Outside of the regime change with the Kansas City Chiefs, the biggest offseason change of direction was the addition of several veterans to the roster. As John Marshall notes, it’s players like Mike Vrabel that are viatal to the Chiefs success this season.
Vrabel lingered on the practice field, trading blows with defensive line coach Tim Krumrie like Rock’em Sock’em robots, pausing every few seconds to get instruction before wailing away again. Most of his younger teammates had already headed to the locker room and peeled off their pads, yet there was Vrabel, legs weary, sweat pouring off his chin, a 13-year veteran still trying to get better.
Chiefs coach Todd Haley couldn’t help but smile at the image.
For a young team, coming off the worst season in franchise history, this was exactly what the first-year coach had in mind when he brought in Vrabel and all those other veterans to provide the foundation for the massive rebuilding project in Kansas City.
“As young a group as we had, we just felt it real important to get guys in here to help kind of guide this young group because we can only do so much as a coaching staff. As I’ve said, a picture’s worth a thousand words, so if you put a picture of Mike Vrabel out there doing it the way it has to be done, you know it’s going to accelerate the learning for everyone.”
Pioli and Haley kept some of the youngsters from the previous regime, adding a few more through their first draft together. What they needed: experienced players to teach.
So this offseason, the Chiefs sprinkled the roster with proven veterans.
Their task? Set an example by doing what they’ve always done.
Vrabel clearly wasn’t happy with his trade to Kansas City initially, but he really seems to have come to camp with the idea that he is ready to help this team win football games instead of just walking around and sulking.
And on the flip side, guys like Mike Brown and Mike Goff have come in here motivated to show they can still run with the young pups, while showing them the ropes at the same time. I believe that Bernard Pollard will be a better safety and Colin Brown could turn into a good guard with the help of these players.
I still don’t understand why Herman Edwards couldn’t have infused some veterans along with the countless rookies. Just because the team failed relying on veterans doesn’t mean some of those same players couldn’t have served as depth to the young guys for the time’s they ran into trouble.
Anyone attending the Chiefs-Texans game tomorrow will get to see the new Arrowhead. Ahead of the public unveiling, the media was given a tour of the stadium and Randy Covitz of the Star was one of the people given an early look.
Arrowhead’s $375 million renovation project, while still just 70 percent complete, is a lot cleaner and sleeker than the hodgepodge assault on the senses that is the renovated Kauffman Stadium.
Thankfully, there’s no merry-go-round or miniature golf course or eye-blurring signage. And the wide concourses, new concession stands, additional rest rooms, club areas, party decks, the two football shaped HD scoreboards, sound system, and the 860 flat-screen TVs all around the stadium are all first-class amenities.
But, I do have one nit to pick.
The Ring of Honor is gone. Those names and numbers in black lettering displaying the members of the Chiefs Hall of Fame have been taken off the stadium’s facade.
Now, the names of the 34 members of the Chiefs Hall of Fame will be flashed elecronically on the ribbon boards during the course of the game. They’ll be seen periodically but not continuously.
Sorry, folks. Not good enough.
Part of the charm and ambiance of sitting in the stands of Arrowhead is gazing across and around the stadium and remembering the heroes of the Chiefs past.
I could not agree more. It seems to be a trend with pro sports teams forgetting about their team’s history when building a new stadium. When the New York Mets opened their new park this year, there was no sign of the banners that in their old stadium were above the left field fence. Then they decided to put them above a stadium entrance that faces a bunch of auto shops. It wasn’t until after months of complaints that they finally wised up and decided that the banners would be moved.
The problem with the Chiefs is that from the looks of the ribbon boards is that there won’t be any room for them to fix this mistake. So we might have to get used to only seeing the Ring of Honor digitally. Who thought this was a good idea?
With that being said the photos from the Star this morning are amazing.
Anyone at the game this weekend might not know exactly how long the Chiefs quarterbacks are going to play, but Texans coach Gary Kubiak announced in what order and for how long his QBs will be on the field tomorrow.
The Texans are paying quarterback Dan Orlovsky an average of $3 million a year to replace Sage Rosenfels as Matt Schaub’s backup. Orlovsky will play the second and third quarter against the Chiefs.
Rex Grossman, who played in a Super Bowl with Chicago, will play in the fourth quarter.
“He may even play a little more than that,” Kubiak said. “He’s really made a lot of progress and done some good things for us.”
Orlovsky and Grossman? And people are worried about the Chiefs backup quarterback situation?