Kansas City Chiefs ’89-’19: Ranking coaches, GMs, & best/worst players

We here at GASN Sports were born in the mid 80’s and fell in love with the game of football from a very young age. Growing up, our hometown Kansas City Chiefs caught our eye, our hearts and our imaginations as we wanted to learn more and someday get to a live game inside Arrowhead stadium. Above all, we thought it would be fun to rank the coaches, GMs, and best/worst players starting when the team found its way again under Marty Schottenheimer all the way to present day. So, without further ado, here are our rankings of the Chiefs coaches, GMs, and best/worst players from 1989-2019!


General Managers

Carl Peterson:

Carl took over a mess of a franchise and turned it into the winningest team of the 90’s. How? His first order of business was to find the man to lead the Chiefs into a new era and he did that in the way of hiring Marty Schottenheimer. He also drafted Derrick Thomas, a future hall of famer and the Chiefs all-time leader in sacks. Arrowhead became the #1 destination in Kansas City and the loudest outdoor stadium in the NFL!

Whatever success the Chiefs had under my “watch” for 20 years, was not because of me, but it was because of the great players, coaches, football staff, and employees that we had at One Arrowhead Dr. and of course, it began with Lamar Hunt.

Carl Peterson

Our Interview with Carl Peterson

I was able to nurture, get to know, and appreciate, the finest pro football fans in the country, the Kansas City Chiefs’ fans!

Carl Peterson

Brett Veach:

Well, let’s see, Brett assembled a roster that just won Super Bowl LIV and oh yeah, he was the key figure who discovered and pushed for the Chiefs’ brass to draft Patrick Mahomes! He has the opportunity to become the best general manager in the Chiefs’ history, but it’s still too early to put him above Carl Peterson who did so much for this organization for 20 years.

John Dorsey:

John is a great talent evaluator, but horrible with the salary cap. Did he even realize that there was one? While Brett is said to have found Mahomes, it was John who had to make it happen, and he did.

Scott Pioli:

Micromanager and ego-maniacal are just two of the colorful terms we’ve heard to describe this man. We need to give him credit for one thing though, he was able to get players to sign extremely team-friendly contracts. However, that is all undone by his feud with Todd Haley, his unwillingness to move off Matt Cassel, his hiring of Romeo Crennel, and his horrendous drafts.


Head Coaches

Andy Reid Illustration by Chris Sembower http://www.chrissembower.com/

Andy Reid:

A creature of habit, a genius offensive mastermind, and a fun steadying captain to guide the ship. Andy Reid has always been a great coach whether it was back in Green Bay, or in Philly, and obviously now in Kansas City. He went to 5 NFC Championship games with the Eagles and one Super Bowl in which they lost to the Patriots. Andy just completed back to back AFC Championship games and won his first Super Bowl as a head coach. He brought the Lamar Hunt trophy back to Kansas City and for the first time in 50 years, the Chiefs won the Lombardi trophy!

Marty Schottenheimer:

Marty brought winning football back to Kansas City and helped cultivate what we know now as the sea of red and the Arrowhead mystique. The fans piled in to see the winningest team of the 90’s with its dominant defense and brought with them the best tailgating the NFL has ever seen. Moreover, the fans also held up their end of the bargain by being the loudest, most raucous, and passionate fan base alongside Green Bay and Buffalo. Marty was a detail-oriented coach who would walk up to any position group on the practice field and coach them up. He turned losers into winners every single stop along his NFL journey and that cannot be understated or overlooked. Andy Reid went to championship games and Super Bowls because he was and is a great coach, but Marty never had a Donovan McNabb and Marty certainly never had a Patrick Mahomes. Marty lost in the most excruciating ways in the playoffs whether it was Lin Elliott or Nate Kaeding missing field goals, the drive, the fumble, Grbac’s headset going out and panicking, or Marlon McRee’s interception of Tom Brady only to try and return it for no reason and fumbled it right back to the Patriots.

One Play at a Time: A Film for Marty

In 2018, we made a short documentary film for Marty Schottenheimer, who had been recently diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. We gathered videos from 17 of his former players who wanted to share their memories and well wishes with not only their former coach, but their mentor, father figure, and friend. We were able to present the film, One Play at a Time: A Film for Marty, to Marty himself at his home in North Carolina as well as spend the day with him having lunch at his country club. It truly is a day we will never forget and it was our way of saying thank you for all he did for us and all of Chiefs Kingdom! Below is the official trailer for the film as well as Marty’s reaction after watching the film with us. You can purchase your copy here and all proceeds go to help aid in Alzheimer’s research!

BUY THE DVD – END ALZ

http://martyfilmkc.weebly.com/ways-to-watch.html

Several great Chiefs fans in Shane Williams from the Shaggyshane KC Chiefs Show, Clay Wendler from Red Tribe Cinema, and Lance Twidwell from The Spoken were kind enough to review our short documentary film on Marty Schottenheimer in this YouTube video below! Thanks guys!

Dick Vermeil:

One of the most prolific offenses in NFL history arrived thanks to Dick Vermeil. The offensive line and run game were as dominant as they come. Trent Green and Tony Gonzalez couldn’t be ignored either so it was a pick your poison type of situation. Coach Vermeil had a personal connection with all of his players and cared deeply for them, not just on the field, but off of it. Sadly, that team never realized its ultimate goal because as great as the offense was, those defenses were some of the worst in NFL history! We will get more into that when we talk worst Chiefs players!

Our Interview with Dick Vermeil

Todd Haley:

Todd is an interesting study because we believe that he’s a good coach, but his people skills are lacking, to say the least. He would visibly get into shouting matches with Matt Cassel and Barry Richardson which we liked, because we as fans were yelling at them often as well. Most importantly, he moved Dwayne Bowe and Derrick Johnson off the first team units in practice to try and wake them up. Todd knew their talent didn’t match what he was seeing on the field in production or lack thereof. Dwayne and Derrick both went on to have consistent and productive careers which part of that is owed to Todd Haley’s tactic. Ultimately, Todd and Scott could not get along. Pioli began a sabotage effort of sorts by not signing any key free agents in 2011 after the Chiefs had just made the playoffs the year prior. Subsequently, when Todd played Tyler Palko, seemingly out of spite and a big middle finger up to Pioli, things had reached their boiling point and Romeo Crennel finished the season as interim head coach.

Gunther Cunningham:

Gunther was a tough s.o.b., but if you ask any of his players they will tell you that they loved “Gun” and would have ran through a brick wall for him. He barely missed out on the playoffs in 1999 in the last game of the season against the Raiders. Derrick Thomas passed away during his tenure which took so much out of Gunther as he saw Derrick, not as a player, but as a son.

Herm Edwards:

Herm Edwards once called a timeout when the refs said Eddie Kennison was short of the line to gain against the Raiders. Then he challenged it and lost, thus losing two timeouts in one situation. He was all talk, but couldn’t back any of it up. He’d do a press conference and leave everyone feeling positive, but then he just looked lost on gameday.

Romeo Crennel:

Romeo resided over the darkest time in this franchise’s history. He had no clue what was going on! One time, the media asked him why Jamaal Charles only had 9 carries and he told them he didn’t realize that and didn’t have an answer for them.


Best Players

Joe Montana:

Joe Montana makes this list because of everything he brought to Kansas City. He brought media attention, accountability, experience at the highest level, leadership, Montana Magic aka clutch late game execution, and an unwavering calm in the huddle (Joe Cool) during the most tense and stressful of moments. October 17th, 1994 neither Marty Schottenheimer nor Joe had won at Mile High and on that Monday night with 13 seconds left in the game; Joe hit Willie Davis in the front right corner of the endzone for the game winning touchdown! He had late game heroics against the Steelers and Oilers in the playoffs and took us to an AFC Championship game against Buffalo. Unfortunately, Joe was knocked out of that game and prior to that Tim Barnett and Kimble Anders both dropped touchdowns or maybe it’s a different game.

Tony Gonzalez

Why isn’t Tony higher on this list some of you may ask? Well, the Falcons made his career apparently so…

The Rest of the Best

  • Patrick Mahomes: He’s only played 2 full seasons, but his talent and production are other worldly! Patrick has a league MVP, Super Bowl MVP, and brought the Lamar Hunt and Lombardi trophies back to Kansas City for the first time in 50 years!
  • Derrick Thomas: The Chiefs all-time leader in sacks with 126.5. Derrick Thomas’ first step off the line is legendary along with his speed and bend around the edge. He finished off the sack with a tomahawk chop swiping down at the ball. Derrick would signal for a safety a few times in his career and then actually go out and do it. A once in a generation talent and sadly he left the NFL and this world far too soon.
  • Will Shields: A model of consistency, class, and dominance that we rarely see.
  • Jamaal Charles: The Chiefs all-time leader in rushing. He was more than just speed, but had vision and wiggle in his arsenal as well. Jamaal’s career rushing average is 5.4 yards per carry and in case you’re not aware, that’s one of the more eye popping stats you’ll ever see.
  • Priest Holmes: Priest Holmes was a touchdown scoring machine with a nose for the endzone like another former Chiefs running back, Marcus Allen. Priest’s patience was something to behold as he would wait for Tony Richardson and his line to secure their blocks before bursting through the hole. Several times, he would hold onto the back of Richardson’s jersey as he navigated his way through traffic.
  • Travis Kelce: Travis has done something no other tight end in NFL history has accomplished and that is 4 straight 1,000+ yard receiving seasons.
  • Tyreek Hill: Speed for days, but he’s quickly transitioned into one of the top 5 (at worst) receivers in the league with his route running (Jet Chip Wasp) and his ability to locate and sky for the ball.
  • Derrick Johnson: Leads the Chiefs in all-time tackles with 1,154. His ability to make himself skinny to knife through the offensive line and clip a running back in the backfield was unique and special.

Honorable Mentions:

  • Neil Smith, Dale Carter, Stephone Paige, Kevin Ross, Albert Lewis, Deron Cherry, Marcus Allen, Brian Waters, Larry Johnson, Tony Richardson, Tamba Hali, Jared Allen, James Hasty, Dwayne Bowe, Christian Okoye, Nick Lowery, Dustin Colquitt, Justin Houston, Tim Grunhard, Bill Maas, Mitchell Schwartz, Eric Berry, John Alt, Chris Jones, and Willie Roaf.

Our Interview with Jared Allen

Our Interview with Tamba Hali

Our Interview with Dale Carter

Our Shocking Interview with James Hasty

Our Interview with Dwayne Bowe


Worst Players

William Bartee:

William Bartee is not simply the worst Chiefs player we have ever seen, but in our minds, far and away, the worst NFL player in the history of the game. Maybe, there have been worse players on a practice squad or down the depth chart, but for a team to continually roll him out there as a starter, he’s the worst! Players like Ryan Sims, Glenn Cadrez, Phillip Gaines, and Orlando Scandrick have one interception as a member of the Chiefs, while William Bartee had zero interceptions in 7 years! As a result, he accomplished the impossible which was to never, and we mean NEVER, be in the screen or within 5 yards of his man when they caught the football. It’s a feat that will never be matched and never be beaten.

Samie Parker:

Samie Parker was just your ordinary bad football player until one fateful day against the Detroit Lions in 2007. The Chiefs tried some late game heroics to win, but instead of lateralling the ball to Tony Gonzalez who was waiting for it, Samie just fell down and the game ended. To make matters worse, Samie began smiling and laughing as the whistle blew and the Chiefs were the losers. We may never get over that, how about you?

Trezelle Jenkins

Trezelle Jenkins was drafted 31st overall by the Chiefs in 1995. He played in 9 games in which he only started in one of those. In 2007, Charles Robinson, of Yahoo! Sports ranked Jenkins as the worst No. 31 pick since the AFL-NFL merger.

Kris “Secret Weapon” Wilson:

Kris “Secret Weapon” Wilson! That’s what Dick Vermeil said he would be; a secret weapon who could play H-back, tight end, and split out wide as a receiver. Unfortunately, Kris’ secret weapon was catching any football thrown to him, out of bounds. How he would make acrobatic, sliding, diving catches and never be inbounds is beyond us.

The Rest of the Worst

  • Tyler Palko: Tyler threw 2 touchdowns and 7 interceptions in 4 games in 2011.
  • Turk McBride: Turk had 55 tackles and 1 sack in 2 years with the Chiefs.
  • Tyson Jackson: The 3rd overall pick in 2009 had 9 sacks in 5 years.
  • Ryan Sims: The 6th overall pick in 2002 had 5 sacks and 1 interception in 5 years.
  • Orlando Scandrick: He had 1 interception and blew the coverage against the Chargers on a 2-point conversion that gave them the win in Arrowhead in 2018.
  • Phillip Gaines: 1 interception in 4 years with the Chiefs. He was widely known to have good coverage on his man, but just could not locate or make a play on the ball if his life depended on it.

Dishonorable Mentions:

  • Glenn Dorsey, Jeff Webb, Brodie Croyle, Eric Hicks, Steve Bono, Lin Elliott, Kendrell Bell, Junior Siavii, Sabby Piscitelli, Mike Brown, Mike McGlynn, Barry Richardson, Tyler Thigpen, Jon Baldwin, Victor Riley, and coming soon to a worst players list near you… Breeland Speaks.

Our Interview with Lin Elliott

Our Interview with Steve Bono

Our Interview with Brodie Croyle

Inky Johnson is a former Tennessee Volunteer football player turned motivational speaker after a devastating hit cost him the use of his right arm. He is also one of Eric Berry’s best friends and we interviewed him in this as well. He goes into Eric Berry’s fight with cancer and their friendship!

Eric Hicks

This may be harsh because he’s 5th all-time in sacks in Chiefs history with 44.5. However, we still wake up in a cold sweat from night terrors we have of him against a certain Denver Broncos player and play. The player and play we’re talking about is, of course, a Jake Plummer bootleg right while Eric Hicks crashes down on the run leaving a wide open lane! Does Plummer run it? Does he drop it off to Byron Chamberlain or Dwayne Carswell? Either option is wide open and both hurt the same. That was when we first learned of and understood the importance of gap, lane, and edge responsibility!

Junior Siavii

Spit hood… enough said.

Jeff “One Foot” Webb

Jeff Webb was drafted in the 6th round out of San Diego State where he played with Herm Edwards’ son, Marcus. Herm said Marcus had told him good things and we’re guessing he told him, “Dad, Jeff is amazing at always catching the ball inbounds.” Sadly, the college game is different from the NFL because in the NFL you need two feet inbounds for a pass to be completed. As a result, Jeff only caught 48.6% of the balls thrown his way, but we think that number would be closer to 88.6% if he could have ever gotten that second foot down.


Let us know your thoughts in the comments section!

  • How would you order the GMs?
  • How would you order the coaches?
  • Who are your top 10 best Chiefs players from 1989-2019?
  • Who are your top 10 worst Chiefs players from 1989-2019?
  • Did we miss anyone on our best or worst Chiefs players?
  • Any other questions, comments, or feedback please leave a comment!
  • Thanks for reading and watching our content right here on GASN Sports!

Avatar of Noah Gronniger
Noah, a sports fan since 1992, began his journey into sports media in 2012. He is co-founder of the Great American Sports Network as well as a podcast host, filmmaker and freelance writer.

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