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Hammock Parties
12-09-2005, 02:34 AM

Waters: No grudges

Chiefs' guard returns to Dallas to play against team that cut him six years ago

By Rick Dean
The Capital-Journal

KANSAS CITY, Kan. -- As a young man growing up in Waxahachie, Texas, Brian Waters saw the sun that rose over Dallas each day as a Silver Star -- the distinctive logo on the Cowboys helmet.

"(The Cowboys) are the biggest thing going down there," Waters said of his hometown, a Dallas suburb. "Our Pop Warner teams, if they sell enough tickets, get to play at halftime of a Cowboys game. That's like the greatest thing in the world for kids there. They play that game like they're in the Super Bowl."

One of his biggest goals as a high school player was to advance far enough into the Texas state playoffs to play in Texas Stadium. To a lifelong Cowboys fan like Waters, it was the pilgrimage of a lifetime.

"They'd take the nameplates off the lockers," Waters recalled, "but the imprint of the name would stay so that you could say, 'Man, this is Michael Irvin's locker!' "

You can almost envision his joy when, after completing his career at North Texas in nearby Denton, undrafted rookie Brian Waters was given a chance to actually work with Irvin, Emmitt Smith, Troy Aikman, Larry Allen, Erik Williams and other Cowboys heros he admired for years.

One can also imagine Waters' disappointment, too, upon learning that he failed to make the final cut before the 1999 season.

Now imagine the incentive Waters will carry into Sunday's game at Texas Stadium when he returns home as a Pro Bowl guard for the Kansas City Chiefs to play the team he once loved in a game that has postseason implications for both teams.

"I've got a lot of good feelings about going home. And," he added with a chuckle, "I'll also have some good feelings about playing the team that cut me."

Not that Waters holds a grudge, really. As a tight end at North Texas who doubled on defense as a senior, he knew he was a long shot to stick as an undrafted player.

"I got over being bitter a long time ago," he said. "I was playing a different position then, so I could see why they cut me. But, there will be some extra incentive here, believe me."

Besides, how could the Cowboys have known that Waters, signed by the Chiefs and sent to NFL Europe as a center in 2000, would become an effective starting left guard by the 2001 season.

"For anybody to say they saw me in this position then, that would have been a real stretch," Waters said. "Even when the Chiefs first talked about it, I thought it was a stretch.

"But every so often I see some of the coaches who were there then (on the staff of former coach Chan Gailey), and they'll say, 'I can't believe you're the same guy,' or, 'I wish we had seen that in you.' Those are the guys I've got issues with, not the team itself."

Waters' journey to the NFL after his release from Dallas is the classic tale of a "tweener" who finally finds the right position in the right situation.

"I wasn't a fullback, I wasn't a tight end," he said. "I wasn't a 6-5 guy, and I wasn't a 250-pound (linebacker) type. I was a guy stuck in the middle (at 6-3, 318). But I always believed in my ability to play football. It just happened that (the Chiefs) gave me the right opportunity."

When he returns triumphant to Dallas -- where he's had to scramble to purchase more than 50 bankroll-busting tickets for friends and family members anxious to watch a sold-out playoff-caliber game -- Waters will be only one of four Pro Bowl guards on the two teams.

Chiefs guard Will Shields has 10 Pro Bowl appearances. That's one more than Cowboys' standout guard-tackle Larry Allen, a player Waters has admired all his life. For good measure, the Cowboys this year acquired guard Marco Rivera, who made two Pro Bowl appearances while with Green Bay.

Waters, as the youngster in the group, considers himself blessed to play in such company.

"I consider myself to be good, but I'm not great like those guys are," he said. "They've done it a long time, year after year. Even when teams have the opportunity to scheme them, to do different things against their weaknesses, it's hard to do against those guys."

12-09-2005, 04:47 AM
Besides, how could the Cowboys have known that Waters, signed by the Chiefs and sent to NFL Europe as a center in 2000, would become an effective starting left guard by the 2001 season.

Dammit Carl! :cuss:

12-09-2005, 07:14 AM
Dammit Carl! :cuss:


:banghead: He does somthing right just to PISS US OFF!


BTW: Good read Cheeeze


12-09-2005, 07:17 AM
I think I caught a 'tweener' in there...

Extra Point
12-09-2005, 07:20 AM
Excellent article. How can you not like Brian Waters?

Big Chief Homer
12-09-2005, 07:25 AM
Brian needs to get paid,I think he deserves it.Carl needs to step up and pay the man what hes worth before someones else does.With the possibility of no roaf and shields next year.If we can keep the rest of the guys intact(welbourn,waters,wiegmann)and draft an olineman and get a good one in free agency the o-line will be good for years to come.

12-09-2005, 07:35 AM
Dammit! How come nothing good like this ever happens to the Chiefs!

12-09-2005, 07:35 AM
Dammit Carl! :cuss:

Shit, beat me to it.

Skip Towne
12-09-2005, 07:49 AM
Waters is lucky VD thought he was "ready" and let him play. Some guys weren't.

12-09-2005, 07:56 AM
Waters is lucky VD thought he was "ready" and let him play. Some guys weren't.

Some guys need to learn how to block so their QB doesn't get killed before they're "ready".