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Count Zarth
01-03-2006, 02:21 AM
It's moving day
Players pack up, wonder
By ELIZABETH MERRILL
The Kansas City Star

Black trash bags were passed around Monday on a cold, gray day at Arrowhead Stadium. Everything had to go — the dirty sweat socks, the CDs, the snacks stuffed in a corner shelf.

Lional Dalton stared at his locker, pondering what to take. He went the sentimental route, grabbing the No. 75 nameplate with the Chiefs logo.

“It’s kind of sad,” Dalton said. “I don’t know where I’m going to be.”

It was cleaning-up day for the Chiefs, only this season-ending ritual was different. Nobody, really, knows where the Chiefs will be. They finished up a 10-6 season just 24 hours earlier, failed to make the playoffs and said goodbye to their coach.

They stuffed their belongings into garbage bags, made vacation plans and wondered whether their position coaches would be around when they returned. Dalton, a 315-pound defensive lineman, had a momentary Lifetime network moment. He’s an unrestricted free agent who may not be back. He said goodbye to defensive-line coach Bob Karmelowicz.

“Everything will be OK,” Karmelowicz said.

At 11 a.m., coach Dick Vermeil said something similar in his final team meeting. He told them his 114-acre ranch in Chester County, Pa., was always open. He said he’d be there if they needed to talk, rant or share a bottle of wine.

And then the players sifted through nine months of clutter and said their goodbyes. Dante Hall, whose lip was still swollen from a shot in Sunday’s win over the Bengals, walked around in a retro No. 18 Charlie Joiner jersey and signed footballs for his teammates.

Jared Allen wore a hat that said, “Happy New Year.”

This will be a year full of questions, from the coaching search to an aging offense to a defense that may see its third coordinator in four years. Several defensive players spent the afternoon lobbying for Gunther Cunningham to keep his job.

“You don’t want to say goodbye,” cornerback Eric Warfield said. “You prepare yourself for the best and expect the worst.”

They don’t know where the Chiefs are headed. But they all have plans. Rookie linebacker Boomer Grigsby plans to take classes at KU so he can finish up his marketing degree. Dalton is going scuba diving.

Warfield, who completed his probation after his third DUI, plans to head off to Arkansas.

“I was telling some of the guys that this is probably going to be the first offseason where I haven’t been in any trouble,” he said. “So I’m going to spend some time with the family and really enjoy my time off.”

But they’ll also keep close to their cell phones and wonder what’s going on in Kansas City.

“Personnel changes happen,” Warfield said. “That’s just the reality of the league.”

Reality bit the Chiefs hard on Monday. Coaches hugged, veterans jotted down phone numbers, and rookies sat at a table eating Lucky Charms and watching bowl games one last time.

Most of all, the Chiefs wondered how a season that started so promising, with a season-opening shellacking of the Jets, could end so abruptly. Warfield relayed a story of a conversation he had with left tackle Willie Roaf, an 11-time Pro Bowler who had contemplated retirement.

Roaf told Warfield how frustrated he was in how the season ended so badly after the team had played so well in stretches. He said he couldn’t leave like that.

But some will leave without a choice. Dalton pulled a stocking cap over his shiny head, grabbed his belongings and bolted. He left behind a bottle of baby powder and a Chiefs ball cap.

“It’s different here than most places,” Dalton said. “The family relationships. … A lot of teams take years to build what I’ve gotten in two years here. I’m going to be friends with them for a long time.”

As the final bags were peeled off a table, Grigsby dug a letter out of his locker. It was from Lynn Stiles, the vice president of football operations. It congratulated him for making the team. It said: “Stay with it. It’s going to be a long ride.”

“Boy,” Grigsby said, “was he right.”

Count Zarth
01-03-2006, 02:23 AM
The new coach better put his foot down on the Gunther issue. Either that or hold Gunther's hand, because the players sure like him, which wasn't true with GROB.

Sounds like Roaf is back!

tk13
01-03-2006, 02:36 AM
Yeah, I think Roaf's coming back. Don't know about Shields though. Roaf said somewhere that he's gonna try to convince Shields to give it another go.

If not, I think we could move Black to RG and drop off some, but still hold our own.

keg in kc
01-03-2006, 03:11 AM
Move Welborne to RG, get Sampson back into form at RT, send Black off to collect towels.

tk13
01-03-2006, 03:24 AM
Yeah, I keep forgetting about Sampson. He's in the mix too.

philfree
01-03-2006, 03:57 AM
After reading that I don't think about roster moves I just think about what we just lost.

PhilFree:arrow:

RedDread
01-03-2006, 04:21 AM
I think a major factor in Shields decision will be how well his body held up this season. Was he on the Injury report much?

ChiefsFan4Life
01-03-2006, 07:13 AM
I don't think there's any way at all that Shields will stick around

Roaf might stay, but I wouldn't be suprised if he had a change of heart

A lot of the defensive guys better say good bye to Arrowhead becase if a new coach comes in that actually knows what he's doing a lot of those guys are out of here