Good morning Chiefs fans! Today's Kansas City Chiefs news includes more looking back at Sunday's loss, looking ahead to what the team needs to accomplish over the next few months, and an update on what Willie Lanier is up to these days. Enjoy.
Unavailable Sunday was Chris Chambers, the Chiefs’ best wide receiver last season. Chambers finished an unusual season in a bizarre way: He was again healthy but not suited up for the game.
"I had kind of seen the writing on the wall a little bit because my (snaps) were being cut in practice and I still wasn’t getting any information about it from my receiving coach," Chambers said. "I’m a veteran receiver with the most playoff experience, and you’d think they’d want me out there, and that wasn’t the case. I still haven’t talked to the coach about it yet."
4. Tamba Hali's explosion: He led the AFC in sacks, got screwed out of a Pro Bowl, and will likely get screwed out of a long-term contract if the franchise tag makes it to the NFL's next CBA. He may have been the player of the game yesterday for the Chiefs - Adam Teicher makes a good argument for Jovan Belcher - and will only become more dangerous if Scott Pioli can find a complementary pass rusher.
Five Chiefs storylines for now and the future highlighted in the playoff loss from Don't Kill the Mellinger
KC Star Video: Dwayne Bowe sums up his season
The one thing you can say about the "Music Man," Tony DiPardo: The guy is certainly a fighter.
Tony, 98, is fighting for his life after apparently suffering an aneurysm. Over the last couple of years, he has been in and out of the hospital numerous times. Even so, the latest episode came out of the blue.
Tony DiPardo fights for his life from KC Star
Despite speculation to the contrary, Chiefs offensive coordinator Charlie Weis called all of Kansas City's plays during Sunday's wild-card loss to Baltimore, according to a team source.
Source: Charlie Weis called every play from ESPN
Pioli and Haley have stamped their mark on the franchise and their credibility with players and most fans has been cast in stone. Romeo Crennel says he'll be back for another year as defensive coordinator, which is another good sign of things to come.
Chiefs fans have every reason to be excited - even if the Chiefs struggle to repeat their 10-win season in 2011.
"Now that we've laid a foundation over these last two years, hopefully there'll be some consistency," said Cassel. "For me, just being now in my third year and knowing the routine and knowing what coach Haley expects of us, it's just making sure guys are accountable and trying to improve myself."
Encouraging season, tough end for Chiefs from FOX News
The Ravens, the worst possible playoff matchup for the upstart Chiefs, took control of the first-round AFC playoff game midway through the third quarter and never relinquished the grip that sent Kansas City packing for the winter with a 30-7 shellacking.
The season-ending loss wasn't from a lack of effort or hustle on the Chiefs' part, nor a lack of execution. The Chiefs lost simply because Baltimore was big, bad and tough, a bully of second-tier NFL teams - or in the Kansas City's case - a developing team.
Porter: The Chiefs were bullied from The Examiner
Call it immaturity, inexperience, ineptness, big-game jitters, anything you like, but the honest truth is that the Chiefs were not and are not a playoff-caliber team. Head coach Todd Haley admitted as much throughout the season, informing us on multiple occasions that the team was improving most every week, but was not yet what he would call a good team. That became very evident on Sunday when the 10-win Chiefs, who improved their season record by six games over a year ago and eight games better than two seasons ago, went up against a for-real good team in the 12-4 Ravens.
Jamaal Charles was given just 10 touches in Sunday's loss to Baltimore, a continuation of the never-ending Charles story. Matt Cassel was utterly horrible (9-for-18, 70 yards, three picks, 20.4 rating), looking like he had never played the quarterback position before. Dwayne Bowe didn't get a single target, an astounding no-show from the No. 1 fantasy wideout in 2010.
Sure, we have to give the Ravens defense some credit for forcing KC's nightmare, similar to how the Raiders forced the issue the previous week. And obviously you never want to judge a team too definitively off any outlier performance, good or bad. But there's a bigger cloud hanging over this team's future - what do we make of head coach Todd Haley? Is he the mastermind behind this offense, or the man standing in the way of it?
Monday Brunch: The Jamaal Charles problem from Yahoo! Sports
Now that the Kansas City Chiefs' unlikely playoff run is over -- the Chiefs were punched in the mouth, 30-7, by visiting Baltimore on Sunday in their AFC wild-card game - let's look at some keys the team has to make as they move forward.
Kansas City progressed from 4-12 to 10-6 in the second season of the Scott Pioli-Todd Haley era. This is a young team that has a lot going for it. But there are some issues that need to be addressed. Here are some key areas the Chiefs must focus on:
Chiefs: Five things to focus on from ESPN
Upset about a pair of plays from Sunday's playoff game, the Baltimore Ravens have turned them into the league office.
Namely, Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher's helmet-to-helmet shot on quarterback Joe Flacco and defensive end Tyson Jackson placing tight end Todd Heap in a headlock.
Ravens Complain About Helmet Hit on Flacco, Headlock on Heap from National Football Post
The feelings - and the throats - are still tender the next morning after the Chiefs 30-7 loss to the Baltimore Ravens Sunday afternoon at Arrowhead Stadium. The 17 years of playoff disappointment didn't end for the Chiefs and their fans, and on a weekend full of exciting last-second-winning playoff games, of course it was OUR team that got blown out at home on national TV...
...I don't know about you, but I think this really, really sucks.
The Day After: This Chiefs team is definitely on the rise from Examiner.com
As he cleans out his locker, Greenwood, a special teams expert, wonders if he'll be back inside these walls next season. He wants to be a Chief again. But the ultimate decision is out of his hands.
"That's my first choice for sure, but who knows what is going to happen?" he wonders. "My contract is up. I did my best. Now it's up to them.
"It's been a wild year. At the beginning, I didn't know how long I would be here. I mean, here I was, an undrafted Canadian getting a tryout in the NFL.
"After a couple of games, my confidence started to build. I just worked as hard as I could on special teams."
To use Greenwood's own word, it really has been a "wild" ride.
K.C. feels like home for Greenwood from The Toronto Sun
There is going to be speculation in Kansas City that Weis was distracted by the Florida job, but none of it is relevant to what he does here. In Kansas City, he had a lot of interference from Haley and there was one report that Haley stripped Weis of play-calling duties at halftime. That won't be an issue in Gainesville.
The Back Nine: No more waiting for Weis from The Gainesville Sun
Fans expected the Chiefs to bring home a victory on Sunday. Most say they're not disappointed with the 2010 season. People at Tanner's in Kansas City's Waldo area were just glad the team made it to the playoffs. Plenty of excitement was in the air as people packed the bar which was lined with Chiefs logos and jerseys.
Fans Support Chiefs Despite Loss from Fox4KC
Missing in action: Dwayne Bowe and Reggie Wayne.
The Chiefs and the Indianapolis receivers were non-contributors in their club's losses at the weekend.
David Akers meantime could only wish he had been a non-contributor to the Eagles' demise.
There is bitterness in Kansas City, recrimination in Indianapolis and a group hug in Philly as players went through weekend flashbacks.
NFL's disappearing acts from The Toronto Sun
Since 2003, first-time starting quarterbacks are 5-19 in the playoffs. There are some top quarterbacks on the list who lost in their first playoff appearance: Aaron Rodgers, Matt Ryan, Philip Rivers, Eli Manning and Drew Brees to name a few.
The only five to win? Mark Sanchez, Joe Flacco, David Garrard, Ben Roethlisberger and Jake Delhomme.
Bears Hoping to Buck Trend With QB in First Playoff Start from National Football Post
Pro Football Hall of Famer Willie Lanier, a Richmond-area resident, frequently is asked to serve on committees and boards.Lanier, a Maggie Walker High alum, can't fulfill all requests. But when NFLCommissioner Roger Goodell offered Lanier a spot on the newly created NFL Player Safety Advisory Panel,Lanier said he felt compelled to accept.
"This one really fit my DNA," said Lanier, 65, "because I've already done it."
Lanier a natural for NFL panel from The Richmond Times-Dispatch