Vance Walker: I Like What The Chiefs Are Building from The Mothership
Q: What are you expecting from the Kansas City fans?
WALKER: "I've gotten a very warm welcome, since I've been there and signed. The fans have definitely lived up to their reputation. Just being an opponent, last year, and playing in the Chiefs stadium at Arrowhead, it was tough. I believe it may have been the game they broke the record for the loudest stadium. Just to have those fans being so energetic really adds to the game, especially on defense, as a defensive guy. I think they do a great job. It's a football city and I'm really excited to play."
Q&A With Chiefs WR Weston Dressler from The Mothership
Q: What will be the biggest transition between the CFL and the NFL?
DRESSLER: "For me, it will be a little bit different. Obviously, playing college football, I know all the differences between the American football game and the Canadian football game; it's going to take me a little time to readjust to it and just kind of get comfortable again with the way the game is played down here, compared to up there. Being up there for the last six years, I started to get comfortable with some of their rules and changes to the game that they have. I think it's just going to take a little bit of time to get to that comfortable level of being comfortable with all of it."
Frank Zombo: "Chiefs Are First-Class" from The Mothership
Q: What interests you about the situation in Kansas City that made you want to come back for another year?
ZOMBO: "Actually, (it is) another two years. The main reason I wanted to come back was obviously the people and the friends I made out there. Honestly, that was the number one reason I wanted to come back, just the people I've met. And then, honestly, it is a great place; I enjoyed going to work every day. I look forward to going to work every day. Kansas City is a great spot; it's a great work environment and obviously we have a great team. Those are the things I look forward to."
WR Has To Be Priority For Chiefs from ESPN
You might like the Kansas City Chiefs to improve at any number of positions before starting the 2014 season and chances are they might agree with you at least in some of those areas. But the fact is they have enough at this point to line up, play a game and at least be competitive with most NFL teams.
You might think the Chiefs have holes in their starting lineup at right guard and free safety, but I don't think the Chiefs agree with you there. Their actions in free agency would suggest they don't.
Weston Dressler Preparing For Upcoming Challenges from Chiefs Spin
And potentially being a returner with the Chiefs means working with special teams coordinator Dave Toub, a scenario that has Dressler excited.
"Just to see what he's done in this league throughout years is pretty incredible, the numbers he's been able to put up with his special teams unit," Dressler said. "The guy obviously knows what he's doing and he's produced some pretty special returners. I look forward to working with him and being able to learn from him and take in as much knowledge as I can."
For now, Dressler's moment to show he belongs in the NFL has arrived and he's in a good situation.
Chiefs' Situation Is Made For Dressler from ESPN
So after six productive seasons with Saskatchewan of the Canadian Football League, Dressler will finally get that chance in the NFL, with the Chiefs. They signed him before the Super Bowl in the hope he can be as productive as a slot receiver in the NFL as he was in the CFL.
While it was bitter for Dressler six years ago to hear he wasn't good enough to play in the NFL, perhaps it was the best thing for him. He isn't hearing it now, at least not from the Chiefs.
Chiefs Smart To Let Jackson Go from ESPN
While Jackson developed into a solid run defender in his last season with the Chiefs, I agree the Falcons overpaid to get him and, by extension, the Chiefs were smart not to give him what the Falcons did. Jackson's contract is worth $25 million over five years and includes a guarantee of $9.5 million.
Walker: 'I Really Fear For Offenses This Year' from Chiefs Spin
Walker's exact role has yet to be determined, but his contract, which included $3.75 million guaranteed, and timing of the signing points to major playing time.
With last year's starting defensive end Tyson Jackson now with the Atlanta Falcons, the Chiefs have a player who can play defensive end or defensive tackle to allow Dontari Poe a break when necessary.
"Even if he needs a breather or whatever be the case, I can do all of those positions," Walker said.
Emmanuel Sanders signed a three-year, $15 million contract (worth a maximum of $18 million) with the Denver Broncos after his agent, Steve Weinberg, reached an agreement in principle for him to join the Kansas City Chiefs, according to NFL Media's Ian Rapoport. Weinberg also engaged in negotiations with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers without informing them he had accepted Kansas City's offer. Sanders denied the existence of an agreement with the Chiefs at his introductory press conference with the Broncos.
It's hard to have sympathy for NFL teams because they don't occupy high moral ground in these types of situations. Here are two examples, including one from personal experience, where team conduct could be called into question.
Frank Zombo Cites Relationships For Re-Signing from Chiefs Spin
On the season, he appeared in all 16 regular season games and Zombo especially enjoyed his time on special teams, a unit Zombo said "plays with a lot of pride."
And as a contributor, he looks forward to two more seasons of playing under special teams coordinator Dave Toub, a coach Zombo holds in high regard.
"I'd say he's the best special teams coach in the National Football League," Zombo said. "It's always nice playing for him. Those two things, with special teams, I obviously know my role. I look forward to being a part of that group again."
3. Kansas City Chiefs: Brian Orakpo, linebacker, Texas (No. 13) Actual pick: Tyson Jackson, defensive end, LSU Orakpo also has dealt with injuries, but he had a nice bounce-back season in 2013 with 10 sacks.
The Stadium Game Gets Trickier And Costlier from Buffalo Business First
Subsequent issues have come up - including lagging government revenue during the recession and contractor lawsuits - but the deal has been generally regarded as a success in the NFL and is being used as a template for a smaller scale project in Charlotte, home of the Carolina Panthers.
Though the Chiefs are considered a financially viable franchise, their tickets remain among the least expensive in the league. They do not charge "personal seat licenses."
A number of projects in NFL megamarkets have been built recently or are underway, but they generally take on a different character. The $1.6 billion New Jersey home the New York Jets and Giants, for instance, didn't utilize a cent of public money. But the cost was split between two teams, makes wide use of PSLs in the wealthy and dense New York City region and is famously papered with the names of corporate sponsors to which the Bills would never have access.
2. Kansas City loses three important O-linemen: There is very little chance the Chiefsacquire three linemen to replace Jon Asamoah, Branden Albert and Geoff Schwartz, which means the pressure on Alex Smith is going to be felt next season.
But now comes the task of convincing NFL teams that he deserves an opportunity after a college career that saw him jump from school to school for various reasons. He spent just one semester at Central State (Division II) and played in only two games, catching six passes for 84 yards and two touchdowns.
"I don't want to point any fingers," Ross said. "I'm just going to go with grades. Grades played a big part. I'm glad I figured it out in my later stages."
That competitive spirit extends to Kansas City, where another former member of the Rutgers secondary, Marcus Cooper, is coming off a productive rookie season. While Ryan and Harmon had higher expectations as third-round picks, Cooper's immediate success was more unlikely.
A converted wide receiver, Cooper made one start at corner in his Rutgers career. A seventh-round pick by the 49ers, Cooper was cut before the season and signed by the Chiefs. He started six games for Kansas City and had three interceptions.