View Full Version : Chiefs Gretz: Where to Next?

Tribal Warfare
05-03-2009, 10:16 PM
Where to Next? (http://www.kcchiefs.com/news/2009/05/01/where_to_next/)
May 01, 2009, 8:01:33 AM by Bob Gretz - FAQ

guychuckAs the 2009 NFL Draft was winding down last Sunday, Scott Pioli made it known that the Chiefs were not done working to find talent for the ‘09 roster.

“We’ve started but there’s a lot more ground to cover and we will,” Pioli said. “We’re not done improving this football team. There is going to be a lot of things that happen with other teams and with other people. There are going to be a lot of other opportunities.

“There are some people out there who are going to be free agents. It gets to about two weeks before the draft and some of the veteran free agents want to stop and settle down and see what teams are going to draft and see where they think their opportunities are the best.”

As the roster sits on the first of May it’s not hard to pick out some areas where Pioli and the Chiefs may continue to build their talent level for the start of training camp in July. Depth is needed at just about every spot, but a quick scan of the roster shows two positions that really have shallow pools of experienced players: receiver and offensive line.

RECEIVERS: Training camp will decide the starters, but there are only two receivers – wideouts or tight ends - on the roster with experience starting in the NFL. That would be Bobby Engram and Dwayne Bowe. Engram has played in 171 games and started 113 times in his NFL career. Bowe had played in 32 games with 31 starts over two seasons.

Behind them are seven wide receivers that have a combined total of 30 starts and four tight ends with a combined total of 14 starts. That’s 50 starts after Engram/Bowe: WR Mark Bradley (12), WR Devard Darling (10), TE Brad Cottam (7), TE Sean Ryan (7), TE Tony Curtis (6), WR Terrance Copper (5) and WR Jeff Webb (3).

OFFENSIVE LINE: The Chiefs have a dearth of backup players who have played along the offensive line in the NFL. Along the offensive front wall, there is a great deal of NFL experience. LT Branden Albert is the baby with 15 games and starts. Next to him is LG Brian Waters with 132 games and 118 starts. At center Rudy Niswanger has 30 games and 15 starts. At RG is Mike Goff is the most experienced lineman on the team with 163 games and 147 starts. Damion McIntosh is at RT with 115 games and 111 starts. That’s a front five with an average of 91 games and 81 starts. There’s also C/G Wade Smith, who has played 60 games and made 25 starts over his six seasons.

After that, the roster holds little experience. Without counting the rookies added through the draft and college free agents, there are five blockers on the roster after those first six. Combined, Brian De La Puente, Edwin Harrison, Barry Richardson, Herb Taylor and Tavares Washington have played in 26 NFL games with one start; that came when Taylor filled in for an injured Albert at LT early in the ‘08 season. Breaking it down further, among those 26 games played, only nine were on offense; the rest was special teams work.

“At this point I’m pretty satisfied but we’ve got to continue to keep going,” Pioli said after the draft. “That’s the thing: anytime you think your football is set and your roster is set that’s when things start to creep up on you. There’s a lot of ground to cover.”

That ground likely would include more experience among the catchers and blockers.