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Old 08-16-2006, 02:07 AM  
keg in kc keg in kc is offline
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Merrill: On the Clock

On the clock

Chiefs defensive tackle Junior Siavii knows time is running out if heís to make it in the NFL.

By ELIZABETH MERRILL
The Kansas City Star

RIVER FALLS, Wis.

As a cool end-of-camp breeze swept through this sleepy college town, Junior Siavii ran. He lined up on the thin white sideline, raced to the old wooden press box with the beer sign, then pointed his feet back to nowhere.

Whistles blew on another field. In some ways, Siavii has always been out there alone, running from his past, swatting at the wind. Good luck at camp, the text message read three weeks ago. Steve Greatwood, his old college position coach at Oregon, didnít know Junior wasnít practicing.

Earlier this summer, they talked on the phone for an hour and agreed this was a make-or-break year. If Siavii was ever going to live up to the hype, the second-round pick in the 2004 draft, heíd have to impress in training camp.

Siavii walked off the field again Tuesday, his knee hurting, the clock hands moving. He wonít acknowledge what others at Kansas Cityís training camp are thinking ó that he might not make the team.

ďI think itís a big year for me,Ē Siavii said. ďThis is supposed to be my year. Thereís a lot of things slowing me down. Iím just saying itís not over yet. Iíve still got a shot.Ē

There is so much Junior Siavii wants to say. That heís sorry. That he wants a new start. He ran a giant paw through his buzz-cut hair. He shaved it before camp ó heíd grown it out for nine years ó because it was time for a change.

He ran to the sideline 13 times, then grabbed his pads off the grass. Most of the team was gone.

The Chiefs play their second preseason game on Thursday night at New York, and itís the second chance for coach Herm Edwards to evaluate those on the cusp of making the roster. Siavii probably wonít be in the lineup.

Once a 6-foot-5, 330-pound super-size Samoan sensation, Siavii is now a cautionary tale with a balky knee, a mystery man who conjures up images of spit hoods and untapped potential. Just when it looked as if Siavii had grown up and paid the price for a night of wilding in Minnesota last year, his knee gave out early in the 2005 season.

Siavii says he still hasnít fully recovered from that injury, but his survival instincts tell him he needs to be back on the field. Theyíre the same instincts that helped him rise from a de facto indentured servant to an NFL defensive lineman. Itís the same untrusting exterior that wonders what trouble is lurking around the corner.

ďWhen everythingís going good,Ē Siavii said, ďsomething bad always happens. The knee, the incident that happened in Minnesota Ö Iím not using it as an excuse, but Iíve just got to change it all. Iíve got to make better judgments.

ďIím more of a homebody now. I stay at home, go to work, go to the movies. Thatís it. I donít want people to pity me because of my background and where Iím from. But donít sleep on me. Yeah, I havenít been playing much. But donít sleep on me. Donít take me for granted.Ē

Greatwood worried about Siavii when he packed up for Kansas City in the summer of 2004. For two years, Siavii had finally found happiness. In Eugene, he was home. He came to America from Pago Pago, American Samoa, brought over by a man who claimed to have connections with the University of Utah football program. Siavii spent his days in a warehouse folding T-shirts, not playing football.

He eventually fled, scrimped to put food in his mouth, and landed at Oregon. Every time it seemed football would lead him to happiness, he wound up in trouble.

ďHeís always been kind of a street-smart guy,Ē Greatwood said. ďHeís had to be. As far as the workings of society and how to carry yourself, there was a lot of growing up to do with him. I donít know if heís still a finished product. If youíve talked to him, you know he has a hard time expressing himself.

ďBut when you break down those walls to the inner core, there is a good person there. He can put on a rough exterior, but deep down, the guy wants to express himself, and he does it very well sometimes.Ē

Siavii has had a hard time developing any reputation on the football field. He played in 12 games as a rookie, with 12 tackles, one sack and three quarterback pressures. Last year, he managed just 14 tackles and a fumble recovery. Siavii said he played hurt for much of the year, and he finally found relief with an offseason knee scope.

But his progress has been slow, and legal battles dogged him much of the 2005 season. In the early-morning hours of Aug. 14, 2005, a rare night off in camp, Minneapolis police were called to a disturbance at a posh hotel. Siavii assaulted a doorman, and police restrained him by placing a spit hood over his head.

Siavii called the incident ďstupidity on my part.Ē He apologized to Chiefs president/general manager Carl Peterson. He wished he wouldíve done more.

ďIíve wanted to apologize to the organization, especially to Kansas City,Ē Siavii said. ďItís my fault how it happened, and Iím sorry. I never got a chance to apologize. Nobody ever asked me about it. I hope they forgive me.Ē

The Chiefs traded down and got an extra second-round draft pick in 2004, and Siavii was the first one called. He was considered a raw prospect, an ascending force who had 30 solo tackles and two sacks his senior year.

Peterson said he knew there were risks in drafting Siavii. ďEvery year you draft somebody, itís a risk,Ē he said.

ďHe just hasnít been able to put it together. You feel bad for a guy like that, but youíve got to make decisions and move on. We havenít made any decisions yet, but theyíre coming.Ē

Thatís why Siavii is running. He vows to be practicing full speed next week. He wonít allow himself to believe that itís over.

ďIf I didnít think I could perform, I wouldnít be out there right now,Ē Siavii said. ďIíd be sitting inside or something. To me, itís a lot of mental problems going on right now because Iím hurt. I just have to overcome it.

ďI donít know Ö I want to say so much, but I canít. I want to come out here and perform, thatís it. I just want to play.Ē
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Old 08-16-2006, 02:17 AM   #2
pr_capone pr_capone is offline
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Oh noes!

He had a tough life?

His knee is hurt?

RUB SOME DIRT IN IT AND MOVE THE **** ON.

He has been a drag economically as well as a drag on the team itself.

He has been paid but services have not been rendered.

CUT HIS ASS.
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Old 08-16-2006, 02:19 AM   #3
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Old 08-16-2006, 02:34 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by keg in kc
The Chiefs traded down and got an extra second-round draft pick in 2004, and Siavii was the first one called.
Good to see Liz really researched this piece.
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Old 08-16-2006, 02:36 AM   #5
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Old 08-16-2006, 03:32 AM   #6
el borracho el borracho is offline
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Looks like he finally 'gets it' but his body isn't going to cooperate. What a drag for him and for us. I wonder if any other team will try to get something out of him?

And on the topic of second round DT busts, what's going on with Freeman? I thought we had signed him again but he is never mentioned anywhere. Is he still around or has he been cut already?
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Old 08-16-2006, 05:08 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by el borracho
Looks like he finally 'gets it' but his body isn't going to cooperate. What a drag for him and for us. I wonder if any other team will try to get something out of him?

And on the topic of second round DT busts, what's going on with Freeman? I thought we had signed him again but he is never mentioned anywhere. Is he still around or has he been cut already?
Of course if you read anything from Sims you would think he finally got it as well, and look at his play...

It is hard to come back from a case of the lazy when it has been plaguing him his entire NFL career.
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Old 08-16-2006, 08:15 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fatass
I think itís a big year for me. This is supposed to be my year. Thereís a lot of things slowing me down. Iím just saying itís not over yet. Iíve still got a shot.
Newsflash, Junior! Good things just don't automatically happen because you expect them to happen!

Siavii is totally right on the rest of the article, though. His ass IS gone unless something miraculous happens, and that's what I don't think he realizes.
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Old 08-16-2006, 08:24 AM   #9
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Old 08-16-2006, 08:32 AM   #10
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Actually, I'm surprised to read his stats in terms of tackles and pressures. I'm not trying to be a jerk, but I would've never guessed that he was getting 12 to 14 tackles per year with the very limited playing time he's had. Didn't Dalton only get about 15 to 20 last year playing full time?
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Old 08-16-2006, 08:35 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by el borracho
Looks like he finally 'gets it' but his body isn't going to cooperate. What a drag for him and for us. I wonder if any other team will try to get something out of him?

And on the topic of second round DT busts, what's going on with Freeman? I thought we had signed him again but he is never mentioned anywhere. Is he still around or has he been cut already?
Freeman was cut before over a month ago.
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Old 08-16-2006, 08:41 AM   #12
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Old 08-16-2006, 09:25 AM   #13
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Old 08-16-2006, 09:38 AM   #14
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Terdell Sands was on the Raiders sideline the other night, I suspect we'll see Siavii land with another club before his career is over.
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Old 08-16-2006, 09:40 AM   #15
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Who did we take with our other 2nd round pick that we got for moving down and taking Siavii??

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