Wow! Good morning. Today's post is a little late and when you get past the jump, you'll see why. Lots of Kansas City Chiefs news for you this morning.
Today is Family Fun Day at training camp. There is a 9:30 walkthrough that's only open to the press, and the 1:30 practice that's open to the public, but carries a $12 admission. Have a great weekend!
As the Chiefs are now within reach of their first pre-season game of the summer, it seemed a good time to check in on four stories from the naked training camp. We have the grizzled veteran and the up and coming talent that wants to take his game to another level. We have a player seeking redemption and another that’s only wishing for the chance to fulfill a lifelong dream of becoming a professional athlete.
Casey Wiegmann, Wallace Gilberry, Sabby Piscitelli and David Mims are from Iowa, Alabama, Florida and Virginia respectively. The station they currently occupy in their careers could not be more different. Yet, they all seek the same thing – a job with the Chiefs and the chance to make a contribution.
Here are their stories.
Stories Everywhere... Saturday Cup O'Chiefs from Bob Gretz
Chiefs pass rusher Wallace Gilberry, visibly thicker after an offseason devoted to bulking up, said Friday that he had worked on reshaping his body so that he might someday be known as a complete defensive end.
"To be called a pass rusher in this league means a lot to me," Gilberry said. "But at the same time, I want to be a defensive end. When I leave here, I want to be known as a defensive end.
News-Press Photo Gallery: 08/04/11 Chiefs training camp
KC Star Video: Todd Haley talks defense
KC Star Photo Gallery: Chiefs training camp | Friday, Aug. 5
Today: Mostly sunny, with a high near 91. Heat index values as high as 101. North northwest wind around 5 mph becoming calm.
Tonight: A chance of showers and thunderstorms. Partly cloudy, with a low around 73. South wind around 5 mph becoming calm. Chance of precipitation is 30%. 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
"Trust me Kendrick, this one is going to be fun!"
- Todd Haley to Kendrick Lewis before the start of a competitive third down period
Heartland Health Practice Report: 8/5/11 from The Mothership
"I’ve talked about the rookie learning curve, well Justin has his work cut out for him," Haley said. "And so do we; we have to give him a chance to succeed.
"We talked this morning and I told him we had to get going. I’m selfish, I want to win. That’s what I care about. We have to do everything as coaches that will give us the best chances to win and a bunch of those young guys I believe are going to have to contribute for us to have a chance to build on some of the good things that we’ve done."
Afternoon Camp Update - 8/5 from Bob Gretz
The weather, the lack of an off-season conditioning program and the clocking ticking towards the start of the 2011 NFL season all met in a perfect storm Friday afternoon at Missouri Western State University. It was a storm of cramps, pulled muscles, heat exhaustion and a bunch of Kansas City Chiefs players that were not prepared for an August afternoon in northwest Missouri.
Training Camp Practice Report - 8/5 from Bob Gretz
Coach Todd Haley said his newest project — he was a receivers coach before becoming a coordinator and head coach, and he still takes an interest in wideouts — appears to have the tools necessary to be a standout NFL player. Baldwin is big and fast, and Haley said there’s more to Baldwin than the speed limit often associated with being a possession receiver.
Baldwin's Focus is on Getting Better from KC Star
The Kansas City Chiefs will soon select one organization to become the beneficiary of the 2012 Chiefs Charity Game and that’s where you come in. The Chiefs would like to hear from you!
Tell us which agency you would like to see selected from a deserving quartet of local finalists. The organizations that have a chance to become the beneficiary of next year’s Chiefs Charity Game includes: Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Kansas City, The Children’s Place, Children’s TLC and Harvesters.
General manager Scott Pioli wouldn’t speak specifically to the Chiefs’ salary figures. But he said he has never been limited on how much to spend by chairman Clark Hunt.
"During my (job) interview here, Clark and I had a lengthy conversation about what restrictions we might have regarding spending on players and what the process would be when I want to do something or make a move," Pioli said. "I would never have taken this job if I thought for one minute I was going to have to worry about not having the resources to do what we need to do.
Salary Figures Show Chiefs Have Room to Spend from KC Star
Last year, Gilberry logged career highs in sacks (7.0), QB pressures (15), forced fumbles (2), fumble recoveries (2) and passes defensed (2).
"We’ll have to see what he can do this year," Defensive Coordinator Romeo Crennel said. "I know that he’s been working hard and I think that he’s conscientious about trying to be an every-down player. We’ll see."
Gilberry's New Look from The Mothership
Kansas City ranked 28th in the NFL on kickoff returns last season and 17th on punt returns. McCluster’s score turned out to be its only touchdown from the return game all season. The Chiefs did improve their average punt return by 4 yards from the previous year.
With McCluster, Arenas, Breaston, Chiefs Have Appealing Options in Return Game from The Washington Post
Q: Do you want your nose tackle to be more of a disrupter or a run-stopper?
HALEY: "He’s a two-gaper number one, which is stop the run, first and foremost. We’ll have some schemes where he is a penetrator, but as it is, the baseline defense, 3-4 defense, the way that we play it is that nose is a 2-gap nose that’s got to occupy, first and foremost.
Q&A with Todd Haley from The Mothership
Haley, for instance, needs players good enough on special teams that he doesn't have to exhaust premium players such as Eric Berry – who did everything but serve cocktails in the luxury suites last year.
The Chiefs need to protect players like Berry without suffering on specialty units – just one more reason discovering and signing useful players is so important, even if the guys involved aren't exactly household names.
Depth is a weapon all by itself.
Chiefs Adding Depth for Battle of Attrition from Fox Sports Kansas City
"I had 15 minutes to get loose and from there we just ran with it," said Manno. "I don’t know what happened, something happened and it was good. I got a bunch of bad balls, but dove and caught them."
Chiefs representatives told him they expected him to be quick, but when they told him, "it was one of the best workouts they’ve ever seen in the last 12 years," his heart started to beat a little faster.
He met with Chiefs General Manager Scott Pioli and he heard the words any aspiring professional football player dreams of hearing: "We’d like to offer you a contract."
Manno Drawing Welker, Woodhead Comparisons from The Sachem Patch
In celebration of Arizona's centennial, the Star will feature our picks for the 100 best athletes, moments and teams...
..."Curley Culp was a block of granite," former Houston Oiler Greg Sampson told the Corpus Christi Caller-Times in 2010. "He held the field in the middle all across the center. He was a nose guard that they build defenses around. Very agile. Very strong."
"Block of Granite" Polished in Football, Wrestling from The Arizona Daily Star
Here is one of my favorite-ever football plays. I’ve written about this before. The Kansas City Chiefs were playing the Minnesota Vikings, and this was the year that the Chiefs started out 9-0. They were 12-2 when they went to Minnesota, though by then it was pretty clear that Kansas City’s defense — with Greg Robinson running the show — was, um, er, let’s say "challenged." It wasn’t just that the Chiefs defense was bad. They were bad, yes. But they also seemed utterly baffled much of the time. They had no idea what to do half the time. That’s what I mean by challenged.
Two Retirements from Sports Illustrated
Twenty-three LSU student-athletes earned degrees in the summer commencement ceremonies held Friday on campus...
...Travis Daniels finished his LSU career with 26 consecutive starts at cornerback, including all 14 games of the 2003 National Championship season where he posted a school-record 25 pass breakups. He has spent six seasons in the NFL, including the last two years with the Kansas City Chiefs.
Twenty-Three Student-Athletes Earn LSU Degree from LSUSports.net
Steve Breaston, WR, Chiefs: A former 1,000-yard receiver in Arizona, Breaston has been mostly mediocre from a statistical perspective over the last two seasons. That isn't likely to change in Kansas City, where he'll serve as the second receiving option behind Dwayne Bowe. While he does have some late-round value as a fantasy reserve, it's hard to project Breaston to make a strong fantasy impact this season.
Rampant Player Movement Has Altered Fantasy Values from NFL.com
Ray Rice? With ol’ Willis gone, who will spell Rice when he’s tired or the team needs to pound it into the end zone? The team just lost the incredibly gifted fullback Le’Ron McClain. Who is going to block for Rice now? Rice’s loss might be Jamaal Charles’ gain in Kansas City.
Charles may be poised for a great season. With Thomas Jones aging and not a real threat to steal precious carries, Charles is the clear-cut starter. Jones is still talented enough to spell Charles on occasion. Again, the addition of McClain to the Chiefs’ backfield may make a world of difference.
The Fantasy Runningback Dillemma from The Rebel Yell
Haley said he wouldn’t hold any ill will toward Houston for his holdout.
"What Justin needs to be focused on is he’s here now," Haley said. "I’ve talked about the rookie learning curve. He’s got his work cut out for him and so do we. We’ve got to give him a chance to succeed."
Expected to contribute as an outside rusher, the 6-foot-3, 270-pound rookie will rotate in behind starters Andy Studebaker and Tamba Hali.
Houston Labors Through First Day of Practice from The St. Joseph News-Press