Nine Days to Kansas City Chiefs Training Camp

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Nine more days until the 2009 Kansas City Chiefs strap on the cleats to prepare for head coach Todd Haley's conditioning test.  Nine more days until we see this team in pads.  Nine more days until we find out who will be the final two players to be cut.

The Chiefs currently have 82 players on their roster.  The rules say the team can only carry 80 to training camp.  That means two players will be cut now and between the time all the draft picks are signed and in camp.

Who will it be?

Peruse the Chiefs roster and throw out a couple names.

A lot more after the jump.

Bobby Engram fantasy outlook

The player news machine, KFFL, has a quick fantasy rundown on WR Bobby Engram.  The positives are borne out of the loss of Tony Gonzalez creating more opportunities for him and the fact that he's just one year removed from a 94 catch campaign.  The negatives bring up a good point - Dwayne Bowe is a possessional receiver made up of the same mold.  How many opportunities can Engram be expected to get?

KFFL's conclusion is that Engram should not be drafted in fantasy football leagues.

My take? I'm a homer but Engram can be a solid bye week filler if you ask me. All indications are that Matt Cassel will be lining up in the shotgun often and Todd Haley won't be hesitant to throw the ball.  Engram is a good option, fantasy or otherwise, if he can stay healthy. That's the key.

He has missed significant starts in two of the past three seasons and things like injury usually don't get better with age.  Still, if he's healthy, he's a very productive player.  KFFL predicts his best numbers will be 58 receptions, 690 yards and three touchdowns.  Barring injury, I think he surpasses both those numbers.

What a difference a year makes

Last September, UCrawford had a piece looking ahead one year in free agency.  He argued that the best move for the Chiefs in 2009 free agency would be to sign J.P. Losman as a UFA from the Buffalo Bills.  He noted that Cassel would be an interesting project since he had played so well through his first two games with the Patriots but ultimately Losman is a respectable candidate to replace Croyle/Huard/Thigpen on the Chiefs.

Losman, on the other hand, is a very interesting prospect.  He lost his job to Trent Edwards in Buffalo, but for the last two years he's completed over 60% of his throws, with respectable deep passing numbers while maintaining an unimpressive, but not horrible, TD/INT ratio of 23/20.

Of course UC couldn't have predicted everything that has happened since the September 16th, 2008 post but I agreed with his reasoning at the time.  Let's face it, our options were pretty bleak.  Nearly a year and a new quarterback later, Losman is now heading to the UFL.  Surprisingly, no NFL teams bit and he agreed to terms with the Las Vegas UFL team.  While he's excited about the opportunity to be one of the marquee athletes in the upstart league, he's clear what his intentions are. 

"We're trying to have as much success as possible here, try to create some buzz ... and then go through [NFL free agency] again next year."

I know what you're thinking.  What if Cassel goes down and Thigpen bombs....could UC's thoughts become truth?  Not likely.  The UFL contract prevents him from competing in the NFL until November 28th.  Apparently he can enter the NFL at anytime according to PFT.

The five Chiefs you should know

There's a blurb out there with a short and quick primer on the Chiefs history. It's part of a broader series called Kansas City's Info 101.  Dan Rose of the Kansas City Chiefs Examiner gives five Chiefs you gotta know.

  1. Lamar Hunt
  2. Hank Stram
  3. Len Dawson
  4. Derrick Thomas
  5. Tony Gonzalez

The long-time owner, Super Bowl winning coach and quarterback, a Hall of Famer and a future Hall of Famer.  I'd say he covered the five most important Chiefs. Any additions or subtractions to his list?

Chiefs want Arrowhead aura back

Nick Griffith of KMBC 9 News reported from Arrowhead last night on Chiefs President Denny Thum and other team representatives hand-delivering season tickets.  Here's what Thum had to say in this video posted on KMBC.com:

"You know our fans are important and we're going to find ways to go out this year and thank them.  This is a new era. We're going to do everything in our power to make sure Arrowhead is customer friendly. And we'll go ahead and fill the stadium back up again and make the excitement in Arrowhead like it was before."

Sond familiar?  It should.  Todd Haley talked about making Arrowhead rock again in an interview with Brad Stephens of KCTV-5 earlier this month.

"Our big advantage right now to me is homefield advantage.  I've been here as an opponent and I know how hard it can be to play.  So I'm gonna try to get that to where its been in the past and figure if we can win most of the games at home, we have a chance to do something."

KMBC also announced that they'll hear from Matt Cassel and Todd Haley on August 6th at 7:00 PM.  Channel 9 will be on assignment at River Falls. 

What do you think about ESPN.com/KansasCity?

Three months ago ESPN commenced it's stranglehold on the sports world with the creation of ESPN.com/Chicago.  The idea behind it is to offer a localized view at everything Chicago.  Professional, college and even high school coverage of your city all in one place.

The threat to the local media outlets is real.  Just ask the Chicago Tribune, who's 455,000 unique visitors in the month of June has been surpassed by ESPN.com/Chicago's 590,000.

ESPN also announced they'll open up three more localized sites for Los Angeles, Dallas and New York.  Though it should be construed as a threat to the viability of local media outlets covering Kansas City sports, the Kansas City Star has one advantage.

They might have the best sports writers in the country.

Though newspapers are struggling as a whole, we're in the golden era of Kansas City area sports reporting.  The local news anchors are getting in on the Twitter game, Bob Gretz writing daily on the Chiefs, Jason Whitlock and Joe Posnanski being read on a national scale...not to mention the outstanding addition of Kent Babb to the Star staff.

ESPN hasn't announced any plans to move into Kansas City but if they do it will be extremely difficult to replace the already high level of sports writing already going on around here.

The one thing a move like this could do, however, is speed up the number of readers who rely solely on the internet for their sports information which, if that's what you already do, wouldn't be such a bad thing.

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