Chiefs: Outspoken Or Understated?

Who are the 2013 Kansas City Chiefs? What’s the real personality of this team?

The Kansas City Chiefs have no one like Ray Lewis on their roster. I’m not talking about Ray Lewis, the on-the-field master of his position, I’m talking about Ray Lewis, the off-the-field vocal leader.

For the Chiefs to be successful in 2013, don’t they need someone to step up and be a player’s spokesperson slash inspirational leader?

Most successful teams have that outspoken personality who often gives a team their real, or at least perceived, identity. The 85 Bears had many amazing personalities but, Jim McMahon stands out as bold and unique as does linebacker Mike Singletary. That pretty much describes those Bears teams. While Joe Montana was leading those 49ers teams of the 1980s it was Ronnie Lott and Ricky Watters who were providing them with some “character.”

Many teams don’t want their players speaking out, which runs counter to what’s going on with social media like Twitter, Tagged, YouTube, LiveJournal and the Facebook.

When Todd Haley came to town four years ago and essentially emasculated the Bowe Show, he took away a basic identity, which not only gave Chiefs fans an entertaining way to relate to the team but, I thought Bowe’s fearlessness was galvanizing for his teammates.

One presidential term later and where is the Bowe Show now? He’s having a resurrection of sorts, because this regime is not stifling it’s players and they’re being given room to breath.

So, is there a personality who will surface as a natural team leader for the 2013 Kansas City Chiefs?

If you’ve heard Derrick Johnson interviewed he’s actually a soft spoken individual. The same goes for many players on the defensive side of the ball like Eric Berry or Brandon Flowers. In fact, Tamba Hali is described as a man who leads with his actions and not his words. Ask sports writers if they rush to get a quote from Hali after each game? He’ll never be confused with Jared Allen.

So, the vocal leader seems more likely to come on the offensive side of the ball.

Eric Winston was released this off season along with his free flowing opinions. Dwayne Bowe has already informed the world that he should lead the league in receptions. Jamaal Charles is letting NFL Network audiences know that he gets chills when he thinks about Andy Reid’s offense and what a perfect match it is for him. He’s also touting the possibility of rushing for 2,000 yards.

With the personal loss Charles and his family went through last December during the Jovan Belcher situation, he has the right to be as much of a spokesperson as he so chooses.

This off season we’ve seen Branden Albert speaking out. He has been on AM Live but mostly to talk about his contract situation with the Chiefs this off season. Still, it was encouraging to see and hear him expressing himself publicly.

We Chiefs fans haven’t seen a lot of Chiefs players expressing themselves publicly in the past four years.

Sports writers like to interview QBs so, Alex Smith has been quoted frequently this off season but, you may have noticed, he’s also a soft spoken kind of guy. Somehow I don’t expect to see him leading a pre-game chant ala Drew Brees.

Dick Vermeil didn’t stop his players from voicing their opinion and he placed no bars over his own mouth. This team could use some “take the diapers off” headlines. Vermeil knew how to touch on the heart of an issue and wasn’t afraid to make his feelings public. That was refreshing compared to the Sounds of Silence we’ve been hearing around One Arrowhead Way in recent years.

Herman Edwards was supposed to be a “players coach.” Ultimately, what that may have meant, is that he allowed them to do whatever they wanted. Whereas, Vermeil commanded a certain amount of respect, Edwards simply had the best personality on the team which inadvertently became a disguise for his shortcomings as a coach. That all appeared to be working out fine for him, until the wins began to dwindle.

They say that a team takes on the personality of their coach. First of all, Andy Reid looks like he’s removed any anxiousness about speaking publicly, which players under Scott Pioli were strictly governed by. Secondly, Reid is a personable, jovial type when he’s coaching… always ribbing players and showing an interest in their personal lives. His approach sets everyone at ease and players gradually develop a kinship and loyalty they don’t often develop with other coaches. That’s why many coaches love coaching for him too.

In other words, Andy Reid has set the players on his team free to be themselves. Now, the only question that remains is… who will step up and give this team that distinctive personality of it’s own?

What do you think Addict fans? Who will step up and speak out this year?

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