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Chiefs CB Maurice Leggett on Training Camp, Attitude and Clancy Pendergast

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Second year cornerback and the 2008 Kansas City Chiefs Mack Lee Hill award winner Maurice Leggett was on the Red Zone podcast yesterday. Nice job by Soren Petro during the interview. He may be the only local sports talk radio guy whose opinion I trust. 

After the jump, I took some notes and put them in my words. Maurice touches on OTAs, the new look 3-4 defense and going up against veteran wideout Bobby Engram in practice.

What do you think about OTAs? Which is worse, OTAs or training camp?

OTAs are worse. Nothing to look forward too, like games. In training camp, you're preparation is completely different. You're preparing for real games.

How much more difficult is training camp than OTAs?

It's not much more difficult. More practices and more meeting times. Training camp is all about football. OTAs you still have to deal with your personal life.

How different is last year from this year? Is it like starting over?

Yeah, I feel like everyone is starting out as rookies, as far as learning your plays on the defensive side. You just have to go out there and do what you've done your whole life.

How is the attitude different from last year?

We're more uptight. We have something to prove. We don't want to be the run over team.

You felt like you were the run over team last year?

We have each other's back now if we make a mistake. We trust each other more.

Do you look back on your rookie year and see all of the things you could have done differently?

The more reps you get, the more it comes to you. Some of that stuff is in the back of your mind and the coaching staff helps bring it to the front.

How much more difficult is the conditioning of the OTAs?

It's tougher but it's more mental. Haley wants to see who is mentally tough. I'm focusing on 2% better each and everyday.

I'm assuming training camp is going to be tougher?

The two a days, the mental aspect is there to see how tough you are mentally. Physically, it's on each player and how hard you work. You have to be smart about how physical you are.

How about Todd Haley's approach?

It's nothing new to me. Last year was more of a shock to me. Some guys get used to the yelling. Me personally, I think he's hard because he wants to see where you head is.

What about Clancy Pendergast?

Cuttthroat guy. Making sure we're fundamentally sound. No matter what we do right or wrong, he tries to coach us and make us perfect on each and every play.

Are you guys watching any Arizona game tape to help prepare?

We're watching ourselves on tape because that's the best way to learn. He shows us what we're doing wrong and what we're doing right.

How much of a difference is the 3-4 for you as a corner?

We can see the field a lot more. You never know what to expect out of a 3-4 defense. We're looking to be a top 5 defense. You never know what to expect from Clancy.

What are the offensive guys saying about the defense, since you practice against them?

They ask us what defense we're in. Honestly, we try not to give it away.

Is there a good offensive/defensive rivalry?

We're competing, trying to make everyone better. We're teaching each other, based on where we've been.

Any wideout you like going up against?

Feels good to against a vet like Bobby Engram. And I'm just trying to make Dwayne Bowe the best he can be.

Does Bobby help you, tell you what you can do better?

We do that after practice, off the field or on the phone. "You should play it like that."

What's your evaluation of Matt Cassel?

Do not try to bait him. If you bait him long enough, he's going to take you.

On winning the Mack Lee Hill award for the Chiefs best rookie...

It was quite an experience. Being around big name guys like Tony and Dwayne is great. I was just trying to do my best.

How much of a shock was it when Tony Gonzalez was traded?

I had a steel face. I was like, "Wow, this is a business. Guys move on." I learned a lot from that guy.

Toughest wide out you faced last year?

Brandon Marshall. His size and speed is what made him so good.

Better play for you last year - the fake field goal fumble recovery or the pick six against the Broncos?

The fumble recovery. It was my first touchdown.

Who was your favorite player growing up?

Emmitt Smith and Curtis Martin. I played running back until I got to college.

Are you going miss River Falls?

I have mixed feelings.

Check out more podcasts from the Red Zone here.