Wrapping Up … Monday Cup O’Mini-Camp

From the Truman Sports Complex

The Chiefs off-season is not over. They have activity on Monday and a practice on Tuesday. That’s when Todd Haley will discharge his veterans for six weeks, meeting again for the start of training camp in the last week of July.

The weekend mini-camp provided a lengthy look at the 2010 Chiefs with five practices in three days. As the only member of the media horde and the only media outlet that covered every second of all five practices – that’s called blowing our own horn – there are honors to be presented to this team that only I can hand down.

So here are the 2010 Chiefs Mini-Camp Oscars:

MINI-CAMP MVP – CB TRAVIS DANIELS (above). He joined the Chiefs last year as an unrestricted free agent from the Browns. Daniels was released in the final roster cut of the pre-season and did not return until November 4th, when he was signed after S Jarrad Page was placed on the injured-reserve list. He played in nine games and finished with 16 tackles, two passes defensed and seven tackles in the kicking game. Daniels was a JAG – just a guy – something he showed in previous NFL stops in Miami and Cleveland. But in this ’10 mini-camp, Daniels was all over the place. His work at left cornerback was so good that in the last few practices he was running with the No. 1 defense in place of Maurice Leggett who was holding the spot for the rehabbing Brandon Flowers. Daniels brought mini-camp to a close with his interception in the two-minute drill off QB Tyler Palko.

BEST NEWCOMER OF MINI-CAMP – RB THOMAS JONES. With his history, his body and his talent, Jones began making an impact on the Chiefs the first time he walked in the door of the team’s facility. That has continued and it was especially visible during the mini-camp with five practices in such a short period of time. Jones works hard at every given opportunity. He is always talking with offensive mates during practice and the young running backs seem to hover on his every word. Here’s the secret to Jones’ success and career – those mini-camp practices were only part of his football day. Some players put in the minimum amount of time and sweat. Jones is the other end of the spectrum, where practice is just a slice of what he did on Friday, Saturday and Sunday to prepare for the 2010 season.

BEST MINI-CAMP ROOKIE DEFENSE – CB JAVIER ARENAS. The Chiefs did some special teams work in the return game, but without live action it really did not give Arenas a chance to show his stuff in the kicking game. He did all of that on defense, working as the nickel back and getting some snaps on the left corner as well. Arenas was all over the place in coverage, grabbing what interceptions that Daniels did not. He also knocked down another half-dozen throws, making up a lot of ground with his speed several times. This guy needs to get on the field as much as possible.

BEST MINI-CAMP ROOKIE OFFENSE – TE TONY MOEAKI. In the space of two days over the weekend, Haley was asked twice about the third-round draft choice out of Iowa. Because he does not want anybody to think a rookie is ready for Canton, the head coach selects his words carefully when talking about youngsters, especially draft picks that have not signed a contract yet. Here’s Haley on Saturday: “Overall I am encouraged and for having a few setbacks early, he has come in and looks like he has an idea of what is going on.” On Sunday, after another strong Moeaki performance, Haley added a few more words: “Number one, when he wasn’t out there he was paying attention because he was able to come in and understand what was going on and what he was supposed to do … a tight end, another guy without pads that is hard to judge other than he looks like he has a pretty good feel, can find his way open and is not afraid to catch the ball. He is moving in the right direction.” If Moeaki can continue that type of advancement in training camp, Haley’s answers will get even longer.

BEST MINI-CAMP DEVELOPMENT – MIKE VRABEL AT INSIDE LB IN THE NICKEL. In the first practices of camp, defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel had Vrabel working at inside linebacker with the No. 2 nickel defense. Then over the weekend, he moved Vrabel inside with the first nickel. That move gets OLB Andy Studebaker on the field, stepping into Vrabel’s spot on the edge. A quartet of Tamba Hali, Derrick Johnson, Vrabel and Studebaker would get the team’s best linebackers on the field together. This needs to continue.

KEEP AN EYE ON/OFFENSIVE RISING FORCE – RB KESTAHN MOORE. The first-year back out of Florida got a lot of opportunities with Jamaal Charles on the sidelines because of his shoulder surgery/recovery. There is no live action in these practices, so running backs can be hard to judge. But in every practice, Moore ripped off at least one impressive run with a burst of speed or moves. Moore has become a shadow of Thomas Jones and he’s trying to learn how to stay in the NFL from the 11-year veteran. He has the same size (5-10, 214 pounds) as Jones (5-10, 212 pounds) and a similar running style.

KEEP AN EYE ON/DEFENSIVE RISING FORCE – DT DEREK LOKEY. The first-year tackle stands 6-1, 300 pounds and would not qualify as the standard nose tackle for the 3-4 defense. But more and more when the Chiefs defense lined up during the mini-camp, it was Lokey sitting between DEs Glenn Dorsey and Tyson Jackson. He was getting snaps ahead of last year’s starter Ron Edwards and this year’s free agent signee Shaun Smith. Edwards is listed at 315 pounds but appears bigger. Smith is down as 325 pounds. Again, it’s hard to judge linemen on both sides of the ball when there is no contact on the line of scrimmage. But if Lokey can follow through in training camp with what he’s obviously got done in the OTAs and mini-camp, he could hold his spot.

CASPER THE GHOST OF MINI-CAMP TROPHY – JARRAD PAGE. As the only player who hasn’t been around the team in the off-season, Page has put himself in a very particular spot. He obviously wants out of Kansas City, or he’s planning to retire. If Page wanted to play for the Chiefs he would not have missed the mini-camp. Whether he signed his tender offer or not, Page could have participated by signing an injury waiver. Page does not want to stay and it’s hard to believe that the Chiefs want him on the roster. While everybody else has been working hard for three months and got through five practices in three days with mini-camp, Page has been doing who knows what. Over the weekend he posted on Twitter that he was in Los Angeles. As they clean up their roster and get draft choices signed in the coming days and weeks, the Chiefs should help themselves and give Page what he wants – a ticket out of town.

NFL NEWS & PERSONNEL FILE/SUNDAY, JUNE 13

  • BRONCOS – head coach Josh McDaniels said Sunday that Britton Colquitt has the lead right now in the battle for the team’s punting job. Britton is the younger brother of the Chiefs P Dustin Colquitt and also kicked collegiately at Tennessee. He’s competing against A.J. Trapasso. “I think Britton is ahead,” McDaniels told the Denver media. “That’s a competitive situation, like we have at a lot of places on our football team and think that’s only making both of them better. At this point, I’d say that Britton has kind of pulled ahead.”
  • RAIDERS – signed OT Elliot Vallejo – he spent time on Oakland’s practice squad last season for several games late in the season. He came out of California-Davis, after transferring from UCLA. He signed as an undrafted rookie free agent with the Cardinals and was part of the Arizona team that went to the Super Bowl in ’08. He is 6-7, 315 pounds.
  • RAMS – G Mark Setterstrom suffered a torn left triceps that should put him on the injured-reserve list for the 2010 season. Setterstrom was hurt during Friday’s practice. It’s the same type of injury that he suffered last year.
  • TITANS – QB Vince Young has been named as a suspect in an assault that happened Saturday night at a strip club in Dallas. A Dallas TV station is reporting that a fight broke out at the Club Onyx and that Young was involved. He left the club before the police arrived. No warrant has been issued for his arrest, although late Sunday night he was given a citation by Dallas police, charging him with assault.

14 Responses to “Wrapping Up … Monday Cup O’Mini-Camp”

  • June 14, 2010  - KC_Guy says:

    Na, let Page hang out there. Forever. He doesn’t take a roster spot as long as he doesn’t sign. Once he signs ship him out of town – don’t think anyone will offer as much as a bag of peanuts for him, but hey.
    Just looking at the Atogwe situation (tons of pursuers, are there?)should give Page something to think about. Good luck finding a team paying more than vet minimum for a guy coming off significant injury who held himself out of all pre-season work.


  • June 14, 2010  - Mad Chief says:

    Good stuff, Bob.

    As for being “the only member of the media horde and the only media outlet that covered every second of all five practices”? That is exactly why we come here first for our Chiefs coverage. Bob Gretz, you da man!


  • June 14, 2010  - sam says:

    Waiting for the season to start


  • June 14, 2010  - colby says:

    I’ll say it again; a Page for Patrick Crayton trade would be a nice move for both the Chiefs and Cowboys. We could use another WR with experience and the Cowboys have a void at FS. It would be better than simply letting Page walk, or watching him sit out all year like a dope.

    Don’t make the same mistake you made with Pollard Pioli! Try to get something for Page in a trade. ANYTHING. Even a 7th rounder would be better than nothing!


  • June 14, 2010  - J Lloyd says:

    There were a lot of little thing’s that happened last year , but when (me-me) Pollard and LJ cleared out , every thing changed , major change’s in the whole mental program !
    Here’s a question , starting last year , how many desent Running Back’s were in place and now this could really be something !?
    Plus the coaching —-> I’m ready for some football …


  • June 14, 2010  - KCnDC says:

    Great coverage Bob and I echo Mad Chief’s comment…it’s why I visit your page every day!

    As for Page, I suspect Pioli has burned up his Sprint bill trying to shop that kid around and obviously hasn’t had much luck. Too bad Page is relying on his brother for career advice. Not knocking his brother but I think Page had a pretty good agent up until a few months ago when he fired him and hired his brother.

    It would be great if we could get Crayton for Page but the ‘boys obviously find more value in their guy.


  • June 14, 2010  - Niblick says:

    So far this off season and all the OTA’s have been nothing but positive. I hope now we can get all our draft picks, particullarly Berry, signed on time. I can see the Chiefs perhaps going 8&8 or even 9&7. The schedule is not extremely difficult. Who knows, that could win the division. I feel San Diego has taken a step backward as has Denver. The Raiders are improved, but they are still the Raiders. The training camp schedule is out on kcchiefs.com. I can hardly wait until training camp and the start of the season.


  • June 14, 2010  - Devil Dog 1976 says:

    A big part of being one of the RIGHT 53 is you sign and practice. By not signing he is saying he does not want to be part of the RIGHT 53.

    It is ALL about the TEAM!!


  • June 14, 2010  - Dave says:

    Barring injuries, Moeaki is going to be a really good TE for the Chiefs.


  • June 14, 2010  - gorillafan says:

    agreed colby.

    wonder if there are no offers because they figure he will be released anyway?


  • June 14, 2010  - ED says:

    Out of all the things I’m hearing about in camp from how well Daniels playing. To this Moore kid looking good at running back. I’m mostly excited to here Lokey doing well at nose tackle. I’m hoping this kid can progress to a beast out there. That way we solve two problems going into next yr draft. One we would already have a good young nose tackle and two we want have to invest anymore big dollars into the defensive line we can turn our attention to other postions.


  • June 15, 2010  - RatsoReily says:

    We need a lot of players to take a step up in their playing level to have a good year. But man do we have some great new players on the Team. Berry, Arenas, Moeaki not to mention big Jon A. man the Chief’s drafted some quality players. The future is getting brighter so I gotta wear shades …


  • June 15, 2010  - Sean says:

    First of all, Bob, just wanted to say that no one in sports does it like you. You capture the essence of why Kansas Cityt is a different sports town than any other.

    I do have one thing that’s been nagging me though… why haven’t we heard much about Eric Berry? I’ve heard here that he “blew up” a cutback lane, almost made an INT but his arms were too short, and I noticed that he quickly rose to and remained a fixture at a 1st team safety slot.

    Other than that, not a word. Is it because he’s already out there doing the things a pro is supposed to do, or has his performance just been so unimpressive that not much was worth mentioning?

    Let us know about our 1st round pick! And again, great job.

    -Sean


  • June 17, 2010  - BigJimInWisconsin says:

    Bob,
    Don’t get hurt patting yourself on the back … let me pat you on the back. Great job informing us on this past mini-camp and the OTAs. I really appreciate your insight and views on all things Chiefs. I haven’t been to kcchiefs.com in a while. It takes too long to load, even on my high-speed connection and I’m tired of all the freakin’ video. I don’t have the time. You’re to the point and a very good writer.

    Go CHIEFS!




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