By Joe Scalzo
As a member of the Denver Broncos last season, Mooney High graduate Kyle McCarthy was inevitably asked two questions.
What’s Tim Tebow like?
First question first.
“It was a crazy year,” said McCarthy, who spoke by phone last week after signing with the Kansas City Chiefs. “A lot of ups and downs. It was obviously nice to get into the playoffs with the Broncos and win the AFC West.
“But my time there for now is finished and I’m just looking forward to the new opportunity in Kansas City. I learned a lot over the past two years in Denver and it’s something I can take with me to another place and help me grow as a player.”
And the second question?
“He’s a great guy — what you see on TV is what you get,” McCarthy said of Tebow, whose success became arguably the NFL’s biggest story last season. “It [the hype] was like something I never experienced.
“It was media attention on a whole new scale. Anything and everything that happened would be on TV within hours and it was pretty cool to see.”
McCarthy, 25, signed with Denver as an undrafted free agent out of Notre Dame in 2010. He appeared in 12 games over the past two seasons, splitting time between the active roster and the practice squad.
A safety, he played in four of Denver’s final five games last fall but was released just before the wild-card round. He had three tackles last season and four as a rookie.
A handful of teams showed interest in McCarthy after the season. He chose Kansas City because he liked head coach Romeo Crennel and his defensive system.
Crennel, the former Browns head coach, served as K.C.’s interim head coach for the final three games after Todd Haley was fired. Crennel was promoted to permanent head coach after the season.
“His track record speaks for itself; he’s been one of the best defensive coaches in the NFL for a long time,” McCarthy said of Crennel. “I’ve only met him one time but he made a good impression on me. He told me the best guys are going to play, the ones who can contribute to the success of the team.”
McCarthy has no ties to Kansas City or its coaches, which he calls “exciting.
“I look at it as a new opportunity, a chance to make a new impression on the coaches,” he said.
He hopes to spend a full season on the team’s active roster and break into the starting lineup.
“That’s everyone’s goal in this league,” he said. “It’s something I believe will happen. If I didn’t believe it would happen, I wouldn’t waste my time or anyone else’s time.”
McCarthy spent last week in Youngstown before heading out to Los Angeles to train for the 2012 season.
When asked to compare the two cities, he chuckled and said. “It’s completely 180 degrees different. I could never see myself living in L.A. and I could definitely see myself living in Youngstown, if that says anything.”