Saying Goodbye … Tuesday Cup O’Chiefs

The number one requirement for an NFL locker room on the day after the season ends is garbage bags.

Garbage bags?

Yes, big, heavy duty garbage bags, that can be used as suitcases, brief cases, storage bags and sometimes, they can even hold garbage as players clean out their lockers after some eight months of use.

A box of big black garbage bags sat on a table in the middle of the Chiefs locker room Monday as the team went through the last day of the 2010 season. The use of those bags was a fitting metaphor to what happened on Sunday when the Baltimore Ravens stuffed into the garbage the Chiefs chances of advancing into the AFC playoffs.

As a result of the 30-7 thumping, the Chiefs gathered one more time on Monday. There were a lot of phone numbers exchanged, a lot of immediate plans being shared, some footballs being signed as they were passed around the room.

Before they know it, many of the men in the room will gather again for the start of the 2011 season. Or, will they? The NFL’s labor situation remains unresolved and the players have been told by the NFL Players Association to expect a lockout by the owners. When a resolution may come together is anybody’s guess at this point.

“No matter what happens or what the timing is, we are pros and it’s up to us to be in shape and ready to go no matter when it happens,” said OLB Andy Studebaker. “We all hope it gets settled sooner rather than later, but we’ll be ready to come back to work, whenever that might be.”

Whenever that is, the faces in the locker room will change. They always do because change is the constant of the NFL.

“We don’t know what kind of team we are going to have next year, or what players we will have back,” said WR Dwayne Bowe.

There are at least 23 players on the active roster and injured-reserve list that will soon be without contracts. At the top of that group is OLB Tamba Hali, who led the AFC in sacks with 14.5 and then added two more against the Ravens. Hali’s finished up his rookie-year contract and will be due a big payday, whether it comes from the Chiefs or another team through free agency.

Other starters or major contributors that will be without contracts at the end of February include CB Brandon Carr, RT Barry Richardson, C Casey Wiegmann, OLB Mike Vrabel, NT Ron Edwards, DE Wallace Gilberry, S Jon McGraw and DL Shaun Smith.

“I hope they want me back,” said Smith, who contributed far more than anyone would have expected of the journeyman defender. “But this is a business and there are business decisions that are made. We’ll have to see.”

Others who will be without contracts are: LB Charlie Anderson, RB Jackie Battle, FB Tim Castille, WR Terrance Copper, FB Mike Cox, QB Brodie Croyle, CB Travis Daniels, LB Cory Greenwood, S Reshard Langford, CB Maurice Leggett, LB Corey Mays, C Rudy Niswanger, OT Ryan O’Callaghan and TE Leonard Pope.

Wiegmann (37 years old and 15 seasons), Vrabel (35 and 14), G Brian Waters (33 and 11) and RB Thomas Jones (32 and 11) are the oldest and most experienced players on the roster, and the most likely to hang it up and retire. All four struggled in the last part of the 2010 season and none of the four played up to the standards established during their careers. Waters is scheduled to make $3.9 million in the 2011 season, with Jones receiving $2 million.

Changes will be made – they must be made if the Chiefs are to take the next step. QB Matt Cassel sees a foundation that has been laid. “You are able to build on what you did the year before and it gives you room for improvement and room for growth,” Cassel said. “Fix the things you need to fix and grow the things that you do well.”

Change has already come to the coaching staff where offensive coordinator Charlie Weis is gone and the Chiefs are in the process of hiring or naming his replacement. A lot of names have been suggested, none decided on.

Weis may not be the only change on Haley’s staff. There are also questions as to what type of commitments the Chiefs have made to the coaching staff in light of the potential for a lockout and work stoppage with the players. Many coaches around the league have contracts that call for salaries to be sliced by 50 percent or more if there’s no agreement and thus no players.

The Chiefs ended the season without major injuries, but a lot of players will return home hurting from the long year and the last 17 games. Off the injured-reserve list, the most interest will be on the future of WR Jerheme Urban (hand), TE Brad Cottam (neck) and LB Cameron Sheffield (head).

Speaking on Monday, Sheffield said he was cleared several weeks ago to return to playing and practicing after losing the season due to a concussion that he suffered during the pre-season.

CHIEFS-RAVENS RATINGS ARE HIGH

The Chiefs-Ravens turned out to be the least interesting of the four wildcard round games played over the weekend. But that didn’t hurt the television audience that CBS drew for the game.

Some 28.5 million viewers watched the game, the highest for CBS in the wildcard round since 2006.

Over 39 million viewers watched the Green Bay-Philadelphia game Sunday afternoon, making it the highest rated wild card round broadcast in history for the Fox network.

In NBC’s history of doing wild card Saturday, they turned in the best viewership last weekend with 18.3 million watching New Orleans and Seattle. Some 20.8 million viewers saw the Jets and Colts in the nightcap.

AFL GREAT COOKIE GILCHRIST PASSES AWAY

Carlton Chester “Cookie” Gilchrist never played college football. In fact, he was signed out of high school by the Cleveland Browns, but the NFL eventually nullified the contract, forcing Gilchrist to go north to the Canadian Football League where he became a star over a six-year career.

Gilchrist eventually returned from Canada and played for seven years in the American Football League. It was in Lamar Hunt’s creation that he made a name for himself, leading the AFL in rushing for two seasons. He joined the Bills in 1962 and was the AFL’s player of the year that season, when he had 1,096 yards rushing and 13 touchdowns. In 1964, Gilchrist and quarterback Jack Kemp led the Bills to their first of two straight AFL championships. He led the AFL in yards rushing from 1963-65 and in touchdowns from 1962-64.

He passed away Monday at a care home in suburban Pittsburgh. Gilchrist was 75 years old.

After leaving the Bills following the ’64 season, he had a long-running feud with Bills owner Ralph Wilson that was not settled until several weeks ago when the men had a phone conversation.

Gilchrist played in 65 games over six AFL seasons with the Bills, Broncos and Dolphins. He finished with 4,293 yards on 1,010 carries and 37 TDs. He caught 110 passes for 1,135 receiving yards and six TDs.

NFL PERSONNEL FILE FOR MONDAY, JANUARY 10

  • BRONCOS – will interview Texans offensive coordinator Rick Dennison, Jaguars offensive coordinator Dirk Koettner, Saints defensive coordinator Greg Williams, and former Panthers head coach John Fox for their head coaching position.
  • BROWNS – will interview Giants defensive coordinator Perry Fewell for their head coaching position.
  • BUCCANEERS – exercised options on the contracts for both head coach Raheem Morris and general manager Mark Dominik.
  • EAGLES – signed reserve/futures contracts with WR Sinorice Moss, WR Rod Harper, C A.Q. Shipley and G Dallas Reynolds.
  • PANTHERS – expected to name Ron Rivera as their new head coach. Rivera has been the Chargers defensive coordinator.

13 Responses to “Saying Goodbye … Tuesday Cup O’Chiefs”

  • January 11, 2011  - Chuck says:

    There are an awfull lot of guys without contracts. I hope we atleast at a minimum re-sign Hali, Carr, S. Smith, T. Copper, C. Mays, and L. Pope. Iam not terribly impressed with McGraw, Edwards, Vrabel, or even Croyle for that matter. That S.D. away game really soured me on Croyle.


  • January 11, 2011  - Rick says:

    .
    Yeah, I’d say Hali and Carr are a must to resign. Most of the others can be replaced. Vrabel helped in the transition to the 3-4, and certainly was a good influence in the locker room, but he’s so slow and doesn’t seem to have much impact in games.


  • January 11, 2011  - RW says:

    I’m reading and hearing so many varying views of the new CBA status but it remains clear the owners are poised to play hardball, lock out the players, and wait for them to feel the pain of no money coming in to finance their lavish (for some, if not MOST) lifestyles. It seems likely that this issue will grind on into the summer months without resolution.

    If so, there won’t be the OTAs, Mini-camps, and not much of a training camp if any at all so where does that leave the 2011 season? Abbreviated, perhaps? How might that affect the balance of power in the league? Or the signing of free agents, vets on the roster, or the rooks drafted?

    I look for the owners to remain steadfast, the players to blink and a deal finally done around early August followed by a frenzied rush to get ready for regular season which will be quite different in terms of quality play from what we’ve been used to seeing in previous years.


  • January 11, 2011  - el cid says:

    If the Chiefs want Palko or college kid at QB, Croyle is gone. Cannot hold Croyle to blame for SD game ALONE. I will maintain coaching attitude/game planning had as much to do about it as Croyle’s lack of preformance. It was repeated against raiders and Ravens. We know it is a secret but there was a pattern. What do I know (Nate, Michael, or Ed)?

    I dislike saying it but if I want Pioli/Haley et al collective feet held to the fire for wins, so give them who they want and dump/trade the rest. There is no one all that indespensable on the roster anyway.

    Speaking of secrecy, Denver is posting their interviews of coaches on their site, ESPN said it was the “new way” of doing business in the NFL. Here we have to read an AZ paper to hear about Haley. Oh, well, no problem, just no understanding of the selective secrecy of current management.


  • January 11, 2011  - el cid says:

    Sorry, forgot, Hali, Carr, and Edwards are need guys but Hali may have priced himself out of KC, to good and Haley does not seem in love with him. Yes, Edwards, we do not have another NT who can begin to carry the load. For the right price, Smith seems a no brainer, Jackson never impacted the team at the same position or level.

    Problem is not having a CBA in place. In a business sense (always a consideration for the Hunts) contracts may be on hold, no point giving signing bonus’ with no season to play.


  • January 11, 2011  - Brad says:

    Hali is best player on team – must resign him. Need a WR, a NT, a center and possibly offensive tackle, and another running back.

    Vrabel was nice to have around, but is clearly done.


  • January 11, 2011  - el cid says:

    I agree but a “starting” WR, NT, C, and, at least backup OT and RB is asking a whole lot for one off season. Most feel last year’s was good to potentially great and WR was ignorred. Add Arenas does not look like a starting CB, well, you got to have two on the field, sort of have to stick with Carr/Flowers, don’t you?

    Also a college kid to start at C, don’t know?

    All in all, does not seem to be the Chief’s Way, does it?


  • January 11, 2011  - Brad says:

    Belcher is the model moving forward: a role player who sometimes actually makes plays. Surely we can find equivalents of him for center, back-up OT and maybe even running back, thus freeing up money and draft choices for the pressing needs of WR and NT.


  • January 11, 2011  - Tenand6 says:

    Haley doesn’t like Hali? I missed that.

    Belcher needs to be pushed for the starting job next year, IMHO. I’d like to see two new OL, a NT, ILB and WR. And we need to have a legit #2 QB.

    Two good, consecutive drafts away from being a solid, consistent contender.


  • January 11, 2011  - el cid says:

    Keeping in mind secrecy, Hali sack total is making him a recognized player. Some, outside KC, thought he should have been in the pro bowl. Not bad for a guy who is not a self promoter. Might be one of the top free agents…..so…..why have the Chiefs not signed him BEFORE he was in this position. Either they did not know what they had in Hali (keep in mind Pioli specialty is talent evaluation and Crennel, with his rep, should know the player he helped develope) or they are not sold on him. Do not know, it is a secret.

    Belcher is a nice fit but to small, like some others, cannot have a team of little people, at some point size matters. Forgive me, I need to gag at waiting two more year of good drafting. We won 10 games build TODAY on it.


  • January 11, 2011  - PAChiefsFan says:

    Yeah what’s to like about a high motor guy who goes all out on every play and leads the AFC in sacks. Any coach would hate that and want to get rid of him. Yeah right. Makes sense to let Hali go. All year the talk has been about having someone on the other side to compliment him. Now lets let him go so we have to start all over again on pass rushers. Solid advice.


  • January 11, 2011  - Rick says:

    .
    Saying Haley doesn’t value Hali is asinine, in fact he has praised Tamba more than a few times over the course of the season. Perhaps some people should watch Haley’s press briefings. Also, how do we know that the Chiefs aren’t in negotiations with Hali’s agent as we speak? But by all means, continue to bash the coach that just improved our win/loss record by 6 games in a years time, and won the west for the 1st time since 03.


  • January 11, 2011  - cychief24 says:

    If I can squeeze in a post before el cid pees on the Corn Flakes again…..
    BTW, news flash….2010 AFC West Champs were the Kansas City Chiefs.
    I agree with Tenand6, 2 drafts away from being a consistent playoff qualifier.
    Man I had a blast in my season tickets and at the Rams game this year. I can’t wait for 2011!




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