Shields Has One More Left

On Thursday, June 23rd, Kansas City Chiefs Pro Bowl guard Will Shields announced that he would return for his 13th season. Shields took time this off season to contemplate whether or not his body could handle the grind of another rugged season in the NFL.

In the end, Shields decided he could and now looks forward to helping the Chiefs make his 13th season a magical one. "It depends if I can get up and walk the next morning. It makes a big difference how you feel the next day and as you work your way through it," Shields said.

Shields returns as the anchor of the Chiefs offensive line, arguably the best offensive line in the NFL. Willie Roaf mans the glammor spot on the line, the left tackle position and has been to ten pro bowls. Brian Waters is the up and coming superstar on the line and went to his first pro bowl last year.

Shields has been a constant fixture of the Chiefs offensive line in each of his 13 NFL seasons. Of the 192 regular season games in his career in Kansas City, Shields has started 191 games with the exception of one game in his rookie season back in 1993. In that span, he's made ten consecutive pro bowl appreances.

Shields return means offensive coordinator Al Saunders can open up the entire playbook this season. Veteran John Welbourne would have been the likely replacement for Shields had he chosen to retire. In fact, Welbourne is a solid guard who is very strong as a between the tackles run blocker. He has done a great job converting back to guard from right tackle where he had trouble adjusting to that position a year ago with the Chiefs.

Shields excels in getting out in space in both the run game and passing game. Shields has proven to be one of the best pulling guards in the league, which is extremely important for the numerous sweeps the Chiefs run with Priest Holmes and Larry Johnson.

Another mainstay of the Chiefs attack is the screen pass package they employ (perhaps second only the the package that the packers use in Green Bay. Shields' ability to get out in front of Holmes and Johnson at the right time and make effective blocks is vital to the success of the numerous screen passes that the Chiefs run. But what seperates Shields from the rest is his prolific pass blocker skills that allow quarterback Trent Green to enjoy a clear passing lane over the line of scrimmage.

Shields is the consumate professional. He shows up for work everyday, practices hard, studies hard, thouroughly prepares, and plays hard. The Chiefs have numerous rookies, 2nd year players, and new faces that have a chance to have an impact on this season. Shields' presence and example will help to make their transitions to the Chiefs organization successful.

But even more his impact in the community of Kansas City might feel a greater impact. Along with his wife, Senia, Shields has been recognized numerous times over the years for his community involvement such as the 2005 Henry P. Iba Citizen Athlete Award, the 2003 Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award, the 2001 Sporting News NFL's Top Good Guy Award, and the 1999 Arthur S. Arkush Award by Pro Football Weekly Humanitarian of the Year Award. Since the inception of his Will to Succeed Foundation in 1993, Will and his wife, Senia, have assisted some 97,781individuals.

This may indeed be the last season that Shields dons the red and gold for the Chiefs. As the Chiefs attempt to make this season one to remember that ends with a game in Detroit in early February, it is evident that Shields will be a focal point for them once again. Top Stories