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Monday Notes: Gunther Cunningham Talks Chiefs Players; Is It Tampering?

  • Gunther Cunningham made some comments that sparked a small controversy in part because Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio said that they "cross the tampering line."  More on that in a second, but first, here is what Cunningham said:
    "They [the Chiefs] keep wanting to dump players," defensive coordinator Gunther Cunningham said late last season. "I would like to be there to catch a lot of them, because I know a couple of those guys."

    "Some of those young kids I coached, I really believed they were going to be good players, and I know I'm right about that," Cunningham said. "Now what's happened there is the same thing in any organization. A new guy comes in, and they decide to go to the 3-4 defense when the structure of the personnel was built for the 4-3."
    Florio suggested that Cunningham's comments were tampering because of the leverage it gives Chiefs players, but even he admitted that because no specific players were named, it's not a violation.  As it turns out, that is exactly the case, as Tom Kowalski reports.
    According to an NFL spokesman, Cunningham's remarks haven't even registered at a league level.

    Cunningham was making a general comment about Chiefs' players and didn't identify any player by name. It's not unusual for head coaches and coordinators to pursue players who previously played for them.
    What this means is that the Lions don't have to worry about being charged with tampering, which could have resulted in the loss of a draft pick if they were found guilty. 
  • Rick Gosselin posted his 2009 special teams rankings, which were interesting, to say the least.  The Lions were ranked 25th, whereas Carolina was ranked dead last in the NFL.  That is worth noting because the Lions hired Danny Crossman to replace Stan Kwan as their special teams coordinator, and Crossman was the Panthers' special teams coordinator until he was fired after the 2009 season.
  • Speaking of Stan Kwan, he has been hired by the Bills to be their assistant special teams coordinator.
  • This week Dennis Northcutt and Dylan Gandy are participating in the NFL Business Management and Entrepreneurial Program at the Harvard Business School and Copeland Bryan is participating in it at the University of Pennsylvania.
  • The Lions' official website posted a rundown of some dates to take note of.  I think we've already covered pretty much everything on there, but one new date worth pointing out is that the players report for the voluntary offseason conditioning program on March 15.
  • Matthew Stafford returned to Dallas this past weekend for the NBA All-Star Game festivities, and he apparently wasn't alone.

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