2014 DRAFT GUIDE
McGrath helping Chiefs survive banged-up TEs

    2013-09-27 02:36

(Eds: Adds quotes, details. Should stand. With AP Photos.)
By DAVE SKRETTA
AP Sports Writer

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - He's not a member of ZZ Top. Nor is he a reincarnated Karl Marx.

Sean McGrath could probably play Santa Claus, though, provided he took a few minutes to bleach his brown facial hair stark white. Then again, perhaps the result would be more along the lines of a young Charles Darwin than the jolly fat man wearing red.

The fellows from ``Duck Dynasty'' have a rival in the facial hair department from the Kansas City Chiefs' backup tight end, who is becoming known for his gnarly whiskers and a hero to fans for the way he's filled in for banged-up starters Anthony Fasano and Travis Kelce.

``I mean, girls that wear short-shorts want to flaunt their legs, right?'' McGrath told The Associated Press. ``I have this beautiful beard here. Why not grow it out.''

Indeed, why keep such splendor hidden?

After all, this is no five o'clock shadow sticking out of his chinstrap. This is a 10 o'clock toupee glued to his face. The hair along the upper lip is long enough that it's starting to turn up at the corners, a la longtime big league pitcher Rollie Fingers. The mass of bristles hanging off his jaw seem dense enough that a sparrow could flutter out of there at any moment.

``It's like a pillow on my chin. I groom it. I shampoo, conditioner. I take care of it. I mean, I can't grow it on my head,'' McGrath said, running his big right hand over the closely mown dome, "so I might as well grow it on my face.''

McGrath started to grow the beard around St. Patrick's Day - incidentally, the patron saint of Ireland is often depicted with a bushy beard of his own. At the time, McGrath was still a member of the Seahawks, and was coming off a rookie season in which he saw action in just two games.

He remained with them throughout the summer but was cut this fall, shortly before the start of the season. The Chiefs snatched him up to provide some depth when Tony Moeaki went down with a fractured shoulder, and he's only proven to be more invaluable as Fasano tries to return from ankle and knee injuries and Kelce deals with a micro fracture in his knee.

McGrath, a product of Division II Henderson State, had the first two catches of his NFL career two weeks ago against Dallas. He had four catches for 31 yards last week in Philadelphia.

Along with Kevin Brock, he's keeping the tight ends relevant in the Chiefs' offense.

``It's the next guy - the next-guy-steps-up mentality,'' offensive coordinator Doug Pederson said. ``McGrath coming in and doing what he's done my hat's off to him.''

The Chiefs planned to use their tight ends extensively this season, a big reason why they gave Fasano a four-year, $16 million deal and drafted Kelce in the third round. But neither of them was practicing this week because of their injuries, which means the Chiefs head into Sunday's game with the New York Giants hoping their bearded wonder can have another big afternoon.

``I mean, I'm going to tell you all like I tell everyone, I'm going to prepare the same every single week, whether I'm going to be out there a lot or I'm not,'' McGrath said. ``I'm going to be out there getting ready for the game on Sunday.''

With that, McGrath twirls a couple strands of his moustache between his fingers.

There have been some good beards in recent sports history. The lumberjack look of the Steelers' Brett Keisel stands out, as does the Rockets' James Harden. The mass of ink-blank hair Dodgers reliever Brian Wilson sports has been impressing baseball aficionados for years.

``You won't see me growing anything out like that any time soon,'' said Kelce, who has some scruff of his own. ``There's not going to be any competition with me.''

McGrath and his ilk seem to be onto something, though.

Researchers in Australia published a study in the journal ``Evolution & Human Behavior'' earlier this year that found that women prefer men with heavy stubble over clean-shaven guys. Furthermore, it found that full beards are more popular than the clean-shaven look among straight guys.

Then there's the success of shows such as ``Duck Dynasty'' on A&E, with a cast that has some epic frontal locks, and ``Whisker Wars'' on IFC, which delves into the world of competitive bearding.

``It's definitely trending right now,'' McGrath said with a good-natured laugh, rows of white teeth peeking out from his brownish bush. ``I might be on the roller-coaster, but as long as it is on the way up. When it starts coming back down, I might have to jump off.''

---

Online: http://pro32.ap.org and http://twitter.com/AP-NFL

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

David WilsonJul 31 12:01p

New York Giants RB David Wilson (neck) 'needs a miracle' from his surgeon's evaluation to be able to continue his playing career, according to a source.

David WilsonJul 31 11:52a

New York Giants RB David Wilson (neck) attended team meetings Thursday, July 31, and appeared ready to go, according to RB Rashad Jennings.

Brent UrbanJul 31 11:42a

Baltimore Ravens DE Brent Urban (knee) suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament during practice Wednesday, July 30, and will miss the entire 2014 season.

Lance LouisJul 31 11:32a

Indianapolis Colts OG Jack Mewhort appears to be the leading candidate for the starting left guard job. OG Lance Louis is also considered a candidate for the job.

Donald ThomasJul 31 11:22a

Indianapolis Colts OG Donald Thomas (quadriceps) is scheduled to undergo season-ending quadriceps surgery and will be placed on the Reserve/Injured list, according to head coach Chuck Pagano.

Nick BarnettJul 31 11:12a

Free-agent LB Nick Barnett (Redskins) is still an option for the Atlanta Falcons depending on what happens with the team's linebackers. The Falcons worked out Barnett in June but did not sign him.

Josh GordonJul 31 10:42a

Cleveland Browns WR Josh Gordon is not practicing Thursday, July 31, and presumably will miss practice Friday, Aug. 1, to attend his suspension appeal hearing.

Eric BerryJul 31 10:32a

Kansas City Chiefs SS Eric Berry (leg, foot) was carted off at practice Thursday, July 31, with a right leg or foot injury. SS Jerron McMillian has taken his place.

Jordan TodmanJul 31 09:52a

Jacksonville Jaguars RB Toby Gerhart is expected to be spelled by RBs Jordan Todman, Denard Robinson and Storm Johnson so he doesn't reach the 300-carry plateau.

Morgan BurnettJul 31 09:42a

Green Bay Packers FS Morgan Burnett (ankle) and SS Tanner Miller (undisclosed) are not practicing Thursday, July 31.

Micah HydeJul 31 09:42a

Green Bay Packers FS Ha Ha Clinton-Dix is working with the first-team defense at strong safety beside FS Micah Hyde Thursday, July 31.

Lardarius WebbJul 31 09:23a

Baltimore Ravens CB Lardarius Webb (back), DE Brent Urban (knee), DT Timmy Jernigan (back), OG Will Rackley (concussion) and WR Jeremy Butler (undisclosed) are out of practice Thursday, July [ More ]

Terrell SuggsJul 31 09:03a

Baltimore Ravens LB Terrell Suggs, DT Haloti Ngata and LB Daryl Smith are not practicing Thursday, July 31.

Nate GarnerJul 31 08:53a

Miami Dolphins C Nate Garner is working with the first-team offense again Thursday, July 31, over C Shelley Smith.

A.J. HawkJul 31 01:53a

Green Bay Packers LB Brad Jones has been working ahead of LB A.J. Hawk as the lone linebacker in the dime defense in practice.

Matt CasselJul 31 01:53a

Minnesota Vikings QB Teddy Bridgewater saw reps with the first-team offense in practice Wednesday, July 30. According to NFL Network's Albert Breer, QB Matt Cassel appears to lead the [ More ]

Christian PonderJul 31 01:53a

Minnesota Vikings QB Christian Ponder's reps were cut during practice Wednesday, July 30.

Josh GordonJul 30 11:43p

Cleveland Browns WR Josh Gordon is in Stage III of the NFL's substance-abuse program, and a positive test automatically triggers a one-year suspension. For Gordon, only two options exist: [ More ]

Rod StreaterJul 30 11:43p

Oakland Raiders WR Rod Streater (concussion) participated in warmups and drills Wednesday, July 30, but he sat out team sessions. Streater suffered a concussion Monday, July 28, and has [ More ]

Joique BellJul 30 10:23p

Detroit Lions RB Joique Bell (knee) missed organized team activities (OTAs) and minicamp while recovering from a knee injury, but he looked good cutting and accelerating with ease during [ More ]

Rob SimsJul 30 10:23p

Detroit Lions OG Rob Sims (knee) missed organized team activities (OTAs) and minicamp while recovering from a knee injury, but he held his own working against DT Nick Fairley [ More ]

Allen RobinsonJul 30 10:13p

Updating a previous report, Jacksonville Jaguars WR Allen Robinson (and fellow rookie WR Marqise Lee) have seen plenty of opportunity at training camp with WR Cecil Shorts (hamstring) and [ More ]

Marqise LeeJul 30 10:13p

Jacksonville Jaguars WR Marqise Lee (and fellow rookie WR Allen Robinson) have seen more reps in training camp with WR Cecil Shorts (hamstring) and WR Ace Sanders (personal) sidelined. [ More ]

Carl NicksJul 30 08:03p

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers officially released OG Carl Nicks (toe) Wednesday, July 30, with an injury settlement.

David WilsonJul 30 06:43p

New York Giants RB David Wilson (neck) tweeted that he is fine after leaving practice early Tuesday, July 29. Wilson said he passed all physical examinations and will find out more Monday, Aug. 3.

Jim LeonhardJul 30 05:53p

The Cleveland Browns signed SS Jim Leonhard (Bills) Wednesday, July 30. Terms of the contract were not disclosed.

Aldon SmithJul 30 04:43p

San Francisco 49ers LB Aldon Smith is not participating in practice Wednesday, July 30, as he attends a hearing at the Los Angeles City Attorney's office regarding an April [ More ]

Fred JacksonJul 30 04:13p

The Buffalo Bills have signed RB Fred Jackson to a one-year contract extension. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Jason GarrettJul 30 03:23p

Updating a previous report, Dallas Cowboys DE Demarcus Lawrence (foot) will undergo surgery for a broken foot Thursday, July 31, according to head coach Jason Garrett.

LaMichael JamesJul 30 03:03p

San Francisco 49ers RB LaMichael James (elbow) will wear a brace on his dislocated elbow and should be ready for the start of the regular season, according to head coach Jim Harbaugh.

Brent UrbanJul 30 02:23p

Baltimore Ravens DE Brent Urban (leg) and DT Timmy Jernigan (back) appear to have suffered injuries during practice Wednesday, July 30. Urban was helped off the field after suffering the injury.

Tyron SmithJul 30 02:03p

Dallas Cowboys OT Tyron Smith has agreed to terms with the team on an eight-year contract extension worth $98 million, according to a source.

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2014 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group