Fanpost: Top 5 Chiefs Linebackers

 41 replies

A FanPost by ForeverRanger

It is the off season for the NFL but with the draft a little over a week away at the time of me writing this, I figured it might be fun to do some rankings.  

What kind of rankings? Let’s go positional rankings with five greatest Chiefs to play a certain position. Next on the list is Inside Linebackers, a position that is nowhere near as painful as the QB’s.  I decided to split the linebacker position between OLB’s and MLB’s because this list could be a top 10 with room to spare

  1. Willie Lanier- Who else was this going to be?  Willie was one of the hardest tacklers of his time and is one of 10 members of the Chiefs lone Super Bowl win that are in the Hall of Fame.
  2. Derrick Johnson- DJ could give Willie a run for the top spot but he lost out because of how consistent Lanier was.  That isn’t to take anything away from DJ because when he got it together, DJ was one of the best ILB’s in the NFL.  DJ was a borderline bust until the Chiefs decided to switch to a 3-4 and Haley lit a fire under his behind. Between 2010 and 2017, DJ was a force to be reckoned with when he was on the field.  There is so much I could write about the man because he was a fan favorite and I imagine he will be a coach with the Chiefs before too long.
  3. Gary Spani- Spani was selected in the third round of the 1978 NFL Draft by the Kansas City Chiefs and became a nine-year starter and team captain. He started as a rookie and became the team’s leading tackler in his first season, He finished his career as the Chiefs’ all-time leading tackler with 999 stops. He is still with the team as their Special Events Coordinator and was elected to the Chiefs Hall of Fame in 2003.
  4. Donnie Edwards- While he might be more remembered for his time in San Diego, Edwards was still a great LB for the Chiefs in which he led the team in tackles during his first stint with the team.
  5. Mike Maslowski- This could have gone to a few ILB’s but I am going to give it to Mike. Before he went down in 2003, the Chiefs defense that year was at least respectable and his loss set an already bad defense further down.

OK so this wasn’t as easy of a list as I thought.  Turns out most of the good LB’s that have worn Chiefs red were OLB’s but that is for another day.  

When we next meet, I think we will be going back to the offensive side of the ball. I think we will talk WR’s.  Until then, make sure to let me know what you guys think of my lists.

41
Leave a Reply

Please Login to comment
15 Comment threads
26 Thread replies
0 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
16 Comment authors
63gumpupamtnFalco16Anthony Strattonstjoechief Recent comment authors
  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
Falco16
Falco16

Great list. Loved Donnie and still am pissed at CP, Dick, and Robinson for cutting him. Unforgivable.

DJ is my all time favorite Chief. Although once Mahomes brings home that ring DJ will be bumped to Second.

HawaiiFiveOh
HawaiiFiveOh

But what about Anthony Hitchens.

backbone313
backbone313

No Kendrell Bell love?

No

I will see myself out

ForeverRanger91
ForeverRanger91

I am not only doing these for the fun of it all but also to learn more about the Chiefs history. Next one is going to be WR’s and yeah.

Berserker
Berserker

Don’t forget Chris Burford!

ForeverRanger91
ForeverRanger91

The list I made was stacked because there were three guys who were musts and then I had two spots left.

Berserker
Berserker

Kid, by God if you left Chris Burford out for Derrick Alexander….

ForeverRanger91
ForeverRanger91

No, I didn’t. Alexander didn’t even come close to making the list.

Berserker
Berserker

comment image

upamtn

I flipping LOVED Chris Burford!

Berserker
Berserker

Ok, I just realized you missed a great Chief, and a Chiefs HoF’er. Can’t criticize too much though, because I think he played before all but maybe two or three of us were following the Chiefs. Sherrill Headrick.

Berserker
Berserker

Career highlights and awards 3× First-team All-AFL (1960–1962) 2× Second-team All-AFL (1964, 1966) 5× AFL All-Star (1960–1962, 1965, 1966) 2× AFL champion (1962, 1966) Kansas City Chiefs Hall of Fame While working in the west Texas and New Mexico oil fields during the off-season, in 1960 he became one of the first players to sign with the Dallas Texans in 1960 as an undrafted free agent. He played linebacker and went on to star for the team while they were the Texans and when they became the Kansas City Chiefs. In his first year with the Texans, Headrick set the standard for playing hurt, after fracturing a vertebra in his neck in a pre-game collision at Houston. Despite feeling pain in his neck, he played the entire game. He learned of the fracture five days later, but went on to play the following week, earning the nickname “Psycho”. In his book “The American Football League – A Year-by-Year History, 1960–1969”, Ed Gruver quotes Texans/Chiefs coach Hank Stram as saying that Headrick, who refused to wear hip pads, had the highest pain threshold [he’d] ever seen in an athlete. Headrick played with a broken neck, infected gums, and a fractured thumb. When an injury left the bone in his finger protruding from the skin, Headrick popped the bones in place without missing a play. “He was a fantastic football player”, former Chiefs tight end Fred Arbanas told The Kansas City Star. “Sherrill was so quick, most of the offensive linemen couldn’t get to him. He was such a wild man, people didn’t realize he was such a student of the game. Teams would come out in different formations, and Sherrill knew exactly where the ball was going to go.” He was a Sporting News AFL All-League selection in 1960, 1961 and 1962, when the Texans won the longest game ever played and defeated the two-time defending champion Houston Oilers in the double-overtime AFL Championship game. He was an AFL Western Division All-Star in 1965 and in 1966, when the Chiefs won the franchise’s second AFL title, and played in the first… Read more »

upamtn

happily green’d … Headrick was a MONSTER … Lanier, Bell, Headrick, DJ and … wow, Hali? DT? (mind you, I make no distinction between ILB and OLB)

Berserker
Berserker

Yeah, hate to kick Maz off, but Simien was better. And, you know, longevity.

stjoechief
stjoechief

Simien had more ability and played longer, but Maz was more of a difference maker. Which may say more about the rest of the defense than it does about him.

starry1
starry1

I’d have to add Holub to this list. I don’t remember watching him play myself, but he was my grandfather’s favorite. He played both LB and O-Line and was apparently just an overall beast. I know for a fact he’s in the ring of honor because I’ve seen his name there. I’d give him Edwards’ spot on your list.

upamtn

EJ Holub did indeed play both sides of the ball … and ended up with the world’s record for knee surgeries with like 19 or some insane number … LB and C

Holub, Headrick, Lanier, Bell … they don’t make ’em like that anymore

NM_ChiefsFan
NM_ChiefsFan

Obviously never saw Dino Hackett play MLB for the Chiefs.

stjoechief
stjoechief

A great player on some really bad teams.

upamtn

yup

63gump
63gump

Damn Straight,
Willie is without a doubt number 1. DJ is a comfortable 2, Then I have to go Dino(I would listen to a Spani argument). The man was a beast!

ForeverRanger91
ForeverRanger91

You guys can see why I didn’t include OLB’s on this.

slackator
slackator

No argument on this one. Names are right and Id say even the spots are right

ForeverRanger91
ForeverRanger91

I almost put DJ above Lanier but I thought better of it.

Berserker
Berserker

Good decision.

upamtn

wreck’d for common sense … Lanier and it’s not even a discussion (most serious discussions about the “best LB ever” involves Butkus and Lanier as two of the top, if not THE two top LB’s of all time)

awesome work, btw

CHIEFSandSABRES

Good list Ranger. When I saw the topic, I immediately thought “better have Donnie Edwards on the list.” You did not disappoint.

ForeverRanger91
ForeverRanger91

Couldn’t leave Edwards off of it. Just a matter of where to put him.

ForeverRanger91
ForeverRanger91

Alright Anthony, let me have it.

BleedingRedAndGold

Have what, a check? What do you have on him, exactly? 😉

BleedingRedAndGold

Or perhaps better (and as a test), 👿 😀

ForeverRanger91
ForeverRanger91

He said he was going to have some issues with this list.

Team Player
Team Player

Am I the only one who thinks of Monsters,
Inc. when I hear the name of Mike Maslowski?

BleedingRedAndGold

Gee, thanks. That which has been seen can’t be unseen. 😛 More seriously, I liked Maz, especially as he made it onto the field more by effort and smarts than athletic ability. It’s little more than a pipe dream, but I liked to imagine what he could do out there if he were a bit faster, etc. Of course, with said upgrade, you then have to question how much of the effort and smarts would drop off if he’d had more athleticism and how dependent each was on the lack.

upamtn

comment image

twiggamortis
twiggamortis

Simien had a good run here…did Pitt draft him or was he undrafted?

Berserker
Berserker

I think undrafted. Then I believe he played in Canada for a year or two before coming to KC.