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Tribal Warfare
01-29-2009, 12:52 AM
What if the Chiefs hadn’t passed on Troy Polamalu? (http://www.kansascity.com/sports/chiefs/story/1006186.html)

TAMPA, Fla. | The young man speaks softly, so softly you would not be able to hear him without the microphone that someone adjusts in front of him.

The young man likes to plant flowers; he finds peace when he’s digging in the dirt. The young man likes to play the piano; the music grants him a few moments of tranquility. He reads the Bible often.

The young man is at the heart of a story he never thinks about.

Here’s the story: On April 26, 2003, the Kansas City Chiefs had the 16th pick in the NFL draft. The Chiefs had just finished one of the oddest seasons in the history of professional football. They had led the NFL in scoring — the whole NFL. They had scored 121 more points than the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who won the Super Bowl. They had scored more points than the Dallas Cowboys and Houston Texans combined. That’s not all. They had lost only two fumbles the whole season. That’s an NFL record.

How many victories would you expect from a team that scores more points than any other team and loses just two fumbles? Well, the Chiefs did not win that many. They won eight games and lost eight games. No team has ever done so little with so much.

How did the Chiefs pull that off? Easy. They played terrible defense all year long. The Chiefs’ offense scored 38 in New England; the defense gave up 41. The offense scored 34 at San Diego; the defense gave up 35. The Chiefs lost 37-34 to Denver at home and 39-32 up in Seattle. There were no mysteries. The Chiefs had to improve that defense.

So there they were with the 16th pick in the NFL draft. And Chiefs general manager Carl Peterson and his coach Dick Vermeil looked closely at the board — and they simply did not see a defensive player worth taking in that spot. Not one. “I would have gone defense,” Vermeil said afterward. “Yeah. But I understand the process.”

So when the Pittsburgh Steelers called and said they wanted to trade up into the Chiefs’ slot — the Steelers had the 29th pick overall — well, the Chiefs were thrilled. They could trade down and get a little bit extra for the effort. They happily made the trade. And with the Steelers’ pick, they took running back Larry Johnson, who has had his great moments and his awful moments but, of course, does not play defense.

The Steelers, using the Chiefs’ pick, selected the quiet young man who was behind the microphone.

The quiet young man, of course, is Steelers safety Troy Polamalu, who might be the best defensive player in the NFL.

You can always look back in the draft and find mistakes, of course. Every team makes dozens and dozens of mistakes every year. When Chiefs general manager Scott Pioli was in New England, he used to remind himself of this by keeping a photograph of tight end Dave Stachelski on his desk. Why? Dave Stachelski was the Patriots’ fifth-round pick in 2000 — and he never played a single down for New England. In the sixth round that same year, the Patriots took quarterback Tom Brady.

The point: Even teams that get it right make mistakes.

Still, it’s hard to understand why the Chiefs, who were in such desperate need of a big-play defender, missed Polamalu. He wasn’t exactly a hidden talent. He was a big-play defensive back at Southern California — an All-American, the team MVP one year and so on. He was, the scouts said, the best safety coming out of college, the biggest hitter, the most ferocious force. And, of course, his intangibles — what NFL scouts call things like attitude, leadership, intelligence, focus — were off the charts. Everyone who was ever around Troy Polamalu loved the guy.

The Steelers’ leadership saw that clearly. Polamalu was the one player in the draft who they had to have. That’s why they traded up. They were scared to death of missing out on him.

And since Polamalu became a starter for Pittsburgh in 2004, the Steelers have led the NFL in defense three times. They have given up, on average over those five years, just a shade more than 16 points per game. They have made the playoffs four times. This is their second Super Bowl. Polamalu has made the Pro Bowl every year.

Of course, Polamalu is only a part of the Steelers’ defensive success; the Steelers’ ability to find defensive players has been remarkable. Superstar linebacker James Harrison was an undrafted free agent. His Pro Bowl teammate James Farrior signed as a free agent. Hard-hitting free safety Ryan Clark had played for two other teams before the Steelers found him. And so on.

But Polamalu is the constant, the passion behind it all, the ferocious hitter who makes it treacherous for receivers to run over the middle, the quick thinker who gets quarterbacks to second-guess themselves, the big-play guy who scored a touchdown in the AFC championship game against Baltimore.

He plays with a force of will. People often ask him why he is so different on the field compared with off. It just seems impossible that this quiet young man was the same guy who in the AFC championship game leaped over the offensive line and pulled the quarterback down by his neck.

But he doesn’t see the difference. He thinks the question is flawed. “I’m very passionate with my wife and my family,” he says. “To me, football is no different. If it was ballet, it would be the same thing.”

He smiles: “It’s just that football is a contact sport.”

Yes it is, though you might not have been able to tell that by watching the Chiefs’ defenses the last five years.

Of course, you never know for sure what would have happened had history changed. Maybe if the Chiefs had taken Troy Polamalu, he would not have emerged the same way in their defensive schemes.

Then again, you have to wonder what the Chiefs would have been like with this quiet young man playing safety.

“The difference between a big hitter and a hitter,” Polamalu says, “is that a big hitter, if you tell him to hit a brick wall, he goes through it. A hitter, he just brushes against it.”

In other words, if the Chiefs had drafted Troy Polamalu, maybe that brick wall wouldn’t be standing so tall in Kansas City.

Guru
01-29-2009, 01:15 AM
What if a tree falls in the middle of a forest and nobody is there to hear it. Does it make a sound?

Otter
01-29-2009, 01:21 AM
If the Chiefs have drafted Troy Polamalu?

He would have been a good player on lousy defense and would be no where near the high profile player he is today. Especially being a safety. Instead of playing in his second Super Bowl he'd probably trying to find a way to traded from this team.

The Chiefs have had many problems over the years. Their players were far from the biggest of those problems.

That's my guess.

ChiefsCountry
01-29-2009, 01:24 AM
We got LJ out of that, so it wasnt like we traded down and got Junior Savii or something. Hindsight is nice.

DaneMcCloud
01-29-2009, 01:25 AM
What if the Chiefs hadn't passed on Marino?

Strahan?
Tuck?
Emmitt Smith?
Tom Brady?
Matt Hasselbeck?
Anquan Boldin?
Steve Breaston?
Kurt Warner?
Ryan Lilja?
Carl Nicks?


Should I go on?

Hey JoPo, GFY until you come up with better material.

ChiefRon
01-29-2009, 01:26 AM
Just goes to show the difference it makes having good personnel folks making the decisions.

Valiant
01-29-2009, 01:26 AM
He would have sucked here and been out of football if he was drafted by us..

Nightfyre
01-29-2009, 01:27 AM
He should spend more time trying to crack this head coach thing than writing this trash. Applying hindsight to the draft in any way other than analytically for application going forward is not thread worthy, let alone article worthy.

Mecca
01-29-2009, 02:03 AM
I remember being really pissed off about that but I knew they wouldn't take him because this was the brilliant front office that threw a bunch of money and Woods and Wesley in th same offseason.

jjchieffan
01-29-2009, 03:34 AM
I remember being really pissed off about that but I knew they wouldn't take him because this was the brilliant front office that threw a bunch of money and Woods and Wesley in th same offseason.

Just wondering Mecca, now that Carl and Herm are gone, are we going to see a new, more positive Mecca?:)

Mecca
01-29-2009, 03:36 AM
...Well we'll see if they do anything I think is really stupid, if they draft an OT with the 3rd pick I am not going to be nice about that.

jjchieffan
01-29-2009, 03:38 AM
Are you going to be nice if they draft anyone not named Stafford or Sanchez?ROFL

Fruit Ninja
01-29-2009, 05:14 AM
Ifwe picked him, we would still have one of the worst defenses in football. Doesnt matter if you have 1 good player and your defensive line sucks as bad as the Chiefs defense does. He plays in the perfect scheme for his style of play. He has the ability to gamble more because they pressure the QB alot more then we do and cause the qb's to make alot more mistakes. QB's dont make mistakes on the Chiefs defense simply becuase they are never in any danger of getting sacked.

He would be looking like Page and Pollard completely lost at times because they cant cover every one for 10 seconds. haha

Guru
01-29-2009, 05:51 AM
Ifwe picked him, we would still have one of the worst defenses in football. Doesnt matter if you have 1 good player and your defensive line sucks as bad as the Chiefs defense does. He plays in the perfect scheme for his style of play. He has the ability to gamble more because they pressure the QB alot more then we do and cause the qb's to make alot more mistakes. QB's dont make mistakes on the Chiefs defense simply becuase they are never in any danger of getting sacked.

He would be looking like Page and Pollard completely lost at times because they cant cover every one for 10 seconds. hahaActually, we would have traded him by now.

kstater
01-29-2009, 05:58 AM
Are you going to be nice if they draft anyone not named Stafford or Sanchez?ROFL


I think you'll find a lot of people not be nice if an OT or LB is drafted while Stafford or Sanchez remain on the board.

PhillyChiefFan
01-29-2009, 06:17 AM
I'll bet Carl would have figured out a way to run him out of town.

PRIEST
01-29-2009, 07:01 AM
What if the Chiefs hadn't passed on Marino?

Strahan?
Tuck?
Emmitt Smith?
Tom Brady?
Matt Hasselbeck?
Anquan Boldin?
Steve Breaston?
Kurt Warner?
Ryan Lilja?
Carl Nicks?


Should I go on?

Hey JoPo, GFY until you come up with better material.



This

Tuckdaddy
01-29-2009, 07:05 AM
Pathedic scouting and drafting is the reason we didn't get Troy. DV sucked at drafting and the King was good at times but pitiful at others.

suds79
01-29-2009, 08:07 AM
What if the Chiefs hadn't passed on Polamalu?

My guess would be that with the coaching this team has had over those years, he'd be just an average safety we'd be saying "Why'd we spend a 1st rounder on this guy?".

If you look at a lot of the defensive players on Pittsburgh, they're getting a lot out of guys who weren't drafted high. They're just good at coaching and developing defensive talent.

We were (that's the nice part) not.

Frosty
01-29-2009, 08:12 AM
The meltdown on this board would have been hilarious if the Chiefs had drafted a safety in the first round then.

Besides, they would have converted him to corner and he would be out of the league.

Ari Chi3fs
01-29-2009, 08:20 AM
What if Carl hadn't drafted Todd Blackledge?

Count Alex's Losses
01-29-2009, 08:49 AM
I'd still rather have Larry Johnson.

dtebbe
01-29-2009, 08:54 AM
Dammit Carl! :cuss:

ROFL Feels great to do that one more time!

I'm thinking the new phrase will be:

Shit! Scott! :cuss:

DT

stevieray
01-29-2009, 08:58 AM
Carl's gone JoPo, stop feeding the trolls.

thank you.

bowener
01-29-2009, 09:03 AM
What if a tree falls in the middle of a forest and nobody is there to hear it. Does it make a sound?

Bishop Berkeley says, "no".

Darth CarlSatan
01-29-2009, 09:06 AM
Okay Gang,

What if I had a 20" penis and made a million dollars a year with it?



Articles like this are stupid.

Demonpenz
01-29-2009, 09:15 AM
I am not a huge fan of the guy. He always seems to dive at peoples legs and they step around him. It costs him sometimes, but the trade off is his play making ability and stopping LT at the goalline with last of the mohicans playing in the background. I would laugh my ass off if he has a sure touchdown this weekend and gets dragged down by his hair.

Demonpenz
01-29-2009, 09:16 AM
Okay Gang,

What if I had a 20" penis and made a million dollars a year with it?



Articles like this are stupid.

nice to meet you mr north, big fan of face painter five

Darth CarlSatan
01-29-2009, 09:21 AM
nice to meet you mr north, big fan of face painter five

ROFL

YES!

KCChiefsFan88
01-29-2009, 09:21 AM
Playing the "What If" game when it comes to the Chiefs draft history under Dictator Carl is a long, dark road that is best not travelled without a full bottle of Jack Daniels.

Basileus777
01-29-2009, 09:23 AM
This is a retarded article. There are a hundred more interesting what ifs to ask about the Chiefs. Polamalu is a good player, but drafting him wouldn't have made a ****ing difference for this team.

Darth CarlSatan
01-29-2009, 09:23 AM
Playing the "What If" game when it comes to the Chiefs draft history under Dictator Carl is a long, dark road that is best not travelled without a full bottle of Jack Daniels.

Boy you ain't shittin'.

I can only imagine how the first-generation ticket holders feel all these years with no return to a Super Bowl.

jidar
01-29-2009, 10:01 AM
I remember being really pissed off about that but I knew they wouldn't take him because this was the brilliant front office that threw a bunch of money and Woods and Wesley in th same offseason.

I can't believe after the fiasco you had at last years draft that you still pretend like you're a draft god.

EyePod
01-29-2009, 10:09 AM
Man, fuck those 1 point losses to the chargers.. UGH.

blueballs
01-29-2009, 10:48 AM
LJ wouldn't have got ESPN love by grabbing people
by the long flowing hair and pushing them to the ground

jspchief
01-29-2009, 11:23 AM
At the time, iirc, Safety didn't appear to be a need.

There's a whole grocery list of guys in this Superbowl that we should have drafted instead of who we did draft.

Coogs
01-29-2009, 11:30 AM
I remember being really pissed off about that but I knew they wouldn't take him because this was the brilliant front office that threw a bunch of money and Woods and Wesley in th same offseason.

Hey! They were great players. Gun told us so. Probably had a couple of tears in his eyes as he spoke about them and how he couldn't wait to move them a step or two closer to the line of scrimmage (or was it further back?), and they would lead our defense back to the glory days.

I really miss Gun! :shake:

I wonder if the Lions have made a request to order a bigger bus for the upcomming runovers?

jspchief
01-29-2009, 11:36 AM
Was that the same year we chose Bigfoot over Darnell Dockett?

KcMizzou
01-29-2009, 11:44 AM
When Chiefs general manager Scott Pioli was in New England, he used to remind himself of this by keeping a photograph of tight end Dave Stachelski on his desk. Why? Dave Stachelski was the Patriots’ fifth-round pick in 2000 — and he never played a single down for New England. In the sixth round that same year, the Patriots took quarterback Tom Brady.

The point: Even teams that get it right make mistakes.LMAO

Damn. Kinda sucks for Dave.

HemiEd
01-29-2009, 11:48 AM
...Well we'll see if they do anything I think is really stupid, if they draft an OT with the 3rd pick I am not going to be nice about that.

I bet it would be a very good OT.

thurman merman
01-29-2009, 12:20 PM
i love it when people talk about drafts in hindsight.

OnTheWarpath58
01-29-2009, 12:30 PM
What if a tree falls in the middle of a forest and nobody is there to hear it. Does it make a sound?

http://i39.tinypic.com/358b4ux.gif

Darth CarlSatan
01-29-2009, 12:31 PM
i love it when people talk about drafts in hindsight.

No shit. What good does it do?

Darth CarlSatan
01-29-2009, 12:32 PM
http://i39.tinypic.com/358b4ux.gif

Nice.:D

Chiefnj2
01-29-2009, 12:59 PM
Hey! They were great players. Gun told us so. Probably had a couple of tears in his eyes as he spoke about them and how he couldn't wait to move them a step or two closer to the line of scrimmage (or was it further back?), and they would lead our defense back to the glory days.

I really miss Gun! :shake:

I wonder if the Lions have made a request to order a bigger bus for the upcomming runovers?

Wesley was in his third year and just had what appeared to be a breakout season with 6 picks. He appeared to be a building block and that the draft investment paid off.

Coogs
01-29-2009, 01:15 PM
Wesley was in his third year and just had what appeared to be a breakout season with 6 picks. He appeared to be a building block and that the draft investment paid off.


Like I said, I really miss Gun! :)

Cheater5
01-29-2009, 01:50 PM
Posnanski = pointless article.

Mecca
01-29-2009, 06:05 PM
I can't believe after the fiasco you had at last years draft that you still pretend like you're a draft god.

Uh what?

Yea cause you know I'm never right about anything regarding the draft.

Reaper16
01-29-2009, 06:09 PM
I treasure Posnanski like he is a priceless jewel, but "what-if?" articles are always a waste of time.

I don't really care though. Pos is busy; he deserves freebies every every now and then.

RedNeckRaider
01-29-2009, 07:49 PM
What if (insert team here) would have drafted Tom Brady in the 6th round? What if (insert team here) would have taken Dan Marino. This type of article just blows me away! Oh well at least it gives gochiefs hope as it is clear you can get paid for fluff!