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Got To Start Sometime … Saturday Cup O’Chiefs

From River Falls, Wisconsin; Kansas City and points in between

The Chiefs practice was winding down at UW-River Falls on Thursday with the offense and defense working through a goal line segment.

Over on another field, the specialists were standing around talking, pretty much like they do during games, just waiting for action. Newly re-signed long snapper Thomas Gafford, rookie kicker Ryan Succop and punter Dustin Colquitt were done for the day and killing time.

“What do we do down there Saturday night?” Succop asked Colquitt. “When do we go out to kick? Where do we go? What time should we be there?”

Colquitt patiently went through the details for the rookie kicker who like many others on the Chiefs roster and around the league are playing their first NFL game this weekend.

The Scott Pioli/Todd Haley/Matt Cassel/Tyson Jackson Era begins Saturday evening as the Chiefs open the 2009 pre-season schedule against the Houston Texans at Arrowhead Stadium. (Kickoff is just after 7 p.m.)

The Chiefs arrived back in Kansas City early Friday afternoon after two weeks in the northwoods of intense and physically demanding practices. And their first-time head coach is a feeling a little bit like his rookie kicker: not sure what to really expect when his team hits the field.

“Get through pre-game without incident, get lined up for stretch – those are things we’re going through right now as a staff that have me worried to start with,” Haley said. “Then, getting the ball kicked off with everybody … I mean every part of Saturday night is going to be a stepping stone for us and for me personally.

“The pre-game warm-up in the pre-season is one of the most chaotic things you’ll ever be a part of and just to get everybody organized because they’re nervous and we’re nervous. You’ve got to remember this is the first time we’ve aligned out coaches, where they’re going to be, who’s in the (coaching) box, who is on the field, there are a lot of things you’re trying to do on top of getting ready for practice out here and trying to get the team better. Then once you get into the game, it’s keeping guys back. It’s a chaotic situation.”

Once the first moments pass and the inevitable chaos plays itself out, it’s just another evening of football.

But for the Chiefs it starts an important process. When asked want his goal for the pre-season opener was, veteran WR Bobby Engram didn’t hesitate: “Win. We need to win. There hasn’t been a lot of winning around here and we need to change that. There’s no better time to do that than Saturday night.”

Winning pre-season games is meaningless, as the long history of these games has shown. But right now with a franchise that’s won just six games in the last two seasons, every opportunity to team winning can’t be ignored or walked away from.

Haley is going to try to win this game, but he’s got other items on his agenda, including evaluation of talent and finding those 53 players that together will make the Chiefs a better team when the outcome of games begins to count in September.

“Obviously I’d like to see us execute and at the same time we’ve got to be able to evaluate these players,” said Haley. “I think the game is very important to the evaluation process as is every day of practice. Like I’ve said, every day these guys are being evaluated and really every night how they are in the meetings. It’s a 24-hour evaluation but the game is a big part of that and will play a big part in how things turn out.

“We’re not going to be real complicated, so I would say the most important thing is does everybody know what to do and then how well are we doing it. Going all the way back to OTA’s, we want guys who do it the way we want it done, the way they’re being coached to do it, and then how well are they doing it. If we do it, I would imagine we would execute okay and, like I said, start to look like a football team.”

The guys who have been running with the first team over the last few weeks will open the game and likely play into the second quarter. It always depends on how many plays and possessions a team gets in the opening moments. Before it’s all over, just about every player on the roster wearing a uniform should get on the field for some playing time.

Some of those first timers will be overwhelmed with the magnitude of it all. Even though there will be far from a full house at Arrowhead for this game, many players have never performed in front of 50,000 to 60,000 people. And they’ve never been dressed and on the field for a game in the NFL.

“(I’ve) seen it go both ways,” Haley said of the reactions from young players in their first game. “I’ve seen some guys that when the lights go on they hit the deck and some other guys when the lights go on you say, ‘hey, this guy’s got something.’ I’ve seen it work both ways a number of times.

“Once you get out there and it’s as close to the real thing you’re going to get here for the next three or four weeks, it’ll tell us a lot about the majority of these guys.”

SIGNINGS, INJURIES & MOVEMENT AROUND THE LEAGUE

BRONCOS – an Atlanta jury found WR Brandon Marshall not guilty of misdemeanor battery charges against his former girlfriend. The case was decided Friday morning.

GIANTS – signed QB Eli Manning to a six-year contract extension that could pay him $97.5 million, with $35 million guaranteed. He’s now one of the five highest paid players in the NFL.

JAGUARS – agreed to terms with first-round draft choice OT Eugene Monroe.

PANTHERS – WR Steve Smith returned to practice despite a bruised shoulder that looked like it was going to end his pre-season. Smith was a limited participant, but he’s expected to be able to play in Carolina’s second pre-season game.

RAVENS – lost WR Marcus Smith for the season with a torn ACL.

FROM THE PAGES OF CHIEFS HISTORY

On August 15, 1965 the Chiefs dropped a pre-season game to San Diego 31-10 at Municipal Stadium. On a hot, sticky Midwest summer night (temperature at kickoff was 94 degrees) the only KC touchdown was a 23-yard pass caught by WR Otis Taylor on pass from QB Pete Beathard in the fourth quarter. San Diego WR Lance Alworth caught six passes for 61 yards.

On August 15, 1976 the Chiefs lost a pre-season game to the San Francisco 49ers 21-13 at Candlestick Park. Larry Brunson returned a kickoff 99 yard for a TD for the Chiefs and K Jan Stenerud had a pair of field goals. Brunson also caught three passes for 57 yards. The Chiefs had just 126 offensive yards. For San Francisco, RB Del Williams ran 16 times for 99 yards and QB Jim Plunkett was 10 of 21 for 67 yards.

SAY HAPPY BIRTHDAY …

Born on August 15, 1940 in Lanett, Alabama was S Bobby Hunt. He joined the Dallas Texans as the team’s 11th –round selection in the 1962 AFL Draft out of Auburn, where he was a quarterback. Hunt played six seasons (1962-67) for the Texans and Chiefs, appearing in 84 games with several seasons as a starter in the secondary. He led the AFL in interceptions with 10 in 1966 and he had 37 picks over his career, two that he returned for touchdowns. Hunt finished his pro career with two seasons playing for the Cincinnati Bengals.

Born on August 15, 1953 in Corinth, Mississippi was WR Larry Dorsey. He joined the Chiefs in 1978 after playing two seasons in San Diego with the Chargers. Dorsey appeared in 16 games during his one season in Kansas City, catching nine passes for 169 yards and two touchdowns.

Born on August 15, 1971 in McComb, Mississippi was CB Perry Carter. He joined the Chiefs in 1995 and appeared in two games, as well as a post-season game against Indianapolis. His career finished p with 26 games over the next three seasons with Oakland. Carter will celebrate his 38th birthday Saturday night at Arrowhead since he’s an assistant coach with the visiting Houston Texas.


7 Responses to “Got To Start Sometime … Saturday Cup O’Chiefs”

  • August 15, 2009  - Don in Wichita says:

    Are you ready for some football??!! Pre-season or not, it’s at least football. Let’s git it on! Go Chiefs!!


  • August 15, 2009  - Scott says:

    Pre-season doesn’t mean jack, really…in terms of a win or a loss. But it will be good to see us out on the field. Time to see what some of these guys have.


  • August 15, 2009  - Loz Phil says:

    Here’s some good news…

    Kyle Orton threw three interceptions Friday night in his first game with the Broncos.


  • August 15, 2009  - chris says:

    After watching the Royals……….preseason Chiefs football sounds GREAT!


  • August 15, 2009  - aPauled says:

    A preseason Win or Loss doesn’t mean anything to a veteran team. To a young, rebuilding team like the Chiefs they need to learn to win starting with the preseason. Herm’s show up, scrimmage and go home pretending the score didn’t matter are over. Haley has to teach these guys to win starting tonight.


  • August 15, 2009  - Rin Tin Tin says:

    Chiefs rallying cry 2009 – “We’re Goin’ DOWN!” The suffering begins tonight – BE THERE!

    :cool: daddy-o


  • August 15, 2009  - ED says:

    Pre season doesn’t matter in terms of winning in the regular season. I just want our team to perform at a high level and if it produces some preseason wins then thats great. The main thing about pre-season is you hope your starters on both sides of the ball play very well. That is a good sign, because if they play bad like in the last 2 years of preseason games we’re going to be in trouble. Either way i’m so glad to see some Chiefs football Go Chiefs




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