We've dubbed the San Francisco 49ers "Arrowhead West" because they've got a few former Kansas City Chiefs coaches on their staff: offensive coordinator Jimmy Raye ('92-00), special teams coach Kurt Schottenheimer ('89-00) and offensive line coach Mike Solari ('97-07).
Raye remembers those Chiefs of the 1990s as a dominant force for a long time.
"We won more games in the '90s than any other team in the National Football League," he said, "[Even more] than the San Francisco 49ers. It was an expectation of winning and we did that in abundance."
Raye spoke at length on Thursday about the Chiefs of the 1990s compared to the current 49ers and spoke very highly of those Chiefs.
"We had I think at the time arguably the best tight end in football, [TE] Tony Gonzalez, and we are a tight end total offense. We had a Hall of Fame running back in Marcus Allen. We have a similar player here in [RB] Frank Gore. We had [WR] Andre Rison and [WR] Derrick Alexander and [WR] Joe Horn at wide receiver. We had speed and power and experience, I think there are some similarities in some players at the skill position.
"We were farther ahead and much better in the offensive line, and that's not to take anything away from this team, but we had a solid offensive line that had been together for a long time. Think about [C] Tim Grunhard, the center from Notre Dame, and the thirteen or fourteen time pro bowler at right guard [G] Will Shields and John Ault. We had a line that was already developed as opposed to here where we are trying to get to that point where we get continuity and development at the line, but in terms of the players and similarities, there could be some similarities to that."
And it wasn't even the offense that was the strong suit of those Chiefs. That was left to guys like Derrick Thomas and Neil Smith.
Gonzalez has to be one of Raye's favorites. By his fourth year, and his last with Raye as a Chief, he caught 93 balls for 1,203 yards and nine touchdowns.
Raye spent a few minutes talking about TG and 49ers TE Vernon Davis when asked if the two were comparable.
"I think Tony with his ex-basketball background at Cal, we extended him more, played outside more as a wide receiver for matchup than we do here with [TE] Vernon [Davis]. We did it the other night in the game vs. New Orleans and got an interference play on the boundary, but I think Tony at the point that I had him, at the time that I was with him, I think developed more.
"He developed more as an outside receiver because the trade off was, he wasn't at the point, he wasn't as good at in-line blocker as Vernon Davis is. So he was used more in matchups than probably we do here. That would be the thing I would say would be the closest."