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Mr. Laz
06-19-2005, 09:37 AM
Posted on Sun, Jun. 19, 2005

Mitchell joins Chiefs — and he wants to stay

KC quick in filling Hakim’s spot

By ADAM TEICHER

The Kansas City Star


For a guy with a reputation as a loudmouth, Freddie Mitchell was decidedly low-key on his first day with the Chiefs.

No outrageous proclamations or predictions. Those presumably will come in time.

But on Saturday, after agreeing to terms on a one-year contract, he just made the customary promise about working hard to win one of the Chiefs’ wide-receiving jobs.

Mitchell fills the spot vacated by Az-Zahir Hakim when he walked out on the Chiefs last week. Technically, Mitchell can still do the same because the Chiefs indicated they won’t turn over the paperwork to the NFL until Monday.

Mitchell left no doubt he wouldn’t do that.

“I’m happy to be here,” Mitchell said after watching the Chiefs’ practice at Arrowhead Stadium. “Unfortunately, Az Hakim couldn’t come for whatever reason. I’m going to make the best out of what happened.

“I’ve got a lot of learning to do. I’ve got to learn the playbook. So the (other) guys have an edge. There’s a lot of good competition. We’ve got a lot of good young guys out here that are fighting for starting jobs, too. It’s not given to me. I’ll have to earn it. This is the NFL. Every year there’s a young guy trying to take your spot.”

Mitchell wasn’t even outwardly ruffled about being the Chiefs’ second choice behind Hakim, who once played for Vermeil with St. Louis.

“He knows the offense,” Mitchell said. “I would have chosen Az, too. He can come right in. He’s been with Vermeil. So it’s not really second-fiddle. It’s two different offenses.”

Mitchell may join the Chiefs for today’s final minicamp practice. The Chiefs will give him every opportunity to stabilize a position group that includes only one proven player, Eddie Kennison.

At worst, Mitchell, a former first-round draft pick out of UCLA and a four-year veteran with Philadelphia, figures to be the fourth receiver behind Kennison, Sammy Parker and Dante Hall. At best, he could join Kennison as a starter.

“We know that he’s tough,” coach Dick Vermeil said. “We know that he can catch the ball in a crowd, we know that he’s smart, and we know he’ll knock your helmet off blocking. He’s got all those attributes that we like in a receiver.”

Mitchell, 26, never played like a first-round pick with the Eagles. He never was a full-time starter and caught only 35 passes and two touchdowns in his best season in 2003.

The Eagles released him in May, and he attracted little interest from other teams as a free agent.

He is best known for his self-promotion. He gained much attention for his disparaging comments about the Patriots, Philadelphia’s opponent in last season’s Super Bowl.

After a big catch, such as his fourth-and-26 reception that allowed the Eagles to beat the Packers in the 2003 playoffs, Mitchell motions his hands around his waist as if he’s donning a championship belt. He refers to himself as “The People’s Champ.”

He has the nickname of FredEx — because he always delivers, get it? — but it was given by a Philadelphia radio station and not by Mitchell himself.

His loudmouth reputation is well-deserved, according to Chiefs offensive lineman John Welbourn, who played with Mitchell on the Eagles.

“Freddie definitely likes to hear himself talk,” Welbourn said. “There’s nothing wrong with that. We are entertainers, and he’s entertaining. When I was there, it was never distracting. I always got amusement out of it. There was always some funny angle he was working.”

His showman’s veneer can mask the fact Mitchell is a tough blocker and gives an honest effort.

“He’ll put his face in there,” Welbourn said. “He has no qualms about hitting people and playing hard. That’s why guys like playing with him. That’s why I liked playing with him.”

Mitchell often complained publicly in Philadelphia that he wasn’t getting the ball enough from quarterback Donovan McNabb. That led to some friction between the two and eventually was a factor in his release.

“Me and the quarterback really didn’t get along like you all thought we did,” he said. “A lot of stuff happened under the table, and unfortunately we couldn’t make it into a better situation. But I love the team, and I love the organization.

“You go ask any of my teammates on the Eagles if they have different thoughts about it. They know me as a team player who would make that long block to free up Brian Westbrook. It’s just that I wanted to feel more a part of the win. I wanted more catches so I could say I helped to win.”

Vermeil, a believer in positive locker-room chemistry, doesn’t appear concerned he’s getting a player who might poison the Chiefs.

“I think anytime you get a fresh start, it’s good and he’ll start fresh,” Vermeil said. “I’m sure as a young receiver he made some mistakes in Philadelphia like they all do, like we all do. I think he’s matured and will do a good job in competing.

“He really only had problems in Philadelphia with one guy, not the team. That happens from time to time. (Eagles coach) Andy Reid assured me he’s a good guy, and we thought he was a good guy when he came out and he’ll fit in nicely.”


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To reach Adam Teicher, Chiefs reporter for The Star, call (816) 234-4875 or send e-mail to

Wile_E_Coyote
06-19-2005, 09:49 AM
he should take the pressure off LJ being the quote machine

unlurking
06-19-2005, 09:51 AM
A blocking receiver is a great addition when Priest or LJ run the ball. Morton always half-assed block, so if nothing else, we pick up a WR that improves our running game.

Mr. Laz
06-19-2005, 09:58 AM
A blocking receiver is a great addition when Priest or LJ run the ball. Morton always half-assed block, so if nothing else, we pick up a WR that improves our running game.
:rolleyes: morton was one of our better blockers



we'll have to wait and see if mitchell actually blocks or not

unlurking
06-19-2005, 10:02 AM
:rolleyes: morton was one of our better blockers



we'll have to wait and see if mitchell actually blocks or not
Strange, I never thought he gave much effort.

Then again, may be I'm just jaded after watching Freddie Jones knock Tyrone Braxton unconscious several years ago.

Mr. Laz
06-19-2005, 10:05 AM
Strange, I never thought he gave much effort.

Then again, may be I'm just jaded after watching Freddie Jones knock Tyrone Braxton unconscious several years ago.

i'm not saying morton was a big stud blocker but IIRC morton and boerigter were considered the best blocking wide receivers on the team.

that may be because they were the 2 biggest as well, but nevertheless.

NaptownChief
06-19-2005, 12:06 PM
Doubt Mitchell will being making Pro Bowl appearances but I do like his talent upgrade over the sorry ass Salt Boy.

Now that Mitchell has an accurate QB throwing to him who knows what he might show. Certainly a cheap low risk signing with some upside.

Ari Chi3fs
06-19-2005, 12:30 PM
just think, Mitchell is only 26... he could be on the chiefs for 6-8 more years.

heh.

TRR
06-19-2005, 12:34 PM
just think, Mitchell is only 26... he could be on the chiefs for 6-8 more years.

heh.

Problem is if Mitchell produces this time, he will be gone in FA. KC only signed him to a 1 year deal.

chief52
06-19-2005, 12:38 PM
Problem is if Mitchell produces this time, he will be gone in FA. KC only signed him to a 1 year deal.

Well, Mitchell has to make the team first. He has long odds there IMO. If he plays like he has played, he will be gone before the last cuts.

RedThat
06-19-2005, 12:44 PM
Well, Mitchell has to make the team first. He has long odds there IMO. If he plays like he has played, he will be gone before the last cuts.

He is gonna make the team...He'll either be a 3rd, 4th, 5th WR. At best probably #2. Who's gonna beat him out? Chris Horn? Craphonso Thorpe?
Darrell Hill? I don't see those guys taking his spot. I see the WR corps looking like this:

Kennison
Parker
Mitchell
Boerighter
Hall

chief52
06-19-2005, 12:48 PM
He is gonna make the team...He'll either be a 3rd, 4th, 5th WR. At best probably #2. Who's gonna beat him out? Chris Horn? Craphonso Thorpe?
Darrell Hill? I don't see those guys taking his spot. I see the WR corps looking like this:

Kennison
Parker
Mitchell
Boerighter
Hall

Well, you are probably right. It is pretty sad when a receiver no on wanted, including the Chiefs, can sign and have a shot at being #2 or #3. :banghead: I be the first to root for him if he makes it, but damn I personally was hoping Az would work out and FredEx would have ended up elsewhere.

RedThat
06-19-2005, 12:57 PM
Well, you are probably right. It is pretty sad when a receiver no on wanted, including the Chiefs, can sign and have a shot at being #2 or #3. :banghead: I be the first to root for him if he makes it, but damn I personally was hoping Az would work out and FredEx would have ended up elsewhere.

I hope Sammie Parker becomes one fine WR. I sure hope so. I don't want Mitchell being a #2 WR for us. I would rather have Morton if that was case.
On the other hand, if Mitchell becomes the #3 WR, eh? for 250,000(league minimum) why not? It'll be a bonus if he produces.

NaptownChief
06-19-2005, 12:58 PM
He is gonna make the team...He'll either be a 3rd, 4th, 5th WR. At best probably #2. Who's gonna beat him out? Chris Horn? Craphonso Thorpe?
Darrell Hill? I don't see those guys taking his spot. I see the WR corps looking like this:

Kennison
Parker
Mitchell
Boerighter
Hall


I expect Thorpe to make the squad and for DV to change his only 5 WR stance....They will keep Thorpe and sell Hall as being a Special Teamer rather than a WR.

TRR
06-19-2005, 01:00 PM
Well, Mitchell has to make the team first. He has long odds there IMO. If he plays like he has played, he will be gone before the last cuts.

He'll make the team easily.

RedThat
06-19-2005, 01:06 PM
I expect Thorpe to make the squad and for DV to change his only 5 WR stance....They will keep Thorpe and sell Hall as being a Special Teamer rather than a WR.

I'm not quite sure if I understand what your saying. Are you saying that the Chiefs will change their minds and carry 6 WR's instead of 5? Or, are you saying they will carry 5 WR, and use Hall as a return man instead of WR?

ExtremeChief
06-19-2005, 02:19 PM
Kennison and Mitchell with Parker in the slot doesn't sound that bad. Hell, Tony and Priest are the main weapons anyway.

I would like a "possession" receiver at the #2 spot, something Morton never was IMO, with your gamebreaker in the slot. I have a lot more faith in Parker in the slot to have the ability to break one without getting killed than I do in Dante.

KC also still has Wilson, who can line up in the backfield, at TE, or in the slot. It will be interesting to see how well he has recovered from his injury.

I don't particularly like the Mitchell signing, but he is a good blocker, and if he can catch 30 balls, for 400 yards or so, I guess it's better than nothing. But I think if Parker beats him out for the #2 spot, that he really isn't suited for the slot.

It should be an interesting training camp.