Chiefsmedia Q&A Archive
Peterson & Vermeil on G/T John Welbourn TradeApr 25, 2004, 2:04:00 PM
(Audio 56k - RealPlayer required)
“We felt that John had the quality of play and ability that far exceeded certainly anything that we could find in the fifth round or later in this draft. He has also played offensive tackle but he’s been their starting left guard for the last four years. He’s a big, strong, physical guy. He went to school with (Chiefs linebacker) Scott Fujita. We think he can come in and do a good job in a backup role and very possibly compete at the right tackle spot.”
DICK VERMEIL, HEAD COACH: “They (Philadelphia Eagles) were calling around the league. We didn’t call them and say would you trade him to us. He was out there and Carl talked to them yesterday when they were shopping him. He wasn’t real excited about staying in Philadelphia because of a conflict there. Like most people, they don’t want people who don’t want to be there.
“We studied him and our pro scout service and (Vice President of Pro Personnel) Bill Kuharich really liked him. So, Carl went ahead and got it done today. It provides us tremendous depth inside, provides us competition outside. He originally was playing right tackle and got hurt as a rookie and was moved inside when he got healthy and he’s played there ever since. It’s a tremendous security blanket, tremendous. But our first thought is for him to be an inside player.”
Q: So he’ll line up at guard for you?
VERMEIL: “My initial thought right now, yes. But he’ll line up as a football player and then we’ll see where he fits from there. But he’s a very fine pass protector.”
Q: He’s been really outspoken about being out of Philadelphia. What kind of concerns do you have with a player who’s been that public about that?
PETERSON: “You always have concerns. Andy Reid shared with Dick and I and sent us a copy of a letter that John and his agent sent to the Eagles indicating that there were teams that he would be very interested in playing for. Kansas City was one. He had indicated that he would be content with playing at his current contract. He has four years left with a contract that they did three years ago.
“I’m always concerned, like Dick, when you acquire a player that for whatever reason he doesn’t want to play with that current franchise, but all of our quick research has indicated that he’s a guy that will stand by his word and do that. If he eventually becomes a starting player for the Kansas City Chiefs then obviously we would sit down and look at that. But right now he’s under contract; he’s indicated he will play with that contract. As Dick says, it gives us a great deal of insurance with the interior of our line and has the possibility of playing right tackle.”
Q: Has anyone talked to him?
PETERSON: “Not personally, but we’ve talked with his agent and he confirmed that’s what John wanted to do: be traded and we were one of the teams. I’ve actually seen the letter that indicated that to be true. Anytime you make a trade for a player there’s always concerns, but we thought the reward far outweighs the risk. His contract does fit in our cap.”
Q: Are there contingencies?
PETERSON: “One is that the player will report and pass club physical. So, obviously if we have problems with that then the fourth will be voided next year. This is a guy we’ve done some research on and had our offensive line coach (Mike Solari) look at and talk with his offensive line coach (in Philadelphia) and (Chiefs linebacker) Scott Fujita, a former teammate. A very physical, talented, very smart football player. He’s unhappy and hopefully he’ll find happiness in Kansas City.”
Q: Dick, you’ve talked about how hard it is to find guys who do what you do on offense. Does he fit?
VERMEIL: “Yes, he fits. He provides us with flexibility, is our kind of worker, our kind of finisher and is already developed.”
PETERSON: “Coming out of Cal he was 6’5” and weighed 310 and ran a 5.01 forty. He has the physical attributes and we’ve seen him on video. He’s played very well for a team that’s been the NFC championship three consecutive years and as a starter.”
Q: You talked about upgrading the middle of your line. Has this done it?
VERMEIL: “We were looking to draft a young center/guard combination. Now we don’t have to do that. We also know that Bober has played center; we also know that Brian Waters has played center, so we have more flexibility in an already talented offensive line right now than we now have. The right tackle position is not nailed down so that will be a very competitive position this year. We made the trade for him to come inside, but eventually you’re going to put your five best offensive linemen on the line of scrimmage.
“I like how Brett Williams has come along and I like (Chris) Bober a lot, so this provides us with security, it provides flexibility and it provides us depth.”