Over this past weekend, the local media got caught up in the character issue. Despite the fact it’s been repeated ad nauseam since they arrived in Kansas City, it seems the Chiefs 2010 Draft class finally convinced the scribes and golden throats that this is truly the Pioli/Haley approach.
They regurgitated the mantra of character and the “right 53″ so much in their stories from the Draft that Pioli felt obliged to mention that the team did select some guys who could play football.
“We want to make sure it’s understood that we went out and got good football players here too,” Pioli offered to the media.
There are two words that often send mixed messages when talking about football players: toughness and character. Many define toughness as aggressiveness and the willingness to mix it up with an opponent. The guy with blood oozing out of his nose is considered a tough guy.
Football coaches tend to define toughness more on mental and emotional levels, rather than just physical. Is a player tough enough to do the right thing at the right time? Can he control himself and not lose his cool in pressure situations? Players that get that done are tough.
Character is another word with multiple definitions. Maybe more accurately in the case of what the Chiefs hierarchy is talking about, multiple layers. Pioli said when he and Haley took over the team last year they found a roster filled with players of character.
The Jaguars tried to dump Henderson, an eight-year veteran, during the draft but got no takers and decided to part with him. Henderson’s production has dipped in recent years.
A first-round pick out of Tennessee in 2002, the 6-foot-7, 335-pound Henderson averaged 84 tackles and 4 1/2 sacks during his first four seasons. He averaged 56 1/2 tackles and 2 1/2 sacks the last four years.
Many believed that Henderson, 31, would be released last June after coach Jack Del Rio ripped him for pulling out of offseason drills, suggesting he wasn’t committed and was faking a shoulder injury to avoid work. Henderson and Del Rio eventually worked out their differences in a private meeting, and Henderson vowed he had “bought in.”
I’m probably not as down on the Chiefs draft as a lot of fans seem to be. I’m puzzled, like a lot of you, by some of their moves and apparent neglect of certain defensive positions, but I also believe in drafting good players because they are always useful regardless of position.
Here are my thoughts on the Chiefs draft, pick by pick.
Safety Eric Berry, first round: I was a Berry fan before the draft and advocated his selection by the Chiefs, so you know how I feel about this pick. I had somebody tell me Berry would be the best Chiefs first-round pick since Tony Gonzalez. While that’s not necessarily a huge endorsement, Berry will live up to it. He will make the Chiefs a better team.
Kansas City, here he comes.
Tyler Eastman of Old Town, a standout offensive tackle at the University of Maine, has signed a free-agent contract with the National Football League’s Kansas City Chiefs.
The 6-foot-6, 321-pound senior on Sunday became the first Maine native to sign with an NFL team since tight end Matt Mulligan of West Enfield in 2008.
Former Old Town High School tight end Chad Hayes was an NFL signee in 2002.
Eastman will attempt to earn a spot with the Chiefs, who last year signed former Black Bears defensive end Jovan Belcher.
Last season, Eastman earned All-Colonial Athletic Association second-team honors for coach Jack Cosgrove’s team. He anchored an offensive front that helped UMaine lead the conference while averaging more than 247 passing yards per game.
With Jones, Jamal Charles, and the newly drafted Dexter Mccluster, I think the Chiefs may have one of the strongest , most electrifying backfields in the NFL.
The Chiefs received a fair deal of criticism in picking up McCluster, because he is so similar to Charles, but I believe thats a bunch of BS. Only one guy can carry the ball at a time, and if each of them are getting equal carries, that means one thing ” tired defensive linemen. I never bought the whole complimentary backs theory anyway. Id rather have two Chris Johnsons, than 1 Chris Johnson and a Lindalle white.
Beyond the backfield, you have three dangerous return men. Arenas, Charles, and McCluster also star as kick and punt returners. Who gets the job? I’d sayput two on the field at all times. Then you gurantee you dont get kicked away from. You will almost guarantee a good field position to start with.
Arenas will be a huge playmaker in the secondary, and with Eric Berry in there as well, holy smokes! It will be exciting to watch is all I can say.