Stram, Dawson and Thomas are in the Pro Football Hall of Fame and Gonzalez is likely headed to Canton, though he never won a playoff game as a Chief unlike the other three. And of course Stram and Dawson are the only Chiefs on the list who were part of the Super Bowl IV championship.
PFT originally had Hall of Fame linebacker Willie Lanier, another member of the Chiefs’ glory era of the late 1960s and early 1970s, on the list but couldn’t decide whether to leave off Gonzalez or Thomas.
It is amazing, not in a positive way, when a quarterback gets benched a year after leading his team to the conference championship game and who was leading the league in completion percentage. But injury brought upon the Alex Smith benching and the inception of the Colin Kaepernick era, and Smith hasn’t started a game since.
For the ‘Niners, the benching proved to be beneficial (see: Colin Kaepernick).
Smith, however, has played well over the past two seasons with accuracy and poise. In the 2011 playoffs, Smith took his offense to the Saints’ 14-yard-line with 14 seconds left. Smith threw a game winning touchdown to Vernon Davis to win 36-32. The way Smith brought his team the length of the field with less than two minutes remaining showed he has poise and was not shaken by the timing or clutch factor.
The biggest thing holding Avery back has been injuries. He missed all of the 2010 campaign due to a knee injury suffered in the third preseason game that year. In 2011, he missed time in preseason with a hamstring, and in 2012, he suffered a concussion. It will be tough to trust a player who has such a litany of injuries to be the number two guy each and every week. Already this off season, Avery missed most of OTA’s with a high ankle sprain.
When Avery has been healthy, he has been productive. In 2008 and 2009, his first two years in the league, with the Rams, Avery pulled in 100 catches for 1263 yards, averaging 12.6 per catch. He scored 8 touchdowns for the Rams. He sat out the 2010 season and was signed by the Titans in September of 2011. He played very little until the final game of the season, in which he caught three balls for 45 yards and 1 touchdown.