Sunday, September 4, 2011
KC reporter shares Waters insight
By Mike Reiss
Thanks to Randy Covitz, the veteran NFL writer for the Kansas City Star, for sharing his perspective on former Chiefs guard Brian Waters today. Here are some of the things that Kovitz passed along:
Waters got off to rocky start with new regime. When general manager Scott Pioli and head coach Todd Haley took over in 2009, it was a team that won six games in the previous two years, and was coming off a 2-14 season. There were reports that Haley told Waters, in a private meeting, that he could take 22 guys off the street and win two games. In Kovitz’s view, Waters was attempting to be a bridge between the new regime and players by meeting with Haley, but the meeting apparently wasn’t well received by Haley, which led to the "22 players" remark. "Waters got off on a bad foot with those guys," Kovitz said.
Offseason approach could have been factor in Chiefs’ decision-making. Kovitz described Waters as a player who loves football and is heavily involved in the community and a family man. Waters, who won the 2009 Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year award, lives in Texas and spent his offseasons there. He attended all Chiefs mandatory offseason work, but wasn’t part of the voluntary offseason program. Covitz relayed that when Pioli and Haley first came to Kansas City, they were not happy with the overall condition of the team, and he believed Waters’ not taking part in the offseason program wasn’t viewed in a favorable light, adding another wrinkle to the dynamic between Waters and the new regime. "I think there was some oil and water there. Not a good mix," Covitz said.
Pro Bowl season on reputation? Waters was named to the Pro Bowl last year, although Covitz points to some late-season games where the Chiefs’ offensive line had trouble as evidence to those who felt Waters didn’t have his best year. With the Chiefs bringing some younger interior linemen and veteran free agents onto the roster in recent years – such as Jon Asamoah, Ryan Lilja, Rodney Hudson – Waters was ultimately phased out. "I think it was more personality than performance [in management's view]," Covitz said, before adding that the performance had declined from the high standard Waters had previously set.