Terry Adds New Dimension

It was barely noticed by anyone, but last month the Kansas City Chiefs made a sneaky roster move. The only problem was the player they brought in was out of the league for nearly two seasons. In five years in Carolina and Seattle, Chris Terry started 80 of 82 games. Last Sunday he made his first start for the Chiefs.

Chiefs head coach Herm Edwards and his offensive coaching staff made the decision to get Terry involved in the offense against the Raiders. As it turns out, he might just be what the doctor ordered.

"He's a pretty good football player," said Edwards after the Chiefs signed him.

Pretty good is an understatement. Terry might be the most polished and skilled of all the tackles on the roster. His 6-foot-5 frame is both agile and strong. Weighing nearly 300 pounds, his girth can't be bulled over by swift defensive lineman.

But if he was so talented, then why did he sit out of football the last year and half? Call it bad luck, bad timing, injuries and some off the field issues that are no-no's in the NFL.

More importantly, Terry just wanted a chance to play football again and that's why he chose the Chiefs. He knew that Kansas City probably was the best place for him, not because they were willing to give him a chance, but it offered him an opportunity to get back on the field with an organization that does its homework.

Terry is as solid as they come and the Chiefs felt it was a shrewd move to add a veteran tackle who was talented enough to be an instant starter in this league just months after graduating from the University of Georgia seven years ago.

On Sunday he made his first start in a Chiefs uniform.

"It went good," said Terry. "I was anxious to play. They told me gradually during the week and the more we practiced I knew it was serious."

The Chiefs' decision to use Terry was necessitated by the absence of tight end Tony Gonzalez. As Kyle Turley told reporters on Tuesday, "we couldn't split Jason Dunn into two players."

He made a good point, and offensive coordinator Mike Solari drew up the plan to start Terry and use Turley as another blocking tight end opposite Dunn. It was brilliant. It also allowed John Welbourn to move back to guard, where he's more suited to play.

Solari and Edwards would have preferred Brian Waters and Willie Roaf on the field Sunday, but they did find a way to get their best athletes on the field, and for the most part it worked.

The bottom line is the Chiefs were worried the Raiders would get to Trent Green, so they devised a plan that would allow them to maximize protection in the passing game. It also benefited the running game, as the Chiefs racked up over 200 yards on the ground.

Terry picked up his new role quickly and he seems to be very comfortable with his new teammates, especially Green.

"Trent is a great player," said Terry. "I think everyone knew that Trent couldn't do it by himself. He was a player coming in to fill his role and everyone rallied around him."

That's a sign of more than a good football player. It's a sign of a player who wants to help this team win more football games.

Terry can do that and it might signal the beginning of a new era in Kansas City at the right tackle position.

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