In the second half of our conversation with Kansas City Chiefs defensive legend Bill Maas, the longtime lineman delivers his take on the Chiefs newest rookie to play his position, Dontari Poe. Maas is someone who definitely knows what it’s like to dominate at the NFL level in the defensive interior. He did so for nearly a decade with the Chiefs and Packers.
Here he also gives us some insight into what such a strong presence in the middle brings to the team and tells us what he’s been up to in his post-NFL career. If you missed the first half, you can catch it here.
SBNKC: I’d love to hear your take on Dontari Poe as the Chiefs first overall selection. Certainly you share many similarities that could give insight there.
Bill Maas: The biggest topic with Dontari Poe is that they were concerned about his production level in college. When you’re just a one-man show having to take out one guy, that’s not difficult to do. I get the sense that may be the case with him. I think when he gets around this defense and you have the likes of Derrick Johnson and Tamba Hali, there are some great players on that defense, and things will change up a bit.
Also don’t forget this, although he’s labeled as a nose tackle, 75 percent of Romeo Crennel’s defense is that subpackage where the ends are Justin Houston and Tamba Hali and then you have two guys over the guard. I think he could be one of those guys over the guard. We lacked that good push in the middle of the pocket to get in the quarterback’s face quick. Hopefully we can coax this guy out, get his motor running and let him know quickly how important it is for him to be effective.
Can you help us understand what adding an impact player in the middle does for the guys around him?
That’s the thing. When I came there, we led the league in sacks and part of that reason was having two great ends and they just needed someone to push the middle. They say the shortest line between two points is a straight line, and there’s no straighter line than from the nose tackle to the quarterback. When you get that quick push, there’s only two places to go — left or right. Justin Houston and Tamba Hali are going to be sitting there waiting for him.
Let’s talk about life after the NFL. There’s so much more attention on that aspect of former NFL players at this point than ever. How was your own journey?
Well, I was involved with radio and television during my career. I’d worked at the television station and did some radio a couple of times a week for the majority of my career. So the whole time I was auditioning when I was done. As soon as I was done, I went to work at the local FOX sports station here and did weekends with Frank Boal. I was involved in reporting and cutting packages and doing the weekend.
In that time, FOX was just in their first year. I basically got hired right off of the tape. I was with them for 12 years. For lack of some better words, I got into some legal issues that got resolved, but there’s always a lot of turnover in that business anyhow. I was good at what I did and I enjoyed it.
During that whole time as a player, I had acquired some property. I never got my real estate license but I was a landlord. So when I made the adjustment again after 10 years in the NFL and then 12 with the network, I had to reorganize and I just kept following up on my properties. I got my real estate license. I’m with Block & Company Commercial Real Estate now. I buy and sell commercial properties, do the leasing, work with industrial investment properties. It’s very competitive and keeps me very active.
I’m assuming the competitive streak continues in different forms.
Yeah, it does. It’s a lot easier when you’re playing football and you know what parameters are. [Laughs] In the real world, you never know where the competition is coming from.
Finally, we’d love to get your thoughts on the Chiefs this year.
I’m looking for some stability. I really like everything that has transpired this offseason, going back to even Romeo Crennel taking over at head coach to the free agents they’ve brought in. They brought in Eric Winston at tackle. They addressed the running back need with Peyton Hillis. They addressed the tight end need with Kevin Boss. Those guys are going to be major factors. Then you get the injured guys back with Tony Moeaki, Eric Berry, Jamaal Charles. They drafted for a lot of need and I think they hit on some good things.
This is a good team that from 1 to 53, I think, is a pretty doggone solid roster with a lot of upside. There are a lot of arrows pointing up, not plateaued or on the downside. I think there’s a good three or four years of good things to come here.
I hope that all of these things turn out, because the Chiefs fan base is great. If you put a good product out there on the field year in and year out, the fans are just so supportive in this town. The last few years have been a little tough, but I hope they get things back on track. I think if you look at the division, this is such a good year to do it.
You can catch the first half of our conversation with Bill Maas here.