There Always Has To Be More Than A Quarterback

They are two men in the limelight this week, set to perform on the highest platform of their profession. Colin Kaepernick and Joe Flacco are not the best quarterbacks in the league, or even their conferences. They are not the best players on their respective teams.

However, on Sunday they will be the most important quarterbacks in the National Football League. It’s the Super Bowl and it’s darn near impossible for a team to win a championship game without at least a good performance by the triggerman in their offense. The pressure sits on each man’s shoulder, ready to make him or break him.

Take note Chiefs fans, followers of the team with the first selection of the 2013 NFL Draft – many of you desperately want your team to use that choice on a quarterback. With this thinking the name is not really important; he just needs to be the quarterback this franchise has longed for since Lenny the Cool rode off into the television sunset.

But understand that the quarterbacks that have helped lead their teams into the 47th game they call super were not the first player selected coming out of college. They weren’t even top shelf players coming out of high school. Flacco could not beat out Tyler Palko for the starting job at the University of Pittsburgh; that’s why he transferred to Delaware. Kaepernick couldn’t get a major program to give him a scholarship and it appeared his professional future might be in baseball. But the University of Nevada came through and he ended up in Reno.

Flacco was not the No. 1 choice in his draft; he was taken with pick No. 18. Kaepernick was not the first selection of his draft; he was grabbed by the 49ers in the second round with overall choice No. 36. …Read More!

NFL Almanac – 1/31

Items of Note

New Orleans – Both San Francisco and Baltimore practiced indoors on Thursday. All Ravens players took part, while the 49ers still had LBs Ahmad Brooks and Aldon Smith limited because of shoulder injuries.

Green Bay – wide receiver Donald Driver announced his retirement on Thursday. The soon to be 38-year old played 14 seasons with Packers after being a seventh round choice of the team in 1999. Driver caught 743 passes for 10,137 yards (both franchise records) and 61 touchdown catches.

Atlanta – Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff is trying to convince TE Tony Gonzalez to play in 2013. Gonzalez said after Atlanta was eliminated from the playoffs that he was retiring. “A guy who is 36 catching 100-plus ball, it just doesn’t seem like it’s time for him to move on,” Dimitroff said. “He knows that he still has fuel in the tank and it’s very legitimate fuel.” …Read More!

2012 Chiefs Tickets Were Least Desired in NFL

Forbes magazine likes to estimate each year on the value of sports franchises. Since all but one of the NFL’s 32 teams is a private business, they really are forced to guess on the economics for each franchise. But those inside the league are convinced the Forbes’ estimates are pretty close and certainly in the ballpark.

This year Forbes did another look at the NFL from a different viewpoint: the secondary ticket market.

For Chiefs fans of the last 20 years that have held season tickets, they understand the secondary market because it once was how they paid for the seats. When the Chiefs were going great guns a fan could sell tickets for two or three games to ticket brokers or scalpers at an inflated price and take the profits to pay for the other seven games.

What Forbes did was track the price of tickets sold on StubHub at three different points during the week leading up to kickoff. Using the average ticket price for each team, they compared the prices that were paid on the ticket service.

Their research discovered that in 2012 the most sought after tickets were for home games of Pittsburgh, Green Bay and Denver. Tickets for Steelers home games on StubHub went for 223.4 percent of face value, or more than twice the initial cost. The Packers games at Lambeau Field went for 217.9 percent of face value. Thanks to Peyton Manning’s arrival, the Broncos tickets on the secondary market went for 180.9 percent over face value.

Among the 32 teams, 31 had tickets that were marked up in price on the secondary market.

Only one team in the league had tickets that dropped in value upon re-sale.

Yes, the Kansas City Chiefs home game tickets were for 2.8 percent below face value on the secondary market. …Read More!

NFL Almanac – 1/30

Items of note

New Orleans – the NFL announced its first practice/injury report for Super Bowl week on Wednesday. Everybody on the Baltimore roster practiced as they worked outside in windy conditions at Tulane University. With San Francisco, LBs Aldon Smith and Ahmad Brooks were both limited in practice as the 49ers worked at the Saints indoor practice facility with shoulder injuries.

NFL – announced that Jerome Boger would head the officiating crew for Sunday’s Super Bowl. Boger is a 9-year veteran and will be working his fifth post-season game; he’s never worked the Super Bowl. He entered the league in 2004 as a line judge and was promoted to referee in 2006. Controversy has surrounded his appointment because he was not the highest rated referee during the regular season and has never worked higher than the divisional round of the playoffs.

You can’t make this stuff up – the instigator of the hoax involving Manti Te’o and his sick-dead-risen but chased by drug dealers girl friend will appear Thursday on Dr. Phil’s television show where he admits his involvement and says Te’o had nothing to do with creating the hoax. And, Ronaiah Tuiasosopo admitted he fell romantically in love with Te’o. When asked by Dr. Phil if he was gay, Tuiasosopo said yes, and then “I am confused.” …Read More!

One More College All-Star Game

The college all-star game season ends this weekend with the Texas vs. The Nation All-Star Challenge on Saturday in Allen, Texas.

It’s the fifth-year for this game that matches senior players from Texas or that play at Texas schools against players from the rest of the country.

Kickoff is 1:30 p.m. at Eagle Stadium in Allen. There will be a television broadcast on Fox Sports Southwest.

There are 110 players involved in the game and for the most part these are players were not invited to the East-West Shrine Game and Senior Bowl.

There are five local players in the game: …Read More!

Pollard As Close As Chiefs Get To Super Bowl

Let’s go back to the summer of 2009 when Scott Pioli was in charge of the Chiefs roster in his first season as the team’s general manager.

Arriving from New England with a briefcase full of Executive of the Year awards and a belief that he had all the answers, Pioli began molding the Chiefs in the image that he called the “right 53.”

One of Pioli decisions in the last days of the pre-season came on September 5, 2009 when he released starting strong safety Bernard Pollard. It was a surprising move at the time because there was not an obvious replacement on the roster for Pollard and no one had outplayed him in four pre-season games.

Pollard supposedly did not fit what the Chiefs were looking for at the position, although questions were never answered about just what type of safety was sought. He had several verbal battles with then defensive coordinator Clancy Pendergast on the practice field, including during the team’s OTA sessions that required head coach Todd Haley to intervene.

Those arguments on the practice field and how the off-season had gone with Pollard sent obvious signals that he was not going to be a good fit with the new regime. That’s why the Chiefs signed 10-year veteran Mike Brown on June 25th, a month before training camp began. …Read More!

NFL Almanac – 1/29

Items of note

  • Baltimore – LB Ray Lewis denied taking a supplement made of deer antler extract that reportedly contained substance banned by the NFL as a performance enhancer. Lewis called the report “stupidity.”
  • Buffalo – the Bills announced they would continue their annual trips to Toronto for regular season game in Canada. They will play a regular season game every season for five y ears and then one year they’ll add a pre-season game.
  • St. Louis – canceled hiring of Rob Ryan as defensive coordinator. The Rams agreed to terms with Ryan last week, but discovered problems between the parties involving whether the team would play a 3-4 (Ryan’s choice) or 4-3 (Rams choice.) St. Louis plans now to talk with Dick Jauron, fired this week by the Cleveland Browns. …Read More!

Headed From Joplin to the NFL

It was a nice summer job for Brandon Williams.

After finishing his second year at Missouri Southern State University, he spent the summer in Joplin, picking up a class at school, using the Missouri Southern workout facility and working as the truck driver for a company that rented Port-a-Johns.

“It was a good job because I was out driving around, dropping them off and I didn’t have to service any of them,” Williams said last week between practices for the 2013 Senior Bowl in Mobile, Alabama. “It wasn’t one of those no-work jobs you hear about the big-time players having. I had to show up to get paid, but it was OK.”

In the third weekend in May 2011, Williams jumped in his truck and drove home to St. Louis. That Sunday, one of the most powerful tornadoes in American history plowed through Joplin and left behind death and destruction that remains tough to comprehend. The death count reached 158 and the damages were in excess of $3 billion.

It was 48 hours later that Williams drove his truck back to Joplin. It’s not an afternoon that he will ever forget. …Read More!

NFL Almanac – 1/28

Items of note

  • NFL – Indianapolis Colts general manager Ryan Grigson was named the NFL Executive of the Year by the Sporting News.
  • Denver – Broncos LT Ryan Clady is headed to surgery for a shoulder injury that he suffered in Denver’s game against the Chiefs in December. Clady could become a free agent in March.
  • San Francisco – OLB Aldon Smith of Raytown and the University of Missouri was voted MVP of the 49ers’ coaches. …Read More!

Aggressive Will Be Chiefs Special Teams Attitude

Generally there are two different ways that NFL teams approach the kicking game. One is identified by the motto “don’t screw up.” The other carries the label “make something happen.”

Last year, the Chiefs worked under a “don’t screw up philosophy.” With new head coach Andy Reid and his special teams coordinator Dave Toub the approach in 2013 will be very different.

“Our mentality in Chicago (Toub was with the Bears for last nine seasons) was that we were going to win games on special teams,” Toub said on Monday. “We want to put the pressure on the opponent. We don’t want things to happen to us; we want them to happen for us. It’s a different philosophy than they had here before.”

It’s certainly a philosophy that was evident in how Toub approached the kicking game with the Bears where year in-year out his units ranked among the league’s best. Here’s just one example – kick and punt returns for touchdowns by Chicago (2004-12): 22. Kick and punt returns allowed for touchdowns: 3; a plus-19 in the return-ratio for the Bears.

In those same nine seasons with the Chiefs, they scored 6 return touchdowns and allowed 11 or a minus-5 in a return ratio. …Read More!

A Bag Full of Football . . . Monday Cup O’Chiefs

Derrick Johnson on the run for 42 yards and a touchdown Sunday in Pro Bowl

The 49ers are in New Orleans. The NFL played another all-star game where defense did not matter. And, soon to be NFLers left Mobile, Alabama over the weekend with about a month to improve on their negatives before the NFL Combine.

Not a game was played that really counted, but there was plenty of football action over the weekend. On Sunday, the Super Bowl favorites had wheels down in the Big Easy as head coach Jim Harbaugh led his club to their New Orleans hotel. They are staying at the Marriott on Canal Street and it figures to be an interesting week given that you walk out the back door of the hotel and you are in the French Quarter.

It’s a very enticing situation to any collection of young American males, especially those with high levels of testosterone. …Read More!

NFL Almanac – 1/26 & 27

Items of note

  • Honolulu – Minnesota TE Kyle Rudolph was named the most outstanding player in Sunday’s Pro Bowl. A replacement for Tony Gonzalez, the Vikings receiver caught 5 passes for 122 yards and a touchdown.
  • Honolulu – Green Bay center Jeff Saturday announced before the Pro Bowl that he was retiring and during Sunday’s game, he switched teams for one play, jumping from the NFC to AFC team for a final snap to former Indianapolis Colts teammate Peyton Manning.
  • Washington, D.C. – Add the voice of President Barrack Obama to the list of those concerned about the effect of violence in football. “I’m a big football fan, but I have to tell you if I had a son, I’d have to think long and hard before I let him play football,” the President said in an interview with the New Republic magazine. “I think that those of us who love the sport are going to have to wrestle with the fact that it will probably change gradually to try to reduce some of the violence.” …Read More!

Ready For Aloha Football

The NFL Pro Bowl will kick off at 5:30 p.m. CST. On the field at Aloha Stadium will be six members of the Chiefs, making contributions on offense, defense and on special teams.

They posed together with a couple of Hawaiian cuties at practice the other day and the photographer almost had to use a wide-angle lens to get all the Chiefs in the shot.

SS Eric Berry, OLB Tamba Hali, ILB Derrick Johnson, OLB Justin Houston, P Dustin Colquitt and RB Jamaal Charles are all scheduled to participate. It’s the largest contingent of Chiefs to take part in the game since 2004 and 2005 when they had six in each year. The Chiefs record for players in the Pro Bowl is 11 in 1970 and 1971.

Chiefs Add Offensive Lineman

The Chiefs reserve/future signings have dribbled out over the last two weeks and they added another player on Saturday with the addition of G Ryan Durand.

The 6-5, 305 Durand came into the league as a 7th-round selection by Tennessee in the 2009 NFL Draft. He spent four training camps and pre-seasons with the Titans, appearing in 17 games in August. But most of three seasons was spent on the practice squad; Durand was on the 53-man roster for 11 games in 2010, but appeared in just one, against Dallas on October, 10, 2010. The Massachusetts native spent one game on the roster with Miami in the 2012 season but did not play.

Durand was a three-year starter at right guard for Syracuse.

Mobile In the Rearview Mirror


From America’s highways, byways and flyways

It’s another good bye to Mobile, Alabama for the NFL as the scouts, coaches and executives are long one, leaving behind only the 100-plus players that will play in Saturday’s Senior Bowl.

Kickoff is 3 o’clock Saturday afternoon at Ladd Peebles Stadium in Mobile. Television coverage is on the NFL Network.

Some final thoughts on the events of the week.

Going to school for the Chiefs personnel department

Wednesday afternoon’s practice for the South team had been over for 45-plus minutes. The players had done interviews, signed autographs and left on buses to go back to the hotel. Fans and media had cleared out, as had almost all of the NFL scouting folks.

The only remaining bodies in Ladd Peebles Stadium were a clean-up crew on the practice field and near the top of the east grandstand was a group of 20 men. They sat in the bleachers at listened intently as new Chiefs GM John Dorsey conducted what amounted to a staff meeting.

It happened after every practice held at the stadium. The workout ended, everyone dispersed save the Chiefs contingent.

Turns out it was a combination staff meeting, teaching session and debriefing on what had just happened, what was ahead and how the Chiefs were going to handle the rest of the day or week. Dorsey had been in the chair less than a week when the Chiefs arrived over the last weekend. These sessions were some of the first opportunities Dorsey had to speak to his scouts.

It made for a busy week for Dorsey and the scouts got a taste of the management style of their new boss. …Read More!

NFL Almanac – 1/25

Items of note

  • Honolulu – Washington Redskins OT Trent Williams suffered head injuries in a disturbance at a nightclub on Friday. Williams was the victim of an assault at the club and was struck with a champagne bottle. While his injuries are not serious, he cannot wear a helmet because of stitches to close a wound and thus will not play in Sunday’s Pro Bowl. He’s been replaced on the NFC team by Matt Kalil of the Minnesota Vikings.
  • New Orleans – moving to a 3-4 defense for the upcoming season, Saints head coach Sean Payton needs a new defensive coordinator and former Chiefs head coach Romeo Crennel is on his short list.
  • San Francisco – the city’s district attorney announced Friday that no charges will be filed against 49ers WR Michael Crabtree in an alleged sexual assault. The incident occurred two weeks ago in a San Francisco hotel. …Read More!

Busy Off-Season Friday At Arrowhead

Mark DeLeone, Al Harris and Tyler Shoemaker

The Chiefs contingent from the Senior Bowl made its way back to Kansas City and had a busy Friday, announcing the signing of a player, the addition of two assistant coaches and the retention of the previous staff.

Signed as a reserve/futures player was WR Tyler Shoemaker; added to the staff were former All-Pro CB Al Harris as a defensive assistant/secondary coach and Mark DeLeone as a quality control coach; staying on the job in the Chiefs weight room will be Brent Salazar as assistant strength and conditioning coach.

Shoemaker – entered the NFL last year as an undrafted free agent with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The 6-1, 213-pound Idaho native went undrafted last year and signed as a free agent with the Bucs in April. But a month later (May 24) Shoemaker was released on a waived/left squad designation. He did not sign with another team after his Tampa Bay release. At Boise State, he went from walk-on to the team’s leading receiver as a senior and a record setter wit 16 TD catches, the most in school history. …Read More!

Finishing Up Senior Bowl Week


From Mobile, Alabama

The Senior Bowl is a week long string of activities here in Mobile and it just so happens this year’s edition came the same weekend as the start of Mardi Gras. It’s two weeks of parties for the folks down here close by that stretch of Mississippi/Alabama/Florida beach known as the Redneck Riviera.

Almost all of the NFL types scattered on Thursday, getting back home to work up their notes and analysis of the practices. Few scouts or personnel types stay for Saturday’s game – they’ll get a tape next week.

It’s the practice work that factors into player evaluation. And for those sessions, here are the five players that helped themselves the most and the top five players that hurt themselves during the practice week. None of the gold stars guarantees anything and the wounds for those that struggled can be overcome

They are listed in alphabetical order. …Read More!

An Updated Look at the Senior Bowl Quarterbacks


E.J. Manuel, Tyler Wilson and Ryan Nassib – the best QBs at the Senior Bowl

From Mobile, Alabama

There were six quarterbacks on the practice field this week working with the North and South teams. Of the highest rated QBs coming into this draft period, only two were missing from the Senior Bowl workouts – Geno Smith of West Virginia and the injured Matt Barkley from Southern California.

Here’s a view of all six quarterbacks with my evaluations of what I saw on the field. I’ve rated them one through six based on what they showed in practice. I did not chart every throw in practice – there were other players to watch – but I did keep totals in the seven-on-seven passing drills and the team work portions of practice. I will not repeat specific numbers in most instances; these are not quarterbacks and receivers with a lot of history together and it’s tough to judge a poor throw vs. a poorly run route. I will refer to accuracy in general terms. …Read More!

Enjoying The Hawaii Sunshine

That’s Chiefs RB Jamaal Charles enjoying a laugh with fellow AFC Pro Bowl teammate Arian Foster in the first practice of Pro Bowl week. Charles is one of six Chiefs that are in Honolulu for the game. The teams will practice on Thursday and Friday and then play Sunday at Aloha Stadium. Denver coach John Fox is the head coach of the AFC team.

The 2013 Senior Bowl’s Best Player

From Mobile, Alabama

Eric Fisher has always been big, in this case big meaning tall. Fisher measured out this week at the Senior Bowl standing 6-feet, 7ΒΌ inches.

But Fisher has never been big, as in heavy. When he was a junior in high school he was already 6-7, but weighed 230 pounds. He was a bean pole, a stick of a football player and his lack of girth kept him off the radar screens of the Big Ten Conference programs that were close to his home in suburban Detroit.

So he ended up at Central Michigan State University, one of those directional schools that dominate the Mid-America Conference. That’s where he grew, on a “see-food diet” Fisher said. “If I saw food, I was supposed to eat it,” Fisher said. Slowly his weight started creeping up. This past year he finally topped 300 pounds, putting him more in line with the size that programs like Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, Wisconsin and others prefer from their blockers.

But Fisher’s skills went to the Chippewas and he played well enough in the MAC to start pinging the NFL personnel department radar.

As the week has gone on and assessments have been made about the 100-plus players involved in the week or practices, Fisher is a near unanimous choice as the top talent in this year’s Senior Bowl. Five GMs or personnel directors were polled and four rated Fisher No. 1, while the fifth had him at No. 2 behind only RB Johnathan Franklin from UCLA.

“He’s a very big man, and to be that agile and to be that athletic at the offensive tackle position is pretty impressive,” said Raiders head coach Dennis Allen; he and his staff are coaching Fisher and the North team. …Read More!

NFL Almanac – 1/23

Items of note

  • Oakland – former Raiders WR Tim Brown says that 10 years ago then head coach Bill Callahan compromised Oakland’s chances in Super Bowl XXXVII by changing the team’s offensive game plan 48 hours before kickoff against Tampa Bay. One of his teammates at that time, WR Jerry Rice agreed with Brown. On Wednesday, Callahan issued a statement addressing the charge. “While I fully understand a competitive professional football player’s disappointment when a game’s outcome doesn’t go his team’s way, I am shocked, saddened and outraged by Tim Brown’s allegations and Jerry Rice’s support of those allegations made through various media outlets over the last twenty-four hours,” Callahan said in the statement. “To leave no doubt, I categorically and unequivocally deny the sum and substance of their allegations. Like every game I ever coached on the professional or collegiate level, I endeavor to the best of my professional ability to position my team to win. To suggest otherwise, especially at this time when it involves the Super Bowl, is ludicrous and defamatory.” …Read More!

Senior Bowl Practice Report 1/23 – North & South

From Mobile, Alabama

It was a busy day for the players taking part in the Senior Bowl, as both squads held their final full pads practice under sunny skies and warmer temperatures than they dealt with on Tuesday.

The North team’s practice in the morning was quick and efficient, while the South squad workout was more intense and vocal. After three days the teams are taking on a bit of a personality.

The teams will practice Thursday in what amounts to a run-through, followed by a walk-through on Friday and then Saturday’s game. Most of the NFL types were racing to the Mobile Airport after Wednesday’s session for the South squad.

But not the Chiefs group of some 20 people that was still sitting in the grandstand at Ladd Pebbles Stadium after the South team had left and the only other remaining people were part of a cleanup crew.

Here’s some notes and information from the workouts. …Read More!

You call this work?

From Mobile, Alabama

Here’s visible proof that your intrepid Internet scribe is actually working at the Senior Bowl and not just in a bathrobe in the basement of mom and dad’s house with a working modem.

That’s South team quarterback Tyler Wilson from the University of Arkansas in the foreground, answering a question from the Action News folks at Alabama’s Channel 13. The big headed guy in the background looking stylish in the shades is our staff on site at Ladd Peebles Stadium enjoying the sunshine in sweet home Alabama.

We’ll have plenty of what Wilson had to say in the coming weeks – he’s a consideration as a Chiefs draft choice, except for that No. 1 selection.

Familiar Eyes Watching the Senior Bowl

From Mobile, Alabama

In many ways the annual Senior Bowl trip in January is the convention for the worker bees of the NFL – the assistant coaches, scouts and personnel types that make the world turn in pro football.

And given the fact that the Chiefs have had 7 head coaches in the last 16 years, there has been a great deal of instability on the coaching staff as each head man prefers his own choices. The domino effect has created a lot of Kansas City NFL alumni. Invariably, they end up in Mobile making the rounds at the week’s headquarters in the Renaissance Riverview Plaza Hotel or at Ladd Peebles Stadium where most of the practices are held.

Into the hotel lobby early Tuesday evening strolled one of the newest members of the former K.C. coaches – Brian Daboll. The Chiefs offensive coordinator this past season has not allowed any grass to grow under his feet – he was wearing a windbreaker from the New England Patriots. Just last week he was added to the payroll by Bill Belichick.

“It’s been some three weeks,” Daboll allowed, begging off any type of interview since the Patriots do not allow staff members to speak to the media. Daboll then hustled off to attend a meeting with some of the Senior Bowl players.

Check the picture above with two members of the Chiefs coaching staff/personnel department alumni that were at the stadium on Tuesday afternoon. That’s Greg Robinson on the left, defensive coordinator in 2001-03 for Dick Vermeil. On the right is one-time linebackers coach Joe Vitt, who spent four seasons working for the Chiefs (2000-03) on the staffs of Gunther Cunningham and Vermeil.

Robinson was attending due to his work with the Sirius NFL Radio Network. On Tuesday, Vitt handed back the key to the head coach’s office with the New Orleans Saints to Sean Payton. Vitt has been filling the role since Payton was suspended for a season due to the bounty scandal; he was reinstated on Tuesday by Commissioner Roger Goodell. …Read More!

NFL Almanac – 1/22

Items of note

  • New Orleans – the NFL reinstated Saints head coach Sean Payton from his one-year suspension and Payton returned to work immediately with the Saints. Payton was in Mobile on Tuesday at the Senior Bowl’s afternoon practice session. The move came after a Monday meeting between Payton and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. Payton’s suspension was part of the discipline handed down by Goodell to those involved in the Saints bounty scandal.
  • Dallas – Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said Tuesday that head coach Jason Garrett would no longer call plays on game day for the Dallas offense. Those duties will now fall to offensive coordinator Bill Callahan.
  • San Diego – Charlie Joiner announced his retirement after spending 44 seasons in professional football. Joiner played 18 seasons for the Houston Oilers, Cincinnati Bengals and Chargers. He then spent the next 26 years as a receivers coach for the Chargers, Bills and for 7 seasons with the Chiefs (2001-07). For the last five years he coached the San Diego wide receivers.

Pro Bowl

  • AFC – named Chiefs OLB Justin Houston as a replacement for the injured Denver LB Von Miller.
  • NFC – named TE Kyle Rudolph to the NFC roster as a replacement for the injured Atlanta’s Tony Gonzalez. Named Atlanta safeties Thomas DeCoud and William Moore as replacements for Super Bowl bound San Francisco safeties Dashon Goldson and Donte Whitner. …Read More!

Justin Houston Gets Late Hawaii Ticket

The team that was able to win only two games last season will now have three times that many players in this Sunday’s Pro Bowl. On Tuesday OLB Justin Houston was named as an injury replacement for Denver LB Von Miller.

Houston’s trip to Honolulu gives the Chiefs six players in the game. Already in Hawaii for the game were SS Eric Berry, RB Jamaal Charles, P Dustin Colquitt, OLB Tamba Hali and ILB Derrick Johnson. That’s the most Chiefs players in the all-star game since 2005 when a half-dozen went for the all-star ga me.

The second-year player out of the University of Georgia, Houston started all 16 games at left outside linebacker. He led the team with 10.0 sacks (-69.0 yards) and finished third with 66 total tackles (53 solo). The 2011 third-round draft choice also forced a fumble, recovered another and had his first interception.

Senior Bowl Practice Report 1/22 – South Offense

Andy Reid enjoyed the warm sun on a chilly day as he watched practice on Tuesday.

From Mobile, Alabama

With sunny skies but cool temperatures in the 50s it was perfect weather for the South team’s Tuesday afternoon practice. The Detroit Lions coaching staff put the 50 players through a two-hour session that had some intensity.

There were plenty of one-on-one matchups that the pro scouts like to see during Senior Bowl week practices. Here’s what we saw, position-by-position:

Quarterbacks – a mixed bag with the South’s three QBs but the class of the group is E.J. Manuel (Florida State). Manuel was the most accurate passer of the three although some of his long passes across the field wobbled a bit in the air. Tyler Wilson (Arkansas) and Landry Jones (Oklahoma) had no problem throwing it that far, but they were not consistent in ball placement for the receivers. Jones connected on a nice long pass to WR Quinton Patton (Louisiana Tech). Wilson had a pass knocked up into the air that was intercepted by LB Vince Williams (Florida State). After that, Wilson hit a pair of long passes with very precise throws to Patton and WR Cobi Hamilton (Arkansas). …Read More!

Working The Senior Bowl

From Mobile, Alabama

That’s Chiefs GM John Dorsey in the white hat meeting with members of the team’s personnel staff after the end of the South team practice Tuesday afternoon at Ladd-Peebles Stadium. In fact, this picture was taken as the rest of the stadium was clearing out. Dorsey and his group were the only people left in the east grandstand. Just to Dorsey’s right in the white sweater is pro personnel director Ray Farmer. Wearing the white hat and sitting in front of Dorsey is area scout Willie Davis. That’s Terry Delp another area scout to the right of Dorsey in the black cap. There are two more days of practices for the Senior Bowl.

Senior Bowl Practice Report 1/22 – North

From Mobile, Alabama

The full pads went on Tuesday morning as the coaches put the 100-plus players through another day of practice.

First up was the North team as the Oakland Raiders coaching staff put their squad through a two-our practice. We provided some notes on the North offense from Monday’s practice. This time we’ll cover the defense from both practices, plus some offensive notes from Tuesday.

Later Tuesday, we’ll have a report on the South team’s afternoon session.

Offense

A couple players stood out Tuesday morning topped by big OT Eric Fisher (Central Michigan). The 6-7, 305-pound left tackle was a wall in pass blocking drills. DE Alex Okafor (Texas) ad a big day rushing the passer on Monday, but he was stoned by Fisher. At one point on back-to-back snaps, Okafor could not make any forward movement at all; Fisher showed his outstanding foot quickness as he operated in a pass blocking stance and kept his feet moving and was not knocked off-balance. Fisher is considered a first-round talent and more practices like this one and he’ll elevate into the top 10 picks. …Read More!

Nassib Working With Paul Hackett … Cup O’Chiefs

From Mobile, Alabama

The old joke around the Chiefs back at the end of the short Joe Montana Era at Arrowhead Stadium was that the veteran quarterback retired after the 1994 season not because his body was worn out. No, he hung it up because he couldn’t survive another season of Paul Hackett’s extra long quarterback meetings.

Ryan Nassib has never met Montana – but he understands how the Hall of Famer felt. As he prepares for the 2013 NFL Draft with this week at the Senior Bowl, the Syracuse quarterback is working five days a week with the now retired Hackett, who spent five years as the Chiefs offensive coordinator (1993-97).

Sometimes those five days seem like six or seven.

“He’s a riot; he knows so much stuff and he just gets so wrapped up in what we are doing, he loses track of time,” Nassib said on Monday at the Senior Bowl’s annual dinner for the players at the Battleship USS Alabama Pavilion. “I’m trying to soak it all up, just trying to be a sponge around him because he knows so much. But there are times when I get lost and have no clue what he’s talking about.”

Hackett was the mad scientist of thee West Coast offense when he learned the basics from Bill Walsh and then ran the offense with the 49ers and the Chiefs in between his stints as a college head coach at Pitt and Southern Cal. …Read More!

Senior Bowl Practice Report 1/21 – North Offense

From Mobile, Alabama

For the first day of practices the North and South teams practiced at different sites at the same time, so that constricted the chance to watch the players.

So we picked the North squad under the direction of the Oakland Raiders coaching staff. The players were not in full pads for this workout; we’ll see that on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Here is what we saw and noticed from the offense. We’ll provide a defensive update in a later post.

Quarterbacks

Based on how they threw the ball and the way they handled other aspects of the position, I’d rate the three quarterbacks in this order: 1.) Ryan Nassib (Syracuse), 2.) Mike Glennon (North Carolina State) and 3.) Zac Dysert (Miami, Oh.) …Read More!

NFL Almanac – 1/21

Items of note

  • According to the NFL, the AFC Championship Game broadcast on Sunday drew 47.7 million viewers. That made the telecast of the Ravens-Patriots game the most watched TV program since the Super Bowl last year. The viewership for the NFC Championship Game was 42 million.

Coaching & front office moves

  • Arizona – hired Todd Bowles as defensive coordinator; Bowles was the secondary coach of the Philadelphia Eagles in the 2012 season.
  • Buffalo – named Pat Morris offensive line coach.
  • Chicago – retained DB coach Jon Hoke and DL coach Mike Phair.
  • Jacksonville – retained WR coach Jerry Sullivan and LB coach Mark Duffner.
  • Philadelphia – hired Pat Shurmur as offensive coordinator; Shurmur was head coach of the Cleveland Browns in 2012.
  • San Diego – fired strength and conditioning coach Jeff Hurd.
    …Read More!

Arthur Brown Senior Bowl Update

From Mobile, Alabama

Scratch news that K-State linebacker had left town and the Senior Bowl because he did not want to risk aggravating a new injury. That was the word Bowl officials passed down the line on Sunday.

But Monday afternoon, Brown was on the practice field with the North Squad at Ladd Peebles Stadium. It was the first of three full-scale practices for the teams.

Brown was not practicing, but he was on the field for “mental reps” and expects to get word Monday night or Tuesday morning on whether he’ll be allowed to practice this week and play in Saturday’s game.

“It’s up to them; I want to play,” Brown said after practice. “It’s something (the injury) I’ve had for some time.”

The problem is Brown’s right shoulder, which he first injured two years ago with K-State. A physical on Sunday at the Senior Bowl indicated a problem and he was not allowed to work Monday.

“I’ll either be on the field Tuesday or I’ll be down the road,” Brown said. “My goal is to play. That’s why I came here.”

Changes Come to Senior Bowl

From Mobile, Alabama

The headquarters hotel is the same as it’s been for years now, with NFL scouts bumping into player agents every 10 feet and players scurrying away from both groups. Ladd-Peebles Stadium is still the home for practices and Saturday’s game and the annual seafood jubilee is still set for Tuesday evening.

Not much changes from year-to-year with the Senior Bowl, one of the more important stops on the NFL personnel trail each year. Over 100 draft eligible players are in town and they will be broken into two teams for practices and then the Senior Bowl game. Over 1,000 NFL general managers, personnel leaders, head coaches, coordinators, assistant coaches and scouts.

But there are changes this year, some very obvious changes and they’ve been spearheaded by former NFL G.M. Phil Savage who now serves as the Senior Bowl’s executive director.

Savage has streamlined some of the procedures to make for more efficient use of the players time and that of the teams as well. …Read More!

Another Super Bowl Is Set: Ravens vs. 49ers

One of the most unique Super Bowls in the 47-year history of the championship game will come down on February 3rd in New Orleans. That’s when Jack and Jackie Harbaugh’s oldest son John leads his Baltimore Ravens against his Jack and Jackie’s middle child Jim and his San Francisco 49ers.

Either the Ravens or 49ers will win an NFL championship, but the Harbaugh’s know they will win somehow. And, they will lose as well.

The Harbaughs are the first brothers that have both coached in the NFL. Thus, it’s the first time Super Bowl week will be dominated by a family affair of this nature.

It’s just the top storyline of the game. Here are the other four, ranked in order: …Read More!

Sunday’s Best – Conference Championships 1/20

Longest plays

  • 62 – San Francisco P Andy Lee punt vs. Atlanta. (W)
  • 59 – Baltimore P Sam Koch punt vs. New England. (W)
  • 51 – New England P Zoltan Mesko punt vs. Baltimore. (L)
  • 46 – Atlanta WR Julio Jones TD catch vs. San Francisco. (L) …Read More!

It’s Super Bowl Time in New Orleans

Super Bowl XLVII (47)

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Mercedes-Benz Superdome, New Orleans, Louisiana

Baltimore Ravens (12-6) against San Francisco 49ers (13-4-1)

  • Kickoff: set for 5:30 p.m. CST.
  • Vegas odds: early line has Niners favored by 4.5 to 5 points. Over/under at 49.5 to 50 points.
  • Television: CBS-TV.
  • Last Baltimore Super appearance: January 28, 2001 when they beat the New York Giants 34-7 to win Super Bowl XXXV.
  • Last San Francisco Super appearance: January 29, 1995 when they beat the San Diego Chargers 49-26 in Super Bowl XXIX.
  • Total Baltimore Super Bowl victories: 1 (2000 season.)
  • Total San Francisco Super Bowl victories: 5 (1981, 1984, 1988, 1989, 1994 seasons.)
  • Age difference between John and Jim Harbaugh, the two head coaches and sons of Jack and Jackie Harbaugh: 456 days. John was born on September 23, 1962. Jim was born on December 23, 1963.
  • This will be the 10th Super Bowl played in New Orleans at Tulane Stadium and then the Superdome. That ties South Florida for the most Super Bowls hosted in league history. Previous games were Super Bowl IV (Chiefs beat Vikings), VI, IX, XII, XV, XX, XXIV, XXXI and XXXVI.
  • There has not been a Super Bowl virgin since New Orleans (2009 season). Since the 2000 season there have been 26 Super Bowl berths and six went to first-timers. Along with the Saints were: Arizona (2008), Seattle (2005), Carolina (2003), Tampa Bay (2002) and Baltimore (2000).
  • There are 4 teams in the NFL that have never played in a Super Bowl: Detroit, Cleveland, Houston and Jacksonville.
  • There are 14 teams that have not won a Super Bowl title. The previous 4 teams and Arizona, Atlanta, Carolina, San Diego, Seattle, Tennessee, Cincinnati, Philadelphia, Buffalo and Minnesota.
  • There are 8 teams that have a combined 33 Super Bowls, or 72 percent of the titles: Pittsburgh (6), San Francisco (5), Dallas (5), Green Bay (4), New York Giants (4), Oakland (3), Washington (3) and New England (3).

NFL Almanac – 1/20

Items of note

  • It’s San Francisco and Baltimore in Super Bowl 47 set for Sunday, February 3rd in New Orleans. Sports books have the 49ers as an early 5-point favorite over the Ravens. Early over/under is 50 points.
  • The NFL says it’s considering widening the scoop of the league’s so called Rooney Rule so that minority candidates are required to be interviewed for coordinator positions along with the general manager and head coach.
  • The league named Arizona WR Larry Fitzgerald, Cleveland OT Joe Thomas and Dallas TE Jason Witten the finalists for the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award that annually goes to a player for his off-field contributions. The award will be presented during Super Bowl week in New Orleans.

Pro Bowl

  • AFC – lost 6 players from Baltimore from its roster for this coming Sunday’s game. Already, Oakland’s Marcel Reece will replace FB Vonta Leach and Cleveland’s Joshua Cribbs steps in for returner Jacoby Jones. Still to be replaced are RB Ray Rice, G Marshal Yanda, DT Haloti Ngata and S Ed Reed.
  • NFC – lost 8 players from San Francisco from its roster for this coming Sunday’s game. Replacements began being named Sunday night as Washington LBs London Fletcher and Ryan Kerrigan replace LBs Aldon Smith and Patrick Willis. Tampa Bay RB Doug Martin replaces Frank Gore. Detroit DT Ndamukong Suh steps in for Justin Smith. Others that must be replaced are OT Joe Staley, G Mike Iupati, LB NaVorro Bowman and safeties Dashon Goldson and Donte Whitner. …Read More!

NFL Almanac – 1/19

Transactions

  • New England – promoted DT Marcus Forston from the practice squad.
  • San Francisco – promoted WR Chad Hall from the practice squad.

Coaching & front office moves

  • Arizona – hired Harold Goodwin as offensive coordinator; last season Goodwin was offensive line coach for the Indianapolis Colts.
  • Detroit – hired John Bonamego as special teams coordinator; last season Bonamego was in the same position for the Jacksonville Jaguars.
  • Jacksonville – hired Jedd Fisch as offensive coordinator – Fisch was offensive coordinator at the University of Miami; hired Bob Babich as defensive coordinator; last season Babich was linebackers coach with the Chicago Bears.
  • Oakland – hired Bobby April as special teams coach; April held the same position last year with the Philadelphia Eagles.

NFL Qualifies Underclassmen For ’13 Draft

A record number of underclassmen have been granted entry into the 2013 NFL Draft as the league has granted 73 players that opportunity.

Under NFL rules, each player has met the three-year eligibility rule and then must submit a written application and renounce his remaining eligibility on the college level. The deadline for applying was January 15.

This year’s 73-player group tops the 2012 total of 65. The number of underclassmen has gone up each year since 2010, from 53, to 56, to 65 and this year’s 73 players.

The 2013 NFL Draft begins on Thursday, April 25 with the Chiefs currently owning the first selection of the first round. Rounds No. 2 and 3 will happen on Friday, April 26 and then round No. 4 through 7 will happen on Saturday, April 27.

Here’s the list of approved underclassmen: …Read More!

NFL Almanac – 1/18

Items of note

  • NFL – the league announced on Friday that Alicia Keys will sing the national anthem before the start of the Super Bowl in New Orleans on February 4th.

Transactions

  • San Francisco – released K Billy Cundiff.

Conference Championship Games Injury Reports

  • Atlanta – DE John Abraham (ankle), DT Jonathan Babineaux (shoulder) are questionable.
  • Baltimore – CB Asa Jackson (thigh) is out; LB Dannell Ellerbe (ankle) FB Vonta Leach (knee), RB Bernard Pierce (knee), WR David Reed (thigh) are questionable.
  • New England – all injured players are probable.
  • San Francisco – all injured players are probable. …Read More!

Chiefs Sign Defensive Lineman

The Chiefs added DL Daniel Muir (right) to the roster with a reserve/futures contract that was announced on Friday.

Muir (6-2, 322 pounds) is a six-year veteran of the league, most recently last October with the New York Jets. The 29-year old has signed with five different teams since coming into the NFL in 2007 as an undrafted rookie free agent for Green Bay from Kent State. He had two different stints with the Packers and Indianapolis Colts, including Super Bowl XLIV after the 2009 season; Muir started in that game with the Colts against New Orleans.

Along with the Jets, Packers and Colts, Muir has been under contract with the St. Louis Rams and now the Chiefs.

In 46 NFL games (26 starts), Muir as 111 total tackles and a half-sack, along with 16 tackles and one sack in four post-season games. In four seasons at Kent State, e started 45 games and contributed 198 total tackles and 14.5 sacks.

He’s a native of Washington, D.C. and attended Parkdale High School in Riverdale, Maryland.

The Cost Of Mistakes … Friday Cup O’Chiefs

The dust has settled around the Chiefs as Clark Hunt has hired his head coach and general manager, and the coaching staff has come together.

It’s been a busy and expensive time for the Hunt Family. A league source familiar with the contracts that went out the door (topped by Scott Pioli and Romeo Crennel) and those that came into the franchise (Andy Reid and John Dorsey) cost the Chiefs in excess of $65 million.

That number could decline a bit if more members of the 2012 Chiefs coaching staff are hired by other teams. So far, Gary Gibbs and Emmitt Thomas have been retained by Reid, special teams coach Tom McMahon was hired for the same duties by Indianapolis and Brian Daboll returned to New England in some sort of offensive adviser position. That leaves about a dozen others in coaching limbo.

Although each contract is different among teams and their assistant coaches, generally a coach fired by his team with a year to go on his contract receives that year’s salary minus whatever he may be paid by another team that hires him.

But the big money cost for the Chiefs comes from paying off what is owed to Pioli and Crennel, and the deal that Reid signed to become head coach. Clark Hunt would not reveal whether Pioli signed an extension before last season, but that non-answer and the big ticket cost of the changes is indication enough that a deal got done and it’s now going to cost the Hunts. Plus, Crennel had two more seasons on his deal.

Add that up and all the sudden we’re talking about real money here. …Read More!

NFL Almanac – 1/17

Items of note

  • Arizona – the Cardinals hired Bruce Arians as their head coach Thursday night. He signed a four-year deal with a club option for a fifth season.
  • New Orleans – The defamation lawsuit filed by Saints LB Jonathan Vilma against NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell was dismissed. Vilma filed the suit as part of the bounty investigations and suspensions handed down over the last year. Vilma has 30 days to appeal.

Transactions

  • New England – placed TE Rob Gronkowski (arm) on the injured reserve list.

Championship Game Practice/Injury report for Thursday

  • Atlanta – DE John Abraham (ankle), DT Jonathan Babineaux (shoulder), CB Chris Owens (hamstring) all limited in practice.
  • Baltimore – CB Asa Jackson (thigh) and RB Bernard Pierce (knee) did not practice.
  • New England — Marquice Cole (finger), DE Chandler Jones (ankle), OL Nick McDonald (shoulder), DE Trevor Scott (knee) and RB Danny Woodhead (thumb) limited participation.
  • San Francisco – CB Tarell Brown (shoulder), FB Bruce Miller (shoulder), LB Aldon Smith (shoulder), all limited participation. …Read More!

Sutton Encouraged By What He’s Inherited On Defense

Bob Sutton got to Kansas City late Monday night and was in the office first thing on Tuesday.

By Wednesday afternoon, the Chiefs new defensive coordinator had already spent many hours looking at tape and talking with holdover assistants Gary Gibbs and Emmitt Thomas. On the surface Sutton liked what he saw of the defense.

“This was I think a good group, just from what I’ve seen,” Sutton told the Kansas City media. “They played hard, were physical. Those two attributes are ones that everybody in our league wants to have when you’re coaching on defense. If you’ll be a physical and tough-minded and play with a great amount of energy and pride, that’s going to serve you well for a long time.

“Those parts are here I think.” …Read More!

NFL Almanac – 1/16

Items of note

  • Notre Dame LB Manti Te’o said Wednesday he was a victim of a hoax that involved what apparently was a a non-existent girl friend, the same one that reportedly died on the same day as is Grandmother in September. The Deadspin website has the complete if confusing story.
  • Seattle GM John Schneider said Wednesday that the Seahawks would listen to any team that was interested in making a deal for QB Matt Flynn. “I’d be lying to you if I told you that we wouldn’t be listening to people,” Schneider said during an interview on KIRO-AM.

Championship Game Practice/Injury report

  • Atlanta – DE John Abraham (ankle), DT Jonathan Babineaux (shoulder), CB Chris Owens (hamstring).
  • Baltimore – CB Asa Jackson (thigh) did not practice; RB Anthony Allen (head), G Gino Gradkowski (head), RB Bernard Pierce (knee), WR Dave Reed (thigh) all limited participation.
  • New England – CB Alfonzo Dennard (non-injury) and TE Rob Gronkowski (arm) did not practice; CB Marquice Cole (finger), DE Chandler Jones (ankle), OL Nick McDonald (shoulder), DE Trevor Scott (knee), RB Danny Woodhead (thumb) limited participation.
  • San Francisco – CB Tarell Brown (shoulder), FB Bruce Miller (shoulder), LB Aldon Smith (shoulder), all limited participation. …Read More!

Reid Adds Two More To Staff

The number now stands at 18 for Andy Reid’s coaching staff for the Chiefs after two more additions were announced on Wednesday.

Andy Heck will coach the offensive line and Kevin O’Dea will be the assistant special teams coach.

“We are close to having the full staff in place which will allow us the opportunity to all get ready for the 2013 season,” Reid said in a statement released by the team. “With Andy and Kevin we have added two experienced leaders to the group.”

Heck played 12 seasons in the NFL after coming out of Notre Dame and being selected in the 1st-round of the 1989 NFL Draft by Seattle. He was part of the last national championship team for the Fighting Irish in 1988 when he played along the Notre Dame offensive line with former Chiefs center, now assistant coach at Kansas. Heck played for the Seahawks, Bears and Redskins in the NFL, appearing in 185 total games with 164 starts. He began his coaching career at the University of Virginia (2001-03) as a graduate assistant and then tight ends coach. The North Dakota native has spent the last nine seasons working in Jacksonville along the offensive line.

O’Dea has been coaching in the NFL since 1994, when he became a special teams assistant with the San Diego Chargers. He spent two seasons (1994-95) with the Bolts, then six years with Tampa Bay (1996-2001), Detroit (2002-03), Arizona (2004-05), Chicago (2006-07), New York Jets (2008-09) and Chicago again (2010-12). During those two stints with the Bears he worked with David Toub, the recently announced special teams coach of the Chiefs.

Answer Bob – 1/16

Last batch of questions from you guys and my last batch of answers. Thanks for taking the time to come up with the questions. I’ll do it again soon.

——————————————————————–

Josh says: Who and where do we need improvements on the o-line such that we won’t need to cry over whoever takes snaps next year? I think our production can increase regardless of the QB if our line can improve and stay healthy.

Bob says: All things considered Josh, the offensive line actually played above a 2-14 level, considering the injuries and shuffling that went on. If Rodney Hudson comes back from his broken leg without problem, they should be OK. If they keep Branden Albert they should be OK. Losing Ryan Lilja hurts, but the three youngsters (Asamoah-Allen-Stephenson) should be improved. Before he broke his thumb and was forced to play with one hand, Asamoah was making good progress. Eric Winston was solid if not spectacular at right tackle. They need some better depth than Russ Hochstein, Bryan Mattison and Rich Ranglin.

——————————————————————– …Read More!

NFL Almanac – 1/15

Items of note

  • Cleveland – the Browns announced a naming rights deal for Cleveland Browns Stadium. It will now be known as FirstEnergy Stadium.

Pro Bowl rosters

  • AFC – named Miami LS John Denney to the team. Denver OT Ryan Clady will not play in the Pro Bowl due to injury; he has been replaced by Cincinnati OT Andrew Whitworth.
  • NFC – named Detroit LS Don Muhlbach to the team. Detroit WR Calvin Johnson will not play in the Pro Bowl due to injury; he was replaced on NFC roster by Tampa Bay WR Vincent Jackson. Green Bay QB Aaron Rodgers will not play in the Pro Bowl due to injury; his replacement has not been selected.

…Read More!

Reid Adds Four More To His Coaching Staff

Chiefs head coach Andy Reid announced the addition of four more coaches on Tuesday and only one major slot in his staff for the 2013 season remains open.

Joining the staff are special teams coordinator Dave Toub, assistant offensive line coach Eugene Chung and holdovers from the staff of Romeo Crennel – linebackers coach Gary Gibbs and secondary coach Emmitt Thomas (right.)

Only the offensive line position remains open, as Reid has talked with several potential assistants there – Juan Castillo, George Warhop and Tony Sparano, who was at the team’s facility on Monday.

Toub is considered one of the best special teams coaches in the league, as he helped Devin Hester develop into one of the greatest returners in NFL history. The New York native worked with Reid at Texas-El Paso and Missouri, and Toub’s first NFL job was with Reid and the Eagles (2001-03).

Gibbs finished out the 2012 season as the team’s defensive coordinator after being hired as part of Todd Haley’s staff in 2009 as linebackers coach. He’s been coaching on the college and pro levels for 30 years.

Thomas joined the Chiefs as an assistant coach in 2010 and will be in his 33rd season of NFL coaching. He’s a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame for his 13-year playing career with the Chiefs.

Chung is a former 1st-round NFL draft choice by New England in 1992 and he played six seasons in the league for the Patriots, Jaguars and Colts. He spent the last three years as assistant offensive line coach with the Eagles.

Reid’s staff now stands at 16 coordinators and assistants, with at least that offensive line spot remaining to be filled.

Underclassmen Declare For NFL Draft


Missouri DL Sheldon Richardson and Alabama RB Eddie Lacy have both declared for the 2013 NFL Draft.

Tuesday, January 15th is the deadline for players with college football eligibility remaining to declare for the 2013 NFL Draft. Any player that’s been out of high school at least three years can put his name into the mix for the seven-round selection meeting in late April.

The NFL will release the official list a few days after January 15th, but quite a few talents from major colleges have already announced their intentions. That includes national champion Alabama and fellow SEC power Louisiana State – combined there are 15 players from those two schools alone.

As they have been made public, here are some of the underclassmen that have said they are making the jump and have gotten the attention of NFL decision makers:

  • Quarterback: Tyler Bray, Tennessee.
  • Running back: Eddie Lacy, Alabama; Knile Davis, Arkansas; Le’Veon Bell, Michigan State; Giovani Bernard, North Carolina.
  • Wide receiver: Keenan Allen, California; Robert Woods, Southern Cal; Kenny Stills, Oklahoma; Justin Hunter, Tennessee; Stedman Bailey, West Virginia; DeAndre Hopkins, Clemson; Cordarrelle Patterson, Tennessee.
  • Tight end: Dion Sims, Michigan State; Tyler Eifert, Notre Dame; Zach Ertz, Stanford.
  • Offensive line: OT D.J. Fluker, Alabama; OT Luke Joeckel, Texas A&M; C Travis Fredrick, Wisconsin.
  • Defensive line: DE Corey Lemonier, Auburn; DT Sharrif Floyd, Florida; DE Bjoern Werner, Florida State; DT Kwame Geathers, Georgia; DE Barkevious Mingo, LSU; DE Sam Montgomery, LSU; DT Sheldon Richardson, Missouri; DE Damontre Moore, Texas A&M.
  • Linebacker: OLB Jelani Jenkins, Florida; OLB Jarvis Jones, Georgia; ILB Kevin Minter, LSU.
  • Secondary: CB Dee Milliner, Alabama; S Matt Elam, Florida; S Eric Reid, LSU; CB David Amerson, N.C. State; CB Xavier Rhodes, Florida State; FS Tony Jefferson, Oklahoma.

Answer Bob – 1/15

Here are more of your questions with more of my answers. Enjoy.

——————————————————————–

johnfromfairfax says: Bob, I realize it’s early days but if Reid and the new GM were to ask your advice on what to do with the first choice in the draft what would you tell them and do you have any idea what they might actually do with the pick? Keep up the great work and hopefully now that the needless nonsense era has passed the job will get easier for you and the other professionals covering the team.

Bob says: The options are two with the first pick – use it or trade it away. I would prepare for both. I would prepare as if I was going to make the selection and take the top five names on my draft board and investigate every facet of their personality and physical ability. While this is going on, I would have part of my staff working to create trade interest in the selection. I think the best scenario for the Chiefs would be to make a deal that would bring them a handful of quality picks in 2013 or beyond. …Read More!

GM Done; What About QB? … Tuesday Cup O’Chiefs

It was only minutes into is introduction to the Kansas City media that the first QQ – quarterback question – was hurled at John Dorsey.

The Chiefs new general manager had no trouble catching the toss.

“Pick the best available player,” Dorsey told the audience of media types and others in the Hank Stram Theater.

For all those red and gold passport holders in the Chiefs Nation that are demanding a quarterback in that No. 1 spot, Dorsey’s words are yet another warning that it’s unlikely to happen come April. Andy Reid said so a week earlier when he was introduced as the team’s new head coach. Now, the guy that supposedly holds the power to make the selection at No. 1 says it will be the best player, not the best quarterback.

But Dorsey hasn’t ascended to one of 32 jobs in the NFL because he does not know the lay of the land, and especially that of his new home at Arrowhead Stadium.

“Let’s be real here, the quarterback is a very important part of any franchise,” Dorsey said. “I think any time when you begin to build a franchise, the quarterback position is very important to the long-term success of the organization.” …Read More!

Daboll Lands Back With Pats … NFL Almanac 1/14

Brian Daboll cleaned out his office at Chiefs headquarters on New Year’s Eve and two weeks later, it appears he has a new office – with the New England Patriots.

“We’re in the process of bringing Brian Daboll back onto our staff,” New England head coach Bill Belichick said Monday morning. “As soon as we get that worked out, he’ll be part of our coaching staff going forward, similar to what Josh (McDaniels) did last year, but without any specific responsibility at this time.”

Last year after the coaching staff of the St. Louis Rams was fired and released from their contracts, Josh McDaniels re-joined the Patriots staff and worked with the offense as it began its push into the 2011 AFC Playoffs. At the time, New England was losing assistant coach Bill O’Brien who was about to become head coach at Penn State. McDaniels stayed on the Patriots staff going into the 2012 season.

Daboll has a long history with Belichick, joining the Patriots as a defensive assistant in 2000. Daboll coached the wide receivers for six seasons (2002-06) before joining going to the New York Jets as QB coach for two years, then two years as Browns offensive coordinator and the 2011 season in Miami, before signing on with the Chiefs for 2012. …Read More!

Five Local Players In Shrine Game

K-State’s Collin Klein and KU’s Bradley McDougald have faced off before this week’s Shrine Game.

Two Wildcats, two Jayhawks and a Griffon are on the rosters for this coming weekend’s East-West Shrine Game college all-star game in St. Petersburg, Florida.

Leading that local contingent is Kansas State QB Collin Klein. The Heisman Trophy runner-up was not invited to participate in next week’s Senior Bowl in Mobile, Alabama. That game attracts more NFL general managers, head coaches and personnel types than any other all-star game featuring draft eligible players.

Klein is considered a draftable player, but most NFL teams reportedly don’t consider him a quarterback prospect. Whether he plays another position than quarterback in the Shrine Game isn’t known. Right now he’s one of three quarterbacks on the East Squad.

Joining Klein is K-State teammate Nigel Malone. The 5-10, 180-pound cornerback played two seasons for the Wildcats after transferring from City College of San Francisco. He played in 26 games and contributed 12 interceptions and 109 total tackles. …Read More!

Dorsey: This Is My Dream Job


From the Truman Sports Complex

Introduced Monday afternoon as the sixth general manager in franchise history, John Dorsey said it was a moment he dreamed of for nearly 20 years.

“Perfect storm; this is my dream job, it always has been, ever since I met my wife in 1993,” Dorsey said during a press conference in the Hank Stram Theater in the team’s offices. “I’ve always dreamt about being the general manager of the Kansas City Chiefs.”

Patricia Sexton-Dorsey is a native of Abilene, who got her undergraduate degree from the University of Kansas and her law degree at Washburn University. She lived for more than 10 years in Kansas City and is a lawyer for Polsinelli Shugarts PC. They met on a blind date in 1993, a moment arranged by Chiefs former director of player programs Lamonte Winston and his wife Claire. It was a meeting where Dorsey said he knew by the end of the evening that he would marry her.

Since then, there have been other opportunities to interview for jobs in the NFL and leave Green Bay where he’s been since his playing days in the mid-1980s. But he was patient because Kansas City is where he dreamed of going.

And then, in the last few weeks the perfect storm arrived – Scott Pioli and Romeo Crennel were fired. Andy Reid was fired in Philadelphia and hired 4 days later in Kansas City. …Read More!

What They Say About John Dorsey

Oakland Raiders GM Reggie McKenzie:

“He’s a good one; one of the truly good guys in our game. He’s in a good situation too. He’s able to reconnect with Andy. I’ve known him since 1994 when John, Ted Thompson, John Schneider and I were all in our infancy in scouting under Ron Wolf. John and I are friends for life; that’s what this profession does. It’ll be nice to see him twice a year. Don’t get me wrong, you love your brother, but sometimes you also have to whoop up on him. Kansas City can’t ask for any better than John Dorsey.”

Miami offensive coordinator Mike Sherman:

“John Dorsey is one of the best talent evaluators I’ve ever been around. He’s been doing this for a long time and has a proven track record of success. What makes John so good is that he is extremely passionate about what he does. He leaves no stone-unturned when he evaluates players. His research is extensive and productive. He’s a true man of character.”

Green Bay Packers general manager Ted Thompson:

“I would like to thank John Dorsey for his 27 years of service to the Green Bay Packers, first as a player and later as a member of the personnel department. John has been a loyal member of the Packers family and the Green Bay community for more than half of his life. The Chiefs have hired a good man and John has earned this opportunity.”

Let’s Drop The Culture Talk … Monday Cup O’Chiefs

This is a shout out to Clark Hunt, Andy Reid and John Dorsey – when you introduce Dorsey as the Chiefs new general manager Monday afternoon eliminate this word from your comments:

Culture.

If I hear one more new coach, GM or owner talk about changing the culture or a team and franchise I’m going to puke. This culture club mentality has gotten out-of-control and never was there a better example of that than the Chiefs in the last four years.

When Hunt hired Scott Pioli as general manager in January 2009 he was not just bringing in the guy who had been the right-hand man for New England head coach Bill Belichick. Hunt thought he was buying into that Patriots Way bull crap, the New England culture that was supposedly so important to their success in winning Super Bowls.

This happens all the time in business, and not just football or sports. Hunt had paid nothing into the sweat equity of building the New England’s franchise. But he wanted to buy a piece of that culture, hoping to take advantage of the successful formula and sneaking away with some of the secrets by bringing in Pioli and paying a lot of money for that opportunity.

What Hunt learned is that the Patriots Way starts – and some would say ends – with two people: Belichick and Tom Brady. Since the head coach and No. 12 did not come along in the package, what the Chiefs got was Pioli’s version of the Patriots Way. That produced a 23-42 record. …Read More!

Best of NFL Divisional Playoffs … January 12 & 13


The Ravens play that helped end the Broncos dreams of the Super Bowl, as Joe Flacco and Jacoby Jones hooked up on a 70-yard touchdown pass that tied score, sending their divisional game in the playoffs into overtime.

How the divisional weekend was won

Home teams were 3-1 in the divisional weekend games in the playoffs and the home teams are now 6-2 in the playoffs. The road winner was Baltimore with a 38-35 victory in double OT over Denver. Home winners did it by an average of 9.7 points. Biggest blowout was San Francisco’s 14-point victory over Green Bay; closest game was Atlanta’s 2-point decision over Seattle 30-28.

The team that had the best offensive performance was San Francisco with 579 yards, including 323 rushing yards against Green Bay. Seattle had the best passing day with 368 yards against Atlanta.

Best defensive day against the run came from New England that allowed Houston just 91 rushing yards. San Francisco held Green Bay to 248 passing yards.

The four winners were all positive or even in the turnover ratio. …Read More!

Answer Bob – 1/13

A lot of questions and I hope answers that satisfy. We’ll post answers for the next few days. Enjoy.

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R W says: Is this version of Clark Hunt 2.0 real?

Bob says: It’s way too early to tell, but there’s no doubt that Hunt has been very active and involved in what’s gone on around the franchise over the last month. The additions of Andy Reid and John Dorsey are good solid football veterans that have been successful in their roles but do not walk around acting and talking like they invented the modern-day pro game. They are likely to add to their staffs veteran football types that won’t have to be given a warm-up period to learn the ways of the league. The other thing that Hunt showed was he acted quickly and there was no indication that the Chiefs were floundering in their search. That allowed them to consider who they wanted, got them on board and they were not forced to settle for third and fourth picks. Look at the Eagles, who axed Reid only an hour ahead of Crennel and now two weeks later they do not have a coach hired, or the New York Jets who apparently can’t get anyone to take their general manager’s job. Next test will be to see how active the Chiefs are in free agency. Again, the free agency market is not where one builds a football team. But when that team is coming off a 2-14 season, they need to add talent in any and all ways. Stay tuned.

——————————— …Read More!

Open Sports Remain On Reid’s Staff

On Monday afternoon the Chiefs will introduce John Dorsey as their new general manager. Slowly, the pieces are starting to fall into place with the front office and coaching staff.

For Andy Reid there are at least four obvious spots on the coaching staff that have publicly not been accounted for to date: offensive line, linebackers, defensive backs and special teams.

Offensive line – there have been three names attached to this job – Juan Castillo, former Eagles offensive line coach and defensive coordinator; George Warhop, last year’s offensive line coach for the Cleveland Browns, and Tony Sparano, former Miami head coach and last year’s offensive coordinator of the New York Jets.

Linebackers – league scuttlebutt says that Gary Gibbs will be retained from Romeo Crennel’s staff to handle the linebackers.

Secondary – sounds like Emmitt Thomas will return and handle the defensive backs as he has for the past two seasons. Thomas and Reid just missed each other during their careers; Thomas was in Philadelphia in 1998; Reid took over as head coach in 1999. That year, Thomas went to Green Bay, where Reid just left.

Special teams – so far the only name that has escaped the walls of the Chiefs complex has been Dave Taub of the Bears. Plus, Kansas native and Buffalo special teams coach Bruce DeHaven has been mentioned as a candidate.

All the coaches that have been hired are scheduled to report to the team’s facility on Monday and Tuesday to begin preparations for heading to the Senior Bowl week starting next Sunday in Mobile.

Chiefs Finally Make It Official: Dorsey Is New G.M.

On Saturday evening while the team he helped build was working in the NFC playoffs, John Dorsey was named the new general manager of the Chiefs.

The 52-year old Dorsey is leaving his position as director of football operations for the Green Bay Packers to become the sixth G.M. in Chiefs history.

Dorsey will return to Kansas City and the Chiefs facility on Monday afternoon for an introductory press conference. Dorsey was in the building just this past week for an interview with team chairman Clark Hunt and new head coach Andy Reid. During his time at the team’s offices he made the effort to walk around the building and introduce himself to everyone working there. Some of those same employees are still waiting to meet now-fired G.M. Scott Pioli in a genial one-on-one situation.

As part of the duo that will now run the football side of the Hunt Family franchise, Dorsey will work hand-in-hand with Reid in the most important matters of the game – the players wearing the Chiefs red and gold uniforms.

He arrives with an extensive background in all areas of player personnel, beginning as a college scout after six-year career as an NFL linebacker ended (1984-89). He later advanced to the role of director of college scouting for the Packers and then joined former Green Bay head coach Mike Holmgren with Seattle. With the Seahawks, Dorsey held the title of player personnel director.

The University of Connecticut graduate returned to the Packers in May 2000 and spent the last 13 seasons working on player personnel. He was in charge of the college scouting operations for Green Bay G.M. Ted Thompson and was also involved on the pro personnel side.

Hunt and Reid have both said that Dorsey will have the final say-so on player personnel matters. That may have been a necessary requirement to get him out of his contract with Green Bay. He’ll have to get up and running quickly, since the annual Senior Bowl all-star game for draft eligible players begins next Sunday in Mobile, Alabama.

ASK BOB – THE QUESTION BOX IS OPEN

Remember that moment in the picture – the horrific call in the end zone by the fake officials that gave Seattle a Monday night victory over Green Bay back in September. I’m rooting for the Packers and Seahawks to win this weekend in the NFC playoffs so they can have a rematch.

Just a post-season tournament thought there and I come up for air. I’ve been immersed in the world of Andy Reid for the last 10 days or so and I think I can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel. With 14 years as a head coach, Reid has quite a track record to investigate and evaluate and I’ve just put together the final touches of phase No. 1 of that project. There’s more to come.

It’s time to take a break and that seems like a good opportunity to open the mail box, so I’d be happy to answer any and all questions you may have about Reid and the events of the past two weeks, or anything football related. Just tack your questions onto this post and I’ll start answering over the coming weekend. The mailbox will stay open until Sunday night at 10 p.m. CST.

Ask away!

Charles Earns Second-Team All-Pro

The Associated Press released its All-Pro team on Saturday and the only Chiefs player to make the first and second teams was RB Jamaal Charles.

He earned second-team honors along with Washington rookie Alfred Morris. The first team backs were Adrian Peterson of the Vikings and Marshawn Lynch for Seahawks. Peterson was a unanimous selection. The only other unanimous pick was Houston DE J.J. Watt.

Former Chiefs TE Tony Gonzalez earned first-team recognition with the Falcons.

San Francisco had nine players among the 56 players selected for the first and second teams, including 6 from the 49ers defense. Denver, Minnesota, Seattle, Baltimore and Chicago had four each.

Joining Charles from the AFC West are San Diego S Eric Weddle and Denver QB Peyton Manning, LT Ryan Clady, OLB Von Miller and CB Champ Bailey.

Here are the first and second teams from the Associated Press voting. …Read More!

The Andy Reid Story – Part 4B … Draft Picks/Defense

This is the second part of the fourth of four stories investigating just who is Andy Reid, the Chiefs new head coach. Part No. 1 was about the boy, the son, the man, the husband and the father. Part No. 2 was his journey up the ladder of the coaching profession. Part No. 3 covered his 14 years as Eagles head coach, divided into two parts. Part No. 4 is about the Eagles track record in the draft broken into two stories, offensive picks and defensive selections

Eagles Defensive Draft Picks 1999-2012

Just how much of a factor Andy Reid was on selecting defensive players is not known. Along the way, the Eagles found multiple Pro Bowl players on the defensive side of the ball, but they never found enough. It’s one of the reasons Philly spent more free agency money on the defense than offense. Most of their first round picks on defense went to the line, while the secondary got more premium choices (rounds one through three).

We’ve broken down the last 14 Eagles drafts by position not by round or year-by-year. I think this provides a clearer picture of the team’s game plan when it came to the draft. Segment No. 1 are the offensive picks. Each position comes with a grid providing draft year, draft round (R), position in that round (#) and position in the overall draft class (O). An * indicates Pro Bowl selection, one for each year. G/S=games played/started.

Defensive line

No position on the field saw first-round pick than defensive tackle. In 14 years, the Eagles drafted four inside players in the first round, including last year’s initial choice Fletcher Cox. They’ve had minimal luck grabbing quality inside players. The best would have to be Mike Patterson late in the 2005 first round. Patterson is still with the team but missed most of the ’12 season due to an illness. At defensive end, they used a first-round choice to take Jerome McDougle who played in just 33 games. …Read More!

NFL Almanac – 1/11

Items of note

Denver – RB Willis McGahee will not be activated for Broncos game against Baltimore but would be ready to play if they reach the AFC Championship Game. McGahee is on the injured-reserve list/designated for return due to a knee injury.

San Francisco – DE Justin Smith has been declared probable for Saturday’s game against Green Bay despite his partially torn triceps muscle.

Seattle – RB Marshawn Lynch practiced on a limited basis on Friday, the first time this week that he’s taken part in practice. Lynch has a foot injury that’s hampered him. Seahawks coach Pete Carroll says he will play Sunday against Atlanta.

Transactions

  • Baltimore – placed OT Jah Reid (toe) on injured-reserve list.

Divisional round injury report (out & doubtful)

  • Atlanta – CB Christopher Owens (hamstring), out.
  • Denver – CB Tracy Porter (concussion), out.
  • Green Bay – WR Jarrett Boykin (ankle) and DE Jerel Worthy (knee), out.
  • Seattle – CB Byron Maxwell (hamstring), doubtful. …Read More!

Reid Goes With 1st-Time Coordinator For Offense

Andy Reid’s rolodex is filled with names and phone numbers of experienced offensive coaches that would have loved to have joined him in Kansas City and fill the role as offensive coordinator.

But the Chiefs new head coach reached out to the least experienced man on his list and named Doug Pederson as offensive coordinator. A 12-year veteran at quarterback for four different NFL teams, Pederson has been an NFL assistant coach for just four years, joining Reid’s staff in Philadelphia in 2009 as offensive quality control coach. In 2011 he moved up to quarterback coach.

“Doug has been around the game a long time and he has great vision,” said Reid. “As a former player in this league he sees the game from a different perspective and that will be a great benefit for our players. He has a knack for developing talent and he’s a good communicator. Doug is ready for the position.”

Reid and Pederson have not spoken yet about the play calling role in the Chiefs offense. Reid has always called his own plays and if that continues Pederson’s role will be the game plan preparation and schooling the offensive players on the scheme. It’s a position he began preparing for during his final years in the NFL when he was Brett Favre’s never-got-to-play backup with Green Bay from 2001-04. …Read More!

Reid Coaching Staff Falls Into Place

One thing that happens when a head coaching change is made early and quickly – it allows the new coach to be very pro-active in putting together his coaching staff.

A week after he signed on as Chiefs head coach, Andy Reid announced a host of coaching staff additions on Friday afternoon, including his offensive and defensive coordinators.

Former NFL QB Doug Pederson will come over from the Eagles to handle the offense. Pederson was quarterbacks coach for Reid in Philadelphia and played the position for 12 seasons in the NFL with the Packers, Dolphins, Eagles and Browns.

Bob Sutton was named defensive coordinator. He comes over from the New York Jets where he’s coached the last 13 seasons, all of those on defense. Sutton has head coaching experience on the college level where he spent nine seasons leading the program at Army. He began his coaching career as a graduate assistant on Bo Schembechler’s staff at the University of Michigan in 1972.

Other newcomers announced by the Chiefs and where they coached in the 2012 season:

  • Assistant head coach/wide receivers – David Culley, Philadelphia.
  • Tight ends – Tom Melvin, Philadelphia
  • Quarterbacks – Matt Nagy, Philadelphia.
  • Running backs – Eric Bieniemy, University of Colorado.
  • Defensive line – Tommy Brasher.
  • Head strength & conditioning coach – Barry Rubin, Philadelphia.
  • Assistant strength & conditioning coach – Travis Crittenden, Philadelphia.
  • Statistical Analysis Coordinator – Mike Frazier, Philadelphia.
  • Quality Control – Corey Matthaei, Philadelphia.
  • Quality Control – Britt Reid, Temple University.

Still to be filled/named are coaches on the offensive line, linebackers, defensive backs and special teams. Some members of Romeo Crennel’s staff may be chosen for those spots. For those position already filled, the 2012 assistant coaches have already been released from their ties to the Chiefs.

Hall of Fame Finalists Includes Shields, Culp

On Saturday, February 2 in New Orleans the Pro Football Hall of Fame Board of Selectors will meet to elect the Class of 2013.

The 17 names the voters will consider were announced Friday morning and includes a pair of former Chiefs – G Will Shields and DT Curley Culp. Shields makes his second visit to the final group; he was there last year as well in his first year of eligibility. Culp is one of two seniors nominees

In the voting meeting the two seniors candidates are voted on first (Culp and former Green Bay LB Dave Robinson.) Then by vote, the group of 15 is cut to 10 and then that group is cut to five. At that point, it’s either yes or no on each of the candidates. To gain induction they must receive a yes vote on 80 percent of the ballots. A maximum of seven and a minimum of five will become Hall of Famers.

Here are the 17 names in alphabetical order:

  • G/T Larry Allen – Dallas and San Francisco.
  • RB Jerome Bettis – Los Angeles Rams and Pittsburgh.
  • WR Tim Brown – Oakland and Tampa Bay.
  • WR Cris Carter – Philadelphia, Minnesota and Miami.
  • DT Curley Culp – CHIEFS, Houston and Detroit.
  • Owner Ed DeBartolo Jr. – San Francisco.
  • LB/DE Kevin Greene – Los Angeles Rams, Pittsburgh, Carolina, San Francisco.
  • DE/LB Charles Haley – San Francisco and Dallas.
  • Owner Art Modell – Cleveland and Baltimore.
  • OT Jonathan Ogden – Baltimore.
  • Coach Bill Parcells – New York Giants, New England, New York Jets, Dallas.
  • WR Andre Reed – Buffalo and Washington.
  • LB Dave Robinson – Green Bay and Washington.
  • DT Warren Sapp – Tampa Bay and Oakland.
  • G Will Shields – CHIEFS.
  • DE Michael Strahan – N.Y. Giants.
  • CB Aeneas Williams – Arizona and St. Louis Rams.

The Andy Reid Story – Part 4A … Draft Picks/Offense

This is the first part of the fourth of four stories investigating just who is Andy Reid, the Chiefs new head coach. Part No. 1 was about the boy, the son, the man, the husband and the father. Part No. 2 was his journey up the ladder of the coaching profession. Part No. 3 covered his 14 years as Eagles head coach, divided into two parts. Part No. 4 is about the Eagles track record in the draft broken into two stories, offensive picks and defensive selections

Eagles Offensive Draft Picks 1999-2012

Just how much say-so Andy Reid has had in player procurement during his 14 seasons in Philadelphia is a matter of debate. What is not in question is how important the NFL Draft has been for the Eagles in building their winning program over the last 15 years. Along the way they’ve made important trades and signed a few top-ranked UFAs with mixed results. But the bulk of Reid’s teams have been draft choices.

As for Reid’s influence, it’s safe to say that the Eagles have not selected many players that Reid didn’t approve. It was a situation similar to what the Chiefs had with Carl Peterson and Marty Schottenheimer; GM and head coach worked to reach a consensus on their pick with the GM having the final say if necessary.

We’ve broken down the last 14 Eagles drafts by position not by round or year-by-year. I think this provides a clearer picture of the team’s game plan when it came to the draft. Segment No. 1 are the offensive picks. Each position comes with a grid providing draft year, draft round (R), position in that round (#) and position in the overall draft class (O). An * indicates Pro Bowl selection, one for each year. …Read More!

NFL Almanac – 1/10

Items of news

San Diego – doctors studying the brain of the late Junior Seau found evidence of scarring “that is consistent with small, old traumatic brain injury.” Seau committed suicide back in May.

San Francisco – named David Akers as the kicker for Saturday’s game against Green Bay. He won kicking competition with Billy Cundiff.

Transactions

Pittsburgh – released RB Chris Rainey less than 24 hours after his arrest in Florida for assault charges.

Pro Bowl news

Cincinnati – TE Jermaine Gresham was named to the AFC Pro Bowl team as a replacement for the injured Heath Miller.

Minnesota – LB Chad Greenway was named to the NFC Pro Bowl squad as a replacement for the injured DeMarcus Ware.

New Orleans – QB Drew Brees was named to the NFC Pro Bowl team as a replacement for the injured Robert Griffin III. …Read More!

Andy’s Coaching Staff Update

He’s one of those largely anonymous assistant coaches that roam NFL sidelines and the fans only notice him when his part of the team has a problem.

But in the league’s inner circles Dave Toub is considered one of the NFL’s best coaches and he’s scheduled to speak with the Chiefs and Andy Reid on Friday.

The 50-year old Toub is special teams coach of the Chicago Bears and one of the NFL’s best kicking game coordinators. He’s under contract to the Bears through the 2013 season, but Toub was given permission to speak with the Chiefs and Carolina. He interviewed with Panthers head coach Ron Rivera on Wednesday.

Toub worked with Reid when they were both at Texas-El Paso (1987-88) and the University of Missouri (1989-91). Reid hired him in 2001 to join his staff with the Eagles where he spent three seasons (2001-03). He’s been with the Bears since 2004.

He has more opportunities than just the Chiefs and Panthers, as he’s one of more than a dozen candidates for the Bears head coaching job. He interviewed in Miami last year for the Dolphins spot that went to Joe Philbin.

Under his coaching with the Bears kicking game, Corey Graham, Devin Hester, Johnny Knox, Robbie Gould and Brendon Ayanbadejo all were selected for the Pro Bowl. The Dallas Morning News and writer Rick Gosselin has been rating NFL special teams play for years and the Bears unit has ranked in the top third of the league for the last eight seasons, and it was No. 1 in 2006 and 2007.

The Denver Post reported Thursday that Eric Bieniemy was in Kansas City speaking with Reid about a job on the coaching staff. The former University of Colorado running back was with the Minnesota Vikings previously as spent the last two years as offensive coordinator at his alma mater. Bieniemy was with the Eagles in 1999, Reid’s first year as head coach.

NFL Almanac – 1/9

Items of news

Indianapolis – Colts offensive coordinator Bruce Arians was released from an Indianapolis hospital Wednesday and is preparing for interviews with at least four teams with opening head coaching positions. Arians spent two nights in a Baltimore hospital and one night in an Indy hospital after suffering from severe flu symptoms.

Washington – QB Robert Griffin III underwent a reconstruction of his right knee in a Wednesday operation in Florida done by Dr. James Andrews. Rehab time is estimated to be 6 to 8 months.

Transactions

Seattle – placed K Steven Hauschka (calf) and DE Chris Clemons (knee) on the injured-reserve list.

Coaching & front-office transactions

Arizona – interviewed Pittsburgh offensive coordinator Todd Haley for the Cardinals head coaching position.

Buffalo – hired Mike Pettine as defensive coordinator, former coordinator with the N.Y. Jets.

Carolina – named Dave Gettleman as general manager. Gettleman was senior pro personnel analyst for the New York Giants.

San Diego – hired Tom Telesco as general manager. Telesco was vice-president of football operations for Indianapolis. …Read More!

Chiefs & Reid Riding NFL Merry-Go-Round

Monday saw Andy Reid all over the place in the Kansas City media world as he was introduced to the city as new head coach of the Chiefs. He was a very busy man and it was all there for public consumption.

He’s not been seen since by the media and public, but Reid has been busier than ever trying to piece together his coaching staff for the 2013 season.

Former Vikings head coach Brad Childress was in town on Wednesday. He was part of Reid’s staff in Philadelphia before he got the head job in Minnesota. Last year, he was the offensive coordinator in Cleveland.

Also in town on Wednesday was Rick Burkholder, the head trainer of the Eagles for the last 14 years. He joined the team just a month after Reid was named head coach. An Eagles spokesman confirmed the meeting and the fact that Burkholder remains under contract to Philadelphia but they are “allowing him to seek an opportunity with Andy Reid in Kansas City if that’s what’s in Rick’s best interest.”

The Chiefs head trainer is Dave Price, who joined the team in 2006 when Herm Edwards was named head coach. Before that Price spent 10 seasons as trainer with the New York Jets and the 10 seasons before that as an assistant trainer with the Eagles.

Two coaches were with Reid for his entire tenure with the Eagles: wide receiver David Culley and tight ends coach Tom Melvin. It would not be a surprise to see either one or both land at Arrowhead.

In 2011, Reid moved Juan Castillo from offensive line coach to defensive coordinator. He ended up firing Castillo during the 2012 season, but he could bring him to K.C. as offensive line coach.

Some names that are likely considerations for defensive coordinator are former Chicago, Detroit and Buffalo head coach Dick Jauron (he was with Eagles in 2010), former Southern Cal and NFL coordinator Monte Kiffin and former Chicago and Miami head coach and last year’s defensive coordinator in Buffalo Dave Wannstedt.

The Andy Reid Story – Part 3B … As Eagles Head Coach

This is the second part of the third of four stories investigating just who is Andy Reid, the Chiefs new head coach. Part No. 1 was about the boy, the son, the man, the husband and the father. Part No. 2 was his journey up the ladder of the coaching profession. Part No. 3 covers his 14 years as Eagles head coach, divided into two parts. Part No. 4 will be about the Eagles track record in building successful teams.

Philadelphia Eagles Head Coach Andy Reid

Season #8 – 2006

After stumbling in the 2005 season, Reid got the Eagles back on track a year later with a 10-6 record and another division title. They then went out in the divisional round of the NFC playoffs. The Eagles scored 398 points (No. 6 in the league) while allowing 328 points (No. 15). Philadelphia finished No. 2 in the league in offensive yards with 6,103 yards or 6.2 yards per play.

A three-game losing streak at mid-season left Philly 4-4 at the halfway mark and late in November they were 5-6 after losing to Indianapolis 45-21. But the Eagles rallied and won the last five games including consecutive victories on the road against division rivals Washington, the New York Giants and Dallas. They beat the Giants 23-20 in the wildcard round before losing 27-24 in New Orleans in an NFC divisional round game. …Read More!

NFL Almanac – 1/8

Items of news

Denver – RB Willis McGahee is eligible to return to practice this week. He can be activated this week from the injured-reserve list.

Oakland – LB Rolando McClain was arrested in Decatur, Alabama following a traffic incident where he supposedly lied to the police about his identity. McClain says he’s been “falsely accused. It’s corrupt. It’s terrible.” He was released on a $1,000 bond.

Washington – QB Robert Griffin III is set for surgery Wednesday on his torn LCL in his knee.

Transactions

Seattle – signed K Ryan Longwell and OLB Patrick Chukwurah; placed DE Chris Clemons (knee) on the injured-reserve list. …Read More!

The Andy Reid Story – Part 3A … As Eagles Head Coach

This is the first part of the third of four stories investigating just who is Andy Reid, the Chiefs new head coach. Part No. 1 was about the boy, the son, the man, the husband and the father. Part No. 2 was his journey up the ladder of the coaching profession. Part No. 3 covers his 14 years as Eagles head coach, divided into two parts. Part No. 4 will be about the Eagles track record in building successful teams.

Philadelphia Eagles Head Coach Andy Reid

Season #1 – 1999

Andy Reid had never held the title offensive coordinator in the NFL. With the Green Bay Packers, Reid was the team’s quarterback coach and assistant head coach. The Packers went to the Super Bowl that year, their second consecutive trip to the championship game. They beat Bill Parcells and the New England Patriots in New Orleans to win Super Bowl XXXI when Reid was offensive line coach. The next season (1998), Green Bay fell to Denver in Super Bowl XXXII.

Reid took over an Eagles team that had finished 3-13 in the ’98 season. Head coach Ray Rhodes was fired and Reid was hired after club officials talked with three other candidates: former Carolina head coach Dom Capers (just fired as Panthers head coach), Pittsburgh defensive coordinator Jim Haslett and Oakland defensive coordinator Willie Shaw.

In that first season, Reid was able to put together a strong coaching staff with Rod Dowhower as offensive coordinator, Jim Johnson as defensive coordinator and notable assistants like Brad Childress, Leslie Frazier, Ron Rivera, Pat Shurmur, John Harbaugh and Steve Spagnuolo – all those coaches with the exception of Johnson went on to become NFL head coaches. Frazier (Minnesota), Rivera (Carolina) and Harbaugh (Baltimore) still are. …Read More!

Clark Didn’t Want To Wait … Tuesday Cup O’Chiefs

Clark Hunt decided he wasn’t going to live through another long search for a head coach.

For many reasons, including his own lack of patience, Hunt had been in this position before as he was hiring his fourth head coach in six years. The worst for him was back in 2009 when it was into February and after the Super Bowl before Scott Pioli finally settled on Todd Haley as the Chiefs head coach.

Haley was hired and announced on February 6th.

Four years later, Romeo Crennel was fired on December 31st. Andy Reid was hired on January 4th and announced on Monday in the North Club at the Stadium.

Obviously, Young Mr. Hunt learned a lesson from his previous foray into coach hiring. Four days this time … four days until he had a signed contract with a man who matched everything he was looking for in a head coach.

Kudos to Clark Hunt – the spotlight was on him and he produced and did it in a hurry. There wasn’t going to be any waiting around this time. The longer a coaching search goes on, the tougher it is to find quality coaches to fill out a coaching staff. …Read More!

NFL Almanac – 1/7

Items of note

Denver – RB Willis McGahee is eligible to return to practice on Tuesday. He’s been on the injured-reserve list with a knee injury.

Seattle – DE Chris Clemons suffered a torn ACL and meniscus in his left knee on Sunday in the game against Washington and faces the prospect of immediate surgery.

Washington – QB Robert Griffin III suffered a partially torn ACL and LCL in his right knee. Surgery remains an option.

Coaches, GMs & Front Offices Rumors and News

Arizona – will interview Jay Gruden, offensive coordinator in Cincinnati.

Jacksonville – had a third interview with David Caldwell for their GM position. Caldwell is the Falcons director of player personnel.

N.Y. Jets – fired QB coach Matt Cavanaugh.

San Diego – search for G.M. has centered on final two – current director of player personnel Jimmy Raye and Colts VP of Football Operations Tom Telesco. …Read More!

Andy Says β€œRight” QB Is The Key


From Arrowhead Stadium

Even though Andy Reid reportedly does not have the final say-so on who the Chiefs will select with the first choice of the 2013 NFL Draft, the team’s new head coach threw out the first volley of draft speculation from inside the team.

“We have been blessed with the No. 1 pick in the draft and you want to make sure you do the right thing and pick the right guy, not necessarily a quarterback,” Reid said Monday afternoon during his introductory meeting with the media. “It has to be the right thing. You don’t want to force anything. People that do that get themselves in trouble.”

The red and gold fans that want that first choice to go for a quarterback are likely to be disappointed. There is no quarterback that ranks among the 10 prospective draft talents for the coming year. “It might not happen this year; you never know,” Reid said. “The important thing is you do the right thing.” …Read More!

Reid Does Not Have All The Power At Arrowhead

From Arrowhead Stadium

Andy Reid spoke for the first time Monday afternoon after getting the job as the 13th head coach in Chiefs history.

Introduced by team chairman Clark Hunt, Reid spoke very briefly and then took questions from a large media contingent. There really was only one item of note that came from the gabfest – Reid does not have complete control over the football operation with the Chiefs.

It has been written, spoken and assumed that part of his quick jump to take the job was due to the team turning over all of the power to him. Both Hunt and Reid said that’s not the case. The yet to be hired general manager will have final say-so in the draft, who the Chiefs sign in free agency and what players make the 53-man roster.

Hunt said the final world on player personnel matters falls to the general manager and not Reid.

And, the new head coach is OK with that. …Read More!

The Andy Reid Story – Part 2 … Climbing the Ladder

This is the first of four parts investigating just who is Andy Reid, the Chiefs new head coach. Part No. 1 was about the boy, the son, the man, the husband and the father. Now, we’ll track his journey up the ladder of the coaching profession, then his time as head coach of the Eagles and finally his track record in the NFL Draft.

From the start, Andy Reid was organized. That’s what caught the attention of those he worked for and with.

“This the most thorough guy you’ve ever met in your life,” said Dirk Koetter, now the offensive coordinator of the Atlanta Falcons and the first person to interview for the Chiefs head coaching job after Romeo Crennel was fired. “I’ve worked at seven different universities. I’ve been with 6,000 coaches at the national convention. I’m around coaches all day, every day. Andy Reid is the most detailed, most thorough coach anywhere.

“He’s the type of guy that if you ask him to explain a drive block, he can give you a 45-minute explanation on how to do any part of it.”

Reid began keeping a journal when he was in high school, when he was encouraged to do so by a teacher who knew that he enjoyed writing. He still keeps a journal.

Andy Reid began his coaching career in 1982, as graduate assistant at his alma mater Brigham Young University and under head coach LaVell Edwards, who he played for on the offensive line. The Cougars went 8-4 and lost in the Holiday Bowl to Ohio State. It was in this season that Reid met a BYU assistant coach named Mike Holmgren. At the time, Holmgren said if he ever got a head coaching job, Reid should expect a phone call.

Edwards saw the same things in Reid as a coach that he saw as a player for BYU. …Read More!

NFL Week #18/Best Of Wildcard Weekend – 1/5 & 6

MLB Ray Lewis returned to the field in Ravens victory over the Colts. Baltimore added another game to Lewis’ career by beating Indy. The Ravens will face Denver.

The first weekend of the 2012 NFL Tournament was quiet, much more defense played than offense and almost nothing from the special teams. All four winners were able to close out their games without problems.

How the wildcards were won

Home teams were 3-1 in the wildcard round, with only Washington losing in their own stadium. Road winners did it by average of 10 points; Home winners did it by an average of 11.7 points. Winners scored on average 22.8 points; losers averaged 11.5 points. Biggest blowout was Baltimore by 15 points over Indianapolis, 24-9; closest game was Houston by 6 points over Cincinnati, 19-13.

Best offensive day was Baltimore with its 441 yards allowed by Indianapolis. Seattle had the best running day with 224 yards against Washington and Baltimore 269 yards vs. Indy.

Best defensive day was by Houston, as the Texans held Cincinnati to 198 yards. Green Bay managed just 76 yards against Minnesota. Seattle allowed Washington only 99 passing yards.

All 4 winners were either positive or even in the turnover ratio.

Longest Plays

  • 60 – Baltimore P Sam Koch punt vs. Indianapolis. (W)
  • 57 – Minnesota P Chris KIuwe punt vs. Green Bay. (L)
  • 53 – Cincinnati P Kevin Huber punt vs. Houston. (L)
  • 53 – Washington P Sav Rocca punt vs. Seattle. (L)
  • 52 – Indianapolis K Adam Vinatieri FG vs. Baltimore. (L)
  • 50 – Baltimore WR Anquan Boldin catch vs. Indianapolis. (W)
  • 50 – Minnesota WR Michael Jenkins TD catch vs. Green Bay. (L) …Read More!

Divisional Weekend Schedule

Saturday, January 12, 2013

3:30 p.m. CST – Baltimore @ Denver, CBS.

7 p.m. CST – Green Bay @ San Francisco, Fox.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Noon CST – Seattle at Atlanta, Fox.

3:30 p.m. CST – Houston at New England, CBS.

The Andy Reid Story – Part 1 … The Man

This is the first of four parts investigating just who is Andy Reid, the Chiefs new head coach. Part No. 1 is about the boy, the son, the man, the husband and the father. Coming after this, we’ll track his journey up the ladder of the coaching profession, his time as head coach of the Eagles and his track record in the NFL Draft. One note worth mentioning: Reid is not known as much of a talker when he’s dealing with the media. Strangely, when he was growing up in Los Angeles he dreamed of being a sportswriter in the style of the legendary Jim Murray of the Los Angeles Times.

Andrew Walter Reid

Born – March 19, 1958 in Los Angeles, California.

Parents: Elizabeth and Walter Reid.

Elizabeth worked as a radiologist at a hospital in Burbank, California. A native of Rhode Island, she attended medical school in Montreal. Walter was a painter and artist, who worked at several movie studios where he built sets for various productions including The Wiz, Annie Get Your Gun and Hair to name just a few. Walter was born and raised on Cape Cod, Massachusetts, where he played football, baseball and ran track. He served in the Navy during World War II.

Walter Reid died of prostate cancer in 1993. Elizabeth Reid passed away of cancer in 1998.

Andy Reid on his father: “He was an out-of-the-box thinker. I think I’m like him in some respects, just not as crazy.” Reid on his mother: “It was my mother that took me to see the Dodgers and the Rams when I was younger.”

Siblings – Brother Reginald, 10 years older.

Grew up in – Los Angeles or more specifically the Franklin Hills section of the Los Feliz neighborhood. This was a middle-class to high income area of the city, sitting in the foothills of the Santa Monica Mountains and just below the expansive Griffith Park. The area was northeast of Hollywood and just northwest of downtown Los Angeles. Reid has said that he could from his house see the lights of Dodger Stadium approximately four miles away. …Read More!

College Preview: The BCS Championship Game

This is the final bowl game prospects preview of college bowl season. Over the last three weeks we’ve provided a look at draftable players in all but two of the games. The BCS Championship Game is for the national championship and it has a big number of NFL prospects taking part.


Looking ahead, we’ll have complete coverage of the Senior Bowl coming up in two weeks from Mobile, Alabama
. It’s just part of wall-to-wall coverage coming on the NFL Draft and the Chiefs holding that first choice.


  • The BCS Championship Game
  • Alabama (12-1) vs. Notre Dame (12-0)
  • Monday, January 7, 7:30 p.m. CST, ESPN
  • Sun Life Stadium, Miami Gardens, Florida

 

University of Alabama Crimson Tide

#28 CB Dee Milliner, Junior – 6-1, 198 pounds, 4.47 seconds in the 40-yard dash, 1st-round draft potential.

He was a first-team consensus All-America selection for his 2012 performance leading the nation with 18 passes broken up. Milliner was a finalist for the Jim Thorpe Award and the Bronko Nagurski Awards as one of the country’s most dominating defenders. He was first-team All-SEC defense in ’12 as well.

Year

G/S

Tkls

TFL

Sks

Int

Yds

TD

PBU

FF

RF

Bl.K

2010

13/11

55

4

0

1

0

0

7

1

0

0

2011

12/6

27

1

0

3

72

1

9

0

0

0

2012

12/12

51

4

1.5

2

35

0

18

1

1

1

Totals

37/29

133

9

1.5

6

107

1

34

2

1

1

Other Alabama players that will receive serious consideration from NFL teams in draft preparation will be: …Read More!

College Preview: BBVA Compass Bowl

  • BBVA Compass Bowl
  • Pittsburgh (6-6) vs. Mississippi (6-6)
  • Saturday, January 5th, noon CST, ESPN
  • Legion Field, Birmingham, Alabama

 

 

University of Pittsburgh Panthers

#1 RB Ray Graham, Senior – 5-9, 192 pounds, 4.52 seconds in the 40-yard dash, 22 years old (9/18/90), 4th-round draft potential.

Built along the lines of a recent Pitt back (LeSean McCoy), Graham is small of stature, but runs big and he battled back this year after missing the last five games of the 2011 season with a torn ACL in his right knee. Despite his abbreviated season, he was selected first-team All-Big East Conference. He came back this season and was named again to the All-Big East first-team. This year he ran for 113 yards against a tough Rutgers defense and hit the Notre Dame defense with 172 yards and a touchdown. …Read More!

Signed, Sealed & Delivered … Saturday Cup O’Reid

According to Andy Reid’s agent, his client signed a five-year contract with the Chiefs on Friday to be their head coach with control over all football decisions.

That news was backed up by these pictured that was tweeted by the Chiefs Friday night showing team chairman Clark Hunt and Reid signing the contracts for the next step in the future of Kansas City Chiefs football.

Reid is the 13th coach in franchise history, but he starts his tenure with more power over the football team than any of the 12 coaches that came before him. Reid will control the roster, the sdraft, free agency and the allocation of dollars within the salary cap for the 2013 Chiefs and beyond.

Reid flew into Kansas City Friday afternoon. Along with his wife Tammy, he toured Arrowhead Stadium, then the Chiefs facilities and got to work.

The Chiefs plan a news conference at 1 p.m. Friday afternoon to officially introduce Reid.

Agent Bob Lamonte told USA Today that it’s a five-year deal and Reid was anxious to get the deal done this week.

“The bottom line was that there was only one job that he wanted,” Lamonte told the newspaper. “That’s why we didn’t fool around.” …Read More!

Pioli Got What He Deserved – Part 2

23-42

There are a lot thoughts and feelings when word comes down that Scott Pioli is gone from the Chiefs. But I keep coming back to the numbers.

It’s not that I’m a numbers guy. In fact, if you have read this website over the years you already know I struggle with anything greater than basic math. Despite his many character flaws, rampaging insecurity, devious nature and seemingly bi-polar behavior, Pioli was fired because the numbers did not add up.

Specifically 23-42 – that’s the Chiefs record with Pioli in charge:

  • 2009: 4-12.
  • 2010: 10-7 (includes loss in playoffs to Baltimore).
  • 2011: 7-9.
  • 2012: 2-14.

Total: 23-42, a .354 winning percentage. That’s bad football. That gets people fired.

A well-known football coach and father-in-law once said a team’s record was all that was needed to identify its quality. “You are what you are,” Bill Parcells famously said.

At 23-42 the Chiefs are what they are – one of the NFL’s worst teams and responsibility for that falls on Scott Pioli. He was the architect of four teams that combined to finish 19 games under .500. That alone is a reason that the man in charge should receive a pink slip as they are pushed out the door. …Read More!

NFL Almanac – 1/4

Items of note

Cleveland – the Browns reportedly are close to signing Oregon’s Chip Kelly as their next head coach.

Jacksonville – the Jaguars reportedly are close to signing Atlanta Falcons director of college scouting David Caldwell as their general manager.

Wildcard injury report (doubtful and out)

Cincinnati – S Chris Crocker (thigh) doubtful.

Green Bay – WR Jarrett Boykin (ankle) out, DE Jerel Worthy (knee) out

Houston – G Antoine Caldwell (back) doubtful.

Indianapolis – G Joe Reitz (concussion) out.

Minnesota – LB Tyrone McKenzie (shoulder) out. …Read More!

Pioli Got What He Deserved – Part 1

Two weeks ago, the Pro Bowl teams were announced and a remarkable five members of the 2-14 Chiefs were on the AFC team.

The next day, four of the five Pro Bowlers received text messages of congratulations from the Chiefs then general manager Scott Pioli. The only one that did not was punter Dustin Colquitt, who also is the only one of the five without a contract in place for next season. Coincidence? No, conversations between Pioli and Colquitt and his agent on a new deal had not gone well; Pioli did not want to pay a punter so-called “big’ money no matter how good he might be.

Pioli’s four years in charge of the Chiefs was filled with petty behavior like snubbing his punter. Since he took over as G.M. in 2009, his answer to the question ‘Scott, how are you?’ was always returned with the reply – “Just a boy living a dream.”

Funny how many times he created nightmares for the people working with him or around him.

Over the last month, Chiefs chairman Clark Hunt spent a lot of time talking with folks at the team’s facility. He asked them specifically about dealing with Pioli and told the employees to be truthful and not hold back. Some of them actually opened up to the owner and told stories about a verbally abusive Pioli, who would frequently call them stupid if he didn’t like the results of their work. Many people he dealt with had never had a boss that spoke in such condescending manner and they lived in abject fear of the next phone call or summons. …Read More!

Pioli Fired … Waiting on Andy

Kansas City’s long football nightmare is over. Scott Pioli is gone.

The Chiefs announced this morning that they have “parted ways” with their beleaguered general manager. That’s the nice way of saying they have fired the No. 1 power in the organization over the last four years.

“After several productive conversations we made the difficult decision to part ways with Scott Pioli and allow him to pursue other opportunities,” reads a statement from Chiefs chairman Clark Hunt.

The disconnect finally came because it appears the Chiefs and Andy Reid are ready to dance. Some media outlets were reporting late Friday morning that the deal is done, at the same time they were saying the contract was in the hands of the lawyers. That means it isn’t done. But it appears headed in that direction.

In the same release from the team that announced his departure, Pioli is quoted as saying: “The bottom line is that I did not accomplish all of what I set out to do. To the Hunt family to the great fans of the Kansas City Chiefs. To the players, all employees and alumni, I truly apologize for not getting the job done.”

The 47-year old Pioli took over as the team’s general manager on January 13, 2009, replacing that portion of the duties of Carl Peterson. In four seasons under his direction, the Chiefs won the AFC West in 2010, but had an overall record of 23-42 and in 2012 finished with the NFL’s worst record.

The move comes on the heels of Monday’s firing of Pioli’s hand-picked head coach in Romeo Crennel and the apparent decision that former Eagles head coach Andy Reid is his replacement.

Reid’s hiring has not been announced nor acknowledged by the Chiefs in any fashion. But the firing of Pioli is an obvious move to clear the decks so the new head coach can bring in a G.M.

Hunt made it plain in his comments how much he liked Pioli.

“There is no way to overstate the level of respect and admiration I have for Scott on a personal level,” Hunt is quoted in the team’s statement. “His character, loyalty, integrity and commitment to a team are extraordinary. I certainly wish him the best in the future.”

Time to Pull Chain On Pioli … Friday Cup O’Chiefs

If Andy Reid is the next head coach of the Kansas City Chiefs, then Clark Hunt has ripped a George Brett-like double off the wall in the right-centerfield gap.

If Reid is the head coach and he brings his own G.M./personnel guy like Tom Heckert or John Dorsey, then credit Hunt with a Willie Wilson-like triple to dead centerfield.

And should Hunt announce that Reid and one of his guys is coming, and Scott Pioli is gone, then it will be one of the biggest home runs in team history.

There’s no question at this point in the post-Black Monday world of the NFL, Reid is the top coaching candidate available. Allowing him to bring his own personnel man is one of the smarter moves possible and would show fans and media that Hunt was ready to backup his claims of no longer willing to be embarrassed by the play of his team.

But none of that matters if Pioli is allowed to stay in the building, no matter what role that might serve. Acceptance of Reid or Reid and his man will be muted if it’s not matched with an ejection seat under Pioli.

It’s amazing how one can stand on the street corner of the NFL long enough and watch the same parade will come around again. The Chiefs have been here before; only the names are different. …Read More!

College Preview – Cotton Bowl

  • Cotton Bowl
  • Texas A&M (10-2) vs. Oklahoma (10-2)
  • Friday, January 4, 7 p.m. CST, FOX
  • Dallas Cowboys Stadium, Arlington, Texas

 

University of Oklahoma Sooners

#69 OT Lane Johnson, Senior – 6-5Β½, 303 pounds, 5.14 seconds in the 40-yard dash, 1st-round draft potential.

A versatile athlete who has played quarterback, tight end and defensive end before he landed at right offensive tackle in 2011 and finally over to left tackle this season. Because of all that movement, he remains a bit raw on is techniques for that all important position on the QBs backside. He was second team All-Big 12 Conference in 2012. He missed a game and parts of another with a sprained ankle. …Read More!

Chiefs Lose Practice Squader; NFL Almanac – 1/3

For the second time in two weeks the Chiefs have lost a player from their practice squad. OT David Mims who spent the better part of the last two seasons on the practice squad has signed a futures contract with the Baltimore Ravens.

The 6-8, 335-pound Mims signed with the Chiefs coming out of Virginia Union after the 2011 NFL Draft. He spent 12 weeks on the practice squad and five weeks on the 53-man roster. But Mims was an inactive selection for each game of the last five games. In the 2012 season he spent all 17 weeks on the practice squad.

Two weeks ago, DL Jerome Long signed with Jacksonville after spending the season on the Chiefs practice squad. …Read More!

Sounds Like Reid Is The Man

It now appears that it’s only a matter of crossing the t’s and dotting the i’s for the Chiefs and Andy Reid to come to an agreement as head coach of the Chiefs.

A party of seven from the Chiefs led by team chairman and CEO Clark Hunt met for nine hours on Wednesday in Philadelphia with Reid. Talks between team and coach continued into Thursday afternoon; that’s when Reid cancelled a planned trip to Arizona to interview with the Cardinals and San Diego where he was to interview with the Chargers.

Reid was fired as head coach of the Eagles on Monday, the same day that Hunt fired Romeo Crennel as head coach of the Chiefs. Reid had been in charge of the Eagles for 14 seasons. Over that time, Philadelphia had made one trip to the Super Bowl, took part in four NFC title games and won six division championships. He had nine winning seasons and three seasons with a losing mark.

The 54-year old Reid has been coaching in 1982 after his graduation from Brigham Young University in 1981. He was a college coach from 1982 through 1991, including three seasons as the offensive line coach at Missouri.

He joined the Green Bay Packers coaching staff in 1992 and worked there until 1999 when he was named head coach of the Eagles.

His record in 14 years heading the Eagles was 130-93-1 in the regular season and 10-9 in the playoffs.

Feeling His Way Through Remodeling The Chiefs


These are the thoughts of regular reader Douglas Wymore on the current situation with the Chiefs. We welcome contributions from our readers, although we can’t guarantee publication. Whether you agree or disagree with our thoughts does not matter.

As it turns out, even those with extensive experience with Clark Hunt can’t figure out that he is thinking.

Len Dawson noted in his interview with 610 Sports that he knew changes were coming because the Hunts were not in the locker room at the end of the Denver game, as was their custom, and in fact had left the stadium a couple of minutes before the game ended. He pointed out that not only did the quarterback situation need to be improved, but the offensive line needed to be fixed. Dawson candidly admitted that he did not have the answers, and that even though he had known Clark Hunt his entire life he did not know him well and had no idea what he would do.

In a later interview, former coach Herm Edwards observed that Hunt needed to ignore the money and do what he thought was right, even in the face of adversity. Edwards pointed out that if Hunt thought Pioli was on the right track, he needed to keep Pioli. Edwards wasn’t endorsing Pioli or his record, but just candidly giving his thoughts. Edwards laughingly told the radio hosts to tell Hunt to call him, and he would help him out. Edwards also told the audience that Hunt was competitive and cared very much about the team’s record. Edwards was with the organization in one capacity or another for 9 years. …Read More!

College Preview: Fiesta Bowl

  • Fiesta Bowl
  • Oregon (11-1) vs. Kansas State (11-1)
  • Thursday, January 3, 7:30 p.m. CST, ESPN
  • University of Phoenix Stadium, Glendale, Arizona

 

University of Oregon Ducks

#96 OLB/DE Dion Jordan, Redshirt-Senior – 6-6, 243 pounds, 4.68 seconds in the 40-yard dash, 1st-round draft potential.

Tremendous athlete who showed up on campus as a tight end, but was moved to defensive end/outside linebacker in 2010 where he’s made a name for himself. Jordan earned some mentions as a first team All-America and was a consensus choice as first-team All-Pac-12 defense this season and was one of the finalists for the Butkus Award, given each year to the best college linebacker in the country. He missed a game and was limited in several others by a shoulder injury during the ’12 season. This season his teammates voted himn the program’s most inspirational player. Still raw as a pass rusher, Jordan has the physical tools to be sensational in the hybrid role on the edge that NFL teams are looking for on their defenses. …Read More!

What’s Hunt Doing? … Thursday Cup O’Chiefs

On Monday, Chiefs chairman Clark Hunt fired Romeo Crennel, neutered Scott Pioli and indicated that the G.M. would have to twist in the wind for awhile as Hunt sought a new head coach.

It was half of what most Chiefs fans wanted to hear from ownership, missing only the words “Pioli was relieved of his duties.”

Still, it was a baby step forward for a troubled organization, one that has fallen to the depths of the NFL.

And then in the next 48 hours, Hunt walked back every inch of credibility that he gained.

Clark, what the heck are you thinking?

He fired up the family jet and headed off to interview the first candidates for his head coaching job. Part of the entourage that interviewed Dirk Koetter and Kevin Armstrong in Atlanta on Tuesday and former Eagles head coach Andy Reid on Wednesday in Philadelphia was Pioli.

Rather than having Pioli back in Kansas City twisting in the wind, the G.M. supposedly waiting for the next chapter of his football life is sitting in on discussion where he’s not supposed to have any say-so on the man that would be the next head coach. There is no logical explanation for Pioli being part of these interviews. Hunt said he was going to hire the next head coach and that man would report directly to him. …Read More!

NFL Almanac – 1/2

Items of note

Baltimore – long-time MLB Ray Lewis announced on Wednesday that he is retiring at the end of the current season. “This will be my last ride,” Lewis said.

Green Bay – announced Charles Woodson has been cleared to return to play Saturday against Minnesota.

Honors

AFC – Denver QB Peyton Manning as offensive player of the week, Indianapolis CB Vontae Davis as defensive player of the week, Tennessee RB Darius Reynaud as special teams player of the week.

NFC – Washington RB Alfred Morris as offensive player of the week, N.Y. S Stevie Brown as defensive player of the week, Minnesota K Blair Walsh as special teams player of the week.

Player Transactions

Washington – activated CB Cedric Griffin from the reserve/suspended list. …Read More!

Chiefs Update – 1/2

The days and maybe weeks ahead are going to be filled with rumor, gossip and innuendo about the Chiefs and their open position at head coach and hopefully open spot at general manager.

We are not going to run around like a chicken sans head and regurgitate every piece of non-information that comes down the pike. I will pass along the news that comes from sources that I consider fairly reliable but my warning right up front is this – decide for yourself on what to believe and not believe.

In light of that, here’s an update on what we know and think we know about the situation with the Chiefs:

  • On Tuesday, Clark Hunt and others with the Chiefs party interviewed two candidates for the team’s head coaching job – Atlanta offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter and Falcons special teams coach Keith Armstrong.
  • Koetter on Wednesday agreed to a contract extension with the Falcons that does not allow him to consider head coaching jobs. Count out Dirk Koetter.
  • Hunt and party on Wednesday were in the Philadelphia area scheduled to meet with fired Eagles head coach Andy Reid.

One item where we can’t get reliable intelligence is – who is on the Hunt private jet and taking part in these interviews? It would not make any sense if Pioli was involved, as it has been reported. That doesn’t fit what Hunt has said. Hopefully there is someone else in the room during these interviews who knows that a football is blown up and not stuffed.

Hunt said he didn’t want to wait in his search for a coach and he’s jumped right into the deep end today with Reid, who arguably is the most talented coach currently without a job that has indicated a desire to work. It’s been reported by the Cardinals own website that Reid will interview with Arizona on Thursday.

Β 

What Clark Is Saying … Wednesday Cup O’Chiefs

We finally heard from Clark Hunt on Monday. It came after weeks and months of silence as his football team slid into the NFL abyss. For the longest time there was nothing but the sound of crickets coming out of the Hunt compound in Dallas.

First, there was a carefully crafted statement about firing Romeo Crennel and allowing Scott Pioli to twist in the wind. That was followed by several very controlled meetings with a handful of media outlets where Hunt had his talking points and stuck to the script.

When the smoke cleared, there were words with Clark Hunt’s name on them. Here are just a few of them and what type of window they provided into the current predicament of the Chiefs.0

——————–

“I’m going to hire the head coach and he’s going to report to me … I feel it gives us the best chance to hire the most outstanding coach.”

Hunt makes it clear with this statement that he’s not going to allow his general manager the ability to mold the entire football operations when he’s done nothing that shows he has a real clue about what he’s doing. This is a tacit apology from Hunt that he screwed up when he hired Pioli. He’s saying that he’s not going to trust the GM to line up another crony to be the head coach. He’s also saying that he’s not going to allow a coach he wants to be lost because of Pioli’s presence. …Read More!

College Preview: Sugar Bowl

  • Sugar Bowl
  • Florida (11-1) vs. Louisville (10-2)
  • Wednesday, January 2, 7:30 p.m. CST, ESPN
  • Mercedes Benz Superdome, New Orleans

 

University of Florida Gators

#73 DT Sharrif Floyd, Junior – 6-2Β½, 303 pounds, 5.17 seconds in the 40-yard dash, 20 years old (5/28/92), 1st-round draft potential.

Earned first team All-SEC honors with his performance this season on the inside of the Florida defense. Floyd moved back inside after playing at defensive end in 2011 because the Gators were short on bodies for the position.

Year

G/S

Tot Tk.

TFL

Sks

FF

RF

PD

Blk Kick

2010

13/2

23

8

0

0

0

0

0

2011

11/11

46

6.5

1.5

0

0

1

1

2012

12/12

41

11

1

0

0

0

2

Totals

36/25

110

25.5

B

0

0

1

3

Other Florida players that will receive serious consideration from NFL teams in draft preparation will be: …Read More!

The Order for the First Round of the 2013 NFL Draft

Pick #

Team

Record

Win %

SOS*

1.

Chiefs

2-14

.125

.516

2.

Jacksonville

2-14

.125

.539

3.

Oakland

4-12

.250

.469

4.

Philadelphia

4-12

.250

.508

5.

Detroit

4-12

.250

.566

6.

Cleveland

5-11

.313

.508

7.

Arizona

5-11

.313

.559

8.

Buffalo

6-10

.375

.480

9.

N.Y. Jets

6-10

.375

.512

10.

Tennessee

6-10

.375

.512

11.

San Diego

7-9

.438

.457

12.

Miami

7-9

.438

.500

13.

Tampa Bay

7-9

.438

.502

14.

Carolina

7-9

.438

.516

15.

New Orleans

7-9

.438

.521

16.

St. Louis

7-8-1

.469

.539

17.

Pittsburgh

8-8

.500

.465

18.

Dallas

8-8

.500

.523

19.

N.Y. Giants

9-7

.563

.521

20.

Chicago

10-6

.625

.512

*SOS=strength of schedule, used as tie-breaker in draft order. Selections No. 21 through 32 go to the 12 teams in the AFC & NFC playoffs.

NFL Almanac – 1/1

Player transactions

Houston – placed ILB Darryl Sharpton (hip) on the injured-reserve list; signed ILB Mister Alexander.

San Francisco – signed K Billy Cundiff; released LB Eric Bakhtiari.

Seattle – placed CB Walter Thurmond III (hamstring) on the injured-reserve list; activated CB Brandon Browner from the reserve/suspended list. …Read More!

College Preview: Orange Bowl

  • Orange Bowl
  • Florida State (11-2) vs. Northern Illinois (12-1)
  • Tuesday, January 1, 7:30 p.m. CST, ESPN
  • Sun Life Stadium, Miami Gardens, Florida

 

Florida State University Seminoles

#95 DE Bjoern Werner, Junior – 6-4, 256 pounds, 4.78 seconds in the 40-yard dash, 22 years old (8/30/90), 1st-round potential.

He began his football career at the age of 15, as a foreign-exchange student from his native Germany. By the time Werner got a taste of the game, he was talented enough to be narrow his final college choices down to Oregon and Florida State. He picked the Seminoles and it didn’t take long for Werner to make his mark in the 2012 season, as he grabbed 4 sacks in the opening game victory over Murray State. He finished up the season with 13 sacks and was named the Atlantic Coast Conference’s defensive player of the year.

Last season as a sophomore, he had 7 sacks and 11 tackles for loss. He grabbed 3.5 sacks as a true freshman. Werner played last year at 275 pounds, but dropped 20 pounds in prepping for the 2012 season and it has shown up in his agility and quickness. He played two years of high school at Salisbury School in Connecticut after playing in Berlin. …Read More!

College Preview: Rose Bowl

  • Rose Bowl
  • Stanford (11-2) vs. Wisconsin (8-5)
  • Tuesday, January 1, 4 p.m. CST, ESPN
  • Rose Bowl, Pasadena, California

 

Stanford University Cardinal

#86 TE Zach Ertz, Redshirt-Junior – 6-6, 252 pounds, 4.79 seconds in the 40-yard dash, 1st-round draft potential.

Ertz finished the season as the consensus All-America selection at tight end, including first-team Associated Press All-America. The 2012 was his career-best season and he caught 11 passes in Stanford’s upset of unbeaten Oregon. He also had game winning TD catches against both Southern Cal and Oregon State. …Read More!

A baby step, but it was a step …Tuesday Cup O’Chiefs

Clark Hunt decided that he wasn’t going to just rip off the band-aid.

Instead, he’s slowly pulling at one corner of the band-aid, methodically pulling it back and taking his pain in much smaller doses.

Hunt established three facts on Monday that should be apparent to all:

  1. He’s not happy with his football team.
  2. He wanted a new head coach.
  3. He’s going to do things his way.

The Red & Gold Tribe wanted GM Scott Pioli shown the door as soon as the team’s charter flight landed late Sunday night from Denver. Hunt disappointed them by stopping the pink slips for now at Romeo Crennel.

But he intrigued everyone when he announced that his evaluation of the football operation continues as does the evaluation of the job Pioli has done as GM.

Essentially, Pioli has been left to twist in the wind, and there’s a certain wonderful sense of karma with that, given the GM’s behavior over the last four years. His job performance as the head of the football operation should have led to his quick dismissal.

That Pioli’s firing didn’t happen immediately has generated a lot of talk, angst and in some cases with the fans, even more disgust than the 2-14 season created. All are worthy reactions, because there is nothing good that can come from allowing Pioli to be in the building. Hunt has essentially neutered the big guy and he’s said through his words and actions in the first 36 hours of the off-season that there are questions about whether Pioli should retain his job.

Me thinks the problem is money. …Read More!

College Preview: Heart of Dallas Bowl


  • Heart of Dallas Bowl
  • Purdue (6-6) vs. Oklahoma State (7-5)
  • Tuesday, January 1, 11 a.m. CST, ESPNU
  • Cotton Bowl Stadium, Dallas

 

Purdue University Boilermakers

#93 DT Kawann Short, Senior – 6-3, 315 pounds, 5.16 seconds in the 40-yard dash, 23 years old (2/2/89), 1st-round draft potential.

Short was a second-team Associated Press All-America selection for his performance this year and had 42 tackles, 6 sacks, 4 blocked kicks and 2 recovered fumbles. He also earned first-team All-Big 10 Conference honors for the second consecutive season. …Read More!

College Preview: Outback Bowl

 

  • Outback Bowl
  • South Carolina (10-2) vs. Michigan (8-4)
  • Tuesday, January 1, 12 noon CST, ESPN
  • Raymond James Stadium, Tampa

 

University of South Carolina Gamecocks

#36 FS D.J. Swearinger, Senior – 5-11, 210 pounds, 4.56 seconds in the 40-yard dash, 3rd-round potential.

He earned All-SEC second team honors after the 2012 season. Swearinger began contributing in the first game of the 2009 season, playing cornerback, free safety and strong safety. …Read More!

College Preview: Gator Bowl

  • Gator Bowl
  • Mississippi State (8-4) vs. Northwestern (9-3)
  • Tuesday, January 1, 11 a.m. CST, ESPN2
  • Alltel Stadium, Jacksonville, Florida

 

Mississippi State University Bulldogs

#13 CB Johnthan Banks, Senior – 6-1, 185 pounds, 4.52 seconds in the 40-yard dash, 23 years old (10/3/89), 1st-round draft potential.

Banks was honored after the 2012 season with the Jim Thorpe Award as college football best defensive back. He was named second-team Associated Press All-America and received consensus All-America status with selection to nine different all-star teams. Banks received first-team status on the All-ACC team.

From the tiny town of Maben, Mississippi (population 876), Banks got extensive playing time as a true freshman, moving in to the free safety spot. He had four interceptions, including 2 against Tim Tebow and Florida that he also returned for touchdowns, one a 100-yard return.

He moved to cornerback as a sophomore and has been there making big plays ever since. Banks will play in the Senior Bowl in late January in Mobile, Alabama. …Read More!

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