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:
Emmitt Thomas #18
Recently retired Chiefs Defensive Backs Coach Emmitt Thomas had a very successful playing career in Kansas City. As an undrafted free agent, Thomas would come to the Chiefs and help protect the defensive backfield for 13 seasons. The 2008 inductee to the Professional Football Hall of Fame had several stop as a coach after his playing days were over, with this upcoming season being his first in retirement.
Arrowhead Guys member and contributor KCH1EFSFAN has this memory about Thomas:
From 1966 to 1978, Thomas anchored one of the strongest defensive secondaries in the league. That secondary teamed with the Chiefs rugged linebacking corps and defensive front line to make it nearly impossible to run or throw against the Chiefs. What Thomas did during his 13 years in the NFL was incredible. He had 58 interceptions, which puts him at first all-time in Chiefs history. Twelve of those 58 interceptions came from one season alone, where Thomas picked off that many passes in 1974.
One of my most vivid memories of Thomas came on the biggest stage, when he picked off a pass late in Super Bowl IV to seal the Chiefs 23-7 victory over Minnesota in 1970. I don’t recall a bigger reaction to a play in my early years than this one. How could there be?KCH1EFSFAN @MarcCentanni
Along with having his #18 retired by the team, Thomas was selected to 5 Pro Bowls, was a 2 time First Team All-Pro, 2 time Second Team All-Pro, he was the AFL’s pick leader in 1969, the NFL’s pick leader in 1974, and along with winning Super Bowl IV with the Chiefs as a player, he collected 2 more Rings as a coach with the Washington Redskins.
Gary Green #24
Gary Green was a 1st round pick of the Chiefs out of Baylor University in 1977. He would play 9 seasons in the National Football League 7 of them coming with the Chiefs, and would tally 33 INT’s.
Green would be selected to 4 Pro Bowls, 3 with the Chiefs and 1 with the Rams, and would finish the last 5 years of his career being selected to the All-Pro team each year.
Albert Lewis #29
Albert Lewis was a 3rd round draft pick of the Chiefs in 1983. The Grambling State product put together a 16 year career that saw him play for 2 AFC West teams. His 11 years with the Chiefs were highly productive, and paired with the next player on this list, Lewis made the NFL Network’s Top 10 Cornerback Tandem list.
He enjoyed a stellar career that spanned 16 seasons in which he recorded 42 interceptions, 12.5 sacks, 13 forced fumbles, 13 fumbles recoveries and 2 touchdowns. In addition to his standout play on defense, Lewis blocked a stunning 11 kicks in 11 seasons with the Chiefs.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albert_Lewis_(American_football)
Blocking 11 kicks is certainly a marvelous feat. Come to think of it, I cannot remember the last time the Chiefs actually blocked a kick, yet back in his days you were nearly certain the possibility was there for it to occur every single time he stepped on the field.
Lewis was named to the Chiefs 25-Year All-Time Team in 1987 and was inducted into the Chiefs Hall of Fame on March 4, 2007
Lewis would finish his career having been selected to 4 Pro Bowls and a 3-time All-Pro. He was a member of the 1993 team that made it to the AFC Championship Game.
Kevin Ross #31
Kevin Ross was a 7th round draft pick of the Chiefs in 1984. He would play 11 seasons for Kansas City, with stops in Atlanta and San Diego in-between. As I mentioned above in the Albert Lewis portion, Ross and Lewis were a duo that many opposing Quarterbacks across the league would come to fear.
Ross, known as “the Rock,” went to two NFL Pro Bowls and was inducted into the Kansas City Hall of Fame in 2011. He is one of only three players in franchise history to score a touchdown in at least four different ways (two INTs, two blocked field goal returns, one fumble recovery and one blocked punt).https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kevin_Ross_(American_football)
Following his successful playing career, Ross has entered the coaching ranks. He has coached Defensive Backs in Minnesota, San Diego, Oakland, Arizona, and currently works with the Cornerbacks for Tampa Bay.
Dale Carter #34
1992 1st Round selection out of Tennessee, Dale Carter would spend 7 seasons playing for the Kingdom. Following the 1992 season he would be picked as the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year.
Carter went on to sign, what would be at the time, the NFL’s largest contract for a DB in 1999 with the Denver Broncos. Continued off the field trouble would plague him forcing Denver to release him from his contract early. After missing a season due to suspension, he had stops in Minnesota and New Orleans, missing another season, but due to a blood clot. Carter would play a final year with the Ravens before retiring.
His best seasons came as a Chiefs player though, where he was selected to 4 Pro Bowls and 2 All-Pro Teams.
James Hasty #40
James Hasty would come to Kansas City via the New York Jets, and would play his best football for our team, spending 6 seasons paired with Dale Carter, starting in 1995.
Hasty would be selected to 2 Pro Bowls, 1 All-Pro Team, and would share in the NFL Interception Lead for the 1999 season. After spending 1 season in Oakland, Hasty would retire following the 2001 season.
Brandon Flowers #24
2008 second round draft pick Brandon Flowers, aka BFlo, went on to become a Chiefs fan favorite. While he played on some poor Chiefs teams, Flowers would always give the fans something to cheer about with his memorable interceptions, 3 of which were returned for touchdowns.
He recorded his first two career interceptions against Brett Favre of the New York Jets on October 26, returning the 2nd one 91 yards for a touchdown. The Chiefs, however, lost the game 28–24. Flowers finished the season with 69 tackles (62 solo), 1 forced fumble, 13 pass break-ups, 2 interceptions and a touchdown.
Flowers was signed to a contract extension with the Chiefs at the start of the 2011 season, but was a roster casualty a mere 3 years later as the Chiefs would cut him in 2014. He went on to San Diego until injuries started to mount, forcing them to release him.
For his career BFlo would amass 487 tackles, 21 INT’s and 4 Forced Fumbles for the Chiefs and Chargers.
Marcus Peters #22
In case you were wondering, yes MP22 made the list. After much collaboration and discussion, Arrowhead Guys couldn’t leave the “Kansas City Thief” off this list.
A first round draft pick out of Washington in 2015, Marcus Peters set Kansas City ablaze with his playing style. Love him or hate him, Peters brought a style to the defensive backfield that had been missing and it led to him being selected as the NFL’s Defensive Rookie of the Year.
We all know the team shipped Peters out to Los Angeles prior to start of last season that and he played in last years Super Bowl. His overall numbers took a huge dip last season in L.A. as he recorded on 3 picks and no forced fumbles. He failed to make the Pro Bowl last season after making it his first 2 seasons in Kansas City.