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tk13
04-30-2006, 02:23 AM
http://www.kansascity.com/mld/kansascity/sports/football/nfl/kansas_city_chiefs/14462737.htm

Hali day shopping
Edwards expects help on defense right away

By ELIZABETH MERRILL
The Kansas City Star

They popped in the film again late Friday, long after Tamba Hali ran an unimpressive time in the 40-yard dash, eons after the NFL gurus had cast him off their mock-draft hot list.

Maybe it was a last dose of affirmation. Maybe they’re just plain stubborn.

As the Chiefs’ time on the clock drew closer Saturday, glitzy names such as North Carolina State defensive end Manny Lawson and Ohio State receiver Santonio Holmes were still on the board. Kansas City went with Hali, a defensive end from Penn State, with the 20th pick in the first round.

“At the end of the day, they play in pads,” Chiefs coach Herm Edwards said. “They play on the grass. They don’t run a 40, they don’t do all these gymnastic drills.

“Defense is not pretty. Defense is guys getting dirty and playing hard and playing with toughness and passion. And that’s what this guy does. When you turn the film on, you turn it off and you go, ‘Wow.’ ”

Down the street from Arrowhead Stadium, the mildly stunning pick was met with a smattering of boos and shock at the Chiefs’ draft-day party. Most were expecting a cornerback, or at least Lawson, who was tabbed by some as the second-best pass rusher in the draft.

The puzzled looks continued a few hours later in the second round, when Kansas City picked Purdue safety Bernard Pollard. By the end of the night, when the Chiefs picked Alabama quarterback Brodie Croyle in the third round, there were no cornerbacks, just three guys that Kansas City had hoped would be on the board and were.

So much for the mock drafts.

But really, were Saturday’s developments all that stunning? When Edwards was hired in January, he promised a gritty, ugly, in-your-face defense. He wanted younger guys to set the tone.

Edwards said Hali and Pollard would play right away.

“That’s what we drafted them for,” Edwards said.

The predraft whispers said the Chiefs were going to pick at least two cornerbacks, one with the first selection. And Edwards and Chiefs president/general manager Carl Peterson did nothing to dispel that notion. They spent the last few months under a cloak of secrecy, dissecting hundreds of corners and linemen.

Turns out Edwards knew all along he wanted a defensive lineman. He said every great defense starts up front.

Edwards was noticeably upbeat as he met with reporters late Saturday night when the first day was over and Croyle was theirs. Early Saturday morning, Peterson asked Bill Kuharich, Chiefs vice president for player personnel, to make a list of two or three players in each of the first three rounds that he’d like to have on the board when the Chiefs were up.

“Bill did that,” Peterson said, “and we had one in each round.”

But in between, there were a few pauses and contemplation. Peterson said the Chiefs pondered picking Lawson, and they also listened to a couple of offers to trade down. But they didn’t want to risk not getting Hali.

Hali is versatile — playing tackle and end at Penn State — and has carried between 265 and 285 pounds on his 6-foot-3 frame. Edwards said Hali is an every-down player with a quick first three steps and a never-ending motor.

When the Chiefs watched film of Hali, they couldn’t tell whether it was from the first or fourth quarter. They broke Friday night with one directive — if Hali was still on the board at No. 20, he’d be a Chief.

He was one of 26 players who visited Kansas City, and one of the first people to greet him was Pro Bowl running back Larry Johnson, whose father, Larry Johnson Sr., coached Hali at Penn State.

Hali watched the draft Saturday from Johnson’s home in Pennsylvania. He fled his native Liberia during a civil war at the age of 10, and each of the Chiefs’ decision-makers called him relentless.

“I just wanted to go where I was wanted,” Hali said. “If Kansas City had the 30th pick and they picked me, I still would’ve been happy.”

The Chiefs have spent the last two years drafting and upgrading their talent on a defense that finished near the bottom of the league for the better part of the Dick Vermeil years. Heading into Saturday, the most glaring holes appeared to be on the defensive line and at cornerback.

Edwards didn’t seem worried about it. He played cornerback for the Eagles as an undrafted free agent and has said repeatedly that he could shape talent in later rounds.

That shaping, finally, should start today.

tk13
04-30-2006, 02:25 AM
http://www.kansascity.com/mld/kansascity/sports/football/nfl/kansas_city_chiefs/14462736.htm

Pollard gives Chiefs more depth at safety
By ADAM TEICHER
The Kansas City Star

Bernard Pollard (right), a force at strong safety in his three seasons at Purdue, could find himself in the Chiefs’ starting lineup next season.

There was a boisterous celebration Saturday at the Pollard home in Fort Wayne, Ind., when one of its occupants, Purdue safety Bernard Pollard, was drafted by the Chiefs in the second round.

There were some festivities after the pick at Arrowhead Stadium, too, though they were somewhat more muted. Given new coach Herm Edwards’ penchant for starting rookie safeties — he did it twice in five years with the New York Jets — it might not be long before Pollard has a regular role.

Pollard was a strong safety at Purdue. The drafting of Pollard would seem to endanger the incumbent, Sammy Knight.

Edwards was less than eager, publicly at least, to push Knight out the door.

“Sammy Knight can play as long as he can continue to play,” Edwards said. “He’s an excellent player. He gets guys lined up. He has very good ball skills.

“We just added some depth to our safety position. If you look at our safety position … that position was kind of light.”

Pollard’s presence certainly endangers the roster spot of former starter Jerome Woods. Woods, who was moved to the bench last year when the Chiefs signed Knight, probably will be released after June 1.

“We’ll answer that after June 1,” president/general manager Carl Peterson said.

Pollard, 6 feet 1, 224 pounds, is the kind of big hitter that Edwards and defensive coordinator Gunther Cunningham like to see in their secondary. He started for three seasons at Purdue before declaring himself eligible for the NFL draft.

The Chiefs had no problem drafting Pollard after his junior season because he had extensive playing time at Purdue.

“We’re getting a younger player, obviously,” Edwards said. “But you’ve got to live with those junior mistakes he’s going to make.

“This guy is a mature football player. He’s played a lot of football already. That’s a good thing. It’s not like he’s a guy that played a year and a half. He started a lot of football games and played in a big conference.”

Pollard was suspended briefly early in his junior season after engaging in a shouting match with Purdue coach Joe Tiller.

“It was a misunderstanding,” Pollard said. “Everybody was just caught in the heat of the moment. I take full responsibility. I should have kept my mouth shut. I was trash-talking. I might have went a little too far, I might not have.

“Despite all of that, I thank coach Tiller for giving me the opportunity to play there. If I wouldn’t have been there, I wouldn’t be here now. I had a great time there, and I thank him for that.”

Peterson said the Chiefs were satisfied the incident was an isolated one.

“He said he was wrong,” Peterson said. “He said he made a mistake. That’s not his personality. We’ve done as much thorough, in-depth checking as we possibly could, and we’re very pleased with the findings.”

Moooo
04-30-2006, 02:29 AM
I like how they said they couldn't tell by his moves whether it was the first or fourth quarter. He's got stamina, which is something our D-line lacks overall.

I'm scared about Herman saying he can shape up some d-backs in the later rounds. Does this scare anyone else?

Moooo

Rausch
04-30-2006, 02:35 AM
Edwards said Hali and Pollard would play right away.

“That’s what we drafted them for,” Edwards said.

If he does this I'll have a lot of respect for the man.

I'll hate his picks, but at least he's got the conviction to stand by them...

beer bacon
04-30-2006, 02:38 AM
I like how they said they couldn't tell by his moves whether it was the first or fourth quarter. He's got stamina, which is something our D-line lacks overall.

I'm scared about Herman saying he can shape up some d-backs in the later rounds. Does this scare anyone else?

Moooo

It sorta does, but at least he isn't talking out his ass about doing that. He has done it before with both CBs and safeties.

Rausch
04-30-2006, 02:44 AM
It sorta does, but at least he isn't talking out his ass about doing that. He has done it before with both CBs and safeties.

Cover 2 isn't built on CB's, it just makes them look good...

Moooo
04-30-2006, 02:49 AM
Cover 2 isn't built on CB's, it just makes them look good...

Cover 2 is built on good D-Line, which is why I'm so confused with the people getting upset at our 1st pick being just that.

Moooo

Dunit35
04-30-2006, 03:10 AM
I liked Hali as our 1st round pick. He was my original pick until I heard that Lawson could fall to us. But I'm happy with Hali.

Rausch
04-30-2006, 03:14 AM
Cover 2 is built on good D-Line, which is why I'm so confused with the people getting upset at our 1st pick being just that.

Moooo

If Herm MAKES him the starter and kicks Hicks to the curb I'd be ecstatic.

I just don't think he will. I know Gun will fight it.

And Gun and Herm are like peas in a pod...

CoMoChief
04-30-2006, 09:59 AM
We still need a solid defensive tackle. Sims will get hurt and Browning/Siavii/Dalton/Wilkerson will not cut it. I hope to God we trade up into the 4th round and get a DT like Gabe Watson or Rod Wright.

chop
04-30-2006, 10:17 AM
We still need a solid defensive tackle. Sims will get hurt and Browning/Siavii/Dalton/Wilkerson will not cut it. I hope to God we trade up into the 4th round and get a DT like Gabe Watson or Rod Wright.

Didn't the Chiefs sign Edwards to help with the DLine.

milkman
04-30-2006, 10:20 AM
Didn't the Chiefs sign Edwards to help with the DLine.

Yes, but it seems that he's a forgettable signing to most.

FAX
04-30-2006, 10:21 AM
Cover 2 isn't built on CB's, it just makes them look good...

Great point, Mr. Rausch.

FAX

SLAG
04-30-2006, 10:22 AM
I dont know much about Pollard, What about Scott Cannot???

dirk digler
04-30-2006, 10:27 AM
Cover 2 isn't built on CB's, it just makes them look good...

Great Point Rausch. It all starts upfront.

htismaqe
04-30-2006, 10:29 AM
What about Scott Connot? He's a scrub.

StcChief
04-30-2006, 10:32 AM
Great Point Rausch. It all starts upfront.

Upfront is right. DE's now if Hali works out this year. Jared Allen/C.Hall
Where is the next DT. This should be a priority today
injury prone R.Sims ??

Dalton/Browning.

milkman
04-30-2006, 10:35 AM
What about Scott Connot? He's a scrub.

I can't believe anyone even mentions his name in discussions.

Cochise
04-30-2006, 10:40 AM
The team really believes in Tamba Hali. Given his heart and determination, it's hard to doubt him.

If we could somehow add one guy to slot into the CB depth chart between Surtain and Walls, I might start to get pretty excited about this coming season.

Coach
04-30-2006, 11:00 AM
Yes, but it seems that he's a forgettable signing to most.

Not that it's a bad thing. He could be a good signing if he stays healthy.

Also having a new D-line coach helps as well.

Cormac
04-30-2006, 11:25 AM
“Defense is not pretty. Defense is guys getting dirty and playing hard and playing with toughness and passion. And that’s what this guy does. When you turn the film on, you turn it off and you go, ‘Wow.’ ”..........When Edwards was hired in January, he promised a gritty, ugly, in-your-face defense......Hali and Pollard would play right away..........He said every great defense starts up front.........Hali is an every-down player with a quick first three steps and a never-ending motor......couldn’t tell whether it was from the first or fourth quarter.

I think that there is a ton to like about this pick, and Herm's defensive philosophy. I'm so tired of the fat and lazy DTs full of potential. At least give us somebody with fire and energy to pair with Jared Allen. DE is our position of biggest need, IMO, and now we have a new option.