The Greatest Kansas City Chiefs, By the Numbers: #17

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Cue some vocal debate from the PARADE this morning. Steve Deberg is his childhood hero and Yo Murphy carries his family's namesake.Throw in some Dave Krieg and we've got a healthy debate planned for you this morning.

No Kansas City Chief currently wears #17 but WR Maurice Price was the last. I don't really feel like counting him though. He's no Yo Murphy that's for sure.

  • QB Pat Barnes (1997)
  • QB Steve Deberg (1988-1991)
  • WR Jack Ghehrke (1968)
  • QB Dave Krieg (1992-1993)
  • WR Yo Murphy (2002)
  • DB Fletcher Smith (1966-1967)
  • WR Richard Smith (2004)
  • WR Elmo Wright (1971-1974)

Drinking while studying, the first end zone dance and more after the jump...

QB Pat Barnes (1997)

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The Chiefs drafted Pat Barnes in the fourth round of the 1997 because he came from Steve Mariucci's Cal "west coast" offense. Naturally, Barnes would have been a good fit post Joe Montana and Steve Bono, two playres who played in the west coast offense in San Francisco earlier in their careers.

Alas, Barnes did not work out very well in the NFL. Perhaps this anecdote from a 1997 Sports Illustrated article could help shed light on his issues?

Is the No Fun League ready for Pat Barnes? This is an oversized kid who wrote several college papers his freshman year with 12-packs of beer beside his computer; who showed up tired for some games after late-night arguments with his girlfriend; who once took in a homeless man as a temporary roommate; and who tormented his parents, Colleen and John, with phone pranks in which he claimed to have crashed his car or landed in jail. "Pat has always been a little kid in a big body," Colleen says of her 6'4", 215-pound son. "An extra year of college would really benefit him because he's basically somewhat immature. He has grown up a lot the past two years, but maturation takes time."

It's a shame when quality young men like Pat Barnes don't make it in the NFL. Barnes never took an NFL snap and spent his football career in the NFL, CFL and the XFL.

QB Steve Deberg (1988-1991)

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When Steve Deberg came to Kansas City in 1988, it was only the midpoint of a 21 season career in the NFL, mostly as a backup. Deberg was on the 49ers when Joe Montana was brought in; a Bronco when John Elway was drafted' and finally a Tampa Bay Buc when Steve Young and Vinny Testaverde were on the team. Not exactly the easiest positions to step into a starting role.

Deberg's best years were with the Chiefs. In four seasons with the Chiefs, Deberg had a 57.8% completion rate; a 67:50 TD to INT ratio; and passed for nearly 12,000 yards. By far his best season was 1990, when he passed for 23 TDs and only four INTs. The Chiefs finished 11-5 that year and Deberg played with an exposed metal pin in his hand after breaking his pinky.

Deberg's long and successful career leaves him in the top 20 all-time in attempts, completions and passing yards. He was 31-20-1 as a Kansas City Chief.

WR Jack Ghehrke (1968)

What can you say about a guy who only played in two games forty years ago? Not a whole lot.

Ghehrke was drafted in the tenth round by the Chiefs in 1968. He left for Cincinnati in 1970 where he registed no stats and then on to Denver where he played ten games in the 1971 season and that was it for his career.

QB Dave Krieg (1992-1993)

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In two short seasons in KC, Dave Krieg went 13-8, starting the entire 1992 season before Joe Montana came on. Krieg relieved Montana in 6 games in the 1993 season. He passed for over 4,000 yards and had a 22:15 TD to INT ratio.

Krieg's time in KC was brief and it's the rest of his career that makes him a "dark horse", fan favorite to make the Hall of Fame. Check out these stats:

  • Ranks 10th in NFL career pass attempts (5,311)
  • Ranks 10th in NFL career completions (3,105)
  • Ranks 11th in NFL career passing yards (38,147)
  • Ranks 10th in NFL career passing touchdowns (261)
  • Ranks 11th in NFL wins by a starting quarterback (98)

Not too shabby, huh?

WR Yo Murphy (2002)

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When your first name is Llewellyn, you go by Yo.

Muphy's football career is interesting relative to a lot a of these guys because he spent significant time in the CFL before he came to the NFL. Murphy played in the CFL for seven seasons; then came to the NFL for a couple; then the XFL in 2001; then back to the NFL with the Rams and Chiefs in 2001-2002; and finally back to the CFL until 2007.

He hardly played in the NFL, registering no stats during his time in KC.

DB Fletcher Smith (1966-1967)

Smith played six years in the NFL, two of those in KC. In his second season with the Chiefs, Smith had 6 interceptions before heading to Cincinnati to end his career.

Smith is now a pretty big time NFL agent. His biggest client is Donovan McNabb. In January 2008, Fletcher started his own NFL agency.

WR Richard Smith (2004)

Smith was an undrafted free agent out of Arkansas in 2004. He was signed and brought back down to the practice squad a few times during the 2004, presumably for special teams play. He registered no stats for the Chiefs in his one season in the NFL.

WR Elmo Wright (1971-1974)

In his four seasons with the Kansas City Chiefs, Wright was a minor supplemental reciever. He had seasons of 26, 11, 16 and 13 catches. But his most lasting legacy is that he is reportedly the first player ever to perform an end zone touchdown dance

In 1969, Elmo Wright, an exuberant junior wide receiver for the University of Houston, started capping his touchdown receptions with celebratory moves.

That was recognized as the beginning of what is now a craze in the N.F.L.: the end-zone dance. Wright, still the Houston leader in career receiving yards (3,347), kept on dancing during a six-year N.F.L. career that began with the Kansas City Chiefs.

In his third year with the Chiefs, he caught a touchdown pass in a game on Nov. 18, 1973, against the Houston Oilers and celebrated with what some believe was the first end zone dance in N.F.L. history.

Now that's a legacy in the NFL.

***

Let's hash it out this morning. Who is the greatest Chief to wear #17?

Read more...

#1 - QB Warren Moon

#2 - K *** ****** 

#3 - K Jan Stenerud

#4 - P Nick Murphy

#5 - P Louie Aguiar

#6 - RB Warren McVea

#7 - QB Ron Jaworski

#8 - K Nick Lowery

#9 - QB Bill Kenney

#10 - QB Trent Green

#11 - QB Elvis Grbac

#12 - QB Rich Gannon

#13 - QB Steve Bono

#14 - Ed Podolak

#15 - QB Todd Collins

#16 - QB Len Dawson

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