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nychief
09-15-2006, 07:13 AM
ROAF: INTO THE SHADOWS
Pro Bowl tackle leaves no room for doubt by anyone that his career has come to an end.
By ADAM TEICHER
The Kansas City Star

“I want to let people know I will not come back and play football this year or ever again.”

There’s no ‘For Sale’ sign in the front yard of Willie Roaf’s south Overland Park home, but from the looks of things inside, that will soon change.

Much of the furniture and personal belongings are gone, long ago shipped to the owner’s new home in California. A bed, a kitchen set, a black felt pool table and a monstrous TV are about all that remain, and even those will be cleared away shortly.

The scene, coupled with Roaf’s announcement almost two months ago that he was retiring from football and the Chiefs, makes his plans evident.

Roaf, an 11-time Pro Bowl left tackle and an almost certain future Hall of Famer, still felt compelled to make them clear to everyone, most notably the Chiefs.

“I just want to put an end to all of that,” Roaf told The Star on Thursday. “I want to let people know I will not come back and play football this year or ever again. I don’t want people to think I’m coming back or I might come back, because it’s not true.

“I wanted finality on this deal. I’m retiring from football, period. It’s frustrating that the Chiefs were saying I might return or I was thinking about returning. I don’t think that was right. That’s why it’s time to address it myself.”

Later in the day, Roaf read a seven-minute statement but didn’t answer questions at a news conference at the downtown law offices of Foland and Wickens, where his cousin T.K. Smith is an attorney.

But at home, Roaf told The Star he is having no regrets about his decision to retire, not even knowing how the Chiefs self-destructed in Sunday’s season-opening loss to Cincinnati.

The Chiefs not only allowed seven sacks, but quarterback Trent Green is lost indefinitely after suffering a severe concussion.

Not on the morning of the game nor any time since, Roaf said, has he felt the game calling him back

“As a matter of fact, I feel otherwise,” he said. “I was in Minneapolis Sunday visiting some friends. It was cold and rainy when I woke up. I couldn’t get out of bed very well. My hip was hurting. I took some Tylenol. That didn’t help. I took some Aleve. That didn’t help. It was sore for four days. When your hip was hurting, that’s a pretty good sign you’re doing the right thing. It’s just now starting to feel better. That’s just some of the stuff I have to deal with. I’ve got to live with this body, and I’ve got to take care of it.

“It was not tough not to be here playing for the Chiefs. Once I came to grips with this, that was it. I’m content with it.”

Roaf didn’t see the game on TV. It wasn’t shown in the Minneapolis area.

But he saw the highlights and knows the sordid details.

“It was a tough game,” he said. “When they get that offensive line solidified — I guess Kevin Sampson will be back this week — they’re going to get it together. They’ve just got to keep working. That’s just one football game. They’ve got 15 left to play.”

The Chiefs, obviously, are desperate for a player of Roaf’s ability. But to Roaf, that point is moot because he believes that at 36, he can no longer be the player he once was.

The sore hip, along with lingering knee and hamstring issues, won’t allow it — at least in Roaf’s opinion.

Roaf said publicly early in the offseason that he planned to play another year. He started to change his thinking after beginning workouts in the spring.

He made the retirement leap after the first team meeting with new coach Herm Edwards.

“He said that any guy in here interested in retiring doesn’t need to be here,” Roaf said. “His point was that you needed to be focused, and if you weren’t, you didn’t need to be a part of the team. That made a lot of sense to me. It wasn’t fair for the other guys on the team for me to be there if I wasn’t sure about playing and if I didn’t think I could play at a level I’ve always played at. I’ve got too much respect for my teammates and Herm and the rest of the coaches to do that.”

Roaf said he told Edwards he would retire as the Chiefs were beginning their minicamp. He said Edwards told him to take some time to think it through.

“I was conflicted in May,” Roaf said. “I wasn’t sure what to do. I didn’t know whether I should play feeling the way I felt. But after getting away for a while and thinking about it and hanging out with my kids, it was clear for me.”

That’s when, Roaf said, he sent the Chiefs formal written notification he was retiring. But the Chiefs never made an announcement, leading to speculation that Roaf might return.

That speculation disturbed Roaf, who said he believed it was a distraction for the Chiefs.

Only after this week’s notification that Roaf would be in Kansas City to publicly declare his retirement did the Chiefs act. Roaf spoke for the first time since the start of training camp with president/general manager Carl Peterson on Tuesday.

The Chiefs publicly acknowledged Roaf’s retirement and formally moved him to the retired list.

“If I wasn’t doing this today,” Roaf said, “the Chiefs would have just kept on the way it was going. That’s not fair to me. That’s disturbing to me. Nobody has the right to tell me what I ought to be doing.”

His new life includes a home in Newport Beach, Calif. Roaf begins the new fall quarter at the University of California-Irvine. He is about a year’s worth of classes away from finishing the sociology degree he began many years ago at Louisiana Tech.

Roaf is talking with ESPN2’s “Cold Pizza” about doing one or two appearances weekly. Other than that, his future is uncertain — other than it doesn’t include football or the Chiefs.

“That’s a good question,” he said. “I like to take it one day at a time and figure things out. I have four children in three different states, so I have to make time for them and I’ll spend more time with them.”

Wilson
09-15-2006, 07:22 AM
He must have seen a Super Bowl Ring on the horizon and got nervous.

ChiefsfaninPA
09-15-2006, 07:31 AM
I know we are all giving him sh%t because of the position we are in, but honestly I can not blame the man. If I woke up everyday in the amount of pain he probably is in I would feel the same way. He isn't getting younger. I wish he would've told us earlier but he didn't. We must move on and not begrudge the man.

jspchief
09-15-2006, 07:31 AM
Nice that he found time to put an end to speculation sometime before the Superbowl.

What's the rush Willie? You could have dodged coaches, teammates, and fans for a least a few more months.

ck_IN
09-15-2006, 08:44 AM
<i>Roaf said he told Edwards he would retire as the Chiefs were beginning their minicamp. He said Edwards told him to take some time to think it through.

“I was conflicted in May,” Roaf said. “I wasn’t sure what to do. I didn’t know whether I should play feeling the way I felt. But after getting away for a while and thinking about it and hanging out with my kids, it was clear for me.”

That’s when, Roaf said, he sent the Chiefs formal written notification he was retiring. But the Chiefs never made an announcement, leading to speculation that Roaf might return.
</i>

Ok somebody needs to explain to me why Roaf is being made out to be a bad guy here. It seems to me that CP and company had plenty of time to get their ducks in a row. He told them in May, and then sent a formal letter to them sometime shortly after. It's not his fault if the geniouses at 1 Arrowhead don't act on the info they're given.

DaFace
09-15-2006, 08:47 AM
Ok somebody needs to explain to me why Roaf is being made out to be a bad guy here. It seems to me that CP and company had plenty of time to get their ducks in a row. He told them in May, and then sent a formal letter to them sometime shortly after. It's not his fault if the geniouses at 1 Arrowhead don't act on the info they're given.

It seems to me that there's got to be more to this story. I don't doubt that he sent them a letter in May, but why would he avoid everyone like he's done from August until yesterday? You'd think if he were so upset about it being a "distraction," he'd give one of his teammates a call and just tell them.

ck_IN
09-15-2006, 08:51 AM
Ok let me ask this. Why should he have to give teammates a call or hold a press conference?

It's not entirely the same but I've quit jobs where I've not made contact with former co workers after departure. I gave my 2 weeks, said my good byes and turned the page. He told CP and Herm, sent in his letter and called it a career. Perhaps he wasn't all that close with teammates and didn't feel the need. He'd followed the process and then it was up to the Chiefs to hold press conferences, make anncouncements, etc.

Perhaps there is more but based on this it simply sounds like CP and Herm didn't take him seriously or were just in denial.

OnTheWarpath58
09-15-2006, 08:52 AM
<i>Roaf said he told Edwards he would retire as the Chiefs were beginning their minicamp. He said Edwards told him to take some time to think it through.

“I was conflicted in May,” Roaf said. “I wasn’t sure what to do. I didn’t know whether I should play feeling the way I felt. But after getting away for a while and thinking about it and hanging out with my kids, it was clear for me.”

That’s when, Roaf said, he sent the Chiefs formal written notification he was retiring. But the Chiefs never made an announcement, leading to speculation that Roaf might return.
</i>

Ok somebody needs to explain to me why Roaf is being made out to be a bad guy here. It seems to me that CP and company had plenty of time to get their ducks in a row. He told them in May, and then sent a formal letter to them sometime shortly after. It's not his fault if the geniouses at 1 Arrowhead don't act on the info they're given.


I think people are just frustrated with the way the situation was handles from all parties involved.

CP screwed up by not taking Willie seriuosly, holding out hope he'd change his mind. He passed that hope onto the fans by not filing paperwork, and commenting any chance he got that while no one had heard from him, he was welcome back.

Willie's only mistake was dragging this out. Why dodge calls from your teammates, GM, coach, etc? If you really want to retire, be a man, take some phone calls and be done with it.

Had Willie been firm with CP back in May, or Carl been realistic with himself and the fans about the probability of Roaf not coming back, we may have been able to sign another OT.

Instead......

Reerun_KC
09-15-2006, 09:03 AM
Screw Peterson like he has been screwing the REAL fans of KC for what? 18 years now?

I would believe Big Willie before I believed that chickensh*t pansy Peterson.

htismaqe
09-15-2006, 09:07 AM
Screw Peterson like he has been screwing the REAL fans of KC for what? 18 years now?

I would believe Big Willie before I believed that chickensh*t pansy Peterson.

ROFL

jidar
09-15-2006, 09:15 AM
Surprised noone has pounced on this yet:

[Roaf] made the retirement leap after the first team meeting with new coach Herm Edwards.

“He said that any guy in here interested in retiring doesn’t need to be here,” Roaf said. “His point was that you needed to be focused, and if you weren’t, you didn’t need to be a part of the team. That made a lot of sense to me.

wtf? shit. Now I'm not going to say that Edwards is the reason Roaf retired, but half the ****ing team is in a position to think about retirement. Edwards might have chosen his words a bit more carefully.

Maybe he should followed it with "By the way, that last part wasn't for you Willie, just Priest."

Chiefnj
09-15-2006, 09:35 AM
I don't doubt that he sent them a letter in May, but why would he avoid everyone like he's done from August until yesterday? .

There were reports yesterday that Shields flew out to Roaf's home in August and stayed overnight, etc.

Rain Man
09-15-2006, 12:15 PM
Surprised noone has pounced on this yet:



wtf? shit. Now I'm not going to say that Edwards is the reason Roaf retired, but half the ****ing team is in a position to think about retirement. Edwards might have chosen his words a bit more carefully.

Maybe he should followed it with "By the way, that last part wasn't for you Willie, just Priest."

My mouth gaped open at that.

Herm probably wishes he hadn't said that. Imagine being in a team meeting and saying that, and then your Hall of Fame left tackle says, "Hey, you're right. I'm out of here. Jordan, take my place, okay?"

greg63
09-15-2006, 12:26 PM
Nice that he found time to put an end to speculation sometime before the Superbowl.

What's the rush Willie? You could have dodged coaches, teammates, and fans for a least a few more months.

Yup!

KChiefsQT
09-15-2006, 12:27 PM
Although this is extremely unfortunate, at least we don't have to have our fingers crossed waiting for his return. I guess the big guy's run out of gas.... welcome to California Big Willie.

TEX
09-15-2006, 12:32 PM
Ok somebody needs to explain to me why Roaf is being made out to be a bad guy here. It seems to me that CP and company had plenty of time to get their ducks in a row. He told them in May, and then sent a formal letter to them sometime shortly after. It's not his fault if the geniouses at 1 Arrowhead don't act on the info they're given[/B].







Yep, my position exactly. If someone does this to me, I make the appropriate arrangements.

Mecca
09-15-2006, 01:21 PM
<i>Roaf said he told Edwards he would retire as the Chiefs were beginning their minicamp. He said Edwards told him to take some time to think it through.

“I was conflicted in May,” Roaf said. “I wasn’t sure what to do. I didn’t know whether I should play feeling the way I felt. But after getting away for a while and thinking about it and hanging out with my kids, it was clear for me.”

That’s when, Roaf said, he sent the Chiefs formal written notification he was retiring. But the Chiefs never made an announcement, leading to speculation that Roaf might return.
</i>

Ok somebody needs to explain to me why Roaf is being made out to be a bad guy here. It seems to me that CP and company had plenty of time to get their ducks in a row. He told them in May, and then sent a formal letter to them sometime shortly after. It's not his fault if the geniouses at 1 Arrowhead don't act on the info they're given.


Because May still isn't sufficient time to replace a starting LT. You need to realize you need to do that when FA starts and before the draft. In May all the good FA's are gone and the draft is passed you still have no chance of replacing him with a quality player.

InChiefsHell
09-15-2006, 01:34 PM
*sigh*

How can people not give Willie the benefit of the doubt? He's been a stud his entire career, has never shown an ounce of bad attitude. The guy thinks he can play, then his body really begins to tell him otherwise. Sadly, it took until May for him to solidify that in his mind. That sucks, but I sure as hell don't blame him for it...

Mecca
09-15-2006, 01:38 PM
*sigh*

How can people not give Willie the benefit of the doubt? He's been a stud his entire career, has never shown an ounce of bad attitude. The guy thinks he can play, then his body really begins to tell him otherwise. Sadly, it took until May for him to solidify that in his mind. That sucks, but I sure as hell don't blame him for it...

That's fine...my point is anyone who's like "hey this is the Chiefs fault he told them in May". Doesn't seem to realize once you're in May there's barely anything left in FA.

ck_IN
09-15-2006, 01:48 PM
The man earned the right to wait untill May to make up his mind. That still gives CP all summer to try and work a trade.

For that matter Willie is a 36yr old LT with bad knees and back. It doesn't take a genious to figure out that finding an heir might be a good idea. Perhaps that was the role Sevitk (sp?) was meant to fill. At any rate, it's pretty clear that Roaf was on his last legs so it should've occured to Chiefs management that finding a quality backup would be a good idea. They didn't.

It doesn't bother me an iota that Roaf took as long as he did. It shouldn't have come down to that criticality. Poor managment by the brain trust at 1 Arrowhead dr is the culprit here, not an aging LT that gave us his last playing years.

Mecca
09-15-2006, 01:50 PM
The man earned the right to wait untill May to make up his mind. That still gives CP all summer to try and work a trade.

For that matter Willie is a 36yr old LT with bad knees and back. It doesn't take a genious to figure out that finding an heir might be a good idea. Perhaps that was the role Sevitk (sp?) was meant to fill. At any rate, it's pretty clear that Roaf was on his last legs so it should've occured to Chiefs management that finding a quality backup would be a good idea. They didn't.

It doesn't bother me an iota that Roaf took as long as he did. It shouldn't have come down to that criticality. Poor managment by the brain trust at 1 Arrowhead dr is the culprit here, not an aging LT that gave us his last playing years.

No one is going to trade you a quality LT without asking for a ridiculous price in return.........

Alright the Chiefs thinking Roaf might retire should have drafted Winston Justice instead of Tamba Hali that's really the only arguement you can bring about the Chiefs not handling it right. And if they had done that I could have imagined the posts after the pick......

ck_IN
09-15-2006, 01:59 PM
I don't agree Mecca. When Roaf went down last year our O went in the toilet. That should've been a huge wakeup call to CP. They had plenty of time to find a FA, draft someone, whatever.

As for a trade, what did we pay to get Roaf? It might have cost us a pretty penny but poor planning on CP's part results in such things. The bottom line is CP had options. He chose not to use them. Roaf shouldn't be vilified for CP dropping the ball.

Chiefnj
09-15-2006, 02:04 PM
No one is going to trade you a quality LT without asking for a ridiculous price in return.........

Alright the Chiefs thinking Roaf might retire should have drafted Winston Justice instead of Tamba Hali that's really the only arguement you can bring about the Chiefs not handling it right. And if they had done that I could have imagined the posts after the pick......

Someone bumped up a thread from December 2005 where Planet members voted on which positions to address in the draft and the #1 spot was OT. Opinions may have changed by April but I don't think too many people would have been upset using a first day pick on an OT this last draft.