Here is the 2nd part of my interview with former Kansas City Chiefs offensive lineman Kyle Turley. This is probably the juiciest of the 3 part interview.
Kyle was with the Chiefs at an interesting time. He was there for the team’s last playoff appearance as well as for the 4-12 season that followed. Kyle has some interesting things to say about Herm Edwards and Carl Peterson and he provides a insight in to what got the Chiefs in to their current state of suckdom.
I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
You had some trouble with injuries over your 2 years in KC but overall, how was your experience playing for the Chiefs?
“It was cool man. You know, it wasn’t what I wanted to be. I was supposed to come back and have the opportunity to play TE. That is what I initially signed on for and they were going to give me that opportunity and then, all of the sudden, Willie Roaf went down and they were put in sort of a pickle offensive line-wise cause he retired. And it just turned in to this thing, you know, they knew me, they knew my passion and where I stood and that being back on the field meant more to me than pretty much anything and so they offered me the job and I just took it. I felt good at the time, my body was in good shape. I should have stayed at TE, you know, it would brought my snaps down to maybe 20 a game, instead of having to run every play of every game. My body after the back injury and after the weight loss, it really wasn’t conducive to playing that offensive line position.
I did the best I could and I was proud of that. I was proud of the way I came back from that injury and I was able to get a few more years out of my NFL career.
Were they the best years? Not by far but I have a lot to be proud of. The first game back after coming back from such a serious back injury was as emotional to me and important to me as any game. I could have gotten my knee blown out that game and retired that day and I would have been completely satisfied just because it was such an ordeal for me to return to the game of football after that back injury. It was a lot of hard work, blood, sweat and tears man.
So my experience in Kansas City was what it was. We didn’t have much success team-wise, they were rebuilding a lot and we didn’t put many wins together. We lucked into the playoffs that first year.
There was a lot of game playing going on, you know? They were trying to figure out their team and then how they could win. They were just kind of grasping at straws it seemed a lot of times. I think the right people got eliminated and some of the right people got brought in to replace them. That being the case, I think that this year they’ve got great talent to give them a lot of potential to win some games.
If I was a part of that in any way, that’s great man. Just like the Saints winning the Super Bowl, I take great pride that I was a part of that organization to help build whatever it may have been, to help them get where they were going because this game rides on its history, it doesn’t ride on its future and it will always earn its money based on the things that the veterans have come and done. It’s reputation and lure, just the whole thing and what the team believes all comes from the guys who played there. They don’t remember all the wins and losses sometimes but they remember those people that played.”
You were talking about the regime that was in KC when you were there. Herm Edwards, toward the end of his stint in KC there was a lot of hostility from Chiefs fans. There was a perception going around that he was just sort of a players coach, that he was a little too buddy-buddy with the players and that he didn’t demand enough of the them. When the new regime came in they found a lot of the players came back out of shape and were slacking off on their offseason workouts.
Did you feel that? Did you think that Herm was a little too buddy-buddy with the players? What did you think of him as a coach?
To certain guys he had good relationships. He always had a great relationship with the veterans but it was more so that Herm couldn’t, Herm just couldn’t do his thing. Herm couldn’t, was never given the free reign to do his deal. I saw it. He wanted certain players to play and he believed in a veteran playing it out. Hell, I got taken in and out of the game a million times because of certain coaches and the general manager Carl Peterson was always sitting in meetings saying “Oh, we’ve got to try this!”
You know, everybody was sort of grasping at straws and I think that kind of hampered him (Herm) because you need to build continuity with the team and they were always just kind of shuffling guys. I don’t know if that was his call or what. I mean I didn’t see any favoritism to certain players but there were times that he didn’t really address those individuals that may have been kind of disrupting the locker room if you will, and doing some off-field things.
There wasn’t any continuity. They were substituting guys in left and right and when you do that you don’t really give yourself a chance to win.
I mean, they’re under a lot of pressure to win and the pressure got to them and certain people just couldn’t handle it and allow it to work itself out. We had great teams in training camp and they just seemed to dismantle. Every training camp started out and for most team it does, there’s a good energy and it just kind of seemed, toward the end of training camp, you know it just seemed if things didn’t go exactly how they pictured it going, there was just this panic and it can’t be that way. You’ve got to put your trust and faith in your guys and ride it out and allow that camaraderie to build. The worst thing you can do is start substituting guys that have already proven themselves with guys that really haven’t. It leaves a bad taste in the player’s mouth.
That is probably why you got a lot of feedback where people were saying that there was favoritism. Guys were given a job when they didn’t earn that job, you know, they were given that job because they thought they had to make a change and when you think you have to make a change, that is when you are going to have a losing season.
When you know the heart of a man and how much he wants to fight for his own pride and success and then not allow that to take place and mature, you’re really not doing yourself any favors.”