Camp Express Rides Out Of Town … Friday Cup O’Chiefs

From St. Joseph, Missouri

Adios St. Joe.

It’s been fun. Year No. 1 of the Chiefs return to Missouri for training camp went down with only a few visible hitches. The weather was too hot; it was dangerously warm for men running around in helmets and pads.

But the Chiefs overcame and adapted, as head coach Todd Haley tinkered with practice times and sites to help his players deal with the heat.

Many people around the Chiefs missed the north woods in River Falls, Wisconsin, where camp had gone down for 19 years. I missed the people, the weather and the cheese curds. The Falls was a wonderful place to spend several weeks every summer.

But bringing the team closer to home for training camp was the right move by the Chiefs. Just as it was the right move to head north 20 years ago by packing up the trucks and heading to Wisconsin. At that time, Carl Peterson and Marty Schottenheimer decided two things were very important to prepare their team for the season – cooler weather and more competition. At the time they first landed in Wisconsin, the state had the so-called Cheese League, with NFL teams training in La Crosse (Saints), Stevens Point (Jaguars), Platteville (Bears) Green Bay (Packers) and Mankato, MN (Vikings.) There were numerous practice and scrimmage possibilities.

At that time, the Chiefs were in the third year of the Peterson/Schottenheimer Re-Build and the foundation of the club had been set with the likes of Derrick Thomas, Neil Smith, Dan Saleaumua, Tim Grunhard, Dave Szott, John Alt and others. The coaching staff had a pretty good idea of what they had at their disposal and training camp wasn’t so much about experimenting, as it was fine tuning and tinkering. Working against other teams was a way to make the camp time more entertaining.

The 2010 Chiefs are in a very different place than those teams. Haley and his coaching staff are still trying to find out just what they have on the roster. The foundation of this team is just being laid, the cement is still wet and there’s nothing established. There was no reason to put the team in a position to practice against other teams.

And the new $13 million indoor facility provided the Chiefs with an escape if the heat reached dangerous levels. Haley didn’t use it much; most coaches wouldn’t have either. He wanted to intense heat to help build the toughness of his team.

Just about everybody will leave campus with the feeling that the team got a lot accomplished, and there’s a lot more than must still be done.

“I feel like we accomplished some things, but we’ve still got a long way to go,” said WR Chris Chambers. “We’re not taking a break now. We are just leaving here and going back to our facility. We’ll work just as hard there, just without the crowd.”

The crowds were an important part of what made the move successful for the Chiefs. Missouri Western officials estimated that more than 60,000 fans were on campus watching practice at some point over the last three weeks. Without a doubt the crowds were much larger than anything the team saw in Wisconsin over the previous 10 years.

And typical of Midwest fans, they were polite and appreciative of what they were allowed to see. Without a doubt they played a part in what the Chiefs got done.

“I can’t say enough about the fans and how big it was for us to have them here every day,” said QB Matt Cassel. “They really got us through some of the tough days, the dog days.”

When they return from Tampa after Saturday night’s game, training camp will continue at the Truman Sports Complex. Haley has made it plain it will be continuation of the work that went down in St. Joe. Right now, two practices are set for Monday, one for Tuesday and then two more on Wednesday, including one that will be open to the public (see below).

But they will leave with good memories of their summer sojourn in the land of the Pony Express and Jesse James.


Next Wednesday night, the Chiefs will hold an open practice at Arrowhead Stadium. Fans are invited to attend free of charge, with the practice beginning at 7:15 p.m.

The open practice will also give fans a chance to see the renovated Arrowhead that will host its first NFL game next Friday. All levels of the stadium will be open for fans to see. Stadium gates will open at 6:15 p.m. Parking for the night is also free. Concessions and merchandise will only be available on the Field Level, including the new Chiefs Team Store.

Also taking part in the evening will be the Chiefs Cheerleaders, WarPaint, KC Wolf, and the Chiefs Rumble. There will also be fireworks.


  • BRONCOS – signed QB Kyle Orton to a 1-year, $9,000,000 contract extension through 2011, with $5.5 million in guaranteed money; signed DE Jason Hunter, formerly with Lions; signed LB Worrell Williams, brother of Denver LB D.J. Williams; released C Dustin Fry.
  • BUCCANEERS – released injured S De’von Hall, last with Colts practice squad in ’09.
  • CARDINALS – signed WR Mike Jones, last with Seahawks practice squad in ’09.
  • COLTS – signed S Ashton Hall, last with Ravens.
  • COWBOYS – signed TE Martin Rucker, who was cut earlier this summer by both the Eagles and Bucs; released QB Matt Nichols.
  • GIANTS – released injured TE Jake Ballard (hamstring).
  • JETS – signed LB Boris Lee, who was part of the Chiefs rookie camp as a tryout player; released P T.J. Conley.
  • LIONS – claimed S David Roach off waivers from the Rams.
  • RAIDERS – placed QB Charlie Frye on the injured-reserve list (wrist).
  • REDSKINS – placed WR Mike Furrey on the injured-reserve list (concussion) ending his season.
  • VIKINGS – WR Percy Harvin remained hospitalized overnight after he was taken from the Minnesota facility Thursday in an ambulance. Harvin passed out on the practice field, as he reportedly was dealing with the symptoms of a migraine headache.

9 Responses to “Camp Express Rides Out Of Town … Friday Cup O’Chiefs”

  • August 20, 2010  - Butler says:

    My Dad was born in Tampa and was a Buc’s fan
    until his passing
    I was born in Tampa and have been a Chief’s fan
    since the team became the Chief’s

    I attended the last game the Chief’s and Buc’s
    played at Arrowhead What a painful day that was.
    Chief’s are my #1 Team Buc’s are my #2 Team
    But now I Hope we DON’T GIVE this game away
    like the last time. GO-Chief’s GO !!!!!!!!!

  • August 20, 2010  - el cid says:

    The Chiefs need a better preformance than first game, period. Do not need to win, just play like they have some inkling of what it takes to compete, alter all, it is preseason.

    ’09 picks need to show up, have not so far. WRs need to get involved during the game. Cassel need to start looking like a first stringer, if nothing else to shut up the fans. And all the starters need to look better than their third backups, ie have not seen Jackson look any better than anyone who plays behind him. Lastly, we bought into the “hof” coordinators, well show some coaching, already of them sitting on their laurels and the team not looking like much.

  • August 20, 2010  - Jimbo says:

    I would like to see us score 24 or more points Saturday. Like el cid, I don’t care so much about a win. We need the offense to show up & score some darn points, Period…
    Go Chiefs.

  • August 20, 2010  - dan in joplin says:

    I agree w/ all of you! I want to see SOMEONE on the d-line get penetration and pop the RB as soon as he gets the handoff!

  • August 20, 2010  - Brad says:

    We all want to see improvement, particularly in line play on both sides of the ball. And it wouldn’t hurt for Cassell to get a little swagger after some downfield completions. But let’s all remember that what we really need is to get through the pre-season without any major injuries. I shudder to think what would happen if the injury bug bit Albert, Hali, Chambers, Flowers, heck, even Dorsey. We just don’t have enough depth to deal with the loss of those guys, even though none of them are yet star players.

  • August 20, 2010  - el cid says:

    Traditionally, Brad, you are correct but the difference between 1st string and 3rd is mimimal, at least in ’10. I do not want any injuries at all but noticed most backups do not play a whole lot worse than the starters. I think it is a case of the starter not being that good, as in have not blossomed in the current skemes, at least to be noticeably better than their reliefs.

  • August 20, 2010  - Brandon says:

    I want to see improvement on the lines. That is the key to everything.

    A passing game would be nice as well. Running will come with the line.

  • August 20, 2010  - el cid says:

    If we are making a “wish list”, I want to see different WRs running with the first string, like Horne and McCluster. We know what Chambers and Bowe have added to the offense and it is the preseason afterall. And on defense, the first stringers look like first stringers, notice how many said last week, Atlanta was a more complete team, well, they did not look like much yesterday.

  • August 20, 2010  - Michael says:

    I’m not seeing your point about Atlanta. Context is important. Atlanta’s first stringer’s played the Patriots first teamers pretty much to a standstill. Later, all the backups came in and the final score showed a lopsided Pat’s victory. What does that mean? Not much. New England is still a playoff caliber, superbowl contending team, and Atlanta is still regarded as a good, young team with playoff potential.

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