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The Tire Tracks of Rebuilding

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Building from the ground up can be ruthless. Forget building from square one, simply getting to Square One is unforgiving by itself. Kennison, Wiegmann, Wilson, many others... gone like the wind. Blown out by change.

It's trimming the fat. Not just losing the players that don't fit, but managing the players that do.

It doesn't make everybody happy, including those players that stick around. In the past week, both Napoleon Harris and Damion McIntosh have poo-poo'd their new roles on this team in 2008. McIntosh is projected to move over to right tackle and Harris will have to re-earn his place as starting MLB over Donnie Edwards and a slew of younger players.

Mr. McIntosh, are you happy about playing right tackle?

“I played left tackle for eight years. I’ve never played right tackle. You tell me if it’s hard or not,” McIntosh said. “They ask me to do something, and regardless of whether I like it or not, I’ve got to try it.”

Mr. Harris, how does earning your position sound to you?

“I am an employee of the Kansas City Chiefs,” he said.

A happy employee?

“I am an employee of the Kansas City Chiefs,” he repeated.

Less than shining endorsements of what the franchise is trying to accomplish.

But any fan of team sports knows the answer to this minor malcontent: You are not bigger than the team. Especially a team as dedicated to its longterm goals as the Chiefs. You either find a way to fit your cog in the machine or you will be discarded. The Chiefs are in a position where they can tinker with everything, and assure that the best possible pieces are in the best possible places.

McIntosh did an admirable job on an otherwise lousy OL last year, but he is probably not a Super Bowl LT. Albert might be. Nap Harris lead the team in tackles, but he is probably not a Super Bowl MLB. Who that is remains to be seen. Will Harris kick it in another gear? Will Nate Harris or Pat Thomas dethrone him and become one? Dare I even think about USC's Rey Maualuga in next year's draft?

Now we see how McIntosh and Harris adjust. If they can find their places on this team, wherever and whenever those places are, they survive as Chiefs. If not, this team's fat-trimming is far from over, and Harris and McIntosh could end up in the rebuilding effort's tire tracks.