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Cadrez starts first game of year for Kansas City

November 05, 2001|By ERIC GALVAN

AP Sports Writer

For 10 years, El Centro native Glenn Cadrez has made a living of being a "go-to-guy" for whatever teams he's played for.

With the Denver Broncos, Cadrez initially was a backup, but eventually found his way into the starting lineup.

For six years the Central Union High graduate was in and out of the starting lineup for the Broncos and once he secured a starting linebacker spot he helped Denver to its second Super Bowl championship.

After last season Cadrez, who started his pro career with the New York Jets, parted ways with the Broncos and found a new home with the AFC West rival the Kansas City Chiefs.

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Cadrez started as a backup linebacker with the Chiefs for all three linebacker positions.

On Sunday against the San Diego Chargers, Cadrez was called upon to step into the starting lineup at strongside backer for the injured Lew Bush.

"It feels good to be in the starting lineup," said the 6-foot-3, 241-pound Cadrez, who attended the University of Houston. "But it was kind of weird playing that position. I haven't played that since '95. But overall it was a good experience."

While his final statistics (three tackles) probably won't get him on Fox Sports News or Sportscenter, it was how he played that made a difference.

He was often matched up against San Diego's tight ends, running backs and at times receivers and didn't allow any big plays. In the third quarter Cadrez was matched up against receiver Jeff Graham, who ran a post pattern to the end zone, and Cadrez played the route perfectly, keeping the ball out of Graham's hands and preventing a touchdown.

Getting to see Cadrez's performance were 50 local boys and girls who attended the game as guests of Cadrez. A few weeks before the game Cadrez purchased 50 tickets for underprivileged youths from Imperial Valley police athletic leagues to allow them to experience an NFL contest.

Following the game some of the first things out of Cadrez's mouth were about the kids' experience at the game. He wanted to know if they had a good time. Shortly thereafter, he found out for himself how appreciative the kids were as he signed autographs and took pictures with them.

"This wasn't really about me," Cadrez said. "I just thought it'd be a great opportunity to share with these kids. That's all there is to it."

For the year Cadrez has six total tackles and an interception, all coming primarily as a backup.

For his career he has recorded 297 tackles (203 solo), 13 sacks, three interceptions, six forced fumbles and five recovered fumbles.

The win improves the Chiefs' record to 2-6 overall, and according to Cadrez, it couldn't have come at a better time.

"We battled for 60 minutes and played 60 full minutes of football. And I'm hoping that this could be the turning point of the season. Hopefully this can carry over," said Cadrez. "There's been a lot of disappointment for us this year, but this game is what it is. It's a win for us. And a win's a win."

While the win may help Kansas City get back on track for the season, it brings up the question about Cadrez's future.

He left Denver primarily because the Broncos were in a youth movement. At 31 years old, Cadrez said he is nearing the end of his career in the NFL.

"I look around the league and I don't see very many 10-year guys still playing, only quarterbacks and kickers," said Cadrez. "So I see the writing on the wall. But I look back and I'm very proud of what I've done and am happy with my career."

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