Cassel Sees His Number Retired

With the Patriots, Matt Cassel wore No.16. With the Chiefs he wears No. 7. At Southern Cal, he wore … nobody remembers what he wore since he never played. Actually, he wore No. 10.

That’s the same number he wore at Chatsworth High School in the San Fernando Valley of Los Angeles. Cassel was back on campus Friday where his No. 10 jersey was retired by the school.

Here’s a short story on the event, plus a good video that all Chiefs and Cassel fans will enjoy. He remains a man you can root for.

Here’s the link.

Charles Does Win FedEx Ground Award

From Dallas, Texas

Chiefs RB Jamaal Charles was named the FedEx Ground Player of the year on Thursday, receiving the award during a press conference at the Super Bowl Media Center in downtown Dallas.

Charles received the award from former NFL quarterback-now broadcaster Phil Simms. In the fan voting he beat out Houston’s Arian Foster and Atlanta’s Michael Turner for the honor. Foster was also part of the ceremonies.

Chiefs fans know what kind of season Charles had in 2010, with 1,467 rushing yards and his 6.38-yard average per carry. Those totals made him the second running back in NFL history to achieve 1,400 rushing yards and at least 6.3 yards per carry.

“This just shows that hard work pays off,” Charles said. “Last year, we worked so hard and when you work that hard, it will pay off in the end.”

Charles is less than a week removed from his first appearance in the Pro Bowl, where he scored a touchdown and ran for 72 yards on 10 carries.

“I took my Mom and my Aunt and they were so excited to see Michael Vick and Ray Lewis,” Charles said. “It was more of a family event. Getting a chance to enjoy that with my family was a great experience.” …Read More!

Jamaal Charles – Chiefs MVP 2010

The fans have spoken and they did so with an overwhelming vote for RB Jamaal Charles as the most valuable player for the Chiefs in the 2010 season.

Charles led the Chiefs in rushing, was the most productive offensive player in yards produced, was named first-team All Pro and was chosen for the Pro Bowl.

And essentially half of the voters who took part in the polling voted for Charles as the most important player on the Chiefs roster in their 10-7 season that included an AFC West championship. He received 47.5 votes.

Finishing second was OLB Tamba Hali, who dominated the voting among those who did not select Charles. Hali received 29.5 votes.

Others receiving votes were QB Matt Cassel with 10 and ILB Derrick Johnson with two.

Here’s what some of the voters had to say:   …Read More!

Simoneau Gets Another Chance

Mark Simoneau was at home in Kansas City seriously pondering what to do with the rest of his life.

A football career that began at Smith Center High School, moved down the road to Kansas State and onto the NFL with the Falcons, Eagles and Saints had stalled. Simoneau had not stepped on the NFL regular-season field since 2007. Injuries had wiped out his 2008-09 seasons with the New Orleans Saints. He was released back in early March and in the last few months he had one call to workout. That was the Chiefs.

Now, he’s part of the Chiefs 53-man roster, signing on Tuesday and getting a chance to continue what he thought was a closed book with a practice on Wednesday.

“I thought there was a possibility of that,” Simoneau said when he was asked if he thought his career was over. “I tried to stay in shape and as ready as I could be. I kept watching football and seeing what offenses were doing and trying to stay as sharp as I could.

“I feel blessed to have this opportunity with my hometown team. It feels awesome. I don’t know how many guys have that opportunity to play for the team they grew up watching.” …Read More!

Smith Will Appeal Fine

From the Truman Sports Complex

DL Shaun Smith said Wednesday that he has filed an appeal on the $10,000 fine slapped on him by the NFL for an incident during the game with the 49ers back on September 26th.

Smith was hit with the discipline for allegedly grabbing the crotch of OT Anthony Davis.

“I’m appealing it right now,” said Smith. “I got my (pay) check the other day and everything was fine. I’m just waiting to see what happens.”

Generally an appeal provides little relief on punishment for actions during a game. The fines are handed down by executive vice-president for football operations Ray Anderson.

“This is my first time getting fined,” said Smith. “I just know from other guys that you should appeal it through your agent. Ten grand is a lot of money. It’s unfortunate, but it is what it is.”

Smith said he’s not concerned about becoming a marked man for opposing offensive linemen or the officials. “I’m just trying to get better and help this team keep winning games,” said Smith. “I’m not worried about that other stuff.”

Bye Week Chiefs: One through 50

As the Chiefs have scattered around the country to spend time with friends and family, those folks are filling them up with a lot of back slaps and high-fives on the team’s 3-0 start. How they handle that – especially the younger players – will go a long way to deciding whether they can shock everyone and go 4-0 with a victory over the Colts in Indianapolis next weekend.

So far three games into the 2010 season, they have achieved far more than anyone could have imagined. They’ve done it by playing better on game day than any of their three opponents. Yes, those opponents are 1-8 on the season, but both San Diego and San Francisco are talented teams.

The Chiefs are showing they have some talent too. As October begins here’s my updated ratings on the active roster, one through 50. For this edition of the ratings I’ve left out the specialists. We’ll include them back in later. I’ve also put more weight on what they’ve shown in three games and not so much weight on the big picture and where they may be going in their careers.

Here it goes, no wagering please.

  1. CB BRANDON FLOWERS (RIGHT)– Whether against the run or the pass, he’s played at a top level in all three games this season to date. Flowers is climbing the ladder among AFC cornerbacks and if he continues in the direction he’s going to be Pro Bowler sooner rather than later.
  2. OLB TAMBA HALI – After three sacks, he must continue to put pressure on the passer.
  3. RB JAMAAL CHARLES – Obviously the most explosive offensive threat on the team.
  4. LT BRANDEN ALBERT – Nobody is talking about Albert; a sure sign he’s getting the job done.
  5. ILB DERRICK JOHNSON – He’s moved on from last year and he’s flying around making plays.   …Read More!

Sheffield Released From Hospital

Rookie OLB Cameron Sheffield was released from a Kansas City area hospital Saturday morning after spending the night following a neck injury suffered in the pre-season game Friday night against Philadelphia.

The Chiefs annouced his release and that he “has movement in all of his extremities.”

In the third quarter, Sheffield had a helmet-to-helmet collision with Philly RB Mike Bell and he did not get off the turf afterwards. Doctors and trainers immobilized him on a backboard and had him taken from the field by a cart.

Haley On Cassel: He’s Improving

From St. Joseph, Missouri

A couple hours before the Chiefs hit the field Thursday afternoon for their last practice session at Missouri Western State University, head coach Todd Haley met with the media in his daily press briefing.

And as usually happens during these meeting, the talk turned to quarterback Matt Cassel and where he stands as camp ends in St. Joe and heads back to Kansas City after this weekend’s pre-season game No. 2 in Tampa.

The part of the fan-base that is unhappy with Cassel and his development as the team’s franchise quarterback aren’t going to be happy with what Haley had to say, because he thinks the young man has improved and done so in some very important areas.

“I believe Matt is making progress,” Haley said. “He has found a way to get a little bit better every day. I think as our entire operation improves, he’s going to improve along with it.”

There are duties the starting quarterback must fulfill and Haley said he sees that happening with Cassel. …Read More!

Thomas Jones Warns Of Mine Hazards

Quite a few Chiefs players get involved with charities and public service organizations – for years they’ve had one of the best community relations departments in the league.

Thomas Jones has joined that group of active Chiefs players, and it’s a very different cause.

Jones has become spokesman for the U.S. Department of Labor’s Mine Safety and Health Administration and the agency’s “Stay Out-Stay Alive” campaign. For the last 11 years, the idea has been to warn people of the dangers that can be found on mine properties for outdoor enthusiasts and children.

“Both of my parents were coal miners and they instilled in me a respect for the hazards often encountered while working underground,” Jones said. “If you haven’t been properly trained as a miner, you have no business being anywhere near a quarry, gravel pit or mine.” …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.

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.”

Lilja’s Loving His K.C. Return

From the Truman Sports Complex

Every player strives to help his team reach the Super Bowl.

But getting there is not the end-all and be-all. It’s winning the championship that matters.

Ryan Lilja knows. During his six seasons with the Indianapolis Colts. He was a starter in Super Bowl 41 when the Colts beat the Chicago Bears in the rain in south Florida. It was the highest of highs.

Then earlier this year, Lilja was a starter for the Colts in Super Bowl 44, when the New Orleans Saints walked away with the victory.

“It’s ten times worse to lose one,” Lilja said Thursday. “I can’t believe I even said that. It doesn’t make sense. As good as it is to win one, this last one stung, it stung more.

“I came in here and talked to Mike Clark before I signed. He’s the strength coach and came here from Seattle. The first thing he said to me is what does it feel like to lose a Super Bowl? We sat there and talked for 20 minutes about how miserable it is.” …Read More!

Smashburger with Waters

A new burger joint to Kansas City is teaming up with the NFL Man of the Year to benefit under privileged children.

Smashburger will open its first store on Thursday on 119th Street in Overland Park just east of Metcalf Avenue. They will donate $1 for every Smashburger sold over the first week of operation to Brian Waters and his 54 Foundation.

Since its inception in 2004, the 54 Foundation has awarded 82 college scholarships to low-income students, along with providing all sorts of supplies to thousands of children that had no other way to get a backpack or immunizations and dental care. Waters has also taken part in numerous other charitable actions and organizations. The breadth and depth of his involvement is what led to his winning the 2010 Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award, presented back in February at the Super Bowl.

Named for the cooking method used to create the perfect burger, Smashburgers are a one-third or half-pound ball of 100-percent fresh Certified Angus Beef that is smashed on a flat grill to sear in flavor. They are then served on a toasted artisan bun and topped with a selection of real cheeses, the freshest produce and top-quality condiments.

“I am proud to partner with Smashburger to raise awareness about the work of The 54 Foundation and join in celebrating Smashburger’s grand opening in Kansas City,” Waters said in a statement.

Flowers Ready to Bloom

From The Truman Sports Complex

The injury occurred at the end of the 2009 pre-season. Brandon Flowers landed badly and what happened in his shoulder was not good. It was messed up, with the exact nature of the mess one of those state secrets around the Chiefs.

It’s safe to say that the pain never went away. Flowers was scratched from the season opener in Baltimore, but then played the final 15 games on the schedule. He did it with a great deal of discomfort, probably a pain killing shot or two, but with the attitude that he had to play. There was never a consideration on his part of shut down his season, even in the second half of the season when the Chiefs were so far out of contention they couldn’t see first place in the AFC West.

“All the guys I went through training camp with and all the off-season workouts, they had been with me the whole time and that would have been selfish of me to sit down and just tell them they’ve got the last few games because I want to rest my shoulder and make sure I’m alright,” Flowers said. “I was going to go out there and spill my blood, sweat and tears with my brothers.” …Read More!

Chambers Glad To Be Back

From the Truman Sports Complex

“It felt so good to come into a locker room that I know.”

That was just part of the excitement WR Chris Chambers experienced on Monday as he joined the rest of his teammates for the first day of the Chiefs off-season strength and conditioning program.

And that was one of the reasons Chambers signed so early in the free agency period. After he injected some life into their offense over the second half of the ’09 season the Chiefs wanted him back. And after being released by the Chargers last year, Chambers wanted to sign with a team that wanted him.

That made the three-year deal for just under $15 million easy to accept for the 31-year old, 10-year NFL veteran.

“I didn’t want to go somewhere I had to start over and learn a different system,” Chambers told the media. “I’m glad to be around the guys again.” …Read More!

Sharing A Story Of Sharing

There is a great story in today’s Chicago Sun-Times about Chiefs OLB Andy Studebaker and one of the things he’s been doing in the months since the end of the 2009 season.

The details about Studebaker’s rise from Division III Wheaton College to the NFL is a story that most Chiefs fans have gotten to know through this site and others in the 22 games that he’s been part of the team’s active roster; he was signed on November 19, 2008 off the Eagles practice squad.

But his effort to help other people is what’s interesting in this story and those efforts didn’t just start when he made the NFL.

Here’s the link if you want to read the story yourself.

And, here’s a brief Cliff Notes version: Studebaker and his wife Mallory led a trip recently to South Africa, where they helped refurbish an orphanage established by a former Wheaton football player. The Studebakers along with 14 current Wheaton players painted and laid concrete during their week in the country.

It’s a continuation of what Studebaker did when he was attending Wheaton. Then, he took spring break trips with his teammates not to a beach in Florida or Mexico, but went to Senegal, South Africa and Romania where they handled similar projects.

It’s a very good story about a very good man.

Getting To Know: Thomas Jones

Full name: Thomas Quinn Jones

Born: August 19, 1978

Hometown: Big Stone Gap, Virginia, a small town in southwest Virginia, just over the mountains from Harland County, Kentucky. It’s an area where Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee and North Carolina come together at various angles. The 2000 Census said the population was 4,856 folks. He also spent time while growing up in Appalachia, Virginia, a town of less than 2,000 which was across the Big Stone Gap from the town of the same name.

Family: Oldest son of Thomas and Betty Jones. Both parents worked in coal mines, as their fathers did before them. His mother spent nearly 20 years working the night shift, retiring 10 years ago with a back injury. He has five sisters: Gwen, Beatrice, Knetris, Knetta and Katrice. His younger brother Julius Jones went to Notre Dame and was drafted in the second round in 2004 by Dallas. He’s played six seasons for the Cowboys and Seahawks. …Read More!

Chiefs Sign Vrabel; Tenders To RFAs

Busy times for all NFL teams as the league sprints towards the start of a new business year at 11 p.m. Central Time.

The Chiefs have worked out a new contract with OLB Mike Vrabel, keeping him from reaching unrestricted free agency. Vrabel, who came to the Chief as part of the deal for QB Matt Cassel, will be playing his 14th NFL season and will turn 35 in August. Last season he was sixth on the team in total tackles with 65, along with two sacks two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery.

Last week during the NFL Combine, head coach Todd Haley said: “I think the world of Mike. I think he’s a heck of a player and he was a heck of a positive influence for me as a first-year head coach in multiple areas. He’s just a tremendous football player that is fun to be around.”

Also, the Chiefs have given tender offers to starting center Rudy Niswanger, starting RT Ryan O’Callaghan, backup tackle Ikechuku Ndukwe and S Jarrad Page; all came with a second-round draft choice as the compensation. For four-year veterans Niswanger, O’Callaghan and Page, that’s one-year deals for $1,759,000 and for three-year player Ndukwe that’s a tender worth $1,684,000.

Plus, the Chiefs have given five-year LB Derrick Johnson a first-round tender offer of $2,621,000.

OL Andy Alleman did not receive a tender offer, making him an unrestricted free agent.

Reacting To The All-Decade Team

From Ft. Lauderdale, Florida

It’s a dreary, rainy day in south Florida, so the trip to the beach was cancelled and now there’s more time to provide dispatches from Super Bowl Land.

The announcement of the NFL’s All-Decade team for the 2000s got lost in the silliness of the Pro Bowl and the hype of Super Bowl week. Or was it the hype of the Pro Bowl and silliness of Super Bowl week? Either way, the best players from the last ten seasons haven’t gotten their just due. My suggestion in the future for the league is to release this information about the middle of the off-week before the Super Bowl. As a story, it would have far more traction at that point on the calendar.

It was amazing that the Chiefs placed four players on the team. Even if someone wants to argue that Willie Roaf’s (above) career was divided between Kansas City and New Orleans, the fact is this: he played more than twice as many games in the 2000s wearing the Chiefs red and gold (58) than he did with the fleur de lis of the Saints (23). …Read More!

The Historic Season of Jamaal Charles

Jamaal Charles had a remarkable run over the last half of the 2009 season. His race to 1,120 yards is all the more remarkable given the fact that nobody with fewer than his 190 carries has ever topped 1,100 yards.

Simply put, nobody in football history gained more yards on less carries than Charles. 

The fewest carries for a 1,000-yard season was done in 1934, as Beattie Feathers of the Chicago Bears ran for 1,004 yards on just 119 carries in 11 games. That was a remarkable performance from the early days of the league, an average of 8.4 yards per carry and 91.3 yards per game.

Seven other runners reached the 1,000-yard mark with fewer than the 190 carries that Charles had during the ’09 season. But none ran for more than 1,071 yards.

That’s what makes Charles performance all the more noteworthy. Before Charles season, the fewest carries any running back had in reaching 1,100 yards or more was the 1966 performance of Leroy Kelly with the Cleveland Browns. In 14 games, Kelly ran 209 times for 1,141, at 5.5 yards per carry.

Back  Team  Year     Games    Carries Yards   Avg.
Beattie Feathers Chicago Bears 1934





Michael Vick Atlanta 2006





Joe Perry San Francisco 1954





Paul Lowe San Diego 1963





Derrick Ward N.Y. Giants 2008





John David Crow St. Louis 1960





Stump Mitchell St. Louis 1985





Franco Harris Pittsburgh 1972





Mercury Morris Miami 1972










  …Read More!

Another Transaction Tuesday

Tuesdays have been the busiest day of the week for roster movement around the Chiefs during this 2009 season.

Thus the day has been dubbed Transaction Tuesday.

There was another transaction for the Chiefs on Tuesday as the team released DT Kenny Smith.

Signed on October 21st, after being out of the NFL for several seasons, Smith played in six games with the Chiefs. He was credited with two tackles in those games, where he got just a handful of snaps each week spelling NT Ron Edwards.

The Chiefs did not announce who would fill the open spot on the 53-man active roster. They have three defensive linemen on the practice squad: DT Derek Lokey, DE Dion Gales and DE Bobby Greenwood.

Chiefs Sign Another Fullback

With a spot open on the active roster for four weeks due to the suspension of Dwayne Bowe, the Chiefs added FB Tim Castille to the roster.

Castille is 5-11,238 pounds and has played two seasons in the NFL with the Arizona Cardinals. Last year he played in 14 games as the Cardinals won the NFC Championship. He did not have any rushing attempts and caught four passes for 11 yards. Castille also had 10 tackles in the kicking game. He was inactive for all 16 games of his rookie season in 2007.  The Cardinals released him on the final cutdown before the start of the ’09 regular season.

A native of Alabama, Castille signed with Arizona as an undrafted free agent out of the University of Alabama. With the Crimson Tide, he was a short-yardage specialist, laying in 43 games with 155 carries for 524 yards and 20 TDs. He also caught 59 passes for 363 yards.

His father Jeremiah was an All-America DB with Alabama who played six seasons in the NFL with the Broncos and Buccaneers. His brother Simeon played in nine games during the 2008 season for the Bengals.

Chiefs, L.J. Reach Settlement under the name of Chris Mortensen is reporting Saturday evening that the Chiefs and Larry Johnson have reached a setttlement on his suspension and his appeal will be withdrawn.

Johnson will remain suspended for two weeks, but it will cost him just one weekly paycheck, rather than two. NFL players are paid on a 17-week calendar during the season, so L.J. will be out $267,647, rather than double that amount.

His contract calls for him to receive a per-game bonus of $62,500. Since he won’t be available for the Jacksonville game, he will also lose that money, so his total ticket in money-lost for his use of slurs on his Twitter account and in the team’s locker room will be $330,147.

Under terms of the suspension, Johnson will return to the team on Monday, November 9th, the day after the Chiefs game in Jacksonville.

A settlement was sought by both the NFL and the NFL Players Association. Johnson’s suspension is new territory for the league and players and if the appeal had been heard, the decision of an arbitrator had potential pitfalls for both sides. That was especially crucial at this time when the parties are trying to reach a new collective bargaining agreement.

Darling’s Season Is Over Says Brother

The Chiefs keep a cap on all information having to do with the team, especially when it comes to injury.

Sometimes that blanket  of secrecy gets breached by family members.

The brother of Devard Darling has told the Nassau Guardian that the wide receiver’s season is done because of an ACL injury with his left knee. Here’s what the Guardian reported:

“Darling couldn’t be reached for comment yesterday, but older brother Dennis explained that it was an unfortunate incident that comes with the reality of playing in the National Football League.

“Football is a physical sport and these things just happen. It was a tough break and it was very disappointing for us and for Devard,” said Dennis. “We were looking for some big things from him this year, especially with him starting at wide receiver, but unfortunately he won’t get that opportunity now.”

Darling was injured in the second quarter of last Saturday’s pre-season game against Seattle.  With the NFL cutdown to 75 on Tuesday, expect Darling to be one of those five moves.

What’s Up With Zach?

On Tuesday, Zach Thomas will celebrate his 36th birthday.

Will he still be a member of the Chiefs when he cuts his cake?

Adam Schefter of ESPN says no, he’s gone. Thomas’ agent Drew Rosenhaus says that’s wrong, that he plans to play this year with the Chiefs.

Unknown in this story are the words and thoughts of Pioli/Haley, because they do not talk about injured players. And Thomas has been injured. He has not practiced with the team since August 6th. That as the Chiefs ninth practice of training camp, and Thomas had missed two earlier workouts.

His injury appears to be either a hamstring or a quad muscle; the Chiefs will not confirm anything. Thomas disappeared last week from the rehab team, but he was back during Monday’s practice. He was running and taking part in exercises and drills with the strength and conditioning staff and seemed to have no problems moving about. …Read More!

What Does Lelie Bring To The Chiefs?

From River Falls, Wisconsin

If there were any doubts that the Chiefs have reached a desperate stage in improving their wide receiver group, the signing on Monday of Ashley Lelie should end those.

Pioli/Haley are doing anything and everything they can to increase the talent level, and that includes signing a guy that has played for four different teams in seven seasons. Lelie has been one of the great first-round draft choice under-achievers in this decade. He came out of the University of Hawaii with speed, speed, speed, supposedly running the 40-yard dash in 4.27 seconds.

Seven years later, what does the 29-year old Lelie bring the Chiefs? Does he still have his speed? Why will he succeed in Kansas City when he was inconsistent in Denver and failed in Atlanta, San Francisco and Oakland? Since he was traded away by the Broncos during a pre-season contract holdout, Lelie has played in 43 games and caught a total of 49 passes for 742 yards and three TDs for three different teams. (That’s him getting crunched last year by Brandon Carr and Bernard Pollard in a Chiefs-Raiders game.)

Not exactly the recent resume of a difference maker.

“I think he’s healthy and he’s a little different (style) than anything we have,” said Haley. “He’s a long, lean guy with some speed, with some potential top end speed. I thought it was a chance to get somebody in here that’s a little different than what we had.” …Read More!

It’s Signed, It’s a Deal

The Chiefs announced Friday afternoon that they have a signed agreement with No. 1 draft  choice DE Tyson Jackson.

Early indications are that the deal with Jackson is for five years, and somewhere just short of $60 million, with $31 million in guaranteed dollars. If accurate, the guaranteed money is the most any player has received in franchise history.

On top of the $28 million guarantee that went to QB Matt Cassel, that’s $59 million in Hunt Family money that GM Scott Pioli has committed for a pair of players that have never worn the Chiefs uniform in a game, and between them have only Cassel’s 15 NFL starts that came last year in New England. 

On Thursday evening both the National Football Post website and 610 Sports in Kansas City reported that an agreement had been reached with the young man out of Louisiana State. The details of the contract and Jackson’s signature went down Friday morning. He was on his way to River Falls, but it’s highly unlikely Jackson will see the practice field until Monday morning. That’s if he passes Todd Haley’s conditioning test.

And that might be tough to do with all that money in his wallet.

L.J.: “Hit Them Like A Bullet … Not A Tank”

From River Falls, Wisconsin

After spending nearly 30 minutes signing autographs for fans at the Chiefs first training camp practice, a smiling Larry Johnson took some time to talk.

L.J. is slim and trim and says he’s in the best football shape of his life. Todd Haley asked him to lose some weight and it’s obvious Johnson followed through. He said he was 223 Saturday morning and figures he’ll be at 220 by the time camp is over.  Over his career with the Chiefs, Johnson has played at 230 to 235 pounds.

“I’m going to hit them like a bullet with some speed and not a tank,” Johnson said. “I really feel good and I do feel faster.”

He certainly looks faster and showed that speed during the morning workout. In a goal-line drill, Johnson was forced to run outside and he was able to beat the defense to the corner of the end zone. “I don’t want to get caught from behind anymore,” Johnson said with a smile. Against the Broncos last year, L.J. had a 65-yard run where he was caught from behind before he got into the end zone.

It’s his torso and upper body where Johnson is slimmer and trimmer. From the waist down, he’s still got the big powerful legs. “Nothing I can do about those …  they came from my Dad,” Johnson said with a laugh.

More on L.J. coming tomorrow morning from River Falls.

Position Overview: Quarterbacks

With this overview of the quarterbacks, we conclude our series on the Chiefs 2009 roster and the nine main position groups as the team begins training camp.

There is no question that when they hit the practice field on Saturday morning for the first workout of the 2009 season that the Chiefs now belong to Matt Cassel (left).

Trading a second-round pick was evidence alone, but there’s no doubt after his six-year, $63 million deal got done with the team.

Cassel is the present and future of the Chiefs offense and he can now go about the process of elevating his game and that of his teammates. Todd Haley can talk about competition for jobs, but barring injury there’s no question that Cassel will start the opener against Baltimore.

Tyler Thigpen can only continue to work and be ready. It’s a similar situation for Brodie Croyle as he tries to come back from his knee injury. If Croyle falters in any fashion because of his knee or rustiness then Ingle Martin is still around to grab an opportunity.

Here’s how the position breaks down: …Read More!

Position Review: Tight End

Until the start of training camp late next week, we will take a look at the Chiefs 2009 roster and break down the 80 players based on the nine position groups. We’ll also provide perspective on what each position has done in this decade of Chiefs football.

When the Chiefs traded Tony Gonzalez to the Atlanta Falcons back in April, they removed from their roster 916 catches, 10,940 receiving yards and 76 touchdown catches.

As they head to training camp, they have five tight ends on the roster, with three TEs that have played in the NFL. Combined that trio – Brad Cottam (right), Tony Curtis and Sean Ryan – have 20 starts in the league, with 30 catches for 218 yards and three TDs.

Gonzalez had those numbers before the end of his first season.

No NFL team builds an offense or even a passing game around a tight end. But over the last 10 years, Gonzalez was the most reliable receiver in the Chiefs offense year-after-year and the best security blanket available for the team’s quarterbacks.

He’s gone and there’s a big hole at tight end. None of the five on the roster has the skills or background to become the next Tony Gonzalez. That doesn’t mean they can’t make contributions and catch passes for the Chiefs offense in ’09. They just have very big shoes to fill.

Here’s a look at the tight ends on the roster. …Read More!

Position Overview: Special Teams

Until the start of training camp late next week, we will take a look at the Chiefs 2009 roster and break down the 80 players based on the nine position groups. We’ll also provide perspective on what each position has done in this decade of Chiefs football.

With the exception of punter Dustin Colquitt (right) and coverage man Jon McGraw, the Chiefs special teams struggled during the 2008 season. Snapper, kicker, returner … they all left much to be desired in helping the Chiefs win games.

Thus, the 2-14 record thanks to one of the worst FG percentages in the league and no returns for touchdowns, something the Chiefs haven’t seen at all since the 2006 season.

For any chance to turn around the team’s record this season, Todd Haley and his coaching staff must come up with more plays out of the kicking game. They must get consistent kicking, consistent coverage and some spark in the return game.

But do they have the players to get those things done?

Here’s the breakdown of the key positions in the kicking game. …Read More!

Position Overview: Defensive Line

Until the start of training camp late next week, we will take a look at the Chiefs 2009 roster and break down the 80 players based on the nine position groups. We’ll also provide perspective on what each position has done in this decade of Chiefs football.

Scott Pioli and Todd Haley left little doubt where they felt rebuilding needed to start with the Chiefs roster. They used their second-round choice to get a starting quarterback in Matt Cassel (trade with New England). They then used their first and third round choices to draft a pair of defensive linemen in Tyson Jackson (left) and Alex Magee.

In this decade, the Chiefs have spent a lot of draft picks and money on defensive linemen with mixed results. They start the ’09 season with six linemen who were drafted in the first three rounds; they drafted a total of 10. The most successful draft choice was DE Jared Allen, who was taken in the fourth round of the 2004 NFL Draft. He of course, left the team last year in a trade with Minnesota.

Some of those defensive linemen are now linebackers and only four of those 10 choices are still part of the mix along the ’09 defensive line. Pioli/Haley are counting on a big and immediate contribution from Jackson and Magee. Jackson will be part of the starting lineup at left defensive end, while Magee will likely begin the season behind Glenn Dorsey at right defensive end. But Magee will see plenty of playing time.

How the new bodies mix with the returning players is one of the puzzles the Chiefs defensive coaching staff must put together in the pre-season.

Here’s how the bodies shake out along the defensive line. …Read More!

Position Overview: Offensive Line

Until the start of training camp late next week, we will take a look at the Chiefs 2009 roster and break down the 80 players based on the nine position groups. We’ll also provide perspective on what each position has done in this decade of Chiefs football.

Last season the Chiefs offensive line play improved from the season before, when the Chiefs had problems running the ball and protecting the quarterback.

In 2007, the offense had the worst running season in club history at 78 yards per game and gave up 55 sacks, the second highest total in the club’s almost 50 years of play.

Last season, the numbers improved on the running game to 113.1 yards per game and the sacks were cut to 37 on the season. That came because of the mobility that Tyler Thigpen brought to the offense at the quarterback position and improved play along the line.

Branden Albert (right) was a better left tackle than Damion McIntosh, and McIntosh was a better right tackle than Chris Terry and others. At left guard Brian Waters rebounded from a poor season in ’07 to his Pro Bowl level and while Rudy Niswanger didn’t have the experience at center that Casey Wiegmann provided, his physical skills were superior making it a wash. Right guard was a problem in 2007 and 2008.

As the Chiefs head into the 2009 season, it looks like they’ve solidified the right guard spot with the signing of UFA Mike Goff, who brings the most talent to the spot since Will Shields retired after the 2006 season. The other four spots should have the same starters as last season. …Read More!

Position Overview: Secondary

Until the start of training camp late next week, we will take a look at the Chiefs 2009 roster and break down the 80 players based on the nine position groups. We’ll also provide perspective on what each position has done in this decade of Chiefs football.

Of all the position groups on the Chiefs roster for the 2009 training camp, none is as strong as the secondary. There are six solid players in the back row and while none has shown Pro Bowl ability, the youngsters still have time to grow and produce.

Nobody on the Chiefs 2008 defense had a good season. Safeties Jarrad Page and Bernard Pollard struggled, but a lot of their problems can be traced to the holes in the front seven ahead of them. Rookie cornerbacks Brandon Flowers, Brandon Carr (left) and Maurice Leggett had moments of very good play, and times when they were reminded they were wet behind the ears playing the toughest position in the defense.

With the possible additions of veteran safety Mike Brown and draft choice cornerback Donald Washington into the group, the secondary becomes a potential strength in what has been a weak defense.

Here’s how the positions break down. …Read More!

Position Overview: Wide Receivers

Until the start of training camp late next week, we will take a look at the Chiefs 2009 roster and break down the 80 players based on the nine position groups. We’ll also provide perspective on what each position has done in this decade of Chiefs football.

The size and length of his contract tells us the Chiefs think Matt Cassel is their franchise quarterback.

Now the question is: who might be Cassel’s targets when the Chiefs offense goes to the passing game? With Tony Gonzalez traded, the tight end-centric nature of the team’s pass offense will change considerably.

The passing game focus will shift to the wide receivers, and right now the Chiefs cupboard is hardly bulging with proven NFL catchers. After third-year man and former No. 1 choice Dwayne Bowe (left), the group is populated by a veteran at the end of his career (Bobby Engram) and a host of under-achievers that have never been a featured receiver in the NFL.

What happens at wide receiver will be very interesting to watch, because this is where Todd Haley made his bones as an NFL assistant coach. He paid extra attention to the wide receivers during off-season practices, especially when the passing game struggled to get connected. The head coach will have an eye on all 80 players, but he’ll give the receivers a few extra looks.

The philosophy of Pioli/Haley in looking for the right player, rather than the most talented player, indicates they may not be active participants in picking up veteran players released by other teams during the pre-season. But if there’s one position that could bring in new faces, it’s at wide receiver.

Here’s how the bodies break down at the outside positions. …Read More!

Position Overview: Running Backs

Until the start of training camp late next week, we will take a look at the Chiefs 2009 roster and break down the 80 players based on the nine position groups. We’ll also provide perspective on what each position has done in this decade of Chiefs football.

Over the history of the Texans/Chiefs franchise, the guys wearing red and gold have always able to run with the football.

That was until 2007, when the offense had a record low 1,248 rushing yards. The Chiefs rebounded last season with 1,810 yards. That was still below the decade average of 1,961 yards per season posted by the offense.

The Chiefs will need to match that average or go beyond in 2009 if the offense is going to be productive. But they begin training camp with only one proven NFL runner, and Larry Johnson’s recent history makes it a dicey proposition to count on him. Johnson had a good and quiet off-season and that provides hope that his life and career is now under control. If that continues, the Chiefs chances for offensive success and winning improves considerably.

Here’s how the bodies break down in the backfield. …Read More!

Position Overview: Linebacker

Over the next 10 days, until the start of training camp late next week, we will take a look at the Chiefs 2009 roster and break down the 80-player group based on the nine position groups. We’ll also provide some perspective on what each group has done in this decade of Chiefs football.

Last year, the biggest problem position on the Chiefs defense was linebacker. That was with just three spots in the scheme.

Now, the Chiefs will have four linebackers on the field.

Pioli/Haley believe they’ve raised the level of talent at the position with the addition of a trio of veteran linebackers: Mike Vrabel, Zach Thomas and Monty Beisel. But there’s also the switch of three defensive ends – Tamba Hali, Turk McBride and Andy Studebaker – to outside linebacker, a move that is fraught with the flavor of trying to force square pegs into round holes. And, there’s the continued wait for Derrick Johnson (above) to have a breakout-type season.

Question marks remain at linebacker.

Here’s how the bodies break down within the position. …Read More!

Sal Helps The American Cancer Society

One of Kansas City’s favorite Chiefs is hosting a Casino Night that will benefit the American Cancer Society’s Kansas City Relay for Life.

Dan Saleaumua became a favorite of Chiefs fans for his play in the 1990s, his penchant for recovering fumbles from the bottom of the pile and his always present smile. He’s still active as a tireless crusader for the American Cancer Society, and Chiefs fans can help him out and they’ll get a chance to see the big man.

The Casino Night goes down on Saturday night, May 2 at the Figlio Tower in the Country Club Plaza. The address is 2009 W. 46th Terrace, Kansas City, MO 64112.

The event begins at 7 p.m. and runs through midnight. Food, drinks, gaming and raffles are all part of the evening’s entertainment. Admission is $50.

You can also donate to the cause and share in the prizes without attending the event – receive 10 raffle tickets for each $20 in donations.

For all the details, or to buy tickets or donate online, visit

Why Zach Thomas Is In Kansas City

From the Truman Sports Complex

Why would a soon to be 36-year old, seven-time Pro Bowl linebacker sign up with a team that’s coming off a 2-14 season and in total rebuild mode?

Zach Thomas had five reasons over and above the biggest reason he plays and that’s his love of the game:

  • 1. Scott Pioli
  • 2. Toddy Haley
  • 3. Matt Cassel
  • 4. The Miami Dolphins
  • 5. Middle linebacker

They were all factors in his decision to sign with the Chiefs and continue his football career after 12 seasons in Miami and last year in Dallas.

“I knew everything is changed here,” Thomas said Saturday afternoon in a break between mini-camp practices at the Chiefs facility. “I’d like to be here for that change, kind of like Miami did last year, you know, turn it around.

“I’m excited just to come out here and try to make a difference. I’m excited for the opportunity and that’s why I’m here.

The key in him making his move to K.C. was those five factors.


Last year, Pioli chased Thomas on the free agent market when the former was working for the Patriots. Thomas ended up signing with Dallas because of his desire to have a chance to play back in his home state o f Texas.

“It all starts at the top,” Thomas said. “When you’ve got the best GM in Scott Pioli and you look at his past.

Thomas didn’t know that much about Haley, but was sold after meeting with the new head coach.

“When I came in here, I was a little skeptical at first about coming to the team,” Thomas said. “When I came in and talked to Todd (Haley), he was straight to the point. He wanted to change the mindset of the players. He really grabbed me right there. I knew once you get the mindset of this team changed, I want to be part of it. …Read More!

Engram Impressed by Cassel

From the Truman Sports Complex

He admits that he hasn’t quite gotten up in time to work out yet with the Chiefs quarterbacks, who begin at 7:30 each morning.

“I’m still trying to get adjusted to the two-hour time change,” Engram said Thursday afternoon. “That would be 5:30 my time (Seattle).”

But on Friday, Engram plans to join Matt Cassel, Tyler Thigpen and Ingle Martin and anybody other arms that may be part of the early morning workout class.

“I think I’ll come in with that early group and catch some balls,” Engram said. “We’ll definitely get it cranked up next week.”

Engram is anxious to start working with the quarterbacks and especially Cassel, who impressed him a great deal last year when he stepped in for Tom Brady and became the Patriots 15-game starter.

“You don’t go through a whole season; that’s not a fluke,” Engram said. “Just watching Matt and the way he controlled the game when we played them. Watching him up close, he was very calm in the pocket. He knew where he wanted to go with the football, he delivered some strikes and he just commanded the team.”        …Read More!

Losing A Lot Of Class

There’s no mistaking why the Chiefs released Donnie Edwards, Pat Surtain and Damon Huard on Tuesday.

They are all over 30 years of age, all were minimal participants last year for a 2-14 team because of injury and all were scheduled to make way too much money in ’09 for what they figured to contribute to a rebuilding team.

All those factors qualify for dismissal under the rules of the NFL jungle. Any player over the age of 30 should not be surprised with the Reaper comes knocking on his door. It’s happening all over the league this week with names like Marvin Harrison, Derrick Brooks, Warrick Dunn, Lavernanues Coles, Joey Galloway and Trent Green shown the door.

The unfortunate thing for the Chiefs in losing Edwards/Surtain/Huard is that they lose an element that any team needs, but most especially the ’09 Chiefs. That trait is class.

Surtain was pushed aside on the corner last year by the youthful trio of Brandon Flowers/Brandon Carr/Maurice Leggett. Never once did Surtain complain publicly. Talk with Flowers, Carr and Leggett and you’ll find out that never once did he turn down the chance to help them. Surtain wasn’t happy with the situation, but he remained a good teammate and a good soldier. Believe me when I say that’s rare, especially for cornerbacks who because of the nature of the position and generally more high-strung and willing to challenge authority.

In over 30 years of covering pro football I can tell you it’s hard to find many players classier than Huard. Ultimately, he may have been the quintessential backup quarterback, but his only real chance to play came with the Chiefs and it was quite a roller coaster due to injury and the desire to play Brodie Croyle and even Tyler Thigpen. Go back to the week before the Atlanta game when Herm Edwards decided to give Thigpen his first start. Huard was capable of playing that week and thought he should be playing. He kept his thoughts to himself. He knew how to be a good teammate.

And then there’s Donnie Edwards. …Read More!

Another Disgruntled Country Heard From

Tony Gonzalez had second thoughts.

So in the span of 24 hours we have two very different Tony G’s and two very different sets of comments about his future in Kansas City.

Both versions came out of Honolulu, where Gonzalez has joined his AFC teammates for this weekend’s Pro Bowl.

The first was published on, under the by-line of writer Jason Cole. While the more incendiary comments belong to the author, Gonzalez left little doubt about his feelings on the future of the Chiefs and his future with them.

“I want to see who they name as head coach,” Gonzalez is reported as saying by Yahoo. “Yeah, I hear they’re talking to Todd Haley, but then there’s this coach from Iowa State (actually Kirk Ferentz from Iowa), some (expletive) like that and I don’t want to deal with that. It seems like we’re rebuilding anyway, and I don’t want to do that. I don’t know that I want to do that anymore than I already have been.”

Added Gonzalez in his comments to Yahoo: “I love Kansas City. I really do. If I could stay there, I would. That’s why this is going to be a tough decision. We’ve been rebuilding. It hasn’t really seemed to go well. We won four (in 2007) and two this year. It’s getting tough. … I don’t want to make it seem to the fans in Kansas City and to my teammates that I’m abandoning them. I hope, I think, they’ll understand.”

Within the story Cole uses words and phrases like “Barring a serious change in direction, Gonzalez still wants out of Kansas City”, “Pro Bowl regular restated his basic desire to go elsewhere”, “Even the departure of Peterson and the arrival of Scott Pioli from New England hasn’t quelled Gonzalez’s angst” and “the Chiefs – who, according to Gonzalez, aren’t making it easy for some players to want to stay.” …Read More!

Do Not Trade L.J.

Since Mr. Pioli has not yet given us a definitive head coach to dissect and discuss, it creates a platform and forum for other things Chiefs related.

Larry Johnson stepped up and filled the void on Wednesday. Appearing on local radio station KCSP-AM for just over 20 minutes, Johnson made it plain he wants out of Kansas City.

If you missed the interview, go here for details.

His words matched those he used in the moments after the Chiefs season ending game against Cincinnati. In a nutshell: he’s tired of Kansas City and feels Kansas City is tired of him.

If you frequent the site you’ll remember that I agreed with him at the time and thought sending him elsewhere would be best not only for the team, but for Larry himself.

But after listening to Larry’s comments on Wednesday, I’ve changed my mind. I think the Chiefs should keep L.J. and they should make him part of this football team again.

I think they should do so to make a real difference in Larry Johnson’s life.

Ever since he was suspended four games by the Chiefs and then slapped with a one-game league suspension, Johnson has been undergoing counseling sessions. The type and depth of those sessions is unknown to those of us outside of L.J. and his family and they should be; it’s none of our business. …Read More!

A Rush to Judgment

Probably because it fit the storyline that hung over the 2008 Chiefs, Glenn Dorsey has already been declared a first-round bust by various fans and pundits. Some have even compared him to the definition of first-round failure in Kansas City’s football encyclopedia: Ryan Sims.

Did Dorsey have a great rookie season? No. Did he have a horrible first year in the NFL? No.

Was his maiden voyage in pro football waters pretty much the norm for a rookie defensive tackle? Absolutely.

So why has he already been declared a bust?

Now there’s a good question, and I’ve got the answer. This reaction is based not on fact or reality, but agenda and perception.

Agenda – It helps wrap up the whole the Chiefs have been incompetent package if Dorsey is a bad player. Here’s the plot thread: Dorsey is the highest pick the team has had in nearly 20 years, but the opportunity to get a great player was screwed up by the two villains in this passion play – Carl Peterson and Herm Edwards. According to some, Dorsey is a midget at DT who had no business being drafted that high and thus he’ll never amount to anything. That whole view is built on one premise: it’s a chance to throw another log on the bonfire of Chiefs ineptitude.

Perception – A fifth pick in the first round should come in as a dominating player and if he’s a defensive lineman, he should have multiple sacks and cause havoc in every game. The Chiefs got rid of Jared Allen and Glenn Dorsey was supposed to pick up the slack on sacks.

I’m not going to waste my time dealing with agenda journalism, other than to make this note: Dorsey is 6-foot, 1 inch. That’s not the Chiefs measurement. That’s the measurement of the National Scouting Service people. Part of National’s duties is to provide accurate physical information on individual players. Dorsey has not shrunk, although with the verbal and written pounding that he’s taken it wouldn’t be a shock if he was a bit smaller.

But rest assured, Dorsey is tall enough. …Read More!

Flowers Named To All-Rookie Team

Chiefs CB Brandon Flowers was named to the NFL All-Rookie Team that was selected by Pro Football Weekly and the Professional Football Writers of America.

The team’s second-round draft choice Flowers was the 35th player selected in the 2008 NFL Draft. He played in 14 of the team’s 16 games, missing two November game with a hamstring injury.

Flowers finished the season with two interceptions, both coming against QB Brett Favre. He returned one of those 91 yards for a touchdown. The Florida native was credited with 61 tackles, forced one fumble and he recovered two fumbles.

Flowers is the fourth Chiefs player in the last three years to earn a spot on the All-Rookie team. WR Dwayne Bowe made the 2007 team, while DE Tamba Hali and S Bernard Pollard were named in 2006.

Here’s the full 2008 NFL All-Rookie team:
…Read More!

Gonzalez Makes All-Pro Team

If you have any doubts about how the rest of the country feels about the performance of Tony Gonzalez this past year rest assured, they noticed.

The Chiefs tight end was named to the Associated Press All-Pro first team that was announced on Friday.

Trips to the Pro Bowl are nice, but the real value for a player is when he can be called All-Pro. It means simply this: he’s the best player at his position in the NFL. Not the best player in one conference, or not one of the handful of the best players.

In 2008, the 50 voters from around the country decided that Gonzalez was the best tight end in the business.

He received 33 of the 50 votes at the position.  He was the only member of the ’08 Chiefs to receive an All-Pro vote.  That puts even more emphasis on his selection because:

Of the 24 position players on offense and defense that were selected (the AP  takes two outside and two inside linebackers, along with two running backs) only two played on teams that finished with a losing record: Gonzalez and Oakland cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha.

That right there makes this a remarkable achievement. Throw in Oakland punter Shane Lechler who earned the first-team spot and that’s three players from losing teams. The Chiefs were 2-14, while the Raiders finished 5-11.

Of the 24 position players, 20 were on teams that made the playoffs. Besides Gonzalez and Asomugha, the only other All-Pro outside of the tournament were Houston WR Andre Johnson and Dallas DE DeMarcus Ware. …Read More!

Tony G. MVP; Leggett Wins Mack Lee Hill

From The Truman Sports Complex

The Chiefs announced on Monday that the team’s players had voted TE Tony Gonzalez as the club’s most valuable player and CB Maurice Leggett as the team’s Mack Lee Hill Award winner as rookie of the year.

The announcement came as the Chiefs held their final meeting of the 2008 season on Monday morning.

Gonzalez was named the Derrick Thomas Award winner for the first time in his 12-year career with the team. He led all NFL tight ends in receiving with 96 catches for 1,058 yards and 10 TDs. The ’08 season is also the time when he established himself as pro football’s career tight end leader in catches, yards and touchdowns. He now has 916 receptions for 10,940 yards and 76 TDs.

Leggett got the honors for the Mack Lee Hill Award over a host of others who were considered, including four rookie starters. But Leggett truly embodies the spirit of Hill, who joined the team in 1964 as an undrafted free agent out of Southern University.

Hill died in December of 1965 while undergoing knee surgery in Kansas City. The Mack Lee Hill Award was created the next season, with RB Mike Garrett being the first winner.

Joining the team as an undrafted rookie free agent out of Valdosta State University, Leggett played in 12 games. He had 32 tackles and one interception. He returned that pick for a touchdown against Denver. He also returned a botched fake field goal by the Oakland Raiders for a touchdown.

Leggett joins a select group of players that have won the Hill award, including pro football Hall of Famer Jan Stenerud and others like Christian Okoye, Derrick Thomas, Will Shields, Jared Allen, Tama Hali and last year’s winner Dwayne Bowe.

Gonzalez won the Hill Award in 1997 and he becomes the seventh Chiefs player to win both awards during his career. The others are Thomas, Allen, S Gary Barbaro, CB Gary Green, S Lloyd Burruss and RB Christian Okoye.

Both players will receive their hardware at the 39th annual 101 Banquet set for March 7th.

Is Thiggy The Future?

Will the Chiefs get Thiggy With It come the 2009 season?

Or are we seeing the last starts of Tyler Thigpen’s brief career as the No. 1 man in Kansas City?

That’s just one of the many questions awaiting the team’s new general manager when he comes on board. Over and above whether or not the Chiefs should use their high draft status to take a quarterback early in the ’09 NFL Draft is this question: does Thigpen have the stuff to be a productive and winning quarterback in this league?

Right now, the results are mixed. There’s no question that Thigpen has made remarkable progress this season. There’s also no question he’s shown the ability to do many of the things required of a competent and productive starting quarterback.

His problem is that his team has not been successful. It’s unfortunate that these kind of stats land only on the plate of the quarterback, but that’s a fact of NFL life. Thigpen makes his 10th NFL start on Sunday against Miami. The Chiefs are 1-8 in the previous nine games. Obviously, that’s not good.

It’s also not good how the Chiefs have gotten to that 1-8 record with Thigpen at the helm. They’ve had strong first half performances and poor second half production, especially the third quarter. There are reasons for the third quarter blues and you can read about them right here in a piece I wrote for

But there’s another factor in the Chiefs inability to close the deal in these games, and that’s Thigpen.

Track his numbers through each quarter this season and it’s a steady spiral downward in production and efficiency. Before we go further, here are the important numbers.










Avg. Yrds/


























In the first quarter, Thigpen’s passer rating of 108.5 ranks as the third best passer in the league, behind only Miami’s Chad Pennington (124.5) and Kyle Orton of Chicago (114.2). …Read More!

Player Profile: Maurice Leggett

His road to the National Football League has been anything but easy. That’s  the way it goes for any college free agent, a player who is not selected in the NFL Draft. It’s even tougher when the player is coming from the Division II college level.

But Maurice Leggett has overcome the obstacles to not only make a place for himself with the Chiefs, but he’s contributing on the field as a rookie. Leggett has become the team’s nickel defensive back and one of the Chiefs top special teams performers. His highlight was last week’s 67-yard return with a fumble on a fake field goal play.

So how does a kid go from McKeesport, Pennsylvania, to Georgia, to the NFL, to the Sunday night NFL highlights? Click here to find out.

Getting To Know … Maurice Leggett

Name: Maurice Lamar Leggett

Born: October 2, 1986 in McKeesport, Pennsylvania. Located at the confluence of the Monongahela and Youghiogheny Rivers, McKeesport is 12 miles southeast of Pittsburgh. The settlement was founded there in 1795. In the late 1800s, National Tube Company opened there and McKeesport became the fastest growing town in the country with families arriving from Italy, Germany, Russia, Poland, Czechoslovakia and Hungary to work in the mill. National Tube eventually became part of U.S. Steel. Right now, just 20,000 people live in McKeesport, which has struggled for more than 25 years after the closing of the steel works and manufacturing plants in the city.

Family: Father Vance Allen and mother Kelly Hardy. His Dad has been in and out of his life. He split time with his grandmother Lois Leggett in McKeesport and his mother in Georgia before moving south full-time when he was in the sixth grade. His mother used to tutor Dan Marino when both of them were going to school at the University of Pittsburgh. His step-father Alex Hardy has been part of his life for several years now.

Attended: Mt. Zion High School in Jonesboro, Georgia, which is a suburb of Atlanta and Valdosta State University in Valdosta, Georgia.

Why Valdosta State? “One of my coaches in my senior year of high school came from Valdosta State and told me how good the program was. I realized I wasn’t going to be able to play at the Division 1 level because my grades weren’t good enough. So I picked Valdosta and won two championships there.”

What was the toughest class you had at Valdosta? “Trigonometry and piano. Trig was tough and piano was only once a week, but you had to fit in time every day to practice and that was hard with the other classes and practice. Music was my minor. ”

Growing up as a kid, what was your favorite team? “It was the Steelers, when they had Barry Foster and Dwight Stone, who was a good friend of my aunt. When Curtis Martin hit the NFL, I followed him. He’s a great friend of the family.”

What’s your ride? A 2002 Land Rover Discovery.

What was your first car? “A ’91 Sierra Cutlass with around 110,000 miles on when I bought it for $1,000. I got the car going into my senior year of college. I didn’t have a vehicle before then and I pride myself on doing things on my own, so I didn’t have the money saved until then to get a car. That’s all I needed, something to get me from point A to point B.”

What was your first job? “It was at a cafeteria on campus called the Palms. I worked there and washed pots and pans.”

What’s your favorite movie? “The Ninja Turtle movies, one, two and three. Growing up, I loved the Ninja Turtles; and I was a Ninja Turtle almost every year for Halloween.”

Who is your hero? “My grandfather Eric Leggett. He speaks what’s on his mind and he goes out of his way to take care of his whole family, no matter the cost, right or wrong, he makes sure the family is OK. He’s back in McKeesport.

What’s your favorite meal? “Macaroni and cheese, coleslaw, my Grandmother’s ham and chitlins, just about anything else my grandmother wants to cook.”

On a road trip, what’s always in the car with you? “If I have a couple Powerades and sunflower seeds that will get me the whole way, non-stop.”

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.”

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.

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.”

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.

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!

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.”

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.”

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.

Commentary: More Hurdles For L.J.

What happened on Friday with the announcement of a one-game NFL suspension for Larry Johnson did not bring an end to his situation or clarity to his immediate future.

It’s just the first of a 100 yards worth of hurdles in front of the Chiefs running back.

I’m sure L.J. himself wishes he could put all this behind him, but the penance and possible punishment he faces for his actions are all parts of the penalty for putting himself in those situations.

He has court dates in December for the two charges filed against him in Kansas City, Missouri. The league has left open the door for further sanctions against him depending on the outcome of those legal proceedings.

That’s a hurdle he’ll have to deal with next month. In the more immediate future is November 10. That’s the day he will return to the team. That’s the day he has to start changing the way the Chiefs feel about him.

From the Hunts, to Carl Peterson, to Herm Edwards, Johnson has fences to mend. He’s got a lot of fence line to ride to get them all buttoned up again, if that’s even possible.

When he signed the biggest contract in Chiefs history in August of 2007, with over $19 million in guaranteed money, he made promises to the owners, the general manager and the head coach. Those promises were not only the unspoken ones that come from signing a deal that big. He told all those parties and stated publicly that he understood the responsibilities that went with the contract and his position with the team.

He said he was up to handling those. He wasn’t. He should get one more chance to prove he can be the type of person the Chiefs want on their roster. …Read More!

Getting to Know … Pat Thomas

Name: Patrick Wain Thomas.

Born: January 26, 1983 in Vallejo, California. His family moved to New Orleans and then to Miami at the age of four, where he grew up. Dad was in the Navy. Grew up in the Kendall neighborhood of Miami, which is southwest of the downtown area and just southwest of Coral Cables. The Don Shula Expressway runs through Kendall.

Parents: Winston and Monica Thomas. Older sister Laurie Ann and younger sister Cheyenne. His parents divorced when he was four years old and he moved to Miami with his mother.

Attended: Killian High School and North Carolina State University. Other athletes from Killian High included the late Sean Taylor, safety for the Washington Redskins, retired WR Randall Hill, NBA guards Raja Bell and Steve Blake and Tennessee Titans LB Stephen Tulloch.

Miami’s a very big city and there are a lot of temptations for a young man. How did you stay on the right side?
“I’ve came a long way and to look back and see from Miami to Kansas City, you see a lot of different things. There were a lot of influences, friends … just to look back and see that God has constantly made a way out for me whether it was through going to college and not knowing if I was ever going to go to college, to not knowing if I was going to play football and here I am in the NFL. That’s God’s work and graces. My mom always stayed on me, throughout my life, even up to today. I thank her for that. I remember going outside to play and it was night time and she would come out looking for me. She would drive her car around trying to find me and I would be hiding in the bushes. My friends would be like ‘Pat there’s your Mom’ and I’m hiding behind a tree. I would go home and that’s when the whipping came. She never let me forget what was important.”

Is Wain a family name and why the different spelling? “That came from my father. When I was born he was into Bruce Lee movies and he wanted to name me Wain Lee Thomas, but my mother wasn’t going to let that happen. So I think she gave on the Wain. I don’t like that name. Hate it. Why it’s spelled that way only my Dad can answer. I think he just wanted to be different.”

A lot of players have come into the NFL from N.C. State the last five years, how can that much talent not win a national title? “Good question. My junior year was Philip Rivers last year there and we had a great defense that year. My senior year we had a great defense due to our coach Reggie Herring. I was blessed to play with guys who wanted to get to the ball and everybody wanted to make plays and do their job. We’ve got a lot of guys in the league.”

Favorite place in the world? “I would go to Jamaica if I had to pick one place. My family is from there. Both my mother and father were born in Jamaica. My Mom left when she was 16 and my Dad when he was 19. I like the country life. A lot of my family is from the countryside there. It’s real relaxing.”

If the TV is on, what are you watching? “I don’t watch too much TV. I like to watch re-runs: Martin, Fresh Prince of Bel Air, Good Times, stuff like that. My mom is like you’ve seen this plenty of times, but I like to sit and watch them over and over.”

Favorite meal: “That would be curried chicken and rice and beans.”

Who is your hero? “Jesus Christ, no doubt about it. He saved me, he saved the human race. I wish people would realize that God is love and Jesus came to show us how to love.”

What was your first job? “I worked at McDonald’s in the back, making burgers and cheese burgers. I didn’t like it much and then one day I came in after working about two weeks and the manager guy says to me ‘I thought I fired you.’ Man that was bad. He checked the list and I was still on there, but I quit the next day.”

What’s your favorite movie? “I like movies I can watch over and over again. A lot of ’80s movies like Karate Kid and Teen Wolf. Recently, the movie I really liked I saw last year, called City of God. It was Brazilian and you had to read the sub-titles but it was very good.”

What’s your ride? “A Chevy Avalanche. Nothing fancy.”

What was your first car? A Dodge Colt. My grandma bought it for me. It was like a little buggy, like a Geo. It was red. I remember I got into my first accident and the hood got messed up when I ran into the back end of another car. After I was driving away from the scene, I was driving home and the wind was blowing, and the hood kept flying up and I had to reach my hand out the window and push it back down. I eventually had to tie it down. It was a mess.”

What was the hardest class you took at North Carolina State? Chemistry. I had it in high school and did pretty good, so I took it in college thinking it would be the same thing. We went over the periodic tables and stuff like that and I was good. But that was the first week. Then came all this other stuff and oh my, it was tough. That was the worst.”

What’s on your I-Pod? “I have a lot of gospel and some reggae too. I like to listen to gospel, songs about Jesus and God. It gets my motor running.”

Player Profile: Turk McBride

His rookie season in 2007 was a tough transition for Turk McBride.

Just 22 years old when he joined the Chiefs out of the University of Tennessee, it took awhile for McBride to feel comfortable with the Chiefs, the NFL and Kansas City.

Now in his second season, McBride is starting to make a place for himself in the Chiefs defense.  He’s been a starter at the left defensive end position since training camp and has begun to show the ability to put pressure on the passer.

With his temperment, McBride is also showing some leadership potential as he tries to help his unit get itself back on track during this 2008 season.

Click here to learn more about the Turk, a self-confessed Momma’s boy from Camden, New Jersey.

A Message for Larry

Let me establish this right from the start: I like Larry Johnson.

I like Larry Johnson the player. I like Larry Johnson the man.

I know that leaves me in a very small room with all his other admirers. Actually, probably a phone booth is all that’s needed these days. But that’s OK; it’s not the first time I’ve been on the so called wrong side, and won’t be the last either.

Some of the things that Larry Johnson the player and man have done I do not like. He’s dished out a lot of hurt lately, and I’m not just talking about hurting himself. I’m talking about a locker room full of teammates, a coaching staff and an organization that he’s let down. His actions off the field have not been very good either. I know he’s a target out there. He knows he’s a target out there. So I don’t feel sorry for the guy when he puts himself in situations where bad things can happen. Wear a target and walk into a shooting gallery? That’s his fault.

I carry no grudge against L.J. Many in the media do. They are loving this time, because he’s suffering and they are remembering all the times when he wouldn’t play their game, by their rules. Now they can bash away in print and on the airwaves and sound all righteous and pompous about how they saw this coming.

Larry Johnson needs help. On Wednesday before the glaring eye of the media that hates him, he admitted that yes, there’s a problem, and the problem is him. He says he’s going to find help in taking care of his problems. He apologized to the Hunts, the team, the coaches, the GM and the fans.

Where Larry goes from here is unknown. He won’t play Sunday against the New York Jets. The NFL is investigating his two most recent off-field incidents. There’s a suspension coming, that you can count on.

What happens after that is up to Larry. He has professionals who can help him with their advice. He also has friends who can hurt him with their advice.

I count myself as neither friend nor foe. I’m certainly not a professional. But I’ve got some advice for Larry. Coming from a guy who at various times has screwed up his own life pretty good that might seem pretty funny, but that’s not stopping me. L.J. likely will never see this, but I’ll feel better getting it off my chest.

Larry, it’s time to go Rocky. …Read More!

Getting to Know … Turk McBride

Name: Claude Maurice McBride, Jr., otherwise known as Turk.

Born: May 30, 1985 in Camden, New Jersey. Located across the Delaware River from Philadelphia, Camden has about 80,000 residents and one of the highest crime rates in the country. In 2004, the FBI ranked Camden as the most dangerous city in the country, jumping ahead of Detroit. Established in the mid-1600s, Camden was at one time a thriving industrial center and shipbuilding city. With direct access down the Delaware to the Atlantic Ocean, the port of Camden was always busy. The decline of manufacturing jobs changed the character of the town and created many of its problems with crime and poverty today. Well known Camden natives include the poet Walt Whitman, singer and dancer Lola Falana and NFL players Donovan Darius and Mike Rozier.

Family: Father is Claude Maurice McBride Sr. and mother is Paulette. His Dad has nine kids, Turk is the third oldest. He’s the second and youngest son of his mother.

Attended: Woodrow Wilson High School in Camden and the University of Tennessee, where he majored in Sociology.

Why Tennessee? “To be honest, I didn’t want to go to Tennessee. I thought it was too slow and too country. My dream school was the University of Miami. I badly wanted to go there. Miami was everything to me. But when I was coming out of high school I was just 17 years old and I wasn’t mature enough for South Beach and that whole scene. My Mom and my uncle who was my coach made the decision on Tennessee. It worked out for the best.”

Knoxville had to be quite a transition then? “Oh, there was culture shock when I got there. I wasn’t used to seeing that much green, so many trees, open spaces and the people were nice and smiled at you. That was really different.”

Where does Turk come from? “I really don’t know; it’s a family thing. I’m actually Little Turk. My Dad is Big Turk. I’m a junior.”

Favorite meal? “Probably sushi or Thai food. I don’t eat beef or pork at all, so probably sushi is where I’d go first.”

Favorite Move?The Notebook. It’s a true life look at a relationship. You love this person, but there are times this person breaks your heart. It’s a good relationship flick.”

Favorite place? “My basement. I really haven’t been too many places. I’ve only been to three or four states besides playing football. My basement is a real comfort zone. A lot of the guys come over and hang out there. I’ve got two big screens, one to watch TV on and another one for games. There’s a card table. It’s got everything I need.

What do you drive? “I’ve got an Infiniti QX56 and I have a Grand Marquis.

What was your first ride? “It was a ’95 Acura, white with a peanut butter colored interior. I had some rims on that. It was sweet! It probably had 100,000 or 110,000 miles on it, but it rode great. It was beautiful. I had it in high school.”

What was your first job? “It was called Urban Promise. It was a summer program where I worked as a counselor. That was the first time I got paid by a check and found out about FICA.”

What’s the best advice you have ever been given? “If you don’t want it, what makes you think somebody else is going to want it for you. It wasn’t so much advice and something I realized when I first went to Tennessee and it was the same when I first came here. I didn’t know where to go, I didn’t have any friends; you start having doubts about yourself. I saw my family members and they wanted it for me more than I wanted it for myself and it just came to me that what mattered is if I wanted it and was I willing to work for it.”

What’s your goal in life? “To be the best man I can be in everything. Husband, father, uncle, friend, football player, everything.”

What’s your bucket list? “I want to fix up Camden. That’s one of my main goals. And, I definitely want to show my family overseas. There are people in my family who have never been on a plane and I want to take them somewhere to see things they’ve heard about.”

You are on a road trip, driving back to Camden, what do you have to have in the car with you? “Green tea and honey buns. I probably shouldn’t have the honey buns but I love’em.”

Tell us something nobody knows about you? “I’m the biggest Momma’s boy in the world. My mom wakes me up every day. She calls me every day, for the last year and a half. I talk to her about 30 minutes a day. She comes out about twice a month and runs my household like it’s her’s. I’m the biggest mama’s boy in the world.”

Tony G. Speaks About No-Trade

From the Truman Sports Complex

Tony Gonzalez was back in familiar surroundings on Wednesday, practicing with the Chiefs in their indoor facility and then holding court for the media horde after practice.

Gonzalez spoke to his teammates at their morning meeting, with no coaches in the room at his request. 

“I told them the situation, how it occurred what my thought process was behind everything, why I wanted to go and how I thought maybe it could help the team,” Gonzalez said of what he told his teammates.  “But now it’s over.  So, it’s done with.  I’m a Chief now for these next 11 games.  I’m concentrating on going out there and trying to be the best player that I can be and help this team win. 

“I wanted to make sure; I think most of them know me, the guys that have been around for awhile know what I’m all about.  But I wanted to make sure those young guys know that this is about winning football games, about being the best football player you can be.  No matter what the situation is, whether you are frustrated or you are extremely happy, you have to go out there and bust your tail every day and try to get better and help this team win.”

He also had plenty to say on various subjects: …Read More!

All Tony, All The Time

It’s time for our tight end talk segment here on KTG, that’s all Tony Gonzalez, all the time. This is your host AG and the phone lines are jammed so let’s go to our first caller. It’s Fred in Raytown. Go ahead Freddie.

Man AG, I don’t understand this. Have the Chiefs gone loco? Why are they trying to trade Tony Gonzalez? He’s the best player on the team. Has Carl Peterson completely flipped out?

Freddie my man, you haven’t been paying attention. The only reason the Chiefs are trying to trade Tony Gonzalez is because he asked them too. Not once, not twice, but several times. He does not want to go through the rebuilding project that the Chiefs are in right now. He wants out. They are just trying to make him happy.

Let’s go to Shannon from Lenexa for our next question.

AG, I understand Tony wants out, but would they let any player out if they walked into the office and said ‘Carl, trade me’?

Probably not Shannon; Tony’s situation is unique, at least on this team right now. Everybody thinks Carl Peterson is such a hard-ass, but here’s another case where he’s a softie for a guy he likes, and he likes Tony G. There are some teams and GMs that would have told Gonzo to take his request and said “don’t let the door hit you in the butt on the way out.”

OK, here’s Johnny Mack out East, what’s your question?

I want to know what we can get and who are we going to get it from. Tell me what’s coming back to the Chiefs and I’ll tell you if it’s a good deal or not. What do you say to that?

Johnny, I don’t think the Chiefs are going to make this a fire sale with Gonzalez, meaning they’ll take whatever they can get for him in a trade. That sets a very bad precedent for future players, who can say ‘Hey you let Tony G out of here for a sixth rounder’ Plus, if the Chiefs don’t get a decent draft choice in return, they’ll get smacked twice by the public: once for trading Gonzalez and then for not getting enough for him.

One more question man. Surely somebody would give us a No. 1 pick for the best tight end in the history of the game. Come on, we shouldn’t take less.

…Read More!

Foundation Update

The Chiefs 12 draft choices from the 2008 NFL Draft are the foundation of the franchise’s rebuilding effort. Ten of those 12 are on the active roster, joined by six other rookies.

The bye week seemed a good time to sit down with Herm Edwards and talk about his football babies.

-DT GLENN DORSEY (left) – Through five games, Dorsey has been credited with 19 tackles and one forced fumble. “He’s getting better each week,” said the coach. “He’s the most unselfish defensive lineman we have. He’s doing exactly what we are asking him to do. He’s beating up the guard and he’s taking on the double-team block so he doesn’t have the stats people look at. But he’s giving the linebackers the chance to go make plays. He has to improve on his pass rush, in using his hands. That takes time, especially when you are playing against the kind of guards he’s playing against.”

-LT BRANDEN ALBERT (below) – Over three games and one half, Albert has shown the Chiefs they were correct in moving him from guard, where he played most of his college career, to tackle. The only thing that’s held him back are injuries, a foot in the pre-season and now a dislocated right elbow which has cost him the last game and a half. “He’s doing very well,” Edwards said. “You draft a guy, you ask him to play left tackle, he misses the whole pre-season and then he comes in the first game and he plays every snap. And, it turns out he played those snaps really well. I’m not sure people realized how unusual that was. He continued to follow that up in the games after that.” When asked if he the Chiefs can consider the left tackle spot filled for the next decade, Edwards said: “I wouldn’t know why not. With his talent and his mentality, he’s going to be there a long time.”

-CB BRANDON FLOWERS (below) – In five games, Flowers has 26 tackles and a fumble recovery. “The game is not too big for him,” said Edwards. “He has great moxie and he’s tough. He’s learning how to play nickel back (the cornerback covering the slot receiver when the Chiefs go with five defensive backs.) It will take him a year. It took Ronde (Barber of Tampa Bay) about a year and five games to figure it out. I see Brandon on the same road.”

-RB JAMAAL CHARLES – So far in five games, Charles has run the ball 21 times for 98 yards and caught 12 passes for 68 yards. He’s also returned three kicks for 79 yards and has three tackles in special teams coverage. That’s not nearly the production the Chiefs envisioned for the fleet back out of Texas. “We don’t have enough plays,” said Edwards. “He’s been the guy that’s probably been hurt the most by that. If we can get eight or nine plays put together, then we can start using him and getting the ball in his hands, and let him go. I think the more he gets in there, the more he touches the ball, you know he can make a big play. If we can stay on the field, I think you will see more and more big plays from him.” …Read More!

Getting to Know … Dantrell Savage






















Name: Dantrell Montanner Savage.

Born: February 15, 1985 in Columbus, Georgia. It’s located on the Chattahoochee River that separates Georgia and Alabama. Phenix City, Alabama is directly across the river. Columbus was the site of what may have been the last battle of the Civil War. It happened on Easter Sunday 1965 when Union forces attack the city and burned many of the industrial buildings. The battle came after Lee’s surrender at Appomattox. Columbus is the nearest town to the Fort Benning Military Reservation, home of the U.S. Army Infantry School. Famous folks from Columbus include John Stith Pemberton, the creator of Coca Cola, novelist Carson McCullers, guitarist Robert Cray, baseball player Frank Thomas and former NFL players like Otis Sistrunk, Brentson Buckner and Nate Odomes.

Family: The only son of Virgil Willis Dunlap and Monica Hubbard. He has two half-siblings, Arsenio and Lastanicha.

Attended: Jordan Vocational High School in Columbus, Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College in Perkinston, Mississippi and Oklahoma State University.

Why did you end up at Oklahoma State? “My J.C. and the Oklahoma State coaches knew each other. They felt that was the best spot for me. I thought it would be great to be away from home to be in another culture.”

Were you surprised when you were not drafted? “I wasn’t surprised. It happened for a reason. I have always been about proving myself, so this situation is no different.”

When you look at your production, you ran for 1,000+ yards in high school, 1,000+ yards in junior college and 1,000+ yards in major college football. Why do people still doubt your ability? “It’s just human nature; people think you have to be a certain size to play football. They don’t realize that some of the best backs in history have been my size. Look at a guy like Darren Sproles and his production.

Going into the draft, you decided to stay in school, rather than leave and spend your time preparing for the NFL Combine. Why? “I was 18 credits short of graduation and I wanted to graduate. It was a very hectic time. I was training to get ready for workouts and the combine and I was taking Spanish, Math, History and the line. I was somewhat stressed out. I had to prove to myself that you could do anything.”

Where does Dantrell Montanner come from? Is that a family name? “It came from my Auntie and it’s just something she made up as far as I know. I’m not really sure how she came up with it.”

Who is your hero? “That would be my Mom, because she’s been such a strong woman. She worked three jobs when I was growing up to support the family. I stayed with my Grandmother because my mom was in and out all the time going back and forth to work.”

What’s your favorite meal? “I’m a down-home Southern boy and I like soul food. Give me some cornbread, collard greens and a turkey neck.”

What’s your favorite place in the world? “Home. There’s no place like home, isn’t that the saying. It’s true. When I’m away, I look forward to going back.”

If the TV is on what are you watching? “I like the oldies. I love to watch Good Times, Sanford and Son, and The Jeffersons. I love George Jefferson.”

What’s on your I-Pod? “A lot of gospel songs and some Kurt Franklin. Slow jams, R&B-type stuff.”

What do you drive? “It’s an orange 2004 Honda Element. That’s my sweetheart. It’s got 20 inch rims and a TV. My Dad hooked me up with it. I’ve had it since junior college. Right now I have about 80,000 miles on it.”

What was your first job? “I worked with my uncle doing construction work. It was the hardest job I ever had. You work in the sun, on scaffolds, in the Georgia summer. It was a good experience.”

What was the hardest class you had in college? “Spanish and Math. Oh yeah, my last math class really kicked me. If you get behind in math there’s no hope for you at all.”

Tell us something nobody knows about you? “Most people don’t know that I’m real fond of muscle cars. 396 Chevelles, old Camaros, Grand Nationals, cars like that. My Daddy put me on to those when I went down and stayed with him in Miami.”

D.J. Named AFC Defensive Player of Week

From the Truman Sports Complex

For three weeks there were many NFL observers asking the question, where is Derrick Johnson in the Chiefs defense.

“I was asking the same question,” Johnson said.

Well, answers came on Sunday when the linebacker led the Chiefs charge on defense, contributing a half-sack, interception, a forced fumble and seven tackles. That performance earned him the AFC Defensive Player of the Week honors.

It’s the first time in six years that a Chiefs linebacker has been singled out by the league for this honor. The last time it happened was Mike Maslowski in week eight of the 2002 season. …Read More!

Getting To Know … Brandon Carr

Name: Brandon Carey Carr.

Born: May 19, 1986 in Flint, Michigan. Situated northwest of Detroit, Flint is the fourth largest metropolitan area in the state of Michigan with a 2007 census estimate of 114,000 residents. Fur trader Jacob Smith established a trading post at the city’s current location on the Flint River in 1819. Flint has long been big in the auto industry and was the home in the early days for the Buick Motor Company and General Motors. The city also has a long history of producing outstanding athletes and football players like former Chiefs wide receiver Andre Rison, cornerback Todd Lyght, linebacker Carl Banks, tackle Jon Runyan and defensive tackle Robaire Smith.

Family: John and Kathy Carr with one older brother Tony.

Attended: Carman-Ainsworth High School in Flint and Grand Valley State University, just outside Grand Rapids, Michigan. Played both offense and defense for the Cavaliers, before moving into the college ranks with the Lakers where he was a three-year starter at the boundary cornerback position.

Why Grand Valley State: “I was a late bloomer. I wasn’t the fastest guy and I certainly wasn’t the biggest guy coming out of high school. When I got to college I hit my spurt, growing physically, maturity wise. I was about 5-10, 175 pounds at the end of high school. When I got to college, I had grown up; my first day there I weighed in at 192 pounds. I got faster as well.

So how did you get so much bigger and faster? “That summer I worked out every day. I would get up around 6 a.m. and not get done until 9 or 10 p.m. I worked with a trainer and he helped me get stronger, bigger and faster. I wanted to go and play immediately. So for three months, May, June and July, I hit it hard.”

Did any Division I school recruit you: “Central Michigan did. I went for a couple visits there for games. They recruited my brother Tony four years earlier and I might have ended up there, but the coaching staff was fired.

Is it true you did not give up a touchdown pass in coverage during the three years you started at Grand Valley? “I wish I could say that, but I gave up one TD in man coverage. It was against Delta State.

What was his name? I know you haven’t forgotten that receiver’s name: Eric Marshall, yeah I remember his name.

What’s it like winning a national championship, since you guys won in both your sophomore and junior seasons at Grand Valley? “It’s great. It’s why you play. It’s fantastic.”

How did you develop the mentality to play cornerback, where you know you can do everything correctly and still be beaten? “You have to brainwash yourself. You know you are out there on an island. You have to have that certain confidence about yourself. If you don’t have that, you aren’t going to last long.

Before the draft the Chiefs asked you to describe yourself. What did you say? “Smart, technician, battler. My technique allowed me to stay on top of the receiver. You’ve got to go out there and try to make plays, just fight all the time. I just watch people around me, take advice and try to apply it to the game. I study it as much as I can. I think it’s my job to know the job of everybody on the field, especially the defense.”

Who is your hero? “My father. He wasn’t dealt the best of cards when he was coming up. He was from a big family and he was the second oldest and he didn’t have the things that he provided for me. But he went out and made something for himself and his family. He was a supervisor at Ford for a lot of years, but they are cutting back, so now he’s working in real estate.”

What’s your favorite place in the world? “I’ve got two, both of them down in South Carolina. They would be Myrtle Beach and Charleston. I like to go out there at night on the water. It clears your head on the ocean.”

What’s your favorite meal? “Baked chicken, mashed potatoes and either peas or corn, with cornbread on the side.”

If the TV is on, what are you watching? “ESPN Sports Center, the NFL Network and BET are the only things I watch.

What’s your ride? “A ’08 Denali.”

What was your first car? “It was a Chevy Cavalier. I had that all through high school. There were over 200,000 on that one. When I got to college I didn’t have a car until the second semester of my second year and then my Dad gave me his Taurus. That was pretty close to 200,000 when I got rid of that.”

What’s your favorite movie?Friday, with Ice Cube and Chris Tucker. I love that movie. Paid in Full, Boyz N the Hood, they would all but up there too.”

What was your first job? “I worked at a Red Lobster. I was a host. It was my 11th and 12th grade in high school. ‘ Hello, how are you doing? How many in your party?’ I must have said that thousands of times. I learned to smile even when you are having a bad day. A smile really goes a long way.”

Hardest college class you took in college? “Research Methods. It was a lot of reading, late nights, going through the library. That class gave me a run around!”

What’s on your bucket list? “I’d go scuba diving. I want to go on a cruise and I think I’ll try sky diving. I’ll be screaming the whole way down, but I think I’d like to try.”

What’s your goal for 2008? “To go to the Super Bowl.”

Isn’t that getting ahead of yourself? “Why else do you play?”

Tell us something nobody knows about you?  “I come across as a shy guy, but I love to perform.  I love to sing and I love to dance.  I’ve got my dance moves down.

Do you sing publicly?  “Oh no.  I’m a shower guy, or in my car.”

So if somebody pulls  up next to your Denali at a traffic light and sees you singing away, every things is cool?  “Yeah, I’m doing pretty good then if I’m belting it out.”

On The Cusp Of Tight End Immortality

With 50 yards receiving on Sunday against Denver, Tony Gonzalez will hold every major receiving record for tight ends in the history of pro football. Over his 177-game career with the Chiefs, Gonzalez has averaged 56.6 receiving yards per game.

That’s why, despite the team’s offensive problems of late, this weekend against the Broncos should be record setting for the former first-round draft choice of the Chiefs (1997) and nine-time Pro Bowler.

For what Tony G is thinking, here’s a transcript of a segment he did on Wednesday on the NFL Network. …Read More!

Getting To Know … Tyler Thigpen




















Name: Tyler Beckham Thigpen.

Born: on April 14, 1984 in Winnsboro, South Carolina. Winnsboro is 30 miles due north of Columbia. The town was founded in the mid-1700s by Richard Winn, who went on to become a General in the Revolutionary Army. British General Cornwallis spent the winter of 1780 in the Winnsboro area. The Mel Gibson movie “The Patriot” was based on many of the Revolutionary War incidents in this area between Cornwallis and American generals like Francis Marion, Thomas Sumter and Daniel Morgan, who was the basis for the Benjamin Martin character played by Gibson in the movie.

Attended: Fairfield Central High School in Winnsboro (class of 2002) and Coastal Carolina University in Conway, S.C., just minutes from Myrtle Beach.

Why does he wear No. 4? “When I got to Minnesota last year, I wanted to wear No. 16; that was my college number. But it was already taken, so they gave me No. 4. When I got here, they gave me No. 4 and I asked about No. 16, not knowing about Len Dawson and it being retired and everything. They joked around with me and told me I could ask him (Dawson) about it. I decided to just stick with No. 4.”

Why did he not play quarterback in his senior season at Fairfield Central? “I started the first game at quarterback and a guy got hurt; he was playing our wingback and slot position. The coach came to me a couple days later and asked if would switch. If I could help the team out in any way possible, then I was going to do that. We threw the ball maybe eight or nine times a game. I wasn’t thinking of going to play college football as a quarterback, so I figured why not play another position. I was getting letters about playing college football as a tight end or slot receiver. I was thinking about going to a smaller school and playing. But Coastal offered me a scholarship and asked me if I wanted to play quarterback, so I moved back.”

You were also your high school team’s punter and place kicker and you kicked straight on? “Yeah, every time we scored, they would throw this straight-toed boot on the field and I would kick the PAT (17 of 23) and I kicked some field goals too (four FGs). It was fun playing special teams and getting to see another part of the game.”

If the TV is on what are you watching? “It would have to be ESPN or the NFL Network. I love to watch football. I like to catch up with other sports, but if there’s football on, I’ll watch it.”

What was your first job? “I had a summer job where I would work for about two weeks for Harley Davidson at Myrtle Beach Bike Week. I made a little more than $1,000 over two weeks just standing in a parking lot directing bikes to where they could park. It was 12-hour days, from eight in the morning until eight at night. That was a pretty good deal.”

What’s your favorite movie? “I’m a comedy guy. I like Jim Carrey movies. Chris Tucker, I enjoyed his Rush Hour movies.”

What is your favorite place in the world? “I guess it would have to be Myrtle Beach. That’s where I want to make my home with football is all said and done.”

Favorite meal? “Turkey and dressing. I love that. A good old Thanksgiving meal.”

What do you drive? “A 2008 Jeep Grand Cherokee.”

What was your first car? “It was a ’95 Jeep Grand Cherokee. I had that all through high school and college and then last year in the NFL. By the time I bought this new one, it had 235,000 miles on it.”

What’s your bucket list? “I want to fly in a helicopter. For some reason, I’ve always wanted to do that. I want to be in the pits for a NASCAR race. I didn’t grow up a NASCAR fan but I’ve become one.

Didn’t you grow up not far from Darlington, where they have a famous NASCAR track? “Yeah, it’s not far away, probably an hour or so away. But when I was a kid, I was always out playing or participating in some sport. I didn’t spend a lot of time sitting around watching things. I was out there playing.”

Something Kansas City fans don’t know about you? “I was second in the state of South Carolina in home runs one year behind Roscoe Crosby, who was drafted by the Royals in the first round of the baseball draft. I had eight and he had about 15 that year. He wasn’t looking over his shoulder or anything at me, but I like to say I was second.”

It Happens Every Decade Or So

When Tyler Thigpen takes the opening offensive snap for the Chiefs on Sunday in Atlanta, he will become the third different starting quarterback for the team in the season’s first three games.

That’s happened before in the NFL. In fact, it happens about once every decade.

The Los Angeles Rams were forced to live through this in 1976. Marty Schottenheimer’s Cleveland Browns had the same problem in 1988. Eleven years ago the Jacksonville Jaguars dealt with the same matter.

How did it all work out? Here’s a look at each team that had to deal with the problem. …Read More!

Thigpen Is Gannon Like












Watching Tyler Thigpen all through the off-season, then training camp and in the Chiefs pre-season I was always struck by a feeling t hat I’d seen him play before. While I certainly enjoy the Carolina beaches almost every summer, I’d never seen him hook it up for the Chanticleers of Coastal Carolina.

I couldn’t quite put my finger on a name until this week.

Rich Gannon. Tyler Thigpen reminds me of Rich Gannon.

Not the Rich Gannon that won NFL MVP honors with Oakland and helped lead the Raiders to the Super Bowl. That was the veteran, experienced Gannon.

I’m talking about the Gannon the NFL saw over his first seven seasons with New England, Minnesota and Washington, before he blew out his shoulder and missed the 1994 season. …Read More!

The King Returns!

I know the pictures below are fuzzy and blurry, but it has to be shown. It must see the light of day! I know there are other pictures of this event out there, but I don’t think there’s much in the way of video. There were no TV stations there to record the event. Too bad for them; they missed a good evening.

“The King” returned Thursday night at the 13th Annual Shadow Buddies Foundation Dinner at the Sheraton Hotel Overland Park.

Yes, Elvis … Gonzalez performed for the crowd in the hotel ballroom. Wearing a black jump suit, sunglasses, gold chains and a very bad wig, Tony Gonzalez became Elvis Presley.

Seriously. Look closely. That fuzzy picture is the Chiefs All-Pro tight end performing at the charity event. He was later joined by the Godfather of Soul, James Brown, known during the day as DaJuan Morgan of the Chiefs. Let me say, the rookie safety stole the show with his Brown imitation and dance moves. Plus, the velvet pants and cape were the perfect touch.

Elvis and James Brown were joined by Diana Ross, otherwise known as Toby Gonzalez, Tony’s wife and by Miles Postlethwait as Buddy Holly and his sisters as the Supremes. More on Miles in a second.

In the audience were teammates like Brodie Croyle, Larry Johnson, Dwayne Bowe, Donnie Edwards, Dustin Colquitt, Kolby Smith and others. Carl Peterson made a visit and said a few words.

It was all to benefit Shadow Buddies, an organization that Gonzalez got involved with during his rookie season. It was created by a mother with a sick child. That’s a very simplistic explanation of what Marty Postlethwait has created with Shadow Buddies, but it really comes down to that single thing: a mother helping Miles, who was born with multiple congenital defects. That single idea has grown to become an international charity and one that distributed over 750,000 Shadow Buddies dolls.

You can learn more about Shadow Buddies at the foundation website. Click here.

Now, anyone who was there and has a picture of Elvis Gonzalez or the “Godfather” DaJuan, please send them immediately to

And if anybody shot video with their phone, send that as well, or post it to YouTube immediately.

More of the King must be seen!

Top Active Chiefs

As the 2008 season begins, here’s a look at the top active players in several statistical categories. We’ve limited this to four categories where members of the Chiefs are listed.







Marvin Harrison/Indianapolis





Issac Bruce/San Francisco





Terrell Owens/Dallas










Torry Holt/St. Louis





Randy Moss/New England





Muhsin Muhammad/Carolina





Hines Ward/Pittsburgh





Derrick Mason/Baltimore





Joey Galloway/Tampa Bay





  …Read More!

Chiefs Finish Practice Squad

The Chiefs now have the full compliment of practice squad players as they’ve filled their two openings on the nine-man developmental team.

LB Wes Dacus was brought back.  He made the first 53-man roster, but was released when the Chiefs claimed LB Erik Walden on waivers.

Also added was WR Scott Mayle (6-1, 175) who was released on Saturday by the Buffalo Bills.  Mayle joined the Bills last season as a college free agent out of Ohio University.  He spent 16 weeks on the Bills practice squad in ’07 and was added to the 53-man roster for the season finale, but did not play.

In the ’08 pre-season, Mayle caught one pass for 17 yards and returned three punts for an average of 15.3 yards while playing in three of the four games.  He caught 107 passes for 1,847 yards and 11 TDs while playing at Ohio.

Waiver Wire Manuvering

There were 32 players claimed on waivers this weekend after the NFL cut to the regular season limit of 53 players.

The Chiefs wound up with two of their claims: G Brian De La Puento who had been released by San Francisco.  He was a college free agent signed out of the University of California-Berkley.  The other was LB Erik Walden, who as a 6th-round draft choice this year of the Dallas Cowboys out of Middle Tennessee State.

To make room for De La Puento and Walden, the Chiefs released second-year cornerback Tyron Brackenridge and rookie LB Wes Dacus.  Expect Dacus to be back with the team today as part of their practice squad. …Read More!

Few Jobs Left On Chiefs Roster

The Chiefs will play their fourth pre-season outing Thursday night against the Rams, but there’s not much players can do in the game to win a job on the final 53-man roster.

That’s because most of the decisions have already been made.  There may be two or three spots that are in doubt among the players on the roster right now.  Even those last players that make the 53-man group on Saturday need to understand that things will be very fluid after the league cuts come down on Saturday afternoon.   The Chiefs will actively pursue players they feel will provide an upgrade to their roster, especially at two spots: linebacker and offensive line.

So what jobs remain open?  Well, one spot is obvious.  The others not so much. Here’s my view: …Read More!

The Feely Affair

So just what were the Chiefs doing with Jay Feely this week?

They brought Feely to Kansas City on Sunday where he made eight of 12 kicks in a workout for the coaches and personnel staffs.

They signed the veteran kicker on Monday and in competition with Nick Novak and Connor Barth, he went out and hit 11 of 15 field goal tries.

There was another kickoff between the three on Tuesday and Feely made 13 of 15 attempts.

Then they released him, just over 24 hours after signing him.

What’s up? …Read More!

Draft Class

The Chiefs dirty dozen draft class of 2008 was cut by half last weekend in Miami.  Of the 12 players drafted by the Chiefs back in April, only six were on the field and available to play against the Dolphins.  The others were in various stages of injury and rehab, including four players who are going to play a lot of football for the team this season.

Here’s where they stand right now after three pre-season games:

  1. 1.  DT Glenn Dorsey – got the most playing time of his career against Miami and made an impression on the Chiefs coaching staff.  “He’s exactly what we thought he would be when we drafted him,” said Herm Edwards.  “He’s a powerful man inside.   He can control the double-team.  He’s getting better with his pass rush, he’s getting a better feel.”
  2. 2.  LT Branden Albert – has not yet returned to practice from his foot injury, but is progressing on schedule and he may be able to practice next week.  Does that mean he’ll play in the season opener against New England? “Not necessarily,” Edwards said.  “We will have to wait and see.  With a veteran guy, you might do that, but with a young guy, I’m not sure that’s fair to him or the team. We’ll see what kind of progress he makes when we start next week.” …Read More!

Feely Makes Three, For Now

So the Chiefs signing of kicker Jay Feely has surprised some people because of its timing.  With the NFL roster limit dropping to 75 by 3 p.m. EDT on Tuesday, it would seem time to cut players rather than sign them.

Jay Feely

Jay Feely

By signing Feely now, what the Chiefs have done is protect their options if they decide against Nick Novak or Connor Barth.  If Feely was still floating around out there after Tuesday’s cutdown date, there’s no guarantee he would be there after the final slice to 53 players.

The Chiefs will not carry two kickers into Thursday night’s game against St. Louis.  Either Novak or Barth will be cut loose on Tuesday after the kickers workout. Even Feely could be released, although that’s highly unlikely; he would have to fail miserably in the workouts for that to happen. …Read More!

Merritt, Feely Signed

The Chiefs were busy on the personnel front today.

They added veteran kicker Jay Feely to their active roster.  He was cut several weeks ago by Miami.

They also signed their seventh-round draft choice Michael Merritt.

To make room for Feely and Merritt, the Chiefs released LB Oliver Hoyte and DE Trevor Johnson.

Feely joins the battle at kicker involving Nick Novak and Connor Barth. 

Merritt will be one of the Chiefs roster moves on Tuesday to reach the NFL limit of 75 players.

Here’s how it works:

Merritt remained unsigned because he’s still recovering from a broken leg suffered at the end of his college season with the University of Central Florida.  Because he could not pass a physical to participate in practice, the Chiefs decided not to tie up one of their 80 roster spots with a body that could not get on the field. …Read More!

Positions Review: Backs & Tight Ends

Over the next 10 days, I will take a look at each position on the Chiefs and where I think the roster decisions are headed for the regular season.  My conclusions are based on what I’ve seen during this pre-season and what I know about the Chiefs and what they are trying to create with this 2008 team.  But just remember, these are my guesses, so don’t commit them to stone! 

Let’s look at the backs and tight ends.

The Chiefs have a long jam at halfback and somebody is not going to make the team. The Chiefs would carry four at most, although a fifth wouldn’t be out of the realm of possibility. We know that Larry Johnson (pictured to the left), rookie Jamaal Charles and Kolby Smith will be on the opening day roster. They are locks.

The battle comes down to Jackie Battle and/or rookie Dantrell Savage. Now, Battle started strong during training camp, but has been battling a sore shoulder for the last several weeks. Savage has made a name for himself as a returner, now handling kickoffs and punts. He’s also shown himself to be a productive runner, although remember he’s doing it against the second and third team defenses. …Read More!

Postion Review: Secondary

Over the next 10 days, I will take a look at each position on the Chiefs and where I think the roster decisions are headed for the regular season.  My conclusions are based on what I’ve seen during this pre-season and what I know about the Chiefs and what they are trying to create with this 2008 team.  But just remember, these are my guesses, so don’t commit them to stone! 

Let’s look at the defensive backs.

The starting group appears set at this point with Pat Surtain and Brandon Flowers at the corners and Jarrad Page and Bernard Pollard at safety.

The fifth guy will be rookie CB Brandon Carr, as he’s working as the nickel back and figures to share the spot with Surtain.

The sixth guy will be rookie S DaJuan Morgan who only needs to clean up some of the mental parts of the game to get playing time. He’s shown he can handle things physically and he’s a big hitter back there. …Read More!

Position Review: Linebackers

Over the next 10 days, I will take a look at each position on the Chiefs and where I think the roster decisions are headed for the regular season.  My conclusions are based on what I’ve seen during this pre-season and what I know about the Chiefs and what they are trying to create with this 2008 team.  But just remember, these are my guesses, so don’t commit them to stone! 

Let’s look at the linebackers.

If there was one position where the Chiefs may be active on the waiver wire the day after the final NFL cutdown, it will be at linebacker. In his first two seasons with the Chiefs, Herm Edwards has kept seven linebackers. Right now it’s tough to find seven backers who have performed well enough in this pre-season to deserve a roster spot.

Count on Derrick Johnson, Demorrio Williams and Pat Thomas to be there as the Chiefs starters. Williams will not play over the rest of the pre-season because of a broken bone in his hand,  but the Chiefs expect him to be ready to play in the season opener.

 Also count in veteran Donnie Edwards who continues to rehab his hamstring pull and should be back on the practice field next week. …Read More!

Position Review: Wide Receivers

Over the next 10 days, I will take a look at each position on the Chiefs and where I think the roster decisions are headed for the regular season.  My conclusions are based on what I’ve seen during this pre-season and what I know about the Chiefs and what they are trying to create with this 2008 team.  But just remember, these are my guesses, so don’t commit them to stone! Events may change the picture at any position over the next two weeks.


Let’s focus on wide receivers.

Currently, the Chiefs have 10 wide receivers on their roster. In his first two seasons, Edwards started the season with five wide receivers on the opening roster. But in both of those cases, the player handling returns in the kicking game was listed as a wide receiver: Dante Hall in 2006 and Eddie Drummond in the 2007 season. That may not be the case this season, as right now it looks like RB Dantrell Savage may be the return guy. Veteran free agent B.J. Sams has been working at wide receiver and he still has two games to claim the returner’s job.

Keep in mind the obvious formula in the NFL: 25 on offense, 25 on defense and 3 special teamers makes for a 53-man roster. Generally, the roster has 13 players at wide receiver/tight end/running back.

Dewayne Bowe, Devard Darling and rookie Will Franklin have the top three spots at wide receiver. Bowe and Darling have been running as the starters, with Franklin the first guy off the bench when the offense goes to three wideouts.

It’s a big battle for the fourth and possibly final spot. Jeff Webb, Maurice Price and Bobby Sippio are part of the discussion. Price should have an edge because he provides the Chiefs with something they lack at wide receiver and that’s speed. He’s also active on special teams. Webb started very slowly in training camp, but he keeps turning up in practices making big catches. Everybody knows Sippio’s story: no speed, great hands and work ethic.

Both Kevin McMahan and rookies Jabari Arthur and Sergiori Joachim have shown flashes of talent, but not enough to claim a spot on the 53-man roster.

Test No. 2 For Class of ’08

OK, we promised we were going to keep our eye on the Chiefs Dozen, the 12 draft choices the team selected back in April that they believe will be the foundation of this team for years to come.

After two pre-season games, here’s where they stand:

DT Glenn Dorsey: saw his first action coming off the knee injury he suffered on August 2nd.   His play time was limited but Herm Edwards liked what he saw.  “He did OK,” the Chiefs head coach said. “He got his feet wet and now we’ll get him going.”  Dorsey took a full turn with the No. 1 defense during Monday afternoon’s practice session and will see extensive playing time this coming weekend against Miami. …Read More!

In Defense of Bobby Sippio

From River Falls, Wisconsin

When starting this site, I was determined not to waste too much of my time and more importantly your attention writing about the media.  There’s nothing more boring to me than the media covering the media.  As for correcting mistakes and countering poorly formed media opinions, I could throw up a site that does nothing but that and have plenty of material every day, 24/7, 365.

Especially when it comes to the Kansas City’s fish wrap’s coverage of the Chiefs, and in particular Bobby Sippio.  I must comment on a couple of recent written incidents involving Sippio. …Read More!

Chiefs Olympic Track & Field Team

From River Falls, Wisconsin

Just two years ago, Chiefs RB Jamaal Charles posted Olympic qualifying times in the 100 and 200 meters.  Rather than going through training camp here in the northwoods, he might have worked his way to a spot with the U.S. Olympic team and earned a trip to Beijing for the Summer Games.

You can read more about Charles and his track career today on

There are others on the Chiefs current roster that had success in the track and field world as prepsters and collegians and might have earned spots in the Olympics had they concentrated their efforts there.  That group includes: …Read More!

Dorsey/Albert Update

From River Falls, Wisconsin

This is not a good way to foster the growth of a rebuilding project.

The cornerstones of the Chiefs future are 10 days into their pro careers and both will be on the sidelines Monday when the team returns to work here in the northwoods.

Right now if the Chiefs didn’t have bad luck, they wouldn’t have any luck at all.  In the span of three days both first round draft choices went down with injuries; it’s a left knee for Glenn Dorsey and a right foot for Branden Albert.

Right now the news is better on Dorsey than Albert.  He’s expected to miss a week, possibly 10 days.  Albert figures to be gone three to four weeks at the minimum.  He was hobbling along at UW-River Falls on Sunday using crutches. …Read More!

Albert & Dorsey Both Injured

From Canton, Ohio

First, it was Branden Albert.  Now it’s Glenn Dorsey.  The Chiefs two major building blocks are both injured.

Dorsey suffered a sprained left knee during Saturday nights practice at River Falls.  Until  the Chiefs and theire doctors see an MRI there’s no way to know how serious this injury might be.  Head coach Herm Edwards said after practice it would be week-to-week.  The Chiefs figure to have more details  on the defensive tackle’s situation either Sunday or early Monday.

Chiefs officials here for the Pro Football Hall of Fame Induction ceremonies say the best case scenario is Albert will miss three to four weeks because of a foot injury. …Read More!

Tony G Likes What He Sees

From River Falls, Wisconsin

Not much is expected of the Chiefs this year, what with it being a rebuilding year and all.

Tony Gonzalez doesn’t see it that way.  Not at all.

One of the most veteran Chiefs believes the folks around him are already a better team than they were last year.

And, he knows there are skeptics. …Read More!

The Skinny on Dorsey’s Deal

From River Falls, Wisconsin

Glenn Dorsey arrived on campus right around noon, signed his new contract, took a physical and he’ll be on the field this afternoon for the Chiefs afternoon practice.

The deal is being reported as six years for $51 million.

We can give you numbers closer to reality. …Read More!

Dorsey Agrees To Terms

From River Falls, Wisconsin

There’s a very simple fact that is the engine that drives all negotiations.  It doesn’t matter if two countries are negotiating a treaty or a parent is trying to convince junior to eat his peas.  The only way any negotiation reaches a conclusion is if all parties want there to be an ending.

On Friday, there were finally two parties at the negotiating table looking to make a deal in the talks between the Chiefs and No. 1 choice Glenn Dorsey.

We can tell you exclusively that Dorsey agreed to a contract late Friday evening.  Terms are sketchy but the numbers that will likely be thrown around the most are $50 million if he maxes out all the bonuses in the contract.  The guaranteed money will be in the neighborhood of $22 million.

The defensive tackle out of LSU is expected here in River Falls on Saturday to sign the deal and get to work. …Read More!


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