The Chiefs just signed a player who’s never played football in his life – CBSSports.com
7 months ago Comments Off on The Chiefs just signed a player who’s never played football in his life – CBSSports.com
Apparently, you don’t need football experience to play for the Kansas City Chiefs. The team announced on Friday that they’ve signed Tautvydas Kieras, a track-and-field star out of Mississippi State who’s never played organized football in his life.
As a matter of fact, the Lithuanian-born Kieras had never even seen a football game until he arrived on campus in 2014.
“People love football here. I fell in love with it, too,” Kieras told the Jackson Clarion-Ledger recently. “It’s different.”
It’s probably a good thing that Kieras moved to America because he doesn’t really like the “football” they play over in Europe.
“I never liked soccer. I’m from Europe. They’re going to hang me for that, but [American football is] fun and it’s contact. I love it,” Kieras said.
After Kieras’ track eligibility ran out at MSU, a professor at the school convinced him to give football a try. The 6-foot-3, 271-pound Lithuanian then went hunting for an agent to represent him and that’s when he found the Athletic Gaines group in Las Vegas.
Kieras moved to Vegas in January and started training for Mississippi State’s pro day, which was likely going to be his one and only chance to show off his skills in front of a bunch of NFL scouts.
At the pro day, Kieras impressed everyone. According to the Associated Press, the giant Lithuanian bench pressed 225 pounds a total of 24 times, and then followed that up with a 35-inch jump in the vertical. Kieras also ran a 4.69 40-yard dash.
Kieras is trying out in Kansas City as a linebacker and if he had been at the NFL combine, the numbers he put up at MSU’s pro day would have ranked in the top-nine in each category. Kieras’ bench press number would’ve ranked third overall among linebackers.
The Lithuanian also seems to be a fast learner.
“They’d tell me to do something, first or second try I’d do it correctly,” Kieras told Hail State Beat. “It might not look as fluid, but then the fifth or sixth time, I look like another football player.”
If Kieras is half as good at football as he was at throwing the discus, then he might end up making the Chiefs’ roster. In 2015, Kieras set the MSU school record with a 196-11 throw in the discus.
“With discus, it was something I think I did my best and it was time to move on,” Kieras said. “But with football, I love challenges, and this was the biggest one I’ve ever had in my life. So, I took it and I embraced it and now it’s going well for me, so far.”
Kieras was allowed to sign with a team before the draft because he didn’t play college football. Therefore, he was techinically eligible to sign with anyone after track eligibility ran out at MSU.
Anyway, the Chiefs are apparently trying to build their entire defense around people who have never played football. Last week, the Chiefs signed defensive end Efe Obada, a Nigerian who didn’t play his first snap of organized football until 2014.