As I push towards the end of building my All-Time Kansas Chiefs team’s offense, I continue with the interior lineman, the guards. Today’s list includes two should be Hall of Famers and two should be Ring of Honor inductees. Here we go Addicts!
Starter – Will Shields
No brainer here. Few things in sports angered me more than Will Shields not being elected to the Hall of Fame in his first chance. (The other was Derrick Thomas’s wait, but that I will save for another time.) Shields was the 1992 recipient of the Outland Trophy (NCAA’s most outstanding interior lineman award) while playing for the University of Nebraska Cornhuskers. Shields lasted until the 3rd round of the following draft, where the Chiefs grabbed him up. He started the second game of that year and never missed a start after. Shield started 231 straight games, a Chiefs record and 5th all-time in the NFL. During that time, Shields raked up 12 Pro Bowl births, from 1995 to 2006, which ties two other players for most all time (Champ Bailey & Randall McDaniel). Shields also was a 8x All-Pro, including a 2x First Team All-Pro. To continue with his accolades, Shields was named to the NFL’s All-Decade Team for the 2000’s. This past season Shields was added to the Ring of Honor as well. But to add to all of his on-field success, Shields was also named to the 2003 Walter Payton Man of the Year due to his contributions off the field. Shields thrived in both Martyball during the 90’s and Air Vermeil during the 2000’s. He blocked for Joe Montana and Trent Green, opened holes for Priest Holmes and Larry Johnson and held blocks for Andre Rison and Tony Gonzalez. For 14 years one thing was certain: you could pencil in Will Shields at right guard, that’s for sure. Now get him into the Hall, voters, because an angry Arrowhead mob isn’t something you want to deal with.
Starter – Ed Budde
Ed Budde helped create the most dominate left side of the line in the Sixties with Jim Tyrer, while helping the Chiefs advance to their two Super Bowl appearances. Budde helped control the frontline of the Purple People Eaters, slowing down the feared Minnesota Vikings defense and propelling the Chiefs to their Super Bowl IV victory. Budde hopefully will get some Hall of Fame consideration from the Senior Committee that has voted in two Chiefs from this team in the past few years. (Curley Culp in 2013, Emmitt Thomas in 2008) Budde was a dominate guard, earning 7 Pro Bowl invites and was also a 2x All-Pro. During the span of 1963 to 1971, Budde did not miss a start, an amazing feat that is only shadowed by Shields’ record. Budde was voted to the All-Time All-AFL Team for his play before the AFL/NFL merger. The Chiefs gave Budde their highest honor, the Ring of Honor, in 1984.
Reserve – Brian Waters
Brian Waters entered the NFL differently than most standout guards did. While at North Texas, Waters played tight end his first three years, then his senior year Waters was moved to defensive end, and was also the backup tight end. The Cowboys then signed Waters as an undrafted free agent in 1999, before cutting him during their training camp. The Chiefs then signed Waters, decided to move him to the offensive line, and one of the building blocks was put into place for the next decade. During Waters tenure in KC, 2000 to 2010, the bruising guard made 5 Pro Bowls and was named to the All-Pro First Team 2 times. In an October 2004 game against the Atlanta Falcons, Waters was selected as AFC Offensive Player of the Week, the first AFC lineman to do so and first NFL lineman since 1992. Waters added another Chiefs player to be named Walter Payton Man of the Year, earning the respect in 2009. The Chiefs then decided to cut Waters in 2011, moving towards a younger line. Waters should eventually get his name in the Ring of Honor.
Reserve – Dave Szott
My final spot lands Dave Szott on the list. Szott spent 11 years as a Kansas City Chief and helped man the guard spot opposite Shields during Martyball. In 1997, Szott was named to the All-Pro First Team, but surprisingly was not invited to the Pro Bowl. Szott then moved on to Washington and then the Jets where he was replaced by the previous entry, Waters. Not a bad run at guards the past twenty years.
Well there we go Addicts, did I hold my block? Or did I get bullrushed and give up a sack? Let the debate begin!