In decades past the Kansas City Chiefs have had an image problem when it comes to attracting free agents. Unless the general manager dangled a huge amount of money… that player usually took his talent elsewhere.
Now, the Chiefs not only draw players in like Jeremy Maclin, one of the top free agents in last years off-season but the Chiefs now attract players from all levels who want to come here… because they “Heard it Through the Grapevine” (just for you Bert) that K.C. was a great place to play.
That kind of change… tells you something.
It’s that “something” that is part of what’s different about this year’s team. They seem to be reaching a pivotal point. This collection of players won’t be satisfied with an AFC West crown alone. It “feels’ like they’re pushing for much more.
That’s a reason why this draft is so important.
When inside linebacker Derrick Johnson says he wants to stay in Kansas City, it’s endearing but not surprising. While you might expect him and even long time Chief Tamba Hali to say that, you don’t necessarily think you’re going to hear something like that from defensive lineman Jaye Howard when he signed a team friendly contract this summer,
"“We’re building something special here in Kansas City and I just wanted to be a part of it. For me, just being able to play along the line with Allen Bailey and Dontari Poe, it means a lot to me.”"
“It means a lot to me.”
That’s it. It’s that assigned meaning, whatever that is… which is part of what’s different about this year’s team. Keeping the core of the team together “means” a lot. Not just to the success of this team but to the players themselves.
The combination of Poe, Bailey and Howard gives the Chiefs one of the best defensive fronts in the NFL. Think back now… and tell me… when is the last time you could say that about the Chiefs?
Plus, Howard made it personal… “with Allen Bailey and Dontari Poe…”
That’s part of what it is, about this year’s team… it’s personal.
Each time I do a mock draft I’m reminded that the Chiefs have the inside information relative to the personality of a prospect… and I don’t. It looks more and more like the Chiefs are making the drafting process… a personal… endeavor. A mock by any mockster, can never capture that.
As we watch Justin Houston rehab this week… you get the sense he’s been directly influenced by someone who was rehabbing last off-season: namely Eric Berry.
Eric Berry. The name comes up over and over again when you talk to the players about the 2015 Chiefs. Now, he’s become an inspiration for everyone… not only on the Chiefs roster… but everyone who has heard his story. To people everywhere.
We’re reminded on a regular basis that this game of football is a business. The “family” atmosphere that the Kansas City Chiefs, and more specifically Andy Reid and John Dorsey, have created, is a special treat to witness. It even makes the commonplace fan, like myself, feel apart of the process.
What do you think Addict fans? Do you feel like there is something different… and special… about this year’s Kansas City Chiefs?