Kansas City Chiefs Fans Know It's What's Up Front That Counts

Ron TepperCorrespondent IIMay 27, 2009

KANSAS CITY, MO - 2005:  Willie Roaf of the Kansas City Chiefs poses for his 2005 NFL headshot at photo day in Kansas City, Missouri.  (Photo by Getty Images)

Willie Roaf, Will Shields, Brian Watters, Casey Weigman, and John Tait. Folks, it doesn't get much better than that.

Rodney Dangerfield often used as his tagline, "I can't get no respect, no respect at all." You may say that is true about Offensive Lineman who play in the NFL. Any coach will tell you its the battle in the trenches that decide games, not flashy Wide Receivers with 4.3 speed (although it would be nice to have a few).

Great Offensive Lines will make average athletes stars. Likewise, a poor Offensive Lineman will make those same athletes look quite ordinary

There certainly wasn't anything ordinary about the Offensive line listed above. It may be one of the best Lines not only in Chiefs history but in NFL History as well. These players made blocking into an art form.

Each one was mobile, had great agility, and were made of grit. As a group they have been to so many Pro Bowls I have lost track at this point.

This Offensive Line excited me. Forget the passes, the great catches, the Dante Hall returns of past years. It was the Offensive Line that made me feel I was watching poetry in motion.

Then, there was the vintage play, the play where they were unstoppable. The Sweep. Priest Holmes gets the carry, sweeps left with Tony Richardson, Willie Roaf, a pulling Will Shields and Casey Weigman leading the way.

As Wiseguys always say "forget a bout it". It was too easy. How many times did Holmes walk into the end zone untouched? Try 50 percent. A runner's paradise. And then there was the pass blocking of this group. Trent Green had all day to throw the football and Eddie Kennison all day to get open. It was almost absurd.

Most people believed that Holmes, Green and Kennison were just average players. Green was never really a starter, Holmes came out of Texas undrafted. Baltimore signed him and his play was only so-so. 

That was evident with the contract the Chiefs signed him to $8 Million total over the span of five years. Kennison was playing so poorly with Denver he retired and came to KC upon Dick Vermeil's request.

How could these three "average" guys propel an Offense that was tied with the explosive Indianapolis Colts for most points scored in a season? I think you know the answer by now

Willie Roaf was drafted as a top ten pick out La. Tech by New Orleans in 1993. I followed him closely. This was not the 340 lb behemoth that played in Kansas City. This Willie Roaf wasn't even 300 and his biggest attribute? Running. He was fast, REAL fast and ran like the wind.

I had never seen any Offensive Lineman lead sweeps and be the lead blocker on the opposite side of the field like him. He was a truly amazing athlete. The Saints traded Roaf to Kansas City for little in return and the rest is history.

By the time he started for the Chiefs he was nothing short of a bulldozer with very quick feet. If you were a defensive player and Willie Roaf was coming at you it was all over. Not even worth the effort. Some players found that out the hard way. It was more than a coincidence how hard Chief fans took his retirement.

After Kansas City fans were cheering about the arrival of a washed up Ty Law coming to town the other shoe finally dropped. Outside of Gonzalez's recent departure, the city was never hit so hard when Roaf announced his retirement. We all thought he could play forever.

Will Shields followed Roaf a few years later and was no slouch either. How he lasted until the Third Round of the NFL draft coming from a major college program shocked me. You know all about this guy.

A truly high character player with the amazing ability to pull and hit targets on the move it was no wonder he was a Pro Bowler almost every year in the league.

He was strong against the run and pass, provided needed leadership, and had good enough feet to play Left Tackle, where I think they should have played him after Roaf's retirement. Great career

John Tait was a mystery man. Yes he could play Left Tackle but he did it at BYU where blockers are asked to hold their blocks for only a few seconds, so he was really hard to evaluate. Things got of to a bad start with contract negotiations.

Carl Peterson was known as a prick when it came to discussing contracts and Tait held out almost until the start of the season. Peterson was heard screaming at Tait and his agent for not getting a deal done sooner.

Not much of a romance after that. Tait played well in KC and left for greener pastures in Chicago after KC put a Transition Tag (useless) on him and he was gone

Casey Weigmann came into the league undrafted and is currently playing with Denver and even made the Pro Bowl last year. Weigman was signed as a Colt and then went on to Chicago where he played behind Olin Kruetz. KC broke down the film on him and were impressed enough to sign him and make him a starter.

What I loved about Weigman was that like Shields, he had great agility and often was the lead man on sweeps.

And finally we have the unappreciated Brian Watters. Watters was a 280lb TE from North Texas State who was signed by Dallas to play Center. KC saw an opening and got him and he has started at OG ever since.

Watters is the remaining relic of that line but now the Pro Bowler who was warned by Anquan Boldin that Haley is not the kind of guy you want to play for during the Pro Bowl, had an altercation with Haley and it remains to be seen if he remains a Chief.

I doubt there is any kissing and making going on but even if he leaves, he made a huge contribution to that OL Success over the years.

Well there it is. How do they rate now? Well with a mediocre Center and three old guys only Brandon Albert is left as the foundation for another run.

Scott Pioli is known for building Offensive and Defensive Lines early which was clear this past draft. This year it was the Defense. Next year expect the Offensive Line to be his main priority.


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