Free Agent Review #2 … Friday Cup O’Chiefs

Piecing together the roster of a professional football team is like a game of stacking dominoes. If one falls, it creates a chain reaction. Fail on a significant draft choice and the rest of the roster feels the failure.

A team signs a free agent with hopes they can contribute at a specific position, and when it doesn’t happen, they must react.

This is especially true on bad football teams. When the talent level is so low, there’s no reason to keep the stability of the roster. Signing players off the street, or claiming players on the waiver wire, or making quiet trades are all tools a team’s personnel decision makers use to raise the talent tide.

As we examined on Thursday, the Chiefs performance in bringing in players with NFL experience before the start of training camp was not very successful. On average, the players and their contributions graded out to a D-minus grade.

The success rate was not much better after the start of training camp in River Falls, Wisconsin. And, part of that was the domino effect from pre-camp failure.

For example, take the wide receiver position highlighted by veteran Chris Chambers (left). The new Arrowhead regime knew that was a weak spot on the club’s roster after the ‘08 season. A number of wide receivers were signed: Terrance Copper, Bobby Engram, C.J. Jones and Rodney Wright. By the end of the ‘09 regular season, only Copper remained and he was largely a special teams performer.

So from the start of camp, wide receivers paraded through the roster – Amani Toomer, Ashley Lelie, Bobby Wade, Lance Long and Chambers, who was the only one that made a real impact on the offense.

Thus, the dominos remain out of kilter a year later at the wide receiver position.

Here are the additions made to the roster with players that had previous NFL experience:

LB VINCE REDD – Claimed off waivers on August 4 after he was released by the Patriots, Redd showed up in Wisconsin and showed he looked like an NFL linebacker. He just didn’t practice or play like one. He was waived on August 24. GRADE: F.

QB MATT GUTIERREZ – Claimed off waivers from the Patriots on August 6, Gutierrez was hardly impressive in the pre-season and played just one game in the regular season. GRADE: Incomplete.

WR AMANI TOOMER – The veteran free agent was signed on August 6 and then released o n September 1. Toomer was very unimpressive as his skills had obviously eroded. Grade: F.

WR ASHLEY LELIE – He was signed on August 17 and released on September 5. At times it looked like he might be a good addition, but there was no consistency in his performances. Grade: F.

G/T IKECHUKU NDUKWE – Acquired in a trade with Miami on August 24, Ndukwe was immediately thrown into the problem spot at right tackle. He started the first three games of the season and was then sent to the bench. Ndukwe ended up playing in 12 games. He had a chance to make the position his and he failed. Grade: F.

G ANDY ALLEMAN – Picked up in the trade with Miami on Aug. 24, Alleman played in nine games with three starts at right guard. There was nothing impressive about his play. Grade: D.

RT RYAN O’CALLAGHAN – Claimed off the waiver wire from the Patriots on September 6. He ended up playing in 14 games and made 12 starts at right tackle. He allowed four sacks. Grade: D.

WR BOBBY WADE (right) – He was signed on September 15 and ended up playing in 13 games with seven starts. Wade caught 36 passes for 367 yards and two TDs. He had 21 punt returns for an average of 7.6 yards. Wade was among the team and league leaders in dropped passes. Grade: D.

WR LANCE LONG – After being released by Arizona just days after the ‘09 season opener, he was signed on September 16 to the practice squad and then added to the active roster on October 25. Long played in eight games, with one start. He caught 20 passes for 178 yards and he had six kick returns for an average of 17.7 yards. Grade: F.

TE LEONARD POPE – He signed on September 29 and it took only a few weeks for him to establish himself as the starter at TE. In 13 games, he had eight starts and caught 20 passes for 174 yards and a touchdown. Grade: D.

ILB DAVID HERRON – Signed on September 30, Herron played in 10 games, all on special teams where he did register 11 tackles. Grade: C.

CB MIKE RICHARDSON – He was also added on September 30 and played in 11 games with one start. He also got the chance to play in the nickel back role, although he couldn’t hold onto the spot. He did have 12 tackles in the kicking game. Grade: C.

DT KENNY SMITH – After being off the football field for several years, Smith was signed on October 21 and was released on December 8. He was credited with two tackles in limited playing time. Grade: F.

WR CHRIS CHAMBERS – Claimed off the waiver wire from San Diego on November 3, Chambers was an immediate upgrade at the position. In the second half of the schedule, he became the most productive receiver, catching 36 passes for 608 yards and four touchdowns. Grade: B.

ILB JUSTIN ROGERS – He was a yo-yo on and off the roster. He was signed first October 14, and then released three days later. He was re-signed November 11, played in one game and then was sent to the injured-reserve list on December 26. He was credited with one special teams tackle. Grade: Incomplete.

FB TIM CASTILLE (left) – On the street after being released by the Cardinals back in early September, Castille signed with the Chiefs on November 17. Appearing in seven games, he carried the ball 14 times for 55 yards and caught four passes for 37 yards and a TD. He also threw an interception and had five tackles in the kicking game. Grade: C.

S RESHARD LANGFORD – Signed on Christmas Day, he did not see the field in the final two games. Grade: Incomplete.


  • CARDINALS – DE Bertrand Berry retired after 12 years in the league playing for the Colts, Broncos and Cardinals.
  • COWBOYS – signed head coach Wade Phillips to a two-year extension for 2010-11.
  • EAGLES – QB Michael Vick has a 10-part reality series beginning February 2 on the BET network. Called the Michael Vick Project, it will explore all aspects of the man’s life, both good and bad.
  • 49ERS – hired Mike Solari as offensive line coach.
  • JETS – head coach Rex Ryan sent a game ball from the team’s victory over San Diego last weekend to former Chiefs and Chargers head coach Marty Schottenheimer. Of course, Brian Schottenheimer is New York’s offensive coordinator.
  • PANTHERS – named Tyke Tolbert wide receivers coach.
  • REDSKINS – hired Chris Foerster (49ers) as offensive line coach.


On January 22, 1989, the San Francisco 49ers beat the Cincinnati Bengals 20-16 in Super Bowl XXIII at Joe Robbie Stadium in south Florida. There was three minutes, 10 seconds left in the game and the 49ers trailed by three points as they took possession of the ball at their own eight-yard line. During the timeout before the drive began, San Francisco QB Joe Montana looked into the stands behind the end zone and turned to his teammates in the huddle and said “Hey, isn’t that John Candy?”

Whatever tension that huddle held slipped away as the 49ers players laughed at either Montana, Candy or both. That was the start to an 11-play, 92-yard drive for the winning touchdown and another championship for San Francisco. Montana’s 10-yard pass to WR Jon Taylor went for a touchdown with 39 seconds to play in the game.

Cincinnati scored just one touchdown in the game, as Stanford Jennings returned a kickoff 93 yards for the score. Bengals kicker Jim Breech kicked three field goals. Montana had a big game, throwing for a Super Bowl record 357 yards and touchdown passes to Taylor and WR Jerry Rice, while completing 23 of 36 passes. RB Roger Craig had 71 rushing yards and 101 receiving yards. Rice was named the game’s MVP, catching 11 passes for 215 yards and a touchdown.

The lead official in the game was Jerry Seeman. Billy Joel sang the national anthem and the half-time show was titled “Be Bop Bamboozled in 3-D and featured an Elvis impersonator. The game was broadcast on NBC, with Dick Enberg and Merlin Olson in the booth. The price of a 30-second commercial was $675,000.


On January 22, 2006, the Pittsburgh Steelers beat the Denver Broncos 34-17 in the 2005 AFC Championship Game at Invesco Field in Denver. The Steelers forced four turnovers and held a 24-3 lead at half-time. With the victory, the Steelers became the first No. 6 seed in the field for the playoffs to advance to the championship game. QB Ben Roethlisberger threw a pair of TD passes and ran for another. RB Jerome Bettis scored on a three-yard run. Denver got a TD run from RB Mike Anderson and a 30-yard TD pass from QB Jake Plummer to WR Ashley Lelie.


Born on January 22, 1932 in Ardmore, Oklahoma was WR Max Boydston. He was a member of the 1960 Dallas Texans, joining the AFL after having played four seasons in the NFL with the Chicago Bears. He was actually the second player taken in the 1955 NFL Draft, coming out of the University of Oklahoma. Boydston played the 1960-61 seasons with the Texans, appearing n 25 games. He caught 41 passes for 524 yards and four touchdowns. He finished his pro football career with one season playing for the Oakland Raiders.

Born on January 22, 1948 in Minneapolis was LB Bob Stein (left). He was selected in the fifth round of the 1969 AFL-NFL Draft out of the University of Minnesota. Stein played four seasons with the Chiefs (1969-72), appearing in 50 games, getting most of his playing time on special teams. He had one interception during his time with the Chiefs. Stein went on to play two years with the Rams and then he had stints with the Vikings and Chargers.

78 Responses to “Free Agent Review #2 … Friday Cup O’Chiefs”

  • January 22, 2010  - MenInRed says:

    I think ALLEMAN, NDUKWE, O’CALLAGHAN, LONG & POPE all should of got a C-. Did they really play well? No but they did just a little better job than what we had to start with. Are they all keepers? Prolly not. Out of this short list Pope could be a good blocking TE on 2-TE sets and O’CALLAGHAN could be a good back up and Long a flyer at best-he plays with a bigger heart than his size & ability.

  • January 22, 2010  - Mike in MO says:

    I don’t have any comments on the grading, but I do think it really neat that Rex Ryan sent a game ball to Marty Schottenheimer after the Jets beat the Chargers. The Chargers really screwed Marty over, and it was a very proud moment for son Brian, as Jets’ offensive coordinator, to beat the Chargers and then to call Marty and tell him, “Dad, this one’s for you.”

  • January 22, 2010  - Michael says:

    I agree with MenInRed. Bob is being hyper-critical on the guys mentioned by MenInRed. Those five look like solid players, who could stick around and contribute for awhile. I would add Castille, Richardson and Daniels.

  • January 22, 2010  - Tenand6 says:

    I must not be seeing what you’re seeing Bob with O’Callaghan and Pope. Please expand on these two. I see “B” as their grade. Would love to know how the O line could make the tremendous progress by season’s end and how these two get “D” grades. And, I don’t think Pope had the butter fingers that Wade or Bradley demonstrated every chance they got. But, I’m sure you have good reasons and would be interested in knowing more about your assessment.

  • January 22, 2010  - pkc says:

    The D’s for O’Callaghan and Pope are way too harsh. When you bring in 2 guys who end up starting for you and doing a much better job than anyone else that had played the position, then that’s a good signing. Your stated criteria was “A team signs a free agent with hopes they can contribute at a specific position”. These 2 guys did. Considering that criteria, you might also need to rethink some of your other grades, since the position some of these guys were signed for was to be a better backup or special teams performer than what we had.

  • January 22, 2010  - ThunderChief says:

    Bob can hand out any grade he chooses and it’s okay by me as he is far closer to the team and its doings than any fan or follower of the team. Obviously, when you’ve gone 10-38 over the past 3 seasons, most any roster position is in need of an upgrade.

    Not to overstate the obvious, but the Chiefs cannot continue to whiff on the draft, particularly the early round picks. The scouting, evaluation techniques and gut instincts among those entrusted to same, have to improve RIGHT NOW if this team is to climb out of the deep rut they’ve been digging for the past few years.

    If the current trend were to continue even one more year, it will be time to back up the truck and bring in new personnel for those tasks. At some point and SOON, we all have to accept the brutal facts and address the inept methods of evaluation and selection of talent.

  • January 22, 2010  - Rick says:

    Bob’s grading scale was decided over a plate of ribs with Whitlock…..If our right tackle got a D than Albert would get an F. Bob’s site is a great read but this is the offseason and he has to do something to get people fired up to respond to his stories…

  • January 22, 2010  - Mad Chief says:

    Tenand6 says:
    “Would love to know how the O line could make the tremendous progress by season’s end…”

    Two words…Jamaal Charles. If LJ would have stayed, I doubt the line would have done much better than they did at the start of the season. Totally different styles of running. Charles made the line look better than they really are. It seems to have fooled a lot of people, though. I just hope it didn’t fool Pioli. We need to upgrade the O-line. BIG TIME. Just my opinion, of course.

    But, I do agree that Bob’s grade on O’Callaghan is too harsh. He came in and did his job. Wasn’t spectacular by any means…but he filled a need fairly well for a guy that didn’t start the season here.

    And I don’t know how Wade gets a “D” and Long gets an “F”. At least Long is young, and will (hopefully) get better…learning from his mistakes.

  • January 22, 2010  - The Morning Fix | Arrowhead Addict | A Kansas City Chiefs blog says:

    [...] Free Agent Review #2 … Friday Cup O’Chiefs-Bob On one sideline we’ve got our current defensive coordinator, Romeo Crennel, serving as head coach of the East team. On the other sideline stands the man with the best winning percentage of any head coach in franchise history – former Chiefs head man Marty Schottenheimer. [...]

  • January 22, 2010  - gorillafan says:

    I dont think Bob grades these different just to get comments from his viewers. That being said, I too think they are a bit harsh.

    O’Callahan, B I thought he still maybe a starter for us next year

    Chambers, A He will be on the roster, or starting roster next year

    Pope, C+ He made a contribution to the team, he may not be starting next year or make the “53″ but he might and de did make this team better at that position when we really needed it.

    all others I agree with

    Long, C I think we need to see more of him, but what we did see I think he did a decent job

  • January 22, 2010  - el cid says:

    Well said ThunderChief. But you and I are the minority of these posters. Look at my buddy, Mad Chief. Always good posts but still likes Long. Many are reaching at any plus and hanging their star to that comet. Like Charles?, good but he and Cassel cannot carry the offense for 16 games. We need good play from OL, WR, TE, and blocking back and right now, they do not all hit at the same time. Nothing bad for 09 but need improvement in a major way.

    Grades are just for conversations and to show who was adding to the program and who got left in the dust. O’Call was a plus, Wade a waste, Long a long shot dream. It was what it was or the team would not have been 4-12. So do not get to angry or concerned and let’s see what Pioli can do before OTAs.

  • January 22, 2010  - Mad Chief says:

    Well, these guys were brought here in an attempt to upgrade the talent at their respective positions. A few did…most didn’t. I don’t know how some people seem to have expected any of these players to come in here and suddenly set the league on fire.

    All in all, I think Pioli did the best he could with what he had to choose from. Which wasn’t much. It’s not like there are lots of good players sitting out there unemployed.

  • January 22, 2010  - Mad Chief says:

    el cid says:
    “Look at my buddy, Mad Chief. Always good posts but still likes Long.”

    I do like Long. He’s young and still learning. Maybe he makes it someday…and probably he doesn’t. I think he deserves the chance, though. Haley sees something in the kid…and he knows a thing or two about WR’s. So, we’ll see.

  • January 22, 2010  - SG says:

    I am with the guys – BobGretz seems to be unrealistic in his grading of these guys. Lance Long wasn’t picked up with expectation of starting – and he contributed – give the boy a “C.” I agree with the Toomer/Lelie grades – F-minus. Pope – a MAJOR upgrade over the other tight ends on this roster – contributed immediately – give him a “B.” BobGretz is inconsistent in his grading with regard to Chambers – he seemed to do better than any other WR/TE on the roster, even after D-Bowe came back. Give that boy an “A.” O’CAL – started a bunch on the right side and outperformed the other players on that side – give him a “C.”

    Ndukwe/Alleman – we traded draft picks to get these guys – did they perform or underperform? I say D-minus or F since we gave up value to get them.

    Grade on Bob’s grading system of these FA’s: D+ due to inconsistency and laok of comparison to what is reasonable expectation for the players.

  • January 22, 2010  - SG says:

    Preliminary Grade for Pioli 2009 on trade of Tony Gonzalez for a 2010 2nd Rounder: D-Minus…

    Comments: Trade of Gonzalez immediately did short-term damage to the health and performance of Matt Cassel and highlighted the weaknesses of that O-Line we’ve been griping about for 3 years that has gone insufficiently addressed by the front office and coaching staff. The other TE’s and WR’s on this roster did not step up to the plate sufficiently to cover these deficiencies. Gonzalez ALSO did not make the playoffs this year, thus he didn’t benefit from the relocation. The draft pick is higher as a result, but one can see from NE and KC both that we don’t exactly have a great history of successful selections in the 2nd round.

  • January 22, 2010  - TimR says:

    I have no issue with any of the grades EXCEPT O’Callaghan. Not sure where Bob is coming from n that one. No way that guy earned a “D”. He’s a high “C” at least. The G/T from Miami (not Allman) was miscast. He’s a G! He started most of the year on a team that won 11 games with a good running attack at GUARD! That’s where he should’ve stayed. His grade as a T is ok, but in my mind his overall grade should be incomplete. I’d like to see what he could do in his natural position.

    No doubt O’Callaghan may be upgraded, but it’ll come down to priorities in FA & the draft. His is a good signing, even if its for depth.

  • January 22, 2010  - Mad Chief says:

    SG says:

    “Ndukwe/Alleman – we traded draft picks to get these guys – did they perform or underperform? I say D-minus or F since we gave up value to get them.”

    We gave up what, a 6th round pick for these guys? That’s not bad for a couple of guys that had experience where we were horribly thin. Were either of them any good? Not really. But, you have to take that chance. And that’s all ANY of these players are. A chance. Spin the big wheel and hope you get lucky.

  • January 22, 2010  - SG says:

    “Bob’s grading scale was decided over a plate of ribs with Whitlock…”

    What place was selected for those ribs?

  • January 22, 2010  - SG says:

    “That’s not bad for a couple of guys that had experience where we were horribly thin.”

    Horribly thin…or just HORRIBLE?

  • January 22, 2010  - el cid says:

    We argue over this guy or that but in the final analysis the Chiefs were 4-12. While an improvement over herm, 4-12 is a bad record. And based on the team being 2-14 the previous year, almost any body added to the team SHOULD have been an improvement. I believe something went wrong after the Pioli/Haley hires. For whatever reason, neither realized just how bad the team was. There was no urgency in aquiring talent from the outside. Goff, example of free agency, and Jackson/Magee draft (if Goff worked out fine and Jackson/Magee needed years to learn the NFL). Unless Pioli/Haley had no skills, it looks to me that they may have thought just a change in coaching out get the team to at least 6-10. Did not happen and that was why the team grabbed bodies off the street.
    We have added better coaches, now we will add talent, that is talent who will contribute NOW not in 2-3 years. Wait and see.

  • January 22, 2010  - Mad Chief says:

    el cid says:
    “For whatever reason, neither realized just how bad the team was….it looks to me that they may have thought just a change in coaching out get the team to at least 6-10.”

    I agree with you there. I think they DID underestimate just how bad this team was. But, in their defense…we did lose a few games we could and should have won. That would have given us those 6 wins. At some point our players have to play, and execute. They didn’t.

  • January 22, 2010  - SG says:

    “While an improvement over herm, 4-12 is a bad record.”

    That comment reminds me of the “Major League” movies with Snipes and Sheen where the Indians’ groundskeeper staff in subtitles say the team is “subpar” (edited for family audience purposes)…then later in subtitles say the team is “Still Subpar” (similar editing used).

    “There was no urgency in aquiring talent from the outside.”

    Agreed – was this due to the lateness of installing front office staff vs. the “prior administration” or was this some other factor? Do you know when the typical front office hiring season occurs? For Pioli, even if we give him and his people a mulligan for last offseason’s bombing of FA/Draft, the clock is indeed officially ticking for 2010.

  • January 22, 2010  - Mad Chief says:

    SG says:

    “Agreed – was this due to the lateness of installing front office staff vs. the “prior administration” or was this some other factor?”

    Brings up a good point. Remember, Pioli kept Edwards for awhile…to advise him on the team, and where they were at. One has to wonder what kind of picture Herm painted. Especially for a man trying to keep his job.

  • January 22, 2010  - Mark says:

    O’Callaghan deserves a rock solid A. A waiver wire pickup that starts 12 games, and plays welll enough to make RT a solid spot? And he gets a D????? He didn’t fire Bob, Pioli did, and i guess Bob is taking it out on any NE guy.
    Chambers deserves an A-. What more could you want from him, other than 1 key drop?
    Pope deserves a solid B as well.

  • January 22, 2010  - el cid says:

    Solid points BUT we knew how bad things were. Many could not understand the Cassel trade with no help in the OL. I guess it is amazing just how much we realized but the guys who make decisions did not. Many poster noted we need OL, WR to help Tony and Bowes, blocking TE, blocking FB, pass rusher, LBs everywhere, though S and CB were good enough. Sure glad the powers ignor these no-nothings.

    It was strange how you sign a really big name QB, giving him lots of money and get him Goff for protection. Or trade Tony G and add Wade to support Bowe. That kind of thinking, if it is thinking, is scary.

  • January 22, 2010  - jimbo says:

    I don’t think any of us can argue that the Chiefs sucked in 09. To be honest we could give them an “F”. & get no complaints from the dreamers. Wow, now I feel better. Just like Bob, I have cut the legs off every player on the roster. Oh, we can’t forget Pioli & Haley a big “F” for you too. I guess that about covers it. Now, I am going to go outside & piss in the wind, kick my dog off the porch & extend my middle finger toward the heavens. Wow, now I feel really good.
    This is so easy being negative, I need to do this more often. The rush is addicting. I want more. I think I have been neglecting my true calling in life.
    There is no hope for the Chiefs or their idiotic fans. The wasted hours I spend every week, reading blogs, responding to some. And for what?. What am I thinking. I have Chiefs paraphernalia everwhere. Even my wife loves buying that crap for me. I need a life & I need it now. So long all you Chief Lovers & Haters. I just can’t take it any more. (morons, all of you).
    Go Chiefs.

  • January 22, 2010  - chosenchief says:


    I am glad you are not my professor! Little rough on the grades I think.

  • January 22, 2010  - Uncuffed says:

    Wow Bob, you’ve really gone off the deep end in bias against this administration. Absolutely ridiculous.

    You do realize that if you grade guys that were camp fodder and give them all F’s, every team will have 27 F’s, right? That means every team in the NFL would have a D or lower on your scale.

    And to give a great no-risk pickup like O’Callaghan a D is just one of the blatant examples of your bias.

    Used to love reading your stuff Bob, but your Negative Nellie-ism is just out of control and has gotten in the way of your usual objective writing.

  • January 22, 2010  - Tenand6 says:

    J. Charles does not explain the FAR better pass protection for Cassel in the last six games.

  • January 22, 2010  - Mad Chief says:

    el cid says:

    “…get him Goff for protection.”

    Well, hindsight is 20/20. Goff was a pretty solid player for a long time before this year. Yes, he sucked the big one as a Chief. But when he was signed here, everyone was generally happy that we got him…and thought he would help us.

  • January 22, 2010  - Mad Chief says:

    Tenand6 says:
    “J. Charles does not explain the FAR better pass protection for Cassel in the last six games.”

    Sure it does. When you have a running game, and don’t get into so many obvious passing situations…you can keep the opposing D guessing. That helps. We also had extra guys staying in to block, usually the TE. The blocking in general might have been a little better in the second half of the season…and our “core” line was a little more used to playing together, and made fewer mistakes. But, our O-line still sucks. Don’t be fooled. We have maybe two guys that would be starting for any other team in the NFL.

  • January 22, 2010  - SG says:

    “Yes, he sucked the big one as a Chief.”

    And then there was the selection of Gut-check to compete with Niswanger – who Cincinnati said was less than stellar. This all goes combined with sending Tony Gonzalez out to the Falcons. As far as our evaluation of Don Pioli, these are not mutually exclusive items.

  • January 22, 2010  - TimR says:

    Not sure how anybody would question a trade to get a QB they believe is, and will be, pretty good, for a 2nd rounder. You have to get those guys when you can. Its easier to find linemen. I’m not saying Cassel is a Troy Aikman or anything, but Aikman went 1-15 his first year. It didn’t keep Jimmy Johnson from acquiring him when he did.

  • January 22, 2010  - SG says:

    “Not sure how anybody would question a trade to get a QB they believe is, and will be, pretty good, for a 2nd rounder.”

    Assuming you were asking me that — not really evaluating whether the players acquired were worth it or not, but shouldn’t those guys be evaluated not just on whether they did well, but also compared to the expectations and value we gave up to get them? We didn’t just get those players, but also gave up the value of a player in that spot of the draft to get them.

  • January 22, 2010  - Rick says:

    I’m guessing Bob is sitting back and smiling seeing all these comments. I wonder if he gets so much money for each hit on his website. I see on Kipers mock draft he has taking the tackle from O-State. Move Albert to Guard…Waters to center…Keep our Right Tackle….We need one new linemen then. Just a thought.

  • January 22, 2010  - Uncuffed says:

    For Cassel, i say it’s too early to judge him. This next year will be huge. He needs to take a step forward. Remember, his first year was similar to Trent Green’s first year here. He’ll have another year in the general system, actually have a QB coach now, and will have gelled with some players. If he doesn’t significantly improve in 2010, then it’s a problem.

  • January 22, 2010  - Uncuffed says:

    Rick, it would be very sad if Bob goes completely down the Whitlock route and continues to write garbage he knows is false just to get readership and response.

  • January 22, 2010  - Mad Chief says:

    The “Waters to Center” thing has been floating around for a couple of years now. I don’t see it happening. And even so, it wouldn’t be a long term solution.

    In my uneducated summation…Albert is about the only one on the line (wherever they put him) that doesn’t need an upgrade. Waters was adequate this year, I suppose…but he’s near the end of his career. Get some replacements. Hopefully, Chiefs history has taught the lesson of getting someone else ready for the position before it becomes a “hole”.

    The thought of only needing one O-lineman is fairly amusing to me. Good Lord…I sure hope Pioli, Weis, and Haley don’t think that.

  • January 22, 2010  - colby says:

    Love your writing and your website Bob, but your grades for some of these guys are simply awful. There’s little point in arguing grades for players as it’s all objective, but in my mind, our team offensively really started to gel in the second half of the season once our players got used to Haley’s offense and guys like Pope, Chambers, O’Callaghan, Long, and Castille got up to speed. Granted we still have plenty of needs and improvements in talent could and should be made across the board. However, I think Pioli made up for a lackluster offseason by bringing in some good players during the season. All five guys I mentioned above are players that I see contributing to a much better 2010 team.

    One last thing to keep in mind. I wrote a while back that Lance Long should NEVER be compared to Wes Welker. That comparison is only made because they are both WHITE. Lance Long is a white Davonne Bess, sans dreads. If Long is Bess then I wouldn’t be upset about it.

  • January 22, 2010  - Uncuffed says:

    Mad Chief,

    I think the theory by many of shifting people is to upgrade many spots with only one player. It requires a lot of “ifs” though. The theory is:

    upgrade #1: you draft a top-notch LT
    upgrade #2: Shift Albert to LG, where he could potentially be a pro-bowler
    upgrade #3: move the possibly declining Waters to Center
    upgrade #4: Niswanger turns out to be a good RG.

    Lots of if’s.

  • January 22, 2010  - Uncuffed says:

    Agree 100% Colby. I though Bob would make up for his poor grading by acknowledging the great in-season pickups. Alas, his possible agenda gets in the way.


  • January 22, 2010  - Danny W says:

    I think everyone agree’s O’Callaghan had a good year and deserves a way better grade than a D. Any of you guys watch ESPN with Herm at the helm. I just dont blame Clark for letting go of that guy. He just doesnt seem like a very sharp guy. Todd I like his fire. Were going places Chief fans you just wait and see I can feel it.

  • January 22, 2010  - el cid says:

    I like Chambers awfully well, even though he is towards the end of a career. What other in season pickups do you really like?

    Albert is a worry. The weight loss and step back in skills, what if he does not fit? I cannot see how he could be a miss. So if Haley draws a LT with the top pick, it is who he wants. There has got to be someplace on the line for Albert. I do not want him to go the way of Pollard or DJ. Just athought but Waters may be close to the end and NE likes to dump older for younger. We do not want to be like Shields – still looking for a quality guy. Nutz. is just not a good center, why not Waters.

  • January 22, 2010  - Uncuffed says:

    Well, by bob’s definition, in-season pickups include


    Find me another NFL team that got that much production from in season pick ups. Bob gives a failing grade, but I think we might be #1 in production in that catagory.

    Context context context. Bob lacks it.

  • January 22, 2010  - TimR says:


    Yes, I was making a comment on your observation. QB is the most valuable position. Not sure who you thought might have potentially been a better selection with that pick in last year’s draft in the position we had that would have more long-term value than what they feel they have. That was my only point. What would your expectations have been for anybody you would have selected with that pick?

    We’ll all have a much better lens to look through after this next season. Unfortuantely, being an uncapped year will inhibit our ability in the FA acquistion relative to what it would be if we were operating as in past years with the cap. Its an entirely different landscape this offseason, but I’m still excited to see what 2010 brings.

    GO CHIEFS!!!!

  • January 22, 2010  - el cid says:

    TimR just for fun, using hindsight. Chiefs pick Sanchez with #1, OL or DE with #2, and OL or WR with #3. Just for fun. Would we have been better, I doubt it but might have been a better team by 2011 than Jackson, Cassel/Vrabel, Magee in 2-3 years. Maybe not. Once again just for fun.

  • January 22, 2010  - Mad Chief says:

    el cid,

    You’ve been impressed with Sanchez?

  • January 22, 2010  - SG says:

    “QB is the most valuable position.”

    Correct – and when they got Vrabel too – that still appears to be a heck-of-a-deal.

    “What would your expectations have been for anybody you would have selected with that pick?”

    Not sure – but let me throw a few names out there that got passed on – James Laurinaitis, Eben Britton, Levitre, Beatte, Loadholt. Bottom line: we got two impact players that started in 2009. Laurinaitis or an O-Lineman got passed up to do this. Net grade considering both pieces: we did well.

  • January 22, 2010  - SG says:

    “Would we have been better”

    Leaving out the QB/LB selection from Round 2 (a good move), Rd. 1 and Rd. 3 – with other selections – my answer would be “yes.” We passed up a LOT of strong players at positions that are still need positions to get…two defensive ends. Our run defense did…well…let’s not say right now (answer is obvious). Our pass rush was…slight upgrade.

  • January 22, 2010  - el cid says:

    Yeah, I think Sanchez can play the game. Has nothing to do with Cassel or Chiefs, just we need tons on this team and Sanchez would have been cheaper, has as strong of an arm, and leadership. We might have been better in the long run rather than tying up so much on Cassel, no OL help, or had Jackson/Magee. But this is all spilt milk, as I said before JUST FOR FUN.

  • January 22, 2010  - gorillafan says:

    el cid,

    I agree with you on the Sanchez thing. However he hasnt proved anything much yet, but in the draft he was more of a ? than he is now obviously.

    I think Cassel will be better than Sanchez, but maybe not. Cassel played pretty well at the time in NE, so taking Cassel was more of a safe bet. But, good point!!

  • January 22, 2010  - Mad Chief says:

    I hope Sanchez doesn’t turn out to be great, since we passed on him.

    Don’t need another 1983 when we drafted Blackledge over Marino and Jim Kelly. What’s REALLY sad is, we could have had Roger Craig in the 2nd round that year. Wonder how our team would have looked back then with Marino and Craig in the backfield? Oh well, we did get Albert Lewis in the 3rd round that year…so it wasn’t a complete disaster.

  • January 22, 2010  - el cid says:

    Sanchez will do fine and so will Cassel. My only point is things could have been different, not better or worse. As for 1983, it was a major set back, every time I see Blackledge on tv, I get a little sick. The Chiefs were lost trying to find a QB, very similar to their later attempts to find def linemen. The Chiefs from Stedman to Pioli have always had a blind spot at some position while SF, Pitt, et al. were winning championships. No matter how good the Chiefs were with all stars at one side of the field, they sucked somewheres else. Would not id a complete team if it bit them (I blamed Lamar for lack of “drive” for success). Hopefully, this will change now.

  • January 22, 2010  - Mad Chief says:

    Yup. Could have had Emmitt Smith in ‘90. Passed on Favre in ‘91 and took Harvey Williams. How about ‘02 when we traded up with Dallas to get Ryan Sims…while they took Roy Williams? Dwight Freeney went two picks later. Could have had Ed Reed that year, too.

    Guess we’ve had a few “home runs” too. Just not enough.

  • January 22, 2010  - Behind Enemy Lines says:

    SG Says: Preliminary Grade for Pioli 2009 on trade of Tony Gonzalez for a 2010 2nd Rounder: D-Minus…
    Gonzalez ALSO did not make the playoffs this year, thus he didn’t benefit from the relocation.

    I’d give it an A. We actually got something for TG…as opposed to him retiring after another poor KC season and getting nothing in return for his departure.
    His production declined in ATL (albeit on a much more talented team…with 0 Pro Bowl selections) and he did not make the Pro Bowl. The Chiefs sold at the right time. There’s no way they get a 2nd rnd. pick for TG after a year like this.
    Also, (and I cannot be more emphatic about this point) if you are a true Chiefs fan…you immediately begin to root against any team that holds one of our draft selections…regardless of our draft history. Your mentality throughout the season should have been, root for TG…but against the Falcons.
    Great trade Pioli…for the future of this franchise. I hated to see him go, but it was without question the right move.

  • January 22, 2010  - SG says:

    “I hated to see him go,”

    That much we are agreed on. Nice to see you had the courage to step up and substantively disagree with me. Solid basis for saying so.

    “His production declined in ATL…”

    Jury is also out on how he would have fared on this team…

    “The Chiefs sold at the right time.”

    If they were going to do it, that is a correct conclusion…there wasn’t a better time to do so.

    Final grade is highly dependent on who they get. For Pioli’s/team’s sake – he better hit a home run on this pick (assuming they don’t turn around and trade it). If they trade the pick and get someone like another defensive lineman, does that affect your grade? What if they keep the pick and get a safety? What we DO know is that the team’s offensive production WAS hurt in 2009 by his being gone and didn’t get a %&@# bit of value in exchange. The rest – we’ll find out soon enough. Hope I’m wrong – because I like the organizational culture change in process.

  • January 22, 2010  - Rick says:

    Bob has two of the seven capital sins against this regime. Anger and Hate……Ha ha just bored at work today. Grades what are they really worth. And yes one person on our line can make a difference if Charles does what he did the last eight games. Didn’t you see the stats over the last eight games?? Sacks down. A good running game makes all teams look better. Maybe the line was blocking good the first eight games but LJ was to slow to hit the holes. No running game teams can come at the QB all day long

  • January 22, 2010  - TimR says:

    el cid,

    Interesting scenario you put forth. I’d have been happy with that as well. I would’ve loved to have him (Sanchez) on our team. One reason I liked him so much was because he wasn’t afraid to compete – with anybody. He went & threw for anybody that wanted to see him. That told me a lot.

  • January 22, 2010  - gorillafan says:


    thats waht he had to do to get more MONEY!!

    But, I agree with ya

  • January 22, 2010  - colby says:

    Let’s not be crazy here fellas. Sanchez and Cassel got practically the same amount of guaranteed money. Sanchez was a one year starter in college, Cassel a one year stater in the pros plus three seasons as a backup to Brady. Cassel only cost us a 2nd round pick and we got a solid year from Mike Vrabel to boot. Taking Cassel was clearly better than using that pick on Sanchez. Also, Sanchez has three Pro Bowlers on his O line plus the league’s top rushing offense and guess what? His numbers are WAY worse than Cassel, who had MUCH less to work with. Cassel is CLEARLY the better QB both in the short term and probably the long term.

    I think we’re probably two years from being a contender, but that doesn’t mean that with a solid draft and a few choice free agents that we can’t get to the playoffs at least next year.

  • January 22, 2010  - True Red & Gold says:

    It is interesting that so many of you think that Bob’s grading is harsh when I doubt that more than two of these guys could make a roster anywhere else in the league. The Chiefs were 4 – 12 without a single Pro Bowl selection so there are few A & B performers on the entire team let alone the players mentioned. Some of Bob’s motivation may have been to spark good discussion (which he accomplished) but I think he is simply being realistic.

  • January 22, 2010  - Uncuffed says:


    The problem is that Bob defined this as grading the signing, not grading the player. Given the improvement (no matter how bad we were before them) of Chambers, O’Callaghan, Pope, etc, are all great signings because they significantly improved the position.

  • January 22, 2010  - True Red & Gold says:

    Uncuffed, agreed but ultimately the grade is based on the player’s performance.

  • January 22, 2010  - Uncuffed says:

    Well then i’m even more miffed at bob for answering a different question than the one he posed, then using that false answer to proclaim a failing grade for the administration. Fact is that they improved, or kept the same, every position on the team except TE.

    But we all agree they need to do more, and the 2nd year of the rebuild is huge.

  • January 22, 2010  - True Red & Gold says:

    What are you talking about? Bob’s question was based around the contributions of the signings. These contributions were miniscule at best and that contribution is directly related to the performance of each player mentioned. So I really don’t know what you are talking about.

  • January 22, 2010  - Uncuffed says:

    Minuscule contributions? Like 14 starts from O’Callaghan, bunch of yards and big catches from Chambers, and solid contributions from Pope, Wade, and Long? Can you even name one other team in the NFL that got that much production from in-season acquisitions? I can’t think of one

  • January 22, 2010  - Mad Chief says:

    Uncuffed says:

    “Can you even name one other team in the NFL that got that much production from in-season acquisitions? I can’t think of one”

    That’s a good point, Uncuffed.


    The sad thing is…no other team NEEDED the in-season acquisitions like we did. So, it’s hard to compare.

  • January 22, 2010  - Uncuffed says:

    Absolutely true and recognized. Nonetheless, if we had the biggest in-season haul and Bob gives it a D, then his grading system is deeply deeply flawed.

  • January 22, 2010  - Mad Chief says:

    Point taken. I didn’t agree with all the grades, either. But whether Bob gave them all A’s, or all F’s…the end result was still the same, 4-12.

    I still think Pioli did a good job, though. All in all. I mean, picking through a pile of dog sh*t trying to find a diamond isn’t easy.

  • January 22, 2010  - big vess says:

    I think Bob grades were somewhat on the mark but I feel some were not . It was a bad season this year and I for one knew it would be . But I am very excited for the effort that Pioli and Haley has brought in being Weis and Crennel that is a upstart. I did not comment on the former personel article that Bob wrote about ex front office personel and coaches. I just want to know one thing Bob all the guys you talked about did not bring a championship here. So to me good riddance to them all. It’s all about winning the whole thing not just about mediocrity and hoping you may have luck in winning it. These men they have right now won championships. They were not hoping for a championship they went out and made it happen.Thats what I want a championship here. Something the old regine could not do. I am definitely holding these guys accountable if they cannot get this team there. Playoffs is a nice mindset but winning it all is even greater.It’s like what Marty said a while back if you do not win it all you are just like everybody else winning records do not mean anything if you can’t get there.Pioli and Haley have made some bonehead decisions this past season . And I will give them a free ride but come next season I am bringing my stick with fire to the crowd of displeasure another 4-12 season will be unacceptable. I want at least an 8-8 or better season next year.

  • January 23, 2010  - Bitter Bob says:

    Grades for KC media:

    Gretz – D-
    Whitlock – F
    Teicher – F
    Looney – D
    Babb – F
    This article – crap minus

  • January 23, 2010  - Rick says:

    Grades for KC media:

    Gretz – D-
    Whitlock – F
    Teicher – F
    Looney – D
    Babb – F
    This article – crap minus
    now we finally got a good grading system!!!

  • January 23, 2010  - True Red & Gold says:

    Big Vess, good post. You are right anything less than an 8-8 season should be unacceptable to everyone. I would be happy with 8-8 anything better than that would be gravy and more than reasonably expected.

  • January 23, 2010  - rexHouser says:

    Most of the reactions posted above are a clear reflection on the poor quality of American education: low expectations by parents and teachers, and, as a result, teachers end up giving easy C’s and rewarding for “effort”.

    Same here, those commenting want to give somebody a C for being nice and showing to work everyday, instead of doing the hard objective thing of comparing to the true talent existing in the top teams and “expecting” that kind of RESULTS from so-called professional players. The same should be done for the GM and coaching staff.

    Actually, Gretz was not tough enough on the grading.

  • January 23, 2010  - joe says:

    The difference from the CP days is Carl would have paid these guys a fortune….

  • January 23, 2010  - Mark says:

    January 23, 2010 – joe says:

    The difference from the CP days is Carl would have paid these guys a fortune….

    Very true. And Bob, when he was employed by would have given Carl, Vermeil, and Herm, an A, no matter what they did, and would have railed against any media member that didn’t.

  • January 23, 2010  - arrowhead1978 says:

    someone said it: “But, in their defense…we did lose a few games we could and should have won. That would have given us those 6 wins. At some point our players have to play, and execute. They didn’t.”

    sounds like the chiefs when in 2008 when they had 8-10 games that they could win, but the defense didn’t execute. I really dont believe that Herm painted a picture that the team was complete for a 3-4 defense and a spread type offense. I do think the team was closer to complete to be a cover 2 defense (where the secondary looked alot better) and a run the ball down your throat offense sorta like the jets do it today… They really needed some O-lineman and another d-lineman in this years draft to complete that.

    The offense and defense was changed and now it looks like another year or so before the chiefs get better.

    And another thing the chiefs in 2008 finished 2-14, which really gave them an easier schedule for 2009. The chiefs should have won at least the two more games they did this year, which in turn should lead to an easy schedule again this coming year and their should be more wins, unless the team sees a major dropoff in production from the great in-season pickups from last year!!

  • January 23, 2010  - arrowhead1978 says:

    By the way didn’t they pay a fortune to a one hit wonder QB from NE and a reach at a 3rd pick that didn’t show up this year?

    Also if Pioli was such a Personnel wiz he should have been able to diagnose how bad the team was before he came onboard without needing Herm’s input on the team. really this is Pioli’s team now and he needs to do a better job, I dont think that the Brown for Pollard trade-off worked out well.

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