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bored of education
07-30-2007, 09:30 AM
DAY ONE
By Josh Looney

Breakdown: After circling the Twin Cities for nearly an hour due to inclement weather in the area, the Chiefs touched down at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport around 4:20 PM on Thursday afternoon. A convoy of charter buses awaited the team on the airport’s tarmac to transport the club across state lines into Wisconsin.

In the midst of the media frenzy awaiting the Chiefs arrival in River Falls stood Chiefs Head Coach Herm Edwards. Edwards, who drove to camp earlier in the week, greeted his players with a full-sized smile and a homemade sign that read, “Welcome to Training Camp.”

Chiefs coaches, players and staff members checked fought the rain on the way to their dormitories where they unpacked their belongings, gathered their rooms into order and enjoyed a relaxing evening before training camp kicks into full gear on Friday.

HBO’S HARD KNOCKS: The fact that the Chiefs didn’t have any player meetings or practices on Thursday didn’t keep the Hard Knocks camera crews from putting in a full day of work. Crew members filmed the Chiefs throughout their travel day from the loading of team baggage at Arrowhead to the club’s arrival in River Falls.

Hard Knocks will follow the Chiefs for the entire 2007 training camp. HBO’s highly anticipated television series is set to debut on Wednesday, August 8th at 9:00 PM Central.

Look Who’s Talking:
“It’s my 28th training camp and I’m just excited about it as I was 28 years ago. I enjoy training camp, I enjoy football, I enjoy being around these players and hopefully they will enjoy it too.“
- Chiefs Head Coach Herm Edwards

“I was actually an art major at one time and then I figured out I’d better change my major. My daughter probably could have done a better job than that.“
- Edwards commenting on his homemade “Welcome to Training Camp” sign

Look Ahead: On Friday the players are set for early morning meetings and a mid-morning fitness test. The 2007 edition of the Kansas City Chiefs will officially be unveiled when the club hits the practice field for the first time at 3:30 PM on the University of Wisconsin – River Falls practice fields.

Important Dates: Planning on traveling to the America’s Dairyland to take in a Chiefs Training Camp practice? Here are some important dates to help plan your trip.

Friday, July 27th - First Practice – 3:30 PM
Friday, August 3rd - Practice vs. Vikings in Mankato, MN – 6:30 PM
Saturday, August 4th - Practice vs. Vikings in River Falls, WI – 6:30 PM
Sunday, August 5th - No Practices Scheduled
Wednesday, August 8th - Family Fun Night – 7:00 PM
Friday, August 10th - No Practice – Travel Day
Saturday, August 11th - Preseason Game at Cleveland – 6:30 PM
Sunday, August 12th - No Practices Scheduled
Wednesday, August 15th - Return to Kansas City

bored of education
07-30-2007, 09:30 AM
DAY TWO
By Josh Looney

Breakdown: Chiefs players reported to the UWRF practice fields around 9:45 AM for their first on-field activities of training camp. With the players dressed in workout shorts and shirts, strength and conditioning coach Cedric Smith and his assistant Brent Salazar led the club through a regimented conditioning test.

The team was divided into groups based on position and ran a handful of running patterns that consisted of both sprints and position specific movements. Offensive lineman would simulate pulling down the line of scrimmage and drive up-field 10 yards while defensive backs back-peddled and sprinted out of breaks.

“It’s more of a workout than your prototypical conditioning test you might see at the college level,” Smith told me before the drills started. “It is, however, an intense workout nonetheless.”

Each set of patterns contained 10 repetitions and a total of four sets were performed. Players received 22 seconds of rest between reps; head coach Herm Edwards and his assistant coaches could be heard cheering on players as well as jokingly harassing them during periods of rest.

Herm Edwards kicked off his afternoon practice session at 3:45 PM. The hour-and-forty-minute helmets-only practice featured individual, team run, one-on-one and seven-on-seven drills. The practice concluded with 18 plays that pitted the offense and the defense against each other.

Tribute To Greensburg, Kansas: When Chiefs President Carl Peterson addressed the 2007 Chiefs as a group for the first time this season, he began his meeting with a three-minute video displaying the destruction and devastation left behind by the F-5 tornado that rocked Greensburg, Kansas last May.

To display a message of unified support for the residents of Greensburg; Chiefs players, coaches and staff members will be wearing navy hats displaying a red block letter “G” for the next two days at training camp. Members of the Chiefs family have also pledged donations that will go directing to the rebuilding efforts of the Greensburg High School football team.

LJ Update: Clearly one of the biggest stories thus far in training camp has been RB Larry Johnson’s decision not to report to training camp on time. Carl Peterson addressed the media’s inquiries in a 20-minute interview early in the afternoon. Peterson noted that both the club and the Johnson party still remained some distance apart in negotiations. Talks between the two sides are continuing.

With new rumors continuously circling through various media outlets, Peterson also dispelled any intentions of trading the two-time Pro Bowl runner.

“I have no intention whatsoever of trading Larry Johnson,” Peterson stated. “Like before there was a lot of speculation on that; I have had no teams – zero – call me with interest in trading for Larry.”

For the full-transcript of Peterson’s conversation with the media, check out the Q&A with GM Carl Peterson on KCChiefs.com.

New Faces In Camp: The Chiefs announced three-roster moves before Friday’s afternoon practice. The club’s fifth-round draft pick, K Justin Medlock, agreed to terms of a three-year contract, veteran CB Will Poole agreed to a two-year deal and DT Patrice Majondo-Mwamba (a naïve of the Republic of Congo) joined the squad as a national player exemption with a two-year contract. All three players participated in Friday’s practice.

Play Of The Day: Second-round draft pick DE Turk McBride looked particularly impressive throughout spring drills and continued to turn heads during his first day at an NFL training camp.

The versatile defensive lineman performed particularly well during one-on-one drills against the offensive line. Considered a litmus test for linemen on both sides of the ball, one-on-one drills are something fans traveling to practices in River Falls will want to keep an eye on. This intense drill brings to light rugged battles in the trenches that usually go unnoticed during team play.

Look Who’s Talking:
“I’m excited to be back in Kansas City. I’ve always had great fond memories of my six years that I spent there and there is nothing like Arrowhead Stadium. I love having the fans cheering for me instead of cheering against me.“
- LB Donnie Edwards on his thoughts about returning to the Chiefs

“I was joking with Coach saying that we started off with a little Buddy Ryan this morning with the conditioning test. It was all in good fun though and all the guys came out and got through it. The first practice today we think went pretty well. It’s warm out here and we don’t have the pads on yet, but we’ll start that tomorrow and keep on moving.“
- RB Michael Bennett on the club’s conditioning test conducted this morning

Look Ahead: Saturday marks the first day of two-a-days for the club as practices are scheduled for 9:00 AM and 3:45 PM. The afternoon session will be the first full-padded practice of 2007.

You Asked It: Submit your questions to River Falls Wrap, Chiefs Chatter and Camping With The Chiefs by clicking the link at the bottom of the page.

J. Davis: “I was wondering why the Chiefs travel out of Kansas City to do the training camp?”

JL: There are several reasons that the Chiefs have made the trip northward each summer for the past 17 years. The Chiefs are believers in “old school football.” Holding training camp in a remote location enables an entire team from the support staff to the players to bond together and become one cohesive unit. For roughly three weeks the Chiefs will eat, drink and sleep football with minimal distractions while they work towards the ultimate goal of bringing the Lamar Hunt Trophy (AFC Championship) to Kansas City. The first-class facilities at the University of Wisconsin – River Falls, coupled with Wisconsin’s mild summer climate and the close proximity to the Minnesota Vikings make River Falls a logical place to conduct an NFL training camp.

On a side note; 15 of the NFL’s 32 teams hold training camp outside their home city.

bored of education
07-30-2007, 09:31 AM
DAY THREE
By Josh Looney


VIDEO 7/28 - Camping with the Chiefs - Day 3 - Windows Media | Real Video

Breakdown: Mild Wisconsin weather greeted Herm Edwards’ squad as they took to the practice fields at 9:00 AM for their first day of two-a-day workouts. The pace of practice was upped a notch as the club switched to shells (shoulder pads and helmets) for the first time this camp.

When the club returned to the field for their second practice of the day they bore full pads and fans could finally hear the distinct football sounds they’ve been craving all off-season. Helmets cracked and shoulder pads walloped while the voices of coaches rose in what was undoubtedly the most intense practice training camp has seen thus far.

Plays Of The Day:
AM Session: S Bernard Pollard was downright nasty during Saturday’s morning practice session. The 2006 second-round draft choice tallied key defensive plays in each practice segment. During team run, Pollard completely dismantled an offensive stretch play by running the alley from his safety spot to meet lead blocker FB Boomer Grigsby behind the line of scrimmage, altering the course of the play and allowing defenders to swarm the ball carrier.

When he wasn’t trespassing in the offensive backfield, Pollard displayed quick reads and breaks on play-action pass routes that resulted in him nearly intercepting two passes to close out the team run drill. In the next period, during seven-on-seven drills, Pollard made good on his interception efforts by picking off two QB Jeff Terrell red zone passes on successive plays.

PM Session: Many questions surround the Chiefs new look offensive line. If the offensive line’s performance can match the way they played this afternoon, those questions could be put to rest. The unit took a major step forward today as they governed the front in each meeting with the defense.

Big Stix: LB Derrick Johnson drew a roar of “ahhhs” from the crowd after a hit he delivered to fifth-round draft choice RB Kolby Smith. Smith had to re-direct his route over the middle when the pass attempt was tipped at the line of scrimmage, but was leveled by a streaking Johnson before he could get back to the ball.

Still Waitin’ on a Friend: Three-time Pro Bowl RB Priest Holmes was anticipated to arrive in River Falls late on Saturday. When Holmes does arrive in River Falls, he’ll don a Chiefs jersey for the first time in nearly two years. Chiefs President Carl Peterson addressed the situation after the afternoon practice.

“I would say that you will probably see (Holmes) here tomorrow,” Peterson stated. “I talked with him today, he called me and let me know what was going on, and we’re going to afford Priest Holmes the opportunity to make this football team because he deserves it.”

Camp Necessities: Chiefs players bring a number of items with them for training camp in River Falls. Bikes are the common form of transportation around the university, but some players pay to have their vehicles shipped to them in Wisconsin, while others opt to rent a vehicle from local car rental vendors. During previous camps, some players have even bought old junker cars to get themselves around town for their three-week stay; only to donate the vehicle to a local resident at the conclusion of camp.

Whether it be an Xbox 360, flat-screen plasma television, silk linens or a custom air mattress; each player attributes something as a necessity for them to get through training camp. For WR Eddie Kennison, that necessity is video conferencing software that allows him to communicate with his wife and two sons back in Kansas City.

“I use video teleconferencing on my Mac to talk with my wife and kids each day,” Kennison noted. “That really keeps me going during training camp.”

Get Your Autographs: This morning’s practice session marked the first morning practice of training camp; which meant it was the first organized autograph opportunity for fans attending practices in River Falls. After each morning practice throughout training camp, Herm Edwards will randomly select a handful of Chiefs players to sign autographs for fans at the conclusion of practice.

Sabol On-Site: Emmy-Award winning NFL Films President Steve Sabol has been at training camp since the team arrived on Thursday evening. Partnering with HBO to produce Hard Knocks, Sabol has been taking a hands-on role with the production of the primetime program that makes its debut Wednesday, August 8th at 9:00 PM Central on HBO.

Look Who’s Talking:
“You guys are the fastest three in captivity.“
- Head Coach Herm Edwards commenting on the exploits of LBs Derrick Johnson, Donnie Edwards and Napoleon Harris during the team portion of the AM practice.

“I’m surprised there weren’t any fights today, because normally in the first couple days of pads there is always some sort of fight.“
- LB Donnie Edwards commenting on the intensity of the teams first practice in full pads

Look Ahead: The Chiefs continue two-a-day practices on Sunday with sessions scheduled to start at 10:00 AM and 3:30 PM. Sunday’s AM practice is slated to be the club’s first special teams gathering.

You Asked It: Submit your questions to River Falls Wrap, Chiefs Chatter and Camping With The Chiefs by clicking the link at the bottom of the page.

Dave R. from Jefferson County, CO: “I have never understood why each team has a roster of 53, but may only suit up 46 on game day. Why? And count most fans in on revoking that rule.”

JL: Dave, Chiefs Head Coach Herm Edwards is on your side. In fact, just last night Edwards addressed his team about the difficulty of making a professional roster. He told his club that each one of the 53 players privileged enough to make a final NFL cut are talented enough to play in an NFL game. “I didn’t make the rules,” Edwards told his team. Former Chiefs Head Coach Dick Vermeil has also been an outspoken public critic about the current NFL rule.

As for why this rule exists; it is an antiquated rule that was originally developed to keep a team from having a competitive advantage over another due to injuries. The idea is that each team will have the same number of available players regardless of the club’s injury situation. The rule is debated nearly every NFL off-season.

bored of education
07-30-2007, 09:31 AM
DAY FOUR
By Josh Looney


Camping with the Chiefs - Day 4 - Windows | Real

Breakdown: Special teams coach Mike Priefer conducted an hour-long special teams practice inside UWRF’s Ramer Field this morning. The specialty setting was the first gathering of its kind this training camp. Priefer led his teams units through punt, punt return, kickoff and kickoff return drills.

The Chiefs trudged back on Ramer Field, home of UWRF’s football team, at 3:30 PM for a helmets-only practice. Edwards guided his team through their regular routine of individual and team drills with the exception of the rookies battling each other during the final 10 plays of 11-on-11 drills to close out practice.

Back Deep For The Chiefs…: Head Coach Herm Edwards has made it a priority to create fierce competition at a plethora of positions heading into training camp. The kickoff and punt return spots are two positions in particular that are open for the taking.

When the Chiefs traded Pro Bowl return man Dante Hall to the St. Louis Rams last April, the club found itself looking for a new kick and punt returner for the first time since 2001. Here’s a look at the players that were competing for those two positions in today’s special teams practice.

Kickoff Returners


WR Chris Hannon (6-3, 205) – The second-year wide receiver joined the Chiefs as a rookie free agent out of the University of Tennessee in 2006. He made the Chiefs 53-man roster out of training camp a year ago and is expected to battle for a spot in the receiving corps this season.

WR Ean Randolph (5-8, 173) – Randolph joins the Chiefs as a rookie free agent. He earned Big East Special Teams Player of the Year honors at South Florida in 2006 after finishing fourth in the nation with a 14.8-yard punt return average.

CB Benny Sapp (5-9, 190) – Sapp enters his fourth season in Kansas City. He has seen action in a total of 42 contests (four starts) with the Chiefs, primarily on special teams and as the club’s nickel back.

WR Jeff Webb (6-2, 211) – The second-year wideout joined the Chiefs as the second of their two sixth-round draft picks (190th overall) in the 2006 NFL Draft. He saw time in 10 games on special team a year ago and returned seven kickoffs for 169 yards (24.1 avg.) filling in for an injured Dante Hall.

Punt Returners


WR Samie Parker (5-11, 190) – Drafted by the Chiefs in the fourth-round of the 2004 NFL Draft, Parker started 15 games at wide receiver a year ago and caught a career-high 41 passes. The former Oregon Duck possesses top-notch speed and was a former three-time All-America selection in track.

CB Justin Phinisee (5-11, 199) – It’s Phinisee’s first-ever trip to training camp with the Chiefs in River Falls, but the swift cornerback spend six weeks on the club’s practice squad a year ago. A product of the University of Oregon, Phinisee was drafted by Tampa Bay in the seventh-round of the 2006 NFL Draft. As a senior, he finished second in the Pac 10 with a 15.4-yard punt return average.

WR Ean Randolph (see bio above)

WR Titus Ryan (6-0, 193) – A small-school prospect with blazing speed, Ryan is a rookie free agent out of Concordia College in Selma, Alabama. He competed in both football and track at the junior college level and still holds the Alabama state high school record in the 100-meter dash with a time of 10.44 seconds.

Holmes Arrives: Three-time Pro Bowl RB Priest Holmes arrived at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport late Saturday night and reported to training camp in River Falls. The record-setting runner will be placed on the club’s active PUP (Physically Unable to Perform) list as he works towards his return to the field.

The excitement of fans and media members regarding the return of Holmes was apparent this morning as hundreds of Chiefs fans lined around the practice fields to watch Holmes perform various stretching and conditioning exercises with Chiefs strength and conditioning coach Cedric Smith. Holmes later talked to members of the media in a public setting; a full-transcript of the Q&A can be found on kcchiefs.com.

Injury Update: TE Jason Dunn, RB Derrick Ross, LB Nate Harris and LB David Hicks have all missed practice sessions due to various ailments.

Plays Of The Day:
Special Teams Session: P Dustin Colquitt routinely boomed punts that sailed 50+ yards during punt and punt return drills, while the safety tandem of Jarrad Page and Bernard Pollard perfectly executed techniques as “gunners” during coverage drills to close out practice.

PM Session: QB Brodie Croyle fired a bullet through LB Derrick Johnson and S Jarrad Page to hit TE Tony Gonzalez on a streak down the hashes for a 25-yard touchdown. The two have hooked up for touchdowns in consecutive days.

Big Stix: Although the squad didn’t hone shoulder pads at either practice session, special teams coach Mike Priefer didn’t skip an opportunity to teach his specialists the finer points of tackling during today’s afternoon exercises. While the rest of the team ventured through the individual portion of practice, K Justin Medlock, P Dustin Colquitt and LS Jean-Philippe Darche were through various tackling drills by Priefer.

Look Who’s Talking:
“Know your skill level #15…this ain’t Princeton.“
- Head Coach Herm Edwards commenting on QB Jeff Terrell’s decision to race defenders to the sideline on a bootleg, rather than throw the ball away. (Terrell went on to complete his next three pass attempts, including a 20-yard connection with former University of Missouri WR Brad Ekwerekwu).

“Will I be the same runner? That’s to be anticipated. You have no idea what I will become. But I’ll tell you one thing: the hard work will be there.“
- RB Priest Holmes

Look Ahead: On Monday the Chiefs will resume full-team, two-a-day practices. Sessions are scheduled to start at 9:00 AM and 3:45 PM with the afternoon session consisting of full-padded attire.

You Asked It: Submit your questions to River Falls Wrap, Chiefs Chatter and Camping With The Chiefs by clicking the link at the bottom of the page.

Shane D. from Kansas City, MO: “I would like to know why no local stations have ever had a 30-minute special on Chiefs Training Camp on a daily basis. With our large fan base, I’m sure it would grab some attention. I for one would watch a show like that.”

JL: There are definitely enough story lines in training camp to fill a 30-minute program each night, but I can’t speak for the other obligations our local TV stations in Kansas City might have. In the meantime, kcchiefs.com is a great place to follow training camp with the Chiefs through River Falls Wrap and Camping With The Chiefs. Also, make sure you catch the debut of HBO’s Hard Knocks on Wednesday, August 8th at 9:00 PM Central.

Jimmy M. from Cheraw, SC: “With Jared Allen being out for the first two weeks, is there a chance that the Chiefs could try and sign a guy like Simeon Rice? The Chiefs defense took a pretty good step forward last year. But Tamba Hali and Simeon Rice on the ends! That sounds like a pretty good combination to me.”

JL: Carl Peterson and the Chiefs personnel staff are constantly searching for ways to improve the talent on Kansas City’s roster. Keep in mind, however, that the Chiefs currently have two first-day picks invested in that position with Tamba Hali (2006 1st round) and Turk McBride (2007 2nd round). When DE Jared Allen returns in Week Three, the Chiefs add yet another player back to their rotation at defensive end. And remember, Peterson, Edwards and Vice President of Player Personnel Bill Kuharich are trying to build a roster for the long haul, so it’s unlikely you’d see much interest in Rice from the Chiefs.