SI Vault
September 01, 1983
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September 01, 1983

Afc West '83

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No problem with defense here, or at least it's not the major problem. Left End Art Still is coming off his third straight Pro Bowl season. Mike Bell, on the right side, might join Still if he can put together an injury-free year; he spent time in the off-season at the Olympic training site at Colorado Springs learning how to keep his tightly wired muscles from pulling. Gary Spani's a fine inside linebacker, and in the secondary the Chiefs have a superb cornerback in Gary Green and a Pro Bowl free safety in still another Gary, Barbaro, if they get his contract worked out.

It's the offense that has been keeping the Chiefs in the doldrums, that and a growing disenchantment with a front office that gets colder and more remote as the memories of the old Hank Stram Super Bowl days grow dimmer.

Enter new Coach John Mackovic and the razzle-dazzle, shifting formations of the Dallas Cowboys, whose quarterbacks he coached the last two years. But the tragic drowning death of little Joe Delaney, whose slashing, darting runs gave the K.C. fans some of their few happy moments during the last two years, was a big blow, and now Mackovic is left with a very ordinary set of runners, a first-round draft choice at quarterback, Todd Blackledge, who's not quite ready to play, and an offensive line that lost its inspirational leader when Center Jack Rudnay retired.

[This article contains a table. Please see hardcopy of magazine or PDF.]

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