EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - DECEMBER 11: Mark Sanchez #6 of the New York Jets is sacked by Tamba Hali #91 of the Kansas City Chiefs during their game at MetLife Stadium on December 11, 2011 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
It's easy to take Hali at his word when he says he feels like an aging veteran. When he speaks, Hali's words carry the weight and premeditated thought of a player twice his senior in the league. He's more soft-spoken philosopher than terrifying All-Pro sack master when the helmet is off.
Life is better to Hail with the helmet on. That's when he becomes the lynchpin and leader of Romeo Crennel's defense. That's when he becomes the perennial Pro Bowler who notched more sacks than any other player in the AFC since 2010. And that's when, for all his gripes about aging, Hali feels young again.
Hali's Leadership On Display In St. Joseph from The Mothership
After playing the first five years of his NFL career in New York and Oakland, tight end Kevin Boss was looking to play in a smaller town when he became a free agent in the spring.
But what really led Boss to sign with the Chiefs were their plans to make liberal use of their tight ends.
"It's a tight end-friendly offense," Boss said. "Anytime we can get two tight ends on the field, it's definitely tight end-friendly. It's going to be a fun season."
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With Priest Holmes and Larry Johnson running the ball and quarterback Trent Green throwing to tight end Tony Gonzalez and wide receiver Eddie Kennison, the Chiefs led the NFL in points scored in 2002 and 2003 and the NFL in total yards in 2004 and 2005. Along the way, Roaf was selected to the NFL's All-Decade second team for the 2000s.
"He's potentially the greatest offensive tackle to ever play our game," said New Orleans interim head coach Joe Vitt, a defensive assistant in the league for 34 years, including 2000-03 with the Chiefs.
"Jason went to Eastern Kentucky...too bad for him," Crennel joked. "I played and coached at Western, so I knew of Jason because of Eastern. Because of the Kentucky connection we were able to talk and have a conversation.
"Now his playing career is over and I was talking to him about what he was doing and what his aspirations were."
Those aspirations involve coaching. Dunn is almost five years removed from his last NFL snap, but he's no stranger to the football field.
Jason Dunn Receives Invite To Chiefs Camp from The Mothership
"Our tempo is much better," Zorn said. "We've really improved a lot of things sooner than we did last year. Matt is throwing the ball better. He's throwing with more speed and more accuracy ...
"He thinks through plays ... he's been finishing drives. As we start the different periods and different executions in situations he's been able to finish. That is something that I thought was lacking last year. We'd get to the point where we'd make the right decision, but we couldn't finish the play; we are really starting to execute well."
Zorn Pleased With Cassel's Progress from KC Star
The hot streak for Charles and the running backs continued.
Shaun Draughn took a handoff and ran 30 yards untouched after a great block thrown by Eric Winston. Cyrus Gray had a powerful run keyed by a great stiff arm, and then followed it up with a great cut back to the weak side for a big gain. Gray used his vision to find big holes a few times during OTAs and minicamp, and looks to be continuing that trend in camp.
Camp Notebook: Romeo Ramps Up The Tempo from The Mothership
While Crennel has an interest in how former Chiefs and Patriots assistant Charlie Weis fares as the new head coach at Kansas, Crennel doesn't foresee attending any Jayhawks games. Nor does Crennel expect to see Weis at Arrowhead on Sundays.
"In coaching, you have to concentrate on your team, and your situation, and that takes a lot of time," Crennel said.
The Kansas City Chiefs and Arizona Cardinals will hold a joint practice at Missouri Western State University on Tuesday, Aug. 7 at 3:15 p.m. The practice will take place on the grass practice fields on the north side of the Griffon Indoor Sports Complex. The Chiefs and Cardinals will participate in multiple practice drills together. The Chiefs will hold a team autograph session following practice.
Chiefs Will Conduct Joint Practice With Cardinals Aug. 7 from The Mothership
The Chiefs didn't have a healthy fullback on the field. Second-year man Shane Bannon is out because of a strained abdomen, and newly signed Patrick DiMarco had to sit out one of the required three days before putting on pads. So right now, there's no competition at the position, and the question is whether the Chiefs will even carry a fullback.
Chiefs Day In Camp For Friday from KC Star
The Kansas City Chiefs and Missouri Western State University will again host the Gatorade Junior Training Camp on Monday, Aug. 6 from 1:15 - 3 p.m. at Spratt Stadium on the campus of Missouri Western in St. Joseph during 2012 Chiefs Training Camp presented by Heartland Health.
The event, for boys and girls in grades three through eight, is designed to allow children an opportunity to learn and practice football skills through multiple drills and teach them about the importance of hydration.
As historian of the Kansas City Chiefs I am continually asked around the time of the Pro Football Hall of Fame induction and this year is no different: is Willie Roaf going in as a Saint or a Chief?
The answer is he will go in as neither.
Pro football players honored by the hall of fame go in as individuals and who they played for is a matter of record not of distinction.
Clearing Up A Continuing Hall Of Fame Debate from The Mothership
Four linemen will be among the six players inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Saturday night - Chris Doleman, Cortez Kennedy, Willie Roaf and Dermontti Dawson. Running back Curtis Martin and cornerback Jack Butler will join them.
In several ways, it's fitting that the ones who protected the quarterbacks and tried to get them to the ground are the ones getting top billing.
"Any coach will tell you the backbone of your team is the offensive line and the defensive line, and it is appropriate that these guys go in together," former Pittsburgh Steelers coach Bill Cowher said.
Linemen, Including Chiefs' Roaf, Become The Stars On Hall Of Fame Weekend from The Columbia Missourian
The NFL drafted some new ambassadors this season.
Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice - daughter of a football coach, once engaged to an NFL player, big gridiron fan.
Olympic gold medal swimmer Summer Sanders - guru of fantasy football.
Then there's this 13-year-old girl named Gracie Hunt.
Recognize the last name?
Gracie Hunt Helps Kick Off NFL Campaign from KC Star
As Mike Wallace and Dwayne Bowe continue to catch heat in lieu of passes, the saga involving this summer's two most contentious holdouts outside of Jacksonville is growing more and more tangled with each elapsing day.
Both big-name wide receivers have decided to no-show the start of training camp in a ploy to get their respective employers to show them the money. And while neither has yet to become any lighter in the wallet, as unsigned players can't be subject to fines for being absent, each is still running a great risk of damaging their earning power down the road with their questionable strategies.
Taylor Gentry was close enough to his NFL dream, he could touch it...
...Suffering from concussion-related migraines, Gentry was unable to pass his physical and get on the practice field. His NFL career will have to wait, if it's not over before it started.
Setback For Ex-Pack RB Taylor Gentry And His NFL Dreams from The Charlotte Observer
It's hard to envision Cassel ever becoming an elite quarterback, but easy to see him running a successful offense led by a powerful ground game. The Chiefs have Jamaal Charles back after his knee injury and they signed Peyton Hillis, which should give them the rushing attack that they weren't able to produce after Charles' injury last season. There's also been a lot of talk about using tight ends Kevin Boss and Tony Moeaki quite a bit, which should give Cassel steady, low-risk options to use in the passing game.
Jim Zorn Sees Dramatic Improvement From Matt Cassel from ProFootballTalk
Three recent Patriot League graduates are trying to earn their spot in the NFL, with running back Nate Eachus (Colgate) and defensive back Chandler Fenner (Holy Cross) both with the Kansas City Chiefs and offensive lineman Mike McCabe (Holy Cross) with the Green Bay Packers. Former Fordham tight end Stephen Skelton re-joins his brother in Arizona after spending time on the team's practice squad last season.
The Patriot League will be featured in the first showcase of the NFL preseason, as it will be a Fordham reunion when the Skeltons play for the Cardinals against Abdul Quddus and the Saints in the Hall of Fame Game from Canton, Ohio on Sunday at 8 p.m. on NFL Network.
Eight Patriot Leagueers Participating In NFL Training Camps from Patriot League