Goodbye Training Camp … Wednesday Cup O’Chiefs

The Chiefs locker room was a collection of tired bodies on Tuesday.

It wasn’t so much because their practice that morning had been so wearing. Actually, it was designed to feel like a Friday regular season practice, which is the shortest workout of each week.

It’s just that it was practice No. 20, on top of about the same number of walkthrough practices, countless meetings, 39 major conditioning workouts and three pre-season games.

All that activity was crammed into 33 days, starting from the team’s first full-day in St. Joseph on July 29, and rolling through Wednesday, when they will have another walkthrough session before jumping on the plane and heading north. They’ll wrap up the pre-season with Game No. 4 against the Packers at Green Bay’s Lambeau Field.

More accurately, they will wrap up training camp, because the mentality of the first weeks in St. Joseph have never left, even though the team has been in Kansas City for the past two weeks. There has been no let up in the intensity, no change in the goal of every day’s work.

Essentially, through the scheduling and plan of Todd Haley, the Chiefs did the best they could at squeezing in the off-season that was missed because of the NFL owners’ lockout. They did that on top of the pre-season that was supposed to get them ready for the 2011 NFL season.

“We’re never going to make up lost time, we’re just dealing with the variables and the situation that we have and every other team in the NFL has,” Haley said on Tuesday. “But that makes me feel good as the head coach that we’ve got 39 workouts in less days than that and we’ve had some really productive practices.”

Obviously, Chiefs fans are going to have to take Haley’s word on that because productive and pre-season are not words that go together to describe the team’s performance in the first three games. They are 0-3 and while that record is no big deal, the way the first units have played is a problem. The defense can’t stop the run, while the offense can’t run the ball. Those are two pillars in the foundation of any successful football team, and right now the Chiefs are just short of inept.

Significant improvement should not be expected in Green Bay, not because of the Packers, but due to the Chiefs. They are one tired bunch, something that Haley and his players admitted on Tuesday.

“They’re tired right now,” Haley admitted of his players. “This feels like training camp. They’re tired right now but I told them ‘you’re not going to feel a lot better than you feel right now, no matter how things go the rest of the way because that’s just the NFL.’ We’ll have some time to recover here leading into September 11. They know that and I think they’ve responded well to what’s been asked of them.”

But they are tired.

“We’ve been going at a pretty fast pace,” CB Brandon Carr said. “It doesn’t feel like we’ve stopped since we went to camp.”

Added DE Wallace Gilberry: “Coach told us this is the best we will feel right now for the rest of the year. If that’s the case, then it’s going to be a long year because guys are tired and hurting.”

That will make watching the personnel use by Haley in Thursday night’s game very interesting. His team obviously needs a chance to have more work together to improve their production, especially on offense. But, these players are tuckered out and normally, the final pre-season game is a time where the starters and big contributors don’t play or make only cameo appearances.

Don’t expect much more than that against the Packers. The starters will play, but it won’t be for any significant time. Haley’s eyes have never left the target – Sunday, September 11 against the Buffalo Bills.

“I’ve fought the urge to be reactionary and do things that maybe we hadn’t really planned on doing,” Haley said. “I really feel like we’re on schedule as far as the things we wanted to get done and accomplished and now the next big step for us will be Thursday and then we’ll have some decisions to make and have to get ready for the regular season.”

Unless the head coach provides some relief – and it sounds like he is planning a long weekend off for his players – the Chiefs will go into the game against the Bills as a tired group.

“We’ll be OK,” said ILB Derrick Johnson. “We’ve been going fast, but that’s how the NFL is – it goes fast and you’ve got to keep up.”


10 Responses to “Goodbye Training Camp … Wednesday Cup O’Chiefs”

  • August 31, 2011  - MGDog says:

    Added DE Wallace Gilberry: “Coach told us this is the best we will feel right now for the rest of the year. If that’s the case, then it’s going to be a long year because guys are tired and hurting.”

    Well, this doesn’t sound like a very positive way to begin the season, now does it?


  • August 31, 2011  - RW says:

    Yet another upcoming ‘controlled scrimmage’ game. Can the REAL season start soon enough?

    I expect Pioli & Co. to be poring over the cutdown wire for OL and LB help this weekend.


  • August 31, 2011  - el cid says:

    RW, what about an additional backup HB,S,QB and do not forget special teams could use some help but that may be more about scheming than players.


  • August 31, 2011  - tybme says:

    I have to disagree with you Bob. You said ” normally, the final pre-season game is a time where the starters and big contributors don’t play or make only cameo appearances.
    Don’t expect much more than that against the Packers. The starters will play, but it won’t be for any significant time.”

    I think we will see the starters play longer than just cameo appearances. I believe Haley’s plan all along was to increase their workload each game – we’ll see starters play well into the 2nd quarter and possibly into the 2nd half this week.


  • August 31, 2011  - jim says:

    If they weren’t tird and hurting, I would be more suspect. It’s football!!! Don’t want to be tire and hurt, buy a set of golf clubs and change your profession.

    Don’t act like you are the only team that in this situation. Quit whining, and get ready to compete. Tell you what, get that first win and a lot of little aches and pains will go away. Winning curse a multitude of sins.


  • August 31, 2011  - Blake says:

    I think the starters will play longer than usual in this last preseason game. Normally in the 4th game, you see one or two drives for the starters and then the backups come in. I believe since the starters didn’t play much in the first game, that they will play longer in this game, like the entire first quarter.


  • August 31, 2011  - Niblick says:

    I also think the starters will play longer than normal in this last preseason game. I’m not sure how long, perhaps well into the 2nd quarter. I know it’s a bit of risk that some starters could be injured, but I think the have to take the risk. I just think the starters, particularly on offense, need to have some success.


  • September 1, 2011  - el cid says:

    Stick with the plan. Hate to have wasted what little preseason the Chiefs had, with a injury to a starter.




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