Have you ever watched Rudy? I love that line. It points to a concept that we all deal with in life. There is a big difference between skill and unyielding passion. I’m a teacher and with most classes I teach I notice I generally have at least one student who is very sharp and very lazy. I also often have a student who doesn’t test very well, but works their tail off and has a very strong desire to succeed. It’s the student with this WILL who inspires me.
We all see the same thing on the football field. Although nearly all players who achieve the level of the NFL have both skills and passion to some point. But a range is certainly noticeable. Look at two AFC West QB’s Phillip Rivers and Tim Tebow (okay past AFC West). Rivers has got skills as a QB, but he really bothers me. He just feels like a cry baby (of course if Tamba Hali owned me, I’d cry too). I don’t feel inspired when I watch him play in a tough game. I don’t think he plays to his full potential. Tebow, on the other hand, is all heart no skills. How else could someone who sucks so bad at throwing the football lead his team to the playoffs last year? Like him or not, the guy plays with that "win at all costs" attitude that Impassions people that play with him and fans that watch him. You certainly don’t hear about "Riversmania".
What is truly special is to see when these two things come together. A player with that fiery passion that cannot be broken and a talented skill set to go with it. Payton Manning has that. The guy makes everyone around him better. When you watch him, you get the feeling he would literally put the whole damn team on his back and try to carry them to the end zone if that’s what it took to get the score. He doesn’t care the cost. Tom Brady’s the same way. Closer to home, so is Jammal Charles. To come back from surgery and rehab and to perform like he did this last year was unbelievable. When nobody else on our team was stepping up to make the big plays, Jammal did. I’m not saying nobody else was trying, but someone had to step up and make a big play to change momentum during some of those games. I didn’t see many guys on D stepping up to get an interception. I didn’t see that many strips of the ball on that side (and way too many on the other side). On offense, who consistently made big plays? Jon Baldwin? Please. He seems all skill, no heart IMO. Bowe? Bowe is our biggest receiving threat and I hope we keep him. But he has to start making more plays when they count. McCluster I think has real potential. Talk about Rudy. I truly hope they keep Poe fed so he doesn’t try to eat McCluster confusing him with something from the McDonalds value menu. I think he has the skills and heart to be very successful and I think Reid’s staff (and a new QB) will be a good thing for his career.
So what QB the Chiefs will pick up this off season? They have to get someone with skills, but I want someone with heart too. I want someone who wants to win at all costs. I want someone who will inspire the Chiefs Kingdom. Someone who will inspire his team mates to push a little harder. Because I believe if we get someone with that passion, the other Chief players will start inspiring more too. I believe Johnson, Flowers, Hali, Houston, Berry, Bowe, Moeaki, Boss, and McCluster all have the skills AND the passion to step up and inspire us. They need a leader of the team to "put it all on the line" trying to win and I think most of them will all do their part as well. If the Chiefs brass can figure out who that guy is, and Reid and his staff are as good as I think they will be, then I think we’re in for a fun ride Chiefs Kingdom. Hold on!