What We Learned From Indy … Wednesday Cup O’Chiefs

The skies out of Indianapolis were filled Tuesday afternoon and evening with NFL types flying back home, their notebooks filled with number, note, rumors and phone numbers.

Free agency is two weeks away and there were will be plenty of chatter going on around the league in the next 14 days as teams jockey for position to sign players and players jockey for position to sign with certain teams. Draft prep will continue as individual players hold their workouts around the country and personnel departments continue to slice and dice all the information.

But there was plenty of news that came out of the Combine, whether it was on the field, in the meeting rooms or at downtown Indy’s Steak & Shake, the one spot where just about every NFL decision maker stops at least once during the week for a burger, fries and shake at midnight.

Here is some of what we’ve learned.


The NFL spotlight doesn’t really leave Indianapolis. At least it won’t until we find out what the future holds for QB Peyton Manning. We have what amounts to a week for Colts owner Jimmy Irsay to make a decision on his part, whether he’ll pay Manning the $28 million bonus due him on March 8, or release him into NFL free agency.

There are anywhere from a half-dozen to a dozen teams that have or will spend serious time discussing the future of Manning wearing their uniform. At one time or another Seattle, San Francisco, Arizona, Cleveland, Miami, Jacksonville, Washington and Kansas City have been mentioned as potential suitors for the next act in Manning’s NFL career.

It’s hard to know how serious to take the Chiefs interest in Manning; it remains such a un-Hunt/Pioli type of move. There is interest – heck, Romeo Crennel gave us enough evidence of that by speaking and tiptoeing to a possible tampering penalty.

A Manning move is coming to the league in the next week, of that we are sure.


Robert Griffin III, the Heisman Trophy winning quarterback of Baylor made an even bigger name for himself in the last few days and made a lot of friends among the NFL types. His constant smile and intelligence left almost everyone he spent time with raving about the young man from Texas. He even impressed the media with his humor and fluid answers.

The game tapes out of Baylor showed the league all they needed to know about his abilities and how he handled the offense for the Bears. What four days in Indy allowed him to do was to give league types a look inside his personality. They all liked what they saw. They only thing he failed to do was throw the football, but even in refusing to take part in those drills, his answer to the questions of why he was sitting them out made sense because of a lack of experience with the receivers.


The Colts will likely have a contract negotiated with QB Andrew Luck before the day he’s officially drafted. They can wait to get him in the building and start working with him, and they can’t spare a day. The new agreement between players and owners has standardized the first round so that those long holdouts from the early picks are not supposed to happen anymore.

In this case, it’s important to both sides that a deal gets worked out quickly and Luck gets his horseshoe helmet ASAP. When you are replacing a legend, it’s a lot of work. Folks with the Colts expect something to happen very quickly.


Holding the second choice in the first round of the 2012 NFL Draft, the St. Louis Rams have already made it known to the league they are dealing. They organization is committed to QB Sam Bradford and they know that the rest of the league has fallen in love with RG3.

The Rams know that there will be somebody out there among the remaining 30 teams willing to give up a big package, maybe even a huge package for the young franchise quarterback. It has the type of potential to give new head coach Jeff Fisher a package of picks or players that should equal four to five starters rather quickly.

There appears to be no doubt that the Cleveland Browns have an interested of jumping from No. 4 to No. 2. There’s Washington at No. 6 that is seriously considering a move. Miami has to be a player as well at No. 10. The Chiefs, Seahawks and Cardinals at No. 11-12-13 are going to investigate, but it would be a bigger cost to them because of the bigger drop the Rams would have to make for the switch.

One NFL front-office type was enjoying his cheeseburger at Steak & Shake and couldn’t get over the love affair that looms ahead for that second pick and Griffin. “Listen, I love the way the guy plays and he comes across as a great person,” he said. “But mega-deals like this one never work out for the team at-bat. Do you think the Vikings would say the huge deal they made for Herschel Walker worked out better for them, or the Cowboys? Do you think the Saints would say the huge deal they made for Ricky Williams worked out for them?

“Right now, people are talking crazy compensation.”


Generally, when the players meet the media it comes near the end of their second day at the Combine, where they’ve completed most of their medical exams, including numerous x-rays, MRIs and the like. It can make for a long 48 hours.

“You’ve got to just paste your smile on and roll with hit,” said Stanford TE Coby Fleener. “There are so many hands on you, pushing, pulling and twisting.”

And there are so many eyes watching.

“I think that’s part of it, I think they are watching to see how we handle ourselves with the waiting around,” said LB Nathan Stupar. “I think they evaluate everything we are doing. I think they watch us at dinner. I’m not being paranoid, am I?”

Not if you land with the Chiefs.


I saw two players I’d just have to have if I was in charge of personnel. I’d more heaven and earth to get these two guys on my roster. The problem is I’d have to have two first round selections and even then, it would be tough to make it work. But all my other picks would be in the discussion to make all sorts of trades.

Cleveland (4 and 22), Cincinnati (17 and 21) and New England (27-31) are the only teams with two choices in the first round.

My goals in this draft would be one offense, one defense. With the ball, I want Stanford G David DeCastro blocking for me. In Webster’s football dictionary, there’s a picture of DeCastro next to the definition of All-Pro guard. He’s big, strong, intelligent, quick on his feet and he’s mean on the field. Real mean. He’ll become a team leader n his first training camp, just because of his personality.

The other guy I just have to have is on defense: Memphis NT Dontari Poe. Everything about this young man is big. He’s 6-4, 346 pounds, one of the heaviest players at the Combine. His thighs are thick, his calves are thick, and his shoulders are broad. Still, with 346 pounds, he ran the 40-yard dash in 4.98 seconds. That’s remarkable. And he was able to get those 346 pounds 29.5 inches off the ground in the vertical jump.

You build winning football teams along the line of scrimmage. DeCastro and Poe will play for 10 or 12 years and be dominant at their positions.

9 Responses to “What We Learned From Indy … Wednesday Cup O’Chiefs”

  • February 29, 2012  - RW says:

    Excellent report from Bob, as per usual. Interesting comments on the two to have. If both are on the board at #11 overall, which is the one to get, assuming that Pioli sees what Bob is seeing?
    Past game tape reviews would have to be the tie breaker and clearly from a strictly need point of view, Poe would have the inside track before additional scrutiny was applied.
    It appears though, that Pioli can’t screw up the team’s first round pick but then again, we’re talking Pioli here.

  • February 29, 2012  - Blake says:

    RW, yeah since Pioli has screwed up on so many of our first round picks…. This isn’t Carl Peterson we are talking about…

    I think DeCastro will be the choice, he performed well at the combine and one game film. The same can’t be said for Poe. Poe played against lower competition and doesn’t have great film. Many label him as lazy and takes way too many plays off. If Crennel likes what he sees then do it but I doubt Poe is the pick. I would rather sign a NT in FA and draft DeCastro.

  • February 29, 2012  - el cid says:

    If you say Pioli, then you say “safe”. That would leave out all elite QBs and flashy individual types. Then throw in Jackson- Magee and McCluster-Arenas, a TE every year, character types and what does that leave you?

    DeCastro and ?, maybe Richardson, RB ALA if still there. Maybe an OT, if you buy into the Adam Tiecher, Star reporter, the Chiefs need a OT to protect loosing Albert after this year.

    Peterson fried and failed in the long run, Pioli, 4X Exec of year, has not lived up to his “supposed” rep. Sort of an average guy who thinks a lot.

  • February 29, 2012  - Niblick says:

    Blake-I agree. I read the same thing that Poe takes a lot of plays off and played against lesser competition. However, he is a physical specimen. I just looked at one mock draft that had us taking DeCastro one and Mike Adams the OT from Ohio State two. Miami is probably going to release their NT and he will available in free agency. He’s a top NT. I can’t recall his name.

  • February 29, 2012  - Niblick says:

    el cid- I disagree that he only drafts the character types. That was true especially in year two- Berry, Mcluster, Arenas, Lewis-all team captains. He went with Baldwin with character issues and Houston who tested positive for marijuna last season. I think he may vary year to year. That’s just my opinion.

  • February 29, 2012  - Johnfromwichita says:

    I think Pioli has been asked if he was trying to build a Boy Scout troop or an NFL team. May also realized that if you have 52 leaders, you don’t really have any leader; what you have are 52 different opinions. Besides, a little nasty is important. I thought the Shaun Smith, regardless if he really did, pulling balls in the dog pile was refreshing. This might also work well in the front office.

  • February 29, 2012  - el cid says:

    Nib, right. Still I suggest Pioli is not about going wild and making upward trades (NEway is downward trips). Nor does he normally, 60% of the time, leave his comfort zone (i give you Baldwin and Houston- other than those how did the rest of his draft turn out, many diamonds in the ruff?). Will Hunt and P. spend any extra on NT, RB, NT thru veteran FAs? Changes the whole draft, if not…..oh, well, same old Chiefs?

  • February 29, 2012  - Niblick says:

    el cid-I didn’t say I thought he was one to make blockbuster trades to move up. I just said that if certain players are available in the draft he will on ocassion not go the safe route. Houston turned out to be a good pick. By the way, he got that pick by trading down in the 1st round. That could happen again this year. I don’t expect any trade in this draft to move up to get RG3. I do think they will be agressive in free agency. However, the proof is in the pudding.

  • February 29, 2012  - ED J says:

    Comparing trade for QB to running back isn’t fair assessment. Running back are dime dozen so why would you give up bunch picks for Hershall Walker or Ricky Williams that didn’t make sense. Now when it comes to QB position all bets are off. QB is the most important position in the sport and when you have opportunity to get a potential franchise QB you must do what it takes to get it. Chiefs living proof of mediocrity that can be reached by not having one. So are a bunch of more teams. We can have good defense and good players at skill positions like running back and receiver. Until this team get or developed a franchise QB dreams of winning Super Bowl are not going to become a reality.

    Niblick great points don’t understand all the Pioli hate. Just foolish you ask me. No one can honestly say this isn’t one of the most talented Chiefs teams since the 90s. We have good players at just about every position on both sides of the ball and their young. All we’re missing is more olineman and QB. Could we use nose tackle of course but I trust will either get one in free agency or maybe Powe will develop into a starter. Either way this team is long way from 4-12 seasons and all that crap we was going through in 07-09.

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