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blueballs
06-22-2006, 10:23 PM
http://www.kcchiefs.com/news/2006/06/22/rand_a_rookiefriendly_coach/

RAND: A rookie-friendly coach
Jun 22, 2006, 4:22:15 AM by Jonathan Rand - FAQ



It was no surprise to hear Chiefs coach Herman Edwards say he wanted to give his youngsters about 85 percent of the work for the final off-season workout. He came to the Chiefs with a well-deserved reputation for serving youth.



Edwards has used this off-season partly to determine which youngsters have shown enough promise to merit a training camp spot. Edwards will have to cut about seven players before he opens camp July 28 in River Falls, Wisconsin.

Then Edwards will identify the youngsters who deserve roster spots and significant playing time. It’s a delicate job because Edwards inherits a veteran-dominated team and needs to keep most of the talent that produced 10 wins a year ago. Yet he can’t allow himself to get stuck with too many aging players who all retire or decline at once.

For some head coaches, “rookie” is almost a dirty word. For others, it’s music to the ears.

Some NFL coaches are so worried about losing games because of rookie mistakes that they would rather get their teeth drilled than start a rookie. Other coaches would rather take their chances with a rookie who’s not quite as good a solid veteran today but shows the potential to be far, far better tomorrow.

Edwards falls into the latter category, mainly because of how he was raised in the NFL. He was signed by the Eagles as an undrafted rookie in 1977, yet won a starting cornerback job. He wouldn’t want to deny that kind of opportunity to anybody else. As a Chiefs scout in 1990 and 1991, it was Edwards’ job to spot young talent.

The coach still has enough scout in him to root hard for draft choices to succeed. He understands how it tears a scout’s heart to see a young player released in favor of a marginal veteran. Don’t expect that to happen on Edwards’ watch.

His predecessor, Dick Vermeil, was committed to developing young talent on the practice field, but exercised caution in letting them play. Vermeil seemed overly cautious, for instance, when keeping running back Larry Johnson under wraps for more than two seasons. Vermeil even started Derrick Blaylock over Johnson in 2004 when starter Priest Holmes was injured. Given a chance to start, Johnson became a Pro Bowler.

As New York Jets head coach, Edwards started rookie safety Erik Coleman, a fifth-round pick, in 2004. Last season, he started rookie cornerback Justin Miller, a second–round pick, and rookie safety Kerry Rhodes, a fourth-round pick. The Jets had drafted three defensive backs in 2005.

Considering the Chiefs this year drafted three defensive backs, including safety Bernard Pollard in the second round, and released veteran cornerback Eric Warfield, it’s a good bet you’ll see at least one rookie in the secondary contributing soon.

In any franchise, a rookie draft choice has to really flame out in training camp to get released. And a first-round pick, like Chiefs’ linebacker Derrick Johnson in 2005, is almost certain to start as a rookie if he was drafted to fill an obvious hole.

Defensive end Tamba Hali, this year’s first-round pick, can be expected to start soon. If Priest Holmes doesn’t appear in River Falls, every young back in camp should be chomping at the bit to prove himself a worthy backup to Johnson.

Once you get past Eddie Kennison, Samie Parker and third-down receiver Dante Hall, a couple of wide receiver spots are there for the taking. No wonder the Chiefs currently have nine rookie or first-year wideouts, including sixth-round pick Jeff Webb.

“Obviously, some good young guys are getting good opportunities,” Edwards said.

Those who make the most of them can expect a good, long look. Which is why each Chiefs’ youngster should consider himself to be in the right place at the right time.

Moooo
06-22-2006, 10:28 PM
At least I can feel good knowing these guys are getting REAL chances...

Moooo

nychief
06-22-2006, 10:29 PM
Jeff Webb = Return of Chris Penn (the wideout, not the dead actor).

FAX
06-22-2006, 10:29 PM
Hey, Mr. blueballs. Great post and all, but can you shorten the title? It's doing something really nasty to my Planet Feng Shui.

FAX

blueballs
06-22-2006, 10:31 PM
my sorries
Mr Fax
I will try to edit

tk13
06-22-2006, 10:31 PM
Shorten the title, it's messing up the front page.

FAX
06-22-2006, 10:34 PM
my sorries
Mr Fax
I will try to edit

No problem, Mr. blueballs. And, thanks.

It is an interesting read. Thanks for posting. I just hope, for your sake, that Mr. frazod doesn't have a problem with it.

FAX

blueballs
06-22-2006, 10:35 PM
is that the drunken
Irishman

FAX
06-22-2006, 10:40 PM
is that the drunken
Irishman

Not sure I would characterize him in that way, Mr. blueballs. But, I do know this. He doesn't like a certain movie (which we no longer mention at any cost).

I just hope he doesn't feel the same way about rookies.

FAX

blueballs
06-22-2006, 10:42 PM
I think that is the guy
that hates the Broncos and
the French

he has a point there

FAX
06-22-2006, 10:46 PM
I think that is the guy
that hates the Broncos and
the French

he has a point there

Yes he does, Mr. blueballs. And, I would imagine that a lazy, unarmed french farmer who raises donkeys would set him right off.

FAX