over five years. Plenty thought they should have invested the four-year, $32 million deal that the New York Jets gave Alan Faneca when he left Pittsburgh (2008).

There has always been one caveat with free agency, actually it’s caveat emptor, Latin for buyer beware. The Chiefs have become part of the majority of NFL teams that have learned that big free agency money should go to keeping their own players, rather than importing high priced talent from elsewhere.

But some NFL teams still ignore buyer beware. Just ask Daniel Snyder and his silent ownership partners with the Washington Redskins. …Read More!

Answer Bob/Finale … Thursday Cup O’Chiefs

OK, here are the final answers to your questions from Ask Bob. My apologies for keeping some of you hanging on all week, but anybody that says there is an off-season in the NFL has no clue.

Once again, thanks for all the great questions – many of them are far better than the answers.



Anon says: Bob, I have read reports that the Chiefs have been at or near the bottom in player payroll the past few years. In addition, I’ve read several comments in the media, I believe you included, that indicate unwillingness on the Chiefs part to spend money on free agent players. Now, clearly if spending the most money was the best strategy, the Redskins would be racking up Super Bowl trophies. I believe Pioli and Haley want to build a team mostly through the draft and bring in some free agents that fit a certain profile. I get that, but at the same time, when you’re at the bottom of the payroll list, it leaves fans scratching their heads wondering if Pioli and Haley are talking the talk, yet going about things on the cheap. Could you address why it is the Chiefs have such a low payroll, even now several years after the “going young” roster turnover they went through under Herm Edwards, and do you think that being in such a position now that the Chiefs can honestly say they’re doing EVERYTHING possible to bring winning football to K.C.? Thank you.

Bob says: That there is confusion about just where the Chiefs are financially really shouldn’t be a surprise. There are several factors at play here that must be taken into account: losing, stadium renovation, a new collective bargaining agreement and new management.

Forget the way things used to be in the 1990s and most of the 2000s. The days where the Chiefs practically printed money every season are gone, long gone. Three years of losing has made it hard to sell tickets, hard to sell suites and hard to sell sponsorships. On top of the 10-38 record, there’s the renovation of Arrowhead Stadium. Yes, the taxpayers of Jackson County are helping to fund a lot of the changes, but the Hunt Family threw in close to $150 million of their own money. They did that because they expect to make that money back in tickets, suites and sponsorships. …Read More!

Answer Bob/Part #3

It’s been a busy week with some travel and a host of family in the house, so I’m not getting these answers done as soon as I would like.

But I’m muddling on and hope to have this all wrapped up by Thursday. Again, thanks for the questions and I hope you enjoy the answers.


Blake says: Bob, do you think Matt Cassel is good enough to lead the team to the Super Bowl in the future, or do you think we need someone different? How has Thomas Jones looked? Do you think Kestahn Moore can make the team if he has the same running style as Jones or would they want a different kind of runner? How many OLB do you think the Chiefs will keep – Vrabel, Studebaker, Sheffield, Walters, maybe Cole? Which undrafted free agents do you think could make the team? How many S will the Chiefs keep and who are they? Who do you like better Derrick Johnson or Demorrio Williams?

Bob says: I’m not sure if Cassel is good enough – there’s not enough of a sample size yet. I don’t think we can base any deep evaluation on what we saw last year. He does need help. Hard to say how Jones has looked since there was no real running game during the off-season. But there’s no question he’s in shape, he knows how to run, the questions that will follow Jones right now are how much tread is left on his tires at 32 y ears of age. I think Kestahn Moore has a real chance to make the team – he must make an impression on special teams to help out his cause. I think the Chiefs will keep five OLBs and right now I’d say it will be Vrabel, Hali, Studebaker, Walters and Sheffield. Cole has a chance, as he’s at the top of the list of undrafted rookies that could surprise. With him I would include WR Jeremy Horne and D Garrett Brown. I would expect the Chiefs to keep four safeties and right now I would say that group will be Eric Berry, Kendrick Lewis, John McGraw and Donald Washington. As for talent displayed on the field, I would take Johnson over Williams. …Read More!

Answer Bob/Part #2 … Wednesday Cup O’Chiefs

Here’s part No. 2 of answers to your questions for Ask Bob. I must say I know it, but these sessions really show me again that the readership here is pretty smart and aware of the Chiefs, the NFL and the game of football.

It’s a pleasure to answer these questions. There will be a Part #3 and you should see that Wednesday afternoon at some point.



JLoyd says: I see a couple of huge changes in what Todd Haley is doing. But, is it driven by the need to win a few more games, or is it Todd and Scott Pioli trying to go from worst to first in one big swoop?
Bob, you have seen it all meshing together from the start. They are doing things a little different and there are a lot of little questions that no one has been able to answer.

Bob says: JLoyd I’m not entirely sure what you are seeing, but let me see if I can answer your questions. There’s no doubt that Pioli/Haley are driven to win a few more games. These guys have got to push that four victory total higher in 2010. Remember always the words of Clark Hunt, who said several years ago that he wasn’t nearly as patient as his father. He’s already shown that, and there’s no reason to believe that he’s going to extend a lengthy dose of patience if the Chiefs don’t begin to win more games. There’s no way the Chiefs can go from worst to first in one big swoop, or several smaller swoops. As bad as the Chiefs have been, they have been better over the last three years than St. Louis (six victories) and Detroit (9). If there’s a sense they have changed, it’s probably because they have. Both feel like they have set in place the type of program they were looking for, so they are going to be less inclined to pick fights on the way things used to be done. …Read More!

Answer Bob/Part #1 … Tuesday Cup O’Chiefs

As always, you guys have loaded me up with plenty of questions and I plan to have plenty of answers. We’ll cover them in the next few days, as well as keeping track of all the personnel movement around the league on an everyday basis.

Here’s Volume No. 1 – enjoy!

Mike in St Louis says: Just what is/was Tony Moeaki’s injury? Do you see him as starting TE Monday night in September? Lastly, with the addition of Weis, do you see Haley now interested in using a TE more often?

Bob says: Mike, I wish I could shed light on what Moeaki’s problem was, but it would be easier getting launch codes from the Pentagon. Moeaki told me it wasn’t an injury, i.e. knee, or ankle, or hamstring, or shoulder or any limb or joint. That tells me it was some type of illness or irregularity, but it could not have been anything too serious because he was there every day and worked in the rehab zone all the time. When he finally got on the field, he didn’t show any type of physical problem. Eventually, we’ll find out. I think Moeaki in the starting lineup for the opener is a bit ambitious. I wouldn’t rule it out, but that would take a very strong six weeks of camp and pre-season performances. I do believe he’ll be on the field a lot in the offense and I think that will start from the get go. I think Haley’s interest in getting the tight end involved in the passing game is directly related to whether he has a tight end who he can count on to get open and catch the ball. If Moeaki can do that consistently, or any other tight end can, they’ll be on the field. It’s not like the Chiefs wide receivers are so strong that a coach wouldn’t want to take away some of their chances. …Read More!

Waiting For Word … Monday Cup O’Chiefs

Take a look at the picture above. It’s from the Chiefs and Browns game last December at Arrowhead Stadium. TE Brad Cottam has the ball. He’s obviously airborne after being hit by S Abram Elam (26) and OLB Matt Roth (53).

But it looks just like every other play that goes down in an NFL game, more than 100 in a single game and over 1,500 in a given pro football weekend. Keep doing the math and that’s the nature of the game, thousands of collisions.

What this picture does not show is how the play ended, how Cottam came back to terra firma. He kept pitching forward after Roth hit him and the first thing that hit the ground was the top of Cottam’s head.

Even in the aftermath of the play, it did not seem any different than most moments. Cottam appeared dazed, but was helped to his feet by teammate Leonard Pope. He even went back into the game moments later.

He went back into the game with a broken neck. …Read More!

Last Chance For Another Ask Bob

Family business has me on the road this weekend to Austin. This will delay my opportunity to provide answers to your questions to ASK BOB.

But it gives you another day to submit questions. There’s plenty of material already here for me to deal with, but what’s a few more questions. Get’em in before midnight on Sunday and I’ll include your questions with my answers.

Any subject involving the Chiefs, the NFL and the sport of football is fair game. Actually, just about anything is fair game, so do not hesitate to ask.

There are no bad questions … only bad answers.

Attach your questions and comments to this post.

A Moment On Why Fans Are Fans

Whether it’s holding the daily fish wrap in my hands or punching it up on the computer, I seek out anything that’s well written on any subject.

I stumbled across just such a piece the other day in the Boston Globe. Written by psychiatrist and Harvard professor Dr. Steve Schlozman, it’s an attempt to try to explain why fans are fans. Titled “Why we suffer through sports” it’s really a tribute to his uncle Frank, who was a die-hard fan of the Chiefs. The author frequented Arrowhead Stadium’s on game day and sat with his uncle.

Wrote Dr. Schlozman:

So, one time, sitting there next to Uncle Frank, his body skinnier than even a month before, his eyes sunken, his cough a whole body experience, his coffee unopened, and the temperature no greater than freezing, I asked him why he came.

“If they’re this bad, why watch?” I asked. It seemed a fair question, and though I was only 11 or 12 at the time, I thought I ought to make some effort to get a sick man out of the cold.

He didn’t look at me, but he smiled, the skin pulled tightly against his rapidly aging face.

“Because it’s great,” he said. “Hell, they’re out there for us, Steve. I mean, don’t you think it’s great?”

Take a couple minutes and enjoy the whole piece. Here’s the link.

Comparing Drafts … Weekend Cup O’Chiefs

The thought struck me last week when baseball was holding its annual June Draft: of the four major sports, which one does the best job of drafting players?

In many ways it’s comparing apples to oranges – they are both fruit, but they look and taste very different. The National Hockey League’s selection meeting is very international in scope. The National Basketball Association has become the same way. The NHL and Major League Baseball are sometimes selecting 17 or 18-year olds who are fresh out of high school, and generally the draft choices go right to minor league action, while in the National Football league they are immediately part of the game at the highest level.

The one thing the four different sports leagues hold in common is the value of their drafts. Look at the best players in football, baseball, basketball and hockey and they were all draft choices. Hockey’s Sidney Crosby, baseball’s Albert Pujols and LeBron James and Kobe Bryant in the NBA were all drafted as teenagers. In the NFL Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, Larry Fitzgerald and Charles Woodson – all were draft choices.

So for the sake of a summertime discussion, we did some research. We went five years back to the drafts of 2005 and looked at the top 10 players selected in the four drafts. Those are 40 names who in the half-decade since being drafted are established all over the sporting road. One is his sport’s superstar. Another died two years ago in a motorcycle crash. Some have had careers derailed by injuries, others by off-field problems. Some are still moving forward in their careers, others are headed in the other direction.

Here’s a look at the top 10 selections in the 2005 MLB, NBA, NFL and NHL drafts, with some conclusions afterwards: …Read More!

Chiefs Visit Big Red One At Ft. Riley

The big red pro football team made a trip west to see the men and women of the Big Red One, the Army’s 1st Infantry Division at Ft. Riley, Kansas on Friday afternoon.

Led by team president Denny Thum, the traveling party included 16 rookies, Chiefs cheerleaders, Chiefs Ambassadors, KC Wolf and members of the Red Coaters.

They met with some of the base leaders, visited the base PX where they had a chance to meet with families and fans, and then got a tour of the base’s airfield, where they had the chance to see some of the 1st Infantry Division’s “toys.” That’s receiver Jeremy Horne above, as he’s swapped uniforms with an unnamed infantryman. They are posing with VFW Assistant Adjutant General John McNeil.

“It was a great experience to be able to visit with individuals that do so much for us,” said WR Dexter McCluster. “Everyone was telling us what big Chiefs fans they are. To us though, it’s the Chiefs that are big fans of what they do every day. Having been inside those tanks and seeing how tight the working quarters are, I can’t imagine having to be inside one of them to protect our country.”

The trip to Ft. Riley was the third for the Chiefs in their partnership with the VFW and the “Return the Favor” program. Previously they visited Ft. Leavenworth in Kansas and Whiteman Air Force Base in Knob Knoster, Missouri.

No Mistake This Time … Friday Cup O’Chiefs

There’s one name to keep in mind when it comes to the situation between the Chiefs and Jarrad Page, their unsigned restricted free agent safety: Bernard Pollard.

Wondering why the Chiefs don’t cancel their tender offer to Page and allow him to find another place to work? Bernard Pollard.

It is unlikely there would ever be a public confirmation of the mistake the Chiefs made in slicing Pollard last season as part of the final cutdown before the regular season. But, bet on the fact that internally the organization knows that situation wasn’t handled very well.

They dropped a young player who had been a starter and got nothing for him in return. Pollard landed with the Texans where he became a starter and a key player for the Houston defense. Let’s remember that the Texans finished the season with a 9-7 record, quite a bit ahead of the 4-12 season put up by the Chiefs. It wasn’t like there was a major improvement in the Chiefs defensive production with Pollard out of the lineup and Mike Brown in at one of the starting safety spots.

Don’t get me wrong, Bernard Pollard was not an All-Pro safety in 2008 or 2009. He’s not a player without flaws. But releasing him without compensation was a bad decision by the Chiefs. Releasing him and not replacing him with a better player was a bad decision by the Chiefs.

That brings us to Page. It’s quite obvious that he does not fit the Chiefs future on defense. He didn’t fit last year when he lost his starting job to Jon McGraw. There’s no question that the head coach and player had their differences in the time when Page was still on the roster and not moved to the injured-reserve list with a calf problem.

But the Chiefs protected themselves with Page by giving him a tender offer back in February that made him a restricted free agent. The signing period for RFAs came and went and Page did not receive any offers. The NFL Draft came and went and the Chiefs were unable to package him up in a deal with another team. …Read More!

Coaching Suggestions … Thursday Cup O’Chiefs

The Chiefs coaching staff is packing up and getting ready for vacation. Some are headed for the beach while others are on their way to the golf course or mountains. More than a few may simply sit back and put their feet up and enjoy for a few weeks not having to work 18-hour days.

Knowing Todd Haley and the type of people that work for him, they may enjoy some down time, but football, the Chiefs and the 2010 NFL season will not be far from their minds.

I’d like to plant a few seeds in their minds to consider over the next 40 days. For the most part, these items have already landed on the coaches’ radar screens. In fact, some of these thoughts are originally their ideas. I just want to reinforce their thinking and pump up their desire to move forward with some of these plans and will benefit the 2010 Chiefs.


Over the last two weeks, defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel has been working veteran OLB Mike Vrabel at an inside linebacker spot in the nickel defense. Vrabel has replaced Jovan Belcher, with Andy Studebaker taking Vrabel’s position on the edge.

Romeo needs to keep this group together. That would put Vrabel, Studebaker, Derrick Johnson and Tamba Hali on the field at the same time. Those are the best four linebackers on the roster. Those are also three of the four leading career sackers on the team: Vrabel (57), Hali (27) and Johnson (13).

And Studebaker may have the biggest upside of all those players when it comes to getting after the passer. As he’s shown in his limited playing time, the 6-3, 248-pound has power and explosion. On the Division III level at Wheaton College, Studebaker played in 28 games and had 30 sacks.

Yes, it’s a big jump from Division III to the NFL, but in his brief chances to play last year, Studebaker showed he was a playmaker. It’s time to get Studebaker on the field and give him a chance to make more plays.

The odd man out with this scheme would be Belcher. He may be able to beat Vrabel in a 40-yard dash, but given the old man’s experience and knowledge, Vrabel would have a better chance of covering a receiver in the short to mid-range areas of the field. Belcher’s time is in the future; Vrabel’s time is now. …Read More!

That’s A Wrap! … Wednesday Cup O’Chiefs

Maybe you’ve noticed lately a lot of talk and stories about the new softer side of Chiefs head coach Todd Haley. The premise is that the snarling, yelling guy who patrolled the sidelines at Arrowhead Stadium and the halls of the team’s facility has changed.

That angle has popped up a lot lately and one reason is because Haley keeps doing things to give the idea legs.

Like his decision to cancel the final OTA practice session of the off-season. That went down Tuesday morning, after the players went through their normal early morning weight lifting and conditioning segments.

Haley let the veterans go, ending their off-season program. It was an obvious gift to a group of players that since March has put forth an effort that’s unmatched in the NFL.

There is no place in the country where you can go and get a complete participation report in off-season programs of each NFL team. There are obvious places where there are holdouts and unsigned players. The Chiefs have their own in restricted free agent S Jarrad Page; he did not attend any of the sessions, either on or off the field.

Otherwise, everyone else was in the house, and not occasionally attending, but there all the time. It was a remarkable showing. Pick your way through the Internet and check on other NFL teams and there are few that can come close to matching the consistent participation of the entire roster. Practice after practice the Chiefs had 85 or 86 bodies on the field. There were two injuries of note during the actual practices – a hamstring pull by WR David Grimes and the right index finger of backup QB Brodie Croyle. The other players – a half-dozen or less – who did not work were all carrying over physical problems and rehab from last season.

It was an exceptional performance and welcome evidence for Haley that his players bought in, or as he said, “invested” themselves in the future of the team. Giving up one last 90-minute practice was a small thank you for the extra time and effort that went into following through with a commitment. …Read More!

Injury Roulette Claims Kolby … Tuesday Cup O’Chiefs

It can happen in the blink of an eye. It did to Kolby Smith.

The Chiefs were at the midway point of the 2008 season. Larry Johnson had been sent home for being, well for being Larry Johnson. He wasn’t playing, he wasn’t even practicing. His absence provided an opportunity for Smith, then a second-year running back out of Louisville.

When injuries to Larry Johnson and Priest Holmes in 2007 gave the rookie a chance, he stepped up and performed, running for 407 yards on 112 carries. That included a 31-carry, 150-yard game against the Raiders.

A year later, Johnson was gone again and Smith was ready again. On November 2, at Arrowhead Stadium he was off to a big day against Tampa Bay, running 10 times for 46 yards and a touchdown.

Then came that instant, that moment every player dreads; Smith took a handoff and went right, moved back inside and planted his right leg to cut left. That’s when a Tampa Bay defensive back slammed into his right knee, leaving Smith in a crumpled heap on the field.

On Monday, some 20 months later, Smith was still feeling that blow. He was released by the Chiefs, one of six players that were cut loose as the team tidies up its roster for draft choice signings and a football vacation until the start of training camp.

Anybody that knows Kolby Smith, or saw how hard he worked to come back from his torn patellar tendon, is feeling pretty sad today. Smith was one of the good guys in the Chiefs locker room. He’s a pro, a man who does what he’s asked to do on the football field and in preparation off the field, and then he does more. The fact that he came back from that patellar tendon injury was an achievement; some players have seen their careers derailed by a torn patellar. …Read More!

Chiefs Trim 6 Players

With one more OTA practice session to go, the Chiefs started the process of getting their roster into shape by releasing six players on Monday afternoon.

Leading that group was veteran RB Kolby Smith. The fourth-year back out of Louisville has seen his last two seasons sidetracked by injuries and played in just 11 games in 2008-09. During the team’s weekend mini-camp, he was working behind Thomas Jones, Kestahn Moore and Javarris Williams, with Jamaal Charles on the sidelines.

In three seasons with the Chiefs,  Smith ran 162 times for 540 yards and 3 touchdowns. He also caught 34 passes for 209 yards and contributed nine special teams tackles.

Joining Smith on the waiver wire were fourth-year QB Matt Gutierrez, first-year player OT Jermail Porter and rookies TE Leroy Banks, CB Andre Jones and OL Nick Landry.

Gutierrez had been running behind Tyler Palko in the Chiefs offensive snaps for the team’s No. 3 quarterback. He joined the club last year after he was released by the Patriots and saw action in one game. Porter was a college wrestler trying to make a career for himself  in pro football; he signed  last year with the Patriots and was released.

An undrafted rookie Banks was claimed on waivers at the start of OTAs and had some nice moments. But his lack of size hurt him in the battle for tight end jobs. Landry and Jones were undrafted college free agents signed by the Chiefs after the NFL Draft.

The Chiefs were eventually going to have to make room on their 80-man roster for their seven draft choices who will soon sign contracts. These moves may be an indication the Chiefs have gotten some of those rookies contractually tied up.

Right now, they have 81 players on the roster, including unsigned restricted free agent S Jarrad Page. But of those 81, only 74 are under contract right now. Expect some draft pick signings to be announced fairly soon.

Chiefs Set Camp Dates For St. Joe

The dates and times for the Chiefs first return to Missouri for training camp were announced by the team Monday.

After 19 years at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls, the Chiefs will be at Missouri Western State University in St. Joe beginning with a practice on Friday, July 30th. They will hold their final practice on Thursday, August 19th.

In between there are plenty of opportunities for fans to see their team. There will be 24 practices on 16 days in the club’s three week sojourn north. There are two night practices scheduled (August 4 and 18) and a Family Fun Day/Scrimmage (afternoon of August 7.)

Here’s how it all breaks down practice-wise, with day, date, number of workouts and times: …Read More!

Leftovers From Chiefs Mini-Camp

From the Truman Sports Complex

So much information stacked up in the notebook after five practices in three days at the Chiefs mini-camp.

Given that the Chiefs veterans and coaches are about to drop off the face of the football earth for six weeks, it seems a good time for an information dump. We’ll be holding back some of the stuff for those weeks ahead where football takes its summer vacation.


So far veteran NT Shaun Smith has not been very impressive on the practice field. Since the OTA and mini-camp practices have had no football contact, he hasn’t been able to show his physicality.

He began the off-season as the No. 2 nose, but he’s fallen to No. 3 right now, as Derek Lokey has surprised everyone by jumping to the first team.

But the one thing the six-year veteran has brought to the team is a bit of personality. Smith loves to talk, he loves to verbally jab and chatter with his teammates, and sometimes he lacks a governor that filters his thoughts from his tongue.

“He’s an interesting character – a little different than a lot of guys that we have around here,” head coach Todd Haley said of Smith. Haley got a chance to see Smith early in his career when they were both with the Cowboys. “He’ll say what he thinks most of the time. He livens things up to say the least.” …Read More!

Wrapping Up … Monday Cup O’Mini-Camp

From the Truman Sports Complex

The Chiefs off-season is not over. They have activity on Monday and a practice on Tuesday. That’s when Todd Haley will discharge his veterans for six weeks, meeting again for the start of training camp in the last week of July.

The weekend mini-camp provided a lengthy look at the 2010 Chiefs with five practices in three days. As the only member of the media horde and the only media outlet that covered every second of all five practices – that’s called blowing our own horn – there are honors to be presented to this team that only I can hand down.

So here are the 2010 Chiefs Mini-Camp Oscars:

MINI-CAMP MVP – CB TRAVIS DANIELS (above). He joined the Chiefs last year as an unrestricted free agent from the Browns. Daniels was released in the final roster cut of the pre-season and did not return until November 4th, when he was signed after S Jarrad Page was placed on the injured-reserve list. He played in nine games and finished with 16 tackles, two passes defensed and seven tackles in the kicking game. Daniels was a JAG – just a guy – something he showed in previous NFL stops in Miami and Cleveland. But in this ’10 mini-camp, Daniels was all over the place. His work at left cornerback was so good that in the last few practices he was running with the No. 1 defense in place of Maurice Leggett who was holding the spot for the rehabbing Brandon Flowers. Daniels brought mini-camp to a close with his interception in the two-minute drill off QB Tyler Palko. …Read More!

Mini-Camp Practice #5 Report

From the Truman Sports Complex

Another summer thunderstorm rolled in Sunday morning and again chased the Chiefs inside for their final practice of the 2010 mini-camp.

And the players received a mini-camp surprise from their head coach, as Todd Haley cut short the session, putting the squad through a workout that lasted just a tad over 60 minutes.

“I just felt progress that we had made through this weekend and that part of it was going to be review and as hard as these guys have worked over the last three months it was worth giving something back to them,” said Haley. “They did a good job today, they were working hard and didn’t seem distracted.”

The session finished up with the two-minute drill, where both the offense and defense had big plays. The first offense’s turn with the ball produced a TD pass from QB Matt Cassel to TE Tony Moeaki, where the rookie made a very nice catch in the back corner of the end zone. The second offense’s time with the ball ended rather quickly as QB Tyler Palko’s pass was picked off by CB Travis Daniels, who had a very good weekend.

There are two more days of the off-season program left for the veterans. On Monday most will be involved with the Chiefs Ambassadors Golf Tournament at Shadow Glen Golf Club. On Tuesday will be the final OTA practice session.

The rookies will stay another two weeks, getting most of their work in strength and conditioning.

Observations from Sunday’s workout: …Read More!

Sunday Cup O’Mini-Camp

From the Truman Sports Complex

He is the Lazarus of the Chiefs roster.

There have been many times when it looked like Demorrio Williams was down and out of the picture with the Chiefs. Last year during training camp in Wisconsin, it really looked like his time in Kansas City was over. Signed as an unrestricted free agent in 2008 out of Atlanta, Williams was the lead man on Todd Haley’s rehab team.

That’s not a position any player who aspire to hold. Williams peddled more miles than Lance Armstrong as he tried to get the injured leg stronger. Day-after-day, practice-after-practice rolled past and he was always over in the area that the head coach calls “No Man’s Land.” One could almost hear the clock ticking down on his Chiefs career.

But a funny thing happened on the way to the waiver wire. Williams finally got on the practice field and it came at the time when the other inside linebackers were found lacking for reasons of ability, focus, health or inexperience.

By the time the ’09 season was over, Williams had started 13 of the 16 games and led the Chiefs in tackles. Using film review by the coaching staff, the Chiefs listed him at 142 total tackles, while the league evaluation of the game tapes gave him 117 total tackles. Either way, Williams was among the top 20 tacklers in the NFL for the ’09 season.

And, he did it all with a bum left leg. The nature of his injury was one of those state secrets that the Chiefs keep these days from the media, fans and opponents. But understand that for every game and practice last year, Williams’ leg was wrapped in tape from his thigh to the middle of his calf. By the time the season was over, he alone may have put the trainers over their tape budget for the ’09 season.

Still, he did not miss a game.

“It feels great now that I can get dressed for practice in about five minutes,” Williams said, referencing his lengthy taping sessions with the trainers each day. “My main thing was always to keep going out and make a contribution to the team and continue to work. My thing was just to go out and contribute.” …Read More!

Mini-Camp Practice #4 Report

From the Truman Sports Complex

Saturday morning’s rain kept the Chiefs  indoors for their afternoon practice, the fourth of five scheduled for the three-day mini-camp.

There was a lot of action in all three phases of the game. The offense worked almost exclusively out of the shotgun with one-back/three wide receiver alignment. The defense continued to shuffle players in, including the No. 1 unit. The special teams worked on kick returns and we got our first look at who is among the possible returners in the view of the coaching staff.

The primary kick returners were rookies WR/RB Dexter McCluster and CB Javier Arenas. But also catching kicks at the end of practice were rookie WRs David Grimes, Rich Gunnell and Jeremy Horne, along with RBs Jackie Battle and Kestahn Moore and CB Maurice Leggett.

Defensively,  the No. 1 unit lined up this way: Tyson Jackson and Glenn Dorsey at DE, Derek  Lokey at NT, Mike Vrabel and Tamba  Hali at OLB, Derrick Johnson and Jovan Belcher at ILB, Brandon Carr and Travis Daniels at CB and Eric Berry and Kendrick Lewis at S.

Offensively, the Chiefs worked hard with their quarterbacks and receivers in the red zone, including a session where the wideouts went one-on-one against the defensive backs.

Here are some observations from the afternoon: …Read More!

Mini-Camp Practice #3 Report

From the Truman Sports Complex

With the sound of thunder and a torrential morning thunderstorm pounding on the roof, the Chiefs moved indoors for their first of two mini-camp practices scheduled for Saturday at the team’s facilities.

The 90-minute session went down pretty much as the sessions before it, as the Chiefs continued a review of what they learned during a dozen OTA practices. Saturday morning was a bit faster paced and advanced than Friday’s double sessions, especially on offense.

The coaching staff continued to mix and match players in an attempt to get different looks at the same players.

“It’s all mixing and matching,” said head coach Todd Haley. “It’s giving guys a chance to go against different guys on the other side. Sometimes when you just stay the same and nobody changes, you might be going against the same guy every single snap. They get to know each other, and get to know their little tricks and moves and their steps.

“By moving guys in and out, you get different matchups.”

Casey Wiegmann got work with the first team offense Saturday morning at center, with Rudy Niswanger going with the second unit. On defense, Derek Lokey was the nose tackle with the No. 1 defense, ahead of Ron Edwards and Shaun Smith.

When the Chiefs went to their No. 1 nickel defense, OLB Mike Vrabel was moved inside, replacing Jovan Belcher, and Andy Studebaker was on the corner.

Other observations from Saturday morning’s practice: …Read More!

Saturday Morning Cup O’Mini-Camp

From the Truman Sports Complex

Five practices in three days – it’s a little June-time nirvana for a pro football fan when mini-camp rolls around. It’s as close to training camp as the off-season gets and that alone means the start of another season is growing closer.

Here’s a mixed bag of news, notes and quotes from the first day of the Chiefs 2010 mini-camp.


The mini-camp actually began on Thursday evening with the first full-team meeting of the season.

There were a lot of points that head coach Todd Haley had for his team in his remarks. One was to congratulate them on what for this franchise was the unprecedented participation in the off-season program, whether on the field or in the weight room.

The second was a word of warning.

“As I told them last night, having a great off-season, they aren’t going to spot us wins and that’s just the way it is,” Haley said on Friday. “That (off-season participation) will just give us a chance to improve and be better.” …Read More!

Mini-Camp Practice #2 Report

From the Truman Sports Complex

The Chiefs wrapped up the first day of their weekend mini-camp with an afternoon practice that was quite a bit hotter and more uncomfortable than the Friday morning session at their facility.

It was hot and it was humid as the team rolled through a 90-minute session that pretty much stuck to the focus from the morning workout: review and fundamentals.

The receivers and running backs had some one-on-one drills against the defensive backs and linebackers and  that provided some glimpses into what type of athletes are currently on the roster.

There were 85 players on the field. Punter Dustin Colquitt was missing. No official word on his absence but he and his wife are expecting their third child any day now.

Some observations from the afternoon session: …Read More!

Mini-Camp Practice #1 Report

From the Truman Sports Complex

With the exception of two guys wearing zebra shirts it was pretty hard to tell the difference between the 12 Chiefs OTA sessions and the first practice of the club’s three-day mini-camp that went down Friday morning at the team’s facility.

A pair of active NFL officials Tom Quick and David Oliver were on the field to help out as 86 of 87 players took part in the 90-minute session. As always, the only guy missing was restricted free agent S Jarrad Page who has not signed his tender offer.

Quick and Oliver will be on the field all weekend and will also be in meetings with players, watching tape and providing input.

“It’s an opportunity for us to learn a little bit,” said Chiefs head coach Todd Haley. “They are going to help explain and detail from their perspective. It’s an effort to try to educate, learn and eliminate penalties.”

The focus of this first mini-camp practice was review, as better than 90 percent of what the Chiefs worked on Friday morning they’ve done before. The practice plan was very basic on both sides of the ball, with the only difference from the OTAs being two periods for the special teams and some extra plays of team work.

“That gives us a little more time to evaluate some of the guys that we didn’t get to see quite as much of in the OTAs,” said Haley. “We also had some one-on-ones there with the O-Line and D-Line and this afternoon we’ll have the receivers and DBs go against each other.”

Some Friday morning mini-camp observations: …Read More!

Always Something Going On In NFL … Friday Cup O’Chiefs

With the exception of Dwayne Bowe’s ill-advised comments about the actions of his teammates on a three-year old road trip, things have been pretty quiet around the Chiefs in this off-season.

When the team hits the field Friday morning for the first of five mini-camp practices in three days, the focus by the players, coaches and even the media will be on football. Naturally, some of the scribblers, yakkers and hairdos will reference the absence of veteran S Jarrad Page, the only player who has not been around during all the work that began in late March.

But Page has remained silent, so there haven’t been any verbal, Twitter or YouTube bombs thrown into Chiefs off-season 2010. That’s not the case in a lot of other places around the league.

In Pittsburgh, Steelers bad boy QB Ben Roethlisberger spoke to several TV stations on Thursday about his behavior. “Big Ben just kept building up and it ended up coming off the field,” Roethlisberger said, speaking like Big Ben was some sort of creature that took over his life. “It kept taking over. Superman kept taking over Clark Kent and you just never saw who Ben Roethlisberger was any more. At the time, I didn’t see it. I was gaining everything but I was losing a lot of who I was raised to be. It got so overwhelming, it consumed me.” …Read More!

Waters Still Runs Deep … Thursday Cup O’Chiefs

One of the best things about the Chiefs 2010 off-season and OTA schedule has been the presence of veteran guard Brian Waters.

Among players and coaches, the big man has the longest tenure with the franchise. In fact, it’s not even close; the players next in line for seniority are LB Derrick Johnson and P Dustin Colquitt. They got to the Chiefs in 2005, five years after Waters.

Soon, Waters will pass from the locker room. Maybe it will come this post-season, maybe the year after that, but he’s now 33 years old and in his 11th season with the club. After 2010, he has one more year left on the six-year, $26.5 million contract that he signed back in 2006.

Waters has a unique view of matters around the Chiefs, one that provides context and perspective that no one else in the building carries, especially on the football side. Maybe the only person in the building with a better understanding of what was is team president Denny Thum, but he’s been completely boxed out of the football operation over the last two years.

Just take the last 15 months, starting with the supposed hallway conversation between Waters and Haley last February where the new head coach stated that he could have won two games with 22 players off the street. Waters has not ever addressed that situation publicly, but his absence for all but the mandatory mini-camp last spring was evidence enough of his unhappiness.

That was then, this is now. …Read More!

It’s All In The Details … Wednesday Cup O’Chiefs

From the Truman Sports Complex

It was just over a dozen years ago that Todd Haley drew the ire of Bill Belichick.

It was 1997 and Haley was in his first season of coaching, working as the offensive quality control coach on Bill Parcells staff with the New York Jets. Part of Haley’s duties each week during the season was preparing the diagrams of opponent’s plays for the offensive scout team to use against the New York defense, whose coordinator was Belichick.

The plays are printed on cardboard cards and shown to the practice offense before they ran each play.

“I was running cards, coaching the show team receivers and Belichick would scream at me for having a play one-yard out of line on the cards,” Haley said. “At that time I had no idea. I said ‘Why is this guy being a jerk to me? I’m trying my best.’ Now I understand … now I know how important those details are. That’s how you learn all that.”

Jump ahead 13 years to the Chiefs indoor practice facility on a rainy Tuesday in June where the Chiefs are in the midst of another OTA practice session. The offense is running plays against the defense and Haley sees something is not right. He stops the quarterback who is calling the signals and walks towards the receiver on the far right of the formation.

His voice doesn’t cover the 50 yards to where the media horde is watching the practice, but there’s no doubt what he’s doing. He walks over to numbers designating the 50-yard line and marches off four yards to the right. That’s where he wants the receiver to line up and start running his route, exactly four yards to the right of the numbers.

Not three yards, not five yards, but four yards. Somewhere in New England, Belichick is wearing a knowing smile. …Read More!

Brady Had No Fatherly Advice for Cassel

From the Truman Sports Complex

About a month ago Chiefs QB Matt Cassel became a father for the first time, as he and his wife Lauren welcomed their daughter Quinn into the world.

“It’s been an amazing experience,” Cassel said on Tuesday. “Fatherhood, I didn’t know what to expect going into it, but what a blessing.”

Cassel talks frequently with Patriots QB Tom Brady, a guy who recently became a father for the second time. Did Brady provide any help for his former backup?

“No, he didn’t give me any advice,” Cassel said. “He let me figure it out on my own.

“It’s been a hard-core experience these last few weeks changing diapers. I’d have to say football is a little easier.”

There was a lot of talk on Tuesday after the team’s OTA session about offensive coordinator Charlie Weis. Cassel was asked what was tougher: changing diapers or working with Weis.

“Changing diapers is difficult, but I’d have to say it’s working with Charlie,” Cassel said with a smile. “He’s a competitive son of a gun. If we come out and something doesn’t go right, he wants to win every single period and he’ll let you know that. That is something that has stuck out to me since we been work together.”

OTA #11 Report

From the Truman Sports Complex

The constant evaluation process continued for the Chiefs on Tuesday with OTA practice No. 11.

Going into the session, head coach Todd Haley was interested in seeing whether his offense, particularly the passing game, could bounce back from a bad day on Monday. And he was interested in finding out whether his defense could come back with another strong effort like the day before.

Both questions got answered in the affirmative during the 90-minute session that went down indoors after the practice facility was hit with heavy rain and wind Tuesday morning.

“I was interested to see how both sides would respond,” Haley said. “The offense showed some signs of life and bounced back and the defense was able to build on what they did yesterday. It was a good day.”

QB Matt Cassel threw the ball much better in this practice. After completing 50 percent of his throws on Monday, Cassel hit 16 of 21 in the 7-on-7 drill and teamwork. He ran into some problems in the two-minute drill, when he hit just one of four throws.

“There’s a lot of different stuff going on out there,” Cassel said. “The defense is putting in new schemes and we are trying new stuff. Yesterday the defense had a better day than we did and today, we just came out and we executed better.”

The defense stepped up big in the two-minute drill as Cassel and Tyler Palko each got a series. Cassel’s throw into the end zone on a fourth down play ended the first attempt and then Palko’s second throw was picked off by CB Mike Richardson, ending the drill.

Earlier in the workout, Cassel and rookie WR Dexter McCluster connected on a long pass down the middle of the field. McCluster made a nice catch over his head on what was a nice throw by Cassel that dropped right in between coverage from CB Javier Arenas, S Eric Berry and S Kendrick Lewis.

“Dexter has done a great job so far,” said Cassel. “He’s come in and worked hard. He’s obviously an exceptional athlete, with wonderful physical characteristics that we like. He had a lot of success in college and hopefully there’s a transition for us this year.”

Observations from the workout: …Read More!

Following The OTA Rules … Tuesday Cup O’Chiefs

Somebody snitched on the Baltimore Ravens and the Jacksonville Jaguars are brawling.

It’s just another week of the off-season in the National Football League.

Just where does the on-field work by the Chiefs fit in with other NFL teams when it comes to physicality and intensity? More on that subject later, but first here was the news of Monday:

– The NFL took the Ravens and head coach John Harbaugh to the woodshed, announcing that the team would forfeit its final days of OTA practice sessions because they violated rules and regulations for off-season work that were set up between the league and the NFL Players Association.

“We made a mistake and it won’t happen again,” said Baltimore GM Ozzie Newsome in a team statement. “We’ll complete our organized team activity days this week and then turn our focus to the start of training camp.”

– In Jacksonville tempers flared at the end of the Jaguars Monday morning workout and it took several players an extended period of time to bring an end the skirmish. The main combatants were offensive lineman Paul McQuistan and defensive lineman Walter Curry. Afterwards, Jags coach Jack Del Rio said he had no problem with the practice fisticuffs. …Read More!

OTA #10 Report

From the Truman Sports Complex

The defense again held the upper hand in the Chiefs 10th practice session of the off-season Monday morning at the team’s facility.

It was late last week in the OTAs that the defense started to make some plays and that continued in the 90 minutes of work that went down to start the week. Romeo Crennel’s unit had a pair of interceptions, with CB Travis Daniels and FS Kendrick Lewis grabbing the passes.

Overall in the 7-on-7 passing drill and team work portions of the practice, Chiefs passers were a combined 15 of 30 attempts with the two picks. Defensive backs were breaking up passes all through the session.

“We had been making good progress as a group in the passing game until today,” said head coach Todd Haley. “We hit a little bit of a rough patch so to speak, so it will be good to see how they bounce back tomorrow.”

Under cloudy skies, the Chiefs had 85 of their 87 players on the field. Taking part was newly signed TE Cody Slate, who was wearing No. 80. Missing were a pair of safeties: Jarrad Page and DaJuan Morgan. Page has missed all of the off-season work as an unsigned restricted free agent. Haley said Morgan was absent due to a personal issue.

The session was the first of eight practices the Chiefs will have in the next seven days. They’ll have OTA sessions on Tuesday and Wednesday, and then on Friday kick off a three-day, five-practice mini-camp that will run through Sunday.

“This will be a concentrated week for us,” said Haley. “It will somewhat simulate training camp, especially on the weekend with the two practices on Friday and Saturday. It’s a big week for us.”

Observations from OTA #10: …Read More!

Tight End Is Wide Open … Monday Cup O’Chiefs

Last week Chiefs head coach Todd Haley was speaking about the team’s situation at tight end.

To say the situation is muddled would be an understatement. After the signing of rookie Cody Slate on Friday, the Chiefs now have six tight ends on their roster.

Career NFL catches from those half-dozen TEs? That number would be 86, with 68 from starter Leonard Pope (left), 16 by the still rehabbing Brad Cottam and two from last year’s draft choice Jake O’Connell. Slate, Tony Moeaki and Leroy Banks are all rookies.

Haley makes it plain what he’s seeking for the position is versatility – he wants a tight end that can block and catch.

“I think tight end is a critical position for the offense,” Haley said of the scheme that he and coordinator Charlie Weis are piecing together for use in the 2010 season. “When you have tight ends that are versatile, that can be strong in the run game and equally strong in the pass game – those complete tight ends put the defense in a little bit of a bind.

“That’s where some of the matchup issues come into play.”

Haley and Weis are big on creating mismatches with their players and offensive game plan. That’s why the plan will change from opponent to opponent because of what they see from the other defense. To take advantage at the tight end position, they need a player who is a factor in the passing game and the running game. …Read More!

An Icon Goes Home To Nell

It was in Encino, one of those towns that all blend together in a sprawl to create the San Fernando Valley in Los Angeles.

I walked up a short flight of steps, through an unlocked iron gate and rang the bell. When the door opened, there stood John Wooden.

“Welcome Robert,” he said with a smile. “I’m a Robert too, so I always enjoy using the name.”

John Robert Wooden – one of America’s greatest sporting icons – passed away on Friday in Los Angeles. He was 99 years old, just four months short of celebrating a century on this Earth.

There are plenty of other sites and venues where you can get more information on his Hall of Fame career as a college player and coach. This is about a wonderful afternoon with a man who was the very definition of an icon. Should the American sports world ever decide to sculpt a Mount Rushmore-like memorial, Wooden’s craggy face would have to be part of the group.

It was January 1988 and I was in the midst of a six-month tour of America writing about college basketball for the Kansas City Times & Star. That year’s Final Four was set for Kemper Arena and the powers that be wanted not only to cover the college basketball season all over the country, but they wanted a look at the history of the NCAA tournament since that year was the 50th championship.

And where else would I learn more about the Final Four than the man who won more basketball championships than any coach in history? That was ten championships in his last 12 seasons coaching at UCLA, with so many different types of players and styles, and all of it done during one of the most turbulent periods in recent American history. …Read More!

Waiting For A Lombardi

Last weekend we charted the waiting time for a championship that fans of all four major sports have lived with going back over 100 years. Here’s the story. Here’s the chart of the 122 teams and their waiting periods.

This time we look specifically at the National Football League and what team has the most patient fans.

Sorry Chiefs fans, but again you have not been waiting longer than any other NFL followers. Not that any of that soothes the frustration and pain of 40 seasons away from the championship game. But there are plenty of others who have been waiting longer.

Here’s a complete list of the 32 teams and how long they’ve waited for a title, a chance for the title, the playoffs and a post-season victory.

The honor of waiting longest – if we can call it that – definitely falls to the fans of the Detroit Lions.

It has been over a half-century since the Motown boys have won the NFL title. The year was 1957, or long before any player currently in the league was born. Some of their parents were not even walking the Earth when quarterback Tobin Rote replaced the injured legend Bobby Layne led the George Wilson coached Lions to a 59-14 title game victory over the Cleveland Browns. There was no Lombardi Trophy then; Lombardi was still an assistant coach with the Giants in that season, still two years away from taking over as head coach of the Green Bay Packers. …Read More!

Half-Time For On-Field Work … Friday Cup O’Chiefs

From the Truman Sports Complex

On Thursday, the Chiefs had their ninth OTA practice session. Ahead of them are five more OTAs and a three-day mini-camp. In essence, the franchise hits the coming weekend at half-time of their on-field off-season work.

What seemed like a long series of workouts, now doesn’t seem so long for the players and the coaches, including the top dog, Todd Haley.

“it’s very important that we’re getting everything out of it that we can, both physically and mentally for the entire group because time’s going fast right now and before too long these guys are going to be heading home,” Haley said after Thursday’s practice. “We’re trying to use the time as efficiently as possible to get as much done.

“This week I felt like we had a really good work week overall. I feel like the guys got better.”

Six of the nine OTA sessions have been open to the media. That’s 90 minutes each or about nine hours of football that we’ve seen. Plus, it’s not really football, since there are no pads, no tackling, no blocking and no line play.

From what we’ve seen here are some evaluations at the halfway point: …Read More!

OTA #9 Report

From the Truman Sports Complex

Overall, it was a nice OTA session for Romeo Crennel’s defense as they controlled the two-minute drill that ended the ninth practice of the off-season. A pair of interceptions from CB Javier Arenas and S DaJuan Morgan kept the offense from generating any points.

It was the conclusion of the third week of off-season practices, with three more OTAs coming up next week along with the team’s weekend mini-camp.

“I felt like we had a really good work week overall,” said head coach Todd Haley. “I feel like the guys got better.

“Time’s going fast right now and before too long these guys are going to be heading home and we’re trying to use the time as efficiently as possible to get as much done.”

Arenas picked off QB Matt Cassel in the two-minute drill and took it back for what would have been a pick-six. Morgan got his interception off QB Matt Gutierrez on a desperation last pass as the clock was about out of time in the drill.

Morgan had another interception earlier in the practice when a well thrown ball from QB Tyler Palko bounced off the hands of TE Jake O’Connell.

QB Brodie Croyle again watched the work, but he did have the bandage removed from the right index finger that he injured a week ago. Croyle banged the digit off a helmet on his follow through; it’s an injury that Haley says is nothing serious.

Again, for the ninth practice, the Chiefs had 85 of the 86 players on the field for the workout; the only missing player was FS Jarrad Page.

Some other observations from the OTA and its aftermath: …Read More!

Getting Rookies Inked … Thursday Cup O’Chiefs

For the second season in a row, the Chicago Bears became the first team in the NFL to have all of their draft choices under contract.

If they handed out the Lombardi Trophy for getting done the dirty work of contract negotiations in the spring, then the Bears would be holding the hardware.

But Super Bowls and championships are not won in May and June, certainly not because all the players are under contract. Last year, the Bears did the same thing. They finished 7-9 and out of the playoffs.

The fact that there are just 19 of the league’s 255 draft choices under contract at this point speaks to the need for the NFL to have a rookie salary system that’s similar to that of the NBA. In basketball, drafted players are paid on a scale that set up before hand. There are no negotiations.

Based on years of evidence in he NFL, teams and agents can pretty much slot out the payments for each choice in each round and not be far off the reality of the situation.

There’s another reason only 19 contracts have been turned into the league office: until a draft choice signs his contract, he does not count against the 80-man maximum roster that teams can have right now. At a time when almost every team is going through on-field practices, OTAs and mini-camps, having the extra bodies are always helpful and something coaches seek and enjoy.

Generally, rookie contracts go up between five and 10 percent each year. This year’s No. 5 choice, the Chiefs S Eric Berry, will likely sign a contract that’s about 7.5 percent bigger than the one inked last year by the player at the same position in the draft. That was QB Mark Sanchez, with a five-year, $50 million deal with a $28 million signing bonus. Berry’s contract should end up being between five and 10 percent bigger than that signed by the fourth choice in ’09, LB Aaron Curry who went to Seattle in a 6-year, $60 million deal with $34 million in guaranteed dollars. That’s a more apples to apples comparison than with a quarterback.

None of this qualifies as rocket science for either the teams or the agents. In fact, it’s easier this year for the 32 clubs because the league has no salary cap to juggle and work around. …Read More!

Fighting The Restrictions … Wednesday Cup O’Chiefs

It’s the type of story that GMs and head coaches dislike, especially at this time of the year. But at some point we need to stop at the NFL business office and take stock of where players and franchises sit now that everyone is about three months away from starting the 2010 regular season.

There are restricted free agents still sitting out there that have not signed their tender offers, some 35 to be exact. There were 255 draft choices in April, and only 16 of those have signed contracts as of Tuesday evening. There also remain many veteran free agents who are still looking for work, take WR Terrell Owens for example.

Scott Pioli and Todd Haley have not had to read or hear much about the only player who has not been in their house for the club’s off-season work: veteran free safety No. 44 Jarrad Page (right).

There were 85 players on the practice field Tuesday for the Chiefs seventh OTA session of the spring. For the most part the media has focused on those players in attendance. Page has been forgotten, despite the fact he played four seasons, games and starts for the team.

Let’s catch up with the business of the NFL in this off-season, the final one with a collective bargaining agreement. …Read More!

OTA #7 Report

From the Truman Sports Complex

It was a tough day for some of the rookies as the Chiefs got back to work Monday morning for their third week of OTAs.

It started differently for the young guys right off the bat. Until Monday, the rookies had their own lifting session before any of the veterans. That changed when they were all thrown in with the veterans.

On the field, the coaching staff turned up the heat a bit. And it showed. Rookie TE Leroy Banks made a great catch over his head in the end zone for a touchdown. But several plays later, offensive coordinator Charlie Weis threw him out of the huddle and asked for a different tight end because of confusion over an assignment.

Head coach Todd Haley spoke at length to his team about mistakes in the scoring zone, and how those had to be eliminated whether they were penalties or turnovers. Just two players later, rookie RB Dexter McCluster coughed up the ball on a run to the left side.

“The whole idea of the OTAs is to go through the training camp installation (of offense and defense) as best we can,” Haley said. “When we get to the mini-camp, we get through it again. That will give them a second time through and then when we get to training camp, we will do it again.

“They are getting a lot thrown at them right now and it stars to add up. You are seeing some of those things from the rookies maybe kind of catching up to them.”

QB Brodie Croyle did not take part in the practice, but he watched with his right index finger bandaged. Croyle banged the digit off a helmet during last Thursday’s OTA. Haley said “it should not be anything serious” about the injury.

Of the 86 players on the Chiefs roster, 85 were on the field. Again, the only missing player was FS Jarrad Page, a restricted free agent who has not signed the tender offer from the team.

Here are some other observations from the 90-minute workout: …Read More!

Big Little Men … Tuesday Cup O’Chiefs

There’s one thing we know for sure about Dexter McCluster – if he’s going to fit in with the other little guys that played for the Chiefs over the years, the rookie needs a nickname.

The three smallest players in franchise history were Michael Clemons, Noland Smith and Mark McMillian, a trio otherwise known individually as Pinball, Super Gnat and Mighty Mouse.

Ever since the game of football was organized into teams and then leagues, it has attracted physical freaks. Not the type from the carnival, where there’s a guy with three arms and the bearded lady. No, these are remarkable bodies that are usually big, sometimes close to 300 pounds, but with 8 percent body fat and the ability to dunk a basketball or run 40 yards in a blink of the eye.

Sometimes those unusual bodies are on the opposite end of the height/weight scale. They are quite small, yet powerful and sturdy enough to take the beating that comes from playing a game that is one collision after another for 60 minutes every week.

(Here’s a list of the shortest and lightest players in Chiefs history.)

Consider some of the stars of today’s NFL. Jacksonville RB Maurice Jones-Drew is but 5-7 in height, San Diego has a stick of football dynamite in Darren Sproles, who is just 5-6. Last year DeSean Jackson burst on the scene for Philadelphia; he weighs 175 pounds soaking wet. New England’s Wes Welker led the NFL in receiving, at 5-9, 185 pounds. Carolina’s Steve Smith has been catching passes for a decade at the same size. Baltimore’s running and receiving threat Ray rice is but 5-8. …Read More!


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         Copyright 2010 Bob Gretz. May not be used or reprinted without the expressed written consent of Bob Gretz.