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That’s A Wrap! … Wednesday Cup O’Chiefs

Maybe you’ve noticed lately a lot of talk and stories about the new softer side of Chiefs head coach Todd Haley. The premise is that the snarling, yelling guy who patrolled the sidelines at Arrowhead Stadium and the halls of the team’s facility has changed.

That angle has popped up a lot lately and one reason is because Haley keeps doing things to give the idea legs.

Like his decision to cancel the final OTA practice session of the off-season. That went down Tuesday morning, after the players went through their normal early morning weight lifting and conditioning segments.

Haley let the veterans go, ending their off-season program. It was an obvious gift to a group of players that since March has put forth an effort that’s unmatched in the NFL.

There is no place in the country where you can go and get a complete participation report in off-season programs of each NFL team. There are obvious places where there are holdouts and unsigned players. The Chiefs have their own in restricted free agent S Jarrad Page; he did not attend any of the sessions, either on or off the field.

Otherwise, everyone else was in the house, and not occasionally attending, but there all the time. It was a remarkable showing. Pick your way through the Internet and check on other NFL teams and there are few that can come close to matching the consistent participation of the entire roster. Practice after practice the Chiefs had 85 or 86 bodies on the field. There were two injuries of note during the actual practices – a hamstring pull by WR David Grimes and the right index finger of backup QB Brodie Croyle. The other players – a half-dozen or less – who did not work were all carrying over physical problems and rehab from last season.

It was an exceptional performance and welcome evidence for Haley that his players bought in, or as he said, “invested” themselves in the future of the team. Giving up one last 90-minute practice was a small thank you for the extra time and effort that went into following through with a commitment.

“I don’t have any doubt in my mind we’re making progress,” Haley said over the weekend. “We’ve gotten better this off-season. The next step for these players is they’ve made a great investment over the last few months and they can’t have any slippage – there’s not one that can afford to have any slippage during the time that we’re not going to be together. That’s truly the next step. The next one we’ll all see and witness is training camp.”

Haley didn’t mention any names when talking about slippage, but one comes to mind – WR Dwayne Bowe (left). He worked hard in last year’s off-season program, lost weight and had himself in a good position in the middle of June. But he took a step back during the idle time before camp; that’s why he was scrambling around when he went to training camp, trying to lose weight he put on during the down period. He ended up – according to him – taking a diet pill given to him by his grandmother. That’s when he tested positive under the NFL’s performance enhancing drug regulations and why he was suspended for four games last season.

“When we get to training camp, that’ll be another step that we can take advantage of – we can stay the same, we can get worse or we can get better,” Haley said. “What’s critical for everyone in this building is to continue to get better.”

That was the theme of Haley’s final words to his team over the weekend. Their truly exceptional commitment to improving themselves and thus their team deserves recognition. But it means squat if six weeks away can wipe out the gains, and it means double-squat if it doesn’t produce performances and a better team starting on Monday night against San Diego in September.

“We did what you have to do,” explained veteran OLB Mike Vrabel. “We came together, everybody worked hard. Guys got faster, they got stronger, they got quicker. They learned a defense and offense and we worked on fundamentals.

“That’s what you do in the off-season. It was good that we had everyone here for the practices. But we are 0-0. Will it help us in the season? It should, but that’s something this group has to go out and prove. We get a star for effort, but there is so much more to do.”

It reminds me of a friend of mine who used to be a school teacher. He would return test papers to students and they would moan and groan about low grades. “But we studied and we tried hard,” they would say.

His reply?

“Effort was assumed.”

For years, the Chiefs assumed their players had a commitment to improving. After this off-season, the franchise is closer to finally finding a group on the same page, making that assumption closer to fact.

They’ll have to wait until July 30th when they get on the field at Missouri Western State University to find out just how committed the 2010 Chiefs really are.

BRONCOS PUT IN CLAIM FOR KOLBY

Former Chiefs RB Kolby Smith was not out of work long. The fourth-year back was awarded to the Denver Broncos on waivers, an indication that more than one team put a claim for him.

Smith was likely claimed because the Broncos either struck out or backed off former Philly RB Brian Westbrook, who remains unsigned and available. Denver was one of the teams that Westbrook was talking with.

Ahead of Kolby on the depth chart are second-year man Knowshon Moreno, 10-year veteran Correll Buckhalter, fifth-year pro J.J. Arrington and a couple of second-year backs in Lance Ball and Bruce Hall.

Also in Denver, it looks like Britton Colquitt will go to training camp as the Broncos No. 1 punter. The younger brother of Chiefs punter Dustin Colquitt won the off-season competition with the release on Tuesday of his competition, A.J. Trapasso.

NFL PERSONNEL & NEWS FILE FOR TUESDAY, JUNE 15

  • BILLS – signed 4th-round draft choice WR Marcus Easley to a 4-year, $2,310,000 contract with a $520,000 signing bonus – came out of UConn where he was originally a walk-on, he could challenge for catches in Buffalo’s offense.
  • BRONCOS – claimed RB Kolby Smith on waivers from the Chiefs – injuries have limited him to 11 games in the last two seasons; released P A.J. Trapasso and LB Korey Bosworth – Trapasso was competing with Britton Colquitt for the punting job and Bosworth was an undrafted rookie out of UCLA.
  • BROWNS – claimed G Paul Fanaika on waivers from the Redskins – former 7th-round choice who spent time with the Eagles before he landed in Washington; released RB Jed Collins, DB Matt Harris, DL Jonathan Lewis, DL Martin Tevaseu and TE Ryan Moya – Collins went to camp in ’09 with Chiefs, Lewis h as banged around with multiple NFL teams and Harris, Tevaseu and Moya were undrafted rookies.
  • DOLPHINS – signed 7th-round LB Chris McCoy to a 4-year contract, terms undisclosed – he’s a college DE from Middle Tennessee State who is trying to make the move to OLB.
  • EAGLES – signed 4th-round draft choice TE Clay Harbor to a 4-year contract, terms undisclosed – the Missouri State product can play FB, H-Back or TE; signed 4th-round draft choice QB Mike Kafka to a 4-year contract, terms undisclosed – out of Northwestern with skills for the West Coast offense.
  • FALCONS – signed 4th-round draft choice OL Joe Hawley to a 4-year, $2,270,000 contract with a $480,000 signing bonus – the Nevada product can play center and guard; signed 5th-round draft choice CB Dominique Franks to a 4-year contract, terms undisclosed – Oklahoma product can handle return duties as well; released K Garrett Lindholm, CB Dominique Daniels, LS Justin Drescher and DT Trey Bryant – Lindholm, Daniels, Drescher and Bryant are all undrafted rookies.
  • LIONS – claimed K Justin Medlock on waivers from the Redskins – former Chiefs draft choice gets chance with fourth NFL team, but has little chance of beating out veteran Jason Hanson.
  • PACKERS – RFA DE John Jolly signed his tender offer, a 1-year, $2,521,000 contract – a backup in the Green Bay defense he’s facing likely NFL suspension for off-field activity.
  • PANTHERS – signed 6th-round draft choice WR David Gettis to a 4-year contract, terms undisclosed – big receiver out of Baylor needs time to develop his physical skills; signed 7th-round draft choice DB R.J. Stanford to a 4-year contract, terms undisclosed – coming out of Utah, he’s a good athlete, with 4.4 speed in the 40-yard dash; signed 7th-round draft choice CB Robert McClain to a 4-year contract, terms undisclosed – out of UConn, McClain was just a one-year starter for the Huskies, but he’s got good athletic skills including a 4.4 in the 40-yard dash.
  • RAMS – released DE Sean Conover, LB Freddie Harris, S Jeromy Jones, CB Cord Parks and DT E.J. Reid – Conover has spent time with six teams during five NFL seasons, Harris was an undrafted rookie out of Central Oklahoma, Jones an undrafted rookie from Idaho, Parks played last year with St. Louis
    and Reid was an undrafted rookie from the University of Mary (that’s in Washington, D.C.)
  • REDSKINS – DT Albert Haynesworth will not be on the field Wednesday when Washington holds its mandatory mini-camp and his agent said Tuesday that big man wants to be traded. Haynesworth is unhappy with the Redskins switch to the 3-4 defense, and despite the big contract he got last year with $41 million guaranteed, he wants out. He can be fined $16,000 for missing mini-camp.
  • SAINTS – RFA S Roman Harper signed his tender offer, 1-year, $2,521,000 contract – released WR Roy Hall and CB Greg Fassitt – Hall was signed in May, Fassitt in February. Neither one left enough of an impression to keep their roster spots.
  • STEELERS – signed 3rd-round draft choice WR Emmanuel Sanders to a 3-year contract, terms undisclosed – if SMU product develops fast, he’ll get playing time in Pittsburgh’s offense; signed 5th-round draft choice LB Stevenson Sylvester to a 3-year contract, terms undisclosed – out of Utah, he was an outside LB, but he’s moving inside with Pittsburgh; signed 6th-round draft choice WR Antonio Brown to a 3-year contract – out of Central Michigan, he may help as a rookie with returners; signed 6th-round draft choice Jonathan Dwyer to a 3-year contract, terms undisclosed
    – he’s making transition from Georgia Tech and could have a short-yardage role for Pittsburgh; released CB Trae Williams, LB Derrick Doggett, K Piotr Czech, WR Jason Chery, P Adam Graessle, NT Cordarrow Thompson and C Bradley Vierling – Williams was claimed last year off Seattle’s practice squad, Doggett was signed out of the CFL, Czech is out of Poland and has signed with Ravens before Pittsburgh, Chery signed last year to the Pittsburgh practice squad as undrafted rookie, Graessle kicked in college at Pitt and got a taste last year with the Packers, Thompson was signed as undrafted rookie out of Virginia Tech, Vierling was an undrafted rookie out of Vanderbilt.
  • TITANS – signed 4th-round draft choice CB Alterraun Verner to a 4-year contract, terms undisclosed – UCLA product has athletic base and is just 21; signed 7th-round draft choice DL David Howard to a 4-year contract, terms undisclosed – he played at Brown, where he was twice named All-Ivy League; signed 7th-round draft choice WR Marc Mariani to a 4-year contract, terms undisclosed – he’s a Montana product, who has handled returns.
  • VIKINGS – signed RB Ryan Moats – he was recently released by the Texans. When Moats broke into the NFL in 2005 with the Eagles, Brad Childress was the offensive coordinator for Philly; released WR Aaron Rhea – undrafted rookie out of Stephen F. Austin was let go with an injury settlement after recent wrist surgery.

11 Responses to “That’s A Wrap! … Wednesday Cup O’Chiefs”

  • June 16, 2010  - Mad Chief says:

    I supported Haley when he was hired. Admittedly, I wavered at times during last season. But so far this offseason? I’m impressed. After a rough Rookie season, I think Haley is settling in for what I believe will be a long, successful career as a Head Coach in the NFL. The players believe. So I do, too.

    Kolby Smith didn’t remain unemployed for long. Although, it would seem that the Donks are pretty well set at RB…so I’m not sure what’s going on there. Looking to get some “inside information” on the Chiefs Offense, is my guess. A little payback for us signing Casey…and the “inside information” that he’s probably given us on them.

    And poor Albert Haynesworth. Dude gets $41 million…then throws a tantrum because his new team wants to change-up their Defensive scheme. For that kind of cash, the guy should shut his mouth and line up as the Punter if they tell him to. What a freakin’ baby. Oh, and I love the fine he can be assesed. $16 grand after being paid $40+ million? Yeah…that’ll teach him. That’s like if my boss fined me a nickel for not coming to work…but I got my salary anyway.


  • June 16, 2010  - RatsoReily says:

    I feel bad for Kolby and am glad the Donkies signed him so quickly. YOur heart has to go out to a guy who works hard and puts Team first but injuries ruin all that. I do think it shows how solid we are at RB and can’t wait for training camp to start.
    It’s great to see everyone show-up for all the “voluntary” practices. I expect this to translate into a better team and more wins.

    If speed kills we’re going to be deadly.

    The future’s so bright I gotta wear shades.


  • June 16, 2010  - arrowhead1978 says:

    I think Kolby can have a pretty good career if his knee is healthy. Smith was a decent back for us before he got injured, I hope that he doesn’t start tearing it up for the Donks, at least not against the Chiefs anyway.


  • June 16, 2010  - jimbo says:

    I remember many, many years ago in grade school, when school resumed again in the fall. Our new teacher would ask us to do an essay on “how we spent our summer vacation”.

    I’m hopeful our guys stay healthy & in shape.

    Also avoiding strip clubs, having sex with strangers in public places, telling tall tales to the press, drinking while driving, spitting drinks in the faces of the opposite sex, beating their wives or girlfriends, stealing donuts in the middle of the night, taking diet pills or drinking lots of beer while stuffing themselves in an all you can eat buffets.

    That is all I want on my summer vacation.
    Go Chiefs.


  • June 16, 2010  - J Lloyd says:

    jimbo ;

    I agree with on all you say — except the part about having sex any where , any how , any time .


  • June 16, 2010  - Tracy says:

    Perhaps the good news is that, except for Dwayne Bowe’s jabberwocky, there was little news out of OTAs. No complaints aired and the draft choices seem to have gone about their work in a business like manner. The Chiefs’ preference for team captains probably added to the positive atmosphere but we will never know for sure.

    For us armchair athletes, training camp can’t come soon enough.


  • June 16, 2010  - RW in the ATL says:

    I’d be curious to know what caused Bernard Pollard to get released and why his former running mate Jarrad Page is wanting out of town? The NFL is not full of Boy Scout troop leaders but these guys crossed some line.

    What is that line? Houston has gotten excellent production out of Pollard so whatever issue he had with the Chiefs hasn’t surfaced anew with the Texans, as far as I know.

    It begs the question: What’s more important, character and obedience or talent? Obviously you’d like to have all sides covered with any player but the characters with talent, when harnessed, can make a difference.


  • June 16, 2010  - Mad Chief says:

    RW in the ATL says:
    “Houston has gotten excellent production out of Pollard so whatever issue he had with the Chiefs hasn’t surfaced anew with the Texans, as far as I know.”

    Without going into great detail (as I have on this subject many times)…maybe getting cut from one of the worst Defensive teams in the league, and then sitting unemployed for several weeks was a wake-up call for Mr. Pollard. And that lit a fire under his ass. That’s my theory, anyway. I can’t say for sure, because I only saw Houston play a time or two last year.

    We don’t know what’s going on with Page, really. We can only assume that he doesn’t want to be a Chief anymore. Or maybe it’s all related to his injury. With no one talking…it’s impossible to say. It’s all speculation at this point.


  • June 16, 2010  - sdchief says:

    I will miss kolby smith. he worked hard, and was a quality special teams guy. good locker room guy. liked by his teammates..I wish he went outside the afc west


  • June 16, 2010  - J Lloyd says:

    Pollard was NOT hired to be the Coach of the KC Chiefs ……..
    Page is in LA / gangs-drug’s-and whatever .Is he missed at this point and time ?


  • June 16, 2010  - Danny W says:

    Mad
    I agree on the Haynesworth thing, ingrates like that should be kicked out of the NFL without pay.

    RW
    I have often wondered aswell about those two safety’s and how mysterious Page’s injury report and situation just seemed to be. A calf injury of some sort? Then not signing now. He doesn’t bieng a millionarre or is it that he hates his work enviroment? His pay isn’t chump change by any means I dont think. It’s not super star money but he isn’t that and has to know that.




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