Around The Web: Harlan Speaks, Vrabel Retires, Numbers Game, Edge For LJ

After word came out that Kevin Harlan would be returning to call Kansas City Chiefs game again, Randy Covitz caught up with Harlan to discuss his return to the booth.

Of his trademark “Oh, baby — what a play!”, Harlan refuses to promise viewers will hear the call.  But if there’s a sensational play that warrants it, he’ll dust it off.

“For the success of the team, I hope there will be some opportunities that they play that well, something like that would come back.”

Harlan left the Chiefs in 1994 for FOX before moving on to CBS, where he does NFL and NCAA basketball games in addition to his NBA work for TNT.  He usually calls a few Chiefs regular season games for CBS each year, but he says broadcasting to a Kansas City audience will be different.

“When you’re doing a preseason game, you’re so focused on the team you’re doing, that broadcast is geared to that team.  In a network broadcast, you’re down the middle, trying to show no favoritism, and trying to be very unbiased.  This gives you a chance to let loose a little bit, and really dig inside some of the things they’re trying to accomplish.”

As I mentioned last night, Harlan is one of the premier play-by-play men in the league and it will be a treat to hear him doing “local” Chiefs games again.  Hopefully he’ll get a handful of the network CBS games throught the season and the Chiefs aren’t stuck with a “C” team all year long.

There is a retirement in the Vrabel family, Jeff Saunders is reporting.  The retirement is effective July 1, when Vrabel’s current contract expires.

“It’s  time to leave and go onto something else.”

Of course Saunders is talking about the retirement of Chuck Vrabel, the father of Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Mike Vrabel, after 11 years as Nordonia High School’s principal and 35 years as a high school educator.

Congratulations to Mr. Vrabel!  In addition to recognizing Mike’s father, I’ve always wanted to post a totally misleading title and story lead.  Hopefully a few people had their hearts jump a bit when they read that.

The Kansas City Chiefs have assigned numbers to the eight new players they drafted and Arrowhead Pride has the whole breakdown.

Tyson Jackson, Quinten Lawrence, Javarris Williams, Jake O’Connell and Ryan Succop all switched from their college numbers because it was already taken by current member of the team.  Or in Williams’ case, there is no immediate reason why he switched from his college number of 40 to 28.

All of you that were anxious to get your Succop jersey, you now know the number that goes along with the name.  I’m just glad, as AP points out, that the team assigned the numbers quickly and not wait a month like they did with Matt Cassel’s.

As anticipated, the Arizona Cardinals granted running back Edgerrin James’ wish to be released yesterday.  With the Larry Johnson situation with the Chiefs still in the air, Adam at Arrowhead Addict thinks Kansas City cut LJ and sign James.

The Chiefs could sign James to a more reasonable deal than the contract currently in place with Larry Johnson.  Edge is a much better blocker and receiver than Johnson, which makes him far more valuable in Todd Haley’s pass-happy offense.  A system that James already knows well.  The move would also get a malcontent out of the locker room and cost nothing to the team after they won their grievance against Johnson.  This would send a warning shot to the players and a positive message to Chiefs fans.

Not surprisingly, James’ agent Drew Rosenhaus is confident his client will not be a free agent long.

“So far several teams have expressed interest and we may have a deal in place in the very near future.”

I’m fine with the Chiefs getting rid of Johnson.  If the passing game can operate the way we all hope it can and the offensive line plays better than last season (how can it not?) than there’s no reason Jamaal Charles, Kolby Smith and recently drafted Javarris Williams can’t get the job done this season.  And to me that means you can jettison LJ without bringing in James.  Yes, Edge knows the system but he was a malcontent in Arizona last season and they were on their way to a Super Bowl.  While he CAN block, James even said he didn’t sign with the Cardinals “to block.  I’m not an offensive lineman”.  So why would things be any different here?

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