It seems like the Chiefs finally hit a home run with the addition of Patrick Surtain. Though this off-season has seen a plethora of talented defensive players join the roster, the addition of Surtain legitimizes the Chiefs entire off-season. Whatever they do in the NFL Draft this weekend can be viewed as a bonus.
But listening to Surtain, it's very clear that he wanted to be a Kansas City Chief from the onset. He had been hoping this day would come for the last two months and had to wait patiently until the deal could get done. It wasn't easy but now that the contracts are signed; he can start concentrating
"First of all, I just want to thank the Kansas City Chiefs organization for allowing this to happen – Mr. Lamar Hunt, Coach Vermeil, Mr. Peterson, Denny (Thum) and everyone else that was involved in this trade. I'm just looking forward to coming up here and rejuvenating the defense. I'm not going to say that I'm going to do it myself, but with the additions of Sammy Knight, Kendrell Bell, Carlos Hall and the players that we had before, I think we can get this thing turned around and get to the ultimate goal of the Super Bowl. It took a while, but I'm finally here. I'm looking forward to getting to know the guys," said the newest member of the Chiefs.
This was no easy deal to get done as the Miami Dolphins held their ground on wanting the Chiefs second round draft choice. In the end the deal was done but according to Chiefs president Carl Peterson; that proved to be a challenging endeavor.
"Well, because they were asking for more than a second-round pick," said Carl Peterson. "Ultimately, I just said to the Dolphins administration, ‘give me something back,' and they did. We flipped fifth-round picks, which is fine for us in the second day. It gets us to the top of that round. But (Surtain) is certainly worth that; his credentials speak for themselves. We've got a guy that can step right in and play, and that's what we're excited about."
For Chiefs Head Coach Dick Vermeil, he did his homework on Surtain and for one; he's glad to have the caliber of player like Surtain in a Chiefs uniform.
"I talked to two players that I coached for three years with the Rams that played with Patrick at Miami: (DT) Jeff Zgonina and (DE) Jay Williams. They both swear by the guy. They know what a program run by me [is like] and they know how we work, how we do things and how we like to put chemistry together. They were very, very positive about Patrick and Michelle and said they would fit in our family and add to it and help us be a better football team at the same time. It's a perfect fit," said Vermeil.
What this move does for the Chiefs is stabilize the cornerback position for Kansas City. Surtain will tandem with Eric Warfield and for the first time the Chiefs will have a pair of quality cornerbacks to compete against the pass heavy AFC West. Still Surtain knows that he can't do it all by himself but he understands the pressure that will be put on him by the fans and the fact that the Chiefs have invested so much money in their new cornerback.
"I wouldn't consider it pressure. I will just go out there and do what I have been doing since I was eight years old – playing football. I know this team expects me to make plays and that I will do," said Surtain. "Also, you are bringing in high quality guys like Sammy Knight and Kendrell Bell – those guys play football. With the guys we had last year, I feel we have a pretty good nucleus – a lot of veteran players mixed with a lot of young players. I think with the addition of myself and the guys I just named, we have a pretty formidable defense come next year."
For the Chiefs they've now upgraded every position on the defensive side of the ball in free agency. In the past the Chiefs have not been known for being aggressive when competing with high quality free agents. But this time around, you have to give the Chiefs credit. Vermeil knows that those additions will result in some serious competition on that side of the ball and that was a priority this off-season.
"I think it will also positively influence the way other people will go because competition brings out the best in people. Some real healthy anxiety created by better talent coming on your roster puts more pressure on you to excel and meet those standards. The people we have brought in have reputations of being these kinds of football players. So, they bring a lot more than just their physical presence to the field," said Vermeil.
That's good news for the Chiefs fans and now they can approach the draft by taking the best player on the board with each selection. They did that in the first round of the NFL draft by adding even more defensive help when they selected Texas Longhorns linebacker Derrick Johnson.
But the star of the day for the Chiefs is Patrick Surtain. His attitude and family values are a perfect fit for this organization. One thing he made very clear is the fact that he's going to be prepared this season and he's going to do whatever it takes to help the Chiefs get to the Super Bowl.
"I always take with me something my old coach said; the five Ps. Proper preparation prevents poor performance. The war is not won on Sundays; it's won right now in the off-season," said Surtain.