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Archive for Wednesday, May 3, 2006

LT Roaf fired up to return

Pro Bowler puts aside thoughts of retirement

May 3, 2006

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— Willie Roaf's mammoth body just turned 36, and he's feeling spry as a cat.

No more sore hamstrings. No more aching knees. And, most importantly to Kansas City fans with dreams of a Super Bowl - or at least their first playoff victory in 13 years - no more thoughts of retirement.

If Larry Johnson is going to rush for 2,000 yards and the Chiefs' aging offense is going to make one last run at a championship, then the Pro Bowl left tackle does not want to be left out.

He's even working about as hard as he ever did in postseason conditioning drills. Stopping for an interview Tuesday after a vigorous workout, his massive upper torso was drenched with sweat.

"I feel good," he said. "I'm working with the young guys. I'm still strong. I just have to make sure I keep running and take care of my conditioning."

He's also impressed with first-year head coach Herm Edwards. It was a conversation with his new boss that helped persuade Roaf - who turned 36 on April 16 - to come back for what is going to be his 14th season of trading body blows with very large, very aggressive men who every year seem to get younger and younger.

"I had a meeting with coach Edwards. He's a great coach," Roaf said. "He's been around, played in the league a long time. It made sense to come back next year and give it another chance. Talking to him, I just thought we had some unfinished business. We needed to get back and see what we could do."

With 12 selections to the Pro Bowl, the 320-pound Roaf can lay claim to being one of the greatest left tackles in the game. Just as teammate Will Shields, also with 12 Pro Bowl selections, is considered one of the great right guards.

"I thought about (retiring). I talked to Will and some of the guys," Roaf said. "Then last year, we finished so strong at the end of the year. It was great seeing Will come back. That helped, too."

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