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jAZ
07-05-2006, 09:19 AM
http://www.venturacountystar.com/vcs/sports_columnists/article/0,1375,VCS_225_4822757,00.html

Crash course on foreign turf
By Bob Buttitta, bbuttitta@VenturaCountyStar.com
July 5, 2006

Will Svitek doesn't have the name recognition as Kansas City Chiefs teammates Tony Gonzalez and Larry Johnson. However, Svitek, a former Newbury Park High standout, has something Gonzalez and Johnson are still striving for a championship ring.

Svitek was the starting left tackle for the Frankfurt Galaxy, the NFL Europe team which recently won the 2006 World Bowl with a 22-7 victory over the Amsterdam Admirals.

Svitek anchored a Galaxy offensive line, which set numerous NFL Europe rushing records in 2006 including most net yards gained for a season (1,753) and average gain per attempt (4.9 yards).

Being such a big contributor to a World Bowl title winner capped an amazing three-month run for Svitek in NFL Europe.

The former Stanford Cardinal was named to the 2006 All-NFLE first team at left tackle, and more important, his strong play opened the eyes of Chiefs coaches and management with regard to his potential to play in the NFL.

"I definitely felt like it was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to go overseas, play football, and experience living in a foreign country for three months," Svitek said via telephone from Kansas City.

"From a football perspective, I felt it was critical for my career to get all those game reps on the offensive line because that was something I didn't get when I was in college."

Getting the chance to start 11 games and take close to 800 snaps at left tackle was crucial for Svitek, because he's only played the offensive line for a little more than a year.

During his college career at Stanford, Svitek played defensive end. He made the switch to offensive tackle after several teams, including the Chiefs, told him his greatest chance to play in the NFL was on the offensive line.

The Chiefs were so impressed with Svitek's potential as an offensive lineman they selected him in the sixth round of the 2005 NFL draft. They also kept him on the team's active roster for the entire season even though he never played a down.

Had they not kept him on the active roster other teams could have plucked him away from the Chiefs. Kansas City believed Svitek's potential made him worth the risk of taking up a roster spot.

The 6-foot-6, 305-pound Svitek spent his rookie season practicing with All-pros like Willie Roaf and Will Shields. He put in extra hours after practice with offensive line coach Mike Solari .

While he showed steady improvement during his rookie season, the Chiefs asked Svitek to go the Europe this past spring so he could hone his skills under game competition.

Svitek said he was pleased to get the opportunity to get back in the game, even if it meant traveling to Europe to do it.

While he didn't have any game experience at left tackle prior to playing for the Galaxy, Svitek said the massive amount of practice time he put in during his rookie year gave him confidence he would succeed.

"Playing in NFL Europe allowed me to accelerate my growth," Svitek said. "I was involved in almost 800 live snaps so my comfort level is a lot higher now than it was before I went over.

"The speed of the game is not as fast as it is in the NFL but it's a step above college. I got experience I feel opened some eyes with folks in the NFL. It helped get my name out there."

Chiefs president/general manager Carl Peterson said he was extremely pleased with Svitek's play in NFL Europe.

"He was very, very consistent, and very, very good," Peterson said. "NFLE continues to serve as a training ground for our players and coaches."

Acclimating to living in a foreign country proved far more challenging to Svitek than anything he was asked to do on the field.

While Svitek was born in the Czech Republic, he moved to Newbury Park when he was 2, so having to spend three months in a country where most people don't speak English took a bit of getting used to.

So did things like German cuisine and television. How tough was it? Svitek was reduced to watching Oprah, because it was one of the few TV programs shown in English.

"Food was most difficult part of it," Svitek said. "I got so sick of eating fried, German food.

While his focus was football, Svitek took advantage of the small amount of free time he had by traveling to Rome and even his former hometown of Prague in the Czech Republic. Svitek's parents joined him for the visit which gave them a chances to visit family which they had not seen in many years.

"I had only visited Prague once since my family escaped from Czechoslovakia, so it was nice to go back," Svitek said.

Svitek said the top moment of his stint in NFL Europe was winning the World Bowl.

"To make it to the championship game and win was awesome," Svitek said. "No matter what else happens in my career, no one can take that away from me."

After the World Bowl, Svitek rushed back to Kansas City to take part in the final mini camp of the year and in the Chiefs' organized team activities.

Svitek was looking forward to returning to Newbury Park for a few weeks of rest and relaxation before training camp starts at the end of this month. It will be his first true break from football in more than a year.

"When I got back to Kansas City, the coaches took care to make sure I didn't push myself," Svitek said. "I'm trying to be smart with my body and know when to rest."

At the Chiefs final mini camp, Svitek had his first meeting with new head coach Herman Edwards.

Svitek liked what he saw and heard from Edwards.

"Coach Edwards is awesome," Svitek said. "He seems like a great guy and a good fit for our team. I feel fortunate to have had the chance to play for two great head coaches (Edwards and Dick Vermeil).

While there are no guarantees in the NFL, Svitek said the coaches were pleased with his work in Europe and he feels he has a chance to see a lot more action this season.

John_Wayne
07-05-2006, 09:24 AM
I think he'll be the next Brian Waters at the RT and/or LT position for the Chiefs for many years to come.

ChiefsfaninPA
07-05-2006, 09:27 AM
This can only be a positive in the long run.

the Talking Can
07-05-2006, 09:29 AM
man, I hope he is the real deal...

ChiefsfaninPA
07-05-2006, 09:31 AM
man, I hope he is the real deal...

He seems to have a good attitude as well. The dude went to Stanford was he has to be pretty intelligent. I am just looking forward to seeing where they will put him.

milkman
07-05-2006, 09:35 AM
Watching most of his games in NFLE, I'm fairly excited about his potential to be the anchor on the left side for years after Roaf retires.

ChiefsfaninPA
07-05-2006, 09:40 AM
How old is he? I didn't see anything that referrenced that or how many years he was in the league.

John_Wayne
07-05-2006, 09:43 AM
He seems to have a good attitude as well. The dude went to Stanford was he has to be pretty intelligent. I am just looking forward to seeing where they will put him. For '06, I think he'll back up Turley and Roaf. He'll get a little of on field experience there. Then, in '07 he'll be a starter at RT or LT. That's just my guess.

ChiefsfaninPA
07-05-2006, 09:46 AM
For '06, I think he'll back up Turley and Roaf. He'll get a little of on field experience there. Then, in '07 he'll be a starter at RT or LT. That's just my guess.

Yeah barring a injury I don't see him starting this year either. Hopefully he will get a lot of situational playing so he can get more experience.

HemiEd
07-05-2006, 09:54 AM
man, I hope he is the real deal...


Why do thoughts of Greg Hill pop into my head?

the Talking Can
07-05-2006, 09:59 AM
What if he is the LT equivalent of Mike Maslowski?

Is that good enough?

milkman
07-05-2006, 10:00 AM
How old is he? I didn't see anything that referrenced that or how many years he was in the league.

He's 26, going into his 2nd NFL season.

MOhillbilly
07-05-2006, 10:03 AM
http://www.venturacountystar.com/vcs/sports_columnists/article/0,1375,VCS_225_4822757,00.html



Will Svitek doesn't have the name recognition as Kansas City Chiefs teammates Tony Gonzalez and Larry Johnson. However, Svitek, a former Newbury Park High standout, has something Gonzalez and Johnson are still striving for a championship ring.



is that for real or am i not reading that right?

Did he just say a NFL championship ring was the same worth as a NFLE championship ring?

thats alot like saying the runner up in the SB ring is something to be proud of.

has anyone ever even seen one?(a runner up ring?)

the author must post on CP under some alter-ego. cause that shit is stoopid.

milkman
07-05-2006, 10:08 AM
is that for real or am i not reading that right?

Did he just say a NFL championship ring was the same worth as a NFLE championship ring?

thats alot like saying the runner up in the SB ring is something to be proud of.

has anyone ever even seen one?(a runner up ring?)

the author must post on CP under some alter-ego. cause that shit is stoopid.

Most of the writers for the Ventura County Star are tools, who have very little knowledge, or understanding of the national sports scene.

StcChief
07-05-2006, 12:05 PM
What if he is the LT equivalent of Mike Maslowski?

Is that good enough?

If Svitek quality is 80% of Big Willie I will be very happy with him at LT.

MOhillbilly
07-05-2006, 12:09 PM
anyone have faith that sampson will ever pan out?

Svitek sounds like he is at the moment the next inline for the JOB.

Mr. Laz
07-05-2006, 12:12 PM
i watched quite a bit of NFLE and svitek was clearly a stud over there.


he was never overmatched ... he handled most Dlineman with ease.


but....


imo the defensive end position is a place where there is a HUGE,HUGE difference in level of play between the NFL and NFLE.


even the worst defensive end in the NFL is way better than 99.9% of the DE's in NFLE.


can Svitek step up?



let's all hope :clap:

milkman
07-05-2006, 12:32 PM
i watched quite a bit of NFLE and svitek was clearly a stud over there.


he was never overmatched ... he handled most Dlineman with ease.


but....


imo the defensive end position is a place where there is a HUGE,HUGE difference in level of play between the NFL and NFLE.


even the worst defensive end in the NFL is way better than 99.9% of the DE's in NFLE.


can Svitek step up?



let's all hope :clap:

One thing that you saw with Svitek was his quick feet.

That is the primary reason I feel he will be able to step in after another season of growth.

MOhillbilly
07-05-2006, 12:40 PM
thats good he has quick feet cause sampson blows. his footwork is HORRID.

Tony Mandrich had better feet.

PunkinDrublic
07-05-2006, 06:20 PM
Good article. I've got a feeling Svitek is going to turn out to be a solid replacement for Roaf. Of all the things I criticize our management for, finding guys to play on the O-line is not one of them. It always seems like whenever someone on our line retires who was great for a long time, we always seem to find somebody to replace him and do a good job. I think the Chiefs know what they're doing with Svitek and will groom him to be a solid starter.

Spicy McHaggis
07-05-2006, 07:02 PM
I think he'll be the next Brian Waters at the RT and/or LT position for the Chiefs for many years to come.

I think he's a better fit at LT than RT.