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Hammock Parties
08-04-2006, 01:05 AM
http://www.kansascity.com/mld/kansascity/sports/football/nfl/kansas_city_chiefs/15193741.htm

Chiefs have faith that Kennison, Parker and Hall will produce plenty of big plays this season.

By ADAM TEICHER
The Kansas City Star

RIVER FALLS, Wis. - The offseason began with the Chiefs harboring serious intentions about improving at wide receiver.

The Chiefs made some noise about going after several established players: Terrell Owens, Keyshawn Johnson, Javon Walker, Ashley Lelie. The first three passed them by, and it’s unlikely the Broncos will let the disgruntled Lelie go to a division rival.

So here they are, in the August heat of training camp, seemingly behind where they were last season. Marc Boerigter and Chris Horn are gone as free agents while the Chiefs added only a sixth-round draft pick, Jeff Webb, and a handful of rookie free agents.

That puts heavy pressure on 33-year-old Eddie Kennison to have his third straight 1,000-yard season, on Samie Parker to establish himself as a consistent threat and on Dante Hall to produce more big plays.

The Chiefs don’t appear concerned about any of the three letting them down.

“I’m not worried about it, Eddie’s not worried about it, and Dante’s not worried about it,” Parker said. “We know what we have here, and we know we’ll get the job done.”

The Chiefs are showing an extraordinary amount of faith in all three players. Kennison has quietly put together back-to-back career seasons, but he’s attracted more attention and publicity for his precamp demand for a new contract than anything he’s recently done on the field.

He’s also at an age where receivers tend to have their skills erode. If his demanding offseason workout schedule was any kind of evidence, Kennison appears determined to win the battle with time.

“Age is mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter,” he said. “There’s no person walking the face of this earth who’s going to tell me that just because I’m 33 years old, I’m too old to play this game. That’s what they say. I’ve heard it a lot. Eddie Kennison will prove them wrong.

“I’m in great shape. I’ve worked hard. I’m ready to have another big season.”

Charlie Joiner, the Chiefs’ wide-receivers coach, played until he was the almost unheard-of age of 39. He was rewarded a few seasons after his career concluded by his selection to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

“It’s a lot easier to be a receiver in your 30s when you haven’t had any major injuries,” Joiner said. “He’s never had a major injury in his career. If he stays that way, he can play and play well for a long time, as long as the salary cap allows.

“Eddie has always had a positive attitude. He’s working as hard as ever, studying as hard as ever. I haven’t seen his play drop off at all. I expect he’ll have another good season for us.”

Parker, a fourth-round draft pick two years ago, has since tantalized the Chiefs with his speed. He delivered at times, but also frustrated the Chiefs with his penchant for untimely injuries and inconsistencies.

“That’s all part of the process,” Joiner said. “How often do you see a receiver go to the Pro Bowl in his rookie season? Not too often. That’s because it’s a hard position to learn.

“There’s a different look to Samie this year. You can see it when he goes to line up for a play. You can just see the confidence. He’s not making the mental errors. He’s running good routes, making good adjustments.”

Parker missed four games because of a knee injury at midseason last year just as he appeared on the verge of establishing himself. Although he wound with up with respectable numbers (36 catches for 533 yards and three touchdowns), Parker wondered how much better they might have been if he had stayed healthy.

“I missed four games last year, and the year before that I missed maybe eight, but I put up good numbers when I played, and there’s no telling what I could have done in those games that I didn’t play,” he said. “I’m just looking forward to staying healthy and having a big season.”

Quarterback Trent Green said: “What makes him special is that he’s not afraid to go over the middle, he’s not afraid to go into traffic and make catches, and sometimes that can hurt you from an injury standpoint and that’s what’s really affected him. If he can stay healthy for a full 16 games, I see no reason why he can’t be a 1,000-yard receiver.”

The Chiefs have been unable to spring Hall for many of the big plays he delivered as a kickoff and punt returner but won’t quit trying. Hall may not play more than he has in recent seasons, but the Chiefs would like to get him the ball more often than the 41 times he got it last season.

The Chiefs will need at least one of their younger receivers to make the opening-day roster. They have eight candidates, but only three are draft picks: Webb, Craphonso Thorpe (fourth round last year) and Jeris McIntyre (sixth round in 2004).

The most impressive through the first week of camp is Nate Curry, who joined the Chiefs as a rookie free agent last season. Curry was injured early in camp last year and never made it back to play in a preseason game.

The Chiefs let him go but re-signed him this year and sent him to NFL Europe. Curry has shown more of a knack for shaking coverage and making difficult catches than any of his younger competitors.

“I need to see that,” Joiner said, “over a longer period of time.”

MOhillbilly
08-04-2006, 07:11 AM
hall as a 3 is a reach.

Demonpenz
08-04-2006, 07:44 AM
what about freddie mitchel!

Hound333
08-04-2006, 08:04 AM
Of course the KC brass are showing "faith" in those three. Its all they have after failing to find one via free agency. Hopefully one of the young ones figure a way out to crack the top three so that Dante doesn't have to be our third.

Sam Hall
08-04-2006, 08:22 AM
I hope they sign a veteran receiver once the cuts start. We need all the help we can get at that position.

JBucc
08-04-2006, 08:28 AM
WR is the only position I'm really worried about.

RealSNR
08-04-2006, 09:06 AM
WR is the only position I'm really worried about.Really? Because there's a couple positions I'm worried about. Together, they're called the DEFENSE :shake:

JBucc
08-04-2006, 09:08 AM
Really? Because there's a couple positions I'm worried about. Together, they're called the DEFENSE :shake:Nah, they'll be fine. Top 32 at least.

RealSNR
08-04-2006, 09:57 AM
Holthus claims the guys for the 4th spot all suck. Wouldn't be surprised if we just went with Crapho to make it easier