“We Know What We Signed Up For”

From the Truman Sports Complex

A year after talking about the great character of the young men they drafted, the Chiefs have taken the first three rounds of the 2011 NFL Draft and gone in another direction.

Selected in the first-round on Thursday WR Jonathan Baldwin was involved in a misdemeanor assault case involving a female student that was eventually thrown out of court.

The Chiefs followed that up on Friday by drafting in the third round OLB Justin Houston out of Georgia. It was reported earlier in the week that Houston was one of two players who failed the drug test administered by the league at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis. Reportedly, Houston and Iowa’s DE Christian Ballard tested positive for marijuana.

And while neither Houston nor Chiefs G.M. Scott Pioli directly addressed the failed test, they both took on the subject of his transgression head on in explaining why a player who had been rated a late first round draft choice fell all the way to early in the third round.

“He had a situation he’s acutely aware of, we are acutely aware of and I know you guys (media) are acutely aware of,” Pioli said Saturday evening. “We talked with him and numerous people around him. He knows what he’s signing up for and we know what we are signing up for. Collectively, we are going to try and get this thing right.”

Houston said he knows his own actions hurt his standing. “Because of some poor decisions I made, I was in this position,” Houston said on a conference call with the Kansas City media.

How did Houston convince the Chiefs his positive drug test at the Combine was not a harbinger of future problems? “I felt like I was very honest with them,” Houston said. “It was a mistake that I made and I’m ready to do whatever they wanted me to do. I think they trust me.

“There are different types of pain that you live with. The pain of regret is one and I’ve got to put it behind me and move forward.”

Added Pioli: “He had a situation and that’s why he was available. Without that situation, he’s not available there (early in the third round). Certainly there is some risk here. We talked about it internally quite a bit. We talked with other people. We talked about it with the coaching staff; we talked about it between Todd and me. We talked about it with ownership.

“There’s a chance for great reward, and the reality is there’s also a risk of failure. We’ve got a system here in place. He knows what he signed up for and we know what we signed up for.

“Both sides know what they are getting into.”

5 Responses to ““We Know What We Signed Up For””

  • April 30, 2011  - Tracy says:

    Just how widespread is the use of marijuana in the NFL? It seems sometimes to be somewhat accepted and little cause for alarm in the NBA.

    If Houston has learned that smoking pot will cost him money–and apparently it already has–he should be susceptible to input from the coaches and older teammates about the need to stay drug free while he is in the league.

    Some players never shake the the siren song of their weaknesses–look at Art Schlichter–but many have. It mostly takes self discipline, which is solely an individual’s decision. Maybe Dwayne Bowe will mentor him.

  • April 30, 2011  - Milkman says:

    It is good to see Pioli take a chance on a good athlete. While I applaud him for wanting players with spotless character, it would be next to impossible to field a consistent play-off contender with a team full of choir boys. There must be some chances taken on exceptional athletes, most of whom come with at least a few character concerns.

  • April 30, 2011  - el cid says:

    Amen, Milkman.

    The Chiefs have gone bold this draft. I imagine we will not have to listen to a whole lot of right 53 or the process. We seem to have gotten past that.

    Wonder who’s roster spot Houston will fill. Vrabel may retire,if not who?

  • April 30, 2011  - Ed says:

    This isn’t about right 53 I’m sure the organization is going stand by that. O mean these are 21 and 22 year old young men who at that age are going to make mistakes its a matter of evaluating whether the person is truly a good person regardless of there youthful mistakes. Bottom line all these picks are going to be molded into right 53. And besides not getting into trouble at that age doesn’t make you a choir boy only a mature person. Either way love what Pioli is doing so far.

  • April 30, 2011  - True Red & Gold says:

    The right 53 was always just talk. Typical BS that GMs and Coaches talk to feed the media and fans something. These guys will scrap the right 53 BS in a heart beat to win more games, period. This guys character is suspect, a persons character is who they are. Throw a bunch a money at someone and the true character will show itself soon enough. But if we win more games who cares what this guy does in his spare time. RIGHT??

Get the Flash Player to see the slideshow.


Other News