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View Full Version : Chiefs King's MMQB: Winston on the experience of getting cut/getting signed.


Direckshun
03-26-2012, 08:05 AM
http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2012/writers/peter_king/03/26/meetings/2.html

What it feels like to have your world turned upside down.

I asked new Kansas City tackle Eric Winston, who was unexpectedly cut by Houston and signed a four-year deal with the Chiefs, to write a short piece about what happens when a veteran player gets whacked and has to find a new home. His thoughts:

"The general manager needs to see you" is about the worst thing any professional athlete can hear. Very seldom does any good, at least in the short term, come of it. Around this time of year, as well as the end of August, pro football players hear it too much. When it happened to me the day before free agency began, a few things ran through my mind. They can't be calling to cut me, I thought. But I also doubt that they would call me to the stadium to ask me how my trip overseas to see the troops went.

So I became a statistic. One day before my wife and I were set to leave on an anniversary vacation -- and three days after my return from Afghanistan visiting the troops -- I was called into coach Gary Kubiak's office so he could tell me that they were experiencing problems with the salary cap, had to make some tough decisions, and were therefore releasing me. After that meeting, I got to go see Texans general manager Rick Smith. In all fairness, I appreciate the way the Texans' organization handled it. They didn't tell me over the phone, let me find out through a media release, or hand me off to one of their subordinates to deliver the bad news.

So I was off to free agency for the first time in my career, to Miami and Kansas City. Fortunately for me, I have put together quality tape, and my agent started receiving calls as soon as I was officially available. We immediately started whittling down the list to teams that wanted to bring me in for visits.

These visits for teams are used primarily to give the player a physical and for you to sign off on the team so they can get your medical records and also for you to meet the coaches and see the facility. For obvious financial reasons these teams want to know about every injury and take new X-rays of nearly your entire body just to make sure there isn't anything new to find. After the half-day worth of doc visits, an intern drives you to the facility to follow up with the coaches and to see the facility. It doesn't quite compare to college recruiting; there's not nearly as much hand-holding and kissing up. While all of this is going on, your agent and the GM or team negotiator are talking numbers and seeing about a deal.

Kansas City was aggressive from the start. When a team schedules a visit, you usually receive a call from the general manager, head coach or position coach telling you how excited they are that you are coming in and how interested they are in you. With the Chiefs, I received calls from all three of them. They made it clear that I was a priority and that I needed to make sure that I got on the plane from Miami and make it to Kansas City.

When I met with Chiefs GM Scott Pioli, I got a little surprise. I had mentioned at dinner the previous night that when I came out in the draft in 2006, I didn't think the Patriots (where he was working at the time) liked me when I was entering the draft. Scott started laughing out loud and said, "No way, we liked you a lot.'' So the next day he showed me my Patriots psychological evaluation from 2006. To my surprise, it was very complimentary of me and was actually pretty spot on. I thought it was kind of crazy that someone could talk to me for 30 minutes and in that short time sum up what kind of player, worker and overall teammate I would be. Scott said that this is just one of the reasons why he wanted me. He went on to say that winning wasn't just about getting guys that could play, it was about getting high-character guys who come to work every day and were willing to grind.

Obviously that is always nice to hear, but more importantly for me, it let me know that the Chiefs were going to follow a formula that I believe is the only way to be successful for a long time in the NFL. Draft guys who can do it on the field, but also guys who are fun to be around, work hard and care about things like practice and trying to get better every day. Needless to say, I was sold on the fact that the Chiefs not only had a good chance to be a strong team next year, but for years to come.

But I needed to know where I'd fit in the offense. When I spoke with the coaches I was pleasantly surprised. The head coach, Romeo Crennel, has a great reputation around the league. Knowing that a new offense was being installed had me wondering what kind of offense would be coming in. The offensive coordinator, Brian Daboll, has traditionally run more of a "power or gap" blocking scheme and the line coach, Jack Bicknell Jr., who just came over from the Giants, has done the same. Now, I feel like I could be successful in any scheme, but I really have grown to love running the zone scheme and understand it well. So going in I wasn't expecting to hear that the Chiefs would run a zone-blocking scheme, but that's exactly what I heard. That was like icing on the cake to what had been an already positive visit. I spent one more night in Kansas City and we worked out a contract to make me a Chief for the next four years.

Single guys can make a move like this easily. But having a family, and moving a wife, a 10-year-old daughter with plenty of friends and a 6-month-old son is another matter. To make it easy to understand for my daughter, I told her I had gotten traded to the Chiefs. She said, "Really?" (Which, of course, if you have kids, you know that's not a rhetorical question.)

"Who did you get traded for?'' my daughter asked.

I laughed, then came clean about getting released. She had a better understanding about the NFL than I thought, and certainly better than when I was her age.

In many ways, football's the easy part when it comes to switching teams. The life stuff is more difficult. Do we sell our house in Houston that we spent so much time making our own? Rent or buy in KC? How long will we really be there for? Will my kids adjust to the new part of the country? Will my wife have good friends on the new team? The questions linger.

I'm definitely not asking you to feel sorry for me. We get paid a lot of money to play a great game, but I am just trying to bring you into what is presently going on in my uncertain world right now. Plenty of guys around the league didn't get a four-year contract. Many of them got a one-year deal and will be facing the same visits and the same questions again -- if they're lucky. Each player's career is so fragile. Just look at Peyton Manning, maybe the best ever, is now on a different team after not playing last year when he injured his neck. The roller coaster ride that is the NFL doesn't stop at the end of the season. For most players, it's just begun.

L.A. Chieffan
03-26-2012, 08:14 AM
Cool article done from that perspective. The guy sounds pretty intelligent so easy to understand why he likes Cassel so much.

Molitoth
03-26-2012, 08:19 AM
Nice read.

Extra Point
03-26-2012, 08:20 AM
What else did Pioli copy from the Pats?

RippedmyFlesh
03-26-2012, 08:22 AM
Outside of QB RT was easily the worst position on offense.
Now it is easily the most solid spot on the oline and that isn't bashing Albert.
I just think Winston is top 5 at his position while Albert is fine by me but I don't think would be rated as high.

yeti
03-26-2012, 08:44 AM
His 10 year old daughter seems pretty smart. Maybe she can tell her dad to go all BRich for a play and let Cassel's head get knocked off.

CaliforniaChief
03-26-2012, 08:53 AM
Pioli really did a masterful job with getting Winston here and signing him.

htismaqe
03-26-2012, 09:06 AM
Pioli really did a masterful job with getting Winston here and signing him.

It speaks to how good he can be at getting the guys he WANTS.

If only he didn't WANT Matt Cassel.

HemiEd
03-26-2012, 09:09 AM
Good read, you have to like this guy.

Interesting that Pioli showed him an actual Patriots evaluation, I would think that might be a little unethical to take that with him. At least remove the Patriots identification on it.

Bowser
03-26-2012, 09:34 AM
Scott: "He remembers me from the Patriots! I MUST HAVE THIS PLAYER ON MY TEAM!!"

T-post Tom
03-26-2012, 09:46 AM
Excellent post! Kudos to Pioli and Winston for getting the deal done!

Cave Johnson
03-26-2012, 09:47 AM
Zone blocking, f yeah.

mcaj22
03-26-2012, 09:53 AM
It speaks to how good he can be at getting the guys he WANTS.

If only he didn't WANT Matt Cassel.



this is so depressing to think that this actually could be true.

Direckshun
03-26-2012, 09:55 AM
Yeah I think htis is locked in on that one. Good call.

suds79
03-26-2012, 09:55 AM
Zone blocking, f yeah.

Yep. Like it. It's what he excelled at and I like the idea of giving Jamaal lots of space and letting his instincts decide where to go.

Fritz88
03-26-2012, 09:55 AM
Will my wife have good friends on the new team? The questions linger.

I can be a good friend.

Rain Man
03-26-2012, 10:00 AM
Good read, you have to like this guy.

Interesting that Pioli showed him an actual Patriots evaluation, I would think that might be a little unethical to take that with him. At least remove the Patriots identification on it.


Yeah, pretty impressive read. He sounds like a guy we really want on our team.

And the Patriots' psych report jumped out at me, too. Was he allowed to take that stuff? Let's hope we don't get in trouble with the league or anything. But hey, Belichick owes us one for trading Cassel to us, so maybe he'll let it go.

Rain Man
03-26-2012, 10:01 AM
I can be a good friend.


Joe Horn has already left her three voice mails. He's willing to fly in every time the Chiefs have a road game.

Chiefnj2
03-26-2012, 10:19 AM
"It doesn't quite compare to college recruiting; there's not nearly as much hand-holding and kissing up."

That's the difference between being a RT and a skills position. Jerry Jones had the private plane waiting for Carr.

SNR
03-26-2012, 10:50 AM
I can be a good friend.I wouldn't. She's ugly. If most of the women you've banged aren't hotter than her then you're a sad dope /Setsuna

qabbaan
03-26-2012, 11:41 AM
That was interesting but it seems atypical of a player who is cut. He was lucky enough to find immediate interest. It must be tough for a player who is hanging out there and has to make a team in camp or doesn't know where or if he might be able to land somewhere. That would be an interesting diary.

Dave Lane
03-26-2012, 11:57 AM
That was interesting but it seems atypical of a player who is cut. He was lucky enough to find immediate interest. It must be tough for a player who is hanging out there and has to make a team in camp or doesn't know where or if he might be able to land somewhere. That would be an interesting diary.

Day 17 still no calls from my agent or any football teams that sucks. Day 97 finally got a call from my agent have a chance to go to the Denver Broncos looks like thats all I'll get. I think I'll pass.

Direckshun
03-26-2012, 11:58 AM
That was interesting but it seems atypical of a player who is cut. He was lucky enough to find immediate interest. It must be tough for a player who is hanging out there and has to make a team in camp or doesn't know where or if he might be able to land somewhere. That would be an interesting diary.

Wallace Gilberry ‏ @Gilberry92
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It just dawned on me that I don't have a job damn guess I'll go fill out some applications tomorrow who's #hiring

HolyHandgernade
03-26-2012, 12:07 PM
That was a fun article, very insightful 10 year old! Glad to have this guy aboard.

Canofbier
03-26-2012, 12:14 PM
I would imagine that Pioli played a pretty large part in writing up that psych report on Winston, considering that he was the director of player personnel back in New England, so it's not as if he's completely stolen the information. Whether or not it's sketchy that he took it with him is a matter of what's standard in the league.

Either way, this was a very neat read. It's not often that we Chiefs fans get a look into the workings of our team's organization, and it's good to see that they really pulled out all the stops for a player that will be so important for the team.

TEX
03-26-2012, 12:24 PM
That was a fun article, very insightful 10 year old! Glad to have this guy aboard.

He called into SportsRadio 610 in Houston while he was going through his visits in Miami and KC and called in after he signed. The more you get to know Eric, the more you're really going to like him. He has outstanding work ethic, he's a great guy, very outgoing in the community, and very well spoken. He has a career in radio waiting for him after he's finished playing. He had his own segment on SportsRadio 610 in Houston.

BigRichard
03-26-2012, 12:52 PM
Slightly off topic but does anyone know if Stanzi, Quinn or any QB in the draft left handed?

tyton75
03-26-2012, 01:42 PM
First I have heard about Zone Blocking.. hope the young interior guys can pick it up quickly

Hog Farmer
03-26-2012, 01:57 PM
I hope he joins Chiefs Planet so Milkman can tell him he needs to shut the fuck up and block.

Sofa King
03-26-2012, 02:04 PM
Slightly off topic but does anyone know if Stanzi, Quinn or any QB in the draft left handed?

Cassel is left handed, they just haven't figured that out yet.

InChiefsHell
03-26-2012, 02:30 PM
Great read, thanks for posting. Honestly, Pioli is an enigma. Excellent marks on signing this guy...then there's Cassell.

You gotta figure he still thinks Cassell just needs a better line...

mlyonsd
03-26-2012, 02:35 PM
I found this interesting:

So the next day he showed me my Patriots psychological evaluation from 2006.

Did Scott copy all the patriot files on the way out or did he call them up and they sent it to him?

Seems peculiar to me.

Chocolate Hog
03-26-2012, 02:58 PM
Winston is already one of my favorite Chiefs. Seems like a very open and positive guy.

Nightfyre
03-26-2012, 03:13 PM
I found this interesting:



Did Scott copy all the patriot files on the way out or did he call them up and they sent it to him?

Seems peculiar to me.

As with all psychological reports, Pioli just has a good template he uses on free agents with a bunch of ambiguous nice things to say. He just has to find/replace the name and print a copy.

mlyonsd
03-26-2012, 04:38 PM
As with all psychological reports, Pioli just has a good template he uses on free agents with a bunch of ambiguous nice things to say. He just has to find/replace the name and print a copy.Yeah it makes you wonder.

Pasta Giant Meatball
03-26-2012, 06:10 PM
He can't wait to hang out at Club Romeo!!!!/dumbasses

Groves
03-26-2012, 06:22 PM
So, a guy like this has to make sure that he doesn't end up holding the hot potato at the end. He needs a job when it's all said and done.

Does anyone ever straight up ask the GM, "What are your plans for the QB situation here, you know, the weak link?

Is that pretty much a sure fire way to not get signed, or could they chalk it up as "intellectually superior", and "gutsy"?

WhiteWhale
03-26-2012, 07:05 PM
I really like this signing, but I'm honestly starting to think that KC fans might be thinking Winston is something he's not.

Winston has had struggles in pass protection. Obviously vastly better than Richardson in every capacity, but he's not perfect.

http://hosted.stats.com/fb/playerstats.asp?id=7815&team=12

I get a feeling that this guy is gonna have one of those 4 pressure/2 sacks allowed games and KC fans are gonna turn on him in an instant.

Count Zarth
03-26-2012, 07:08 PM
Winston has had struggles in pass protection.

Yes, to the extent that he was the 11th ranked pass blocking OT last year. Out of 76 tackles. :rolleyes:

KCrockaholic
03-26-2012, 07:09 PM
First I have heard about Zone Blocking.. hope the young interior guys can pick it up quickly

what? we've run a zone blocking scheme for the last 2 or 3 years.

Red Beans
03-26-2012, 07:20 PM
I really like this signing, but I'm honestly starting to think that KC fans might be thinking Winston is something he's not.

Winston has had struggles in pass protection. Obviously vastly better than Richardson in every capacity, but he's not perfect.

http://hosted.stats.com/fb/playerstats.asp?id=7815&team=12

I get a feeling that this guy is gonna have one of those 4 pressure/2 sacks allowed games and KC fans are gonna turn on him in an instant.

I kindly ask that you refrain from shitting on cheesecake. Every player has his downside, but this guy was the very best tackle available, and skirting the upper levels of the position in the league.

I peg you for a glass half stupid kind of guy...

SNR
03-26-2012, 07:24 PM
BUT HE HAS BAD PASS PROTECTION

1. No, not really. He's an adequate pass protector. That's all we need. At least... it's all we SHOULD need. With Cassel it's a different story

2. We signed this guy for dirt cheap and he's already the best at his position in the NFL. And he's just in his prime years.

3. WTF are we supposed to do? Draft an overvalued LT in the first round and have him play RT? Take a chance and start a rookie from the middle rounds? Or have the best guy at his position in the NFL and save the picks for something else?

Hmmm.... what to do, what to do....

The Bad Guy
03-26-2012, 07:35 PM
what? we've run a zone blocking scheme for the last 2 or 3 years.

Not true.

They didn't run a zone blocking scheme under Muir.

They ran it under Bob Bicknell when he was hired with Gailey.

Count Zarth
03-26-2012, 07:37 PM
Not true.

They didn't run a zone blocking scheme under Muir.


Yes we did. We had two 290-pound interior linemen (Wiegmann and Lilja) and Asamoah is barely 3 bills. Albert had to lose weight.

We ran zone stretch and cutback plays out the ass the last two years.

sparkky
03-26-2012, 07:46 PM
nice read and a nice get too.
quality line men are always a commodity and I'm really surprised he signed here without shopping around more.

rtmike
03-26-2012, 10:10 PM
nice read and a nice get too.
quality line men are always a commodity and I'm really surprised he signed here without shopping around more.

Makes a person wonder?

There must have been lots of extra 0's in the contract.

Direckshun
03-26-2012, 10:39 PM
The guy is getting 20 million to play right tackle.

Sometimes it's that simple.

WhiteWhale
03-26-2012, 10:47 PM
Yes, to the extent that he was the 11th ranked pass blocking OT last year. Out of 76 tackles. :rolleyes:

Yeah man, I have access to PFF too. When you say he's '11th' ranked, reference what you're speaking of. It's a grade, not a fact. Grading is, and always will be, subjective. You really should stop treating it as an absolute source, and more of a qualified opinion. That's what it actually is. I've seen Wade Smith play and I've seen where PFF ranks him. Their grades are more than just flattering to Smith.

Again, Winston is a great player and I"m happy to have him, but he allowed 9 1/2 sacks in 2010. That's a lot. He's a good player and I"m happy he's here, but he has flaws and I think people may have unreasonable expectations. All I essentially said is that he's not perfect and boy look at the sandy vaginas. Wow what a thin skinned forum.

Count Zarth
03-26-2012, 10:52 PM
He didn't allow 9.5 sacks in 2010. The site you're using is unreliable.

PFF has him down for 8 sacks allowed in 2010 and 7 last year. That's an acceptable number.

You're ignoring the fact that his pressures allowed both years have been incredibly low. Only 18 in 2010 and 20 last season.

There are no questions about this guy as a pass blocker. It's not an area he struggles in, as you seem to think he does. He's one of the better pass blocking right tackles in the league. Giving up one sack every two games doesn't mean shit.

mcaj22
03-26-2012, 11:12 PM
ill take giving up one sack every two games versus Barry Richardson giving up 5 sacks A GAME.

WhiteWhale
03-26-2012, 11:22 PM
He didn't allow 9.5 sacks in 2010. The site you're using is unreliable.

PFF has him down for 8 sacks allowed in 2010 and 7 last year. That's an acceptable number.

You're ignoring the fact that his pressures allowed both years have been incredibly low. Only 18 in 2010 and 20 last season.

There are no questions about this guy as a pass blocker. It's not an area he struggles in, as you seem to think he does. He's one of the better pass blocking right tackles in the league. Giving up one sack every two games doesn't mean shit.

I believe what I said was "he has had troubles in protection". The difference is subtle but there.

Look it was more a comment on the level of expectation vs. the probable result... much like fans around this site bitched about and bashed flowers when he struggled early in the season. If you viewed it as something else, it's your hang-up.

Count Zarth
03-26-2012, 11:23 PM
You said

"Winston has had struggles in pass protection."

20 pressures a season does not equal struggling.

So, you're wrong.

WhiteWhale
03-26-2012, 11:36 PM
You said

"Winston has had struggles in pass protection."

20 pressures a season does not equal struggling.

So, you're wrong.

No, I'm not. You need to look at sacks + hits + sacks, because PFF doesn't give them credit for two on one play. That's how they grade PBE. If a guy allows a sack, it's not counted as a pressure. 30 pressures o hits and o sacks is BETTER than what Winston did... though not a likely line.

Also, I was speaking more of how he's prone to having some really bad games where he struggles. Similar to if I say "Flowers has had struggles with the deep ball". I'd like to think you're smart enough to know that's true in spite of the fact that Flowers is a damn good coverage CB and his grade on PFF reflects that.

Are you savvy, or do you just want to argue for the sake of arguing?

Count Zarth
03-26-2012, 11:56 PM
Sorry, there's no evidence that supports what you posted. None.

20 pressures and 7 sacks is not struggling. It's damn good.

Just admit you were wrong, looked at his sacks allowed, and thought it made him a guy who struggles in pass pro.

Count Zarth
03-26-2012, 11:58 PM
Also, you should retract this statement:

I was speaking more of how he's prone to having some really bad games where he struggles.

A quick glance at Winston's PFF page shows only two games in the red for pass blocking last season.

SNR
03-27-2012, 12:07 AM
I believe what I said was "he has had troubles in protection". The difference is subtle but there.

Look it was more a comment on the level of expectation vs. the probable result... much like fans around this site bitched about and bashed flowers when he struggled early in the season. If you viewed it as something else, it's your hang-up.Yeah, nothing but Flowers bashing around here. We all said he was a piece of shit. :rolleyes:

If Winston has a bad game, he'll hear about it. All players deserve to hear about it no matter who they are. I've seen fucking Patriots fans lash out at Belichick and Brady. It happens all the fucking time.

"KC fans will turn on him in an instant"

Whatever, farteater.

Bob Dole
03-27-2012, 06:23 AM
Why is everyone assuming that Pioli took the report when he left? It's just as reasonable to assume he picked up the damn phone and called the Pats and asked if they'd send it over.

Not everyone leaves scorched earth when they depart an employer.
Posted via Mobile Device

htismaqe
03-27-2012, 06:44 AM
Why is everyone assuming that Pioli took the report when he left? It's just as reasonable to assume he picked up the damn phone and called the Pats and asked if they'd send it over.

Not everyone leaves scorched earth when they depart an employer.
Posted via Mobile Device

It's also possible that he can recall large portions of his work with the Patriots from memory.

There's work that I've done 10 years ago that I could recall and write down - I didn't steal it from my former employer, they don't own my brain.

Pasta Giant Meatball
03-27-2012, 06:46 AM
He had it all written down on a Mr. Goodbar

htismaqe
03-27-2012, 06:46 AM
Not true.

They didn't run a zone blocking scheme under Muir.

They ran it under Bob Bicknell when he was hired with Gailey.

We also flirted with it when Solari was OC.

InChiefsHell
03-27-2012, 06:49 AM
It's also possible that he can recall large portions of his work with the Patriots from memory.

There's work that I've done 10 years ago that I could recall and write down - I didn't steal it from my former employer, they don't own my brain.

But he showed him the actual document, which I'm sure Pioli simply got from the Patriots front office. Or maybe he DOES keep that stuff that he does. Who knows.

the Talking Can
03-27-2012, 06:53 AM
a lot of variables in the sacks/pressure numbers

what was texans run/pass ratio vs kc?

what kind of drops/routes were they using vs kc?

my guess is that with a piece of shit QB like Cassel, our short drops and routes will make it easier on Winston...and we'll run the shit out of the ball

either way, he's still a massive upgrade

Pasta Giant Meatball
03-27-2012, 07:28 AM
He was absolutely the best option for the position.