View Full Version : Whitlocks Annual "Chiefs" Grades!!

01-04-2005, 10:37 AM
Yippee! Its my favorite Whitlock article of the year! IM sure most of us will agree with these grades.....Waters and Roaf are the only players who recieved an A


Who ranks high, and who's rank?

Here are the Chiefs' annual grades — and some homework


Chiefs Pro Bowl guard Brian Waters is the valedictorian of my latest Football 101 course, which wrapped up in San Diego with a surprise final exam delivered by the Chargers' substitute teachers.

All the Chiefs flunked the exam. But that didn't stop Waters from acing the class with an A-plus. Waters, a left guard, teamed with tackle Willie Roaf to form the most dominant run-blocking combination in the NFL. Waters' stellar play earned him his first Pro Bowl selection.

Roaf was one of six Chiefs to earn an A and finish just below Waters in class grading. Two members of Kansas City's defense were among the select group to receive an A.

You must remember that the grades are based on expectations. The players are ranked 1 through 55 in order of preseason expectations and contract status. Running back Priest Holmes gets graded on a more difficult scale than does a rookie fourth-round draft pick from Idaho State.

Ryan Sims heads a group of defensive players who flunked Football 101. Sims, the third-year bust from North Carolina, received an F-minus. Expulsion from class was considered, but the Chiefs have invested so much money enrolling Sims in the NFL that commissioner Paul Tagliabue forbade me from booting Sims.

William Bartee and Dexter McCleon joined Sims at the bottom of the class rankings. They'll be enrolled in a summer school course called Contract Renegotiation. If they flunk that, expect both cornerbacks to enroll at different football institutions.

After considerable deliberation, defensive coordinator Gunther Cunningham was given a passing grade when it was concluded that Carl Peterson provided Cunningham improper textbooks. It was unfair to grade Cunningham when he was basically provided math books for a history class. Cunningham was given a C for showing up for all 16 tests.

See you next year.

The Chiefs' annual grades

The players numbers reflect their ranking in order of Jason Whitlock's preseason expectations. In other words, Priest Holmes is ranked No. 1 because expectations for him were highest.


10. Brian Waters: Absolutely handed it to Carolina all-everything defensive tackle Kris Jenkins during the second week of the season. Jenkins eventually left the game because of a shoulder injury and wasn't any good (or healthy) the rest of the season. Meanwhile, Waters just kept rolling. Played a major role in the whipping of Ray “they doubling me on every play” Lewis on “Monday Night Football.” The Chiefs ran behind Waters and Roaf on nearly every important play and most of the unimportant ones, too. Waters is the primary reason Roaf's play hasn't slipped. Roaf wants to keep up with Waters, who is just as physical and just as nasty as Roaf. Selected the AFC offensive player of the week when the Chiefs scored eight rushing touchdowns. Waters was the best offensive lineman in football this season. It will be criminal if Waters isn't chosen MVP of the Chiefs.


2. Tony Gonzalez: Did the Chiefs pad his stats the final two weeks of the season? Yes, Tony caught 25 passes against the Raiders and the Chargers and finished the season the league's No. 1 pass target. Why pad his stats? Why not give rookie Kris Wilson a couple of balls? Was Gonzalez being fattened for the market? Or were Dick Vermeil and Al Saunders looking for another record to put on their resumes? Whatever the case, Gonzalez held off San Diego's Antonio Gates and retains the title as the NFL's top tight end.

3. Will Shields: As good now as at any point during his illustrious career. Has started 191 of 192 regular-season games. Obviously he's the greatest offensive lineman in the history of the Chiefs. It will be criminal if Shields isn't selected MVP of the Chiefs.

4. Willie Roaf: Move over, Anthony Munoz. Big Willie can now enter the debate about the best left tackle to ever play the game. Roaf drive-blocks with the force of a right tackle, and he's impossible to speed-rush or bull-rush. Once Roaf gets his hands on a defender, the defender is done. It will be criminal if Roaf isn't selected MVP of the Chiefs.

38. Lional Dalton: We laughed when the Chiefs signed Big Greasy during the off-season. They passed on bigger-name free-agents such as Warren Sapp and Ted Washington. Big Greasy outperformed the bigger names and may have found a home here in Kansas City.

49. Kendall Gammon: Another spectacular season for Kansas City's ageless long-snapper.

45. Jared Allen: Wild Thing can go a couple of different directions. He might drink his way into a barroom brawl that shortens his NFL career. Or he might drink and work his way into being the most feared KC pass rusher since Derrick Thomas and Neil Smith sipped XO at Diamond Joe's. Wild thing had quite a rookie year — nine sacks and a bandwagon full of fans. He better live in the weight room if he wants to avoid being the Vanilla Ice of pass rushers.


9. Tony Richardson: Devastating lead blocker who never misses an assignment. Earned his second consecutive Pro Bowl trip one block at a time. Used to be a little bit of a pass-catching threat, but not anymore. An honorary member of the offensive line. Casey Wiegmann has better hands.

11. Casey Wiegmann: Opponents found ways to isolate Casey from time to time this season, and he struggled a bit, giving up a few key sacks and tackles for losses. He's still the best pulling center in the league. He's the perfect inside complement to Will Shields and Brian Waters.

13. Eric Warfield: Is Warfield the prettiest girl at an all-boys school, or is he a legit shutdown corner? There's no way to know when you're playing opposite William Bartee and Dexter McCleon. For much of the season there was little reason for Warfield to snap his chinstrap or put in his mouthpiece. Opponents had so much fun throwing at Open and Opener that QBs rarely threw at EWI-ntoxicated. Colt 44 had four picks and kept it crunk off the field.

19. Eddie Kennison: At 31 and after five NFL stops, Special Ed put together his finest season as a pro. He cracked the 1,000-yard barrier and scored eight touchdowns. Ed gave the Chiefs the closest thing they've had to a true No. 1 receiver since Derrick Alexander and Andre Rison played together. Will it continue next season? It might. Kennison has tried to mature off the field, so it's not that surprising that he had unprecedented success on the field.

29. Jason Dunn: The best left tackle playing tight end in the NFL caught 17 passes and three touchdowns this season. Another honorary member of KC's offensive line, Dunn was a big part of the Chiefs' successful running game.

33. Derrick Blaylock: The Chiefs should try to keep Blaylock. Yes, some team will probably offer Blaylock a little more money than what he's worth. But it might be worth it to overpay for Blaylock's services. Priest Holmes only has one more year. Blaylock would be a terrific backup for Larry Johnson in the future.

35. Larry Johnson: Took his diapers off and hung them around the heads of Dick Vermeil and Al Saunders. In limited action, Johnson scored 11 touchdowns, rattled off three straight 100-yard games and has everyone wondering whether he can coexist in the same backfield with Priest Holmes. How will Johnson handle the successful end to his 2004-05 season? Will he work his tail off this offseason in an attempt to supplant Holmes from the starting job?

41. Jordan Black: Until his injury in the season finale, Jordan was looking like a pleasant surprise at right tackle. In four starts he was more than holding his own. He might be penciled in as the favorite to be next year's right tackle.

47. Willie Pile: Is likely to get a shot at starting alongside Greg Wesley next season at safety. Started five games this season.

51. Benny Sapp: I like this undrafted rookie a lot. The Chiefs believe he's too small. They fear he's Dexter McCleon Lite. Sapp is a playmaker. The Chiefs should have given him more of a chance.


5. Dante Hall: The X-factor weathered a slow start, lots of pressure and wound up having a pretty remarkable season as a return man. He should have made his third straight Pro Bowl. Despite the extra attention, Dante returned two kickoffs for touchdowns and averaged a respectable 10.1 yards per punt return. The Chiefs should quit experimenting with Hall as a receiver. He's not a receiver.

6. Trent Green: Dick Vermeil's all-time favorite football player put together another solid season. Green had career bests in completion percentage (66), yards (4,591) and touchdowns (27). He also threw 17 interceptions, and most of those INTs were backbreakers. The end zone-to-end zone Pick 6 he threw against the Houston Texans just about guaranteed that the season would be a flop. Early in the season, the Chiefs folded in their two-minute offense too often. Having said that, Green is a tremendous leader and extremely courageous. He's just not what his coach wants him to be — a combination of Dan Fouts and Joe Montana.


21. John Browning: Lional Dalton stole many of Browning's snaps. Despite that, Browning still posted 4.5 sacks and 39 tackles. If you look solely at the stat sheet, JB was the most productive member of KC's interior defensive line. Did he justify the new contract the Chiefs gave him? No. But for a guy who didn't cost the Chiefs a fortune to retain, he was worth it.

25. Johnnie Morton: He wants out of Kansas City as bad as the Chiefs wanted to get rid of him after last season. Well aware of Dick Vermeil's dissatisfaction with dropped balls, Morton caught everything thrown his direction this year. He was a solid possession and third-down receiver. In just 13 games, Morton had his best season (55 receptions, 795 yards) as a Chief.

27. Lawrence Tynes: The Chiefs let go of kicking legend Morten Andersen to make room for L.T. Tynes wasn't spectacular, but he wasn't a disappointment either. Andersen had a good season for the Vikings. Tynes nailed 74 percent of his field goals and handled KC's kickoff duties.

37. Samie Parker: After Sunday's loss to the Chargers, I asked Carl Peterson whether the Chiefs had seen enough from Parker to factor him into the 2005 receiver rotation. “I've seen enough,” Peterson said. “He has the talent to be a starting receiver in the NFL.” What took the Chiefs so long to get Parker onto the field? “You'll have to ask the offensive coordinator,” Peterson replied. Parker played in the final three games of the season, caught nine passes and looked like just what the Chiefs needed.

42. Shaunard Harts: He'll get a legit chance to steal a starting spot next season. Backed up Jerome Woods until Woods suffered a season-ending excuse to miss the rest of the season. Harts isn't a future star. He's a potential steady veteran.

43. Quinton Caver: Injuries opened a door for Slim Caver midway through the season. Caver didn't embarrass himself, but he also didn't demand a full-time starting job either. When opportunity knocks, a young player like Caver has to make things happen whether he's ready or not.

46. Todd Collins: After a masterly one-of-five, 42-yard season, Collins' seven-year backup career in Kansas City now includes 27 passes, 18 completions and one touchdown. Am I jealous? Absolutely.

48. Kevin Sampson: Rookie offensive tackle played in six games.

55. Richard Smith: Preseason star wet his pants when the live bullets started flying.


1. Priest Holmes: Before suffering a season-ending excuse to sit out the rest of the season, Holmes was on his way to 2,000 yards and a new single-season touchdown standard. But after the Tampa Bay Buccaneers smacked Holmes' knee, Priest collected his unsold “Keep The Faith” T-shirts, ordered some nachos and plopped down inside a warm Arrowhead Stadium suite and enjoyed the rest of the season. Is he “preparing” to play next season? Yes. Will he play next season? If someone tells you they know for sure, they're lying.

18. Scott Fujita: Too young to give up on. Again, he's another Chiefs linebacker who doesn't make big plays. Linebackers have to be playmakers. They have to force turnovers, bat down passes, cause the quarterback to make mistakes, be a run-stuffer. Fujita doesn't have a niche. He recorded 4.5 sacks, and I don't remember any of them.

23. Gary Stills: A special-teams Pro Bowler a year ago, Stills' production dipped in 2004. He was supposed to get more chances in pass-rush situations, but that never really materialized once Jared Allen demanded more snaps.


15. Eric Hicks: His least productive season as an NFL regular with just 32 tackles and five sacks. Gunther Cunningham's return was supposed to unleash Hicks in opponents' backfields. Instead, Hicks found himself in a confusing and pointless defensive-end rotation. I still believe Hicks is a solid NFL starter but not an upper-echelon player.

16. John Welbourn: OK, Welbourn clearly is a better guard than tackle. The man hired to replace John Tait eventually proved how valuable Tait was. Welbourn struggled with pass protection out on an island. Welbourn will battle Jordan Black for the right tackle spot next season.

17. Shawn Barber: Played half the season and was a member of the CTC — can't tackle crew. A serious knee injury puts his career in doubt. Barber doesn't make big plays and isn't consistent enough in gap control.

22. Monty Beisel: The knock on Beisel is that he's too undisciplined and blows too many assignments. Remember when he forgot to cover Fred Taylor out of the backfield and Taylor raced 64 yards down the Jacksonville sideline for a touchdown? That's classic Beisel. I like Beisel, though. He's got the right personality to be an NFL linebacker. Next year will be make-or-break for Beisel.

34. Chris Bober: Started for two years with the Giants. Couldn't beat out John Welbourn for John Tait's vacated tackle spot.

36. Keyaron Fox: Third-round pick played on the special teams. Never really got a chance to play in the base defense.

40. Brett Williams: Second-year offensive tackle didn't play much.

50. Fred Jones: Despite massive injury problems at linebacker, Jones never got a whiff at contributing.

54. Damon Huard: Was supposed to bring along some of the Patriots' good karma.


39. Jimmy Wilkerson: Word was that had Wilkerson stayed another year at Oklahoma he would have been a first-round NFL draft pick in 2004. OK, if that's the case, then Wilkerson was a first-round flop in his sophomore NFL season.


7. Greg Wesley: I don't know why, maybe scientists will explain it 20 years from now, but Wesley doesn't enjoy the big collisions anymore. He's a finesse safety. He's a cover safety. How the next Steve Atwater became the next Deion Sanders is beyond my ability to comprehend. It wouldn't bother me if Wesley truly could man up and cover like Sanders, but he can't. I'd love to say this started after the Chiefs gave him a new contract over the offseason. That would be inaccurate. Wesley's best, hard-hitting season was his rookie season. He's never been the same since.

8. Jerome Woods: Remember when Carl Peterson and Marty Schottenheimer decided that Neil Smith was no longer an ascending player and they made the painful decision to cut loose a Chiefs legend? The decision turned out to be the right call for the Chiefs and Smith, who won two Super Bowls with Denver. The Chiefs should've done the same thing with Woods last offseason. The move would've motivated Woods and allowed the Chiefs to develop a young safety. Now we have a big old mess. Woods' performance fell off a cliff just a few months after he received a new contract.

20. Kawika Mitchell: He excels at one thing — reading screen plays. Other than that, Kawika is lost masquerading as an NFL middle linebacker. He gets put on skates much too easily. He overruns too many plays. He doesn't have natural instincts for the game.

26. Junior Siavii: Looks like a draft failure, but you never know when you consider Dick Vermeil's aversion to young players. Siavii's position (defensive tackle) doesn't require a lot of seasoning, so there's no justification for him spending his rookie season on the bench. His Oregon teammate Igor Olshansky — who was selected one pick ahead of Junior in round two — cracked San Diego's starting lineup. Is there a pattern developing? The Chiefs scouted North Carolina and selected Ryan Sims, the teammate of Julius Peppers. The Chiefs scouted UAB and selected Eddie Freeman, the teammate of Jets end Bryan Thomas.

30. Vonnie Holiday: He'll be on someone's roster next season. He might even make a few plays next season. Holiday is not a bad NFL player. But he's worn out his welcome here. He hasn't made an impact since week one of the 2003 season. Holiday collected three of the five sacks he's made as a Chief in the 2003 season opener.

31. Julian Battle: When the team president starts the season begging for you to contend for playing time and you start the season talking about taking “baby steps,” maybe that's a clue you're not cut out for the NFL. Battle doesn't have a real interest in playing in the NFL. He's happy collecting a check and hitting the clubs. I'd call him 50 Cent, but when you can't beat out McCleon and Bartee, you ain't worth a quarter.

52. Jason Baker/Steve Cheek/Nick Murphy: All of Kansas City's punters stunk.


12. Ryan Sims: According to NFL.com's official stat sheet, Ryan was credited with 15 tackles this season — 13 solo and two assists. Ryan played 15 games. For you non-math majors, Ryan averaged one tackle per game. Just for comparison, Detroit's Shaun Rogers, a Pro Bowler, was credited with 68 tackles. Teammate John Browning recorded 39 tackles. Last season, when Sims was simply an amazing disappointment, he recorded 38 tackles. How did we get here, the land of Trezelle Jenkins? Good question. Maybe it's time to admit that Ryan doesn't like football. Something tells me Dick Vermeil won't be shipping me any more game tape of Sims' play.

14. Dexter McCleon: He's a living example of why players say the NFL stands for not for long. Just a year ago Dex was the toast of this city. He was an overachieving free-agent nickel corner who surprised everyone by excelling as a starter. This year he's the worst player on KC's defense. Groupies in the basement at Mi Cocina will fly their margarita flags at half-staff when Dex gets cut.

28. William Bartee: Well, the streak continues, and it now stretches out across five NFL seasons and 71 regular-season games. Bartee's interception-less streak remains intact. No one has done it worse for longer than Bartee. Countless quarterbacks tried to end the streak. Tennessee's Billy Volek repeatedly threw at Bartee on “Monday Night Football,” but Bartee held his ground, never turning his head and locating the football.


24. Marc Boerigter: Lost to a knee injury before the season began, Boerigter's NFL future is in serious doubt.

32. Kris Wilson: The Chiefs should've left the injury redshirt on Wilson. Now I'm wondering why he wasn't a part of the passing game the last three weeks of the season.

44. Omar Easy: I don't get how Omar fits into the grand scheme. He has no role on offense and doesn't do much on special teams.

53. Rich Scanlon: Never met the man.


Dick Vermeil: Early in the season, Vermeil's game and clock management hurt the Chiefs. After losses to the Carolina Panthers and the Houston Texans, Vermeil acknowledged making critical tactical errors. Vermeil also badly managed running back Larry Johnson. Vermeil picked an unnecessary fight with his outspoken second-year running back. The belief among many players is that Vermeil is too soft on the team in terms of discipline. Practices are long and grueling, but the players believe the team is given too much freedom. Kansas City's young players run wild with the freedom and don't get the necessary rest before games. Players don't fear Vermeil. Grade: D-minus

Al Saunders: KC's lovable, million-dollar offensive coordinator failed too often in 2-minute situations early in the year. He also was Dick Vermeil's co-conspirator in the mismanagement of Larry Johnson. On the plus side, Saunders found ways to score points with three different starting backs. He also turned Eddie Kennison into a 1,000-yard receiver. Saunders' worst moment was calling the play that led to Trent Green's end zone-to-end zone Pick 6 vs. the Texans. Grade: B-minus

Gunther Cunningham: Here's what you can blame Gunther for. He told the Chiefs he could whip their defensive personnel into a respectable unit. Gunther should've taken the defensive coordinator job in Atlanta and told the Chiefs the truth. Or did Gunther not know the truth? Did he believe Ryan “Chester McGlockton” Sims just needed a little Gunther magic to develop into a star? Sure worked for McGlockton, didn't it? Grade: C

Carl Peterson: Mr. President must be feeling awfully good about his Larry Johnson vindication. But I'm sure it's offset by the humiliation of retaining all of that mediocre defensive personnel. Mr. President now has hit the triple crown: 1. He's pulled off one of the greatest free-agent acquisitions in league history (Priest Holmes). 2. He's pulled off one of the worst free-acquisitions in league history (Carlton Gray). 3. And he's pulled off the retention of one of the worst free-agents in league history (William Bartee). “Mr. President, Julian Battle's agent is on line one. Julian wants a contract extension.” L.J. prevents King Carl from failing the class. Grade: D-minus

Baby Lee
01-04-2005, 10:39 AM
Not even a quarter-page down


Dr. Johnny Fever
01-04-2005, 10:42 AM

01-04-2005, 10:57 AM
Doh! My bad! Sorry

Taco John
01-04-2005, 10:59 AM
Yipppe! This wasn't late last night, like all Whitlock articles are.