Fisher at crossroads with Chiefs

By Steve Sell
September 08, 2015

Tuesday's tidbits…

• HUGE THANK YOU — Before we get started, a huge thank you to our readers. We got our weekly numbers on Monday and they were simply off the chart and the second-most ever in the nearly three years I've been here. You can tell the school year is now under way as there was a dramatic increase in the number of hits to our website. Don't forget to bookmark it and check back three or four times a day as there's always something new.

• CHIEFS MOVING FISHER — The announcement Monday that the Kansas City Chiefs are moving Eric Fisher from left tackle to right tackle is further proof the team wasted its overall No. 1 pick in the draft in 2013.

When you play poorly enough to earn the No. 1 spot in the draft as the Chiefs did in 2012 when they were 2-14, you have to hit a home run. 

They have hit a bunt single.

In the Chiefs’ defense, the 2013 draft was as threadbare as any in recent memory. The Chiefs had it down to Fisher and Luke Joeckel, another offensive lineman who was a standout at Texas A & M. The Chiefs liked Fisher’s athleticism and upside, while Joeckel was thought to be more consistent but not as explosive. Also in their defense, Joeckel has hardly been a star at Jacksonville, while the rest of the Top 10 has enjoyed about the same modicum of success as Fisher and Joeckel.

To say that Fisher has been a huge disappointment is a gross understatement, he was thought to be the next Willie Roaf. He can’t seem to stay on the field as he’s been injured more often than not. He’s probably only on the roster because the Chiefs don’t want to admit he’s a bust.

It’s too bad the Chiefs were a year late in being awful. They could have had Andrew Luck in the 2012 draft, who would have been their starting quarterback for 15 years.

• HAWKINSON BACK IN BUSINESS — I can relate to what McPherson's Tanner Hawkinson is going through.

When I left the newspaper business in 2012, I was out of work for all of two days. Fortunately Davies Communications thought enough of me to bring me aboard and I haven't missed a beat.

Hawkinson was released Saturday in the final round of cuts by the Cincinnati Bengals, for whom he had played for two years. Yesterday, the former Bullpup All-Stater was picked up by the San Francisco 49ers and added to their practice squad.

When you consider the injury rate in the NFL, Hawkinson figures to be activated at some point this season by the 49ers, who are undergoing a massive overhaul. It was just two years ago they were thought to be the deepest team in the NFL, but 14 of their 22 starters from the tremendous 2013 team have departed.

Hawkinson's versatility certainly makes him an asset for any team he plays for. While he's listed as a tackle, he also has the agility to play guard and center. He's 6-5 and 300 pounds, but remember he was a tight end for the Bullpups and center on the basketball team, so he's always had the great footwork.

• KCAC STRUGGLES WITH GPAC – The first edition of the KCAC-GPAC Football Challenge was decidedly lopsided in favor of the GPAC, whose teams were road warriors as all the games were hosted by KCAC schools.

Kansas Wesleyan prevented the KCAC from an ignominious 9-0 shutout as it blasted Midland University.

While a 1-8 record looks bad, a closer check shows the KCAC could easily have won four or five games.

Ottawa lost by a point, Tabor by two, Bethel by four and Friends by 10. Southwestern was tied in the fourth quarter before giving up 21 unanswered points. 

Bethel's loss to Hastings was particularly gut-wrenching, as the Threshers took the lead with just under a minute to go, only to surrender a long touchdown pass with 19 seconds remaining, spoiling the head coaching debut of Morris Lolar.

Bethany was the only KCAC team not competing since Dordt College of the GPAC had a commitment it had to honor before the challenge had been finalized. The Swedes thus went on the road to get blasted 51-7 by Houston Baptist, a game set up by former Bethany coach Manny Matsakis as he wanted to use it to recruit players from that area. The Texans are an NCAA Division III team and while they were just 2-9 last year and had one of the worst defenses in the nation, the fact is they're still a higher level and it showed.

It's an open week for KCAC schools, except for Bethany. The Swedes are home Saturday to take on Langston University, a team McPherson College used to play. The KCAC schedule starts the following week, with the highlight being Tabor at Ottawa in a matchup of perhaps the two-best teams in the conference.