Summarized by Kent Larsen
One Year After Rancorous Negotiations, Tait Set To Be Star
RIVER FALLS, WISCONSIN -- One year after struggling through rancorous
contract negotiations, LDS football player John Tait is feeling comfortable
at his position, and the Kansas City Chiefs think he is set to be a star.
Tait missed training camp and the first four games of the NFL season as his
agent Ethan Lock argued with the Chiefs' president Carl Peterson over his
contract. At one point last year Tait, a returned LDS missionary, stormed
out of the negotiations in protest over Peterson's foul language.
Missing training camp and four games was also hard on Tait's career, and he
spent most of the season working his way into the lineup and learning the
Chief's system, getting tips from veteran Glenn Parker, who he is replacing
in the lineup. By the end of the season, however, Tait was solidly
entrenched as the starter, and was making it clear why the Chiefs drafted
him in the first round in 1999.
By the end of the season, the Cheifs' head coach, Gunther Cunningham, was
admiring Tait's talent. "I'll never divulge what I told him after the last
game," Cunningham said. "That's between the two of us. But I believe I made
my point about what kind of football player he's going to be."
And this training camp Tait is looking very good. He is learning the Chiefs'
system and gaining confidence. "Football's tough enough," he said. "But now
I know the offense and I have confidence - confidence in myself and what I'm
doing." And he also is getting a reputation for a degree of humility not
common among NFL players, "I've got a long ways to go. But I have goals I've
set for myself," he said. "You create your own destiny. I feel like the
harder you work and the more you work toward your goals, you're going to be
After rocky start, Chiefs' Tait bidding for stardom
Raliegh NC News & Observer (AP) 3Aug00 S2
By Doug Tucker