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06-20-2009, 09:19 PM
Players on Longer Season …Weekend Cup O’Chiefs (http://www.bobgretz.com/chiefs-football/players-speak-on-longer-season-%E2%80%A6weekend-cup-o%E2%80%99chiefs.html)
June 20, 2009 - Bob Gretz |


From America’s Highways & Byways

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell wants to expand the NFL’s regular-season schedule.

Goodell wants 17 or 18 games, rather than the current 16 that has been the league’s schedule since the 1978 season.

Chiefs veteran RG Mike Goff answered a question with his own question when asked about the expanded schedule.

“Has the Commissioner ever played 16 games in a season?” the 12-year veteran asked.

When told Goodell had never played pro football, Goff scratched his beard and shook his head.

“I don’t know what the answer is, but at some point it’s too much,” Goff said.

That reflected many of the comments from other veteran players in the Chiefs locker room who were asked about the possibility of a longer regular season. At the NFL meetings back in March, Goodell floated the idea of expanding the regular-season schedule to either 17 or even possibly 18 games. The Commissioner has said the time-frame would remain the same as today’s 21 weeks for four pre-season games, 16 regular season games and a bye week.

The NFL went to 12 games in 1947, bumped it to 14 games in 1961 and then 16 games in 1978. The American Football League began play in 1960 with 14 games.

Most of the veteran Chiefs had only heard sketchy reports of the idea over the lasts couple months. But most do not like the idea.

“I don’t know enough about the situation right now to say much about it,” said WR Bobby Engram, the oldest player on the Chiefs roster at 36 years of age and in his 14th season in the league.

“Two extra weeks is pretty tough. I say cut two pre-season games and keep it the way it is.”

Another soon to be 36-year old, 14-year veteran agreed with Engram.

“There is a point where it’s too much,” said LB Zach Thomas. “I don’t know what that point is. I don’t know if it’s 17 or 18 games, or if we’ve already found it at 16 games. I love the game of football, but there’s only so much the body can take and there’s only so much that the mind can overcome with the body.

“I’m not sure I understand why we would need more games.”

The idea is money, pure and simple. More regular season games would provide more programming that the league can sell to the TV networks. It’s the only reason for the move. If pre-season games were eliminated, teams would not make any more money at the gate, since they generally charge the same for a pre-season game as they do a regular-season contest. There’s no great inequity that more games would settle in the standings.

“If they are going to pay us to play those extra games, then I’m sure some players would be for the idea,” said S Jon McGraw, an eight-year veteran. “But if they just want to keep the money what it is today and divide it by 1/17th or 1/18th instead of what they do now, then I don’t think you are going to find many players supporting the idea.”

C Rudy Niswanger is one of the team’s assistant player representatives, sharing those duties with McGraw. Brian Waters serves as the team’s player rep. He says as long as the extended season is negotiated with the NFL Players Association, he doesn’t think it’s necessarily a bad idea.

“If they determine they want to play more games and pay us accordingly, then good,” said Niswanger. “I’m still a young guy and I don’t have all the aches and pains that more veteran players have. Talk to me in about six years and I would have a different answer for you.”

Ten-year veteran OT Damion McIntosh thinks the expanded season would hurt a lot of young players if there were fewer pre-season games for them to show their stuff.

“To me, I think 16 feels like plenty, unless you are adding more teams into the league,” McIntosh said. “I know pre-season is a necessary evil because you have so many young players trying to make a squad and you only have so much time to evaluate them. In my opinion I think we have enough. All it does is make the season longer; there’s nothing that needs to be corrected as far as the way the league is arranged or the season and making the playoffs.”

Goff did the math in his head, with 18 regular season games and then potential for the Super Bowl teams to play 22 games that count.

“The furthest I’ve made it during a season was the AFC Championship Game, and from a physical standpoint, I know how my body felt then,” Goff said of going to the conference title game after the 2007 season with the Chargers.

“It hurt. It’s one of those things that were at that point you are operating strictly on adrenalin. Your body is beat up; everybody’s body is beat up. We had a quarterback playing on one knee (Phillip Rivers) and a running back without a groin (LaDainian Tomlinson) and a tight end who didn’t have a toe (Antonio Gates). From a physical standpoint, it’s going to be tougher.”


The GM is out of town. So is the head coach. They are on vacation.

But that doesn’t mean things stop around the Chiefs offices just because the big boys are digging their toes in the sand. Friday, the team announced four roster cuts: LS Thomas Gafford, DT T.J. Jackson, WR C.J. Jones and LB Darrell Robertson.

Gafford became the Chiefs deep snapper last year when J.P. Darche suffered a knee injury that ended his season. Gafford was inconsistent on his snaps last season over nine games. It was hard to judge from the OTA and mini-camp work done in the public eye if Gafford had problems. But his release right now is good news for Tanner Purdum out of Baker. Right now he’s the only snapper on the roster; that doesn’t guarantee him a job, but it gives him a head start on everybody else.

Jackson was running with the third team defense on the nose. He’s a bit under-sized for that spot at just six-feet tall. He was on the active roster for four games last season, before he ended up on the IR list due to a knee injury.

Smith showed little in the practice sessions; same with Robertson, who was working with the third-team defense at outside linebacker. Both Smith and Robertson had previous stints with New England.

The Chiefs have 81 players on the roster right now. Right now, the team’s draft choices do not count against that number because they’ve not announced any contract agreements. But t he moves may be an indication that they are getting ready to sign some of their eight choices.

Stories have circulated that seventh-round kicker Ryan Succop has agreed to terms with the team on a three-year, $1.21 million deal with a $25,000 signing bonus. The Chiefs have not made annoucement. Agents for several of the other draft choices said late this week they’ve had no offers and no discussions with the Chiefs about their clients.

Once the draft picks are all signed, the Chiefs can have just 80 players on their roster.


BUCCANEERS – signed seventh-round draft choice WR Sammie Stroughter; released C B Evan McCullough, LB Jamall Johnson and WR Amari Jackson.

CARDINALS – signed fourth-round draft choice CB Greg Toler.

CHARGERS – signed fifth-round draft choice CB Brandon Hughes.

GIANTS – signed seventh-round draft choice CB Stoney Woodson.

RAMS – awarded OT Renardo Foster on waivers (Falcons).

RAVENS – signed fifth-round draft choice LB Jason Phillips.

SEAHAWKS – signed seventh-round draft choice TE Cameron Morrah.

STEELERS – signed seventh-round draft choice TE David Johnson.


June 20

Born on June 20, 1935 in Alliance, Ohio was Hall of Fame QB Len Dawson. He joined the Dallas Texans in 1962 after five years in the NFL as a backup for Pittsburgh and Cleveland. Dawson spent 14 seasons with the Texans-Chiefs and finished his career as the franchise’s leading passer in just about every statistical category. He played in 183 games, with 158 starts. Len was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1987.

Born on June 20, 1963 in Baltimore was OT Brian Jozwiak. He was a first-round choice in the 1986 NFL Draft out of West Virginia. Jozwiak played in 28 games, with two starts over three seasons (1986-88).

Born on June 20, 1975 in Los Angeles was RB Rashaan Shehee. He was a third-round choice in the 1998 NFL Draft out of Washington. Shehee played in 25 games, with five starts over two seasons (1998-99.) He carried the ball 87 times for 295 yards and a touchdown and caught 28 passes for 209 yards.

06-22-2009, 12:40 AM
The players do have a point. I can only imagine how their bodies feel after 16 Reg. season games, much less 18.

06-22-2009, 05:14 AM
18 games that count before you even get to the playoffs is a bit much...but since they would be dropping 2 pre-season games, it wouldn't cost more for season tickets, so the fans wouldn't care. I dunno, it does seem a bit excessive.

06-22-2009, 06:07 AM
There are more games in a season than I can watch now. Sometimes there are three good games at once. Sometimes there are none on I want to see. If it's about the money, and the NFL always seems to be about the money. Don't you have enough already? Seriously, your biggest problems in the NFL are caused because of too much money.

06-22-2009, 06:18 AM
The schedule has a nice balance to it with the 16 games. Adding 2 more games will create unbalanced situations where one team could get a serious competitive advantage from playing a weaker team those extra weeks.

dirk digler
06-22-2009, 06:22 AM
I am actually with the players on this one. 16 games is perfect no need to change it.

06-22-2009, 08:39 AM
Im for dropping 2 preseason games, and adding two more regular season games. That way they dont have to go two more weeks, they stay on the same schedule, and everyone is happy.

06-22-2009, 08:44 AM
If they go to 18 games, they better expand the roster to allow for more depth.

06-22-2009, 08:47 AM
If they go to 18 games, they better expand the roster to allow for more depth.

That is a good point. I agree there. Say maybe 58-60?