Kansas City, Mo. Willie Roaf, chosen for the Pro Bowl all four years he played left tackle in Kansas City, was honored during halftime Sunday of the Chiefs game against San Diego.
Roaf, who retired after the 2005 season, came to Kansas City from New Orleans for a conditional draft choice in 2002 in one of the best deals the Chiefs ever made.
During Roaf’s time, Kansas City led the NFL with 24,797 yards and 228 touchdowns. While with the Saints, Roaf was named to the All-Decade team for the 1990s.
“I’d never had a player work so hard to make a trade happen,” Chiefs president Carl Peterson said. “He wanted to be here. He said, ‘Mr. Peterson, I will have a book on every right defensive end or linebacker that rushes the passer from the left side that we play next year.’ And he did.
“He studied guys. He kept notes on players that he had to face. He always got himself ready to play against the competition. He saw always the best pass rushers. Nine times out of 10 Willie Roaf dominated them.”
Roaf and Anthony Munoz are the only left tackles in NFL history named to the Pro Bowl 11 times.
“Without question, he will go into the Pro Football Hall of Fame,” Peterson said. “The only other left tackle in my opinion who compared with him was Anthony Munoz. Willie will be remembered for his amazing athleticism, size, quickness, strength. The only thing I don’t think people truly appreciate is how much knowledge he had about the position.”
On Jan. 11, 2004, Roaf played perhaps the greatest game by a Chiefs offensive lineman. KC lost to Indianapolis 38-31 in the AFC division playoff game, but Roaf kept Dwight Freeney, the Colts’ standout defensive end, from being a factor.
“Freeney was coming off a great year,” Peterson said. “People all week were saying he’s younger than Willie, he’s going to wear Willie out.
“But Freeney not only never touched the quarterback, he never touched a running back. He was zero, zero, and zero, assists, tackles and sacks. Willie just dominated him.”