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Mr. Laz
08-07-2005, 05:03 PM
ARTICLE INDEX

Sunday, Aug. 7 , 2005 Morning
K.C. Chiefs Training Camp Daily Updates

This morning's special teams practice was held under clear skies wih a temperature at 80 degrees at the start of the session. The dew point was 63 degrees and there was a wind from the southeast at four miles per hour. About 175 fans were at the practice.

Special Teams

The Chiefs opened this special teams practice working on punt blocking responsibilities when the ball was deep in Chiefs territory. They worked on recognizing and picking up stunts by the opposing team. "We can't have a penalty and then we need to work on field position," Coach Frank Gansz, Jr. told the group. He told the personal protectors that with the ball spotted on the three, or deeper, that they should not be any deeper than two yards deep into the end zone.

Members of the first unit were: Richard Smith, Keyaron Fox, Gary Stills, Robert Holcombe, Rich Scanlon, Kawika Mitchell, Derrick Johnson, Shaunard Harts and William Bartee while Dustin Colquitt was the punter and Kendall Gammon was the long snapper.

The Chiefs also worked on individual responsibilities if the team was deep in its territory and decided to take a safety. The punter would secure the snap in two hands, move along the end line and when finally pressured, step out of the back of the end zone.

Before moving on to kickoff coverage, Gansz covered what the team would do if a safety was taken. The team's punter would kick the ball from the 20 and the kickoff team would cover the kick - not the punt coverage team. "When the ball is punted, everyone must be behind the 20," Gansz reminded the team.

The first unit of kickoff coverage included: Benny Sapp, William Bartee, Jeris McIntyre, Kris Griffin, Keyaron Fox, Gary Stills, Boomer Grigsby, Derrick Johnson, Marc Boerigter, Rich Scanlon, and kicker Lawrence Tynes.

On kickoff coverage the players were told to first cover the field, then locate the ball and finally defend the return. Gansz then had the kick off team practice ripping through blocks and locating the return man. Gansz also covered a situation where if the ball was kicked to the wrong part of the field, what adjustments had to be made. "If that happens, forget what the call is - go to the ball - field!...ball!...return!" he instructed.

Gansz then worked the players on attacking the wedge on returns to the right, left and up the middle. "These are things we have to clean up and get batter at," he said. With a middle return, he reminded the players that it was illegal to hit an opponent below the waist. "I want you be low and then finish high."

There are several battles on the field for players trying to make the unit. There is currently a log jam of players at safety trying to make the cut and Shaunard Harts is leading the fight, and stepping up his game during special teams.

There are also several linebackers who are trying to avoid the cut. Rich Scanlon and Boomer Grigsby are both trying to be regulars on the roster, and one way to save their spots is to earn a place on special teams. Linebacker Gary Stills probably would have not made the team as a linebacker, but his talent in special teams has kept him on the roster. He is the team's captain, and was a Pro Bowl player in 2003.

Two examples of players who have found greatness through special teams play include long snapper Kendall Gammon, and wide receiver Dante Hall. Gammon would not be in this league if he wasn't able to perform as a long snapper. Before Hall was part of special teams, he was struggling at wide receiver. However, he's excelled at kick returns, and became a Pro Bowler.

Fat Elvis
08-07-2005, 05:09 PM
Having Derrick Johnson on special teams is just begging for an injury.

milkman
08-07-2005, 06:33 PM
Having Derrick Johnson on special teams is just begging for an injury.

Agreed.

runnercyclist
08-07-2005, 07:38 PM
Yeah, I was shocked to see his name. DV making a rook pay his dues, no doubt.

Anyong Bluth
08-07-2005, 07:40 PM
how many players get injured on special teams... I would agree with the statement, but I just can't think of a time where this has actually happened?

Count Alex's Losses
08-07-2005, 07:43 PM
My GOD....that is a hell of a special teams...and wait until Fujita gets back.