Twitter is only 140 characters at a time so often context is lost. That’s what I was thinking about as I watched KC Chiefs LB Tamba Hali tweeting over the weekend. Surely you heard about it by now - Tamba sent out quite a few tweets about his playing time in the Steelers playoff game.
One thing that stood out to me was that he seemed to suggest those players who skipped OTAs shouldn’t have done that. He prefers that everyone on the team, especially those who consider themselves leaders, be present for everything. He didn’t name any names or even get that specific but to me it was clear he was talking about the Chiefs that didn’t show up to all the voluntary parts of the offseason. I’m not sure what else he could be talking about.
Before he sent out all those tweets, Tamba was on the Arrowheads Abroad podcast talking about some of this stuff. A partial transcription below.
What’s your motivation to keep coming back and playing?
Tamba: I love the game. Every time I step on the field I want to be the best pass rusher when I get on the field. I love the game. I want to win a championship, especially with being with the Chiefs for so long. I feel like we are so close. Two years in a row we were two games from the Super Bowl. That is what motivates me to come back because I feel like we have the team to do it. Some of our leaders need to step up to the plate and grab this thing by the horn so we can go.
The Chiefs are ready for a Super Bowl run is that right?
Tamba: Yes, we’re way overdue.
Where do you think this team is lacking? You mentioned leadership. Is that the only part that’s stopping us from making the run?
Tamba: You can point out different things but as far as players go, I’m not gonna shy from it, I think it’s important, especially if you’re on our team and you’re one of our leaders, that you should always be there. I don’t want to say names. This is my 12th year and I haven’t missed one offseason with the Chiefs. Whoever is on our team and expected to be a leader, we need those guys there because the younger guys come in and see these guys and say, ‘well, I want to be like him, he’s here and he has a lot of money but he’s here, he’s working with the team’. It builds such chemistry for our team.
I try not to talk on it but it really hurts my feelings because I know how much I love the game and I want for everyone to be here so we can all just get on the same page and make this run. Sometimes that chemistry gets a little lost on your own time, you go someplace else and do your own thing. I understand it’s a business but as far as football goes, when we’re on the field, it’s no business. The business is to go kick ass. Us as players, that’s what we enjoy doing. I encourage anyone that’s on our team that feels they are a leader and can lead our team should be around our team 24/7 when we’re supposed to be there.
Is this the most complete team you’ve had?
Tamba: So far what Andy has done, yes, our team is very stacked. You look at our quarterback position. We went and got a really fine quarterback and hopefully he can tap into the program and understand it faster. At every position there’s such tough competition that if you lose one of the pieces you don’t feel like you’re going to miss a step. It’s one thing to say but it’s another thing to watch us come out this year and just be focused on the task. A lot of people don’t expect what’s supposed to happen. We’re just gonna be us. The Chiefs are just gonna be the Chiefs. We’re gonna let our personalities show and we’re going to do what we’ve been doing the past four years.
How good can the Chiefs be if he, Dee Ford and Justin Houston are healthy?
Tamba: Trying to get all of us on the field at once would be interesting but I think especially Dee Ford he’s in his prime. I believe he will lead the league in sacks this year. I would love to play more but I gotta be cordial and considerate of my peers and understand the war is long. These little battles I can wait for the bigger battles. I’ll be out there, I think we can be very productive, especially with Justin Houston coming back and playing a full season. He’s a monster. To have him and to have Dee Ford and the combination of speed and power of those guys and to have an old veteran like me who can beat you I’m sorry I think a lot of teams have to come in with a real good game plan. Our guys are hungry. I’m not even talking about interior guys. Just the outside guys. And we’re getting DJ back. I hate talking about what we’re going to do. I just know what we have and what we can do.