New Chiefs receiver Bobby Wade (Photo courtesy of the KC Star)
You know you have an evolving roster when I say the newest Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver talks about his relationship with the coach and you don't know who it is.
It was Wade that spoke with reporters following today's practice.
"I'm thankful to be here in Kansas City," he said. "A team that wants to win. I'm famililar with coach [Todd] Haley and looking forward to this opportunity."
Wade, like Long, has a past relationship with the Chiefs head coach. Haley was the Chicago Bears receivers coach in 2003 when they used a fifth round pick on Wade.
"He was my first receivers coach in Chicago," Wade said. "I had an opportunity to be drafted and he drafted me there in Chicago. I had an opportunity for him to groom me into a player that allowed me to excel and have an opportunity to be productive in this league.
"I'm very grateful for what I've learned my rookie year and it's really carried me a long way in these six years."
It's looking more and more like Wade will be a factor in the return game, maybe even this weekend. Coach Haley said Wade was out on the practice field today returning punts with Maurice Leggett and Bobby Engram so I definitely think that's a real possibility.
"I'm looking for that opportunity, yeah," he said when asked about contributing in the return game. "It's something I kind of got away from last year. I did it the year prior then all the other years before that. I'm looking for that opportunity if it presents itself and coach talked to me about it so if that's what they want me to do then that's what I'll do."
As we talked about before, Wade's release from the Vikings was more of a numbers game than anything. With Percy Harvin in the fold, as well as a number of younger guys in a similar mold to Wade, it just wasn't a fit. So, he chose Kansas City partly due to his relationship with Haley and partly due to Matt Cassel.
"I wanted to be part of a program that's about growing, a program that's about excelling and that's not about having a possibility of moving backward only forward. I wanted to play with a quarterback that is going to be here for a while, Matt Cassel, who is a proven quarterback in this league. This is his opportunity to really shine and I wanted to be part of that.
"I want to be part of this locker room, this team and hopefully this city if everything works out."
Wade also talked about Haley being "hard" on him, which is something we're used to hear from the coach's former players.