Who were the best non-starters in our history? These players were solid role players – ones that made us want to cheer for them. They may not have had the best skills but they went to battle for the Chiefs. Several of them have something in common – we will not that later. The rules were very simple – they spent their career here as a backup. They might have some starts but only when an injury put them in the lineup. Kick returners and Punt Returners are considered starters and a player like Anthony Sherman is considered a starter, even though we rarely started the game with a fullback out there. Here we go with the list – Let me know who I missed and deserves to be here.
Benny Thompson and Marcus Kemp – With a combined zero starts in sixty games, these two have made their bones on special teams. Someone will remind us that Kemp tipped a pass last week but he is a monster gunner. I still remember the infamous Benny Thompson dog peeing with lifted leg move. He was a character.
Kevin Lockett and Marc Boerigter – They had eight starts in ninety-five games. Both made some nice catches and were probably not used enough. Lockett suffered under the Marty Ball rules and Boerigter was buried in the Vermeil rotation. I always thought both had the potential to be more than their stats showed.
Monty Beisel, Andy Studebaker, and Greg Manusky – This trio of linebackers had average skills but played with all of their heart. They had a combined twenty-three starts in two hundred and twenty-four games played. I would be willing to go to war with these three guys as my starting linebackers as they would fight to the death.
Jason Dunn – He should be number one on this list but he almost qualifies as a starter as he was the forgotten blocker helping Priest Holmes set those insane records. His twenty-five official starts makes up one third of all the starts the players on this list have. He is the best tight end that we have had not named Tony or Travis.
Danan Hughes – Danan was a nice reliable receiver buried in the rotation during Marty Ball. He was not spectacular but he was solid as both a receiver and a member of special teams. He is the type of guy that you want to be your fifth receiver – I am ready when you call my number but I am first and foremost a team player.
Joe Valerio – Not a very powerful offensive lineman but I hope you remember the touchdowns he scored. He carved a niche with the team at a time when it was not a common occurrence to see linemen catching a ball. He became a household name and we cheered when we saw him trot on the field down toward the goal line.
Pellom McDaniels – He had fourteen starts in seventy-four games and was a good solid backup defensive lineman. He was behind an awesome line but we did not lose much when he entered the game. Not too high of a mountain to climb but he would become the second best defensive lineman on the team if he was added to the roster now.
Todd McNair – Todd was a reliable third down back for Marty – His ability to catch the ball with just enough running skills made him an important part of the offense. McNair started twice in ninety games with the Chiefs but was a great complement to the fantastic stable of backs that we had. He was truly under appreciated at the time by most of us.
Wallace Gilberry – Once again, not too high of a mountain, but he would become the second best pass rusher on the Chiefs if he joined them now. He had a decent number of sacks for someone who only started three games – over a span of fifty-three games. Nothing too special about him but he always seemed to get the job done. Love the name for a pass rusher.
Ben Niemann – Wait, stop cursing, that was an attempt at a joke. He should only be allowed to be a backup to a backup.
Joe Horn – He was a great deep threat receiver, playing for a coach in Marty that threw deep once every decade. One of the worst decisions that the Chiefs ever made was letting him go to the Saints cause we see what he did there. Andy Reid would have built his offense around him had he been in town at that time. What might have been had we kept him?
Well, I hoped you enjoyed the list and provide some feedback. Who was too high or too low? Which players deserve to be on the list but were not mentioned? The common thread? Over half of these players were coached by Marty Schottenheimer – Marty knew how to put a team together and fill up the roster with good players – except quarterbacks. If he and Andy morphed into one person, we would have the ultimate Chiefs team.