Weekend Leftovers … Morning Cup O’Chiefs

Monday is the 95th day that pro football has been locked out by the NFL.

Monday is also 88 days away from what is supposed to be the opening weekend of the 2011 NFL season.

Hopefully, Monday will also be the day when we continue to hear the labor situation is moving in the right direction and more folks around the league are talking about a full season, with a complete training camp. Optimism is high.

We can only hope.

But even as we wait for the battle over $9 billion-plus per year to end, there is professional football going on, albeit at price tags far lower than the NFL. The Arena Football League is in the midst of its 2011 season. The Canadian Football League teams are in training camp and getting ready to start a pre-season schedule. The United Football League will open training camps a month from now, with games set to begin in mid-August.

There are familiar names to Chiefs fans in all three of those leagues right now. In fact, there are six Chiefs draft choices that are currently listed on rosters in those three leagues. Check it out:  

Arena Football League (AFL)/18 teams

Saturday night, the Jacksonville Sharks beat the Orlando Predators 68-67 in front of more than 12,000 fans in Orlando.

On the losing side, despite his four touchdown catches in the game, was WR Bobby Sippio. Yes, the same receiver that spent the 2007 season with the Chiefs and drew so much attention from fans due to his being featured on the HBO Hard Knock’s series. He has continued his career indoors.

The Arena League is what it is – some form of football, although it may be closer to basketball than the gridiron. Over the weekend in seven games, the winners averaged 66 points per game.

Sippio has caught 73 passes while playing in 10 of his team’s 12 games. That leaves him as only the third leading receiver on the team.

Here are some other more former Chiefs who are currently playing indoors:

DB Rashad Barksdale – Signed earlier this year by the K.C. Command, Barksdale played in six games in the 2007 season with the Chiefs. He was claimed off waivers on 9/2/07 after he was released by Philadelphia. Barksdale was released on 8/30/08.

DB Michael Bragg – He’s playing with the Cleveland Gladiators. Bragg was with the Chiefs in 2006, appearing in four games after being signed to the practice squad on 9/4/06. He was added to the active roster on 10/11, released on 11/6 and re-signed to the practice squad on 11/7. He was released on 8/27/07.

DL Jeffrey Fitzgerald – Coming out of Kansas State last year, he was signed on 5/17/10 as a college free agent on went to training camp with the Chiefs but was released on 8/17. He’s been working with the Philadelphia Soul for the six months.

RB Derrick Ross – Signed as a college free agent on 5/17/06 out of Tarleton State in Texas, Ross made the final roster that season and played in eight games, while being inactive for the other eight. Come the next season, he was released on 9/2/07. Ross is now playing with Dallas.

WR Bobby Sippio – Camp injuries had the Chiefs looking for help, signing him on 8/11/07. Sippio was released on 9/2 as part of the final cut, but signed 9/3 to the practice squad. He was elevated back to the active roster on 9/11 where he stayed for the rest of the season. Sippio was released by the Chiefs on 8/30/08 and since then has played both inside and outside, going from the Chicago Slaughter, to California Redwoods, Detroit Lions, Florida Tuskers and now the Orlando Predators.

Canadian Football League (CFL)/8 teams

The boys up north will have two weeks of pre-season action starting later this week, then open the regular season on June 30.

WR Jabari Arthur – He was in training camp with the Chiefs in ’08 as a college free agent out of Akron and almost made the roster. A native of Canada, he went back and has played in the league since. Right now, he’s with Calgary.

Michael “Pinball” Clemons – An eighth-round choice of the Chiefs in ’87, Clemons played in eight games that season. After he was released, he moved to Canada where he became one of the most prolific and popular players in CFL history. Now retired from playing and coaching, he’s currently he’s the vice-chairman of the Toronto Argonauts.

Mike Hagan – Over the span of four seasons (2006-09), Hagan served as one of the Chiefs area scouts. When the personnel department was wiped clean by new GM Scott Pioli, Hagen ended up as director of player personnel for Toronto.

OL Edwin Harrison – He was signed as a college free agent in ’08 out of Colorado and spent the season on the practice squad. He was released in August ’09. He’s now part of the Calgary pre-season roster.

Coach Kit Lathrop – Coming out of the USFL, Lathrop played the 1986 season with the Chiefs, appearing in 16 games. That was the end of his playing career. Currently, he’s the defensive line coach for the Edmonton Eskimos.

DL Khari Long – He was drafted in the sixth round of the ’05 NFL Draft out of Baylor and appeared in just one game that season. Since then he’s been with Chicago, Dallas, Buffalo, Hamilton and currently with Calgary.

Danny McManus – One of the most productive quarterbacks in CFL history, McManus is now the U.S. scout for the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. Coming out of Florida State in 1988, he was selected by the Chiefs in the 11th-round of the NFL Draft. McManus played in one game that season. By ’90 he was in the CFL, where he played for 17 seasons, throwing for more than 50,000 yards.

K Justin Medlock – The Chiefs fifth-round choice in ’07, he had a shaky game in the opener that year in Houston and was released the next day. Since then, he’s bounced around between the NFL and CFL. He’s currently with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.

DE Montez Murphy – A talented college free agent out of Baylor in ’06, he spent 12 weeks on the Chiefs practice squad that year and two weeks on the active roster, playing in one game. Released on 9/1/07. He’s currently part of the Saskatchewan RoughRiders.

OL Jeremy Parquet – A seventh-round selection in the ’05 NFL Draft by the Chiefs out of Southern Mississippi, Parquet spent that rookie season with the Chiefs but did not play in a game. Released on 9/2/07. He spent two seasons with St. Louis and parts of two seasons with Pittsburgh. He played in ’09 with Las Vegas in the UFL and he’s currently with the Edmonton Eskimos.

DB Willie Pile – It was in the ’03 NFL Draft when the Chiefs selected Pile in the seventh round out of Virginia Tech. He spent his rookie season on the practice squad, but played in the ’04 season, producing 36 tackles. Pile went on to Dallas and in ’07 moved to the CFL. He’s currently with Toronto.

United Football League (UFL)/5 Teams

Former head coach Marty Schottenheimer has drawn a lot of attention of late on the new Virginia Destroyers franchise. Joining him are Kurt Schottenheimer, Terry Shea and Mike Stock, all former Chiefs assistant coaches. Also with Marty is John Wuehrmann, who worked at Arrowhead with Schottenheimer, as well as Cleveland, Washington and San Diego.

Other former Chiefs in the coaching ranks are Martin Bayless, Don Lawrence and Tim Krumrie.

CB Ricardo Colclough – He was signed as a mid-season injury replacement in 2008 and banged around with the Chiefs for the better part of two seasons. Colclough signed with Omaha in 2010.

WR Devard Darling – In parts of two seasons with the Chiefs, Darling saw limited opportunities to catch the ball and more chances on special teams work.A leg injury wiped out his ’09 season and he was ultimately released by the new regime. He’s been part of the Omaha roster since.

LB Kris Griffin – Signed as a college free agent out of Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Griffin played in 24 games over the 2005-06 seasons. He was released and then went onto Cleveland for several seasons. He’s on the Las Vegas roster right now.

G Adrian Jones – A starter for the Chiefs O-Line in ’08, he was not retained by the new regime and landed in Houston and then Pittsburgh, where he failed to make either club. He’s on the Omaha roster.

WR Samie Parker – A major disappointment in his four seasons with the Chiefs, he played in 47 games with 31 starts. Since his last K.C. game in ’07, he’s signed with Denver, Carolina, Seattle, Oakland, the UFL’s Las Vegas club and the indoor Chicago Rush. He’s still with Las Vegas.

WR Maurice Price – Signed as a college free agent in ’07, Price hung around for the better part of two seasons but did not get on the field for a regular season game. He’s with Florida.

DT Ryan Sims – One of the most vilified first-round failures in franchise history, Sims played the last several years with Tampa Bay, but the Bucs released him and he was signed by the Destroyers.

LB Pat Thomas – A starter for half of the 2008 season, Thomas ended up spending two seasons, 16 games and 9 starts for the red and gold.

OT Tavares Washington – He’s on the Las Vegas roster after playing two games with the Chiefs in 2008. He was signed as a college free agent out of Florida.


Before the NFL Draft this year, Iowa QB Ricky Stanzel had the chance to spend some time working with maybe the best quarterback guru in the country, Tom Martinez. He’s the guy who has worked and honed Tom Brady’s game since he was a high schooler. Martinez also spent some time working with Matt Cassel when he was with the Patriots.

(That’s Cassel on the left with Martinez, Brady and former LSU QB Rohan Davy on the far right.)

Stanzel’s work helped him elevate his draft stock and he was selected in the fifth round by the Chiefs.

Sadly, he will not be able to rely on sessions with Martinez in the future. Over the weekend, Martinez revealed that he’s dying and has been given anywhere from two weeks to a month to live. Posted on Facebook was this message from Martinez through his daughter:

“‘We have received some bad news that I wanted to share with all of you. I have been given a week to a month to live, depending on my body’s response to medication. I want to thank you for the relationship that we shared and the friendships that allowed me to have a very successful career. As much as I would like to talk to you each in person, that is not feasible, so please respect my family’s need for some privacy now.

“‘If the number of lives that I’ve been involved with are in the thousands, then it isn’t possible to talk to each and every one of you. I feel blessed to have had the opportunity to teach and coach you all and I ask that you take one or two of my life lessons and pass them on to your family and friends and that will keep me alive forever. With much love and appreciation, I wish all of you a very successful and fulfilled life. TM’”

Martinez has suffered diabetes and the complications of that disease for a number of years. He was a highly successful coach at the College of San Mateo and first worked with Brady when the Patriots quarterback was just 13 years old at his football camp and then several years later before Brady’s first start as a JV quarterback.

“I started needing him when I was 13, and every time I’ve ever called him he’s always been available,” Brady told YahooSports.com several years ago. “He’s got such a great understanding of what it takes to play the quarterback position, and the thing that makes him so great is he’s able to convey his thoughts in a way that a young player can understand.

“The style he teaches is the Joe Montana-John Elway style of throwing, which is what I consider the ideal technique. They throw the ball overhand with perfect form, and that’s so important to me. I really think that’s the only way you’ll truly improve as a player. You think of a basketball player, if someone’s got bad technique, sometimes your timing and hand-eye are great, and you’re on a hot streak. But when those things are just a little off, it all unravels.”

One Response to “Weekend Leftovers … Morning Cup O’Chiefs”

  • June 13, 2011  - Slingblade says:

    Is this the correct “Website” designation to leave a reply

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