And just like that, the Kansas City Chiefs have added another future quarterback bust to their stable. Hasn’t the Chiefs brass learned that acquiring former 49ers QBs does not help this team?
Prior to the acquisition of Alex Smith, the Chiefs have had four other former 49ers suit up in Kansas City red and yellow. Steve DeBerg was the first. DeBerg was followed by one of the, if not the greatest quarterback of all time, Joe Montana. After Montana, the Chiefs brought in two other 49er QBs, Steve Bono and Elvis Grbac.
Of the former San Francisco quarterbacks to come to Kansas City, four of them (DeBerg, Montana, Grbac, and now Smith) have been 49er draft picks.
DeBerg was taken in the 10th round of the 1977 draft while Montana was drafted in the 3rd round in 1979. Grbac came in the 8th round of the 1993 draft and more recently, Smith was taken first overall in the 2005 draft.
Bono was the only QB who went to the Chiefs after playing for the 49ers who was not a San Francisco draft pick. Bono was taken in the 6th round of the 1985 draft by the Minnesota Vikings.
Deberg started the trend of San Francisco quarterbacks playing in Kansas City. DeBerg joined the Chiefs in 1988 and played four years with Kansas City. DeBerg started 52 of the 57 games he played and finished with a 31-20-1 record. He passed for 67 touchdowns and threw for 11,873 yards. DeBerg also threw 50 interceptions during that time.
His best year was in 1990 when he threw a career-high 23 TDs with a career low 4 interceptions (as a starter). DeBerg’s 3,444 yards passing were the second highest season total of his career.
In 1988, DeBerg and the Chiefs finished dead last in the AFC with a 4-11-1 record. If it weren’t for the Chiefs’ tie, Kansas City would have tied for the worst record (with Detroit and Green Bay) in the entire NFL.
In 1989, DeBerg and the Chiefs improved to 8-7-1, good for second in the AFC West, but still missed the playoffs. The Chiefs continued to improve in 1990, winning 11 games, but still finished second in the AFC West to the Los Angeles Raiders. The Chiefs did make the playoffs though, but lost to Miami in the wildcard round 17-16. Kansas City again had double-figure wins in 1991, winning 10 games. But, like the previous two seasons, the Chiefs finished second in the AFC West, this time to the Broncos.
DeBerg led the Chiefs to a wildcard weekend win over the Los Angeles Raiders, 10-6, before losing to Buffalo in the second round of the playoffs.
DeBerg went 1-2 with the Chiefs during his four years. The 1991 season would be the last time DeBerg would be a regular starting quarterback for any team in the NFL.
During his four years in Kansas City, DeBerg suited up against the 49ers during week 16 of the 1991 season and lost 28-14.
Two years later, the Chiefs acquired their second former 49er QB. Following several injured seasons in San Francisco, the Chiefs traded for the 49ers’ Montana. Montana played two seasons in Kansas City, 1993 and 1994.
Montana’s first year with the Chiefs brought an AFC West title to Kansas City. The Chiefs went 11-5 and finished one game back of the AFC’s best record. Montana led the Chiefs to playoff wins over Pittsburgh (wildcard weekend) and Houston (second round), before losing to Buffalo in the AFC championship game.
Playing his former team for the first time, Montana led the Chiefs to a 24-17 win over the 49ers in week 2 of the 1994 season. But, the rest of the 1994 season wasn’t what the Chiefs hoped for as Kansas City slipped to 9-7 and second place in the AFC West in Montana’s second year, but the Chiefs still made the playoffs. However, the Chiefs lost in the first round of the playoffs to Miami.
Montana finished his two-year stint with 5,427 yards passing and 29 touchdowns in Kansas City. Montana made the playoffs in both his seasons with the Chiefs and finished with a 2-2 record in the postseason.
Bono was the third quarterback to arrive in Kansas City when he was traded to the Chiefs in 1994 from the 49ers. Bono stayed in Kansas City for three seasons. Bono was not a starter in 1994, instead, he was the backup to Montana who was in his final year in the NFL. Bono became the starter for 1995 and 1996. During his time with the Chiefs, Bono passed for 6,489 yards and 37 touchdowns. But, Bono had almost as many picks (27) as he did TDs (37). During his three years, Bono was 21-10 as a starter for the Chiefs.
During Bono’s first year, the Chiefs went 13-3 and finished with the best record in the AFC earning the Chiefs a first round bye in the playoffs. In the Chiefs’ first playoff game, during the second round, Kansas City lost 10-7 to the Colts.
In 1996, Bono and the Chiefs slipped to 9-7 and missed the playoffs.
Bono is the only quarterback who played for both the 49ers and then the Chiefs to not start against his former team. However, Bono was on the sidelines as Montana’s backup during the 1994 season.
The 1996 season was Bono’s final year wearing the Kansas City red and yellow. The Chiefs let Bono go. Bono finished 0-1 in the postseason with Kansas City and was replaced by Grbac who signed as a free agent in the offseason. From 1997 through the next four years, the former 49ers 8th round draft pick guided the Chiefs on the field.
Grbac played for the Chiefs from 1997 through the 2000 season. During Grbac’s first year in Kansas City, the Chiefs again went 13-3 in the regular season. Kansas City had the best record in the AFC for the second time in three years. Once again the Chiefs earned a first round bye in the playoffs. Along the way, Grbac became the second former 49er quarterback to beat his former team as a member of the Chiefs. In week 14, Grbac led the Chiefs to a 44-9 win over San Francisco.
The Chiefs lost their regular season opener to the Broncos 19-3 in Denver, but the Chiefs beat the Broncos 24-22 in Kansas City. Kansas City was a perfect 8-0 during the regular season at home. However, just like two seasons prior, the Chiefs fell to the Broncos 14-10 in their playoff opener.
In 1998 the Chiefs finished in fourth place, 7-9, in the AFC West and missed the playoffs. In 1999, Kansas City was 9-7, good for second in the AFC West, but again missed the playoffs. Grbac’s final year leading the Chiefs was in 2000. Grbac had a career year passing, but the Chiefs went 7-9 again and finished third in the AFC West, missing the playoffs for the third straight year.
Grbac compiled 10,643 yards passing and 66 touchdowns in his four years with the Chiefs. Grbac’s overall record as the Chiefs starting QB was 34-26 during his tenure. Grbac was also prone to throwing an interception as he totaled 47 during his four years in Kansas City.
Like Bono, the Chiefs were 0-1 with Grbac at the helm in the playoffs.
From 1988 through 2000, the Chiefs had a former 49er quarterback running their offense every year except 1992. During that time, the Chiefs went 3-6 in the postseason with a former San Francisco quarterback running the show. Twice the Chiefs were eliminated in their first game after earning homefield advantage throughout the playoffs.
I don’t see how adding another one in Smith will improve those numbers.
When the 2013 season starts, the Chiefs will be handing the reins over to the fifth former 49er quarterback. Yes, Smith had a good season and a half with the 49ers while Jim Harbaugh was the head coach, but the five years before that was nothing to jump up and down in joy about.
Yes, there is not a clear-cut No. 1 quarterback in the upcoming draft. And I am glad the Chiefs are not going to reach for someone at QB at No. 1 who is not worthy, but I am sure the Chiefs could have found someone, anyone better than Smith.
It’s going to be another long season in Kansas City.
By JASON FARMER email@example.com
Hannibal Courier - Post - Hannibal, MO
By JASON FARMER firstname.lastname@example.org
Updated Feb. 27, 2013 @ 9:21 pm
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