A Chief, two former Chiefs and an executive have been honored by Sports Illustrated as part of the All-Decade team. With 2010 rapidly approaching, more and more folks have been coming out with All-Decade teams.
Sporting News - All-Decade
ESPN - All-Decade
ESPN - Top 25 Underrated/Overrated
After the jump, your Chiefs related players/executive from Sports Illustrated's All-Decade team. One name will surprise you.
When Gonzalez started playing, it was a dream that a tight end who could block would ever catch 1,000 balls. The dream's a reality. "The most amazing thing I noticed in training camp after we traded for Tony," Atlanta GM Thomas Dimitroffsaid last summer, "was in practice, when most veterans coast, he's driving linebackers downfield. We didn't have any idea he could block like this -- or would want to. He's the complete package."Shannon Sharpe had 815 catches in 12 seasons spanning two decades. Gonzalez has 817 in this decade ... with one month to play.
There are scores of players who have a better statistical résumé than Vrabel in the decade (50 sacks, 11 interceptions, 17 forced fumbles), but he's here because of his versatile playmaking skills and ability to play all over the linebacking corps. The three-time Super Bowl champions are going to be represented on this defense, the same way the rock-ribbed, team-minded Steelers are with Aaron Smith. Vrabel came to New England cheaply when the Patriots had no money to spend in 2001 free agency, and he was the keystone of that class in the franchise's construction of the team of the decade.
The fear factor he instilled in foes and the sheer numbers (642 kick and punt returns) matter more than touchdowns. He had 12 of those, just one more than Devin Hester in 404 more returns. But it's rare for a very good return man to have the longevity of a Hall.
There's always been a debate when the Patriots' greatness comes up. Who deserves the architectural credit for assembling the players built into champions -- Belichick solely, or Belichick and Pioli? It's certainly the latter. Pioli built up such a good relationship with Belichick that he was the only one in the building who could tell him he was nuts. The relationship was so strong that Belichick trusted him implicitly on many of the draft picks down the line, like Brady in the sixth round in 2000 and Matt Cassel (who hadn't started a college game at quarterback) in the seventh round in 2005.