Chiefs news for 14 May 2019
I have never known anyone quite like him. Football coaches are, by their nature, obsessive, fanatical, pathological even. They sleep in their offices, they coach and watch film until they’re bleary and spent. We’ve all heard the stories. Gunther took it to a whole other level. In January 1998, the Chiefs played Denver in the playoffs — Gunther Cunningham designed 73 new blitzes for that game. Seventy-three.
He used to make a game of his obsession. At 3:15 some mornings, he would call over to the offices of then (and current) Raiders coach Jon Gruden, just to see if he was in. Gruden was famous for his all-consuming work ethic. But he was never there at 3:15 a.m., and as Gruden’s office line would ring and ring, Cunningham would laugh and laugh knowing full well that nobody on earth worked longer and harder than he did.
Many factors contribute to these declines, but only one signal-caller, the New Orleans Saints’ Drew Brees, successfully logged multiple 5,000-yard campaigns. Yet Brees experienced wide variances in successive seasons. Even he, the NFL’s all-time leading passer, who posted three straight 5,000-yard seasons from 2011-13, saw slight dropoffs in yardage and touchdown passes.
Mahomes posted only the third 50-touchdown campaign in NFL history, which doesn’t provide much in terms of statistical relevance. However, 12 different 40-or-more-touchdown seasons have occurred, not including Mahomes’ 2018 performance. As it did for 5,000-yard passers, production declined the following year.
Generally, regression is viewed negatively. In this case, the term is used as a return to expected, instead of superhuman, levels. Mahomes remains one of the NFL’s best. He’ll be forced to deal with certain inevitabilities, though.
Kansas City Chiefs backup quarterback EJ Manuel has called it a career after five professional seasons. The former first-rounder retired from the NFL, according to the NFL Transactions report. The 29-year-old Manuel never lived up to his potential as the 16th overall pick of the 2013 NFL Draftwith the Buffalo Bills.
He started 10 games in his rookie season, and then was benched in favor of Kyle Orton in 2014. Manuel never regained the full-time starting job in his final two seasons in Buffalo before joining the Oakland Raiders in 2017. The Raiders parted ways with him in September 2018, leading to Manuel joining the Chiefs in February.
Former NFL wide receiver Antonio Bryant did enough on Twitter to get himself more than 80,000 followers. He is using the platform to repeatedly spread rumors, the latest being that Patrick Peterson is on the move to the Kansas City Chiefs. He first tweeted about this potential trade a few weeks ago, with nothing coming of it. Now, Bryant has now doubled down on attempting to break this news with this tweet:
While Kansas City Chiefs fans would certainly applaud the move — their current outside cornerbacks include only Bashaud Breeland on a one-year contract and second-year unproven player Charvarius Ward — Bryant may be making some enemies if his predictions continue to come to nothing.
“My family and I are deeply saddened to hear the news of Gunther’s passing. During his nine seasons as defensive coordinator and two as head coach of the Kansas City Chiefs, he led some of the most feared defenses in our franchise’s history with his energetic and motivating coaching style. Gunther made a tremendous impact on so many lives on and off the playing field in nearly five decades of coaching. Our heartfelt condolences go out to René, Natalie, Adam and the entire Cunningham family during this difficult time.”
The Chiefs were arguably the most impressive team in the NFL last season, earning the No. 1 seed in the AFC while leading the NFL in both total points and offensive yards. Patrick Mahomes burst onto the scene and performed better than nearly anyone could have dreamed, winning the league’s MVP award.
However, they have a lot of question marks going into next year. Running back Kareem Hunt was released and receiver Tyreek Hill is a mystery after being suspended from team activities following an investigation into possible child abuse.
The defense will also be without recognizable players like Eric Berry, Dee Ford and Justin Houston. Still, the additions of Frank Clark, Tyrann Mathieu and Mecole Hardman could help the team remain just as strong on both sides of the ball.
Robinson does not have a clean slate even now. His college antics cost him two seasons and forced him to enter the draft earlier than anticipated. He was also suspended four games last season for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy—possessing marijuana-laced candy.
But here’s the flip side to this whole character coin: whoever takes a chance on Robinson will, hopefully, find a player who has hit rock bottom. He’s been given a chance and then another and failed to make good on either one. This time around, he knows is likely his last spell in the NFL before having to think about life after professional football—a hard reality for any player on the verge of not making an active roster. Every team just passed on claiming him when the Jets placed him on waivers. That’s a real stomach punch.
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