60 Years of the Chiefs: A Progression of Greats! Offensive Tackle Edition

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2019 will mark the 60th year the Kansas City Chiefs have played football. We recently concluded the decade by decade breakdown of the team, their move from Dallas to Kansas City, and the times in-between some bad and some good. In this new series, A Progression of Greats we are going to spend an entire article on specific player groups.

In coming up with this series, we here at Arrowhead Guys wanted to get more involvement from fans, some of whom remember players who played in the earlier years. Look for their comments in the article below as they reflect on some early Chiefs greats, along with the custom Arrowhead Guys created highlight video for each player mentioned here.

The decade by decade articles touched on a few players, yet with this upcoming season being the Kansas City Chiefs 60th, lets have a trip down memory lane and revisit some of the greats who wore our teams uniform, by position.


Also please remember the lists compiled here are not completely reflective of every single great Chiefs player. In order to keep the article readable, and not have certain time-periods omitted, we tried to sprinkle in players from all the decades. If you see your favorite player is not on the list, drop a line in the comment section and we can talk about them! Up Next:

Offensive Tackle

Jim Tyrer #77

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Starting off the list of Offensive Tackles for our Chiefs is James Efflo Tyrer. Considered among the iron-men of the league, Tyrer played 13 seasons for the franchise.

In Super Bowl IV, Tyrer and Budde opened holes for Chiefs running backs against the Minnesota Vikings‘ opposing defensive linemen Jim Marshall and Alan Page, respectively, gaining 151 yards on 42 carries (3.6 yards per attempt) and 122 net passing yards in the team’s upset 23–7 victory.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jim_Tyrer

Jim Tyrer’s list of awards include: 8 time All-AFL, 7 time AFL All-Star, 2 time Pro Bowler, 2 time All-Pro, 3 time AFL Champ, and Super Bowl IV Champion. He is also a member of the teams Hall of Fame and the AFL All-Time Team.

Dave Hill #73

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Selected in the 24th Round of the 1963 draft David Harris Hill would spend his entire career playing for our team. Hill was our teams starting Right Tackle in both Super Bowls, and held his own during Super Bowl IV as mentioned here:

In Super Bowl IV, he handled well one of the best defensive ends of that era, Carl Eller, a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, as the Chiefs rushed for 151 yards that day, for their only Super Bowl title to date.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dave_Hill_(American_football

The Auburn University product is a member of the Chiefs Hall of Fame, along with earning All-AFL honors for the 1969 campaign. He had a streak going on of not missing a start for 9 seasons, certainly showing that while the awards and accolades are few and far between, Hill was a reliable piece of many successful Chiefs teams.

John Alt #76

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Born in Germany, Left Tackle John Alt was selected in the first round in 1984 by the Kansas City Chiefs out of Iowa University. Immediately an anchor along the line, Alt would start 149 games over his career, while playing in 179.

A prolific pass protector, also helped Kansas City perennially produce some of the best rushing numbers in the ‘90s.

https://www.chiefs.com/team/halloffame/2000s

The Chiefs Hall of Famer would garner 2 Pro Bowl births and was voted as a Second Team All-Pro for his 1990 season. Again as was the case in many other Offensive Lineman reviews and considerations the “flashy” stats and awards are just not there. John Alt and many others make these lists here to celebrate the 60th Anniversary of the Chiefs due to their steady dependability year in and year out.

Willie Roaf #77

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Drafted in the 1st round with the 8th pick by the New Orleans Saints in 1993, Offensive Lineman Willie Roaf came to Kansas City via trade for a conditional round draft pick prior to the 2002 season. Known as “Nasty” Roaf would be a fixture on the Chiefs line until after the 2005 season.

The majority of Willie Roaf’s professional awards came during his dominating time with the New Orleans Saints, yet after being traded to Kansas City, Roaf would make the Pro Bowl in all four years he played for the Red and Gold. Roaf started in 189 contests between the Saints and the Chiefs.

Mitchell Schwartz #71

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Current Chiefs Tackle Mitchell Schwartz is on his way to becoming another in a long list of Kansas City Chiefs offensive line iron-men. Since coming into the league as a 2nd round pick of the Cleveland Browns, Schwartz has not missed a snap in 96 games.

2019 will be Mitchell’s fourth season in the Red and Gold and he finally earned some awards following the 2018 season as he was named a First Team All-Pro.

Up Next: Running Backs

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sydenham

There is something so mutedly, muddily romantic about the O-liners. Possibly the most under-rated and overlooked bunch on a team. Great article, thanks.

Tyrone

Women always ask men to be more romantic. Why don’t they understand that sports are romantic.

Big Chief
Big Chief

I was in the Chiefs Huddle club in 1970 and 71. I remember after the first game I went to I followed as most of the kids in the club ran from our endzone seats in Municipal Stadium to stand by the tunnel back to the locker room, especially to see Lenny because he was one of the last to leave the field. As I was standing by the rails looking down at the tunnel the lights from the locker room suddenly went dark. Jim Tyrer was standing at the entrance and he seemed to block all the light coming from the locker room, and they were double doors. I remember thinking that I hoped I could be that big some day. He was impressive. He became one of my favorites from that moment on. I started paying attention to offensive line play because of him.

Ben Davidson of the Raiders said Tyrer was easily the best blocker he ever faced. I think he’s the most decorated and highly regarded AFL lineman. He and Otis Taylor are the last Chiefs from that era that deserve a spot in Canton now that Robinson is getting in, but I don’t expect Tyrer to ever get it because of the way his story ends. Tragic, in every sense of the word.

1wombat
1wombat

A good friend of mine was Alt’s college roommate at Iowa. He told me he only allowed four sacks in his career in KC. Impressive stat for a left tackle. He also said he could put away a shit ton of beer.

Big Chief
Big Chief

I remember thinking Alt was going to be an injury bust. If memory serves he missed a fair amount of time his first couple of years with back issues. Then he seemed to get it under control and became a really good player. He was never going to get a lot of recognition because of guys like Munoz, but I do recall when Bill Walsh was doing color on a Chiefs game he talked about how Alt had become one of the best left tackles in the game. And I don’t remember Walsh throwing around comments like that easily (unlike Gruden). It really hurt when Alt retired.

Big Chief
Big Chief

Matt Herkenhoff was a solid tackle for the Chiefs during those dark years in the late 70s and early 80s. He was with the team from 76-85. My most vivid memory is during one of the vicious Chiefs/Raiders games of that time (always lots of Personal Foul calls in that era). Merlin Olsen was doing the game and the director had evidently ordered 1 camera to isolate on Lyle Alzado. There was a play where Herkenhoff had walled off Alzado, and the play was going on downfield so they both stopped and watched. Suddenly Alzado turns around and smacks Herkenhoff in the stomach with an open hand. In the booth Olsen got as angry as you ever heard him get, and really let go about Alzado being a dirty player, etc.

When Alzado was asked about it after the game he said he smacked Herkenhoff in retaliation for trying to rip his nose off of his face on the prior play. So they asked Matt and he didn’t deny it. He said his hand slipped up inside Alzado’s face mask, and said it seemed like a good time to improve Alzado’s looks. And that was the end of that. I can’t help but wonder with today’s social media how it would play out.

Anthony Stratton

Great stuff!

Tony Sommer

What about Pro Bowl LT Eric Fisher?

01lowbird

Isn’t it feel odd that fisher got a pro bowl and schwartz didn’t