|12-18-2007, 12:12 PM||#1|
Ring of Famer
Join Date: May 2003
Location: The Ville
Chiefs face reality, knowing end is near for some veterans
By ADAM TEICHER
The Kansas City Star
Many things about this wasted Chiefs season trouble Tony Gonzalez. Knowing that he will be a teammate for only two more weeks to close friend, locker-room neighbor and fellow tight end Jason Dunn is near the top of his list.
“I think about that every day,” Gonzalez said Monday. “If they get rid of (Dunn), that’s one of my best friends in life. It’s sad, but it’s part of the game.”
The final dismantling of what was as recently as two years ago a great offense will begin in two weeks, once the 4-10 Chiefs finish their season. Dunn, center Casey Wiegmann, guard John Welbourn and wide receiver Eddie Kennison probably will all play their final game for the Chiefs on Dec. 30 against the Jets in New York.
They will then join the previously departed Willie Roaf, Will Shields, Priest Holmes, Trent Green and Tony Richardson. Gonzalez and guard Brian Waters will next season be all that remains of an offense that was consistently among the NFL leaders in scoring and yardage.
Gonzalez took a moment to reflect on that Monday. Sad? Perhaps. But necessary?
Definitely. The Chiefs are on pace to score the fewest points in their history, the nine-game, strike-shortened 1982 season notwithstanding.
“I look at it all the time,” Gonzalez said. “I run those scenarios through my head. It can’t stay the same. That’s the thing. We have to do whatever it takes. It’s going to hurt some people’s feelings. It’s going to break up some relationships. It’s not going to happen any other way.
“Whatever they decide to do, I would think it’s in the best interests of the team, and at this point, that’s fine. After losing seven games in a row, I feel like, ‘Do whatever you’ve got to do, and I’ll get over it.’ ”
Gonzalez even threw himself into the discussion, saying the Chiefs should consider trading him if they believe the deal would make them stronger.
“I’ll put myself in that, too, if they wanted to, if they wanted to trade this older guy and get some good younger players and develop them,” Gonzalez said. “Why not? I’m not playing that much longer.”
Gonzalez, who signed a new long-term contract last winter, isn’t realistically going anywhere. Dunn, Wiegmann, Welbourn and Kennison are.
Dunn is often overlooked, but his powerful blocking was a key part of the Chiefs’ success in the running game. Wiegmann was a small but productive player who fit perfectly into an athletic offensive line.
Welbourn filled holes in the offensive line, first at tackle and this year at guard. Kennison was the Chiefs’ top wide receiver and gained more than 1,000 yards in both 2004 and 2005.
All lost their effectiveness this season and will be replaced. When they are, the old era will officially close with little to show for it but some gaudy statistics.
“I wouldn’t say we were a failure,” Kennison said. “We just didn’t accomplish what we wanted to accomplish. That doesn’t make anybody a failure.”
Kennison in January will be 35, an age considered elderly for his position. He missed all of six games this season and most of two others because of a pulled hamstring.
He has only 13 catches and 101 yards.
Those numbers probably won’t attract many contract offers, but Kennison said he intends to find out.
“I would love to finish my career here, but if I don’t, that won’t stop me from playing for somebody else,” he said. “I missed the first eight games because of a hamstring injury. I changed positions because they asked me to even though I had been putting up good numbers in my old position. So I sacrificed. I think people will see that.”
|12-18-2007, 12:28 PM||#3|
Join Date: Mar 2004
Apparently, Kennison's definition of failure differs from most professional athletes. Someone should point this "man" towards the definition of oxymoron.
They don't call him Quitterson for nothing.
What a great bargaining chip for his agent to bring with him when he visits with teams. "He only had a measley 13 catches and 101 yards last season because he sacrificed for the good of the team." That's classic.
|12-18-2007, 01:03 PM||#4|
Ring of Famer
Join Date: Jul 2006