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Tuesday Morning Cup O’Chiefs

His name is DeMaurice Smith.  Until Monday, there’s very little chance even the most devoted football fan had any idea about this man.

But right now he looms on the horizon as one of the most important people in pro football.

Using a box from a pair of Reebok shoes to hold the secret ballots, the NFL Players Association elected Smith their new executive director on Sunday night in Maui.

As the replacement for the late Gene Upshaw, this 45-year old Washington attorney walks into a potential volatile situation as the NFL owners and players face a season without a salary cap in 2010 before the current agreement between the parties expires.

Smith did not waste any time, as he spoke by phone with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, put together a transition team and spoke on a conference call with reporters.

“This is a tremendous game and the men who play it sacrifice, they know about team, they know about honor, they know about duty,” Smith said. “It’s a pleasure to be around men who know that and live that every day. At the same time, the game is bigger than them.”

If there should be a labor action in 2011 it won’t be because of the players, said Smith. He’s hoping negotiations can avert an owners’ lockout of the players.

“There are people in American who rely on those game-day checks in the same way these men rely on those (game) checks,” said smith. “From the people who park the cars in the stadium, to the people who are working the concessions, to the people who support this game in each and every way; I don’t want a lockout for our men.

“But I also don’t want a lockout for the people who need those eight paychecks a year. As we move forward, I hope that our discussions with the owners is both early and fruitful and it is my sincere hope that we can come to an agreement extremely quickly so that everybody knows this game will continue in a great way.

“Talk about things like a lockout, it hurts these men. But it also hurts a larger group of people and we’re mindful of that.”

Smith said his goal is to maintain the labor peace, but he warned that he is also preparing for what he referred to as “war.”

“There isn’t a day where I don’t hope for peace. But at the same time, there isn’t a day where we won’t prepare for war,” Smith said. “So, as we move forward, I hope that our discussion with the owners is both early and fruitful. And it is my sincere hope that we can come to an agreement extremely quickly.”

So who is DeMaurice Smith?

He’s the son of a former Marine and the grandson of a sharecropper preacher. He earned his bachelor’s degree in 1985 from Cedarville College, a Christian school near Dayton Ohio. He graduated from the University of Virginia’s School of Law in 1989. He worked in the U.S. Attorney’s office for the District of Columbia, where he prosecuted more than 80 jury trials and handled significant homicide, narcotics and white-collar crime investigations.

Smith went on to serve as counsel to then Deputy Attorney General Eric Holder in the U.S. Department of Justice before entering private law practice. In recent years, he’s been a trail lawyer and litigation partner at the Washington law firm of Patton Boggs. He represented corporations and individuals in both criminal and administrative matters, notably those pending before the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Department of Justice, U.S. Congress, Justice Department-Antitrust Division, and the Securities and Exchange Commission.  He has tremendous experience in cases alleging conspiracy, environmental crimes, accounting fraud, health care, securities, obstruction, antitrust, false statements, and defense contractor fraud.

NEW DIRECTOR WANTS HELP FROM DUNGY

One of the first things that Smith had on his agenda as NFLPA executive director was a phone call to former Colts head coach Tony Dungy. That call was placed on Monday.

Smith wants Dungy to serve as a liaison between the players and the NFL office on player issues on and off the field.

Dungy confirmed to ESPN.com that he’s interested in the position.

“It’s certainly something that’s close to my heart, having been associated with the NFL for so long,” Dungy said.

AS THE CUTLER TURNS

As expected, QB Jay Cutler did not show for the 8 o’clock team meeting on Monday morning with new head coach Josh McDaniels (left).

Cutler stands by his demand to be traded.

McDaniels asked his players not to talk about what his comments in the meeting about Cutler. Basically, he told the squad that he would handle the matter.

“He said, ‘I’ll take care of it,’ and that’s pretty much it,” said defensive lineman Kenny Peterson. “(As players), you can’t control it. You got to control what you can control.

New cornerback Andre Goodman hasn’t met Cutler, but knows how important the situation is to his new team.

“The quarterback is the face of the team,” Goodman said. “When you take the coach out of it, (the QB) is the face of the team. Everybody will tell you it starts with the quarterback.”

Goodman said it’s up to the players to handle the distraction.

“It’s only hard if you allow it to be hard,” he said. “If you’re a professional you don’t allow it to be hard. It’s all about the approach you take as individuals.”

The Broncos have already field calls from other teams about Cutler. The head coach would still like an opportunity to speak with the quarterback one-on-one and Cutler simply wants a new home.

“I would like to talk to Jay before we go on and start to discuss some other type of alternative,” McDaniels said. “In the last couple weeks, we’ve been all about trying to communicate and resolve his unhappiness with what happened — which we understand — and that’s been our direction.”

Direction maybe, but it hasn’t produced the desired results.

UPDATE ON SIGNINGS AND MOVES AROUND THE LEAGUE

CARDINALS - signed RB Jason Wright (Cleveland).

49ERS – signed LB Mark Washington.

JAGUARS - released WR Matt Jones.

JETS – re-signed CB Ahmad Carroll.

PACKERS – matched offer sheet to CB Jarrett Bush from Tennessee.

PATRIOTS – re-signed S. Raymond Ventrone, S Tank Williams, OT Wesley Britt. Signed C Al Johnson (Miami).

STEELERS – re-signed LB Arnold Harrison.

SAY HAPPY BIRTHDAY …

Born on March 17, 1973 in Memphis was safety Jerome Harlan Woods, who would go on to play nine seasons in the NFL with the Chiefs (1996-2005). Wood was the team’s first-round choice in the 1996 NFL Draft out of then Memphis State. He played in 128 games with 105 starts, finishing with 15 career interceptions, including two that he returned for touchdowns in 2003, including one for 79 yards and the score.

Born on March 17, 1965 in Ft. Lauderdale was tight end Alfredo Roberts. He played three seasons with the Chiefs (1988-90) after being the team’s eight-round choice I n the ’88 NFL Draft out of the University of Miami. In 48 games, he caught 29 passes for 278 yards and a pair of touchdowns. He’s currently coaching in the NFL with the Tampa Bay Bucs.

Born on March 17, 1933 in Chicago was former interim Chiefs head coach Tom Bettis. He played linebacker in the NFL for nine seasons (1955-63) before beginning his coaching career. After the Chiefs fired Paul Wiggin midway through the ’77 season, Bettis was named head coach. The Chiefs went 1-6 in the final half of the season.


23 Responses to “Tuesday Morning Cup O’Chiefs”

  • March 17, 2009  - MenInRed says:

    DeMaurice Smith is a Attorney and will more than likely be the cause of what he says he doesn’t want to happen, “an owners’ lockout of the players”. Another strike do to the state of our economy with the players wanting more and the owners can’t afford it because they can’t keep raising ticket prices do to the public wont be able to afford to attend the games.

    The whole Jay Cutler affair is a good thing for KC, and I don’t blame Jay for being upset, and yes I know its a business but if you didn’t like your new boss that just got hired then you have the right as well to want to change jobs too. Let Denver trade him away then hit them up for thier First round pick in the draft for Cassel. Heck if McDaniels is so in Love with Cassel, or so desperate now, we might get a couple of picks out of the deal from Denver. What’s your all’s take of that possiblity?

    “The Right 53″


  • March 17, 2009  - MenInRed says:

    Oh Ya, it’s GREEN BEER DAY! Happy St. Patty’s Day to all.

    “The Right 53″


  • March 17, 2009  - anonymous says:

    Jerome Woods is no Fred Arbanas, neither is Alfredo Roberts. Hell, neither am I!


  • March 17, 2009  - Scott says:

    I think it would be a HUGE mistake to deal Cassel, personally. Then what? Go with Thigpen? Croyle? Draft Stafford or Sanchez?

    Cassel has shown some promise of being a pretty good QB in this league. I say we should give him the chance right here in KC. I’m pretty sure that’s why Pioli brought him here…and doubt seriously if he is even considering trading him. Besides…how are those of you who don’t want Cassel here going to feel if he goes somewhere else, say Denver, and kicks ass?

    I’m not sure what AnonaRin’s problem with Cassel is. Man-crush gone bad, maybe? Give the man a freakin’ chance. Nobody knows for sure if he can help turn this team around. NOBODY. But I say we give him the chance. If he sucks…then he sucks. If he kills…then it was well worth the price. I just think he should be given the chance to play before judgement is passed. I happen to think he did a pretty amazing job last year stepping in for Brady. Can you even imagine the pressure he was under? And he stepped in and handled it. I’d take that over a crybaby like Cutler anyday. Cutler may have the skills…but he lacks maturity and leadership qualities. I’ll take the guy who is cool under pressure.


  • March 17, 2009  - anonymous says:

    Scott,

    The Chiefs should ask Fred Arbanas to fill in for the inept and inexperienced group of young simpletons they have at quarterback. That idea would be great, nee, splended.


  • March 17, 2009  - Devildog 1976 says:

    The only TEAM I care about is here in KC. Let all of the others self destruct if they want to. I say we keep Cassel and move forward, do not lose sight of our goal which is a better season. We can and will be back on top of the AFC west soon. We don’t want Cutler for any reason, not even if we can have him for free. Every player needs to understand the word TEAM, with that understanding and belief we can be unstoppable. Believing in your ability to beat the other TEAM and not accepting any other result will lead to many W’s.
    It is all about the TEAM……….and…………
    THE RIGHT 53 2009
    time check 0915


  • March 17, 2009  - Hemi7382 says:

    I sure as heck would NOT want Cutler on the KC Chiefs. The guy is overrated. Why in the world he made the Pro Bowl last year is beyond me. He didn’t deserve it. Rivers of the Chargers and Cassel of the Patriots (now here in KC and had better stay in KC) had better seasons than Cutler did.

    I agree with Scott on this one. Cassel is much more mature and has proven he can handle pressure and can take constructive critism; i.e. coaching. Cutler apparantly can handle neither.

    McDaniels is the coach in Denver. Period. If Cutler can’t accept that, then Denver needs to move on, get a 1st and 3rd Draft Pick for Cutler, and give Chris Simms the keys to the team. Cutler has too big of an ego for his own good to suck it up and stay in Denver. I’m pretty sure he’ll end up in either Tampa Bay, Detroit, or Cleveland in ’09.


  • March 17, 2009  - Lozphil says:

    Have the Chiefs started working out yet?


  • March 17, 2009  - tm1946 says:

    Hopefully Mr Smith can manage his people so a multi-multi million busicess does not die on the vine.

    Cassel is here for, at least, 09. Still need help on offense.You know here I sit broken hearted, tried to…..you get it.


  • March 17, 2009  - Josh says:

    Anyone seen my main squeeze Devildog1976? I need another hug down there.


  • March 17, 2009  - Devildog1976 says:

    Here I am lover. I’ve been waiting for you. Desperately. Come on- I mean come all- come on over.
    It is all about the TEAM……….and…………
    THE RIGHT spot in 2009, me in front, Josh in back.
    time check 1001


  • March 17, 2009  - Josh says:

    DevilDog,

    Haha…I love that someone is signing in as us…I have my suspicions…it’s either Rinanonymous or his right-hand man, Captain Punctuation.

    High fives to us for being so popular! :)


  • March 17, 2009  - Scott says:

    Some people have WAY too much time on their hands.

    And not much of a life…apparently.


  • March 17, 2009  - arrowhead1978 says:

    I dont like the Cassel trade, I didn’t think the offense was the problem so much last year, but anyway they get a new QB that is similar to Thigpen, who will play out of the spread offense again this year. The offensive line hasn’t been fixed yet either. I dont see much of a change, what i do see is the chiefs payed 14 million for a QB that we didn’t need and now Peppers is reported to go to the Pats for the second rounder we gave them for Cassel and 16 million for this year.

    I personally think that would have been a better deal knowing we needed more of a rush on the QB than a new one!!

    Hey Scott what happens if Cassel blows hard this year? Does Thiggy get his shot to start again??


  • March 17, 2009  - Scott says:

    arrowhead1978 says:

    “Hey Scott what happens if Cassel blows hard this year? Does Thiggy get his shot to start again??”

    Of course. You have to put the best man on the field…at ANY position.

    Thing is…so many people are willing to write Cassel off already. It freakin’ March! The guy probably doesn’t even have a Chiefs jersey yet…let alone put one on. I’m willing to let the man have a chance to run the show before I write him off as a waste of a draft pick/money.

    Thigpen did an okay job last year with the situation he was handed. But, his decision making…as well as some way-off-the-mark passes, tell me that he’s not ready to lead a team. Yet. I’d like to see him work hard and learn in the next year or two. If he does that…his time will come.


  • March 17, 2009  - anonymous says:

    And now friends, time for yet another episode of – ‘My Take’ – a regular feature of bobgretz.com, with your anonymous host… ‘anonymous’ – that’s me! Thanks for waiting!

    Today, we shall discuss ‘yesterday’, as in long ago and not so much Monday as twere. Monday was the day the Chiefs started inquiring as to the availability of their next QB – a real one this time – DENVER’s Jay Cutler.

    That should be wrapped by draft time, the Chiefs a couple of draft choice (#3 & #4) lighter and a latter day not so much bonafide as be Bono’-fide stop gap QB ours now become DENVER’s headache – mut gets his Jeff, cassel his mcdaniel(s).

    Sweet.

    But we digress, let us get back to ‘yesterday’ as in “when it was a game” – last time the KC Chiefs really mattered, season 1971, and afore said last time they won, January 1970.

    Nixon was in the White House, Charles Manson was back at home in the bigger house, Lenny was Cool, Torey Time & Ol Gus were too, Raider Jim Otto and his football brethren there were so unhappy – the Chiefs were Kings, Champions… and all the world seemed right.

    (Cue Mary Hopkins)
    “Those were the days, my friend
    We thought they’d never end
    We’d sing and dance forever and a day…
    We’d live the life we choose
    we’d fight and never lose,
    Those were the days oh, yes, those were the days.

    Now, left with but searchme piolee & checkpoint hailee, some mut nee cassel built on faux hopes and all of it held together with pieces chewing gum, a wing & a prayer. A resigned Judy Collins must have been a KC fan when she rightly cried: “Send in the clowns” before re-adjusting it to: “don’t bother, they’re here.” ^ ^ ^

    Those were the (yester)days my friend, we thought they’d never end…

    :-)


  • March 17, 2009  - gorillafan says:

    THANKS Nick L.

    Awesome, That was my first Chiefs game!! I was 10 yrs old and have been going ever since.

    That clip gave me chills!!


  • March 17, 2009  - Scott says:

    Anonymous…there’s just one little flaw in your Jay Cutler wet dream. WE DO NOT NEED A QUARTERBACK! We already have one – Matt Cassel. Cutler will end up with a team that NEEDS a QB…like Detroit, Tampa Bay, or the Jets.

    It’s amazing that you continually rag on a guy as a total bust…before he’s played one down for us.

    Luckily…with your “Herm’s the man” battlecry still fresh on our minds, we can consider the source and snicker to ourselves. I know I do.


  • March 17, 2009  - RedandGoldRice says:

    Yeah, thanks Nick L.
    That was a damn good day. I sure do miss #58.


  • March 17, 2009  - ED says:

    Why are people foolishly bringing up the fact of Cutler coming to KC when we already got Cassell. Doesn’t make sense too me. Anyway the guy has a right to be upset. Cutler clearly has far more superior talent than Cassell so for the Broncos to even consider a trade was dumb. I for one am hoping Cassell was no one hit wonder but am glad to see the turmoil caused in Denver


  • March 18, 2009  - Devildog 1976 says:

    Josh
    Do you mean our little illiterate “special” friend AnonymRintinturd? I am to the point of by passing most of his “Rinturded” posts. He is disturbed and needs help. I feel sorry for him………………………………..not.
    Any way we will see a dramatically different TEAM on the field this year and it is all thanks to Mr P and his promise being kept.

    It is all about the TEAM……….and……….

    THE RIGHT 53 2009

    In Pioloi we trust!!

    time check 0923




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