Tight End Battle … Friday Cup O’Chiefs

From River Falls, Wisconsin … Canton, Ohio and points in between

If you called Central Casting and said “send me up an Irish guy” they would send Sean Ryan.

First, there’s his name: Sean Patrick Ryan.

There’s his pedigree: a native son of Buffalo, New York … went to St. Joseph’s High School … then Boston College … has his degree in history of all things.

There’s the red hair on top of his head and in his beard, flecked in spots with a few strands of gray that indicate experience and knowledge.

When the Chiefs were looking to find a guy to help replace Tony Gonzalez at the tight end position they certainly didn’t specifically go looking for an Irish guy. But they got one in Sean Ryan.

And as the Chiefs get ready to spend their second weekend in the northwoods, Ryan is the front runner to become the team’s starting tight end.

“I was with Sean in Dallas and so I knew a lot about Sean and knew he was a pretty tough guy and a physical-at-the-point (of-attack) blocker,” said head coach Todd Haley. “I knew he would prepare and knew how we want to work around here. There are a lot of things I liked about Sean.

“He needs to continue to improve as everybody does, but he’s a physical, on-the-line tight end, which is getting harder and harder to find in the league.”

Ryan, 6-5 and 260 pounds, has been all over the place during his six-year NFL career. He’s been a draft choice (fifth-round by the Cowboys in ‘04), an unrestricted free agent, a street free agent and he’s been traded. Last year alone he was with three different teams by the end of the ‘08 season: Miami, New Orleans and San Francisco.

The allure for teams interested in Ryan has always been his blocking.

“That’s my strong suit and that’s what people see when they look at me,” Ryan said. “But I think I can bring more to the game than that.”

He’s shown “that” during practices at UW-River Falls. As a blocker, he’s pretty darn good, able to get down the field and clear out bodies. In a pass protection drill on Thursday, Ryan easily handled the pass rush of rookie DE Alex Magee.

But what he’s also shown is a good pair of hands and the ability to catch the ball. Ryan runs crisp routes and is athletic enough to be able to make tough catches.

He’s no Gonzalez, but the Chiefs have found they’ve gotten more than a blocker.

“I would say he has improved as a receiver,” Haley said. “He’s not the type of guy you are going to put out in the slot. He’s a tight end. But he can catch a few balls in there.”

Ryan does not claim in any fashion to be Gonzalez-like.

“He’s one of the best and I’m not from his mold or style,” said Ryan. “But I’m a better receiver than people have given me credit for being. That’s been the knock on me since college. I don’t think it’s correct. I can catch the ball.”

A lot of observers believe with Gonzalez gone the tight end position will not be a factor in the Chiefs passing offense. That’s simply not true. While there’s no way they can replace the talents lost when Gonzalez was traded to Atlanta, there are many other ways for Haley and offensive coordinator Chan Gailey to get the tight end involved in the offense. Last year when Haley was calling plays in Arizona, the Cardinals got little from the tight end position as a receiver. That wasn’t because of any Haley bias towards the position; it’s just that Arizona had little in the way of tight end receivers.

Again, Ryan is not a gazelle, who will be running through opposing defenses. He’s a classic tight end, who can block and catch the ball.

And right now, he’s the front runner to be the starter. When Brad Cottam missed several days of work because of an ankle injury, the door was opened for Ryan. He walked through it and has shown one of the attributes Haley desires in players: consistency. He’s the same tight end every day.

“I view every practice, every day as an opportunity,” said Ryan. “There’s never a moment or time in this game where you can rest. That’s what the off-season is for. When you’ve got the pads on, you’ve got to prove it every day. ”


Both the National Football Post website and 610 Sports in Kansas City reported early Thursday evening that the Chiefs and No. 1 draft choice Tyson Jackson had agreed on a contract.

As of breakfast Friday morning, Jackson is not in River Falls and the number of missed practices for him will likely reach 11 by the end of the day.

It’s not that the website and radio station were wrong; it’s just that they may have jumped the gun. The Chiefs do not talk about such things these days, but the premise that there is a framework for an agreement may be true. But the devil is in the details and apparently there remains work to be done on that front between Scott Pioli and Jackson’s agent Eugene Parker.

When talking about the type of money that’s coming Jackson’s way as the third player selected in the draft, there are plenty of i’s to dot and t’s to cross.

If you want to know why teams like the Chiefs don’t often announce deals like this one themselves, it’s because they want to see the dried ink of a player’s signature on the contract before they believe the process is complete.


BROWNS – signed DB Brandon Anderson; released CB Don Carey.

CARDINALS – signed DE Alex Field; placed DE Jason Banks on the injured reserve list.

FALCONS – signed WRs Marty Booker and Robert Ferguson; released WR Bradon Godfrey; placed WR Harry Douglas on the injured-reserve list (knee).

PATRIOTS – acquired DE Derrick Burgess in a trade with the Oakland Raiders, giving up a third-round choice in 2010 and a fifth-rounder in 2011.

RAVENS – WR Mark Clayton out for a month with a hamstring injury.

TEXANS – signed cornerback Deltha O’Neil and RB Andre Hall; released DT Jake Visser and RB Jeremiah Johnson.

UFL – WR Koren Robinson signed with Orlando club.


On August 7, 1965 the Chiefs beat the Broncos 30-24 in a pre-season game in Denver. QB Pete Beathard threw a pair of touchdown passes, including one for 15 yards to WR Frank Jackson. RB Bert Coan had a 2-yard TD run and Tommy Brooker kicked three field goals. The game was noteworthy for the fact rookie WR Otis Taylor caught his first pass with the Chiefs; it went for 54 yards. RB Abner Haynes played against the Chiefs for the first time, carrying five times for 97 yards and catching four passes for 61 yards.


Born on August 7, 1966 in LaGrange, Georgia was CB Tony Stargell. He joined t he Chiefs for the 1996 season after playing six seasons in the league with the Jets, Colts and Bucs. Stargell appeared in eight games with four starts during the ‘96 season and intercepted one pass.

Born on August 7, 1969 in San Antonio was TE Keith Cash. He joined the Chiefs in 1992 after he was released by the Steelers. Cash played five seasons with the Chiefs (1992-96), appearing in 59 games, with 37 starts. He caught 111 passes for 1,046 yards and 10 TDs.

34 Responses to “Tight End Battle … Friday Cup O’Chiefs”

  • August 7, 2009  - B in SC says:

    Hmmmm…last name of Ryan from Boston College. Not a bad start. Looks like Cottam better get it going if he wants some playing time.

    Everyone looking for scoop on the draft signings, just jumped the gun again. Sometimes the “details” are the hardest part to negotiate. Better be running Tyson…

  • August 7, 2009  - ED says:

    Yeah i love the competition thats being created in camp. Hopefully Tyson gets in camp by this evening practice

  • August 7, 2009  - findthedr says:

    Cottam will likely still be on the team, but he needs to work on his hands.

  • August 7, 2009  - Ryan says:

    610 said this morning that Tyson left his house with suitcase in hand. Hopefully on his way to River Falls.

  • August 7, 2009  - RedandGoldRice says:

    ED says:
    Yeah i love the competition thats being created in camp. Hopefully Tyson gets in camp by this evening practice

    Thats if he passes his PT test today. You’d hope for that kind of money, he’d have laid off the Krispy Kremes, but we will see.

  • August 7, 2009  - Rin Tin Tin says:

    Real Rin ® daddy-o sez -

    Today we shall talk about nee speak of mice, men and tight ends… and a flanker, former Hank’r.

    * * *

    Day 7 nee 1 week now with the Lt. still chasing a phantom: “The Fugitve” a SP Production!”


    Today’s episode – “Fear In A Midwest City”

    - – - – -

    ‘Sean Patrick Ryan’ – what an adorable name for a bouncing (6′5 260 lb.) baby boy…formerly thence and chiefly too a blocking TE, journeyman several teams – hence forth Chiefs blocking TE will catch as catch can.

    Truth be told, Rin would have preferred to hear “The Kansas City Chiefs – featuring the star of gridiron chip blocking & the short curl pattern, Mr. Tony Curtis.”

    Alas, ‘The Great Houdini’ proved to be past his prime – ‘cut’ – cut by very one’s acclaimed him sufficient as in a handpicked “any 22r will do” – &

    Brad, Tom, Jake & the Fatman too willst persevere.

    - – - – -

    What is this world nee Chiefs team coming to when ’search’ & ‘check’ canst not even trust their own football judgment? Likely answer: Repeat of KC’s last season record.

    Jr. have that GM & Head Coach list whittled down to your top 5 candidates.

    - – - – -

    Otis Taylor, 1965: his first pass caught goes for 54 yards- his last pro pass caught goes for 40 in 1975. Chiefs as DBs will never see his like again.
    He was the best ever, bar none – daddy-o…

  • August 7, 2009  - True Red & Gold says:

    Rin, you suck at life.

  • August 7, 2009  - steve says:

    Do not be harsh on our dear little Rin, he has had a hard life.
    So if I understand your post correctly you are on board with a soothsayer opinion of 2 wins this year?
    Always remember that the Rin Tin Tin bloodline is a closed breeding program. If he is away from the kennel, he is missing a pair, which might explain some of his anger. The amazing things you find on the internet.

  • August 7, 2009  - Josh says:

    Rin, you da Man!

  • August 7, 2009  - steve says:

    And always remember, I’m a little fairy.

  • August 7, 2009  - steve says:

    How clever, Rin uses my name to post.

  • August 7, 2009  - Josh says:

    Haha, sometimes you are, Rin. Other times your opinions come from way out in left field.

    Sometimes, for your sake, I wish I could get a hold of the DeLorean DMC-12 from “Back to the Future”. I would definitely travel back to the 1960’s and make contact with you, encouraging you to not eat those mushrooms and stick thoses little sheets of paper on your tongue. The long-term effects of your casual drug use are evident in some of your posts.

  • August 7, 2009  - Rin Tin Tin says:

    Real Rin ® daddy-o sez, response to steve (I hope?) –

    Are you getting paranoid there ‘little fairy’- er, steve? Don’t include Rin in the nonsense- appears the ‘fakes’ be out again today.

    The ‘true’ True Red & Gold for example did not & would not have posted the comment above. Rin did not accuse you of being that fake, so accuse me that is He, not…

    I’m very sensitive as you know – when people say bad things about me, I always leave & ne’er return…



  • August 7, 2009  - Rin Tin Tin says:

    And if Rin could – can actually, just hasn’t yet – wouldst He change the future so that you would have ne’er been hatched…

    As you alluded to reference He that is me, Rin is the man – then as now…accept no imitations.


  • August 7, 2009  - Rin Tin Tin says:


  • August 7, 2009  - steve says:

    Rin, interesting dialog you create, but like most who critize, you cannot accept same.
    Remember you were told, do not eat the brown acid, the decision was yours
    today you have set over/under of two for your credibility, it will be fun to watch.
    two a number dear to you and taken granted by the rest
    now, on to financial reward, job to you

  • August 7, 2009  - Rin Tin Tin says:

    Real Rin ® daddy-o sez, response to steve- er, ‘fake’ steve- er, ‘I’m a little fairy’ steve, readers choice:

    So it was you as ‘fake’ True Red & Gold…or it is ‘fake’ you (Steve) now… no matter, Rin has ne’er afore been ‘critized’; does it hurt much nee at all?


    In truth, it be as impotent as &

  • August 7, 2009  - Picasso says:

    Rin is like some bizarre combination of Jim Rome and Denis Miller.

  • August 7, 2009  - Rin Tin Tin says:

    Only better.

  • August 7, 2009  - Alan says:

    Still gotta love Cash’s TD against Houston in the 1993 Playoffs…especially the spike on Buddy Ryan’s mug.

  • August 7, 2009  - Rin Tin Tin says:

    Real Rin ® daddy-o sez – it’s “Ty” now for another tribute to “The Fugitive a SP Production!”

    - Cue a Rin paraphrased “The Outsiders”, 1966

    ‘Ty can’t wait forever
    Even though Eugene wants him to
    Ty can’t wait forever
    To know if you fans will be true

    Ty won’t let me (oh, no)
    Ty won’t let me (oh, no)
    Ty won’t let me…ee…ee…ee

    Can’t Ty see he’s waited too long
    To get s love instead
    ‘No man’s land’ for he.

    Ty won’t let me (oh, no)
    Ty won’t let me (oh, no)
    Ty won’t let me…ee…ee…ee



    Ty can’t wait forever
    Even tho Eugene wants him to
    Ty can’t wait forever
    To know if you fans will be true

    Ty won’t let me (oh, no)
    Ty won’t let me (oh, no)
    Ty won’t let me…ee…ee…ee

    Hear me baby waitin’ that long
    Take me back, I’m comin’ back right now
    Hear me baby sayin’ I’m comin’ home
    I’m comin’ home, oh hear me talkin’, pretty baby
    Don’t you know I’m comin’ back to you, oh!
    Oh pretty baby, take me back, I’m comin’ back
    Open up your arms and take me back, a-here I come’


  • August 7, 2009  - Rin Tin Tin says:

    “Ty won’t let me, oh noooooooooo!”

  • August 7, 2009  - Josh says:


    And the homeless guy that panhandles at the Plaza using the line “Can you help me make a down payment on a cheeseburger?”

  • August 7, 2009  - Rin Tin Tin says:

    Josh be helpless no more…Rin is here! Now let’s help out of that 22 foot deep hole that he has dug for himself…


  • August 7, 2009  - Josh says:

    Praise God! I was beginning to think you wouldn’t respond, Rin!

  • August 7, 2009  - Rin Tin Tin says:

    Real Rin ® daddy-o sez, response squashed- er, sloshed- er, josh -

    “Praise God!”

    - my pleasure be as His…

    “I was beginning to think”

    - refrain said – might crack your eggshell…


    - yes, He is me – Rin is GOD – and you be doomed.

    Still, until I smite thee as every – remember: during your times of trial and suffering here (daily) via your own device (bad blogging) and said reward (the stripes inflicted upon you by your better, Rin), whence you see only one set
    of footprints it is then that Rin carries you.”

    (Savior’s note) Lose some weight, you’re too fat for me.

    You probably thought I wouldn’t-

    “wouldn’t respond, Rin!”

    - I know you chi- er, my child; Rin knows all nee everything.

    Go now, and sin (believe in & ) no more…

  • August 7, 2009  - arrowhead1978 says:

    anyone see what pioli is contemplating now? I saw on the rumors in ESPN that Vick is possibly Cassells backup. How could that be he has a worse completion percentage than Thigpen….

  • August 7, 2009  - Rin Tin Tin says:

    Real Rin ® daddy-o sez “Howdy folks” and here’s your River Falls website Hilites report:

    “During 11-on-11… One of the first plays of the drill was an interception by Mays.”

    - pick #21 thrown by Mutt this week…

    “Quarterback Matt Cassel started 2-2 but struggled after that.”

    - oh dear…NOT AGAIN!!!

    “There were a few drops by the receivers”

    - the heck you say?

    “Wide receiver Bobby Engram had the most problems catching the ball today. Engram dropped 3 balls during three different drills.”

    - Bobby doesn’t discriminate – he’s an equal opportunity dropper…

    “At one point Head Coach Todd Haley yelled “Come on Amani [Toomer] stay up!” The 14-year vet fell while running a comeback route.”

    - guess there’d be no point in making Amani run laps as punishment then … right coach? Guy wouldn’t make it back in time for practice tomorrow…

    Crawling might offer a beneficial aspect i.e. it would be easier to catch those dropped passes on the way down (player being closer to ground…)

    “Quarterback Brodie Croyle came in and was 1-3. His second pass was dropped by receiver Quinten Lawrence.”

    - al(ex) k, can you have a good long talk with your boy, ‘Q’? Ask him to not ‘hold’ anything back…’catch’ the drift?

    “and traction problems, that could be partial blamed on the weather.”

    - (trying to mimic Vince Lombardi and his famous “pain does not exist – it is in the mind” mantra, with ‘check’ twist applied) -

    “Men, bad weather doesn’t exist- it’s all in the mind. Believe me – it is NOT wet out here, so if you fall down again, shall leave you out to dry.”

    Duck swimming by: “uh-hah? AFLAC!!!”

    “Regardless of the wet conditions, when the offense continued to struggle to hold onto the football, Haley still made them run.”

    - old habits die hard… so too stubbornness.

  • August 7, 2009  - Josh says:

    Haha. Bravo, Rin, bravo!

  • August 7, 2009  - Rin Tin Tin says:

    Thank you…thank you so very much. Wit is Rin’s life.

  • August 7, 2009  - Chiefsfan_62 says:

    No Wit not Rin’s life, living in mom’s basement, Writing on Bob’s website. Waiting for mom to bring him some meat loaf is Rin’s life.

  • August 7, 2009  - Chiefsfan_62 says:


  • August 7, 2009  - Rin Tin Tin says:


  • August 7, 2009  - Scott says:

    I’m Doody.

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