Improving From Within – CB Jalil Brown

It’s the forgotten avenue of team development – improvement from within.

There are players that management and the coaching staff are counting on to improve their level of play on offense, defense and/or special teams. The top five players on that list are: WR Jonathan Baldwin, DE Allen Bailey, QB Brady Quinn, CB Jalil Brown and C Rodney Hudson. All play key positions where improvement is needed, either via their performance or by forcing teammates to raise the level of their play. On Tuesday we looked at WR Jonathan Baldwin, Wednesday it was DE Allen Bailey and Thursday it was QB Brady Quinn. Today, it’s CB Jalil Brown and C Rodney Hudson follows.

Jalil Brown

It’s been a common refrain from NFL personnel types and coaches for the last 20 years now – you can never have too many good cornerbacks. The growing influence in the pro game of passing schemes with more than the normal two receivers on the field requires defenses to have more than two cover corners. Sometimes three are not enough.

GM Scott Pioli obviously agrees with that approach. In four drafts with the Chiefs (including the 2012 session), Pioli has selected a cornerback in the fifth round or higher each year: Donald Washington (4th-2009), Javier Arenas (2nd-2010), Jalil Brown (4th-2011) and De’Quan Menzie (5th-2012).

Over the past four years, the Chiefs had great stability at cornerback with 2008 draft picks Brandon Flowers and Brandon Carr in the starting lineup. Two seasons ago, Arenas joined the defense in the nickel back role, handling the slot receiver. …Read More!

Improving From Within/QB Brady Quinn

It’s the forgotten avenue of team development – improvement from within.

There are players that management and the coaching staff are counting on to improve their level of play on offense, defense and/or special teams. The top five players on that list are: WR Jonathan Baldwin, DE Allen Bailey, QB Brady Quinn, CB Jalil Brown and C Rodney Hudson. All play key positions where improvement is needed, either via their performance or by forcing teammates to raise the level of their play. Over the next five days we’ll zero in on each of these players. On Tuesday we looked at WR Jonathan Baldwin and Wednesday it was DE Allen Bailey. Today, it’s QB Brady Quinn with CB Jalil Brown and C Rodney Hudson to follow.

Brady Quinn

It’s been two seasons, nearly 900 days since Brady Quinn played in an NFL regular season game. The last time he played in a game that counted was ironically at Arrowhead Stadium, December 20, 2009, when Quinn started and led the Cleveland Browns to a 41-34 victory in a performance where he threw for just 66 yards.

Late in that game, Quinn suffered a foot injury and two days later, his season ended because of surgery. Since then, he’s played in seven pre-season games with Denver over the last two years. In those appearances with the Broncos, where he was behind both Kyle Orton and Tim Tebow on the depth chart, he threw for 610 yards, three TDs and three INTs. Overall, in five seasons he played in 14 regular season games and started a dozen, where Cleveland had a 3-9 record.

Brady Quinn has a lot of things going for him. He will be 28 in October, so he’s still a young man, even a young quarterback given his lack of playing time. He’s a former first-round draft choice, who signed a 5-year, $20.2 million contract with $7.5 million in guaranteed money. He was a campus hero at Notre Dame, where he was a record-setting passer for the Fighting Irish and also earned two undergraduate degrees (political science and finance).

What he does not possess is any concrete reason to believe he’s capable of stepping in and being a successful starting quarterback in the National Football League. …Read More!

Cardinals May Join Chiefs In St. Joe

The Chiefs just may have somebody to play with during their training camp sojourn to Missouri Western State University in August.

College officials have been in contact and hosted a visit by Arizona Cardinals executives who visited campus recently. That news broke in the St. Joseph media on Tuesday morning and Missouri Western officials confirmed the news.

“We are working through the logistics for both teams and the university and hope to have an update within the next several weeks,” Missouri Western athletic director Kurt McGuffin said on Tuesday.

The Chiefs and Cardinals are scheduled to face each other in the first full weekend of pre-season action at Arrowhead Stadium on Friday, August 10. Arizona actually opens the NFL pre-season on Sunday night, August 5 in Canton, Ohio in the Hall of Fame Game.

So an Arizona visit figures to come sometime between August 5 and August 10. The Cardinals would fly into Kansas City on Thursday before the game, so it would make some sense for them to go from Canton after the Hall of Fame game on say Monday, fly to Kansas City with a day off on Monday, and then work Tuesday and Wednesday against the Chiefs in St. Joe, before traveling back to Kansas City on Thursday like they would normally.

Improving From Within/DE Allen Bailey

It’s the forgotten avenue of team development – improvement from within.

There are players that management and the coaching staff are counting on to improve their level of play on offense, defense and/or special teams. The top five players on that list are: WR Jonathan Baldwin, DE Allen Bailey, QB Brady Quinn, CB Jalil Brown and C Rodney Hudson. All play key positions where improvement is needed, either via their performance or by forcing teammates to raise the level of their play. Over the next five days we’ll zero in on each of these players. On Tuesday we looked at WR Jonathan Baldwin. Today it’s DE Allen Bailey and on Thursday will check in with QB Brady Quinn, with CB Jalil Brown on Friday and then C Rodney Hudson on Saturday.

DE Allen Bailey

After being selected in the third round of the 2011 NFL Draft, Bailey’s first season in the NFL proved to be a pretty good match for the evaluations of him coming out of the University of Miami.

Physically gifted with a God-given body of perfect football size and muscles that has been improved by a solid work ethic in the weight room, Bailey was classified by scouts as extremely talented, but raw in football skills coming off Sapelo Island in Georgia. Like many teams in the NFL, the Chiefs took one look at Bailey’s body and then the body of his work at Miami and found him talented and versatile, as he played at both inside and outside positions along the defensive line. He ended up playing in 50 games with 27 starts, contributing 103 total tackles, 19 sacks and 2 forced fumbles.

One person that was enamored with Bailey’s potential was former head coach Todd Haley. In a game that grows with the increasing use of specialists, Haley saw Bailey as being able to come right in and play in the sub or nickel defense. The coach believed he had the ability to not only provide a solid pass rush, but would be able to also handle the run game if teams tried to hit the K.C. defense with a change of pace. …Read More!

Observations from OTA #4

From the Truman Sports Complex

It was a late morning-early afternoon that was perfect for getting the Chiefs ready for training camp in St. Joe in two months.

Romeo Crennel put his team through OTA session #4 out of 10. Temps were in the mid-80s, with a touch of humidity and a breeze blowing that wasn’t cooling; it felt more like somebody had opened the door on the furnace. Sultry would be the correct description. Add another 10 degrees and it would be a typical day the team will see in two months on the campus of Missouri Western State University.

After having a holiday weekend, the players appeared a bit refreshed compared to what they showed at the end of last week when they were tired after the first week of practices. Again, it’s hard to evaluate players and units in the OTAs because there are no pads and no physical contact allowed. There were however, a few observations worth noting including a TD catch for free agent WR Jamar Newsome (right):

The reason that who starts in May doesn’t matter come September – Last week much was made of Dontari Poe jumping into the starting lineup in the third OTA. A week later, and Poe was back on the No. 2 defense and veteran Anthony Toribio was taking the snaps with the No. 1 defense. At safety, Kyle McCarthy was working with the first-unit, in place of rookie free agent Terrance Parks. …Read More!

OTA Session #4 – May 29

From the Truman Sports Complex

It was the draft class of 2011 that led the way during the Chiefs OTA session on Tuesday at their facility.

Enjoying a sun splashed, hot, muggy morning, Romeo Crennel put his team through a 90-minute practice, finishing up with the two-minute drill for the offense. That’s where a handful of second-year players drafted by the Chiefs made plays. Specifically, WR Jonathan Baldwin, QB Ricky Stanzi and CB Jalil Brown made the deciding play on all three possessions for the two-minute opportunities:

– Baldwin made the catch of the season with the No. 1 offense, reaching up one-handed and pulling down Matt Cassel’s pass in the end zone as time was running out on the possession. Other than the fact it came in practice, it was equal in excellence to Tony Moeaki’s catch in 2010 against San Francisco. Baldwin had coverage all over him on the play, but he was able to stop the throw from Cassel and then grip the ball and not drop it as he hit the ground on his back.

“It was outstanding,” Cassel said of Baldwin’s catch. “That’s the kind of play you need in the two-minute. He’s out there competing and he’s working hard every day.” …Read More!

Improving From Within/WR Jonathan Baldwin

It’s the forgotten avenue of team improvement. The free agency period grabs a lot of attention, as fans ponder new additions to the roster. The annual NFL Draft is next on the calendar but tops when it comes to drawing interest.

But there is a third major avenue for transfusing talent into the roster that gets short shrift when it comes to attention from those outside the building – that’s improvement from within.

As the Chiefs enter the second week of Phase III in the NFL’s off-season there are players that management and the coaching staff are counting on to improve their level of play enough that they become regular participants on offense, defense and/or special teams.

The top five players on that list are: WR Jonathan Baldwin, DE Allen Bailey, QB Brady Quinn, CB Jalil Brown and C Rodney Hudson. All play key positions where improvement is needed, either from their performance or forcing teammates to raise the level of their play.

Over the next five days we’ll zero in on each of these players, starting with last year’s first-round draft choice.

WR Jonathan Baldwin

Historically it’s tough for rookie wide receivers to really make a mark in the NFL. Over the years, whether a first-round choice or an undrafted rookie that made the roster the production that first year is frequently mediocre to bad.

That was certainly the case with Baldwin, and his poor first season was exacerbated by the broken thumb he suffered in a locker room fight at training camp. It cost him the pre-season and then he did not play in the first five games of the regular season; he didn’t play until October 23. Baldwin did stay available for the last 11 games and when it was all said and done, he had 21 catches for 254 yards and a single TD. …Read More!

A Bit of Chiefs Gumbo . . . Memorial Day Cup O’Chiefs

To all those who have served our country, whether in combat, on foreign soil or on the home front, on this Memorial Day 2012 thank you for your sacrifices. We live in this remarkable society thanks to those efforts. We enjoy freedoms others only experience in their dreams. We certainly don’t get it right all the time, but there’s no place in the world where opportunity lives and grows than in the United States of America.

Take just a moment today and say a prayer for all those in harm’s way around the world. And, if you get the opportunity on Monday and have access to HBO, check out the movie Taking Chance, featuring Kevin Bacon. It runs at 3:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m., and is also available on the HBO On-Demand channels. It’s a story you will never forget.

On to subjects Chiefs related.

Chiefs Staying Away From The Gray-Bar Hotel

This thought occurred to me over the weekend after reading about Detroit Lions DT Nick Fairley being arrested for the second time in the last month:

When was the last time a member of the Chiefs was arrested? …Read More!

Players Break From Vacation/Weekend Cup O’Chiefs

Football is a bruising endeavor, one that beyond physical talent alone requires a great deal of grit and intestinal fortitude to deal with the physical pain created when bodies collide. The damage that can come from the game is now a topic of daily conversation in the sporting world.

Let me say I have a great deal of respect for any man that chooses to play the game.

But as the NFL takes a short break with the rest of the country for the Memorial Day weekend, it’s time to tell it like it is – NFL players are becoming soft. Their union and the new collective bargaining agreement with the owners has turned them into part-time participants in their business from January through July.

There is absolutely no way that’s good for the game, and it’s certainly not good for business. It’s all been done under the umbrella of protecting the players and their bodies. But a predictable thing happened as a result of patty-cake off-season football – players still suffered injuries, some of them serious and season ending.

So we have players and teams taking a Memorial Day vacation from their off-season vacation. It’s been a long time since NFL players have worked together this little in preparation for a season. Last year, because of the owners’ lockout, there was no work at all. This year, they’ll get back at it on Tuesday for week No. 2 of a four-week period where they are actually allowed to take the field and do football actions together as unit. …Read More!

Changing Places . . . Thursday Cup O’Chiefs

From the Truman Sports Complex

Jack of all trades, master of none.

Lucas Patterson (right) smiles as that old saying is repeated to him. He smiles not because the words are funny or amusing, but because that saying has been rattling around in his brain for the last year or so.

“I worry about that sometimes,” the Chiefs first-year offensive lineman says. “You worry about getting moved around and not getting a chance at one spot where you might make it in this league.

Teammate Steve Maneri knows the feeling. He finished up the 2011 season as an offensive tackle. But immediately after the season, the Chiefs called and told him they wanted to move him back to tight end, the position he played in college.

“I have to admit I was pissed off,” Maneri said. “I figured that was an indication that I failed as an offensive tackle. I thought that meant I’d wasted the past two seasons trying to play a new position.”

Patterson and Maneri are not headliners on the Chiefs 88-man roster this week. They are a couple of guys, talented college players and very good athletes. They have enough skills to make a real run at capturing a roster spot, but are not talented enough to be considered candidates without a worry.

These types of players end up doing anything that’s asked to improve their chances. Certainly, that’s what Patterson and Maneri are doing during the Chiefs off-season program that completed its first week of OTA sessions on Thursday. …Read More!

OTA #3 Observations – Poe A Starter?

When the Chiefs No. 1 defense hit the field on Thursday for OTA #3 working inside at defensive tackle was first-round draft choice Dontari Poe. It was the Chiefs sub-defense, or a version of the nickel, and Poe was actually in to rush the passer.

And on the second play, Poe split the gap between C Rodney Hudson and RG Jon Asamoah and came roaring up the middle of the pocket, right in the face of QB Matt Cassel. The pass was thrown earlier than Cassel wanted to get rid of it.

If Poe can provide that type of middle of the pocket pass rush pressure along with playing stout enough to stop the run inside, then the Chiefs may have something here.

“If you remember, I told you when we drafted him that he had some pass rush ability and might be able to fit in on the sub,” Crennel said. “In the situation that we’re in right now, we’ve lost a couple guys, particularly (Wallace) Gilberry, who was our sub-rusher, so now we have to plug somebody in there. He’s got the ability that you might want to plug in there. …Read More!

OTA Session #3 – Thursday, May 24

From the Truman Sports Complex

The Chiefs wrapped up their third OTA session of the week on Thursday at their facility and during the week head coach Romeo Crennel believes his team improved.

“I felt like today each unit was starting to develop our camaraderie on their side of the ball, with the offense really pulling for the offense and the defense really started pulling for the defense,” Crennel said. “Overall the guys have paid attention to what’s going on and have done it with a good attitude and they’ve paid attention.

“They’ve been working hard and with good tempo and all of those things are positive. Is it perfect? Nont by a long shot. They all make mistakes.” …Read More!

Chiefs Continue Search For Veteran Safety

Even though it’s just May, the Chiefs are obviously concerned about their situation at safety.

After conversations with veteran safeties O.J. Atogwe and Yeremiah Bell, on Wednesday they brought 6-year veteran Abram Elam to town for a visit.

The 6-0, 207-pound Elam played last year with the Dallas Cowboys, his second tour in big D; he came into the NFL as an undrafted rookie free agent out of Kent State in 2006 with Dallas. He’s played for the Cowboys, Jets, Browns and now the Cowboys again. His time in Cleveland was 2009-10, just after Romeo Crennel was fired as head coach of the Browns.

In six seasons, Elam played in 92 games with 64 starts. He has 373 total tackles with 5 sacks, 3 interceptions and 8 forced fumbles. Last year with Dallas, he started 16 games with 68 total tackles.

Owners Vote For Change; Pro Bowl Remains In Doubt

Meeting on Monday and Tuesday in Atlanta, the NFL owners cleaned up some of the agenda from their March meeting that got pushed aside.

They voted to push back the league’s trading deadline two weeks and will now allow one player placed on injured reserve to come back during the season. One major item however, continues to hang out there – the future of the Pro Bowl. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell is pushing for changes and right now, there is no Pro Bowl scheduled for the end of the 2012 season.

“We’ve had numerous discussions over several months about what we can do to make the game more competitive,” Goodell told the media in Atlanta.  “I’ve said it repeatedly, particularly since the last game that we have to improve the quality of that game.  If we can’t improve it and can’t make it more competitive, then we shouldn’t play.

“We recognize it is an All-Star game, but we also believe the fans expect more from an NFL game.  That wasn’t a competitive game.  The players acknowledged that in all of our discussions going back this past year that it is not competitive.”

Goodell said he wants to take back the feedback he got from owners over the last two days to the NFL Players Association and their leader DeMaurice Smith. Then there will be further discussions with the players and Goodell said he wants to have a decision “quickly.”

The other noteable items from the meetings:

  • The annual trading deadline will be moved this year from the Tuesday after the sixth game, to the Tuesday after the eighth game.
  • Starting this season, one player who was on the opening-day roster and then is placed on the injured-reserve list can come back and play later in the same season. The injured player would not be able to practice for six weeks or play in a game for eight weeks.
  • The league is looking at installing Wi-Fi in all NFL stadiums that can be used the fans in watching the game. “We want to make sure fans when they come into our stadiums don’t have to shut down – they can bring their devices,” said Goodell. “We want them to have access to the same amount of information, have access to our Red Zone channel, have access to highlights, and be able to engage in social media including Fantasy Football. When you come to our stadiums, we want to make it a great experience.”

Chiefs Sign A WR; Brody Hangs Them Up

On Tuesday, the Chiefs roster grew to 88 as they announced the signing of street free agent WR Aaron Weaver.

Weaver was out of football last year and has not been a regular player since the 2009 season when he was at Hofstra University.

After spending four years at Hofstra, the 6-2, 220-pound Weaver moved to Syracuse University in 2010 for his final year of college eligibility after Hofstra dropped the sport following the 2009 season. His Syracuse career lasted just two games, as he tore the ACL in his right knee on September 14, 2010 and did not return to the field. Weaver petitioned the NCAA for a medical redshirt, but he was denied.

Weaver’s knee was not yet recovered last spring and he was not selected in the 2011 NFL Draft.

Over his 26-game career at two colleges, Weaver caught 141 passes for 1,504 yards and nine touchdowns. …Read More!

Free-for-all at Safety . . . Tuesday Cup O’Chiefs

From the Truman Sports Complex

The first OTA of the season always has some interesting personnel pairings. It’s usually the by-product of players rehabbing from injuries and being unable to participate.

The Chiefs had just such a situation Monday morning with their first OTA of the year. SS Eric Berry and FS Kendrick Lewis are rehabbing their knee and shoulder surgeries. Draft choice De’Quan Menzie (right) is dealing with a hamstring injury and did not practice.

So the starting safeties for Romeo Crennel’s defense were journeyman cornerback Travis Daniels and undrafted rookie Terrance Parks.

Daniels is a 29-year old, eight-year veteran of the NFL wars who has played 95 percent of his snaps at cornerback. Park is a 22-year old, former high school teammate of Eric Berry, who went undrafted coming out of Florida State and signed after the draft with the Chiefs.

While the attention behind the rehabbing Lewis at free safety figured to come down to a veteran who is not yet on campus (somebody like Yeremiah Bell) or a couple of very experienced safeties from the college ranks, Auburn’s Neiko Thorpe or Tysyn Hartman from Kansas State. …Read More!

OTA Session #1 Report

From the Truman Sports Complex

The Chiefs took the field together for the first time in this 2012 offseason late Thursday morning and 86 of the 87 players on the team’s roster were on the field for the 90-minute workout.

The only man missing was franchise-player designee WR Dwayne Bowe, who is unlikely to join his teammates until the first day of training camp at the earliest. Under NFL rules he could take part in OTAs without signing his tender offer, but franchise players seldom do so, feeling like they are giving up some negotiating leverage.

“It was great having everybody out there and working together,” said QB Matt Cassel. “It’s another step in pulling this team together and getting ready for the season.”

Of the 86 players on the field, 79 appeared to be in full participation with the drills. Seven players rehabbing from injury were there, but only as observers: …Read More!

Important Time of the Year . . . Monday Cup O’Chiefs


It become one of those unusual moments in sports history that thanks to videotape, has been seen millions of times on the Internet. Troubled former NBA star Allen Iverson was speaking at a press conference back in 2006 at a time when he was feuding with the Sixers management and coaches.

He was benched for a game because he did not show up for a team practice. “We are talkin’ about practice,” Iverson said over and over again. “We’re not talking about a game, we are talking about practice … how silly is that.”

Practice comes in many different forms but it is the one thing all sports share, and its one thing most athletes share on an individual basis – they don’t like practice. They just want to play games. They don’t want to be talking about practice.

We are talking about practice today, particularly as it concerns the Kansas City Chiefs and their first OTA session that will go down Monday morning at the team’s facility. While it will be a practice far different than ones that will come in training camp and during the season, it’s the first chance for this edition of the Chiefs to come together and begin the process of building a team.

Iverson may have thought practice unnecessary and “silly” but it’s hugely important in a game where there are 22 players on the field for every play, with that group changing by 50 percent on some plays within a possession. …Read More!

Chiefs End of Week Notes – Bell Signs With Jets

Free agent S Yeremiah Bell was talking contract with four teams on Thursday.

On Friday, he’s down to one team and signed a one-year $1.4 million deal with the New York Jets.

The Chiefs, Eagles and Titans were the other suitors that did not make it to the pay window with the nine-year veteran.

Why did Bell pass on the Chiefs? That’s easy – they didn’t offer the most money. No slap at Bell, but a veteran of his experience is going to take the most money 99 percent of the time.

Why did the Chiefs not sign Bell? We can only surmise that GM Scott Pioli does not consider him a $1.4 million backup, which is essentially what he would be if Kendrick Lewis and Eric Berry are healthy. The problems come when starters like Lewis and Berry are injured and a player like Bell is needed, but they are never available because they signed with another team a long time before the injury. That’s what leads to four different players starting 15 games; that was last year’s scenario at strong safety after Berry went down on the first defensive play of the season. …Read More!

Answer Bob – Final Batch

More questions, more answers. Here’s the last batch. Thanks for your interest and thoughtful questions.

—————————————————————————–

ChiefsZed says – Hi Bob, I think Hemingway could be a great pick for the Chiefs. What do you think about lining him up as a second TE in some situations? Yes, he’s undersized for a TE, but is also said to be a good blocker. It could be a creative way to get more play-makers on the field. P.S. Yours is the only blog I’ve found that offers blunt commentary on the Chiefs. Keep it coming; I want to root for my Chiefs with my eyes wide open.

Bob says – Thanks ChiefsZed and I can assure you my eyes are wide open to what happens with this team and organization. As for Hemingway, I don’t see them using him as a second tight end when they’ve got Tony Moeaki (if healthy) and Kevin Boss on the roster. Both of those guys are better receivers and blockers than Hemingway. Where he can gain a roster spot is with his play on special teams and if he shows the willingness to block in the running game. His background at Michigan playing in three very different offensive schemes is going to help him adapt faster than some other rookies. Plus, he seems like he’s a good kid with a nice personality. …Read More!

Free Safety Fight? … Thursday Cup O’Chiefs

Neiko Thorpe (left) and Tysyn Hartman (right) will challenge Kendrick Lewis (middle) at free safety.

Starting next week, the Chiefs will be on the field for the first of the ten OTA practices they will hold before the middle of June.

It will be an opportunity for players to perform at closer to game conditions than anything that will happen between now and the start of training camp.

If there are battles for starting positions, it’s during the OTAs when it will first show itself. There will be small signs of upward mobility for players who aren’t running with the first team. Guys that have been in the starting lineup may find changes in the number of practice snaps he takes.

Slowly, the competition builds and then in training camp it becomes obvious.

As the Chiefs begin OTAs, there does not appear to be many spots in the starting lineup where it’s realistic to say there is a chance of a fight for the position. Possibly nose tackle depending on whether the coaching staff simply plants Dontari Poe as No. 1 and lets him play his way into experience. The fifth skill position spot on offense figures to be interchangeable between fullback, a second tight end and possibly a third wide receiver.

And there may be another starting spot up for grabs – free safety. …Read More!

Answer Bob – Batch No. 2

Our second collection of answers to your questions. Keep’em coming.

Michael D says – Bob, as always thanks for all the great work you do providing us your insight on the Chiefs. I guess I misunderstood or better yet more naive then I thought about the rookie pay scale. Please break it down for us so my brain can stop bugging me with, “Why is Poe not signed yet?” GO CHIEFS!!!!

Bob says – Michael, I understand the confusion. I would expect we’d see Poe signed any day now. The fact he was taken in the top half of the draft makes matters a bit more complicated than the second half of the 32 picks. But it’s all pretty much cut and dried as far as parameters of the money. There are different and creative ways to pay that money off and Poe’s agency CAA and in particular his agent Jimmy Sexton has been known to be tough negotiators, in no hurry to make a deal on somebody else’s timetable. Sexton’s not returning messages and the Chiefs don’t talk about these things, so we are left to ponder. As long as Poe is with the team, working the off-season program and taking part in OTAs and the team mini-camp in June, then it doesn’t really matter. …Read More!

RIP – Bill Walsh

He was football’s first successful Bill Walsh, the best Bill Walsh that was ever part of the Kansas City Chiefs.

William Ernest Walsh rose through the coaching ranks and eventually built one of the great NFL dynasties in the modern era with the San Francisco 49ers of the 1980-90s. But long before he established himself as one of the league’s coaching greats, William Henry Walsh had already made a name for Bill Walsh in football. He was a college All-American center at Notre Dame, an NFL veteran of six seasons and an NFL assistant coach who became one of the best position coaches in the game’s history.

(That’s Hank Stram, Lamar Hunt and Bill Walsh in the picture on the right, several years after the franchise moved Kansas City.)

Walsh passed away on Sunday at his home in Atlanta. He was 84 years old. …Read More!

Chiefs Busy Signing, Adding Players

There were six new contracts that the Chiefs sent to the league office early Wednesday morning.

They signed two of their four previously unsigned draft choices: 2nd-round pick OL Jeff Allen and 5th-round pick DB DeQuan Menzie. No financials on the four-year deals yet. That leaves 1st-rounder NT Dontari Poe and 3rd-round T Donald Stephenson as the only unsigned members of the 2012 draft class.

Also signed were four new members of the roster, giving the Chiefs 87 out of 90 slots filled at this point. Those new players are:

  • DB Dominique Ellis out of South Carolina State and NC State where he played in 48 games over his college career. The 5-11, 195-pound native of Georgia, He finished with a combined 139 tackles and 10 interceptions.
  • OL Rich Ranglin out of the Arena Football, where he was the league’s offensive lineman of the year in 2011. Ranglin played for three different Arena League teams over three seasons. At 6-3, 315 pounds, he played his college football at Central Connecticut State, the alma mater of GM Scott Pioli.
  • TE Martin Rucker who spent the last four years in the NFL playing for four different teams, after his college career at Missouri. The St. Joseph native was drafted by the Cleveland Browns in the fourth round of the 2008 NFL Draft when Romeo Crennel was head coach.
  • LB Leon Williams is another former Browns draft choice, also a fourth-round pick but in the 2006 NFL Draft. He spent three seasons in Cleveland then the 2010 season with the Dallas Cowboys and was out of the NFL last season. The 6-3, 248-pounder played linebacker at the University of Miami.

Answer Bob – The First Batch

We’ve picked the first fruit off the Ask Bob tree and here’s the harvest.

milkman says: Bob- although it may have been a necessary evil, is it just me or do the new CBA restrictions have the potential of an inferior product being put on the field compared to years past? (At least the first part of the regular season anyway). With all the limitations on practices it just seems like it will take longer for all coaching staffs to get their points across. And do you think this was negotiated by the players because of coaches who went to extremes? (The old Dick Vermeil and Tom Coughlin for example). Add to that it is harder for us diehards to get skinny on our favorite teams cause there’s nothing to report. Thanks again for this site.

Bob says: milkman – you are a man after my own heart. I think the new rules and regulations on off-season work, and even in-season practices, has gone way too far and has the potential to hurt the game. Luckily, the teams are all on the same page, although you can bet there are teams that are going to stretch the limits of the new rules on the amount of time players can practice. The players negotiated for the practice limitations because no player likes to practice; it’s one of the few items that entire rank ‘n file can stand up for. And, it wasn’t so much any tough coaches like Vermeil and Coughlin, or Jimmy Johnson or Bill Parcells, or Bill Cowher – notice something all those tough guys that demanded tough practices share in common. In all my years of covering pro football – this year will be 36 seasons – I’ve only known of one player that enjoyed practice – Dale Carter. That was just another example of how “different” Carter was, but he actually enjoyed being on the practice field and would not hear it, when it was suggested that he might want to sit out to protect an injury. …Read More!

Twitter on Tuesday = Chiefs news

Twitter is a fact of life today. For those under the age of 30, if they are not tweeting then they are out of the loop. That’s certainly true among football players, both college and pro, because they love to tell everyone what’s happening in their life even down to this tweet filed by former Chiefs DB Maurice Leggett Tuesday night:

“bout to shower.”

But news comes out of Twitter quite a bit these days. There was some involving the Chiefs on Tuesday:

  • Late Tuesday evening, ESPN‘s Adam Schefter tweeted that former Miami safety Yeremiah Bell (that’s him #37 dueling with WR Dwayne Bowe above) would be visiting with the Chiefs on Wednesday. Bell is an unrestricted free agent, 34 years old, who has spent the last 11 seasons with the Dolphins. He has 560 total tackles in 110 games with 75 starts. Bell also has 11 sacks, 6 interceptions and 9 forced fumbles. He made the 2009 Pro Bowl.
  • St. Joseph native and former Mizzou TE Martin Rucker tweeted “I’m a Kansas City Chief” indicating that after he took part in two days of the rookie mini-camp last week, he signed a contract with the team. No official confirmation from the Chiefs.
  • Fourth-round draft choice Devon Wylie decided that wearing the No. 83 was too much weight for him and comparisons to Wes Welker. So he tweeted that he’s changed numbers and is now wearing No. 19: “My number got changed to 19 today … Love teen#’s!”
  • St. Louis sportswriter and radio host Howard Balzer tweeted Tuesday night that the Chiefs had agreed to terms with second-round draft choice Jeff Allen out of Illinois.
  • The St. Louis Post-Dispatch tweeted in the afternoon that the Rams had signed former Chiefs right tackle Barry Richardson as an unrestricted free agent.

Chiefs Plan To Celebrate Golden Anniversary

The 2012 season will be the 50th for the Chiefs in Kansas City and the franchise has put together a list of activities to honor its past and present with their fans.

Team chairman Clark Hunt unveiled the team’s plans on Tuesday during a press conference at Union Station. It’s an eight-prong initiative to celebrate the move of the franchise to Kansas City for the 1963 American Football League season.

PERSONALIZED JERSEY

Season ticket account holders are already in the process of receiving their own Chiefs game-day jersey, personalized with name and number. The jersey also comes with a special season ticket patch (STH) along with the Lamar Hunt special AFL patch. …Read More!

Ask Bob – The Floor Is Open

With the NFL Draft and rookie mini-camp now behind us, ahead are the start of OTAs and the full-team mini-camp before the league’s players and coaches shut down before the start of training camp.

It seems as good a time as any to answer some of your questions. Just attach them on the comments and we’ll try to provide answers and thoughts as the questions roll in. The mailbox will stay open through 11:59 p.m. Thursday evening.

All subjects, opinions and emotions are welcome. Just be polite.

Leftovers from Rookie Mini-Camp

Somehow he got No. 83

From the moment that Devon Wylie was drafted by the Chiefs, the words “Wes Welker” have been part of the paragraph describing his potential in the Kansas City offense, even the special teams.

It started because they are so similar in size. Welker is 5-9, 185 pounds; Wylie is 5-9, 187 pounds.

Now, they look the same coming out of the locker room, as Wylie was assigned No. 83 by the Chiefs, the same number worn by Welker.

“I requested a number in the teens and this was one of the only 80s numbers available. It’s just what was given to me. I’m just rolling with it.”

The only numbers in the 80s that are available are 83 and 88. No one is wearing No. 86, as it’s retired to honor Hall of Fame defensive lineman Buck Buchanan. No. 88 was issued to seventh-round draft choice Junior Hemingway. …Read More!

Rookie Mini-Camp Update #6 – Romeo on Draft Picks

From the Truman Sports Complex

As the Chiefs wrapped up their three-day rookie mini-camp on Sunday afternoon, head coach Romeo Crennel was wearing a smile. The five practices held Friday, Saturday and Sunday allowed the coaching staff to get a look at the guys on the roster and a few others that want to have a slot.

Always in these situations, the attention falls first on the draft class. From Dontari Poe to Junior Hemingway everyone wants to see how the eight guys selected in rounds one through seven handle their first chance to wear the red and gold. The sad thing is there’s so very little visible to those watching practice because of limitations on physical contact and the lack of full pads in mini-camp. There’s more that can be learned in the meeting rooms, where they display their ability to handle the mental side of the game.

So, rather than give you a bunch of shallow scouting points on what the 2012 draft class did, here’s what Crennel had to say about his draft choices. There’s not much here, but some of his comments provide a clue of what Crennel thinks of some of his newest players: …Read More!

Rookie Mini-Camp Update #5 – Sunday Practice

From the Truman Sports Complex

The final day of the Chiefs three-day mini-camp wrapped up with a one-hour practice at their facilities.

“Overall the camp was a good camp,” said head coach Romeo Crennel. “We got them introduced to our system and the way we do things, what we expect of them. I think they got their eyes opened a little.

“The best part about it now is that they don’t go back home. They get to stay here and then we indoctrinated them into our off-season program, so (Monday) morning they are going to be doing individual drills with the veterans. They get to continue what we started here.”

There were 27 players on the field for the session. The Chiefs sent home nine of the 10 players they had in for tryouts, keeping only QB David LeGree for Sunday’s practice.

“We told them and we told their agents when we brought them here, it was just a tryout and we are going to sit down and decided after everything was over what we were going to do,” Crennel said.

Also missing from Sunday practice were seventh-round draft choice DT Jerome Long, who reported back to San Diego State because of finals and first-year OL Rob Bruggeman did not work because of a finger injury he suffered on Saturday.

Phase Two of the Chiefs off-season program will continue next week with the players allowed to spend time on the field with their position coaches, as long as there is no offense vs. defense session and no pads and helmets are worn. All the rookies except for Long and WR Devon Wylie are allowed to take part in that work. Both will be allowed to take part next week, after completion of finals on his campus. Their will work until the end of June, even after the veterans are finished in mid-June.

Rookie Mini-Camp Update #4 – Observations

From the Truman Sports Complex

Reaching into the notebook for tidbits and information on the 2012 rookie mini-camp that will finish up on Sunday at the Chiefs facility:

All eyes on the big man – As he went through his first NFL practice on Friday, first-round draft choice Dontari Poe felt all eyes on him. He was correct in that assessment. Media, coaches, new teammates, club personnel, all watched Poe’s every move.

Poe said it was something he expected.

“That doesn’t really concern me,” Poe said. “If I was the first pick or the last pick, I was going to come in here and put my all in. That’s what I’ll continue to do.”

Odd Personnel Decisions – Near as I’m aware, there is no real limit on the number of players that a team can bring in for their rookie mini-camp, especially with the ability to welcome tryout players that are not under contract. The Chiefs had 38 bodies in camp this weekend, with 10 players on tryout.

But oddly they had only two linebackers and one quarterback taking part. Whoever made this decision made a bad one. In fact, it’s nonsensical. There were five special teams players in camp, so this wasn’t a question of too many bodies. Since tryout guys are basically paid for room, board and travel expenses, there was a minimal outlay of money to sign a couple more linebackers and another quarterback. …Read More!

Rookie Mini-Camp Update #3 – What We Saw

From the Truman Sports Complex

Romeo Crennel and his coaching staff are putting the rookies through four practice sessions in three days for this 2012 rookie mini-camp. The Chiefs allowed the media to watch Friday afternoon’s session. For some reason, they’ve closed both workouts on Saturday, but they will allow the final practice on Sunday to be viewed.

With 38 guys getting their first taste of pro football, here are some observations on what we saw. Understand that it’s May, there were no pads and no hitting, and the veterans were nowhere to be found. Performances both good and bad should be taken with a healthy dose of skepticism.

Here’s what we noticed during the 90-minute workout:

Dontari Poe is huge – I mean huge. You could land an airplane on his backside. …Read More!

Rookie Mini-Camp Update #2 – 38 Players At Practice

From the Truman Sports Complex

There were 38 bodies on the field wearing helmets Friday afternoon in the first practice of the Chiefs 2012 rookie mini-camp.

Leading that group was first-round draft choice, NT Dontari Poe, who was one of just three defensive linemen taking part in the three-day sessions.

All eight draft choices were present, as well as all 15 undrafted rookie agents. There were five first-year players that under NFL play time rules did not play enough to disqualify them from the camp. Those were: RB Shaun Draughn, FB Shane Bannon, OL Rob Bruggeman, OL Luke Patterson and WR Jamar Newsome.

The rest of the 38 bodies were 10 players in for tryouts. Four of those were special teams players: K Jason Cunningham (Montana State), LS Tom DeTemple (Cincinnati), LS Clint Mower (Utah) and P Paul Hershey (Ohio).

The other tryout players were QB David LeGree (Hampton), WR James Winchester (Oklahoma), TE Martin Rucker (formerly from Mizzou), CB Dominique Ellis (South Carolina State), LB Leon Williams (Miami, FL) and OL Jacob Phillips (Belhaven).

Stay tuned, more details to come on what went down during the two-hour session.

Here are the 38 players by position: …Read More!

Rookie Mini-Camp Update #1 – Four Draft Picks Signed

From the Truman Sports Complex

On Thursday night, Devon Wylie became the richest person in his family when he signed a four-year contract with the Chiefs as their fourth-round draft choice. Despite the riches – the deal falls around $2.55 million overall with a $455,000 signing bonus – Wylie has made no plans for a splurge once he’s done with the team’s three-day mini-camp.

“I’ve always been stingy with money growing up,” Wylie said after completing practice Friday afternoon at the Chiefs facility. “The first thing I’m going to do is hold on to it, think about it and do something smart.”

On Friday afternoon the Chiefs announced that half of their eight-man class from the 2012 NFL Draft had signed contracts. Joining Wylie were sixth-round choice RB Cyrus Gray and seventh round selections DT Jerome Long and WR Junior Hemingway.

That leaves four more draft choices to sign, including first-round selection NT Dontari Poe. More than a half-dozen first-round draft choices have already signed contracts.

Rookies See Romeo’s First Camp . . . Weekend Cup O’Chiefs

For the first time since Christmas Eve 2011 there will be football going on at the Truman Sports Complex this weekend.

Now, the Chiefs rookie mini-camp will not confuse anyone with a regular-season game, but for spring and early summer, it’s a wonderful reminder that the season is coming, and coming fast.

Although the team has not announced a roster for camp, there will be eight draft choices, 15 undrafted free agents and likely another 15 or so players in on a tryout basis. For instance, we know that former Syracuse and Hampton QB David Legree will be working this weekend. That’s important since there aren’t any other rookie quarterbacks involved to take snaps and at least run some form of an offense.

Under the new labor agreement signed last year, there always seem to be major changes in the rules and regulations of what players are allowed to do in the off-season. The rookie mini-camp can be held either the weekend after the draft, or the next weekend. It’s all part of what the agreement calls the Rookie Football Development Program. That’s a seven-week portion of the off-season calendar that begins next Monday. It allows teams to work with rookies until the last week in June. …Read More!

Pioli Shuffles Personnel Department

When Phil Emery left to become general manager of the Chicago Bears, his spot as director of college scouting was not filled. GM Scott Pioli said he would wait until after the 2012 NFL Draft to make adjustments.

That’s just what Pioli did, making some personnel department moves that were announced on Thursday. But he did not name a replacement for Emery and that key position in the personnel department flow chart. At least he didn’t name a new director of college scouting just yet.

But he did promote regional scout Jim Nagy to a new position as national scout. The NFL scouting grapevine says it’s a one-year audition and that Nagy will eventually inherit the director’s title, maybe as early as 2013. Reportedly assistant GM Joel Collier will assume some of the duties of the director of scouting until that happens.

Nagy joined the Chiefs with Pioli in January 2009, coming over from New England, where he was an area scout in 2008. He landed in Kansas City as a regional scout, a position he held for the last four years. …Read More!

What’s Ahead For Poe . . . Thursday Cup O’Chiefs

Over the last few days more and more of the Chiefs rookie class were arriving in Kansas City for this weekend’s rookie mini-camp.

They will go through three days of meetings and low-key practices where they will get a taste of what’s to come next month with the whole team mini-camp and then the start of training camp the month after that.

One guy will not get a taste-test of what lies ahead for him come training camp and that’s first-round draft choice Dontari Poe. It would be more instructive for him if the coaching staff took him to one of the metro area’s busiest intersections and told him to walk to the middle and survive every change off light while not getting run over or hit by a car trying to beat the change.

There’s little that can prepare a young man to play nose tackle in the NFL. Even if the players were allowed to wear full pads in the mini-camp and minimal contact was allowed between offense and defense, it would not provide Poe with the type of experience he will gain during the first week of the pre-season, or in Game No. 1 of the regular season.

Romeo Crenel was quite emphatic when asked if Poe had any inkling of what was ahead of him playing at nose tackle in the Chiefs 3-4 defense.

“I sat right here and I looked him right in the eye and asked ‘You know what kind of defense we play?’” said Crenel. “I said that we’re going to be head up on them and you’re going to get double‐teamed and all those kind of good things, but if you just make the plays you’re supposed to make, you’ll make plenty of plays.” …Read More!

Top UDFAs For 2012 . . . WR Josh Bellamy

The Chiefs rookie mini-camp begin Friday with a pair of practices at the team’s facility in the Truman Sports Complex. There will be eight draft choices, 15 undrafted free agents and a host of players in for a weekend tryout. We’ve provided in depth profiles on the draft choices. Here’s a look at the five top UDFA the Chiefs signed and their chances of beating the long odds and earning a roster spot. Today it’s a versatile Florida native who played both wide receiver and cornerback last year.

——————————————————————————

Personal File

Joshua “Josh” Bellamy

Position – Wide receiver, cornerback, kick returner.

Born – May 18, 1989 in St. Petersburg, Florida.

Graduated from Boca Ciega High School in Gulfport, Florida.

Attended Butte College in Oroville, California.

Graduated from the University of Louisville with a degree in sport administration.

Physical File

  • Height – 6-feet
  • Weight – 205 pounds.
  •  40-yard dash – 4.47 seconds
  • 10-yard split – 1.57 seconds.
  • Bench press – 19 reps at 225 pounds.
  • Vertical jump – 36½ feet.
  • Broad jump – 10-feet, 4 inches.
  • 3-cone drill – 6.67 seconds. …Read More!

2012 UDFA Prospect – C/G Cam Holland

 

The Chiefs rookie mini-camp will begin on Friday with a pair of practices at the team’s facility in the Truman Sports Complex. There will be eight draft choices, 15 undrafted free agents and a host of players in for a weekend tryout. We’ve provided in depth profiles on the draft choices. Here’s a look at the five top UDFA the Chiefs signed and their chances of beating the long odds and earning a roster spot. Today it’s a blocker from the Atlantic Coast Conference.

——————————————————————————

Personal File

  • Cam Johnson
  • Position – Center, guard.
  • Born – March 26, 1989 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
  • Graduated from Perry Traditional Academy High School in Pittsburgh.
  • Attended University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.

Physical File

  • Height – 6-feet, 1 7/8 inches.
  •  Weight – 317 pounds.
  • 40-yard dash – 5.11 seconds.
  • 10-yard dash – 1.79 seconds.
  • Vertical jump – 29½ inches.
  • Bench press – 37 reps at 225 pounds.
  • Broad jump – 8-feet, 4 inches.

@ North Carolina

Holland was a three-year starter for the Tar Heels at center, leaving the lineup only when he was injured. However, there were several injuries that he had to deal with, including shoulder, neck and problems with stingers during the 2009 season, and then lower back issues during the 2011 seasons. Overall, he played in 36 games and started 31 times at UNC. …Read More!

Today’s Chiefs Eye-Test; DE Signed

 R-o-p-a-t-i P-i-t-o-i-t-u-a.

Ok, go to the next line down …

Just kidding. It’s not a line on an eye-test chart, it’s a defensive end the Chiefs announced they signed on Tuesday afternoon. They signed street free agent Ropati Pitoitua, a defensive end who played in two seasons with the New York Jets (2009, 2011).

He played in 36 games with 25 starts at Washington State, where he played after finishing up his prep career at Clover Park High School in Lakewood, Washington. The 6-8, 315 pound product signed as an undrafted free agent with the Jets in 2008. Here’s how his career with the Jets went from there:

  • 2008 – Spent the season on the Jets practice squad.
  • 2009 – Played in eight games for the Jets, finished with 3 tackles.
  • 2010 – Tore his Achilles tendon and spent year on the injured reserve list.
  • 2011 – He played in 14 games for the Jets, with 19 tackles and one sack.
  • 2012 – The Jets released him last week (May 2).

Jamaal Says His Knee is 80 Percent Ready

Call it the “Aw s&@*!” moment.

As he sat on the sidelines at Ford Field in Detroit last September, Jamaal Charles knew he was hurt. There had been a hot, searing jolt in his leg and experience told him that wasn’t a good sign. But as he sat there and talked with Chiefs trainer David Price, it was important for Charles to get to his feet and walk off the field.

He stood and with the help of Price and others, tried to take a step. That’s when he knew that hot flash of pain in his leg was something serious. His knee buckled from underneath him

“I was like ‘Aw Shi … Shucks’,” Charles said, editing himself as he spoke with the media on Tuesday at the Chiefs off-season program.  His ’11 season ended that afternoon, as he was taken off the field on a cart and within a week underwent surgery on the torn ACL in his left knee. …Read More!

UDFA Prospect . . . Neiko Thorpe

The Chiefs rookie mini-camp will begin on Friday with a pair of practices at the team’s facility in the Truman Sports Complex. There will be eight draft choices, 15 undrafted free agents and a host of players in for a weekend tryout. We’ve provided in depth profiles on the draft choices. Here’s a look at the five top UDFA the Chiefs signed and their chances of beating the long odds and earning a roster spot. We start today with a free safety out of the Southeastern Conference.

——————————————————————————

Personal File

  • ·        Neiko Thorpe
  • ·        Position – Free safety, strong safety and cornerback.
  • ·        Born – February 11, 1990 in Tucker, Georgia. 
  • ·        Graduated Tucker High School.
  • ·        Attended Auburn University.

Physical File

  • ·        Height – 6-feet, 1¼ inches.
  • ·        Weight – 198 pounds.
  • ·        40-yard dash – 4.45 seconds.
  • ·        10-yard dash – 1.55 seconds.
  • ·        Bench press – 4 reps at 225 pounds.
  • ·        Vertical jump – 38 inches.
  • ·        Broad jump – 11-feet, 5 inches.

@ Auburn University

Thorpe was a three-year starter for the Tigers, appearing in 51 games with 40 starting assignments, 27 starts coming at cornerback and 13 at free safety.  He finished his career with 279 total tackles, seven interceptions and a blocked FG that he returned for a touchdown. He was part of the Auburn team that won the national championship after the 2010 season. …Read More!

Building A Roster . . . Monday Cup O’Chiefs

Heaven knows where the 2012 Chiefs will end up come January. There is so much that will happen between the stormy days of May and the snowflakes of the new year. I know that I’m in the minority of folks who visit this site when it comes thinking this year’s roster as presently constituted is not improved enough to better last year’s 7-9 record. There’s still time for roster improvements that could help achieve a winning equation.

But it got me to wondering about the way this team is being built, compared to the way things have been done in the past. Specifically, the past as it pertains to the Hunt Family franchise. So let’s take a moment and look at how the 2012 Chiefs are being pulled together compared to the 1993 Chiefs team that advanced to the AFC Championship Game. That team’s victory over the Oilers in Houston’s Astrodome in January ’94 was the last post-season positive for the Chiefs.

Separated by nearly two full decades, these two teams actually share some traits. The ’12 Chiefs are year No. 4 of the Scott Pioli Era; the ’93 Chiefs were year No. 5 of the Carl Peterson Era. Both teams were coming off seasons where they had taken a step backwards. The current Chiefs went 7-9 after going 10-6 in the 2010 season. The ’93 Chiefs were coming of a 10-6 season that ended when they were shutout in the first-round of the playoffs by San Diego, 17-0. …Read More!

Notes, Quotes and Bits Stamped Chiefs

Why Retired Players Go Broke

There’s been a lot of talk in recent months about pro football players who find themselves in physical, mental, emotional and financial distress after their days on the field have ended. Over three years ago, the NFL Players Association reported that three in four retired players were in financial distress within two years of retiring from the game.

How do those things happen? Here’s an example, just popping up in the news down in South Carolina this past week.

Former Chiefs first-round draft choice Ryan Sims (right) had used some of the money he’s made from 10 seasons in the league to buy a nightclub in his hometown of Spartanburg, South Carolina. No word on how much money Sims is putting into the business and he refused to take questions from the local newspaper about his purchase.

But the Spartanburg Journal reports that the downtown night club has been “embroiled in controversy” and in fact the owner is selling and does not want to deal with city officials, city police and others that have created headlines, including assault charges against owner Joe Wells and a fight between himself and a Spartanburg city councilman.

“I’ve lost a million dollars in this because the city didn’t know how to manage a nightclub,” Wells said.

For many years, bars, restaurants and nightclubs have been one of the biggest dark financial holes that athletes have thrown their money in. There isn’t a legitimate financial adviser alive that would have recommended Sims invest his money in a club that is losing money and fighting with the city over legal issues.

It’s the first chapter in what will probably lead to another chapter . . . chapter 11 and bankruptcy. …Read More!

Answers To Some Draft/Chiefs Comments

Ever so slowly there is a nice pace of life coming about for your humble Internet hack. The NFL Draft is a busy time, not just the week of the draft but in the months leading into the three-day event.

It started right after the season ended, rolled through the Senior Bowl, Super Bowl and the NFL Combine. After that, came hours and hours of time in front of the screen and on the phone.

My life stacked up on me, and this week I’ve been trying to work my way through all the stuff that’s been set aside. Part of that is keeping up on your comments. Generally, that’s something I read on a regular basis and react accordingly. Usually that means not reacting, because if you are part of this site, you’ve paid your way, and you have the right to write any type of polite opinion you wish.

If you’ve been with us for the whole life of bobgretz.com then you know I don’t do much in the way of censorship on this site. We’ve got our list of words that will get you sent to the sin bin. Personal attacks against other posters and commentators are not going to be allowed. Differences of opinion are allowed, as is emotional and passionate discourse on all matters. Sometimes your post ends up in limbo, but that’s usually because of some combination of letters and words that pushed it there, not opinion or emotion. …Read More!

Seau’s Death Another Chapter In A Tragic History

Pulling up the news reports early Wednesday afternoon of Junior Seau’s suicide in San Diego, one name quickly ran through my head:

Jim Tyrer.

There are a lot of football fans who think the emotional problems involving football players that have them taking their own lives has only popped up recently. Chicago Bears safety Dave Duerson and Seau are simply the next chapters in what’s already been a very long book, one that will bring more and more chapters in the coming years.

We now have what might be an explanation for what would cause men like Duerson and Seau to take their lives. It’s called CTE, chronic traumatic encephalopathy, and it’s caused by frequent blows to the head. Researchers in West Virginia, Pittsburgh, Boston and North Carolina have done studies of the brains of former players like Duerson and found common characteristics of plaque buildup in the brain that creates emotional and psychological problems. Duerson had CTE. We don’t know yet about Seau, but the reason he shot himself in the chest was to save his brain for study so eventually we will know.

Whether or not Tyrer suffered from CTE will never be known. It was 32 years ago this September when Tyrer took his life and that of his wife Martha in a murder-suicide that rocked the football world. Tyrer was one of the greatest players in Chiefs history, and was part of the all-time American Football League team. At 6-6, 270 pounds, he was one of the giants of the game, the AFL’s best left tackle, possibly the game’s best. He was also a gentleman, soft-spoken, down to earth, just a boy from Ohio who played football. He was loved by his teammates and respected by his fans, the media, even opponents. …Read More!

Closing Out The Draft . . . Thursday Cup O’Chiefs

The early top 3 in the 2013 NFL Draft should be QB Matt Barkley, RB Montee Ball and WR Sammy Watkins.

——————————

I knew it would be only a matter of hours after the 2012 NFL Draft ended on Saturday that an Internet jockey somewhere would post the first mock draft for 2013. It turned out to be only a matter of minutes.

There are still a lot of items left to cover with this year’s draft to be spending time, energy and bytes on next year. It’s always been my view that the only thing more useless than a mock draft is grading a draft in the moments after completion. That would make a future mock draft the ultimate in silliness.

But that’s the type of hold the NFL Draft has on sports fans and the NFL has exploited that interest with three days of the draft on television, including two days in primetime. A week ago, the first round of the draft drew more than 25 million viewers, an increase over the year before of 18 percent.

So here you go, here’s the top 10 players in next year’s draft: …Read More!

Junior Seau Dead By Self-Inflicted Gun Shot

Incredibly sad news out of San Diego is that sometime Wednesday morning, former Chargers LB Junior Seau died in an apparent suicide at his home in suburban Oceanside.

News reports in southern California quote police sources as saying it was a self-inflicted gunshot in his chest that killed him. He was discovered around 9:30 a.m. PDT by his girl friend in a bedroom at his $3 million beachfront home in Oceanside, the town where he grew up and went on to become a football legend..

The 43-old Seau played 20 seasons in the NFL, most of those with the San Diego Chargers where he was one of the greatest players in the history of the franchise. He finished his career in three seasons in Miami and then four seasons in New England.

The fact he shot himself in the chest mirrors the suicide several years ago by former Chicago safety Dave Duerson, who after suffering years of depression shot himself n the chest and left a note asking that his brain be studied for any lasting effects from blows to the head suffered in playing football. …Read More!

More Work To Do . . . Wednesday Cup O’Chiefs

What would Jabar Gaffney (left), Dallas Clark (middle) and O.J. Atogwe (right) look like in red?

————————————————–

The first rush of free agency passed weeks ago. The NFL Draft ended last Saturday. The chase after undrafted rookie free agents is wrapping up now.

A big part of the personnel push in the NFL is over. But now is not time to stop, or take a rest.

The NFL roster limit is 90 players. With 59 on their list, the Chiefs added eight more in the NFL Draft and then 15 undrafted free agents. That’s 82 players on the Chiefs roster as of Tuesday evening. That includes franchise player WR Dwayne Bowe.

GM Scott Pioli is leaving a few spots open between now and the start of training camp.

“There are some veteran free agents out there already and I don’t know what the rumor mill has or hasn’t heard, but there are a number of veteran players that are about to become free agents in the next couple days here,” Pioli said.

“We don’t have to be at 90. It’s nice to have that cushion, so we’ll eventually get there by training camp I would assume.”

Those eight spots are going to be very important to the Chiefs. Very, very, very important. …Read More!

2012 NFL Draft Almanac

Wrapping up the 2012 NFL Draft with a few tidbits of information and observations on what went down on Thursday, Friday and Saturday through seven rounds and 253 selections.

In all, the draft lasted 14 hours, 5 minutes over those two nights and one afternoon, from QB Andrew Luck at pick No. 1 to QB Chandler Harnish at pick No. 253. The longest round was the first, but it went down in three hours and was one of the fastest first rounds in recent seasons. The fastest round was the fifth-round that took just 1-hour and 39 minutes.

Here are a few other numbers and picks that make for interesting contemplation about the draft:

2012 NFL Draft – Seventh Round

#

Team Player

Pos.

HT

WT

College Notes

1-208.

Indianapolis Justin Anderson

G

6-4

335

Georgia OFF102, G17

2-209.

St. Louis Aaron Brown

LB

6-0

237

Hawaii DEF102, LB25

3-210.

Minnesota Audie Cole

LB

6-4

246

N.C. State DEF103, LB26

4-211.

Tennessee * Scott Solomon

DE

6-3

262

Rice DEF104, DE18

5-212.

Tampa Bay Mike Smith

RB

5-9

205

Utah State OFF103, RB17

6-213.

Washington Richard Crawford

CB

5-11

189

SMU DEF105, CB24

7-214.

Indianapolis * Tim Fugger

LB

6-3

248

Vanderbilt DEF106, LB27

8-215.

Miami Kheeston Randall

DT

6-4

293

Texas DEF107, DT18

9-216.

Carolina D.J. Campbell

FS

6-0

201

California DEF108, S17

10-217.

Washington * Jordan Bernstine

SS

5-10

210

Iowa DEF109, S18

11-218.

CHIEFS JEROME LONG

DT

6-5

285

San Diego State DEF110, DT19

12-219.

Minnesota * Trevor Guyton

DT

6-3

285

California DEF111, DT20

13-220.

Chicago Greg McCoy

CB

5-10

181

TCU DEF112, CB25

14-221.

Arizona Nate Potter

OT

6-6

303

Boise State OFF104, T20

15-222.

Dallas Caleb McSurdy

LB

6-1

245

Montana DEF113, LB28

16-223.

Detroit * Travis Lewis

LB

6-1

246

Oklahoma DEF114, LB29

17-224.

New England * Alfonzo Dennard

CB

5-10

204

Nebraska DEF115, CB26

18-225.

Seattle * J.R. Sweezy

OT

6-5

298

N.C. State OFF105, T21

19-226.

San Diego David Molk

C

6-0

298

Michigan OFF106, C3

20-227.

Miami * Rishard Matthews

WR

6-0

212

Nevada OFF107, WR29

21-228.

Jacksonville * Jeris Pendleton

DT

6-2

328

Ashland DEF116, DT21

22-229.

Philadelphia * Bryce Brown #

RB

6-0

223

Kansas State OFF108, RB18

23-230.

Oakland * Nathan Stupar

LB

6-2

241

Penn State DEF117, LB30

24-231.

Pittsburgh Toney Clemons

WR

6-2

210

Colorado OFF109, WR30

25-232.

Seattle * Greg Scruggs

DE

6-3

284

Louisville DEF118, DE21

26-233.

Tampa Bay * Drake Dunsmore

TE

6-2

241

Northwestern OFF110, TE11

27-234.

New Orleans Marcel Jones

OT

6-6

320

Nebraska OFF111, T22

28-235.

New England * Jeremy Ebert

WR

5-11

200

Northwestern OFF112, WR31

29-236.

Baltimore DeAngelo Tyson

DE

6-2

315

Georgia DEF119, DE22

30-237.

San Francisco Cam Johnson

LB

6-3

268

Virginia DEF120, LB33

31-238.

CHIEFS * JUNIOR HEMINGWAY

WR

6-1

225

Michigan OFF113, WR32

32-239.

N.Y. Giants (c) Markus Kuhn

DT

6-4

299

N.C. State DEF121. DT19

33-240.

Pittsburgh(c) David Paulson

TE

6-3

245

Oregon OFF114, TE12

34-241.

Green Bay(c) Andrew Datko

OT

6-6

315

Florida State OFF115, T23

35-242.

N.Y. Jets(c) Antonio Allen

SS

6-1

210

South Carolina DEF122, S18

36-243.

Green Bay(c) B.J. Coleman

QB

6-3

233

Ten-Chattanooga OFF116, QB10

37-244.

N.Y. Jets(c) Jordan White

WR

6-0

208

W. Michigan OFF117, WR33

38-245.

Cleveland(c) Trevin Wade

CB

5-10

192

Arizona DEF123, CB31

39-246.

Pittsburgh(c) Terrence Frederick

CB

5-10

187

Texas A&M DEF124, CB32

40-247.

Cleveland(c) Brad Smelley

RB

6-2

237

Alabama OFF118, RB19

41-248.

Pittsburgh(c) Kelvin Beachum

OT

6-2

303

SMU OFF119, T24

42-249.

Atlanta(c) Travian Robertson

NT

6-4

302

South Carolina DEF125, DT20

43-250.

San Diego(c) Edwin Baker #

RB

5-8

204

Michigan State OFF120, RB20

44-251.

Buffalo(c) John Potter

K

6-1

219

W. Michigan ST6, K4

45-252.

St. Louis(c) Daryl Richardson

RB

5-10

192

Abilene Christian OFF121, RB21

46-253.

Indianapolis (c) Chandler Harnish

QB

6-2

219

Northern Illinois OFF122, QB11

*-picks that were traded. (c)-compensatory picks. #-underclassmen selected.

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