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NFL Statistically Speaking – Longest Plays By Club 2011

Everybody loves the big play in the NFL. Last year, the Chiefs were seriously deficient in plays that chalked off big chunks of yardage. The longest play they could manage was a 52 yard TD pass from QB Matt Cassel to WR Dwayne Bowe. It was the offense’s only play of more than 50 yards. Only one other offense had more trouble getting big plays than the Chiefs – Washington Redskins. The longest play that Mike Shanahan’s offense produced was a 51-yard catch and run by WR Donte Stallworth.

At the other end of the spectrum were New England and the New York Giants that both had 99-yard TD pass plays. They were also the teams that played in the Super Bowl.

If the Chiefs are going to move from pretender to contender, they are going to need bigger plays on offense.

Here are the longest offensive plays for all 32 NFL teams during the 20112 season: …Read More!

AFC West 2012 Analysis – Offensive Weapon

We are analyzing the four teams in the AFC West on a position-by-position basis. We used about a half-dozen sources for our evaluation, relying on pro personnel scouts around the league who get paid to evaluate NFL players. As we go along through positions, we’ll keep a scoreboard and find out which of the four teams has the most talented roster (on paper); in this case it will be the team with the fewest points. Points match where they are listed; example, the No. 3 spot means 3 points. Offensive weapon is considered a non-starter or immediate backup who could change the face of the team’s offensive attack at any time.

AFC WEST 2012 SCOREBOARD (thru offensive weapon) – Chargers 36, Chiefs 37, Raiders 41, Broncos 46.

Offensive weapon

1. Jacoby Ford, Oakland

5-9, 185 pounds, born 7/27/1987, 3rd NFL season, selected in 4th-round ’10 by Raiders; 24 games with 44 catches for 749 yards and 3 TDs, and 14 carries for 186 yards and 2 TDs, including a 71-yard run.

Ford has made his mark largely as a returner for the Raiders, but Chiefs fans know that he can make it happen on offense as well. In 2010, he caught six passes for 148 yards against the Chiefs in Oakland, and came back in Kansas City to score on a 10-yard run as the Raiders swept both of those games. Despite his small size, Ford has been sure-handed, fumbling just once. He only had the ball thrown towards him 33 times last season, catching 19 passes. It didn’t help that he did not play in half the season, and was on the field for just 219 offensive plays. If he can stay healthy, Carson Palmer will find a way to use him. …Read More!

Chiefs History By Numbers – Same Game, Double 100s

Friday was the 29th anniversary of the death of Joe Delaney. On June 29, 1982, Delaney drowned in a Louisiana construction pond trying to save several youngsters who like him were unable to swim. It brought an end a short but brilliant career for the Chiefs running back. Delaney’s most productive game came on October 11, 1981 when he racked up one-hundred yards in both rushing and receiving against the Oakland Raiders at Arrowhead Stadium.

Delaney was one of four Chiefs backs that have pulled off double-doubles in a total of five games:

Chiefs RBs with 100+ Rushing Yards & 100+ Receiving Yards in Same Game

Back

Date

Opp

Att

Yds

TD

 

Rec

Yds

TD

Priest Holmes
11/224/02
@ SEA
23
197
2
 
7
110
1
Priest Holmes
12/09/01
@ OAK
28
106
0
 
3
104
0
Abner Haynes
9/27/64
@ OAK
12
106
0
 
5
117
1
Joe Delaney
10/11/81
OAK
28
106
0
 
3
194
0
Tony Reed
10/21/79
NYG
20
106
0
 
8
103
0

A Time To Remember Joe

It was on June 29, 1983 that Chiefs running back Joe Delaney died in a Louisiana construction pond.

Several generations of Chiefs fans have been born and raised on the exploits of the red and gold without having any understanding of what the team and the Chiefs Nation lost on that sweltering June day. The Chiefs have 89 players on their roster right now, waiting for the start of training camp in less than a month, and 80 of those players were not born when Delaney died trying to save three kids who had jumped into a pond left over from the construction of a nearby water park.

Delaney went in the water to save those kids even though he did not know how to swim. One child survived, another made it into an emergency room where he passed away. The third died in the water with Delaney.

Just months before that tragic day I had been with Delaney in his hometown of Haughton, Louisiana; that’s where he was recovering from surgery on a detached retina that limited his effectiveness during the 1982 season. Full sight in the eye had not yet returned, but that didn’t stop Joe from driving his car around the dusty streets of Haughton. The car also included a small television set, something that was quite out of the ordinary for the time. Joe would cruise the streets, hold a conversation and watch soap operas all at the same time and all with one eye. I never felt in danger in the passenger’s seat because Joe never got going more than 10 miles per hour in that car; he stopped and talked to everyone on the street or sitting on their porch.

With his passing the Chiefs did not lose just a talented running back. They lost one of the best teammates the guys in the locker room ever had. Even in his rookie season, Delaney became a leader of that team simply through his hard work, performance and his easy-going demeanor. He was always the first one in the locker room every day, sitting in front of his locker, drinking a cup of coffee and saying hello to everyone as they walked in while wearing a big smile.

R.I.P. Joe. We miss you.

AFC West 2012 Analysis – Fullback

We are analyzing the four teams in the AFC West on a position-by-position basis. We used about a half-dozen sources for our evaluation, relying on pro personnel scouts around the league who get paid to evaluate NFL players. As we go along through positions, we’ll keep a scoreboard and find out which of the four teams has the most talented roster (on paper); in this case it will be the team with the fewest points. Points match where they are listed; example, the No. 3 spot means 3 points.

AFC WEST 2012 SCOREBOARD (thru FB) – Chargers 33, Chiefs 35, Raiders 40, Broncos 42.

Fullback

1. Marcel Reece, Oakland

6-3, 240 pounds, born 6/23/1985, 5th NFL season, signed as UDFA ’08 by Miami, signed as FA ’08 by Raiders, in 30 games he’s run for 234 yards on 47 carries, catching 54 passes for 654 yards and a total of 6 TDs, in the ’11 season he had 654 offensive yards on 54 TDs with 5 scores.

Reece has been most effective for the Raiders as a blocker and a receiver, catching 5 TD passes in his time with the Raiders. Like most of the Raiders, he’s had some injury problems over the years and his availability has been in question; he missed 4 games last season. He was tendered in the off-season as an ERFA and missed mini-camp and most of the Raiders OTA sessions. Coaches say they want to get him even more involved in the team’s passing attack this season. …Read More!

A Peak At Chiefs History – Len Dawson Stats

Len Dawson will be honored at the Pro Football Hall of Fame in August for his broadcasting career. He’s already been honored for his playing career, with his induction into the Hall with the class of 1987.

In his 14 seasons with the franchise, Dawson was the most successful passer for the longest period in Chiefs history. Based on passer rating numbers, here are his five favorite opponents to play against during his career:

Opponent

W/L

Att

Cmp

Yds

TD

INT

Rating

Miami

5-1

122

72

1,191

15

5

114.4

Denver

20-2

460

252

4,095

37

18

95.3

Houston

11-4

321

194

2,646

26

16

93.0

New England

9-2-2

352

206

2,812

23

16

87.0

Buffalo

5-8-1

324

182

2,429

21

16

81.2

Minimum of 6 games played against an opponent.

Lenny Is Still Cool . . . Weekend Cup O’Chiefs

His voice was a bit fainter than normal, but then that’s a by-product of what has been a memorable week for Len Dawson.

Early in the week Dawson was in the hospital after getting a pacemaker implanted in his chest. When he was discharged, he got the news from the folks at the Pro Football Hall of Fame that he’s the 2012 Pete Rozelle Radio & Television Award honoree.

“I would bet the EKG would have shown my heart rate increased when I got the news,” said Dawson, belying just for a few seconds the “Lenny the Cool” label that he earned as a Hall of Fame quarterback for the Chiefs. “I was very surprised and very honored.”

It’s a well deserved honor. Twenty-five years after his induction into the Hall as a player, he’s being honored for his second career in broadcasting, where he also enjoyed success on a local and national level. Most men are lucky to reach the highest level of their profession once in their life, let alone twice. But then few men have had the drive and determination that Dawson has displayed over the last 50 years. That’s when he first came to Kansas City with the Dallas Texans and never left.

“I’m proud of what I did in broadcasting from working at KMBC and Inside the NFL at HBO and Chiefs radio,” Dawson said. “But an honor like this is not something you ever expect to see . . . it’s a great, great honor.

“It’s been quite a year.” …Read More!

The Cardinals are Coming

The Chiefs made it official on Thursday, announcing that they’ll practice with the Arizona Cardinals during training camp at Missouri Western State University this August.

The Cardinals will be in St. Joseph the week of August 5th. On that Sunday, Arizona will play in the annual Hall of Fame Game in Canton, Ohio. They’ll travel to St. Joe the next day. On Friday of that week, the Chiefs and Cardinals play at Arrowhead Stadium. No practice details were announced, but it’s likely both teams will practice on Tuesday, August 7th and Wednesday, August 8th. There’s a chance Thursday, August 9th may be a third practice, but given that it’s the day before the pre-season game, it’s likely both teams will hold individual workouts.

The visitors from the desert will dress at the school’s Baker Family Fitness Center, next door to Spratt Stadium where they will hold their individual practice sessions. The team will stay in Griffon Hall, which is next to Scanlon Hall, where the Chiefs stay during their time in camp.

It’s the first time that another NFL team has traveled to western half of the state to practice against the Chiefs. It was a common part of training camp for the team when they worked in River Falls, Wisconsin, as they practiced against New Orleans and Minnesota at various times.

Arizona is led by All-Pro WR Larry Fitzgerald and DT Darnell Dockett and last year’s rookie standout CB Patrick Peterson.

AFC West Analysis – Running Back #2

We are analyzing the four teams in the AFC West on a position-by-position basis. We used about a half-dozen sources for our evaluation, relying on pro personnel scouts around the league who get paid to evaluate NFL players. As we go along through positions, we’ll keep a scoreboard and find out which of the four teams has the most talented roster (on paper); in this case it will be the team with the fewest points. Points match where they are listed; example, the No. 3 spot means 3 points.

AFC WEST 2012 SCOREBOARD (thru RB #2) – Chargers 31, Chiefs 31, Raiders 39, Broncos 39.

Running Back #2

1. Knowshon Moreno, Denver

5-11, 200 pounds, born 7/16/1987, 4th NFL season, selected in 1st-round ’09 by the Broncos, played in 36 games, running for 1,905 yards on 466 carries, caught 76 passes for 686 yards; he played in ust 7 games in ’11, with just 280 offensive yards on 48 touches.

Moreno has shown he has a problem with availability in his short three years in Denver, including missing nine games last season because of a torn ACL suffered against the Chiefs in November. He’ll likely start the season on the Physically Unable to Perform list. If he’s healthy, he’s among the division’s best runners. The Georgia product has the speed and moves to be the featured back in the offense. If he’s healthy, the pairing with Willis McGahee would give John Fox and Peyton Manning a nice Plan B attack to go with Manning throwing the ball. …Read More!

I Believe Fujita . . . Thursday Cup O’Chiefs

There haven’t been many bytes used here to discuss the entire bounty story involving the New Orleans Saints. It’s not that there hasn’t been interest on my part in the episode, because I do think it’s an important story in the world of professional football.

I do not think the basic story is as big as it has become, but then that’s life in today’s 24-hour cycle of news. The media beast must always feed and the caloric content has to keep being pushed up. I think what’s happened after the bounty plan became public is the story here. The he said, she said aspect of what’s gone down over the last few months is the bigger story.

Investigations, punishment, suspensions, fines, appeals – it’s not be a pretty sight for a league that prides itself on operating at the highest level of sport and business. The dysfunctional nature of the aftermath says far more about the state of the NFL than the actual bounty payments the Saints were involved in over the last few seasons. …Read More!

Dawson Will Be Honored For Broadcasting Career

Len Dawson is already in the Pro Football Hall of Fame thanks to his accomplishments from his 19-season career in the AFL and NFL.

Now, he’s being honored for his work off-the field, as a football broadcaster. The Hall of Fame will announce on Thursday that Dawson will be the 2012 winner of the Pete Rozelle Radio-Television Award. He will be honored during ceremonies the weekend of August 3-5 in Canton, Ohio.

The Rozelle Award has been given since 1989 and is named after the former NFL Commissioner who helped usher the league into the modern era, including merger with Lamar Hunt’s AFL. Others who have been honored over the years have been Lindsey Nelson, Chris Schenkel, Curt Gowdy, Pat Summerall, Dick Enberg, Roone Arledge, John Madden, Don Meredith and last year’s honoree, Jim Nantz.

Dawson’s broadcasting career actually began long before his playing career ended when he retired after the 1975 season. Beginning in radio, he was named sports director of KMBC-TV in 1966. That’s a role he held until 2009 when he “retired.” He still can be seen on Channel 9 during Chiefs season or in helping out during the week.

Right after his playing career ended, he was hired by NBC-TV as a color commentator for their NFL broadcasts, a position he held until 1982. That’s when he began handling the color commentary on radio broadcasts for the Chiefs Radio Network, a position he still fills 30 years later.

He was also one of the hosts of the long-running HBO program “Inside the NFL”, holding that spot for 24 seasons (1978-01.)

Dawson was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame for his playing career 25 years ago, as part of the Class of 1987.

The Odds Are In . . . Chiefs 50-1 Shots

It’s a busy time of the year in pro football and all of it is happening off-the-field. It seems like every day the mailman brings a new package with a pre-season football magazine or the e-mail box starts to groan under the weight of messages about fantasy football and the odds facing NFL teams going into the season.

BetVega.com has the Chiefs as 50-1 shots at winning the Super Bowl. That ranks them in the top half of the league, tied up with Buffalo, Miami, Seattle, Tennessee and Washington. Today’s mail brought Phil Steele’s Pro Football Preview and Fantasy Football Guide and his College 2012 Football Preview. Steele also has them ranked at 50-1. The National Football Post does a good job on a daily basis of updating odds changing news for college and pro football. A host of other sites with pre-season football odds and fantasy football information can be found at sportsbook review.

All of these sites and publications have arrived at the same conclusion – they believe the Chiefs are a middle of the pack contender, lining up somewhere behind New England, Pittsburgh, Houston, Baltimore and the New York Jets. They are aligned in these early prognostications with San Diego, Denver, Buffalo, Cincinnati and Tennessee.

Over in the NFC, the favorite is Green Bay at 13-2 odds, trailed by San Francisco (10-1), Philadelphia (14-1), the defending champion New York Giants, Chicago and New Orleans (all listed at 18-1 odds).

AFC WEST 2012 Analysis – Running Back #1

We are analyzing the four teams in the AFC West on a position-by-position basis. We used about a half-dozen sources for our evaluation, relying on pro personnel scouts around the league who get paid to evaluate NFL players. As we go along through positions, we’ll keep a scoreboard and find out which of the four teams has the most talented roster (on paper); in this case it will be the team with the fewest points. Points match where they are listed; example, the No. 3 spot means 3 points.

AFC WEST 2012 SCOREBOARD (thru RB #1) – Chargers 28, Chiefs 29, Raiders 35, Broncos 38.

RUNNING BACK

1. Jamaal Charles, Chiefs

5-11, 199 pounds, born 12/27/1986, 5th NFL season, 3nd-round choice ’08 by Chiefs, missed 14 games last year with a torn left ACL injured in the second game of the season in Detroit, he had just 12 carries for 83 yards and 5 catches for 9 yards and a TD, over his career he has run for 3,027 yards on 499 carries, with 1,046 receiving yards.

Of all the injuries suffered by the Chiefs last year, losing Charles in the first-half of the second game of the season proved to be an injury the K.C. offense was never able to overcome. Charles says his rehab has gone well and that he’ll be on track to be a full contributor for the season opener. He says he’s even faster than he was before the injury. That maybe a bit of dreaming, because torn ACLs can be notoriously balky for running backs trying to co me back, especially speed backs like Charles. There’s no question that when healthy, he’s the most productive back in the division. Darren McFadden probably has more ability, but he’s injury prone and can’t stay on the field. When he’s on the field, Charles is the class of the division. …Read More!

AFC West 2012 Analysis – Backup QB

As the NFL heads into its pre-training camp vacation, most team’s rosters are set for the start of the pre-season. In this series, we analyze the four teams in the AFC West position-by-position. We used about a half-dozen sources for our evaluation, relying on pro personnel scouts around the league. As we go along, we’ll keep score and find out which of the four teams has the most talented roster (on paper); in this case it will be the team with the fewest points. Points match where they are listed; example, the No. 3 spot means 9 points.

AFC WEST 2012 SCOREBOARD (thru QB#2Backup)–Chargers 26, Chiefs 28, Raiders 32, Broncos 34.

1. Matt Leinart, Raiders

6-5, 232 pounds, born 5/11/1983, 7th NFL season, UFA signed ’12 by Raiders, signed as street free agent ’10 Texans, 1st-round choice ’06 by Cardinals, appeared in 31 games with 18 starts.

Leinart has had a disappointing career after winning the Heisman Trophy while he was at Southern Cal and playing for national championships. He flamed out in Arizona, where it was Kurt Warner who led the Cardinals to the Super Bowl. He spent two years in Houston and made one start. His opportunity for more playing time with the Texans disappeared when he suffered an injury in ’11. Leinart has now signed with the Raiders, where he will either be No. 2 behind starter Carson Palmer or No. 3 behind Palmer and Terrelle Pryor. In his 18 starts, Leinart’s team finished 8-10; that’s easily the most experienced backup player in the division. In his few opportunities to play, he’s not shown anything special. …Read More!

2012 Chiefs Are (pick one) – Young or Inexperienced

It’s was a popular refrain around the Chiefs in 2008. That’s when former head coach Herm Edwards convinced President-GM Carl Peterson that it was time for the franchise to build with young players.

Youth would be served on that ’08 Chiefs team that had 24 rookies and first-year players on the field over 16 games.

It also helped serve up a 2-14 record, one that got Peterson shoved into early retirement and Edwards fired by the organization.

At least outwardly, nobody around the Chiefs is talking about the 2012 team as being among the youngest in the league. But without major veteran additions between now and the start of the regular season, it will be young, very young and inexperienced, possibly the most inexperienced roster in the league.

Right now, the Chiefs are the only team in the league that does not have a veteran player on its roster with at least 10 seasons or more of league experience. …Read More!

Chiefs Stats: Career Rush Yards Active Opponent

The Chiefs were not sorry to see Michael Bush leave Oakland and sign with the Chicago Bears as a free agent. Among active NFL running backs, nobody has run for more yards against the Chiefs than Bush did in seven games with the Raiders.

Here are the best active runners against the Chiefs defense:

#

Player

Team(s)

Yrs

G

Att

Yds

TD

1.

Michael Bush

OAK

2008-11

7

109

567

2

2.

Knowshon Moreno

DEN

2009-11

5

84

455

4

3.

Fred Jackson

BUF

2008-11

4

69

331

0

4.

Darren McFadden

OAK

2008-11

6

63

316

2

5.

Ryan Mathews

SD

2010-11

4

70

298

3

6.

Maurice Jones-Drew

JAX

2006-10

4

66

272

3

7.

Willis McGahee

BUF/DEN

2005-11

4

62

272

1

8.

Chris Johnson

TEN

2008-10

2

32

226

1

9.

Marshawn Lynch

BUF/SEA

2008-10

3

39

183

1

10.

Adrian Peterson

MIN

2007-11

2

48

182

1

AFC West 2012 Analysis – Starting Quarterback

As the NFL heads into its pre-training camp vacation, most team’s rosters are set for the start of the pre-season. In this series, we analyze the four teams in the AFC West position-by-position. We used about a half-dozen sources for our evaluation, relying on pro personnel scouts around the league. As we go along, we’ll keep score and find out which of the four teams has the most talented roster (on paper); in this case it will be the team with the fewest points. Points match where they are listed; example, the No. 3 spot means 9 points.

AFC WEST 2012 SCOREBOARD (thru QB#1) –Chargers 23, Chiefs 26, Broncos 30, Raiders 31.

1. Peyton Manning, Broncos    

6-5, 230 pounds, born 3/24/1976, 14th NFL season, signed as FA in ’12 by Broncos, 1st-round choice in ’98 by Colts, played 13 seasons with Indianapolis, playing and starting in 208 games and establishing a remarkable career numbers – 7,210 attempts, 4,682 completions, 54,828 passing yards, 399 TD passes and 198 INTs with a career passer rating of 94.9.

We talked with six NFL pro personnel scouts in preparing this series. Five of them had the division quarterbacks rated the same – Manning, Rivers, Palmer and Cassel. One reversed the first two, listing Rivers ahead of Manning. I asked why. “Read me Rivers’ stat line for last year,” he said. “Now, read me Manning’s.” Well there was none for Manning since he did not play in 2011. The scout’s point was just that – no one has any idea what Manning will deliver to the Broncos. It’s tough to miss a season of play, especially for a player that is 36 years old and suffering from a neck injury that required multiple surgeries. Whether Manning will be able to get back to at least some level of the play that he’s familiar with is one of the top stories in the NFL for the 2012 season. The transition to a new team, new offense and new surroundings all may be too much to overcome in one season. But if there’s any QB that can pull it off, it’s Manning. …Read More!

Chiefs Stats: Most Career Rush Yards By Opponent

Last week’s retirement by RB LaDainian Tomlinson sent the all-time career leading rusher against the Chiefs to the sidelines. Over his career, L.T. racked up 1,504 yards in 18 games on 334 carries. He’s the only back in 52 seasons that broke the 1,000-yard level against red and gold defenses.

Here are the top 10 career rushers against the Chiefs:

#

Player

Team(s)

Yrs

G

Att

Yds

TD

1.

LaDainian Tomlinson

SD/NYJ

2001-11

18

334

1,504

13

2.

Marcus Allen

LARAD

1982-92

17

264

961

8

3.

Terrell Davis

DEN

1995-2001

10

208

904

8

4.

Curt Warner

SEA

1983-89

12

193

775

7

5.

Mark van Eeghen

OAK

1974-80

14

187

747

4

6.

Clinton Portis

DEN/WAS

2002-09

6

117

745

10

7.

Franco Harris

PIT

1972-82

8

157

728

8

8.

Marv Hubbard

OAK

1970-75

11

158

710

6

9.

John L. Williams

SEA

1986-93

16

154

679

2

10.

Chris Warren

SEA

1990-97

15

162

671

3

A Pot of Chiefs Gumbo From the Weekend

Just off America’s highways and byways after a week “down the shore.”  I’m telling you, we’ve got to get us an ocean here in the Midwest. Nothing seems so tough or bad after a few days of filling your lungs full of salt air and sticking your toes in the sand. Most amazing sight during 10 days away came just outside Florence, South Carolina – gas selling for $2.89 a gallon. Never thought I would see it under $3 again in my lifetime.

On to a few football items I collected while gone.

For awhile, LaDainian Tomlinson had competition

LaDainian Tomlinson announced his retirement last week, bringing an official end to one of the best careers in the history of pro football. At his best, L.T. was the top running back in the NFL and the talk of his entrance into the Pro Football Hall of Fame is worthy consideration at this point. He has the stats, the longevity, the versatility; the only thing lacking is a championship.

As good as he was, there were times when Tomlinson wasn’t the league’s best back, or even the best running back in the AFC West. That guy was in Kansas City. In their best seasons, Priest Holmes was an equal to Tomlinson and in some cases a tad better. What Holmes did not have was the longevity and durability that L.T. played with through most of his career. Tomlinson was eight seasons into his career before he started breaking down. Holmes couldn’t match that. …Read More!

AFC West 2012 Analysis – Wide Receiver #3

As the NFL heads into its pre-training camp vacation, most team’s rosters are set for the start of the pre-season. In this series, we analyze the four teams in the AFC West position-by-position. We used about a half-dozen sources for our evaluation, relying on pro personnel scouts around the league. As we go along, we’ll keep score and find out which of the four teams has the most talented roster (on paper); in this case it will be the team with the fewest points. Points match where they are listed; example, the No. 3 spot means 9 points.

AFC WEST 2012 SCOREBOARD (thru WR#3) –Chargers 21, Chiefs 22, Raiders 28, Broncos 29.

1. Brandon Stokley, Broncos    

6-0, 192 pounds, born 6/23/1976, 13th NFL season, signed as FA in ’12 by Broncos, 4th-round choice in ’99 by Ravens, also played for Colts, Seahawks, Giants and had an earlier stint with Broncos, appeared in 131 games with 35 starts, catching 339 passes for 4,680 yards and 34 TDs.

Stokley played just two games in the ’11 season, catching one pass for 7 yards. Injuries have been a factor in his career, costing him playing time and limiting his role usually to the third receiver spot. However, he comes back to the Broncos with Peyton Manning as the quarterback, and Stokley has history with the new quarterback. They played together for 41 games and Stokley caught 139 passes for 1,916 yards and 15 TDs. He had his career year in 2004, with 68 catches for 1,077 yards and 10 TDs. He’ll be 36 in a few days and reports out of Denver’s OTAs indicate he’s running around like a much younger player. If he can stay on the field, Stokley will get plenty of attention from Manning. …Read More!

AFC West 2012 Analysis – Wide Receiver #2

As the NFL heads into its pre-training camp vacation, most team’s rosters are set for the start of the pre-season. In this series, we analyze the four teams in the AFC West position-by-position. We used about a half-dozen sources for our evaluation, relying on pro personnel scouts around the league. As we go along, we’ll keep score and find out which of the four teams has the most talented roster (on paper); in this case it will be the team with the fewest points.

AFC WEST 2012 SCOREBOARD (thru WR#2) – Chargers 18, Chiefs 18, Raiders 26, Broncos 28.

1. Robert Meachem, Chargers

6-2, 210 pounds, born 9/28/1984, 6th NFL season, UFA signed ’12 by Chargers; 1st-round ’07 by Saints, played in 62 games with 25 starts for Saints, catching 141 passes for 2,239 yards and 23 TDs.

Big UFA signed by Chargers to help replace Vincent Jackson who they lost in free agency to Tampa Bay. Meachem is not the physical specimen that Jackson is, but he’s talented, fast and used to working in an offense geared for throwing the ball as he did with the Saints for five seasons. He has solid hands and runs good routed. Scouts even mention that he’s a willing blocker in the running game, something that’s not seen from a lot of the better NFL receivers. He had 40 balls last year in 16 games for 420 yards. With San Diego offense he has a chance to double both of those numbers. …Read More!

AFC West 2012 Analysis – Wide Receiver #1

As the NFL heads into its pre-training camp vacation, most team’s rosters are set for the start of the pre-season. In this series, we analyze the four teams in the AFC West position-by-position. We used about a half-dozen sources for our evaluation, relying on pro personnel scouts around the league. As we go along, we’ll keep score and find out which of the four teams has the most talented roster (on paper); in this case it will be the team with the fewest points. At wide receiver, the competition is muddled in the division, but the Chiefs actually come through looking pretty good.

AFC WEST 2012 SCOREBOARD – Chiefs 12, Chargers 14, Raiders 15, Broncos 18.

1. Dwayne Bowe, Chiefs

6-2, 221 pounds, born 9/21/1984, 6th NFL season, 1st-round in ’07 by Chiefs, 75 games with 70 starts, career totals of 356 catches for 4,927 and 36 TDs.

There is not another receiver in the division at the level of Bowe right now. With Vincent Jackson out of San Diego in free agency, there simply is no catcher as good or with a track record to match Bowe. There will be questions about Bowe and the ’12 season and whether he’s preparing to play as he did in previous seasons. One would think he would be just as active, considering his big pay day is not likely to come in 2012, but in the run-up to the 2013 season. Bowe has become a more consistent receiver in the last two seasons, with only one hole in his game – his drops. Among the league’s best receivers last year, Bowe’s total of 10 drops ranked as No. 2 in the league. …Read More!

What’s Dwayne Bowe Worth?… Friday Cup O’Chiefs

The question is not whether the Chiefs should sign WR Dwayne Bowe to a long-term, big-money contract.

The question is how big that contract should be.

There’s been a lot of discussion among football pundits about whether the team should reward Bowe with a new deal, or simply let him play for the franchise player number of $9.4 million in 2012 that commits no money forward under his name. There has been a lot of talk about Bowe and his “problems” as a reason to draw the line at a long-term deal.

I’m still waiting to see what those “problems” are. Bowe has never been arrested. He’s never been in trouble away from the game of football. His transgressions are (a.) not staying in shape and then taking a banned diet pill in an attempt to make weight and (b.) speaking publicly on subjects that should be left unsaid, especially by a member of a team. The first mistake cost him an NFL suspension and the second cost him when he had to apologize to the team, a sentiment that appears to have been accepted at that time.

If being a knucklehead is reason enough to not give a player a long-term deal, then those types of contracts in the NFL would drop by 90 percent.

Here’s the simple fact – the Chiefs do not have enough talented players to allow one to get away with no return. Unless there are factors the team has kept under wraps, then there’s no reason for Bowe to get anything but the requisite contract for a player of his accomplishments.

That brings us back to the real question – what is Bowe worth? …Read More!

Chiefs Release Camp Schedule For St. Joe

On Thursday, the Chiefs released their schedule of practices for 2012 training camp at Missouri Western State University in St. Joseph.

There will be a total 15 practices open to the public, including at least one under the lights.

The team will hold a walkthrough every day that it practices at St. Joe, but those will be closed to the public. Last year, those sessions were open but had few if any viewers because it was a lot of players standing around.

Weather will affect the schedule as well, as so might the Arizona Cardinals. The St. Joseph News Press reported Thursday that it looks like the Chiefs and Cardinals will spend several days together practicing during the second week of camp. Likely dates are August 7 and 8.

All practices but the Saturday, August 4th session are free and open to the public. That practice is $5 for anyone over three years of age. Missouri Western charges a $5 parking fee for lots in and around the practice field and Spratt Stadium.

Here are the dates that practices are currently scheduled to be open to the public:

July

  • Friday, July 27 – 3:20 p.m.
  • Saturday, July 28 – 3:20 p.m.
  • Sunday, July 29 – 3:20 p.m.
  • Monday, July 30 – 3:20 p.m.
  • Tuesday, July 31 – 7:15 p.m. @ Spratt Stadium

August

  • Thursday, August 2 – 3:20 p.m.
  • Friday, August 3 – 3:20 p.m.
  • Saturday, August 4 – 1:30 p.m. @ Spratt Stadium
  • Monday, August 6 – 3:20 p.m.
  • Tuesday, August 7 – 3:20 p.m. (possible practice with Arizona).
  • Wednesday, August 8 – 3:20 p.m. (possible practice with Arizona).
  • Monday, August 13 – 3:20 p.m.
  • Tuesday, August 14 – 3:20 p.m.
  • Wednesday, August 15 – 3:20 p.m.
  • Thursday, August 16 – 3:20 p.m.

AFC West 2012 Analysis – Tight End #2

As the NFL heads into its pre-training camp vacation, most team’s rosters are set for the start of the pre-season. In this series, we analyze the four teams in the AFC West position-by-position. We used about a half-dozen sources for our evaluation, relying on pro personnel scouts around the league. As we go along, we’ll keep score and find out which of the four teams has the most talented roster (on paper); in this case it will be the team with the fewest points. At tight end, the Chiefs and the Chargers have the most talented duo.

AFC WEST 2012 SCOREBOARD (thru TE#2) – Chiefs 14, Chargers 15, Raiders 20, Broncos 20.

1. Kevin Boss, Chiefs

6-6, 255 pounds, born 1/11/1984, 6th NFL season, signed as UFA in ’012 by Chiefs, signed as UFA in ’11 by Raiders; selected in 5th-round of ’07 Draft by Giants, played in 72 games with 56 starts, catching 147 passes for 1,968 yards and 21 TDs.

Pro scouts around the league give GM Scott Pioli big marks for going out and getting Boss signed soon after he was released by the Raiders. “It’s like waking up one morning and finding a starting player on your doorstep,” one scout said. Another scout said: “That signing could be huge for them. I think he’s a better player than (Tony) Moeaki, even if Moeaki is healthy.” Boss was a contributor for a Super Bowl team in New York, but jumped at a big dollar contract thrown at him by the Raiders. The landscape changed in Oakland and they released him in a salary cap move and the Chiefs got him signed. Boss is a better receiver than blocker. He’ll have to do both for the Chiefs, but if Moeaki is healthy and available it provides a potent 1-2 punch at the position and portends a lot of 2 TE alignments. …Read More!

Memories Don’t Blow Away … Thursday Cup O’Chiefs

Javier Arenas can close his eyes at any time and relive the moment.

As he stands in the locker room of the Chiefs facility, the last practice of the off-season behind him, the mere mention of Tuscaloosa/2011 flips the switch on memories that run in a vivid, high definition, never ending loop in Arenas’ head. It happens when he’s awake. When he’s asleep, that day will creep into his dreams as well.

It’s hard to forget the moment you thought you were going to die.

“It doesn’t go away,” Arenas said. “I’m grateful that I can remember what happened. If I didn’t have the memories, I wouldn’t be alive. I can never forget that.”

The Chiefs organization went strong last week with their continued help for the people of Joplin as they rebuild their city from last year’s May 22 tornado to reached F5 proportions, the most powerful grade on the weather services’ scale. More than 150 people died, close to 1,000 were injured and damage is still be assessed as it reaches multiple billions of dollars. …Read More!

AFC West 2012 Analysis – Tight End #1

As the NFL heads into its pre-training camp vacation, most team’s rosters are set for the start of the pre-season. In this series, we analyze the four teams in the AFC West position-by-position. We used about a half-dozen sources for our evaluation, relying on pro personnel scouts around the league. As we go along, we’ll keep score and find out which of the four teams has the most talented roster (on paper); in this case it will be the team with the fewest points. At several positions, like tight end, we will rate two or more players. We’ll do the same at wide receiver, running back and quarterback. The designations between No. 1 and No. 2 will be made based on the expected starter.

AFC WEST 2012 SCOREBOARD (thru TE#1) – Chargers 13, Chiefs 13, Raiders 16, Broncos 17.


1. Antonio Gates, Chargers

6-4, 260 pounds, born 6/18/1980, 10th NFL season, UDFA in ’03 by Chargers, 112 games and 108 starts over his career with San Diego he’s caught 593 passes for 7,783 yards and 76 TDs.

Despite all the injuries he’s dealt with over the last few years, Gates remains the class of the AFC West at the tight end position. Playing in fewer than 800 offensive snaps, he still caught 64 passes, averaged 12.2 yards per catch with seven touchdowns. Those numbers left him in the league’s top 10 tight ends in catching the ball, a spot where he’s been for a decade. Reports out of San Diego say that Gates is as close to being 100 percent physically than he’s been in some time. He turns 32 next week, and if he’s healthy, there’s no reason he can’t make his normal contribution to the Chargers offense; there’s no question he has the confidence and trust of QB Philip Rivers. …Read More!

AFC West 2012 Analysis – Left Tackle

As the NFL heads into its pre-training camp vacation, most team’s rosters are set for the start of the pre-season. In this series, we analyze the four teams in the AFC West position-by-position. We used about a half-dozen sources for our evaluation, relying on pro personnel scouts around the league. As we go along, we’ll keep score and find out which of the four teams has the most talented roster (on paper); in this case it will be the team with the fewest points. At LT, Denver’s Ryan Clady is the best in the division but that is not a solid hold on first place. There are four talented LTs in the division.

AFC WEST 2012 SCOREBOARD – Chiefs 11, Raiders 12, Chargers 12, Broncos 14.

1. Ryan Clady, Broncos

6-6, 325 pounds, born 9/6/1986, 5th NFL season, 1st-round choice in ’08 by Broncos, 64 games and starts in 4 seasons in Denver.

Of his four seasons in the NFL, 2011 was the worst performance given by Clady since he was drafted in the first round. He struggled both against the run and the pass and seemed to have troubles making the adjustments that came from the Broncos changing offense that came when Tim Tebow became the starter. With Tebow’s southpaw delivery, he didn’t have to protect his backside, but Clady still allowed 6 sacks, more than any other left tackle in the division. He also had 12 penalties, way too many for a blocker that some have considered of Pro Bowl quality over the years. Clady will certainly have to step forward with a far better performance if the Peyton Manning-led offense is productive in Denver. …Read More!

NFL by the Numbers – Head Coaches

They are 32 strong heading into the 2012 NFL season. They are led by three men that have won Super Bowl titles more than once: Tom Coughlin (left), Mike Shanahan (center) and Bill Belichick (right). Here’s a look at those three and the rest of the NFL head coaches in several ways.

On the average

  • Average age of the 32 NFL head coaches: 52 years of age.
  • Median age of the 32 NFL head coaches: 50 years of age.
  • Average number of seasons they’ve held current job: 3.4 seasons.
  • Average number of seasons they’ve been an NFL head coach: 5.8 seasons.
  • Average number of NFL games as head coach: 105.5 games. …Read More!

AFC West 2012 Analysis – Right Tackle

As the NFL heads into its pre-training camp vacation, most team’s rosters are set for the start of the pre-season. In this series, we analyze the four teams in the AFC West position-by-position. We used about a half-dozen sources for our evaluation, relying on pro personnel scouts around the league. As we go along, we’ll keep score and find out which of the four teams has the most talented roster (on paper); in this case it will be the team with the fewest points. At RT, the Chiefs got the No. 1 spot with Eric Winston.

AFC WEST 2012 SCOREBOARD – Raiders 8, Chargers 9, Chiefs 10, Broncos 13.

1. Eric Winston, Chiefs

6-7, 316 pounds, born 11/17/1983, 7th NFL season, signed as FA in ’12 by Chiefs, 3rd-round choice in ’06 by Houston, where he played in 92 games with 87 starts for the Texans.

It says something about the strength of the Houston offensive line when they release a long-time starter who performed well and isn’t yet 30 years old. That’s what the Texans did with Winston and the Chiefs were able to get the early jump and get him under contract. For a lot of teams around the league, Winston would just be “a guy.” For the Chiefs, it provides a major upgrade at the position from the starter over the last two seasons, Barry Richardson. Some have called Winston the best right tackle in the league, but that’s a stretch according to the pro personnel scouts. Top 10? Yes. Top 5? Maybe. No.1 ? No way. But he’s a huge addition for the Chiefs and he’s easily the player at RT in the division. Last year for the Texans he played 1,081 snaps, with 9 penalties and 7 sacks allowed. …Read More!

Grandpa Will Lead Them . . . Monday Cup O’Chiefs

Should you run into Chiefs head coach Romeo Crennel on Monday make sure you tell him Happy Birthday.

On June 18, 2012, Crennel turns 65, the age when most people are either retiring or on the countdown to moving into the final chapters of their life.

That’s not Crennel. He’s the second oldest head coach in the NFL this season, with only Tom Coughlin of the New York Giants older – Coughlin turns 66 on the last day of August.

“A lot of my friends have retired and they are wondering what I’m doing still working,” Crennel said last week about turning 65 and retirement. “I feel good, I enjoy what I do. It’s not something (retirement) I ever thought about doing. That’s why I continue to work.

“I really feel like I have as much energy and desire to do the job as I did 20 or 25 years ago.”

Oldest NFL Head Coaches For The 2012 Season

Age*

Head Coach Team Date Birthplace

65

Tom Coughlin N.Y. Giants August 31, 1946 Waterloo, NY

65

Romeo Crennel Chiefs June 18, 1947 Lynchburg, VA

60

Pete Carroll Seattle September 15, 1951 San Francisco, CA

60

Chan Gailey Buffalo January 5, 1952 Gainesville, GA

60

Bill Belichick New England April 16, 1952 Nashville, TN

60

Norv Turner San Diego May 17, 1952 LeJeunne, NC

59

Mike Shanahan Washington August 24, 1952 Oak Park, IL

57

John Fox Denver February 8, 1955 Virginia Beach, VA

54

Jeff Fisher St. Louis February 25, 1958 Culver City, CA

54

Andy Reid Philadelphia March 19, 1958 Los Angeles, CA

54

Lovie Smith Chicago May 8, 1958 Gladewater, TX

*-age as of June 18, 2012.

…Read More!

AFC West 2012 Analysis – Left Guard

As the NFL heads into its pre-training camp vacation, most team’s rosters are set for the start of the pre-season. In this series, we analyze the four teams in the AFC West position-by-position. We used about a half-dozen sources for our evaluation, relying on pro personnel scouts around the league. As we go along, we’ll keep score and find out which of the four teams has the most talented roster (on paper); in this case it will be the team with the fewest points. We started at center, moved to right guard and now to the left guard, where Ryan Lilja holds the top spot.

AFC WEST 2012 SCOREBOARD – Chargers 5, Raiders 6, Chiefs 9, Broncos 10.

1. Ryan Lilja, Chiefs

6-2, 290 pounds, born 10/15/1981, 9th NFL season, signed as FA in ’10 by Chiefs, entered NFL as UDFA with Chiefs, then played for Colts, in last two years he’s played and started 30 games.

Lilja is not very impressive getting it done, but when his performance is broken down by the pros, he comes out on top on about 80 percent of his offensive plays. One pro personnel director ranked him among the top 20 guards in the league based on his play last year. Because of his relative lack of size, Lilja sometimes struggles against the heavy DTs, but he does a good job of keeping his leverage on them. Last year, he was penalized just once and allowed two sacks. …Read More!

The Man Who Molded the Man

We honor on this Sunday the men who brought us into this world and helped raise us from tadpoles to hopefully men that have earned the definition of loving son, Happy Father’s Day. Special thanks to Albert R., who still provides an example that I try to follow each and every day.

In honor of this very important day, it seemed a good time to find out about the man who helped mold the man that is now setting the tone for a team of young men known as the Kansas City Chiefs.

————————————–

There is not a day that passes where the man they called Sarge doesn’t cross the thoughts of his oldest child.

“There were a lot of influences on my li fe, but there’s no question who had the biggest effect on me,” Romeo Crennel said last week with the Chiefs mini-camp and off-season over, and a few weeks ahead to decompress before the start of training camp. “My father wasn’t always around, but his presence was in our house every day and continues to be there with me. He ran the house the same way he ran things in the military.”

Sgt. Joseph Crennel, U.S. Army retired, has been gone for nearly a decade now. When he was alive, sometimes he was away from home for years at a time. Still, the imprint on his five children is fresh and very tangible. As Crennel sent the Chiefs players home for vacation, he spoke words that if one pulled the string on those messages, it would unravel back to Sarge.

“The Army experience taught me that you need to be accountable and responsible,” Crennel said. “You need to treat people with respect and you need to earn their respect. You need to establish rules, but not too many.

“With him, whether it was in the Army or at home, everyone had an assignment to do. He expected things to be done in a particular way. If you didn’t do it right, you would not rest until you did it over again and got it right.” …Read More!

AFC West 2012 Analysis – Right Guard

As the NFL heads into its pre-training camp vacation, most team’s rosters are set for the start of the pre-season. In this series, we analyze the four teams in the AFC West position-by-position. We used about a half-dozen sources for our evaluation, relying on pro personnel scouts around the league. As we go along, we’ll keep score and find out which of the four teams has the most talented roster (on paper); in this case it will be the team with the fewest points. We started at center and today move to right guard. The edge there goes to San Diego’s Louis Vasquez in the No. 1 spot.

AFC WEST 2012 SCOREBOARD – Chargers 2, Raiders 4, Broncos 6, Chiefs 8.

1. Louis Vasquez, San Diego

6-5, 335 pounds, born 4/11/1987, 4th NFL season, 3rd-round choice ’09 by Chargers, played and started 38 games for San Diego, including 14 last year.

Vasquez has been a solid if unspectacular performer on the right side of the Chargers blocking unit for the last three years. His college career at Texas Tech gave him a background blocking in the passing game, and his play shows he’s more pass protector than run blocker despite his size. He’s a consistent player, who did not draw a penalty and allowed just one sack. Vasquez is also huge compared to the other right guards in the division, outweighing them by 30 pounds or more across the board. …Read More!

AFC West 2012 Analysis – Center

As the NFL heads into its pre-training camp vacation, most team’s rosters are set for the start of the pre-season. In this series, we analyze the four teams in the AFC West position-by-position. We used about a half-dozen sources for our evaluation, relying on pro personnel scouts around the league. As we go along, we’ll keep score and find out which of the four teams has the most talented roster (on paper); in this case it will be the team with the fewest points. We start today with the center position. Nick Hardwick gives the Chargers the early lead. The Broncos-Raiders-Chiefs are rated in that order, but there will be very little difference between the three once the 2012 season is completed; two starters in the division are pegged for their first NFL action.

AFC WEST 2012 SCOREBOARD – Chargers 1, Raiders 2, Broncos 3, Chiefs 4. 

1. Nick Hardwick, San Diego

6-4, 305 pounds, born 9/2/1981, 9th NFL season, 3rd-round choice ’04 by Chargers, 103 games and starts.

Hardwick pondered retirement before signing a new deal with Chargers back in March. He’s a team leader and a solid performer. Small size makes it tough for him at times against bigger DTs. San Diego was No. 6 in offensive yards last season, No. 16 running and No. 6 in throwing the ball. In 1,072 offensive snaps, Hardwick had one penalty and did not allow a sack. …Read More!

Chiefs Return To Joplin

That’s first-round draft choice Dontari Poe getting an earful from a fan and resident of Joplin as the Chiefs returned to the devastated southwest Missouri city on Friday.

It was 13 months ago that parts of Joplin were wiped out by a major tornado that took countless lives and created damage that will total into the billions and billions of dollars if a total is even possible.

The team went to Joplin last year to help with the cleanup and the organization went back on Friday to help in the rebuilding. Players, front office types and just plain employees of the Chiefs took the long bus ride to be there for another day of giving. (Photo from kcchiefs.com)

Aftermath of Chiefs Mini-Camp/Off-Season

The bodies have scattered around the country as the Chiefs players and coaches have begun enjoying their five-week pre-training camp sojourn before things kick into gear in St. Joseph the last weekend of July.

Through 10 OTAs, a rookie mini-camp and this week’s three-day whole team mini-camp, the Chiefs know a bit more about the players on their roster. Some questions have been cleared up, some players have shown improvement, others haven’t stepped forward like expected. With 89 players under their control, there are various players moving up and down the personnel escalator.

One thing is relatively clear as players were shuffled about on the field by the coaches in 13 practices – there does not appear to be a spot in the starting lineup that is available. Injury obviously can change that picture, but on defense the only spot that seems up for discussion is nose tackle, but whether first-round draft choice Dontari Poe starts or not, he will see significant time in the middle of the defense.

Offensively, the question may be the names in the backfield behind QB Matt Cassel, but whether Jamaal Charles or Peyton Hillis starts is irrelevant – both will get multiple opportunities with the ball. The only opening is the 11th offensive spot, the wildcard position, whether it’s Dexter McCluster, or a second tight end, a fullback or who knows what else coordinator Brian Daboll may have in his bag. …Read More!

Observations From Mini-Camp – Day #3

From the Truman Sports Complex

It was not the way any coach or team would like to end the last practice of the off-season, but the Chiefs walked off the field after mini-camp practice No. 3 after poorly handling three chances at the two-minute drill.

Only QB Brady Quinn with the No. 2 offense was able to get a chance to the scoreboard, but K Ryan Succop ended up missing a long field goal (wide left). QBs Matt Cassel and Ricky Stanzi saw their opportunities die when time ran out. It was especially ugly with Cassel and the first offense, as it all went down the drain when a shotgun snap between C Rodney Hudson and Cassel missed connections. Before they could get lined up for a fourth down play, the clock ran out.

Stanzi was the only quarterback to direct the offense to a first down in the drill, but after moving the sticks on a short completion to WR Aaron Weaver, the clock ran out before they could get another snap off. That drew the ire of assistant head coach/running backs coach Maurice Carthon, as his voice could be heard all over the practice field letting the offense have it verbally for being sloppy.

The good thing about the bumbling and stumbling about was it came in June, or five weeks before the team will hit the campus at Missouri Western State University in St. Joseph. Things will be different then when the pads go on and real football breaks out, or at least something that’s closer to real football than what’s allowed in these off-season sessions.

Here are a few other items we noticed from Thursday’s practice. …Read More!

Mini-Camp Practice #3 – 6/14

From the Truman Sports Complex

There was excitement in Romeo Crennel’s voice as he met the media Thursday after the Chiefs final practice session of the 2012 off-season.

“Next, we put on the pads and really see what they can do,” Crenel said after wrapping up the team’s mandatory mini-camp with a two-hour practice. “It won’t be long now. It’s five weeks and then it’s all the way live and it’s real.”

All the way live and real is what’s needed after spending April, May and June working under the new NFL rules that outlaw anything that resembles football on the practice field. The next time the helmets go on will be at Missouri Western State University in the final weekend of July.

“I feel like we made progress during the off-season,” Crennel said. “I’m encouraged by the installation of the offense, the installation of the defense and the special teams. Defensively, we looked at some things that we don’t normally do, so we had some good exposure there. I saw some players improve as we’ve gone through this. …Read More!

Observations from Mini-Camp Practice No. 2

From the Truman Sports Complex

Great sun, nice breeze, low humidity – it was picture perfect weather for Day No. 2 of the Chiefs mini-camp on Wednesday at the team’s facility. Players can only hope for similar conditions when they get to St. Joseph and training camp in late July.

The two hours on the field was at times intense for a camp where there isn’t supposed to be physical contact between players. Late in practice, the defense turned up the flame a bit, and started getting after the offense on the pass rush. First-round draft choice Dontari Poe led the way with a push inside, something that if he can provide that during the real games will make him an instant sensation in Romeo Crennel’s defense.

The rest of the sackers came off the edge in Tamba Hali, Justin Houston and Allen Bailey. Whether it portends what they’ll show in the regular season or it was just a one-day pressure-fest in June, it was certainly entertaining. …Read More!

Banks in Seattle after Chiefs Workout

From the Truman Sports Complex

Chiefs head coach Romeo Crennel said “it was a decent workout” Tuesday afternoon when Brian Banks spent time performing for the Chiefs coaching and personnel staffs.

Banks got higher marks on Wednesday afternoon when he practiced with the Seattle Seahawks in their mini-camp.

“Does he look like a ball player? Yes,” Seahawks LB coach Ken Norton Jr. told the Seattle News. “Does he move well? Yes. Is there a chance? Absolutely.

“It’s fun having a guy out here that certainly has a little history, obviously there’s a little rust out there. But the idea is can he line up and can he chase the ball? So far, it’s about making a first impression and I like the first impression he left.”

Last month, Banks a 26-year old former high school football star saw his 10-year old conviction on rape and kidnapping charges overturned after the alleged victim recanted her testimony. Since then he’s tried to rekindle his football career, as he’s now worked out for three NFL teams – the Seattle Seahawks, San Diego Chargers and on Tuesday the Chiefs. …Read More!

Mini-Camp Practice #2 – 6/13

From the Truman Sports Complex

Third down was the working point of practice Wednesday as the Chiefs went through the second day of their three-day mini-camp at their facility.

Head coach Romeo Crennel had 87 of 90 bodies on the field, just like he did on Tuesday with practice No. 1 – WR Dwayne Bowe (no contract), SS Eric Berry (family issues) and TE Martin Rucker (knee injury) were not on the field.

Of the 87 players on the field, 81 were actively taking part in the two-hour session. Joining the injured group was TE Jake O’Connell, with a strained ligament in his right thumb. He watched along with the players who have been in rehab most of the spring: FS Kendrick Lewis (shoulder), RB Jamaal Charles (knee), TE Tony Moeaki (knee), WR Devon Wylie (hamstring) and OL Rob Bruggeman (finger).

Crennel said Rucker is headed for surgery on Thursday because of the torn ligament in his right knee that he suffered during practice on June 1. That ends Rucker’s comeback chances as late Thursday afternoon he was placed on the injured-reserve list, ending his 2012 season.

The injuries kept the tight ends out of the work between offense and defense that was centered around third down. At times the offense led the work, only to be dominated by the defense a few plays later. The No. 1 offense was particularly effective against the No. 1 defense, as QB Matt Cassel connected several times with WR Steve Breaston and RB/WR Dexter McCluster.

Late in the practice, the No. 1 defense turned up the heat and got after the offense. In practices that are not supposed to have contact there was an awful lot of intensity in the team work portion. Rookie NT Dontari Poe brought the pressure on QB Brady Quinn on one play, busting through the right side of the No. 2 offensive line. Later, OLBs Tamba Hali and Justin Houston were flying in on Quinn from the outside edges. On the last play of the practice, Houston and DE Allen Bailey caught Cassel in a pocket that quickly disintegrated under the rush.

Observations From Mini-Camp/Day One

From the Truman Sports Complex

As expected Dwayne Bowe was absent from the start of the Chiefs mandatory mini-camp on Tuesday at the team’s facilities. His status as the team’s designated franchise player and the fact he does not have a contract for the 2012 season kept Bowe away.

But the fact Bowe wasn’t taking part did not stop practice and that leaves a lot of passes available for other receivers on the roster. They are taking advantage of those chances, especially veteran WR Terrance Copper, WR/RB Dexter McCluster, second-year WR Jonathan Baldwin (right) and rookie free agent WR Josh Bellamy.

“We all wish Dwayne was here, but we can’t stop and wait,” said McCluster. “We’ve all got to improve.”

McCluster said he’s in frequent contact with Bowe, and that his teammate is in shape and ready to play the 2012 season. …Read More!

Mini-Camp Practice #1 – 6/12

From the Truman Sports Complex

Everything about the first practice of Chiefs mandatory team mini-camp felt like just another OTA session, save one factor – the intensity level was up a few notches.

Restricted by league rules and the new labor agreement, physical contact is not allowed in these sessions. Through the OTAs the Chiefs players and coaches did a good job of keeping under control the physicality that naturally comes from playing football under control.

And there were no serious collisions in Monday’s practice. But there were collisions and there were more players ending up on the ground. For the majority of the Chiefs who are wrapping up their off-season preparation with this mini-camp, there was just a dash more intensity.

“You could feel it was a little bit different,” RB/WR Dexter McCluster said. “It was one of those days where guys had to work harder at holding back. Everybody was getting after it.”

Everybody save three – WR Dwayne Bowe, SS Eric Berry and TE Martin Rucker. Of the 90 players on the roster that trio was the only ones missing from the field. Bowe was not around because of his contract situation; he does not have one and thus was not required to attend. Still rehabbing his knee injury, Berry was missing due to a family situation. Rucker was off the field because of the knee injury he suffered two weeks ago that is likely to require surgery.

New to the injury report was 4th-round draft choice WR Devon Wylie, who pulled a hamstring late last week and spent Tuesday in the rehab area. Wylie joined the regular group of rehabbing players – TE Tony Moeaki, RB Jamaal Charles, FS Kendrick Lewis and OL Rob Bruggeman.

One guy who got the go ahead for limited practice was LB Brandon Siler. He suffered a torn Achilles tendon in pre-season last year and missed the entire season. Tuesday, he was allowed to wear his helmet and take part in position drills.

More on practice coming later today.

Late Afternoon Workout For Banks

From the Truman Sports Complex

Tuesday afternoon the Chiefs were scheduled to workout LB Brian Banks at their facility. Head coach Romeo Crennel confirmed that session after the team’s mini-camp practice.

Banks was in the building as the Chiefs were going through their practice, but he did not take part in that activity. He has previously worked out for the Seahawks and Chargers and is scheduled to fly Tuesday evening to Seattle to take part in the last two days of the Hawks mini-camp as a tryout player.

These opportunities are his first chance at the NFL since the young man from southern California who saw his 10-year old conviction on rape and kidnapping charges overturned when the victim recanted her testimony.

Mini-Camp Matters . . . Tuesday Cup O’Chiefs

There was a time when an NFL team holding its annual mini-camp would be one of the biggest stories of the off-season.

The veteran players would come in from all around the country, spending a few days working together with teammates they hadn’t seen since December. The front office and coaches looked forward to seeing what type of conditioning their players had been doing and how they had recovered from various ailments and injuries from the previous season.

That was the old days, before the NFL became what is essentially a nine-month a year business. With off-season programs and OTAs, the brave new world of pro football has turned mini-camp into nothing special, just three extra OTAs.

That’s what begins Tuesday morning at the Chiefs facility as they take the final steps allowed them for off-season work in the labor agreement. By early Thursday afternoon, the veteran players on the team’s roster will scatter to every corner of the country for their last vacation before the start of training camp at the end of July.

The rules allow some subtle differences for the coaching staff between the OTAs and mini-camp, with more time allowed on the field for players and coaches. The standards say they can have two practices per day.

“The length of time you can have with them on the field gets extended, but part of it has to be a walkthrough,” Romeo Crennel explained. “There is a two-hour max on the on-field, up-tempo (work). You can complement what you use there with a walkthrough.” …Read More!

A Bowl of Monday Chiefs Gumbo

There’s a lot of spicy stuff in the stew starting this week including a visit to the Chiefs from a young man trying to make up for lost times.

Brian Banks Set For Tuesday In K.C.

It appears that Tuesday will be the day that former Southern Cal LB Brian Banks (right) comes to Kansas City for a workout with the Chiefs.

The former high school All-America spent six years in prison on rape and kidnapping charges, only to see those charges thrown out by the California Superior Court on May 24 when the victim recanted nearly a decade later. Banks has spent the last nine months doing physical conditioning and training to get back to where he was when he was coming out of Long Beach Poly High in 2002.

He worked out last week for the Seattle Seahawks and head coach Pete Carroll, who offered Banks a scholarship to play for the Trojans when he was the USC head coach. He was impressive enough that the Seahawks have invited him back for their mini-camp this coming week.

Banks worked out for the San Diego Chargers on Friday, but the team said publicly they would not provide an invitation to return.

Meanwhile, Banks will be meeting with the Chiefs on Tuesday, the first day of their mini-camp at team facilities. He’ll then scurry out of K.C. and head for Seattle and the last two days of Seahawks mini-camp on Wednesday and Thursday. Those are his travel plans confirmed by his agent Bruce Tollner. …Read More!

Confident in Cassel . . . Friday Cup O’Chiefs

From the Truman Sports Complex

“I have a lot of confidence in Matt (Cassel). He’s extremely competitive. He’s been a winner.”

While those words could have come out of the mouth of GM Scott Pioli or head coach Romeo Crennel, they were spoken on Thursday by the Chiefs new offensive coordinator Brian Daboll.

As the OTA sessions come to a close and the only thing between the Chiefs and the start of training camp is next week’s three-day mini-camp, it seemed a good time to check in with Daboll for his thoughts on the development of his offense.

In the minds of many in the red and gold nation, that discussion begins and ends with the starting quarterback.

“He works very, very hard,” Daboll said. “He works his tail off in the classroom. I think he’s done a good job in these OTAs and I’m looking forward to working with him.”

Daboll does not have a choice in that matter. Pioli made Cassel the team’s franchise quarterback in 2009 when he signed him to a $63 million contract before he’d ever played a down with the Chiefs. The only thing that’s kept him out of the lineup has been injury, a total of nine games in three seasons. …Read More!

Observations from OTA #9

From the Truman Sports Complex

The Chiefs will wrap up the OTA portion of their off-season on Friday with the 10th session. The weather has been very cooperative for Romeo Crennel and his practices, as the first nine were all held outdoors. There was no bad weather to force the OTAs indoors. It’s been largely sunshine, warm temperatures and just the right amount of humidity to prepare for the August furnace known as training camp in St. Joseph.

Here are some of the things that we saw:

All Draft Picks on Deck

These OTA sessions are very important for the rookies, especially the draft choices that the team hopes to see some contribution on the field as quickly as possible. On Thursday, the Chiefs 2012 draft class of eight was at 100 percent attendance for the first time in the OTA sessions. On Monday, DB De’Quan Menzie (hamstring) was back and then on Thursday OL Jeff Allen (ankle) and RB Cyrus Gray (hamstring) were back in the huddle. With one more OTA and then the three-day mini-camp next week, it was a good sign for the Chiefs. …Read More!

OTA Session #9 – June 7

From the Truman Sports Complex

Situations were a big part of the script for Thursday morning OTA session at the Chiefs facility. On offense, defense and even in the kicking game, the work was geared around game situations.

Most impressive was the red zone work done by the offense. Matt Cassel, Brady Quinn and Ricky Stanzi all threw touchdown passes in the team work segment. The defense had its moments defending inside the 20-yard line as DB Travis Daniels intercepted a tipped pass in the end zone and ILB Cory Greenwood did a great job of making up ground and knocking down a pass in the end zone to WR/RB Dexter McCluster, who was open along the back line.

Quinn directed the No. 2 offense throughout the workout, with Stanzi getting a few snaps. Newly signed fourth quarterback Alex Tanney did not participate in the team work. …Read More!

Sounds Like Rucker Season Is Over

From the Truman Sports Complex

It appears that Martin Rucker’s attempt to get back into the NFL this season is going to die on the vine.

Injured last week during an OTA session, Rucker is headed for a second opinion on the diagnosis of torn ligaments in his right knee. That would then force a decision on whether to operate, or let the knee heal naturally. Either way, it would leave him unable to be fully rehab before the end of the 2012 season.

“It looks like he has a knee issue and he’s going to get a second opinion and then make some decisions,” Crennel said of Rucker. “It doesn’t look good overall on that one.”

A native of St. Joseph and product of the Mizzou football program, Rucker was drafted in 2008 by the Cleveland Browns and played five games that season. He was waived in ’09 and since then has had stints with Jacksonville, Miami, Dallas and the Chiefs.

Crawling For Attention – Thursday Cup O’Chiefs

There are now 90 names on the Chiefs 2012 roster.

Some are well known – Matt Cassel, Tamba Hali, Derrick Johnson, Jamaal Charles are all faces known by all football fans, fantasy owners or otherwise.

Others are not. There are a lot of guys like Gabe Miller among those 90 names.

You’ve got to be a devoted Chiefs fan to remember that Miller was selected in the 2011 NFL Draft, a fifth-round choice no less, coming out of Oregon State University. That happened some 14 months ago and considering everything that’s changed around the Chiefs (new head coach, new offense, new players) in that time, it’s hard to remember a guy that did not play a down last season.

Miller watched it all unfold from the injured reserve list, where he landed at the end of the pre-season due to an injury that the team never identified, but apparently was a pulled hamstring. How severe that pull might have been at the time is open for debate, but Miller wasn’t able to play the final two pre-season games and he wasn’t going to make the 53-man roster. Rather than expose him to the waiver wire, the Chiefs sent him to the injured list.

From there, he floated off into oblivion for followers of the red and gold nation. …Read More!

Arizona Visit, QB Tricks & Traveling Gillberrys

So much Chiefs, so little time . . .

Whiz Likes Possible Trip to St. Joe

Arizona head coach Ken Whisenhunt became the first person with the Cardinals to acknowledge there were discussions going on about his team visiting with the Chiefs during training camp.

It became news about 10 days ago when officials at Missouri Western State University admitted they had met with representatives of the Cardinals, who visited the campus to check out the facilities. Chiefs head coach Romeo Crennel said last week the subject was being discussed but sounded pessimistic that something would happen.

The news finally landed in the desert and Whisenhunt was asked about the situation on Tuesday.

“We’ve talked about it,” Whisenhunt told the Arizona media. “There’s nothing really firmed up yet. I’m not opposed to it. We’ve done it before with Tennessee a couple of years ago and I thought it was a great experience. It’s a good chance to evaluate your team against other players. You don’t get a chance to do that unless it’s in a game. When you get more reps and see them in certain situations, it’s a good tool. I hope it’s something we will be able to work out.”

Whisenhunt is hoping a trip to St. Joe between the Cardinals pre-season opener in the Hall of Fame Game and then pre-season game No. 2 against the Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium will cut down on the team’s travel situation. The Cardinals train in Flagstaff, so if they return to Arizona after the Hall of Fame game it would be Flagstaff to Phoenix, to Canton, to Phoenix, to Flagstaff, to Phoenix and then Kansas City. …Read More!

Chiefs Sign Trick-Shot Quarterback

The Chiefs added a fourth quarterback to their roster on Tuesday by signing rookie free agent Alex Tanney.

A record-setting passer at Division III Monmouth College in Monmouth, Illinois, Tanney became famous in the past year for his ability to throw passes that normally don’t come up in a football game.

Here’s a look at his remarkable throwing ability thanks to YouTube. The tape has been viewed over one million times since it was first posted and brought him international notoriety.

On the more normal throws, Tanney threw for a NCAA III record 14,249 yards. He also threw for an NCAA record (all levels) 157 touchdown passes. In playing 47 games, he completed 68.6 percent of his passes (1,205 of 1,756 attempts) and threw just 30 interceptions. He was honored after the 2009 season with the Melberger Award, given each year to the Division III player of the year. That season he threw for 3,856 yards, with 44 TD passes and 7 interceptions.

His 2010 season was cut short in early September with a torn A-C joint in his right shoulder, but he bounced back last season throwing for 3,867 yards, with 38 TD tosses.

A native of Normal, Illinois, the 6-2¾, 223-pound Tanney was a two-time first-team All-Illinois quarterback at Lexington High School.

His signing puts the Chiefs roster at 90 players, the NFL pre-season limit.

Observations from OTA #7

From the Truman Sports Complex

It didn’t take long for newly signed safety Abram Elam to get to work with the Chiefs defense.

Not only did he sign a contract on Monday, but he was on the field for an OTA session and even got thrown into several plays, including some snaps with the No. 1 defense.

“It’s like riding a bicycle, once you know how to do it, you can do it,” Elam said afterwards. “I’m excited the coaches gave me an opportunity to go out there and I’m just continuing to try to build on that.” …Read More!

OTA Session #7 – June 4/Chiefs Sign Safety

From the Truman Sports Complex

The Chiefs finally pulled the trigger on adding a veteran safety to the roster, announcing the signing of free agent Abram Elam on Monday. A seven-year veteran who spent last season with Dallas, Elam took part in the team’s seventh OTA session Monday morning at the team’s facility.

Along with two stints with the Cowboys (2006 and 2011), Elam also spent two years with the New York Jets (2007-08) and two seasons with the Cleveland Browns (2009-10). Overall, he’s played in 92 league games with 64 starts. He was credited with 365 total tackles, 5 sacks, 41 special teams tackles, 8 forced fumbles, 2 recovered fumbles and 3 interceptions, including one he returned 92 yards for a touchdown.

Elam becomes the 89th player on the Chiefs roster that has a maximum of 90 spots. He was one of 78 players that were on the field Monday, going through a 90-minute practice. Among the key players on the team everyone was there but DE Glenn Dorsey, who was not around. Also, WR Dwayne Bowe continued to miss all the work due to his contract situation. LT Branden Albert, WR Jonathan Baldwin and K Ryan Succop who missed Friday’s OTA returned to work.

Also returning to practice was fifth-round draft choice De’Quan Menzie, who missed the previous six sessions due to a hamstring injury he suffered during the rookie mini-camp. Also DE Ropati Pitoitua was back in action, after missing several workouts due to a calf injury.

Those players that were working in the rehab area were the familiar names of SS Eric Berry, FS Kendrick Lewis, RB Jamaal Charles, TE Tony Moeaki, RB Cyrus Gray, TE Martin Rucker, LB Brandon Siler, OL Jeff Allen and OL Rob Bruggeman.

More on the OTA details coming up.

Chiefs Gumbo – Monday, June 4

The Chiefs will be back on the OTA track on Monday as they get into the final two weeks of the organized off-season.

Each team is allowed 10 OTA sessions over a four-week period. Head coach Romeo Crennel has used six of his 10 and has three more scheduled for this week. Next week the team will hold its annual veteran mini-camp on Tuesday-Wednesday-Thursday.

It’s the busy time of the off-season around the Chiefs and the league. Here are some story lines that have popped up over the last few days.

THEY LOVE THEIR NEW CARR

Down in Dallas, defensive coordinator Rob Ryan is not worried about veteran CB Mike Jenkins holding out or first-round draft pick Morris Claiborne coming back from an off-season injury.

All Ryan can chatter about is UFA signee Brandon Carr, who left the Chiefs and signed a 5-year, $50.1

“He’s outstanding,” Ryan told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram newspaper last week. “I knew he was great … he’s actually better. The guy is special.”

Why? …Read More!

Improving From Within – C Rodney Hudson

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, Thursday it was QB Brady Quinn and Friday it was CB Jalil Brown. We wrap up the package with C Rodney Hudson.


Rodney Hudson

There may be no player on the Chiefs roster that has had more eggs placed in his basket at the start of the 2012 season than Rodney Hudson.

Last season’s second-round draft choice is the starting center, the pivot man, the guy who starts every offensive play, the man who must handle the duties of figuring out what defenders are on the field, where they might be going and what adjustments the Chiefs offense must make. Hudson steps into that role replacing the retired veteran Casey Wiegmann.

Other than the Indianapolis Colts replacing Peyton Manning with the NFL Draft’s No. 1 choice Andrew Luck, no other spot in the league will see a greater change in old to new. Wiegmann finished his 15-year NFL career last season closing out a herculean streak of 11,162 consecutive snaps. He had not missed a game or a snap going all the way back to the 2001 season.

Hudson comes to center without having played a down at the position during his four-year career at Florida State. Hudson did not get a single snap at center last year during his rookie season. His only experience was working the position during the 2011 NFL pre-season, and he’ll get all the snaps during the 2012 pre-season. That’s a must because there’s only so much that can come from working in practice, especially in cases like the OTA sessions going on right now, where linemen are not wearing pads and theirs is none of the hitting that makes it football.

By selecting him in the second round of the 2011 NFL Draft with the 55th choice, the Chiefs made very public their thoughts on Hudson the football player. Most of the league had the same sort of feelings about the 6-2, 300-pound native of Mobile, Alabama. He was a guard for the Seminoles, where he played in 53 games, started in 50, including 48 consecutive starts at the end of his time at FSU. All of those starts were at left guard, where he won conference honors in all four seasons.

So why do the Chiefs believe this guard who got only 136 plays in his rookie NFL season is the man to take over one of the most important positions on the team? …Read More!

Observations from OTA #6

From the Truman Sports Complex

The Wildcat made an appearance during Friday’s OTA session. Offensive coordinator Brian Daboll reached into the playbook and had RB Dexter McCluster taking the snap and QB Matt Cassel lined up to the far outside as a receiver.

It was very much like some of the Wildcat plays that Chan Gailey had in his offense with the Chiefs back in the 2008 season. Remember that year when WR Mark Bradley threw a touchdown pass to QB Tyler Thigpen that was one of the longest passing plays of that season.

Over the last two seasons, RB Thomas Jones and WR Jerheme Urban were two guys that got most of the snaps as the Wildcat quarterback.

Here are some other items we saw during the 90-minute OTA: …Read More!

OTA Session #6 – June 1

From the Truman Sports Complex

Three key players were missing from OTA No. 6 at the Chiefs facility on Friday. After going the first five sessions with near perfect attendance, missing Friday’s workout were LT Branden Albert, WR Jonathan Baldwin and K Ryan Succop. They also lost another player to injury during the workout, when TE Martin Rucker suffered a problem with his right knee.

Head coach Romeo Crennel said Albert was dealing with a “personal issue”, Baldwin was “ill” and Succop was at the facility earlier in the day, but left to attend “his sister’s wedding.”

With a shrunken window to hold off-season workouts thanks to the new labor agreement, every missed opportunity is one that’s impossible to replace. But Crennel did not indicate the absences were a problem for him. “This is voluntary and if they have other situations, then now is the time to take care of those, as compared to being in the season,” Crennel said. “They’ve been here and we know where they are, so it’s not a big deal.”

Rucker suffered a right knee injury during a passing play. It appeared he may have knocked knees with a defensive back. The Mizzou product was in a lot of pain at first, and once he got to his feet it appeared he was going to have to be helped off the field. But he eventually put weight on the right leg and walked off under his own power. It had the look of a serious injury.

Crennel had no further information after the 90-minute practice and the players were excused for the weekend. With those missing and the previous injured list, the coaches had 74 of the 88 players on the roster available to them. Joining the three no shows was WR Dwayne Bowe, sitting out because of his franchise player designee. Rucker joined the previously injured players: RB Jamaal Charles, RB Cyrus Gray, TE Tony Moeaki, OL Jeff Allen, OL Rob Bruggeman, LB Brandon Siler, SS Eric Berry, FS Kendrick Lewis, DB De’Quan Menzie and DE Ropati Pitoitua.

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