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booger
08-19-2006, 07:19 AM
The Chiefs are unpacking today at Arrowhead Stadium from their annual trek to the north woods. Training camp and the pre-season will continue for the next two weeks around the Truman Sports Complex.



A lot was accomplished in three weeks in River Falls, although that hasn’t necessarily been visible in the first two pre-season games. After checking with the evaluators, here are some of the top performers in camp, ranked on offense and defense and broken down among the older veterans, younger vets and new faces.

OFFENSE

Veterans – Will Shields

As one member of the organization said as the Chiefs broke camp, the 14-year All-Pro went through camp as if somebody installed a new motor. Herm Edwards schedule of working Shields in just one practice per day seems to have paid off.

“What people don’t see is that when he wasn’t working in practice, he was doing his own workout,” said Edwards. “It wasn’t like he was back at the dorm resting.”

Last year, Shields was a non-factor in camp when he suffered a back injury on the first day. This year, he ran around River Falls like a four-year vet, rather than a guy who went to his first training camp when some of these guys were still in grade school and middle school.

Now, the left ankle injury Shields suffered against the Giants is not considered serious (x-rays were negative.) But he’s likely to miss sometime and now the idea is to make sure he’s ready for the opener against Cincinnati.

Young Veterans – Samie Parker
Almost from the first days of camp, Trent Green was talking about the work getting done by Parker. “Samie is really showing up out there,” Green said.

That work continued through the last days of camp. Parker showed the ability to run more of the routes in the offense and most importantly, he was there every day. Availability has been one of the hurdles in Parker’s young career, but this year he was a practice regular and got the attention of his quarterback and the offensive coaches.

New Faces – Rudy Niswanger and Derrick Ross
Both Niswanger and Ross went undrafted, but both are in the mix for making the roster. Niswanger has been working with the second team and has been moving between center and guard. That flexibility and his smarts (he won college football’s academic Heisman Trophy last year at LSU) have him in contention for the last spot along the offensive line.

The future for Ross may be on the practice squad, but the Chiefs coaches have liked what they’ve seen from the young runner out of small college ball in Texas. Right through the team’s last practice in Wisconsin, he was showing some moves that indicate he may have a future in the league. With Larry Johnson, Dee Brown and Michael Bennett ahead of him, there may not be room right now in the final mix.

DEFENSE

Veterans – James Reed, Kendrell Bell and Kawika Mitchell

From the very first workouts, Reed was disruptive in the middle of the Chiefs defense. Interior blockers had trouble dealing with him for three weeks and he elevated himself into the starting lineup.



Bell and Mitchell both turned in good camps. Bell was especially noticeable compared to last season when he barely practiced. This camp, Bell was seldom off the practice field. Mitchell took his breakthrough season last year and continued it in this training camp.

Young Veterans – Derrick Johnson and Keyaron Fox
Fox is really challenging Bell for playing time at one of the linebacker spots. Gunther Cunningham has a pair of sub-defenses with four linebackers and with Fox’s continued improvement, he may use those more than normal, especially in situations where the offense is likely to run the ball. That will get Fox on the field.

Johnson has been showing up everywhere with the first unit defense. There was a knock on him coming out of Texas that he wouldn’t take on blockers. In college ball, he was fast enough and quick enough to run around the blockers. But he’s spent the entire time in River Falls taking on blockers and winning the battles. He has a better understanding of the defense this year and he was making plays in the running game and against the pass. It looks like Johnson is primed for a big season.

New Faces – Jarrad Page
Among the rookies and first-year defenders, the surprise of camp and the new face that’s been the most consistent performer was Page, the team’s seventh-round draft choice out of UCLA. He has a knack for getting around the football, whether it’s in the air or at the point of attack in the running game. He’s played some in the nickel back role and Cunningham has also sent him on the blitz.

If he continues to play as he did during the three weeks in Wisconsin, Page is going to get on the field when the regular season starts.

http://www.kcchiefs.com/news/2006/08/19/gretz_stars_at_the_falls/

milkman
08-19-2006, 10:30 AM
New Faces – Rudy Niswanger and Derrick Ross
Both Niswanger and Ross went undrafted, but both are in the mix for making the roster. Niswanger has been working with the second team and has been moving between center and guard. That flexibility and his smarts (he won college football’s academic Heisman Trophy last year at LSU) have him in contention for the last spot along the offensive line.

So, with Bober looking like every D-Lineman's bitch, is there any chance he gets cut in favor of Niswanger?

It would be nice to have a possible future replacement for Weiggman on the roster.

SNR
08-19-2006, 10:43 AM
So, with Bober looking like every D-Lineman's bitch, is there any chance he gets cut in favor of Niswanger?

It would be nice to have a possible future replacement for Weiggman on the roster.If he is the eventual replacement, he sounds like another Brian Waters. Comes out of nowhere to be the man.

milkman
08-19-2006, 10:50 AM
If he is the eventual replacement, he sounds like another Brian Waters. Comes out of nowhere to be the man.

Except that he was 2nd team all SEC at his center last year.

The thing that stands out to me is that he has been an academic All American the last two seasons, and in the NFL, the center makes blocking adjustments at the line, so his intelligence is a real plus.

Iowanian
08-19-2006, 11:04 AM
Some of it sounds like either bullshit, or they're trying to hide Ross(not playing in preseason) and
to date Rudy isn't getting reps with the 1s....though with Shields and Waters out....someone is going to get some 1st team reps

if he's got that much potential, it would sure be nice if the Chiefs didn't get "Lilja'd"

jspchief
08-19-2006, 11:11 AM
So, with Bober looking like every D-Lineman's bitch, is there any chance he gets cut in favor of Niswanger?

It would be nice to have a possible future replacement for Weiggman on the roster.Just speculation, but I'm guessing he's getting snaps at guard just to add versatility to the o-line depth. I don't think they're looking to actually make him into a guard. Weigmann is getting up there in age, and iirc, he has mentioned retirement before.

There's no doubt Bober is not starter material, but I think his versatility almost guarantees him a roster spot.

I have a real problem with the camp hype these guys are getting in comparison to the in-game opportunities they've seen. Makes me wonder how much is just hype.

Dark Horse
08-19-2006, 11:47 AM
Man what insight this guy has. Who would have thought that Will Shields could play?

jspchief
08-19-2006, 11:50 AM
Man what insight this guy has. Who would have thought that Will Shields could play?Yea, god forbid they give him some props.

Mr. Laz
08-19-2006, 11:54 AM
how can we trust the evaluation of any "stars" ... when apparently they have been playing against crap competition.

i mean of course the offense and defensive lines are going to look good when playing against each other ... crap vs. crap.

booger
08-19-2006, 07:01 PM
Q&A with HERM EDWARDS - 8/19
Aug 19, 2006, 6:38:29 PM

TRAINING CAMP

Q: How was practice today?



HERM EDWARDS: “Practice has been good. We’ve just got to do what we do on the field what we do in practice.”

Q: Why is it? You talk about practice being good; you like the tempo and they’re practicing hard but it’s not translating into the game?

EDWARDS: “No, it hasn’t the last two games. I feel certain it will this week. The good thing about this team is it has character players. They know where they’re at right now; they haven’t played the way they’d like to play. We’ve got to play with some emotion and obviously when you play at home you’re going to have more emotion than when you’re on the road.

“That was the thing we talked about. We know we’re going to play with emotion at home. But there’s nothing you can do about it now, it’s over with. We just have to play like we practice. We’ve had some good practice and I we’ve got to play that way this weekend.”

Q: You said after the game (vs. the Giants) that you weren’t playing together as a team.

EDWARDS: “Together means this: offense has to help the defense and the defense has to help the offense and special teams and you don’t do that when certain things happen. There are some glaring things that have transpired over the last two games.

“The first two possessions on offense the last two weeks we’ve had bad field position and we get off the field. The next thing you look at is our time of possession in the last two games. Our opponents have had it 37 minutes and we’ve had it 22 (minutes). So, we’re not converting on third downs.

Effectively, we’re not getting off the field either and that’s why teams are running the ball on us. If you look at our pass defense our longest pass (against us) is 15 yards in the last two games. So pass defense is pretty good but the run defense is not any good and the reason is we’re on the field too long. Some of that is due to defense. We’ve got to get off the field. We’ve allowed the Texans to run the ball 41 times and (NY) ran it 36 times.

“When you stay on the field and don’t score points it puts us down early on the road. It’s very difficult to come out of that situation. And then what we don’t do is make a play on either side of the ball. That’s why I say the offense has to help and the defense has to help.”

Q: You said you thought the team was resting on its laurels. What exactly did you mean?

EDWARDS: “You get into the off-season and there are expectations for all kind of teams. This team is supposed to do that. That team is supposed to do that. You can’t live off of that. That’s easy to say and easy to write about in the off-season but then you’ve got to do it.

“Now, whether we had won these two games or not…I would have liked to win. I like to win pre-season games. Going into this year we were 15-6 in the pre-season. The only team that had won that many games in the NFL in five years was us (NY Jets) and Denver. I don’t want anyone to think we’re just playing pre-season games to play ‘cause we’re not. We’re trying to win ‘em.

“But obviously when you come in with a new system on defense and a new coordinator on offense you’re not going to be clicking and I understand that. The way we’ve played the last couple of games has been pretty vanilla, too. We’re trying to evaluate players, but still you’ve got to play with more urgency than we’ve played. That’s what we’ve got to do this week.”

Q: What about Will Shields’s health?

EDWARDS: “I don’t know right now. He’s got a high ankle (sprain) similar to what Ingram had had. I talked to him today. I don’t know if he’s going to play this week or not. But we’ll see.”

Q: Are you confident he’ll be back for the season opener against Cincinnati?

EDWARDS: “Oh yeah. Yeah. Absolutely.”

Q: What about Willie Roaf? Have you talked to Willie?

EDWARDS: “No, I haven’t.”

Q: Do you know what he said on ESPN?

EDWARDS: “No. Don’t know.”

Q: So as far as you’re concerned there still is a possibility he’ll play this year?

EDWARDS: “I don’t know that. At this point, I’ve got to get these guys ready to play. That’s my obligation.”

Q: Isn’t it time to put that subject to rest, to put Roaf’s return to rest?

EDWARDS: “I’m not talking about it. I’m just answering your questions the best way I know how.”

Q: You had a lot of players back today: Tamba Hali, Lenny Walls, Michael Bennett, Brian Waters.

EDWARDS: “That’s good and really in the nick of time. This is the third pre-season game and as you know this is the one where your veterans are going to play most of the game. They’re going to play into the third quarter and then get ‘em out. It’s important and I think the veteran guys know that here.”

Q: Any chance Waters will play Saturday night?

EDWARDS: “We’ll see how he does this week. He’s got to get in condition. If he can get some reps that would be good, but he won’t play as much as the other starters.”

Q: What about Ty Law and Greg Wesley not being here and Jared Allen?

EDWARDS: “And (Jimmy) Wilkerson. They were all excused. They had personal things they had to handle and I knew that going into today. They’ll all be back Monday.”

Q: You have a lot of guys who haven’t practiced on the defensive line. Is it correctible from what you’ve seen?

EDWARDS: “On yeah.”

Q: Do you need to get new players?

EDWARDS: “Nah. That’s the ironic thing about playing one-gap defense. If you’re off they’re going to make yards. We didn’t do a good job at times with our linebackers filling in. If you look at what (NY) did: they ran the ball for about 153 yards and five of those runs were about 57 yards and one was a reverse actually. So, we have to play better control of our gaps, know where they are and trust each other. If you don’t they gash you and with the ability to run the ball 36 times they’re going to make a 100 yards rushing. That’s not very hard to do if you run 36 times.

“We didn’t make any big plays on either side. On offense we made only one big pass play so far and that was against the Texans. We’ve got to make some plays.”

Q: Did the offense take a step back?

EDWARDS: “No, I don’t think we took a step back. We were actually in the same mode we were the week before. We did the same thing. We had 10 possessions and punted nine times. We had six three-and-outs on offense. You can’t do that. You just can’t do that because you only have 10 possessions and if you do it six times you’re giving the other team the opportunity. They had 77 plays and we had 44. This offense is used to get 80 plays a game some time when we’re rolling and we’ve got to get rolling.”

http://www.kcchiefs.com/news/2006/08/19/qa_with_herm_edwards__819/

booger
08-19-2006, 07:19 PM
So, with Bober looking like every D-Lineman's bitch, is there any chance he gets cut in favor of Niswanger?

It would be nice to have a possible future replacement for Weiggman on the roster.

Possibly, depending on how well he picks up the O.

A guy like Bober who can play any spot on the Oline except probably LT is good to have for the game day roster with the inactives. He hasn't looked good at G, and hasn't played C or T. So while versitility is nice his skills seem to be lacking.

Maybe Nicewanger can pull it off and give us depth inside. If not this year maybe next he bounces Bober off the roster.

Iowanian
08-19-2006, 08:19 PM
"Q: You had a lot of players back today: Tamba Hali, Lenny Walls, Michael Bennett, Brian Waters. "

THis is nice to see. I want to see how much Hali helps the pass rush in Hicks' spot, see what Walls can do, as well as Bennett. Waters obviously immediately upgrades the left side of the line, and in turn helps Turley, because Waters can help cover his inside, whereas Bober has been a weak spot.

booger
08-19-2006, 08:31 PM
If shields can't play, I hope we start Black in his spot. Hopefully we get Carlos Hall back too.

ChiefFan31
08-19-2006, 09:07 PM
We’ve got to play with some emotion and obviously when you play at home you’re going to have more emotion than when you’re on the road.

“That was the thing we talked about. We know we’re going to play with emotion at home.

Yep, emotion is one thing we have lacked big time in the first two preseason games.

Looks to me like they are going to sneak Ross onto the PS, and I dont think Anyone is going to label him with Brian Shay/Jesse Haynes tab.

ChiefFan31
08-19-2006, 09:08 PM
If shields can't play, I hope we start Black in his spot.

That is what I want to see. How does Jordan Black do at guard...

Hydrae
08-19-2006, 09:17 PM
I thought Bober was our backup center and did an ok job there in the past. He sure did look bad against the Giants at guard but I think a lot of that can be covered up at the center position.

Rain Man
08-19-2006, 10:01 PM
Possibly, depending on how well he picks up the O.

A guy like Bober who can play any spot on the Oline except probably LT is good to have for the game day roster with the inactives. He hasn't looked good at G, and hasn't played C or T. So while versitility is nice his skills seem to be lacking.



So you're saying that he stinks at a lot of positions, so we should keep him?

milkman
08-19-2006, 10:07 PM
So you're saying that he stinks at a lot of positions, so we should keep him?

I think he's saying if you suck, you might as well be a versatile sucker.

booger
08-20-2006, 12:07 AM
So you're saying that he stinks at a lot of positions, so we should keep him?

Personally I think we should play him some more at RT and see if he has any other skills than a backup C. Because the fact he is a vet and is versitle seems to get him a shoe in on our roster. Maybe it's the fact we have no proven depth now, but if he gets beat out as a second string C I wouldn't keep him around.

Ingram has been injured but has been around off and on for 2-3 years and been impressive in the past. Hopefully he gets a shot this week. I'd like to see Parquet get snaps at RT as well.

booger
08-20-2006, 12:35 AM
Actually if it comes down to it and we decide Bober is replacable, I'd bet Cleveland would at least listen, don't know how interested they'd be. Bentley is out for the season, his replacement retired, his replacement is suspended the first 4 games. Their C situation is a huge mess right now.