Kansas City Chiefs History Has A “Full” Backfield
Looking at the Kansas City Chiefs all-time best fullbacks I’ve found myself supporting a two-fullback offense. I’ve stared at numbers (rushing, receiving, touchdowns and the rushing yardage of those they’ve blocked for) for days now. My eyes are as large as those of the linebackers’ they’ve collided with, and I can’t make a definitive call on which I’d want on my team. So I choose two, and neither is in Kansas City’s Hall of Fame.
There is a fullback enshrined at Arrowhead Stadium, but he’s not even one of the two I’m struggling to choose between. Ed Podolak was a beast for the Chiefs in the 70′s. But that was a time before the position was redefined. In this day and age, he’d have been a halfback. He’s second on the team’s all-time ground yardage list with 8,178 total yards. He led the Chiefs in rushing four times, and topped the franchise statistically three times in both receiving and punt return yardage. He also returned kicks, and I’ve been told he wasn’t to shabby of a broadcaster either. He covered his alma mater, the Iowa Hawkeyes, but apparently not enough of himself in some 2009 Internet photos.
My mind is unable to differentiate between Kimble Anders and Tony Richardson. Well, I digress … I can tell the difference, and I know which I’d want on the field in a given situation. I’d prefer Anders on passing downs and Richardson on running plays, unless the fullback was getting the rock. Let’s break them down on paper.
Both were undrafted, both went to three Pro Bowls. Anders never blocked for a 1,000-yard rusher, but rushed for 2,261 0f his own in his nine-year tenure with the Chiefs. He did that in playing just over half the games Richardson did. He also caught nearly double the amount of passes (369-210) for over 1,000 more yards. His total offensive production for Kansas City yielded 5,090 yards and 18 touchdowns.
Richardson was almost 2,000 yards shy of that with 3270 total. However, he’s blocked for six 1,000-yard rushers in his career. Three of them were Chiefs, though only two as teammates for Kansas City. He led the way for Priest Holmes and Larry Johnson in Arrowhead, and former Chief Thomas Jones while with the New York Jets. Two years after the Chiefs let go of him, he blew open holes for 2007 Rookie of the Year Adrian Peterson in Minnesota. He also blocked for thousand-yarders Chester Taylor and LaDanian Tomlinson.
T-Rich as he’s known may best be seen statistically through the numbers of Chiefs running back Larry Johnson for whom he blocked. Johnson finished the ’05 season (Richardson’s last in KC) with 1750 yards. He ran for 39 more yards in Tony’s absence the following season. The kicker? It took him 80 more carries to do so.
You can make a decision of your own based on the numbers I’ve provided. But if I’m the man that has to make the call, the only numbers I’m crunching anymore are those of my salary cap. I’m finding a way to keep them both!
Troy Alan is a Kansas City Chiefs writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @TRantMedia or “Like” him on Facebook