Playing The Numbers Game … Saturday Cup O’Chiefs

The number right now is 80.

On Tuesday that number falls to 75.

Next Saturday the number will be 53.

That’s the math for about half the players who will wear the red jersey of the Chiefs on Saturday night against the Seattle Seahawks in pre-season game No. 3 at Arrowhead Stadium. Kickoff is 7 p.m.

As a generalization, every team has 40 roster spots that baring injury are pretty much claimed. The Chiefs are no different. It’s those last dozen to 15 spots that still must be decided.

“You spend a lot of down time looking at the depth chart and just sorting through those numbers,” said Todd Haley. “That will be a big job for all of us here in the next couple of weeks. It’s tough but it’s tough for everyone; every team has the same problems. I don’t think there’s any team that wishes they had less spots, who wishes the number were 48 or 45.

“You generally have to let go of a few guys you don’t want to.”

All of which makes the Chiefs game against the Seahawks very important to about a dozen guys who will have one more chance to stay a step ahead of the roster blade in the next week.

With the change in regime around the Chiefs, it’s hard to speculate on the position numbers with Pioli/Haley putting together their first 53-man roster. With the 3-4, that changes some of the equations. Generally, it’s 25 offense, 25 defense and three specialists. On offense most teams roll with three QBs, nine linemen and some combination of 13 tight ends, wide receivers and running backs. Defensively, it figures to be six linemen, nine defensive backs and 10 linebackers, factoring in special teams play at those spots.

Haley talked about wide receiver numbers last week.

“I think there is a general number but that’s one of those positions; some teams have four and two practice squad guys,” said Haley. “Some teams have six. At Arizona we had six. It all depends where they’re contributing and how many plays we expect to get out of them. The kickoff return stuff could factor into that.

“I have an idea (number of receivers he wants), but we’ll have to see how it all plays out.”

The math is not lost on those guys trying to make sure their number is called. Guys like Matt Gutierrez. He’s the No. 4 quarterback, just now starting to feel comfortable with the Chiefs offense after joining the roster on the first days of training camp. The Chiefs aren’t going to carry four QBs, they might not even carry three. There are rumors about a trade of Tyler Thigpen.

Gutierrez pays no attention to any of it as he goes into these last two pre-season games. That’s something he learned from working with Tom Brady the last few years in New England.

“He always talked about taking the picture down to its smallest form,” Gutierrez said. “You get caught up in a lot of strings when you try to see everything. Just focus down to the most basic thing, like the next play.

“That’s what I’ve tried to do when it comes to that stuff (roster). I just don’t spend any time doing the math. All I can take care of is my next play.”

WR Rodney Wright, the Arena League refugee, tries to do the same thing because he’s been through this drill several times, back when he first got out of Fresno State and spent two training camps with the Buffalo Bills.

“I learned then that it was a waste of time to sit at home each night and try to figure out the numbers,” Wright said. “All the situations change from day-to-day.”

Pioli/Haley will not be making roster decisions from a position of strength. Let’s remember, this franchise had a 6-26 record over the last two seasons and the new guys in charge did not make a huge infusion of top level talent to the roster. At this point, some of the older veterans that were signed really haven’t produced much on the field (see Zach Thomas, Bobby Engram and Mike Goff) and the 2009 Draft class has been less than scintillating as they break into the NFL (see Quinten Lawrence, Jake O’Connell and Colin Brown.)

It would not be a shock if the Chiefs went lower than 53 on that final-cut day. They are going to scour the waiver wire and based on what we’ve seen, they are going to find players that are better than what they currently have on the roster.

That’s why Gutierrez and Wright don’t want to get involved in the numbers game. They know that a player from another team could end up grabbing the job they want. It’s one thing when you are competing against the guys in the same locker room.

When a guy is competing against the entire NFL, it’s too big a picture.

“That’s what I’m talking about,” said Gutierrez. “I’m either in their plans or I’m not. ”


  • BRONCOS – suspended WR Brandon Marshall for conduct detrimental to the team. No length was given for how long sanctions will last against Marshall.
  • EAGLES – LG Todd Herremans headed for surgery (left foot) and will miss several games.
  • 49ERS – OT Marvel Smith retiring because of back problems.
  • JETS – claimed P Glenn Pakulak off waivers (Saints); released P Ken Parrish and LB Josh Mauga.
  • LIONS – claimed WR Glenn Holt on waivers (Vikings); released WR Billy McMullen and RB Allen Ervin.
  • TEXANS – placed LB Cato June on injured reserve (broken arm); signed Cletis Gordon.


Born on August 29, 1956 in Halifax, Nova Scotia was K Eddie Murray. He joined the Chiefs in the 1992 for one game to replace an injured Nick Lowery. Murray hit his only attempt with the team, a 52-yard FG. The Chiefs were one of seven teams that Murray kicked for over a 19-season NFL career.

Born on August 29, 1961 in Watsonville, California was S Sherman Cocroft. He joined the Chiefs in 1985 and spent three seasons with the team (1985-87), appearing in 44 games, with one start. Cocroft had six interceptions during his time with the Chiefs. He finished his career with seasons in Buffalo and Tampa Bay.

54 Responses to “Playing The Numbers Game … Saturday Cup O’Chiefs”

  • August 29, 2009  - MenInRed says:

    “The Right 53″

    Go Chiefs!!!!!!!!!

  • August 29, 2009  - Rip 'em a new one says:

    There might be some waiver help out there at:

    RB, WR, LB, K/P-Return and the Chiefs could use better than what they have at all those positions, in terms of starters or solid backups.

    I’ll boldly predict that Pioli will add 3 guys from other team’s discards.

  • August 29, 2009  - kc mutt says:

    After tonite we may be able to ID some who need to move on. Then Poili/Haley scouts can start looking for a few good men to fill in for 09.

  • August 29, 2009  - kc mutt says:

    Just noticed Zack Thomas will not play again tomite. What’s with that? He has not set foot on the field during the entire training camp, why is he still here? How does a team aford keeping a guy on the roster who does not play? Anyone know anything?

  • August 29, 2009  - pelon says:

    First of all, we have to assume Pioli et al are much more competent than any of us in the personnel department.

  • August 29, 2009  - Dean in Columbia says:

    Pioli raved about ZT as did other linebackers when he first arrived and in the early days of camp. I bet they really want him to be healthy and on the field. Who knows. Maybe they think his veteran leadership is enough to warrent a roster spot. Zach and some of the other vets can help this team win. But maybe more importantly, they can help the young guys deal with the losses as the 09 Chiefs will surely struggle at times. Tough decisions ahead.

  • August 29, 2009  - pelon says:

    Second, I think there is room for optimism. Although I believe the Chiefs are looking at maybe 5 wins this year, that is an improvement over last year and an important step in the rebuilding process. I would like it to happen sooner, but that’s not realistic. I find myself spending way too much time trying to predict the 2010 draft (yes, I already have the picks).

  • August 29, 2009  - pelon says:

    2010 draft predictions assuming Chiefs gave a 3rd for the 2 o-linemen from Miami and get a 4th for Thiggy:
    1. NT Cody
    2. OT Ulatoski/Black
    2. DE/OLB Norwood/Hughes/Selvie
    4. C Estes
    4. WR Roosevelt
    5. WR Hudgins
    6. QB Lefevour
    7. RB Smith/Bell

  • August 29, 2009  - Rin Tin Tin says:

    “I can take any 22 guys from off the street and… go 0-3″ – right… ‘check’


  • August 29, 2009  - vincent belt says:

    I heard you from the internet, I live in Houston, texas. I was impressed with your love of the sport of football. You bring perspective to the reactionary world of sports journalism.
    By the way do are there any readers/listeners in the Houston Texas area?

  • August 29, 2009  - alex k says:

    yeah basically we know 5-6 wins would be an upgrade, and quite frankly, would give the team another year of early picks and a good waiver wire spot.

    With this schedule, even if they were to get hot, I can only see 8 wins.

  • August 29, 2009  - Big Lee says:

    Zach Thomas may be in that role Mike Webster was at the end of his career. He really couldn’t help the Chiefs on gameday, but his work ethic and knowledge helped his younger teammates. Too bad he passed the way he did.

    Thomas could also be put on the PUP list, which would defer a decision on his roster status until later in the season. He could still fill some of that Webster-esq role in the mean time.

  • August 29, 2009  - Niblick says:

    I don’t think Thomas is eligble for the PUP list. His injury occured in training camp. At least, that’s what I heard. If they keep him, he will just have to be on the the 53 man roster and be inactive.

  • August 29, 2009  - mr awsome says:

    hey pelon i love that your talking about the draft already i might agre with the first and first second pick but the 2nd 2nd pick will be a wr ill bet

  • August 29, 2009  - Anonymous says:

    5-6 wins. 8 max? We could beat
    oakland x2
    denver x2
    sd – we’ll say once at home
    washington shouldn’t be too tuff
    that’s six right there
    jax is do-able
    and then finish out strong with wins over
    and cinnci

    and there ladies and gents, is how we win ten games and the afc west

    plus, i betcha that haley has a trick or two up his sleeve for dallas, as he’s not too far removed from the coaching circles, knows how they gameplan and what to expect – could pull off the upset….

    11 wins anyone?

  • August 29, 2009  - kc mutt says:

    Not really worried about the 2010 draft yet but when it is time I want some starters, impact guys. Tired of “it take __ years to learn this position” BS. Good players play, potential just means the player is not good enough.

  • August 29, 2009  - JP says:

    “BRONCOS – suspended WR Brandon Marshall for conduct detrimental to the team. No length was given for how long sanctions will last against Marshall.”

    He came out of college with the nickname “Baby T.O”…I guess it’s not just because of his style of play. This sounds reminiscent of the circus that ended T.O’s time in Philly?

    With Cable beating up his staff in Oakland, and the team falling apart in Denver, things look a little brighter here in KC.

  • August 29, 2009  - Adam says:

    At first, I thought we’d take the LB Bradon Spikes out of Florida. I think he’d be a great ILB. However, that was before Corey Mays has shown his stuff. I hope he’s not a preseason warrior. I think we’ll need to get a straight up Nose tackle. I’m not as confident in Tank as others around the chiefs’ blog sites. The guy hasn’t shown us anything really valid to date. I don’t know why that would change this year…

    So, I think assuming we win 6 games(we’ll split with oakland, they’ll be better than we think guys, that mcfadden guy is straight up scary!) so I think that’ll get us a top fifteen pick. At that time, I think the right side of our line(at least two positions)will be in need of an upgrade. I know Pioli has this rep on picking high with the defensive line, but it’s pretty deep next year, with guys’ like Boo Robinson, Terrence Cody. We can get a guy in the second that’s massive(Boo). I think we’ll need help at Linebacker too, But looking at it right now, we have mays, DJ, and Tamba looking to be pretty solid core. Things are definately looking up.

  • August 29, 2009  - Behind Enemy Lines says:

    I like your optimism. However, we really have no reason to believe that we’ll be .500 or better, besides wishful thinking that is. As I’ve said before, this team has no strength. No phase of the game can be relied on to win a game (yet). Teams like that don’t finish over .500…let alone finish with 11 wins.
    With that said…I really hope I’m wrong.

  • August 29, 2009  - Rin Tin Tin says:

    Well, as the dear (if misguided) Anonymous herein be the most ‘adventuresome’ (”ahem” -translation: ‘abusive to self’) by way predicting 11 wins, and Rin the other end of the spectrum (- translation: ‘prophetic’) i.e., that faction KCr’s do not wear rose colored glasses fandom, ra’her are realistic vis a vis KC being nolo contendre by way throwing a big 0 up as in winless season, we can split the difference & come up with … what, 6 wins (if we round up – Chiefs need all the luck, bad calls in their favor and too fortuitous bounces several to overcome their own actus reus the gridiron.

    Best of luck, as my wishes be for you tonight my dearly depart- er, dearly revered Chiefs. Yes… let victories ring nee be rung from e’ery corner of Providence and too stops twixt and ‘tween the locales Denver, San Diego and Oakland AFC West – also too in BALT, PHIL- oh who are we kidding…

    Chiefs 0-16 in 2009; man, Rin hates being right all the time…

    (PS) mutt ca$$el, have a great game tonight; am countINTg on you…


  • August 29, 2009  - Adam says:

    I don’t think I’ve ever seen you admit being wrong. Hypothetically(of course, since your always right) what would it take for you to admit being wrong about cassell? 3,000 yards? 11 wins? Walking on water? Just wondering…
    Rin is right about our schedule though, our first seven games are murderous, and it will be hard to pull some W’s out of that first part of the schedule. BUT, I think 6 games will be a dramatic(and realistic) improvement over the last two years when Hermy was in charge. Statiscally, then you could say Haley=2Herm

  • August 29, 2009  - Rin Tin Tin says:

    “Adam said

    have you seen Eve?”

    - not in a couple thousand years, no; last seen she was hanging out with that guy in the leather Cabretta trench coat, what was his name … Carl something.


    - yes, what is it now?

    “I don’t think I’ve ever seen you admit being wrong.”

    - Rin thought He was wrong once, last year, when Herm left… but it turned out twas Jr. that was wrong, merely a mistake mine part…panic his.


    - no, in point of fact!

    “(of course, since your always right)”

    - exactly so.

    “what would it take for you to admit being wrong about cassell?”

    - who’s that? Now if you want I should talk about the Chiefs QB Ca$$el, aka Mutt, would be happy to discuss. You let Rin know…

    “3,000 yards? 11 wins? Walking on water? Just wondering.”

    - no, no & no…Rin speaks from experience the latter, bases the formers deux on an 2009 lack KC’s now in evidence….

    “Rin is right”

    - He knows that, just like everyone else…

    “about our schedule though, our first seven games are murderous”

    - a lethal imjection L’s as well hell to come/pay…

    “and it will be hard to pull some W’s out of that first part of the schedule.”

    - will be pulling cleat marks out their persons, ’stead…


    - [ drumroll - key Pee Wee Herman's 'Simone', 'nother 'Big Adventure' line comes now ]

    “I think 6 games will be”

    - que sera sera…


    - n illusion yours be, will be…

    “dramatic(and realistic)”

    - more melodramatic see, novel fiction thee…

    “improvement over the last two years when Hermy was in charge.”

    - “I can take any 22 guys from off the street and go…” well, you know how this story ends, Adam. Takes a bite from the apple he as did she, thence discovers his nakedness – emporor hath no clothes on…

    “Statiscally, then you could say Haley=2Herm”

    - can’t get mine head far enough up me bum to mumble such incoherency as that; ’statiscally’ be as to wascally wabbits, etc. etc. Be no way can e’er be ‘nother Herm … unless the former takes KC to the post season in this his first season as Head Coach here.

    Bets! Place your bets right here! Now taking bets on ‘check’ and his “any 22 will do” magical 2009 football beans! Get your programs! Get your beer! Get your crying towels right here!


  • August 29, 2009  - Rin Tin Tin says:

    Mutt down, Tyler “The Little Big Man From Coastal Carolina” Thigpen IN!


  • August 29, 2009  - Rin Tin Tin says:

    1st quarter SEATT v KC scoreless, as we go to commercial…

  • August 29, 2009  - Rin Tin Tin says:

    Chiefs DB gets away with a push-off, gets a tipped pass for an INT and stumbles into the end zone.


    The “Litle Big Man from Coastal Carolina” insertion sparks the Chiefs to a defensive score!

    KC 7 SEATT 0

  • August 29, 2009  - Rin Tin Tin says:

    timeout now for a brew- er, a booth review!

  • August 29, 2009  - Rin Tin Tin says:

    And the Chiefs catch yet another break through no good deed of their own – the Seahawks miss the FG try.

    Score remains 7-0. Timeout for a pit stop.

  • August 29, 2009  - Rin Tin Tin says:

    Chiefs offensive does not disappoint…a fumble, a loss of yards, and a punt. It’s Seahawks ball now, midway through the 1st quarter…

  • August 29, 2009  - Rin Tin Tin says:

    Chiefs FUMMMM-BLE DEEP in KAN-SAS CITY territory! Questionable call allows them to keep the ball


  • August 29, 2009  - Rin Tin Tin says:

    End of the 1st quarter, and Tyler ‘The Little Big Man From Coastal Carolina” Thigpen is leading the Chiefs to yet ANOTHER score.

    This changes everything folks – Rin may just have to adjust His 0-16 prediction for 2009 if Thigpen is the man! Even more so if Brodie be IT!

    Visions of Herm Edwards & His Chiefs Men players their greatness comes to mind!

    heh heh heh!!!

    KC 7 SEATT 0

  • August 29, 2009  - Rin Tin Tin says:

    2nd quarter begins now!

    Here we go Thigpen here we go!

    Here we go Thigpen here we go!

    Here we go Thigpen here we go!

  • August 29, 2009  - Rin Tin Tin says:

    And Succop does…” sssssssssssssssssssssssssss ”
    sound the air escaping from the Chiefs balloon (or is it steam from oout the top of s head

    FG is NO GOOD. And a short one at that. awwwwwwww.

    Score remain 7-0

  • August 29, 2009  - CK says:

    What goes around comes around

  • August 29, 2009  - Rin Tin Tin says:

    SEATT misses their second FG on the night…Chiefs livin’ large courtesty the great inspiration Tyler Thigpen & he rest of Herm’s Men!

    Score remains: Herm Edwards Chiefs 7 SEATT 0

    Timeout now for to give thanks to & for thee, Herm!

    heh heh heh


  • August 29, 2009  - CK says:

    Thigpin better stick to 5 yard passes

  • August 29, 2009  - Herm Edwards says:

    I taught Thiggy how to pass on the run and underthrow receivers—nice play Bubbie!

  • August 29, 2009  - CK says:

    Yep…. he still looks like a Herm Pick

  • August 29, 2009  - Rin Tin Tin says:

    And the Kaycee Med-Evac continues … Darling down; Ca$$el down; Flowers down; Page and D. Johnson did not even dress.

  • August 29, 2009  - Rin Tin Tin says:

    Well, if QB Mutt Ca$$el is out for the season – – relax ’search’, just thinking out loud, well then…Brodie Croyle becomes the starter.

    That equates to 4 more wins in 2009 than KC would’ve gotten with Mutt…so:

    With Brodie: Chiefs 4-12 in 2009 – with Tyler: 3-13 – with Mutt: 0-16

    Here we go Brodie here we go!

    Here we go Brodie here we go!

    Here we go Brodie here we go!


    Herm’s Men Win!

  • August 29, 2009  - Rin Tin Tin says:



    And with the extar point up & good, the score now:

    SEATT 7 KC 7, as we go to break here late in the 2nd quarter.

  • August 29, 2009  - Rin Tin Tin says:

    Oh no, oh dear… another of & s draft choices goes BUSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSST!!!

    Succop does – agin. Another missed FG. The score remains at halftim:

    SEATT 7 KC 7 (2 missed FGs for both sides; might have been 13-13.)

    And now friends, time for some refreshments & the halftime entertainment! Here’s ‘check’ and a pre-recorded pep talk for his team:


  • August 29, 2009  - Rin Tin Tin says:

    And… the Seahwaks cut through s defense like a knife through hot butter! TD Seaaaaaaaaa-Hawks!

    Timeout now with the score SEATT 14 KC 7 early in the 3rd quarter.

    Believe it ’search’, Rin wouldn’t lie to you…


  • August 29, 2009  - Rin Tin Tin says:

    SEATT misses their 3rd FG of the night – the Tyler factor saves the Chiefs yet again!

    Score remains: SEATT 14 KC 7, mid 3rd quarter! (All misses made on both sides, the score would be SEATT 23 KC 13. Rin had predicted a 26-13 SEATT win afore Mutt went ker-plunk.)

  • August 29, 2009  - Rin Tin Tin says:

    And, Tyler’s inspiration leads to a KC FG, against the SEATT 3rd stringers (Gutierrez the QB, ‘natch)

    SEATT 14 KC 10 11:44 to go, 4th quarter!

  • August 29, 2009  - Rin Tin Tin says:

    Approaching 7:30 minutes to go 4th quarter, timeout with the score: SEATT 14 KC 10

    It’ll be ok ’search’…

  • August 29, 2009  - Rin Tin Tin says:


    The Patriot Way’r QB Guteirrez throws a Mutt- er, a Mint, I mean INT!

    SEATT’s football… 6:00 minutes left to play.

  • August 29, 2009  - Rin Tin Tin says:

    Under 4:00 minutes to go now…KC backsides be a puckering again…can they pull victory from the jaws of defeat?

    Stay tuned ’search’!

  • August 29, 2009  - Rin Tin Tin says:


    Back to back QB sacks against the Patriot Way’r – Gutierrez… ay caramba! 3rd down 22 yards to go, less than 1:30 minutes to go.

    It is over…SEATT picks the pocket of Gutierrez again. No change – no change at all for

    A preview of tonight’s post game quote & tomorrow’s headline:

    “I can take any 22 guys from off the street and… go 0-3.”

  • August 29, 2009  - Rin Tin Tin says:


    And now for my broadcast partners Herm Edwards & CK this is Rin Tin Tin saying – “goodnight everybody!”

  • August 29, 2009  - Anonymous says:

    wow wtf is this crap

  • August 29, 2009  - Rin Tin Tin says:

    Check your shorts…

  • August 30, 2009  - SG says:

    “Herm’s Men Win!”

    Who would that be? B-rinch? D-Mac? It looked like the collective lot of them (Herm’s Men, Pioli’s pick-ups, Haley’s Hopes) all looked pretty stinky.

  • August 30, 2009  - Rin Tin Tin says:

    Who looked best last night? And the scoreboard sez -

    Rin & Herm s Men 6 = Flowers (INT TD!)

    ‘check’ & ’search’ men 4 = Succop 1 xp, 1 fg (2 missed FGs – 6 points left on the field – Chiefs lost the game by only 4 points.


  • August 31, 2009  - SG says:

    I guess that’s Herm’s math…17 points scored each week…30 given up each week…16 week preseason…should equate to a winning team.

    6 points or 10 – either way – the whole lot of them stunk it up…and lost. The whole lot of them placed 2nd in that two team game – which by your brilliant estimate puts them all in a position called losing. If the team led by the guys you call Search and Check win two games and lose 14 during the regular season, I’ll be in favor of finding someone else, just as I was when the team made the choice to replace Carl Peterson and Herm Edwards.

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