Lessons learned from the Chiefs “Close but no cigar Super Bowl run” season

January 28, 2016; Kahuku, HI, USA; Team Rice head coach Andy Reid of the Kansas City Chiefs instructs during the 2016 Pro Bowl practice at Turtle Bay Resort. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
January 28, 2016; Kahuku, HI, USA; Team Rice head coach Andy Reid of the Kansas City Chiefs instructs during the 2016 Pro Bowl practice at Turtle Bay Resort. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports /
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Eric Berry Derrick Johnson Travis Kelce Tamba Hali Marcus Peters, Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada- USA TODAY Sports
Eric Berry Derrick Johnson Travis Kelce Tamba Hali Marcus Peters, Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada- USA TODAY Sports /

Are there lessons to be learned from…

… the “Last Rodeo” (in 2016) that faces Tamba Hali and possibly Derrick Johnson… should they choose to return for another season?

Recently, Amy Cuddy, a Princeton University professor and author of the new book called “Presence,” was on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert and she asked this question to him, “If you won first place in a race, what would you do with your body?”… to which Colbert stood up threw his hands in the air and shouted out “WhooooHooooo!!!!”

The byline of Cuddy’s book is “Bringing your bolder self to your biggest challenges” and I would suggest that this is exactly what the Chiefs must do while moving forward into their next Super Bowl run season.

To some that may all be a bunch of mumbo-jumbo but the reality is that the Chiefs need to begin that process now. And that begins by making all the Superman moves and signing all the winners that they can. DJ and Tamba included.

The book Presence suggests: It is stripping away everything else but the physical result while envisioning success.

Essentially the Chiefs have already been there: While down and out with a record of 1-and-5… and furthermore nothing to lose… instead of imploding on each other they focused on the “Present moment.” That’s all the book is really about. Bringing your most powerful self to the present moment. In the Chiefs case… they stood at a seminal moment for this group of players and coaches… and… won ONE GAME. Then they won one more. Then one more.

Lesson learned #3: Everyone talks about the 11 straight games, but the reality is… it was just a bunch of one game winning streaks. If there is anything to be learned from this season… it is that it only takes winning one game… at a time… to reach the Super Bowl.

Bringing back Derrick Johnson and Tamba Hali would be huge in making a positive statement toward that end. Both are considered “Chiefs for life” and have enough left in the tank to help contribute mightily towards a push for a championship.

Chiefs fans can try this right now: Close your eyes and imagine getting your credit card out of your wallet to purchase a plane ticket to Houston next February.

Are there lessons to be learned from…

… from starting the season 1-and-5?

Obviously it didn’t “feel good.” That’s not the point. Were the Chiefs doing something different then, than when they put together an 11 straight game win-streak this season?

First of all there was the progression of the defense playing together. That took some time and defensive coordinator Bob Sutton appeared to utilize his troops better as the season went along. In fact, once it was time to… pull out all the stops… Sutton became more willing to pull the trigger on blitzes and use coverages to make things happen. After all, what did he have to lose being down 1-and-5.

Also, as it’s been pointed out before, cornerback Sean Smith was out for the first three games due to a suspension. The transition of Smith returning apparently took three full games or more appropriately spoken… took the defensive backfield, including Marcus Peters, six games to reach their cohesive best.

A more important point may be that the Chiefs defense produced a -2 turnovers differential in first six games, while the team finished with a +14 differential for the season, second in the league only to the Carolina Panthers. FYI… the Denver Broncos finished at -4 for the season.  Peyton Manning had 18 turnovers in 10 games so their team basically finished at +4 without him. That’s a big reason I’m convinced the Carolina Panthers will win on Sunday.

Side note: if Peyton Manning wins, I believe he announces his retirement soon and perhaps immediately. If he loses, it may take a week or two. DeMarcus Ware, who turns 34 years old this summer may be more inclined to retire too if he wins the Super Bowl. Either way, I believe the Chiefs have the tools in place to take over the division in 2016.

Lesson Learned #4: The point here is the Kansas City Chiefs winning streak was in large part due to their ability to win the takeaway-giveaway (TA-GA) stat decidedly and need to continue to focus on that stat as they make their choices about who to draft or sign going forward. Winning the TA-GA stat will indicate they are performing at a championship level defensively.

From a fan’s standpoint. and especially for pseudo-media types like myself (not me… but, you know, other guys “like” me)… it is essential to remember this season’s 1-and-5 start so that the next time the team begins badly we, I mean they, don’t start calling for the head coach’s head. Not that I did that (does thinking it count?)… but I’m just saying… p a t i e n c e… is a good thing, to keep in your pocket… and maybe have it ready for a rainy day.

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Since the off-season has officially begun for the Kansas City Chiefs, in an effort to keep you updated with prospects I have found, I will be bringing you a new prospect each week until the draft.

This week the arrowhead is aimed at Junior wide receiver Roger Lewis from Bowling Green. Roger Lewis is 6-foot-0 and weighs 195 lbs..

In October, CBS Sports posted a video called, “You Won’t Believe the TD Catch Bowling Green’s Roger Lewis Made” in which he lays out at the back of the end zone while catching the ball with one hand. Take a look. Make sure you watch the second video on that page. Or, you can see it in the highlight video below.

CBS Sports lists Roger Lewis as the 131st (early 5th round) best prospect in this year’s draft while DraftTek ranks him at 183 (late 6th round). However, DraftTek says Lewis is from Boston College while the Bio they have on him links to a Bowling Green web site, which is where he really goes to school. FYI, there are not two different Roger Lewises in this draft.

Roger Lewis had 7 TDs in 2014 and 17 TDs in 2015. His 1,544 yards include seven 100-yard games and three 200 yard games which included a 261 yard game against Memphis.

That’s just the stats. Lewis is a talented receiver. He can go up and fight for the football. He knows how to create separation. He can take a hit and hold onto the ball in the process. He already attempts to get two feet down when catching the ball on the sidelines. On a personal level he seems to have a little bit of a DeSean Jackson vibe. Take a look at this post game interview in September of 2014.

Some will argue that Lewis was facing lesser competition and while that is true, look what he did against that competition. Exactly what a more talented player is supposed to do: dominate.

Roger Lewis has technically just completed his sophomore (second) season and in his first year he averaged 34.3 yards per catch and 22.7 in his second year. For his two year career he had more than 15 plays that were longer than 40 yards. In other words, Roger Lewis can stretch the field.

However, Roger Lewis has his own baggage. When Lewis was an 18 year old senior in high school he claims he had consensual sex on a friend’s basement couch, although the female later called is rape, and he was acquitted of that charge in 2013.

A second related charge was again for rape while having what he claimed was consensual sex with the same girl in the back of her car. When a jury came back deadlocked he decided to take a plea in order to avoid a retrial and accepted a 180 day suspended sentence and 3 years probation.

Lewis was hoping to play for Ohio State which decided to not pursue him so he committed to Bowling Green. Decide for yourself whether or not the questionable actions of a high school senior should determine the future of a young man who appears to have straightened out. I know the league has taken a hard line stance on violence against women. I support that. However, before we “call it what it is” let’s make sure of “what it is” first.

If you’re still interested here’s his highlight reel:

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What do you say Addict fans? Is there anything else you’re hoping the team has learned from this season? Before I close I will leave you with this sign from the football gods.

Courtesy Jason Smith
Courtesy Jason Smith /

I’m predicting →  Carolina 34, Denver 17.