There are 85 players on the Chiefs roster right now.
But there are only two players in the spotlight as the Chiefs begin their mandatory mini-camp Friday morning at the Truman Sports Complex.
All the reports out of Chiefs camp will be about whether G Brian Waters and LB Mike Vrabel are in the house and attending the weekend of work after missing all of the team’s off-season work.
No word on Vrabel. But Waters was spotted in the Chiefs building Thursday evening, an indication there’s a good chance he’ll be in the meeting room and on the field come Friday morning.
If not – and at this point it would be foolish to state anything as guaranteed – Waters can be fined if he’s absent without being excused. Same for Vrabel.
Also expected to be missing is fourth-round draft choice CB Donald Washington, who under NFL rules is not allowed to participate in the off-season work until Ohio State finishes its spring term. That won’t happen until next week.
So at the minimum, there will be 82 guys on the field and some 75 or so will be taking part in the workouts, with two sessions on Friday, two practices on Saturday and then one Sunday morning.
Haley does not view these practices any differently than the six OTA sessions that have already gone down. It’s just a chance to get five practices in over three days.
“To me, it’s not any more important,” Haley said of the mini-camp. “As I said early on, the off-season to me is the most important thing that we have to get done here. We have to get in conditioning and we have to get strong in order to have any chance to compete. Because if we don’t do that, no matter what else we’re doing, we have no shot, or very little shot. So that’s number one.
“Each and every one of these OTAs is extremely important to me. I can’t see the importance going up any because it’s the mini-camp. We’ll just have two practices on Friday and two on Saturday. That’s the only difference to me.”
Because the Chiefs have had such good attendance at the OTA sessions, there will not be a big increase in available bodies. Certainly, Haley would like to see Waters working at left guard with the No. 1 offensive line and Vrabel working at outside linebacker with the No. 1 defense. Short of that, there should be nothing different about what goes down in these sessions.
Offensively, the Chiefs will continue to work on developing the timing in the passing game and the coordination of the offensive line. Defensively, they will continue the implementation of the new scheme, not only the 3-4, but in the nickel and dime defenses that they’ve worked on in the OTAs.
The kickers will continue to kick, punter Dustin Colquitt will continue to punt and the snappers will continue to snap.
There will really be very little different about the three days than what the Chiefs have already shown during this off-season. It’s just another important step in their development as a team.
“Everything we do together as a group involves some form of sweating or studying, I think that’s good,” Haley said. “It’s been night and day to me of where we started from to where we’re at and that’s really just part of the educational process to the players of letting them know what we want.
“As I said, there’s not going to be a lot of gray area, it’s going to be pretty black and white. If you’re doing it, you’ll be alright if you’re good enough and if you’re not doing it, then you probably won’t be around.”
And, it’s always helpful if all the bodies are there, all pulling and working in the same direction. If not, you know what the media theme will be Friday evening.
C.P. WILL PRESENT D.T. IN CANTON
Former Chiefs president-general manager Carl Peterson will present Derrick Thomas for his induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio on Saturday evening, August 8th at Fawcett Stadium.
Every Hall of Famer has a person who presents them for induction and the Thomas family asked Peterson to handle those duties. He will speak for about 10 minutes, there will be an NFL Films video shown of D.T. and his career and finally, Derrick’s son Derrion Thomas will come to the stage and acknowledge the Thomas family and accept the Hall of Fame bust from Peterson.
Last year for his induction, former Chiefs CB Emmitt Thomas had his son Derek present him. When Hank Stram went into the Hall, his quarterback Len Dawson made the presentation speech. Stram was the presenter for Dawson, Bobby Bell, Buck Buchanan and Jan Stenerud. Lamar Hunt presented Willie Lanier and Hunt himself was presented back in 1972 by then Patriots owner Billy Sullivan.
The Hall of Fame released on Thursday the list of presenters for the Hall of Fame class of 2009 and the real surprise involved Buffalo Bills owner Ralph Wilson. As the franchise celebrates its 50th season there were many people Wilson could have called on, but he selected ESPN broadcaster Chris Berman to handle the duties.
“Chris embodies the Bills fans who have played such an important role in my career in professional football,” Wilson said in a statement released by the Bills. “Professional football is all about the fans and having Chris as my presenter follows that thought.”
Bob Hayes will be presented by Hall of Fame quarterback Roger Staubach.
Randall McDaniel will be presented by O.K. Fulton, his high school athlete director and assistant principal at Agua Fria Union High School in Avondale, Arizona.
Bruce Smith will be presented by Ted Cottrell, who was defensive coordinator during part of his time in Buffalo.
Rod Woodson will be presented by Tracy Foster, a long-time friend and business associate.
The Hall of Fame ceremonies will begin at 6 p.m. CDT on August 8.
A CHANCE TO SAY GOOD BYE TO CRASH
There will be a celebration of the life of former Chiefs head coach Frank Gansz on Friday at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland.
Gansz passed away on April 27th in Dallas after complications following knee replacement surgery. He spent the last two years working as the special teams coach for his good friend June Jones at SMU.
Born in Altoona, Pennsylvania and raised in Pittsburgh, Gansz attended the Naval Academy and played center and linebacker from 1957-1960.
He was the Chiefs special teams coach twice, 1981-82 and 1986. He was the team’s head coach in 1987-88.
Representing the Chiefs organization at the 10 a.m. ceremony at the Academy’s Alumni Hall will be Chairman Clark Hunt and team President Denny Thum.
SIGNINGS & MOVEMENT AROUND THE LEAGUE
CARDINALS – signed S Adrian Wilson to a new contract, 5 years, $37 million with $18.5 million guaranteed.
49ERS – signed OT Joe Staley to a six-year extension on his contract. He’s now signed through 2017.
JAGUARS – signed S Marlon McCree; released DT Nader Abdallah and S Kevin Patterson.
PATRIOTS – signed FB Patrick Pass; released RB Omar Cuff, DL Kenny Smith, LB Angelo Craig and S Marcus McClinton.
RAVENS – signed fifth-round draft choice TE Davon Drew.
SAY HAPPY BIRTHDAY …
Born on June 5, 1962 in Brookville, Pennsylvania was C Bob Olderman. He was selected by the Chiefs in the fourth-round of the 1985 NFL Draft out of Virginia. Olderman played that rookie season with the tea, appearing in 16 games and making 14 starts. That was his only career action in the NFL.