Safety Surprise … Wednesday Cup O’Chiefs

Heaven knows it’s a fun Chiefs fact that will likely be forgotten days from now, let alone remembered down the road:

Name the accomplished Southeastern Conference safety that was the starting strong safety for the Chiefs in the team’s first practice of 2010?

No, it wasn’t first-round draft choice Eric Berry out of Tennessee. Ultimately, the job likely belongs to Berry and maybe as soon as tomorrow. But on this Monday in May, he was running with the third team. The starting strong safety was Reshard Nelson Langford, a four-year starter at Vanderbilt, who is with his second NFL team.

Reshard Langford? Who he? He’s the Alabama native who is determined to make Berry fight for playing time at safety, because he wants the opportunity to play.

“Anybody that plays the game and loves being part of the game does it so they can play in the games,” Langford said this week as the Chiefs began their OTA practice sessions. “That’s all I’m trying to do every day, make another step to being able to play in the games.”

The 6-1, 213-pound Langford talks in the language that is music to the ears of Chiefs head coach Todd Haley. He’s been a determined, consistent and improving player since he walked in the door late last season. Had veteran safety Jarrad Page shown up for the start of OTAs, it was going to be Langford who joined Jon McGraw as the starting safeties.

Starters in May do not rack up equity in the position. But for Langford, the honor was recognition of the hard work he’s put in for the past two months.

“He’s at the top of the list of guys working as hard as they can to put themselves in a position to succeed,” Haley said of Langford. “All these guys know that they all have great opportunity because anything they learned from last year (is) the guy that gives us the best chance to win will play. When guys hear that and know that, they’re excited and it gives them hope and then it’s just up to them to take advantage of the opportunity given.”

Few players in recent history have joined the Chiefs with less fanfare than Langford. He was signed off the practice squad of the Philadelphia Eagles on Christmas Day 2009. Langford spent two games on the Chiefs 53-man roster, but was not active for those contests in Cincinnati and Denver.

In a season where the Chiefs were 4-12 and there was a revolving door on the roster, with the safety position one of the weakest on the team, it’s easy for an undrafted college free agent who spent 15 anonymous weeks on another team’s practice squad to pass well under the radar.

The Chiefs were happy to get him signed up for the 2010 season. “We were excited about being able to pick him up,” said Haley. “He’s a guy that had a lot of the qualities we are looking for in players.”

For instance: Langford was captain of the Commodores in his senior season in ’08, when he led Vanderbilt to its first bowl game victory in 53 years. That’s why he received the school’s Hustle Award, the top honor in the football program. He was also a two-year captain at Tanner High School in Alabama, where he was a running back and all-state defensive back. In his last two seasons with the Rattlers, he ran for 2,810 yards and 45 touchdowns.

While he was surely on every draft board in the league for the ’09 NFL Draft, rather pedestrian times in the 40-yard dash (anywhere from 4.58 to 4.69) kept Langford’s name from being called. He signed with Philadelphia on April 27, lasted until the final cutdown on September 5, and signed on with the Eagles practice squad on September 7.

Why would this young man leave a team getting ready to go to the playoffs to join one that was wrapping up a third consecutive losing season?

It comes down to one word, the most powerful word in the language: opportunity.

“I looked at the situation and thought there was a better chance for me to play here than there would be with the Eagles,” Langford said. “They were talking about moving me to linebacker, which would have been fine. But my opportunities to get playing time were better here.”

With the Eagles, Quintin Mikell is the starting strong safety and he led the Philly defense last year with 122 total tackles. Working with him was rookie Macho Harris out of Virginia Tech. The coaches were considering a move to the WILL linebacker spot on the weak side, where last year Will Weatherspoon and Akeem Jordan split the starting assignments. Had the move been made, Langford would have needed to add about 15 pounds.

So in this case, the grass may have been Eagles green, but the opportunity was elsewhere. At least it seemed that way back in December. But then the Chiefs went out and used two of their seven draft choices on safeties, drafting Berry and Kendrick Lewis out of Mississippi. Yes, last year’s starter Mike Brown is gone, but the arrival of draft picks makes for a crowded picture on the back line of the Chiefs defense.

“Of course I noticed the draft and the guys they took,” Langford said. “I knew both of those guys from the SEC. They are good players. But that has nothing to do with me and what I get done. I’ve got to go out and perform well enough to get playing time; so do they. I’ve got to get better every day; so do they. I have to establish confidence in the minds of the coaching staff that I can get make a contribution; so do they.”

So Reshard Langford figures he’ll come in every day and work just as hard as he can to put himself in position to take advantage of whatever further

ONE OF CANADA’S BEST SIGNS WITH THE CHIEFS

Two weeks ago, LB Cory Greenwood was the third player selected in the 2010 Canadian Football League Draft. He was grabbed with the third selection by the Toronto Argonauts.

But on Monday, he worked out for the Chiefs at the team’s facility and signed a contract on Tuesday. He’ll be on the field when the team goes through its Wednesday OTA practice session.

The 6-2, 235-pound native of Kingston, Ontario, Greenwood was Canadian college football’s top defensive player last year. With the Concordia University Stingers, he had 62 total tackles in ’09 and 186.5 tackles over his four-year career. He was also a team captain in each of the last two seasons.

Greenwood’s signing now gives the Chiefs 86 players with 79 under contract.

PERSONNEL FILE/TUESDAY, MAY 18

  • BEARS – signed 5th-round draft choice CB Joshua Moore to a 4-year contract with a $198,000 signing bonus. He was two-time honorable mention All-Big 12 at K-State.
  • BRONCOS – RFA LB Elvis Dumervil signed tender offer.
  • BROWNS – signed K Shaun Suisham; released K Leigh Tiffin. With veteran K Phil Dawson holding out over his contract, Cleveland needed kickers. They signed five-year veteran Suisham and released rookie free agent Tiffin, who was just signed over the weekend.
  • BUCCANEERS – signed DT Carlton Powell, who was a 5th-round pick of the Broncos in ’08; placed FB Byron Storer on the injured-reserve list with an ACL injury; released CB Darrell Pasco.
  • CHARGERS – signed LBs Boris Lee and Mike Nixon. Both are undrafted rookies. Lee took part in the Chiefs rookie camp on a tryout basis and played at Troy next to KC draft pick Cameron Sheffield. Nixon came out of Arizona State, after spending four years as a minor league catcher for the Dodgers.
  • CHIEFS – signed LB Corey Greenwood.
  • COLTS – signed DT Marlon Favorite. Last he was part of the Bills and Favorite has now been with four teams since he came out of LSU last year.
  • EAGLES – signed DT Boo Robinson, an undrafted rookie free agent out of Wake Forest.
  • 49ERS – signed 7th-round draft choice CB Phillip Adams to a 4-year, $1.84 million deal with a $57,850 signing bonus.
  • JETS – signed OT Aaron Kia, an undrafted rookie; released WR S.J. Green and OT Matt Stommes. Green played in Canada the last three years and Stommes is a rookie free agent.
  • PANTHERS – signed TE Jamie Petrowski. He was with the Colts for two years, missing ’09 with a Lisfranc foot injury.
  • PATRIOTS – released CB Shawn Springs in a move negotiated between team and player. Springs is 35 years old and if he doesn’t get interest elsewhere, he’s likely to re-sign with the Pats; signed 6th-round draft choice C Ted Larsen to a 4-year, $1.87 million deal with an $80,300 signing bonus.
  • SEAHAWKS – agreed to terms with QB J.P. Losman. The former Bills starter signed a one-year deal for $630,000; signed WR Marcus Maxwell, who was out of the league in ’09; released QB Mike Reilly, who was signed just two weeks ago.
  • TEXANS – announced the signing of 16 rookie free agents: FB Jack Corcoran of Rutgers, WR London Crawford of Arkansas, OL Steve Maneri of Temple, G Kristian Matte of Concordia, OT Cole Pemberton of Colorado State (who spent his freshman year of high school at Shawnee Mission East), S Nicholas Polk of Indiana, DT Malcolm Sheppard of Arkansas, WR Trey Stross of Iowa, OT Adam Ulatoski of Texas, S Aaron Webster of Cincinnati, S Torri Williams of Purdue, LB Isaiah Greenhouse of Northwestern State, LB Will Patterson of Indiana, QB Tyler Sheehan of Bowling Green, CB Pierre Singleton of Arizona State and DE Will Unrein of Wyoming.
  • TITANS – released RB Dominique Lindsay. Rookie free agent out of East Carolina went down with an Achilles injury in rookie camp and was released with an injury settlement.

10 Responses to “Safety Surprise … Wednesday Cup O’Chiefs”

  • May 19, 2010  - KC_Guy says:

    So what does the Chiefs’ Safety lineup look like right now:

    FS – McGraw, Price
    SS – Lengford, Morgan

    Question marks:

    Page: Will he be back with the team? He’ll have to fight an uphill battle if he doesn’t show up soon. I tend to think he won’t be with the team come Taining Camp.

    Berry: SS or FS? IF Page is out I think he’ll start at FS. IF Page returns … I dunno. May depend on whether Langford (or Morgan) provide a solution at SS.

    Lewis: Big unknown. Think he’s more of a FS. May be he’s slated for the practice squad. If he wants to make the roster as more than a Special Teamer he probably has to beat out Jon McGraw (or one of the SS if he can play there as well).


  • May 19, 2010  - The Morning Fix | Arrowhead Addict | A Kansas City Chiefs blog says:

    [...] Safety Surprise … Wednesday Cup O’Chiefs-BobGretz.com [...]


  • May 19, 2010  - J Lloyd says:

    KC_
    There’s about 12 guy’s they are looking at so far that are in the back field or S.T.’s- etc.
    There will be even more names before Sept. 13 ,needing a Quick and Fast Def. / like Flowers & Berry with a bit of a mean streak ——- if it’s going to happen , this is where it’s GOT TO START in today’s game .
    4 months to go…


  • May 19, 2010  - oldpete says:

    Reshard was a great player at Vanderbilt. In his senior season, he got lost in some of the SEC hype over DJ Moore (Chicago Bears). He is consistent, plays injured and really helped make Vandy’s defense something special for several years.


  • May 19, 2010  - el cid says:

    I am sure we will be buried in feel good stories until training camp is over and the roster is set. i am sure Berry will start because of his draft spot. Add a vet to side him and the rest of the DB candidates are probably spec. teamers or developementals. Barring injuries the roster will only add one or two unknowns no matter who you like. They just do not make a difference in most cases. Still it is good to see an undrafted kid get some press time.


  • May 19, 2010  - craig says:

    I have always liked Page as a player. However, for some reason he is not fitting in with the program. Maybe he wants to leave. In any case I believe Page will not be the team in 2010.


  • May 19, 2010  - Danny W says:

    I hope Page is there I think there is a rift between he and head coach for some reason. He is going to be a good player somewhere. I hope it’s beside Eric Berry. Langford for depth along with a developing Morgan. Maybe they both can play a mean special teams game too. Can either block punts? I guess if Page goes why not Langord beside Berry. I no Bob thinks Lewis will be the starter what do you guys think.


  • May 19, 2010  - J Lloyd says:

    Danny ——-> I think it’s a long , long time and distance till Sept 13 !!!!!!!!!!!
    In fact there will be a starter then , that is not even on the Roster or been drafted as of today .


  • May 19, 2010  - Michael says:

    Not sure who you’re talking about when you say they just do not make a difference in most cases. Rookies, free agent rookies?


  • May 20, 2010  - RatsoReily says:

    I don’t have a clue whose going to be the starters but I do know that they’ll have to earn their spot on the roster. Draft position won’t dictate a starting spot.
    I do think Berry’s talented enough to earn a spot and I’d hate to see Page leave the Chief’s. I think he’s talented and has a long career ahead of him in the NFL.




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