Dick Vermeil worked for three NFL teams during his 15 seasons as a head coach and, naturally, carries special feelings for all of them. His first job was with Philadelphia, where he guided the Eagles to their first Super Bowl appearance. Later, he coached the Rams to their only Super Bowl championship.
Vermeil didn’t find so much success with the Chiefs, where his teams never won so much as a playoff game in five seasons. But he said his memories of his time in Kansas City were every bit as special.
To demonstrate, Vermeil pulled from his wallet the sticker the Chiefs wore on their helmets to honor Lamar Hunt after his death in 2006.
“Those were great times,’’ said Vermeil, who was back in Kansas City Monday to participate in Trent Green’s charity golf tournament at Shoal Creek. He was scheduled to attend practice today as the Chiefs begin their final week of offseason work by opening a three-day mini-camp.
“You bet I miss it. I miss the relationships. I miss the competition. I miss the games. I miss the paycheck. I wish I had a chance to go back and do some things better.’’
More than seven years after leaving the Chiefs, Vermeil said his biggest regret was in releasing veteran defensive linemen Chester McGlockton and Dan Williams without giving them a chance to play for him.
Both were premier players and the Chiefs tried through the draft during Vermeil’s years to replace them. They drafted Ryan Sims, Eddie Freeman and Junior Siavii but none ever developed into a productive player.
“We never (adequately) replaced them,’’ Vermeil said of McGlockton and Williams. “They weren’t my type of players, my type of guys. Maybe I should have given them the chance. That’s the kind of thing I think about. In 2003, we were close, if we played anybody but Peyton Manning in the playoffs, we’ve got a shot.’’
Vermeil is 76 and spends much of his free time restoring vintage race cars, speaking and tending to the family wine business. And occasionally, he still gets the yearning to go back to coaching.
“You just don’t turn off the profession you love and enjoy,’’ he said. “There have been years where I wished I was going to training camp.’’