Free Agent Review … Thursday Cup O’Chiefs

The Chiefs football brain trust has spent the week in Orlando watching practices at the East-West Shrine Game. It’s just another step in the personnel process, along with next week’s Senior Bowl, the NFL Scouting Combine at the end of February and other events leading up to April’s NFL Draft.

That’s just on the college side. On the pro side, the evaluations go non-stop all year for players from the start of training camp through the Super Bowl. Last year, the Chiefs acquired 16 players with experience of some kind in the NFL before they went to training camp.

There were players in that group the Chiefs were counting on to contribute in the 2009 season. And some did, like OLB Mike Vrabel (right). But overall the ‘09 group of players with NFL experience that were signed by GM Scott Pioli were a disappointment and factored into the team’s bad 4-12 record.

Here’s a look and grade on each of the veteran free agents or first-year players signed by the Chiefs before the start of training camp in the ‘09 season:

LB MONTY BEISEL – Former Chiefs draft choice returned to KC after playing for the Cardinals in ‘08. Along the way, he did not see eye-to-eye with defensive coordinator Clancy Pendergast and Haley had to step into an argument between the two on the practice field. From that point on, Beisel seemed to be a man on the outside looking in. He chalked up two defensive tackles and one in the kicking game, while playing in three games before he was released on September 29th. Beisel finished up the season playing back with Arizona. GRADE: D.

QB MATT CASSEL (left) – Came to the Chiefs in a trade with New England in late February and was installed as the starting quarterback. Cassel had an up and down season, but had little help from the rest of the offense, save RB Jamaal Charles. A completion percentage of 55 percent, an average of 5.93 yards per pass, 16 INTs and a 69.9 passer rating were among the worst statistics in the pool of NFL starting quarterbacks. GRADE: C

WR TERRANCE COPPER – Signed for his special teams work, Copper played in all 16 games and made only a limited contribution to the offense with four catches for 68 yards. His 50-yard play in Denver that opened the Chiefs first possession was one of the better and longer passing plays of the season. Copper was second on the team in special teams tackles with 16, finishing just one behind team leader, rookie LB Jovan Belcher. GRADE: B

TE TONY CURTIS – Signed just after Tony Gonzalez was traded, Curtis made it to Wisconsin for training camp, but was released within the first week. GRADE: F.

CB TRAVIS DANIELS – One of the first UFAs signed during the off-season, Daniels was released on the final cut of the pre-season. He rejoined the team in early November and ended up playing in the last nine games of the season. Daniels was credited with 16 tackles on defense and seven in the kicking game. GRADE: D.

WR BOBBY ENGRAM – The veteran played in just five games and ended up catching five passes for 61 yards in limited playing time before he was released on November 7th. GRADE: F.

C/G ERIC GHIACUIC – Another early UFA signee from the Bengals, Ghiacuic never saw the regular season with the Chiefs. He finished the season with San Diego. GRADE: F.

G MIKE GOFF – A UFA signee, Goff was moved right into the starting lineup at RG and he had nearly perfect attendance in the off-season program. But in eight games on the right side, Goff struggled. He allowed 3.5 sacks during those games. GRADE: F.

WR C.J. JONES – Coming out of the Patriots organization, Jones never even saw training camp and was waived on June 19th. GRADE: F.

ILB COREY MAYS (right) – Signed for his work on special teams with the Bengals, the Chiefs got more out of Mays than they would ever have imagined. He ended up earning the starting job inside next to Demorrio Williams and had 100 tackles on defense and just three in the kicking game. GRADE: C.

LB DARRELL ROBERTSON – Another former Patriots defender, Robertson was released on June 19th. GRADE: F.

TE SEAN RYAN – He opened the season as the starter at tight end. Ryan started eight games and played in 10 games overall. Once he was replaced in the starting lineup, Ryan couldn’t get back on the field. He ended up catching 14 passes for 135 yards and two touchdowns. GRADE: D.

ILB ZACH THOMAS – The veteran linebacker was a constant presence in the off-season and brought necessary leadership skills to the offense. But a training camp injury kept him off the practice field and he was eventually released on September 5th. GRADE: F.

OLB MIKE VRABEL – He was generally viewed as a throw-in with the Patriots trade for Cassel, but Vrabel had a good season. Missing only two games, he had 65 total tackles, two sacks and forced two fumbles. GRADE: B.

WR RODNEY WRIGHT – A refugee from the now closed Arena League, Wright spent a week on the practice squad before he was released for good on September 16th. GRADE: F.

(left) – The veteran from the Bears did not sign a contract until June 25th, missing the entire off-season program. But in training camp, Brown ended up grabbing hold of a starting spot on the back line of the defense. He was active, with 99 total tackles, two sacks and three interceptions. GRADE: C.

In summation, that was 16 signees with an average grade of D-minus. There were no grades of A given, and only two Bs (Copper and Vrabel). Holding a mark of C were Cassel, Mays and Brown.

Five of that 16 ended up in the starting lineup: Cassel, Brown, Vrabel, Goff and Mays. Five made some sort of contribution during the year: Beisel, Copper, Daniels, Engram and Ryan. There were six players who did not end up playing for the Chiefs: Curtis, Ghiacuic, Jones, Robertson, Thomas and Wright.

As the Chiefs personnel department begins a second season, they are going to have to show better results in signing players with experience. Improvement in that facet of the personnel puzzle will help produce more victories.

On Friday, we’ll grade the experienced players the Chiefs added after the start of training camp and who amongst that group provided the team with any help or have a future for the ‘10 season.


  • AFC PRO BOWL – Titans QB Vince Young and Texans QB Matt Schaub added to the team as replacements for Chargers QB Philip Rivers and Patriots QB Tom Brady.
  • NFC PRO BOWL – Cowboys CB Terence Newman, Saints C Jonathan Goodwin, Giants WR Steve Smith, 49ers RB Frank Gore and Eagles long snapper Jon Dorenbos were added to the squad, serving as replacements for Cardinals CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Cowboys C Andre Gurode, Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald and Rams RB Steven Jackson.
  • BROWNS – announced John Sandusky will be Director of Player Personnel (formerly with the Eagles), Keith Gilberston will be the Director of Pro Personnel (formerly with the Seahawks), John Spytek named personnel executive (Eagles) and A.J. Durson was hired as a pro scout (Seahawks).
  • FALCONS – Tony Gonzalez told the team’s website that he will play the 2010 season in Atlanta. “I’ll be around for sure next season,” Gonzalez said.
  • RAMS – team owners Chip Rosenbloom and Lucia Rodriguez are considering three offers to purchase the franchise they inherited when Georgia Rosenbloom passed away.


On January 21, 1979, the Pittsburgh Steelers beat the Dallas Cowboys 35-31 in Super Bowl XII at the Orange Bowl in Miami. The victory was the third Super Bowl title for the Steelers, more than any team in history to that point. After winning its first two championships with an offense that featured the running game, the attack had gone more towards the passing of QB Terry Bradshaw and the receiving talents of Lynn Swann and John Stallworth.

In the first quarter, Bradshaw and Stallworth hooked up on a 28-yard TD pass and later combined on a 75-yard scoring throw. Bradshaw also hit a seven-yard TD pass to RB Rocky Bleier and found Swann in the fourth quarter for an 18-yard score that proved to be the winning points. Dallas scored a pair of touchdowns in the final period as QB Roger Staubach found TE Billy Joe DuPree and WR Butch Johnson for scores.

Bradshaw ended up being named the Super Bowl MVP, completing 17 of 30 passes for 318 yards and four touchdowns. The yardage and TD passes set new Super Bowl record. The referee for the game was Pat Haggerty. The national anthem was sung by the Colgate Thirteen, while the half-time show featured a “Carnival Salute to the Carribbean.” NBC has the TV broadcast, with Curt Gowdy, Merlin Olsen and John Brodie in the booth. A 30-second commercial cost $185,000. There were 14 players who participated in the game that ended up in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.


On January 21, 2007, the Indianapolis Colts beat the New England Patriots 38-34 at the RCA Dome in the 2005 AFC Championship Game. Down 18 points in the second half, Peyton Manning led his Colts offense back and finished the game with 455 offensive yards and 32 first downs. Down 21-6 at half-time, the Colts scored 32 points in the second half. The comeback was complete with one minute to play, when RB Joseph Addai scored on a –yard TD run. Seconds later, Indy CB Marlin Jackson picked off Patriots QB Tom Brady to seal the victory.


Born on January 21, 1943 in Wharton, Texas was S Jim Kearney. He joined the Chiefs in 1967 after playing two seasons with the Detroit Lions, where he signed coming out of Prairie View A&M. Kearney ended up playing nine seasons with the Chiefs (1967-75), appearing in 115 games, starting most of those at strong safety. He had 23 interceptions, including five that he returned for touchdowns. Kearney’s best season was 1972, when he had five interceptions and returned four for touchdowns; those scores in one season tied a league record which still stands. He was selected by Tampa Bay in the expansion draft in 1976. Kearney did not play for the Bucs, but did sign on and play 14 games with the Saints under head coach Hank Stram.

49 Responses to “Free Agent Review … Thursday Cup O’Chiefs”

  • January 21, 2010  - KC_Guy says:

    A sobering analysis – especially if you remember what all the pundits stated about Pioli’s talent of evaluating players.

    I agree with most of your evaluation, but I’m definitely more critical on Mike Brown. I consider him a blueprint for inconsistency – having top games one week and absolutely blowing it the next. That’s something a Safety just can’t do.

    How about a part two of your veteran signings analysis covering those veteran players added during the season: Chambers, Pope, Ndukwe, Alleman and so on …

  • January 21, 2010  - Tenand6 says:

    Excellent. Scott Pioli is a real question mark. People talk about Haley having one more year to prove himself. I’d say Haley has shown great progress, has a top-tier staff. It’s Pioli who should be on the hot seat. One more year like last year in talent acquisition and Pioli should be fired. Even an average off-season should earn him the boot. Pioli is supposed to be the best in the business. If he isn’t, the Chiefs should cut their losses and find someone else.

  • January 21, 2010  - ThunderChief says:

    Confusing opinion with fact can be a flawed exercise. I agree with Tenand6’s view on the Pioli performance to date. Also, Bob’s analysis is a solid basis of fact that belies the image of Pioli being the brains running the engine of past Pattie glory and now or soon Chief’s resurgence?

    Okay, Pioli has used up his benefits of the doubt and now it’s show and tell time for the franchise under his watch. So far he’s earned a D grade from me. Here’s a thought: Spend some real money on a few impact free agent players and quit looking for dumpster diving miracles, the type outlined in Bob’s report.

  • January 21, 2010  - Mad Chief says:

    Tenand6 says:
    “It’s Pioli who should be on the hot seat.”

    For what? Busting his ass trying to upgrade the talent on the team any way he could? We’re the Chiefs, remember? How many good players were chomping at the bit to come play here? When you have to scrape the bottom of the barrel, you’re not going to find much. And he didn’t.

    With Crennel and Weis on board now, I think it will make it a little easier to get good players in here. But still, no small task. I’m hoping people will see us on the rise now…and that will make a difference.

    Also, I have to disagree with the grade given to Mays. A “C”? He certainly wasn’t spectacular…but 100 tackles should deserve a “B” in my book. And I’d almost give him a “+” just for drilling Farve like he did. That was great.

  • January 21, 2010  - Justin D says:

    A bit harsh on the grading if Mays gets a C and they got more than they ever expected out of him. Seems a bit of a contradiction.

    THe rest of the grades I’d say were pretty accurate.

  • January 21, 2010  - Mike in MO says:

    I, too, believe Mays should have been given a grade of B. He was one of the more consistent performers on the club. I agree with the thought that decent free agents may be more willing to play for the Chiefs now that Weis and Crennel are aboard.

  • January 21, 2010  - el cid says:

    The only person deserving of the official “F” is Scott Pioli. Not reason to fire him yet, but a 4 times Exec. of Year should have been able to fall over more talent than Pioli did so far. If he had retained any memory from NE, he should have remembered some talented guys from teams other than MIA, NE, or Ariz, but he did not. Herm’s team was bad and Pioli failed to find much talent to replace guys from a 2-14 team.

    Just thinking, is Cassel an amazing trade or a amazing free agent? Might say he just a guy, a tough guy, but no better than the talent around him.

  • January 21, 2010  - Anon says:

    How does Mike Vrabel garner a better grade than Mike Brown and Corey Mays? Mays and Brown made 50% more tackles than Vrabel.

  • January 21, 2010  - jimbo says:

    I agree with Mad Chief.

    Free agents can sign the dotted line for any team that wants them. The KC dotted line consisted of a struggling team, minimum wage & a 1 year contract. That’s not much of a future for a player & his family.
    I’m OK with Pioli. Granted there was’nt much magic in his 2009 FA acquisitions, I believe he still has the potential to be the best GM in the NFL.

  • January 21, 2010  - DeadChieffanWalking says:

    Best thing Pioli did last year was getting rid of Loser Larry Johnson. One of the worst things he did was cutting Pollard and, of course, not getting doing enough about the offensive line in the offseason.

  • January 21, 2010  - DeadChieffanWalking says:

    Anon, it’s probably because of the tackles they didn’t make, at least in Brown’s case.

  • January 21, 2010  - Double A says:

    With all due respect – I felt you were too hard on Cassel (who ran for his life most the year), Vrabel and Mike Brown. They all get an “A+” for leadership and accountability– both attributes desperately needed on this squad.

    Also, a lot of those players were swings and misses, but isn’t that part of the philosophy of giving the guys another chance? In other words, it’s going to happen.

  • January 21, 2010  - PnS says:

    I find my self agreeing with el cid most of the time. A true talent evaluator can pick players from all NFL teams . Pioli should be on the hot seat & this year should tell us if he knows his job.I think it shows that Coaches/GM,s coming from the Pats are given way to much credit. The man that runs that show is still there. I just don,t want another Peterson that stayed after the true evaluator left. It now appears Marty was the talent evaluator…… we have suck since.

  • January 21, 2010  - Mad Chief says:

    Vrabel desrves an A+ for giving the Denver bench the finger, if nothing else. Seriously.

  • January 21, 2010  - arrowhead1978 says:

    Well I think that he was right on about Cassel, look at the stats for the year, terrible. Thigpen was on the same team last year and his numbers weren’t as bad, but Cassel’s numbers were flawed in New England when he came here.

    Pioli wasn’t the man in NE was he?? It’s Belichick’s team and his genius that produced the players there, look at their draft from this year when Pioli wasn’t there.

  • January 21, 2010  - Mad Chief says:

    PnS says:
    “I think it shows that Coaches/GM,s coming from the Pats are given way to much credit. The man that runs that show is still there.”

    The reason Belichick has been successful in NE, is that very FACT that he knows how to pick good people to work for him. Period. He’s not some all-knowing Football God who does it all by himself. He knows how to surround himself with talented individuals that know their sh*t. That’s what puts him above most others…plain and simple.

  • January 21, 2010  - Uncuffed says:

    Sorry Bob, but you have to actually consider the names before giving grades like that. I think we easily got as much as you could expect out of most those names. Ok, some you got less (Thomas, Engram), and some you got more (Copper, Ryan, Chambers, Wade, etc). It’s not like we were signing guys like Haynesworth and the didn’t work out. Almost all of these guys were off the scrap heap, with not a single other team wanting them.

    Context, context, context.

  • January 21, 2010  - el cid says:

    Jimbo, based on your opinion, the Chiefs will wait 3-4 years for decent free agents. I would submit if true, the Chiefs will not contend until after 2015. That is just to long. The Chiefs will have to overpay to get the right free agent. More important, Pioli will have to be almost perfect on the guys he signs, more pressure on him. He has said how much he loves the scout role, so we shall see if he can produce.

  • January 21, 2010  - Uncuffed says:

    If you’re going to give an automatic F to players who weren’t even expected to make the 53-man roster out of camp, then you have to give and automatic A+ to anybody who surpisingly did make the 53-man roster.

    A terribly terribly flawed analysis.

  • January 21, 2010  - Mad Chief says:

    el cid says:
    “Jimbo, based on your opinion, the Chiefs will wait 3-4 years for decent free agents. I would submit if true, the Chiefs will not contend until after 2015.”

    Just to jump in…I think it more depend on how the team is perceived. If we can show some signs of life, and being a team “on the rise”…then it will be easier to get players excited to come play here. I believe the additions of Crennel and Weis will help with that. I don’t necessarily think we have to be a “great” team to get good FA’s…but we need to at least hold some promise of BEING one.

  • January 21, 2010  - Danny W says:

    Pioli whiffed on Picking up Mike Goff, letting go of Benard Pollard, and picking Tyson Jackson number three overall who may not be a bust but at number three a huge reach. Posotive aquisitions would be Mays,Vrabel,Cassel,Chambers,and O’Callahan.I am personally also glad they did not pick up Haynesworth who they were in contention for last year. They administration had to of known this last season was going to be pretty winless with those miniscule aquistions. They are still trying to build a young team out of the draft. Which will lead to a better franchise for a decade instead of two seasons. When I say miniscule Matt Cassel will be a better than average QB with some solid line pick ups in the draft. If Pioli doesnt do anything in this his second season to get us on the winning track for you Jerry Jones’s out there then question him. He has already aquired two huge names that were sought after by other teams who will be and are top of the line coaches.

  • January 21, 2010  - PnS says:

    The Jerry Jones’s out there…..I Like It .You could throw in Dan Synder too . Yes …you have a point . I just don’t want to keep a ( Peterson ) if he not getting it done . Time …….Time …..we have been waiting…. I’am tired of waiting . It’s time for put up or shut up .If in 3 years ( If I Owned The Chiefs )there was no improvement in wins . Off with their heads.

  • January 21, 2010  - el cid says:

    While I think Weis and Crennel are major additions for the future, you still need the horses to pull the plow. The draft will help, hopefully better than the last has. But free agents are a must to turn this team around. I have repeatedly said the NFL is not set up for teams to spend YEARS reloading. Right now the Chiefs seem in “look at us in 3-4 years” mode. Many seem satisfied with that. I am not. In 3-4 year we should be figuring out how to rebuild/reload on what is here now. Pioli was Exec of Year and I do not believe he fooled the NFL 4 times. There must be something behind it. Unless it is like Jackson, rookie team, why because there was no one else?

    I say the coaching is in place, for the most part, now Pioli needs to add to the roster, frankly not as poorly done as last year.

  • January 21, 2010  - Uncuffed says:

    I don’t know how you can claim they are in a “3-4 year mode”. Trading for your “franchise QB” and bringing in leaders seems like playing for now as much as the future to me. What would you have them do to be more “immediate”? Sure, maybe they could have spent more on FAs, but they have to be the right FAs, and maybe they weren’t able to convince the select few they liked to come here. I think the improved coaching staff and the late season momentum (e.g. Charles) will help fuel more positive feelings for KC by FAs

  • January 21, 2010  - el cid says:

    Yeah, right, Mike Goff was the “right” guy. Immediate help, so let’s see, how about starters insted of Jackson and Magee. Also do not forget RB, WR, CB, all draft pics who did not contribute to a 2-14 team. How about some guys out of college who would improve on a herm team? Free agents, I do not know, how about using some of the UNSPENT cap money to over pay for real help on the OL, LB, S, and on and on. If you really think Charles is enough then everything is perfect for you with a 4-12 team, have a good life. I want wins, do not care who is the GM, coach, or players, WINS. Nothing else matters. I guess you see the guys left on the team are the “right” guys but most cannot play on most other NFL teams, basically what was left over. And that is not good enough for me.

  • January 21, 2010  - PnS says:

    Ah…..” franchise QB ” did you read Bob,s Post ? Cassel numbers well have to improve . Blame all the WRs you want but did you watch the games . Cassel throws were off a lot, hard to catch a ball that is behind you . So if you have a WR that can catch every thing is it the QB or WR,s that is the ” fanchise Player “

  • January 21, 2010  - jimbo says:

    el cid,
    I was referring to the Chiefs dismal 2008 performance that enticing more talented free agents would be difficult, especially with a 1st yr. GM who had his plate full, while familiarizing himself with a new job a new franchise & a new boss.
    I think your assumption that the Chiefs are 3 or more years away from respectability are unfounded. The Chiefs are on the verge of something special & Scott Pioli will be recognized for his efforts in due time.
    Have faith, enjoy the ride…
    Go Chiefs.

  • January 21, 2010  - Mad Chief says:

    jimbo says:

    “The Chiefs are on the verge of something special & Scott Pioli will be recognized for his efforts in due time.
    Have faith, enjoy the ride…
    Go Chiefs.”

    I agree 100%.

    I want a “house” that is solid, and will last for years and years. Not one that gets slapped up quickly and looks pretty at first…but falls apart in a year or two. I truly believe that Pioli is the right builder for our “house”. And a strong foundation is the key to making it last. That’s where we’re at.

  • January 21, 2010  - dusty says:

    Pioli came to the Chiefs when? And he was how familiar with Chiefs personnel then? And how long did it take to get his staff in place? His top priority was to evaluate the current personnel, Herm Edwards being among the first. After making that decision, he had to find another head coach – how long does all that take???

    I find it hard to fault anybody on the Chiefs payroll this first year, except those who had a bad attitude.

    No matter how good Pioli is, and I hope he is very good, a certain amount of time is needed to get up to speed. For those who think he should have been up to speed even before he arrived here have unrealistic expectations. With a new coach and a roster filled with lesser talent and a few attitude problems, I’d say he had his hands full.

    However, this year’s draft class and free agent group will give us a much better idea of just how good he really is and how well the coaching staff can actually coach. I expect a definite upgrade in talent in all areas, especially for those players who have survived the first year.

    Save your critique for now, root for a good draft, support the new people and pray for a labor settlement. If there is no settlement you won’t have to worry about the draft or free agents cause there might not be any football. That would be stupid on the part of the owners and the players. The labor situation has already reduced the available free agents. As someone else said – context, context and context. Go Chiefs!!!

  • January 21, 2010  - Uncuffed says:

    Goff was a low-risk high-reward gamble that maybe he had one or two decent years left and would at least bring some veteran guidance to line. Didn’t work out, but i still think it was a good gamble given it didn’t cost us anything.

    As far as the draft, its’ completely irrelevant at this point b/c no one knows how the draft class will turn out at this point. Judging the draft after one year is ridiculous and anyone who’s followed football closely should know that. It generally takes about 3 years to get a good picture. Even Bob will tell you that.

    As far as not spending enough, that’s a valid argument to explore. But there are potential reasons why more wasn’t spent, e.g.

    1) Limited talent makes it to free agency. teams like to keep good players
    2) can’t always get talent to come to a particular place, especially a 2-14 team
    3) maybe better to save money for year 2 or re-build
    4) better to save money for the right players

    As far as FAs maybe looking at our team in a better light, i hesitate to even respond since you so obviously took my charles comment way out of context on purpose. To re-iterate, my point was that

    1) new good-rep coaching staff with many connections to other players will help bring in new players
    2) ended season on the upswing with a big win and improved play… including, e.g. Charles. And since you don’t know what e.g. means, it means “For Example” and not “the only possible positive thing i was referring to”.

    Get out of the negative spin-doctoring and try to root for your team in an objective way. We all know we need more talent.

  • January 21, 2010  - Uncuffed says:

    PnS, there’s a reason I put “franchise QB” in quotation marks.

  • January 21, 2010  - Joplin fan says:

    If you think about the money lost on all of the players that never made it out of camp, that’s a pretty good chunk of change that could of been used on a couple of marquis guys rather than a bunch of wash-ups and rejects.

  • January 21, 2010  - Uncuffed says:


    Two things:

    1) NFL contracts have little to no guaranteed money, so little to no money was spent on these guys

    2) Every team fills out training camp to the max. no one goes to camp with just 53 players. All training camp fodder are signed to minimum contracts, so it’s the same money for all teams and every year (with slight differences in minimums depending on how long they’ve been in the league)

  • January 21, 2010  - True Red & Gold says:

    I for the most part agree with Bob’s grades. I believe the grades where lower than some people agree with because of the inconsistent play of those players. As a general analysis I think Bob’s was good. Some of you want to be more detailed and include lots of variables. I would love to see your (Uncuffed) detailed analysis because I doubt anyone else has the time for it.

    So far Pioli has not proved much and those that put their faith in him at this point are silly. A few things that Pioli has proved is that he can go out and get Partriot’s people, and he has a good connection with Parcell’s people. He has signed a couple of proven coaches and a couple of proven players so I guess he can do that too. What he hasn’t done (and still has to prove) is find unknown talent. He needs more time to prove that he can do that but the clock is ticking. Just for the record, alot of people didn’t like Peterson and said that he was arrogant and what not, but as an overall GM to this point, I liked Peterson better.

  • January 21, 2010  - Uncuffed says:

    I like Bob’s analysis in words, I just don’t think his subjective grades were put in context. If you’re going to do something as subjective as giving grades, you might as well factor in your subjective expectations of those players, which he clearly did not do.

    I don’t think there’s any value in “grading” training camp fodder that didn’t even make the team. That’s 27 F’s for every team every year. Unless those players were given guaranteed money, they shouldn’t be graded.

    I agree that Pioli has a ton to prove, but what new GM doesn’t after just one year?? Just like a draft class, it takes more than one year to really get an idea how their decisions are panning out.

  • January 21, 2010  - Uncuffed says:

    As far as it taking time, i don’t think it takes any extra time to put it in context. You just have to define your grading scale better, e.g.

    A = Home Run
    B = Exceeded Expectations
    C = Met expectations
    D = Below Expectations
    F = Failure

    So my grades (excluding the ridiculous 27 “F’s” every team gets when they cut down to 53 players):

    Brown = C
    Cassel = C
    Chambers = A
    Copper = B
    Daniels = C
    Engram = F
    Goff = D
    Mays = B
    Ryan = C
    Vrabel = B
    Wade = C

    Average = C+

  • January 21, 2010  - Mark says:

    Vrabel deserves a D. His on field production was pathetic. He gave No pass rush alternative to Tamba, and he’s slow as molasses in pursuit. He may be a good “leader”, but he can lead from the bench while a better player actually produces(Studebaker).
    Mike Brown is the epitome of an F. He was horrid all year, and if you look at almost all the long plays against us, Mike Brown either missed a tackle, took a bad angle, took a good angle but was simply outrun.
    Corey mays deserves a B+. THAT’s they type of UFA Pioli should be looking at, instead of these washed up veteran bums brought for “leadership”. Mays was productive, and at least will be a special teams contributor and part time player at ILB.

  • January 21, 2010  - Uncuffed says:

    Oh, forgot some good ones:

    Belcher = A
    Long = C+
    O’Callaghan = A

  • January 21, 2010  - TimR says:

    I agree with Bob for the most part, but like others that have posted, I believe Brown got a “gift” from Bob with his grade.

  • January 21, 2010  - Mad Chief says:

    True Red & Gold says:

    “So far Pioli has not proved much and those that put their faith in him at this point are silly.”

    Well, I guess you can just call me a “silly” old Chiefs fan, then. Because I DO have faith that Pioli will do good things for this team.

    And Pioli may not have “proven much” in his LENGHTY career as GM for the Chiefs…but you can look at the man’s resume, and it’s fairly impressive. So, I’ll put my faith in that. Sure beats pissing and moaning about every move he did, or didn’t make. Because you know what? I’m pretty sure he knows a lot more about Football than we do. That’s why he’s where he is…and we’re where we are.

  • January 21, 2010  - mog55 says:

    this year they were vetting players and trying to find cheap deals..because this team was not close to winning. Now, we have a core of players we can build on. Free agency will be big this year with the draft. I expect the Chiefs to win 9 or 10 games next year. We could have easily won oakland, cleveland & Dallas this year. Go Chief!

  • January 21, 2010  - colby says:

    I agree with your grade scale and grades uncuffed. However, players like Chambers, Wade, Long, O’Callaghan, and let’s not forget Pope, will be guys that Bob is going to grade tomorrow. Also, I’d count Belcher along with our draft picks since he is technically part of this year’s rookie class even though he wasn’t drafted. I agree that certain players don’t bare mentioning like CJ Jones, Rodney Wright, etc, because those were the type of players who were longshots at best. Pioli didn’t get enough help for us pre training camp, but guys found in season like Chambers, Long, and Pope were signs that Pioli does in fact know how to get good players in here. Hopefully he’ll take more chances pre camp this year than he did last year.

  • January 21, 2010  - arrowhead1978 says:

    I think the grades are based more on Pioli picking these players up and how well he did in signing players, not actually grading the play on the field because like people have already said Vrabel didn’t deserve a high grade for his play, but the move did pan out and we had a player on the field. That is why players who were signed and didn’t make the roster would receive an “F” grade.

  • January 21, 2010  - Uncuffed says:

    arrowhead, that would be fine, except he concludes that they failed in FA based on this heavily-biased-to-low-grades grading system. In his system, every team gets an automatic 27 F’s as soon as the season starts.

  • January 21, 2010  - jimbo says:

    Well Guys, I’ll have to admit that todays discussion was lively with good points made all around. We all have been hopeful Chiefs fans each & every season for many years. Alot of disappointment & illusions of playoff victories have plagued us fans for two generations. I understand the skepticism & the optimism of the many posts I read everyday. Bottom line is we want to believe that the Chiefs can take us to the promised land again. It will happen, The debatable question is… When…
    Go Chiefs.

  • January 21, 2010  - el cid says:

    Right again, jimbo, just hope I will not be in a red cardigan a depends and using a walker before it happens. This off season will tell a lot about what the Chiefs are about.

  • January 21, 2010  - Mad Chief says:

    el cid says:

    “This off season will tell a lot about what the Chiefs are about.”

    Absolutely, el cid. Absolutely.

    Let’s just not forget that our Head Coach has already secured the “biggest” names out there for OC and DC in our offseason. Weis and Crennel could have both gone several different places. They chose to come here. That gives me a BIG shot of optimism. Both of these men must have felt that coming to KC was their best shot at success. Otherwise, they would have taken another job. There can’t be any doubts about that.

    Hey, if this team is broken so badly that Pioli, Haley, Weis, and Crennel can’t get us on the right track…then we’re far worse off than I thought.

  • January 22, 2010  - SG says:

    I was confused too — was BobGretz grading the players’ performances themselves or the value provided as compared to the expectations set? Or is this his evaluation of Pioli’s performance in picking up Player X, Y, or Z?

    For example, in picking up Cassel/Vrabel, we gave up a 2nd rounder this year…did we get the value of a 2nd rounder for these guys, knowing what we do – especially in the light of the history of past 2nd rounders KC has picked up and Pioli has picked up (neither party has had a history of outstanding pickups in Rd. 2).

    Also, free agents…let’s see…we cut Pollard (who apparently did very well in Houston) to get Brown who seemed to be one of our defensive underperformers in big spots. “C” seems VERY generous. I agree with “F” for Goff and Gut-check – both of those guys underperformed and that hurt us – that falls on Pioli. I STRONGLY disagree with a “C” for Mays. Seeing as how I don’t think he was picked up with expectation of even starting, 100 tackles starting in the middle gets him an “A.”

  • January 22, 2010  - BigJimInWisconsin says:

    Corey Mays = B.
    I just love that picture from preseason with Mays’s helmet inserted into Favre’s chest. It was posted front and center in the Milwaukee, WI paper.

    Bob, is there a stat regarding downing punts? It seemed that every time the Chiefs downed a punt inside the opponents’ 20, it was Terrance Copper. I give him a (+) next to his B.

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