Herm really needs to start making more announcements by home-made sign. Imagine "OTAs" in place of training camp and it works. (Photo Source)
Yesterday, the Kansas City Chiefs began their first day of off-season training activities. The practice sessions are voluntary but only the laziest of the lazy NFL players will skip these. Team unity will be especially important for this Kansas City Chiefs team, with such a disproportionate amount of new players coming onto the scene this season.
Josh Looney of the mothership has a bit of info on the OTAs as well. Notably, Looney says that the Chiefs have "90-some" players participating in the activity sessions, while only eighty will be heading to training camp in River Falls, WI, this summer.
Looney also mentions that rookie Branden Albert lined up left tackle while Damion McIntosh manned the right tackle spot. This lineup is a definitely possible Week 1 starting tackle lineup. It's also good to see the Chiefs aren't waffling on Albert's position, which would only serve to retard Albert's NFL progress at the position.
Here a few bits of news I grabbed from The Kansas City Star.
Herm said, "We were lopsided as a football team. We’ve got a bunch of young guys now. We’ve got some middle-aged guys that are good players, and we’ve got a group of guys that have 10 or more years of experience, but not that many."
I can already tell that the "we've got a young football team" is going to be the #1 Hermism of the 2008 season. Get used to it.
The Chiefs sealed off their practice to the media but said everyone except Wesley and rookie safety Ron Girault participated. Girault has college class commitments at Rutgers.
I would say the Chiefs are void of contract/holdout drama but that's only because we went through it all last year with Larry Johnson. The fewer the veterans, the less sense of entitlement you're going to have. Another by product of Herm's young team. Wesley is going to be released soon so his absence isn't unexpected.
Herm also commented that Larry Johnson made it through the practice without incident and participated fully in the session. Herm Edwards mentioned yesterday that the Chiefs planned on using Johnson less than in the past during the off-season.
LJ's contract should ease his mind as he bursts through holes but others aren't sure.
The other six veterans are starters: Tony Gonzalez, Brian Waters, Damion McIntosh, Alfonso Boone, Donnie Edwards and Patrick Surtain. One veteran privately expressed reservations about playing for a team undergoing such a massive rebuilding project during one of the final seasons of his career.
Okay, let's guess who this veteran is. Gotta be Tony Gonzalez. It has to be. He's the only veteran who's publicly displayed any sort of apprehension towards the team's new direction. But Gonzalez has also recently said he does not want to be traded and expects he has three to four more years in the NFL. So, it's up to who you believe at what time. But I'm guessing that veteran who spoke to Adam Teicher was TG.
On top of the mini-camp in early June, the Kansas City Chiefs have fourteen more practices scheduled in the month of June, Teicher reports.
Note: In Austin, TX, now and I'm still adjusting to my posting schedule, among finding a place to live, learning the city, etc. Please bear with us over the next few days. We'll get back to our regularly scheduled posting soon enough.