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KcMizzou
04-24-2010, 10:30 PM
Some interesting thoughts from Marty.

Ignore if it's a repost. Or flame away, I don't care.


Chiefs’ draft shows they have learned importance of character
By KENT BABB
The Kansas City Star

Marty Schottenheimer tried it the other way. For years, he had assembled a team with solid citizens and talented players, almost always in that order.

Then Schottenheimer took a chance on a group of talented renegades. It was 1998. The former Chiefs coach abandoned a commitment to character, trading in his philosophy that the best teams are made up of determined and reputable people — even if they aren’t the NFL’s most talented players.

Schottenheimer was chasing a Super Bowl. He built a Chiefs team with skills and swagger, and Schottenheimer believed that a team this talented could win without humility, class or restraint.

“We had more than our share of guys who had some issues,” Schottenheimer said Saturday. “I believed that, hey, I can manage these guys. I did to some degree. But at what expense?”

A team that could have contended for a championship instead finished 7-9. The season was stained by on- and off-field incidents, including a nasty scene during a nationally televised game now known as the “Monday Night Meltdown.” That season was enough to drive Schottenheimer out of coaching — at least temporarily — and teach him a lesson that others took notice of, too.

A dozen years later, the Chiefs are going to extreme lengths to avoid the mistake Schottenheimer and others have made. By the time the NFL draft concluded Saturday afternoon, they had selected seven players, seeming to emphasize character and its long-term benefits more than talent alone.

Five of the Chiefs’ draft picks this year were team captains in college, and none came with the kind of personal baggage that the Chiefs might have overlooked in years past. The team instead constructed a draft class with behavior and leadership in mind — even if that meant the Chiefs didn’t address all their needs.

“The type of player that we’re looking for just so happens to be the type of person who could or would be a captain of a football team,” Chiefs general manager Scott Pioli said. “We went after good football players who have the right kind of makeup.

“Some of the guys we brought in here have very similar traits. This is not a new or unique way that we’re approaching our football team.”

It’s not necessarily foolproof, either. Others have tried this method without success, and an examination of the last 10 Super Bowl winners reveals a mix of teams that emphasized model citizens, others that won with second-chance players, and still others that won seemingly in spite of troubled players.

New England and Pittsburgh combined for five championships in the last decade. The Patriots won the Super Bowl after the 2004 season with running back Corey Dillon, whom the Bengals got tired of and traded away. The Steelers won two titles with quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, who has been at the center of two sexual assault allegations and whose judgment was questioned after a serious motorcycle wreck. Indianapolis, which emphasized character more than most teams, won one championship.

Pioli indicated Friday night, after it became clear the Chiefs were targeting players with clean backgrounds, that he wouldn’t be averse someday to adding a star player with a troubled past — but under two conditions: the player had learned from his mistakes, and the locker room was full of other quality people to help guide their new teammate.

Mark Collins believes in that strategy. He has seen it work. The former Chiefs defensive back was with the New York Giants when Lawrence Taylor was winning Super Bowls between arrests and failed drug tests. Collins said the Giants locker room contained enough character-driven players that they could overshadow Taylor’s misbehavior or even guide him toward becoming a better man.

“It does work,” said Collins, who won two Super Bowls with the Giants. “On the flipside of that, if you have … (several) guys who are bad character guys and are decent players, that can spread through your locker room and your team like a cancer.”

Schottenheimer brought Collins to Kansas City in 1994 to improve the Chiefs’ secondary, but also to help cleanse a locker room in danger of turning sour. One worrisome character was cornerback Dale Carter, who possessed Pro Bowl talent but dreadful judgment. Collins said he offered to mentor Carter, whom Collins said was receptive to help because of his accomplishments in New York. And for three years, Carter avoided trouble.

“A lot of that stuff stopped,” Collins said.

He said it was because, at least during the early 1990s, Schottenheimer believed in the healing powers of a locker room full of leaders. Then something changed. A year after the Chiefs went 13-3 in 1997, Schottenheimer and former GM Carl Peterson ushered in a new philosophy, that enough talent could trump moral fiber. And the Chiefs had talent: Tony Gonzalez, Derrick Thomas and Will Shields — but also Carter, Chester McGlockton and Andre Rison.

“I remember saying to Carl: ‘I can manage these guys,’ ” Schottenheimer said.

Instead, the Chiefs lost six in a row. Tempers boiled over during a November game at San Diego, when Thomas was flagged three times for personal fouls. He wasn’t the only one who found trouble. Thomas was suspended, and Wayne Simmons was released.

“I could not in my worst nightmare imagine the conduct that took place,” Schottenheimer said at the time.

He said Saturday that it’s because he abandoned his fundamental philosophy: that good people make the best teams. And Schottenheimer said the 1998 Chiefs didn’t have enough good people.

“I was spending so much time trying to manage those guys,” Schottenheimer said, “I forgot to coach the rest of the team.”

So the Chiefs spent this weekend passing on players that, at least in some ways, would have made sense and filled needs. They passed on Texas linebacker Sergio Kindle, who was arrested for DUI and later wrecked his car under mysterious circumstances. They ignored Penn State outside linebacker Navorro Bowman, who entered the draft facing character questions. They passed up suspended Oklahoma State wide receiver Dez Bryant in the first round to choose safety Eric Berry — whose character seemed to match his dazzling skills.

“Eric has the characteristics that we’re looking for,” Chiefs coach Todd Haley said. “You need leadership on any kind of team, and you can’t put a price tag on it.”

For his part, Schottenheimer said he learned the hard way in 1998 that a team simply cannot sacrifice character for even the most talent-packed roster. He said it’s a constant temptation, but it’s one that Schottenheimer and Collins said that smart coaches avoid.

“It doesn’t work,” Collins said. “You get what you get, and that’s what happened with Larry Johnson and some other players who came this way.”

Schottenheimer said the Chiefs’ most recent draft might not have packed the excitement it could have, but it will go a long way toward filling their locker room with the kind of people it lacked a dozen years ago.

“This is a game about people,” Schottenheimer said. “There’s a trust that develops among the players. The guy on my right and the guy on my left, the guy behind me, the guy in front of me — he’s going to do the job to the best of his ability.

“I’m not going to sit here and tell you that talent isn’t important, because it obviously is. But what you’re really looking for is the guy who is the very good player and the great person. When times get tough — and they always will — you can win with good people.”

Tribal Warfare
04-24-2010, 10:30 PM
Chiefs’ draft shows they have learned importance of character (http://www.kansascity.com/2010/04/24/1900599/chiefs-draft-shows-they-have-learned.html)
By KENT BABB
The Kansas City Star

Marty Schottenheimer tried it the other way. For years, he had assembled a team with solid citizens and talented players, almost always in that order.

Then Schottenheimer took a chance on a group of talented renegades. It was 1998. The former Chiefs coach abandoned a commitment to character, trading in his philosophy that the best teams are made up of determined and reputable people — even if they aren’t the NFL’s most talented players.

Schottenheimer was chasing a Super Bowl. He built a Chiefs team with skills and swagger, and Schottenheimer believed that a team this talented could win without humility, class or restraint.

“We had more than our share of guys who had some issues,” Schottenheimer said Saturday. “I believed that, hey, I can manage these guys. I did to some degree. But at what expense?”

A team that could have contended for a championship instead finished 7-9. The season was stained by on- and off-field incidents, including a nasty scene during a nationally televised game now known as the “Monday Night Meltdown.” That season was enough to drive Schottenheimer out of coaching — at least temporarily — and teach him a lesson that others took notice of, too.

A dozen years later, the Chiefs are going to extreme lengths to avoid the mistake Schottenheimer and others have made. By the time the NFL draft concluded Saturday afternoon, they had selected seven players, seeming to emphasize character and its long-term benefits more than talent alone.

Five of the Chiefs’ draft picks this year were team captains in college, and none came with the kind of personal baggage that the Chiefs might have overlooked in years past. The team instead constructed a draft class with behavior and leadership in mind — even if that meant the Chiefs didn’t address all their needs.

“The type of player that we’re looking for just so happens to be the type of person who could or would be a captain of a football team,” Chiefs general manager Scott Pioli said. “We went after good football players who have the right kind of makeup.

“Some of the guys we brought in here have very similar traits. This is not a new or unique way that we’re approaching our football team.”

It’s not necessarily foolproof, either. Others have tried this method without success, and an examination of the last 10 Super Bowl winners reveals a mix of teams that emphasized model citizens, others that won with second-chance players, and still others that won seemingly in spite of troubled players.

New England and Pittsburgh combined for five championships in the last decade. The Patriots won the Super Bowl after the 2004 season with running back Corey Dillon, whom the Bengals got tired of and traded away. The Steelers won two titles with quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, who has been at the center of two sexual assault allegations and whose judgment was questioned after a serious motorcycle wreck. Indianapolis, which emphasized character more than most teams, won one championship.

Pioli indicated Friday night, after it became clear the Chiefs were targeting players with clean backgrounds, that he wouldn’t be averse someday to adding a star player with a troubled past — but under two conditions: the player had learned from his mistakes, and the locker room was full of other quality people to help guide their new teammate.

Mark Collins believes in that strategy. He has seen it work. The former Chiefs defensive back was with the New York Giants when Lawrence Taylor was winning Super Bowls between arrests and failed drug tests. Collins said the Giants locker room contained enough character-driven players that they could overshadow Taylor’s misbehavior or even guide him toward becoming a better man.

“It does work,” said Collins, who won two Super Bowls with the Giants. “On the flipside of that, if you have … (several) guys who are bad character guys and are decent players, that can spread through your locker room and your team like a cancer.”

Schottenheimer brought Collins to Kansas City in 1994 to improve the Chiefs’ secondary, but also to help cleanse a locker room in danger of turning sour. One worrisome character was cornerback Dale Carter, who possessed Pro Bowl talent but dreadful judgment. Collins said he offered to mentor Carter, whom Collins said was receptive to help because of his accomplishments in New York. And for three years, Carter avoided trouble.

“A lot of that stuff stopped,” Collins said.

He said it was because, at least during the early 1990s, Schottenheimer believed in the healing powers of a locker room full of leaders. Then something changed. A year after the Chiefs went 13-3 in 1997, Schottenheimer and former GM Carl Peterson ushered in a new philosophy, that enough talent could trump moral fiber. And the Chiefs had talent: Tony Gonzalez, Derrick Thomas and Will Shields — but also Carter, Chester McGlockton and Andre Rison.

“I remember saying to Carl: ‘I can manage these guys,’ ” Schottenheimer said.

Instead, the Chiefs lost six in a row. Tempers boiled over during a November game at San Diego, when Thomas was flagged three times for personal fouls. He wasn’t the only one who found trouble. Thomas was suspended, and Wayne Simmons was released.

“I could not in my worst nightmare imagine the conduct that took place,” Schottenheimer said at the time.

He said Saturday that it’s because he abandoned his fundamental philosophy: that good people make the best teams. And Schottenheimer said the 1998 Chiefs didn’t have enough good people.

“I was spending so much time trying to manage those guys,” Schottenheimer said, “I forgot to coach the rest of the team.”

So the Chiefs spent this weekend passing on players that, at least in some ways, would have made sense and filled needs. They passed on Texas linebacker Sergio Kindle, who was arrested for DUI and later wrecked his car under mysterious circumstances. They ignored Penn State outside linebacker Navorro Bowman, who entered the draft facing character questions. They passed up suspended Oklahoma State wide receiver Dez Bryant in the first round to choose safety Eric Berry — whose character seemed to match his dazzling skills.

“Eric has the characteristics that we’re looking for,” Chiefs coach Todd Haley said. “You need leadership on any kind of team, and you can’t put a price tag on it.”

For his part, Schottenheimer said he learned the hard way in 1998 that a team simply cannot sacrifice character for even the most talent-packed roster. He said it’s a constant temptation, but it’s one that Schottenheimer and Collins said that smart coaches avoid.

“It doesn’t work,” Collins said. “You get what you get, and that’s what happened with Larry Johnson and some other players who came this way.”

Schottenheimer said the Chiefs’ most recent draft might not have packed the excitement it could have, but it will go a long way toward filling their locker room with the kind of people it lacked a dozen years ago.

“This is a game about people,” Schottenheimer said. “There’s a trust that develops among the players. The guy on my right and the guy on my left, the guy behind me, the guy in front of me — he’s going to do the job to the best of his ability.

“I’m not going to sit here and tell you that talent isn’t important, because it obviously is. But what you’re really looking for is the guy who is the very good player and the great person. When times get tough — and they always will — you can win with good people.”

Mr. Flopnuts
04-24-2010, 10:31 PM
By a nose.

Tribal Warfare
04-24-2010, 10:32 PM
rock, paper ,sissors...........

KcMizzou
04-24-2010, 10:39 PM
Rock.

ChiefaRoo
04-24-2010, 10:40 PM
Good article. I like Marty and Collins quotes. That 1998 team marked the end of an era in KC and all we got after that was a few years of great offense with no D and then,... hermanie.

Haley and Pioli are bringing KC back. So far so good. KC needs at least one more killer draft to compete at a high level and that's assuming Dorsey, Albert, Jackson et al become great players.

RedThat
04-24-2010, 10:41 PM
Good article.

One thing I believe, is, sometimes good character and excellent work ethic triumphs over talent and bad character.

I hope the Chiefs stick with their philosophy on drafting good charactered guys. It's a good way to go.

Douche Baggins
04-24-2010, 10:44 PM
We're good enough, we're smart enough, and gosh darn it, we're the right 53.

http://i44.tinypic.com/29giozk.jpg
(https://addons.mozilla.org/firefox/1174)

ChiefaRoo
04-24-2010, 10:45 PM
We're good enough, we're smart enough, and gosh darn it, we're the right 53.

http://i.imgur.com/jg21V.jpg (https://addons.mozilla.org/firefox/1174)

Can you believe that guy in your avatar is a sitting Senator from Minnesota?

HoneyBadger
04-24-2010, 10:48 PM
Character>Skill. It obviously wins super bowls.

BIG K
04-24-2010, 10:57 PM
Interesting read however, I recall the 'Melt down' where Thomas was flagged three times and Simmons released was against the Broncos, not the Chargers. Am I wrong? I believe Thomas at one point grabbed the face mask of Sharpe and threw him to the ground.

Mr. Flopnuts
04-24-2010, 10:57 PM
We're good enough, we're smart enough, and gosh darn it, we're the right 53.

http://i40.tinypic.com/2aak8bp.jpg
(https://addons.mozilla.org/firefox/1174)

LMAO Fucking win!

DeezNutz
04-24-2010, 11:02 PM
We're good enough, we're smart enough, and gosh darn it, we're the right 53.

http://i40.tinypic.com/2aak8bp.jpg
(https://addons.mozilla.org/firefox/1174)

ROFL

KCFalcon59
04-24-2010, 11:03 PM
Interesting read however, I recall the 'Melt down' where Thomas was flagged three times and Simmons released was against the Broncos, not the Chargers. Am I wrong? I believe Thomas at one point grabbed the face mask of Sharpe and threw him to the ground.

You're right it was the donkeys. However, DT throwing mush mouth around was total win. :D

KcMizzou
04-24-2010, 11:10 PM
Interesting read however, I recall the 'Melt down' where Thomas was flagged three times and Simmons released was against the Broncos, not the Chargers. Am I wrong? I believe Thomas at one point grabbed the face mask of Sharpe and threw him to the ground.You're right. I was at the game.

tk13
04-25-2010, 12:33 AM
I think an even bigger thing is just having guys who want to win. That doesn't mean they have to be boy scouts or captains or whatever... but it's something we don't mention. I'm sure there are guys drafted today that will just be happy to collect a paycheck. Regardless of how talented they are.

I think the whole culture of losing thing is very real. That's why we can bring in people who have been nothing but successful in life, they fail, then move on somewhere else and have success. It sounds crazy, but there's an extraordinary amount of people who fall into that category. It's amazing.

Interesting article though... what isn't mentioned is that they finally turned that thing around, dumped all those guys... and then Carl went and threw a giant wrench in it by 1) drafting LJ and 2) hiring Gunther a 2nd time. Neither guy was ever happy with being here and was in way too important of a role to be undermining everything.

ClevelandBronco
04-25-2010, 01:08 AM
...Mark Collins believes in that strategy. He has seen it work. The former Chiefs defensive back was with the New York Giants when Lawrence Taylor was winning Super Bowls between arrests and failed drug tests. Collins said the Giants locker room contained enough character-driven players that they could overshadow Taylor’s misbehavior or even guide him toward becoming a better man...

Jared Allen.

ClevelandBronco
04-25-2010, 01:11 AM
Can you believe that guy in your avatar is a sitting Senator from Minnesota?

There's nothing Minnesota could do politically that would surprise me.

johnny961
04-25-2010, 01:29 AM
Good article. And, I remember that season well. It was a mess with all the character issues.

'Hamas' Jenkins
04-25-2010, 01:29 AM
I'm going to invoke the principal of Moneyball again.

If everyone is moving to a 3-4, you shouldn't

If everyone is running a Tampa 2, WCO, or Zone Blitz, you shouldn't

If everyone is overvaluing less talented character guys, you shouldn't

No one said you have to be the 1998 Chiefs. But I'm trying to figure out why guys like Sergio Kindle, Terrance Cody, Everson Griffen, Ricky Sapp, or Cam Thomas are so poisonous.

Was this the deepest draft of sister fuckers in history? And if so, why didn't we take Washington, given the fact that Pioli busts a nut everytime one of his brothers in Miami or New England lets some scrub go.

'Hamas' Jenkins
04-25-2010, 01:30 AM
I think an even bigger thing is just having guys who want to win. That doesn't mean they have to be boy scouts or captains or whatever... but it's something we don't mention. I'm sure there are guys drafted today that will just be happy to collect a paycheck. Regardless of how talented they are.

I think the whole culture of losing thing is very real. That's why we can bring in people who have been nothing but successful in life, they fail, then move on somewhere else and have success. It sounds crazy, but there's an extraordinary amount of people who fall into that category. It's amazing.

Interesting article though... what isn't mentioned is that they finally turned that thing around, dumped all those guys... and then Carl went and threw a giant wrench in it by 1) drafting LJ and 2) hiring Gunther a 2nd time. Neither guy was ever happy with being here and was in way too important of a role to be undermining everything.

I'm gonna go with shitty drafting and paying the wrong players rather than LJ and Gunther.

tk13
04-25-2010, 01:40 AM
I'm gonna go with shitty drafting and paying the wrong players rather than LJ and Gunther.

Well obviously. But at the end of the day... even if you do everything else right it's a bad deal when your best player and rejected DC are commiserating and secretly hate everything. I'd give that about a 0% chance of working out.

'Hamas' Jenkins
04-25-2010, 01:43 AM
Well obviously. But at the end of the day... even if you do everything else right it's a bad deal when your best player and rejected DC are commiserating and secretly hate everything. I'd give that about a 0% chance of working out.

And where in the blue fuck are these reports of Gunther commiserating and hating everything that went down?

He's just an incompetent dumbass. There's a difference between being stupid and subversive.

tk13
04-25-2010, 02:12 AM
Really? It's late, I'm not going to look all that stuff up, haha. But he came back here under his own power, wasted 5 years of everyone's time, and has said... 1) he was hampered by not being allowed to hire his own assistant coaches 2) had to coach under an offensive minded head coach, then 3) spent three years running the Cover 2 under Herm when he really didn't want to at all and 4) was saddled with a bunch of rookies and that was never going to work.

Sure there's lots of other crap, but it all trickles down from there. When your own coaches who are actually designing gameplans and calling plays don't believe in what you're doing, you are effed. Totally dysfunctional.

tk13
04-25-2010, 02:25 AM
http://www.chiefsplanet.com/BB/showthread.php?t=200785

http://www.chiefsplanet.com/BB/showthread.php?t=134072

There, that's not the best, but that's more than nothing for now... I absolutely know there's more stuff than this... I remember an article about a conversation or two he had with LJ. I remember it, but I can't find it.

Fairplay
04-25-2010, 02:56 AM
Lets bring in Lawrence Phillips, i think he has changed his ways.

milkman
04-25-2010, 06:53 AM
Really? It's late, I'm not going to look all that stuff up, haha. But he came back here under his own power, wasted 5 years of everyone's time, and has said... 1) he was hampered by not being allowed to hire his own assistant coaches 2) had to coach under an offensive minded head coach, then 3) spent three years running the Cover 2 under Herm when he really didn't want to at all and 4) was saddled with a bunch of rookies and that was never going to work.

Sure there's lots of other crap, but it all trickles down from there. When your own coaches who are actually designing gameplans and calling plays don't believe in what you're doing, you are effed. Totally dysfunctional.

Cunther is/was an incompetent DC making excuses for his ineptitude.

He wasn't happy because he's a dumbass who doesn't know he's a dumbass.

boogblaster
04-25-2010, 07:09 AM
Well we couldn't draft girl-scouts ...

Douche Baggins
04-25-2010, 07:14 AM
Well we couldn't draft girl-scouts ...

We certainly tried to. We drafted someone who is 5-7, 165 pounds, and has long, beautiful braided hair. If there is a player who is closer to being female in the NFL, I haven't seen them.

http://i.imgur.com/CL07w.jpg (https://addons.mozilla.org/firefox/1174)