Master Po: Close your eyes. What do you hear?
Young Caine: I hear the water, I hear the birds.
Master Po: Do you hear your own heartbeat?
Young Caine: No.
Master Po: Do you hear the grasshopper that is at your feet?
Young Caine: [looking down and seeing the insect] Old man, how is it that you hear these things?
Master Po: Young man, how is it that you do not?
Master Kan: Quickly as you can, snatch the pebble from my hand.
[Young Caine tries to do so and fails]
Master Kan: When you can take the pebble from my hand, it will be time for you to leave.
This year's Chiefs have challenged everyone, including myself. When I look back on this season, I think who are these guys! What happened to last year's team? Two words constantly come to mind -- player development. To me, its what's been missing with the Chiefs through all the coaching and scheme changes.
I see a vision, a plan, and some kind of strategy developing in what I read and what I see on the field. But mostly what I see is people who are here becoming better with each passing day. It reminds me what a good coach can mean to a player and a franchise.
I find myself looking at players I never knew existed and wondering about their potential for the future. Barry Richardson, Andy Studebaker, and Shaun Smith come to mind as players that made solid contributions to this team without much name or talent recognition going into this season. Especially Shaun Smith. That guy is the perfect example of what this organization is becoming all about. He was a guy that Romeo knew was a productive person that needed another shot. Once Smith got his shot, he has proven to be productive and enthusiastic about it. A player making the most of the chance he got and performing at the top of his ability. Crotch grabbing not withstanding, I give him lots of credit for showing up and leaving it on the field each week. How is it this guy can contribute to our program and be missed by so many others? Why can't they see the grasshopper at their own feet? Player development has become a key to turning this boat around.
I think Arrowhead Pride can contribute to this process. Bear with me here, I might be on to something. The power of blogs is in numbers. You can gather lots of data and lots of view points in one place and assemble them into something useful (if we so choose). Hence the title of this post. I think we can work together in this thread to post players of no name and great potential that scouts (perhaps through the Joel or Chris -- or total boredom on their own part) could use. I am looking for players on rosters and players in the draft that could make a solid contribution (ala Shaun Smith, Andy Studebaker, Cory Greenwood) and could compete for a roster spot, not just camp bodies.
Call it a wish list, call it a developmental/prospects list, call it a waste of time till the draft, I don't care. If we get enough people to contribute one player to the list, we might end up with something, a nugget of gold, a pebble that could become the cornerstone in the hands of our coaching staff. This was the modus operandi of the Patriots under Pioli. I think we all see it continuing here. So lets find some players of our own.
Name: Martin Tevaseu
Former Team: New York Jets
Height: 6-1 Weight: 328
Tevaseu, a 6-1, 328-pound nose guard, was named UNLV’s defensive MVP and team captain as a senior. Orignally signed by the Browns, and later by the Jets, Tevaseu has shown a desire to play. He is sitting behind a good set of NTs in New York and fits the 3-4 size perfectly. The Jets may need him as depth, but we might use him as a backup or let him compete for a starting role.
Glaring Restriction: Health, suffered a knee injury and ballooned up to 420 pounds. Lost 100 pounds and earned a scholarship to UNLV. Possible Browns and Jets connections to KC.
Call this a large task and you would be right, thousands of prospects and thousands of opinions. So, a couple rules come to mind.
The player must:
Fill a position need
Come cheap or contribute something valuable enough to warrant money or picks
Shown something (college or pros)
Glaring Restriction-- that keeps him out of major draft lists or off starting rosters
Mythical bonus points for:
A player that needs a second chance (the Shaun Smith rule)
Team leader in a major conference (read SEC) in valuable stat
Novelty and fresh thinking
Size and Speed (both hopefully)
Leadership on the field
There you have it AP. Give us the unwashed masses, the players yearning to play for free and get their shot. When the draft is over, we'll look back on this list and wonder if scouts were watching what we said, if they ever look to outside sources for help. Maybe they do, maybe they don't, but I have no doubt that a player from this list will contribute next season somewhere, hopefully for our beloved Chiefs. Find us some hidden talent out there...