“It starts with scouts identifying players with talent and the makeup that can meet the demands of our organization,” Pioli said on the Chiefs official website last season about undrafted free-agent rookies. “It also takes a talented coaching staff that is willing to invest the time that it takes to help a player mature physically and mentally. However, it ultimately comes down to the player doing what it takes to be a pro.”
I like the underdog. The little guy or what people call second best. The ones others put in the box. The successful underdog is the person who determines the box isn’t for them. Any chance is an opportunity to shine.
It’s something I teach my kids. When that time comes make sure you do your best. Underdogs are fun; fans have nothing to lose by cheering for them. They could be watching a Hollywood movie in the making, the next “Rudy”.
Both T-Rich and Holmes were undrafted
The situation an undrafted rookie finds himself in is hard. They’re rookies, but rookies who weren’t preferred in the NFL Draft. There’s a pecking order and with camp they’re at the bottom.
Three things Pioli mentioned in his statement on undrafted rookies.
Talent: Scouts previously recognized it so it’s there. It’s a just in case signing by the Chiefs. No promises with any of these players, but it’s a “what if” look by the Chiefs. What if this player turns out to be the next Brian Waters, Tony Richardson, or Priest Holmes?
Coaching: Good coaching definitely helps, but the player has to get to the coaches front door. There’s the foot of the mountain and what comes before. The undrafted rookie is working to catch someone’s eye. If he’s worth it the coach might take away from the players that were drafted and ones already on the team. Even with spare coaching it’s not guaranteed.
The Player: True in life factual in football, but attitude is a guarantee. The right one works and the wrong one doesn’t. Simple but true. For Chief undrafted rookies WR Brandon Kinnie, LB Dexter Heyman, and DB Neiko Thorpe attitude they control. Having high pre-draft grades didn’t get them drafted. What NFL.com said about them won’t help them make the roster. To climb and stick with Kansas City they have to make it happen. If they listen, grow, and do their very best there might be a place for them. Chief linebacker Jovan Belcher knows this path. From little college interest to undrafted rookie his attitude is what’s worked him into being a starter in the NFL.
Excited about this roster and looking forward to 2012!