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C-Mac
09-05-2005, 06:15 PM
GRETZ: Shaking the Roster Dice
Sep 05, 2005, 7:16:30 AM by Bob Gretz - FAQ

So thereís been a few days now to chew on the moves the Chiefs made to get their roster down to the NFL limit of 53 players for the regular season opener. What do you think?

Whatís really apparent is how the Chiefs walked the fine line between keeping players who can contribute this season, with players who are unlikely to be big performers this season, but have backed evaluations coming out of college with flashes of talent in the pre-season. The Chiefs have seven rookies on the roster, but only two figure to be starters: LB Derrick Johnson and P Dustin Colquitt.

There were some surprises among the last few moves. The Chiefs went one short at cornerback, keeping four rather than five. One part of that decision involves Eric Warfield, who will return after his four-game suspension.

Yet along the offensive line, where John Welbourn is gone for four games under a NFL suspension, the Chiefs went long, with 10 blockers including a pair of late-round draft choice rookies.

Of course, the situation along the offensive line was shuffled a great deal late last week when Welbournís suspension became known and then Brett Williams suffered a left knee sprain against the Rams in St. Louis that became a ticket to the injured reserve list.

That brought guys like Jonathan Ingram, Will Svitek and Jeremy Parquet back on the roster radar screen. Plus, you can bet the Chiefs and especially Dick Vermeil also remembered the Ryan Lilja move from last year. The Chiefs released Lilja on the final cut, with the idea of bringing him back on the practice squad. Instead, Indianapolis claimed him on waivers and heís now getting playing time with the Colts offense. Svitek and Parquet are not ready to be every play contributors along the line, but obviously the Chiefs believe these two big tackles have shown enough to be considered long-term prospects. They did not want to expose them at this time to the waiver wire.

That was also the case at linebacker, where the Chiefs went one over the normal number of seven. There are three rookies among that group: Derrick Johnson, Boomer Grigsby and Kris Griffin. Johnson is a starter right now and Griffin could reach that status as well, if he continues to track upward like he has since he was signed after the draft. Thatís what made Scott Fujita expendable. The fact the Chiefs could get a draft choice from the Cowboys for Fujita, who they were going to release anyway, was a nice bonus. Grigsby had a tough time being a consistent contributor on the defense, but the Chiefs obviously saw potential for growth and gave him what was probably one of the last spots on the defense.

To keep the extra offensive lineman, the Chiefs went short at running back, keeping two halfbacks, one fullback and first-year man Ronnie Cruz, who could swing between those positions. Mostly Cruz will contribute on special teams. One of the eight spots on the practice squad is sure to go to a running back, probably McKenzi Smith.

Despite the fact he struggled against the Rams, Dewayne Washington won out at cornerback over Ashley Ambrose. That was no surprise. That Alphonso Hodge got sliced was a bit surprising, given the fact heís worked all during the pre-season as the Chiefs dime (sixth) defensive back. He should be on the practice squad as well.

The Chiefs did not go for potential at wide receiver. Rather they decided to stay with what they know: Marc Boerigter and Chris Horn, rather than Jeris McIntyre and Craphonso Thorpe. With his release, Thorpe is the highest draft choice (fourth round) not to make the final roster his first season since FB George Layne, another fourth rounder in 2001. He figures to be on the practice squad as well.

After it all came down, the Chiefs added 13 players who were not with the club last season in any given week.

whoman69
09-05-2005, 07:11 PM
I think this goes to show you that burned once, Vermeil goes overboard. I can't really see that I saw anything from Long, Parquet or Svitek to say they are anything except a long shot project. Lilja was far more promising than any of these project. They should have been put on the practice squad like they deserve. That said, I don't see much on our last set of cuts that could have replaced them, perhaps Sharpe instead of Long. Its possible that had Williams not been injured, he would not make the squad.
I still can't see how Damon Huard made this team. I haven't seen a QB who could throw the ball that poorly since the days of Billy Kilmer.

mikey23545
09-05-2005, 07:45 PM
I still can't see how Damon Huard made this team. I haven't seen a QB who could throw the ball that poorly since the days of Billy Kilmer.

I can only hope Quinn just plans on sitting by his phone all year with nothing to do....

htismaqe
09-05-2005, 09:53 PM
With his release, Thorpe is the highest draft choice (fourth round) not to make the final roster his first season since FB George Layne, another fourth rounder in 2001. He figures to be on the practice squad as well.


And they chased Layne all the way to KCI, begging him not to sign with the Falcons.

We can kiss Thorpe goodbye.