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Tribal Warfare
07-03-2008, 04:08 PM

Chiefs Team Report

Yahoo! Sports Jun 27, 2:59 am EDT

Inside Slant

With three of the top 35 picks in the April draft, the rebuilding Kansas City Chiefs - after all but disdaining free agency this year - went into the spring all but certain that defensive tackle Glenn Dorsey, left tackle Branden Albert and cornerback Brandon Flowers would be starters in 2008.

Nothing they saw during 12 “voluntary” OTA workouts and three mandatory mini-camp sessions did much to change their minds.

When they open their River Falls, Wis., training camp on July 25, those three are penned in as first-team players. That’s provided, of course, that the Chiefs’ brass can get all three signed and in camp on time - a considerable challenge, given recent team history.

But Kansas City also liked what it saw from several other members of its draft class during spring sessions when the draftees were available and active since early May. Several, in fact, will see considerable playing time - ready or not.

Cornerback Brandon Carr, from Division II Grand Valley State, could well be a starter in the nickel defense along with second-round pick Flowers.

With incumbent nickel back Tyron Brackenridge missing spring sessions while recovering from 2007 knee surgery, Carr - who signed in early June - played the right outside spot in the first-team nickel while Flowers played over the slot receiver. Veteran Patrick Surtain continues to hold the left corner spot, but Carr could eventually challenge there.

Tight end Brad Cottam, a third-round pick out of Tennessee, was impressive enough in spring that he likely will be a starter if the Chiefs open in a two-tight end formation (with perennial Pro Bowler Tony Gonzalez) as opposed to a two-back set in new coordinator Chan Gailey’s power game. Cottam is still a better blocker than receiver, but that’s exactly what the Chiefs need him to be.

Fourth-round pick Will Franklin, who also signed last week, could be the team’s No. 3 receiver, if not a starter. Dwayne Bowe has one spot locked up, but Franklin was no less impressive than either of the young vets - Devard Darling and Jeff Webb - contending for the second starting spot.

Sixth-round pick Barry Richardson of Clemson made a spring case for playing time at right tackle, where nine-year veteran Damion McIntosh is trying to make the transition from the left side.

One of the surprises of spring was defensive end Brian Johnston of 1-AA Gardner-Webb, who saw more than a few snaps in the first-team nickel. Johnston showed a pass-rushing upside that reminded more than one person of the departed Jared Allen when he first came to the Chiefs from 1-AA Idaho State.

Among other draftees, third-rounder Jamaal Charles will compete with second-year man Kolby Smith as Larry Johnson’s backup, third-round safety DaJuan Morgan will play on special teams until he pressures strong safety Bernard Pollard for playing time and sixth-round pick Kevin Robinson is in the return picture along with Charles.

Notes, Quotes

• Several Chiefs players were hoping for a last day of school “play day” when the Chiefs concluded their spring OTA in a June 12 public session in St. Joseph, Mo.

Threatening weather that morning - a remnant of a system that spawned tornadoes through the region the night before - forced the Chiefs to make alternate plans should they not be able to work outdoors at Missouri Western University. As a meet-the-players PR exercise, coach Herm Edwards fashioned a series of 3-on-3 basketball games for the university’s fieldhouse.

“It would have been real interesting if that had gotten going,” Edwards said.

“There would have been four games, 12 minutes each, rotating teams. I told them if somebody drives, pretend the guy’s Michael Jordan and get out of his way. I told them to remember their skill level - don’t try to dunk if you can’t. Don’t embarrass yourself.”

But the bad weather held off and a normal football practice concluded the spring sessions, much to the disappointment of some players.

“Some of the guys in the bus I was on kept saying, ‘Coach, it’s raining,’ but then it cleared up. They were hoping for lightning!”

• Chiefs’ Hall of Famers Len Dawson and Bobby Bell escorted Kansas City’s 30 rookies on a tour of the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, where they were met by Willie Lanier, another Chiefs’ member of the Hall.

At the initiative of NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, each NFL team is sending its rookie class to Canton for an educational look at the history of the league they hope to join.

“It was so surreal,” said rookie DE Brian Johnston. I’ve always dreamt of going but never thought I would. Being able to see all those players that laid the foundation for the NFL has left a mark. Words can’t describe what it was like for me to meet and spend time with some of them.”

Quote To Note: “The first thing we saw was a film, ‘Path to Glory.’ It was very awe-inspiring. Bobby Bell even chimed in that he was ready to put his jersey back on. I know what he means. Every time I watch a clip put together by NFL Films, I always get the chills. It’s like something takes over my body when I’m watching.”—DaJuan Howard, on his first trip to the Pro Football Hall of Fame with other members of the Chiefs’ rookie class.

Strategy And Personnel

WR Will Franklin, a local favorite from Missouri, became the second Chiefs draftee to sign when he inked a four-year contract.

Franklin had a strong spring and appears to be in position to contend for the No. 3 receiving spot if not a starting position.

The Chiefs had previously signed CB Brandon Carr, a fifth-round pick who like Franklin could see considerable playing time in his rookie season.

FRANCHISE PLAYER: DE Jared Allen (tendered at $8.879M; re-signed and traded to Vikings).


UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS (not tendered offers)

• K John Carney (not tendered as UFA).

• WR/KR Eddie Drummond (not tendered as UFA).




• WR Will Franklin (4/105): 4 yrs, terms unknown.

• CB Brandon Carr (5/140); 3 yrs, terms unknown.


• OT Anthony Alabi (Waivers Dolphins).

• WR Devard Darling: UFA Ravens; $5M/3 yrs, SB unknown.

• DE Trevor Johnson: Not tendered as RFA by Rams; terms unknown.

• PR/KR B.J. Sams: UFA Ravens; 1 yr, terms unknown.

• C Wade Smith: UFA Jets; 2 yrs, terms unknown.

• OLB Demorrio Williams: UFA Falcons; $16M/5 yrs, $5.5M guaranteed.


• P Dustin Colquitt: Potential RFA; 5 yrs, terms unknown.

• LB Mickey Pimentel: ERFA; terms unknown.

• C/G Rudy Niswanger: ERFA; terms unknown.

• T Will Svitek: RFA; $927,000/1 yr.


• DE Jared Allen (traded Vikings).

• LB Kendrell Bell (released).

• OG Chris Bober (released).

• PK Billy Cundiff (released).

• TE Jason Dunn (released).

• LB Keyaron Fox: UFA Steelers; $645,000/1 yr, $40,000 SB.

• FB Boomer Grigsby: Not tendered as RFA/Dolphins; 1 yr, terms unknown.

• WR Eddie Kennison (released).

• CB Ty Law (released).

• WR Samie Parker: UFA Broncos; 1 yr, terms unknown.

• DT James Reed (released).

• CB Benny Sapp: UFA Vikings; $705,000/1 yr, $100,000 SB.

• OG John Welbourn (released).

• C Casey Wiegmann: UFA Broncos; 2 yrs, terms unknown.

• FB/TE Kris Wilson: UFA Eagles; 3 yrs, terms unknown.

07-03-2008, 04:12 PM
This is kinda old. We've since signed another rookie.

Tribal Warfare
07-03-2008, 04:14 PM
This is kinda old. We've since signed another rookie.

Yes, I realize that but it's a good read regardless