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Arrowheadlines: Chiefs News 8/4

Good morning! Two practices today. Walkthrough at 11:25am and regular practice at 3:30pm. So much Kansas City Chiefs news this morning, that I might be late for work! Time to set my alarm earlier. True story. Enjoy the post.

As a young boy, living in the wilderness of his native Liberia, hiding with his family from marauding gangs of soldiers and surviving on cassava root and cabbage, Tamba Hali could never have conceived of where life would lead him.

Now, 17 years after leaving his homeland as a 10-year boy, Hali will sign today the richest contract in the history of the Kansas City Chiefs. Cassava root and cabbage are faint memories.

Hali and the Chiefs agreed on a 5-year, $60 million contract on Wednesday and he’ll be on the Missouri Western State University campus Thursday to sign the paper work.

Tamba Hits Big!... Thursday Cup O'Chiefs from Bob Gretz

For fans interested in getting some autographs from their favorite players, the morning walkthroughs are a great time to do so. The crowds are significantly smaller in the morning and players are more likely to stop and sign after walking through plays for an hour when it’s still relatively cool outside than when hundreds of people line up after the afternoon practice in the blistering heat.

Camp Days Are Action Packed from The Mothership

News-Press Now Photo Gallery: 08/03/11 Chiefs Training Camp

KC Star Video: Palko on being Chiefs' backup QB

KC Star Video: Thomas Jones | Chiefs running back

KC Star Photo Gallery: Chiefs evening practice in St. Joseph

Today: Showers and thunderstorms. High near 78. East northeast wind between 5 and 7 mph. Chance of precipitation is 80%. New rainfall amounts between a half and three quarters of an inch possible.

Tonight: A chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 70. East northeast wind around 6 mph. Chance of precipitation is 40%. New rainfall amounts of less than a tenth of an inch, except higher amounts possible in thunderstorms.

Training Camp Weather Report from The National Weather Service

Practicing under the lights also gave players reprieve from a heat wave that has seen heat indexes top the 100 degree mark multiple times.

"The first time under the lights is pretty good," RB Jamaal Charles said. "Having the young guys learning a new experience that we’re going to be playing Monday Night Football and it’s a good experience for not just the people who played here last year but it was good for everybody."

Heartland Health Practice Report: Night Practice from The Mothership

Haley indicated he would prefer one player be the sole kickoff and punt returner, but only if he has little offensive or defensive duties. That certainly won’t be the case with Breaston, a wide receiver, and Arenas, the nickel back.

McCluster’s offensive role is less defined. His playing time as the extra receiver will decrease now that Breaston and Jonathan Baldwin have signed and Jerheme Urban has returned from injury.

Chiefs Camp Report: Aug. 3 from KC Star

The Chiefs were under the lights in front of a nice crowd Wednesday night at Missouri Western’s Spratt Stadium.

And, it was probably the first practice that resembled the way these sessions went in the past. The players were in shoulder pads for more than half the practice and there was a lot of nice one-on-one competition between the lines and the receivers and defensive backs. It felt more like football.

Here are some observations:

Training Camp Practice Report - 8/3 from Bob Gretz

One area where McClain should make an immediate impact is in short-yardage and goal-line offense. The Chiefs had the worst offense in the league last season on third down and 1, converting just 42 percent of the time.

They were second from the bottom when they ran the ball on third and 1, converting 43 percent of the time.

Chiefs Sign Fullback McClain from KC Star

Zach says: Do scouts from other teams sit in the stands at MW during training camp to see what the Chiefs are up to? Or would it not reveal enough to be worthwhile?

Bob says: Other teams cannot visit practices unless there is a ticket charge for the average fan. I would expect there might be a visitor or two from other teams at Saturday’s Family Fun Day, since there is a $12 admission charge.

Answer Bob, Take Two from Bob Gretz

"We want to be a running team first and then build from there," Haley said. "That part of it’s not going to change."

The pursuit of McClain backs up that belief. The Chiefs have since dotted the i’s and crossed the t’s to make the addition official.

"I played with Le’Ron in the Pro Bowl in 2008 he’s a great guy," RB Thomas Jones said. "He’s had a great career out there in Baltimore and I’ve followed him. He’ll be a great addition to our team."

Chiefs Backs Welcome McClain Addition from The Mothership

The Chiefs agreed late Wednesday to terms on a five-year contract with outside linebacker Tamba Hali. Hali, who had been designated by the Chiefs as their franchise player, could rejoin the team in time for today’s practice at Missouri Western State University.

Hali’s deal could be worth as much as $60 million and guarantees him a minimum of $35 million.

Hali Agrees to Terms with Chiefs from KC Star

Q: What have been your early impressions of Jonathan Baldwin?

HALEY: "He’s big. I’m encouraged by Jonathan and really the entire group. Again, as a whole they look like they have their heads screwed on straight and understand the task in front of them. It’s early and we haven’t got to know each other the way you normally would through the process or the process as we know it. The indicators are good. He’s serious, I don’t see much else other than football.

Q&Aith Todd Haley from The Mothership

The Kansas City Chiefs announced on Wednesday that the club has signed rookie free agents DB Javes Lewis and DB Mario Russell.

Chiefs Add Two Rookie Free Agents from The Mothership

The Kansas City Chiefs drafted one wide receiver, Jonathan Baldwin, in the first round. They added another, Steve Breaston, as their first veteran free-agent signing. So there’s no doubt Todd Haley would prefer the Chiefs to become more of a big-play passing team. But the Chiefs, who led the NFL in rushing last year, are still a running team first.

Kansas City Chiefs Training Camp: Haley Wants Big-Play Passing Team from Sporting News

Ricky Stanzi didn’t pick up his first NFL playbook until about a week ago. He’d better be good at digesting that thick binder full of information, though, because his first preseason game with the Kansas City Chiefs is little more than a week away.

The disorganized and disjointed offseason brought on by maddening labor strife has been particularly hard on first-year players trying to find their way in professional football. Without rookie minicamps and organized team activities, guys such as Stanzi have been forced to play catch-up throughout the first week of training camp.

Chiefs Rookies Trying to Absorb Few Months' Worth of Knowledge Into 2 Weeks of Training Camp from The Washington Post

Matt Cassel joined WHB in Kansas City with Kevin Kietzman to talk about how tough it is to practice without their full team right now, on the learning curve for some of the wide receivers that can’t practice, how important it is to have a young offensive group to grow with, how Kansas City compared to New England, how tough it for to have yet another new offensive coordinator, and what kind of attitude he expects following an early playoff exit last year.

Matt Cassel is Not Satisfied with Just One Division Crown from Sports Radio Interviews

I see how there could be a disagreement in the negotiations. Houston was considered a much better prospect than a third rounder. Yet, he had some off-field concerns that made him fall. But in the end, the rookie pay scale is what it is and the Chiefs have an exact amount of its rookie allotment left. Houston is going to eventually have to take it.

What's Keeping Justin Houston from Camp from ESPN

The Chiefs have been selective in free agency. They know they have a good, young roster. Yet, they have cherry picked valuable veterans when they see a good fit. McClain joins receiver Steve Breaston, nose tackle Kelly Gregg and linebacker Brandon Siler as new Chiefs.

Again, there are no headlines stars in the group, but they should make Kansas City a better team.

Chiefs Add Important Cog to Backfield from ESPN

Running crossing routes in 100-degree heat is never easy, but Jerheme Urban is happy to be back on the football field.

Urban signed with the Kansas City Chiefs as a free agent in 2010, but missed the entire season after tearing the flexor tendon in the ring finger on his right hand during a preseason game.

The Victoria native was medically cleared to play in December, but was forced to work out mostly on his own during the 4 1/2-month NFL lockout.

Jerheme Urban Looks to Catch Chiefs' Eye in Training Camp from The Victoria Advocate

"Every day," Baldwin said, "they pick out a few rookies who have to sing. So I think today is my day.

"I've got a couple hours to figure out what I'm going to sing."

This was the first test for Baldwin, whose career will come with expectations and questions, particularly after he called out his former college quarterback and criticized his coaches.

Chiefs Are Pleased With What They've Seen From Baldwin from The Bellinham Herald 

Friday night also has five games on tap, and the TV game will be two of the surprise teams in the NFL last year as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers travel to Kansas City to take on the Chiefs, winners of the AFC West last year.

NFL Preseason Schedule - Week 1 from Gather.com

2012

Newly eligible: Tiki Barber, Bill Cowher, Bill Parcells, Will Shields, Rod Smith

This will be a good year for players who have been snubbed in the past to get in, as Shields is probably the only player who has any real chance of being a first-ballot inductee.

Shields, the longtime guard for the Kansas City Chiefs, never missed a game in 14 seasons and was selected to the Pro Bowl 12 times. If he doesn’t get in on the first ballot, the selection committee might as well just say guards can’t get in on their first try.

The Pro Football Hall of Fame Classes of 2012 and Beyond from ProFootballTalk

Can the learning curve equate to, say, being dropped into the middle of Spain and having to get by?  

"I’ve never been to Spain," said quarterback Ricky Stanzi, Kansas City’s fifth-round draft pick out of Iowa. "I don’t plan on it. America’s the only place I’ll go, so yeah, I don’t know. I wouldn’t know about that. "I don’t know if that’s a good analogy or not. If you can find somebody else who’s been to those places and played in the NFL, then maybe you could ask them because I haven’t."

Learning Curve from News-Press Now