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View Full Version : Chiefs Darling ahead in race for second WR spot


Count Zarth
07-27-2008, 08:49 PM
http://kan.scout.com/2/772883.html


By Pat Clifton (javascript:location.href='http://search.scout.com/a.z?s=115&p=4&c=1&search=1&sskey=%22'%20+%20escape('Pat%20Clifton')%20+%20'%22&sssiteid=115';)

<table><tbody><tr><td valign="top">One of this offseason's most anticipated position battles in Kansas City is for the starting wide receiver spot opposite Dwayne Bowe. Early on, it looks like a two-horse race led by free agent signee Devard Darling.
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The other horse, much to the chagrin of many Missouri fans, is not rookie Will Franklin. However, San Diego State fans will be happy to hear Jeff Webb (http://kan.scout.com/a.z?s=115&p=8&c=1&nid=3698881) is getting significant reps with the first team.

Thus far in training camp, Darling has been starting drills with the first-team offense. Webb is the next receiver to cycle through, and while Maurice Price and Kevin McMahan have received a few token reps with the starters, it’s not been enough to mean anything.

Darling, who previously played for the Baltimore Ravens, is relishing his opportunity to get a fresh start in Kansas City.

“Every man in life just needs an opportunity,” said Darling. “I just thank the Lord for blessing me with this opportunity and for everyone in the Chiefs organization for giving me this opportunity. I'm just going out there trying to get better every day, that's my number one goal.”

Despite the fact it appears Darling has a step or two on Webb in the race for a starting spot, he’s not letting up.

“Every day is a competition,” said Darling. “This is the NFL, so I mean, nothing is guaranteed, so you just got to come out here and compete every day…I'm a big play receiver, now I'm trying to bring a consistent player. That's how you stick around in this league is consistency.”

Franklin's reps with the first team have come in three wide receiver sets. He's also playing in the slot with the second team. Last season at Missouri, Franklin was the senior leader on a talented corps of receivers. This season, he will be a rookie member of a receiving corps that’s struggling to get better.

While Franklin is probably the best athlete the Chiefs have at the wide receiver position, aside from perhaps Bowe, and he had a fantastic college career playing in a great offense, he isn't disappointed that he hasn’t been considered for a starting position. Instead, he views playing the slot position as a challenge.

“Anyone can go outside and play the outside,” said Franklin. “It takes a lot of speed to play the inside. They (the coaches) feel like I have the speed and the size to get in there and bang, and continue to get up field fast enough.”

Getting up field fast enough may be the most important aspect of Franklin's game. What we've seen thus far in training camp, and the rest of the offseason, has given the indication that the Chiefs will be running a lot of short, under the coverage routes and more bootlegs than Kansas City fans are used to.

With an emphasis on the power running game and short passing routes, someone is going to have to stretch the defense. Franklin may be that guy, but he still has much to learn.

“There's still a lot,” he said. “There's a lot out there for me, and learning this playbook is the most (important). It's just a thick playbook. It's not like college where you have selected plays, so for me it's going to take a lot of me doing a lot of individual studying, and getting in with the quarterbacks and doing extra.”

If the first game of the season started tomorrow, Darling would likely start on the right side with Bowe on the left and Franklin in the slot. However, though Darling apparently has a lead, his grip on a starting job may not be a strong one. Neither he nor Webb has really done anything to win or lose the job.

Unless one of them shines in next Thursday's intersquad practice with the Minnesota Vikings, or in the preseason, the battle for the number two wide receiver spot could carry into the regular season.
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SNR
07-27-2008, 08:53 PM
I haven't read much on what the receivers have done, GoChiefs. What's your take? Has Darling looked serviceable?

Mecca
07-27-2008, 08:54 PM
It's hard to get excited about a guy who couldn't get on the field when Baltimore honestly would have thrown any scrub out there at WR.

Count Zarth
07-27-2008, 09:04 PM
I haven't read much on what the receivers have done, GoChiefs. What's your take? Has Darling looked serviceable?

Dwayne Bowe is the only one that stands out.

Darling has made a couple nice catches but nothing spectacular.

Still waiting to see Franklin's speed. Sippio's LACK of speed is going to kill his chances.

Mecca
07-27-2008, 09:06 PM
Dwayne Bowe is the only one that stands out.

Darling has made a couple nice catches but nothing spectacular.

Still waiting to see Franklin's speed. Sippio's LACK of speed is going to kill his chances.

So are we for Michael Crabtree next year?

CosmicPal
07-27-2008, 09:07 PM
“Every man in life just needs an opportunity,” said Darling. “I just thank the Lord for blessing me with this opportunity and for everyone in the Chiefs organization for giving me this opportunity. I'm just going out there trying to get better every day, that's my number one goal.”

I think he believes in Heaven. :D

Micjones
07-27-2008, 09:12 PM
Darling's had some obstacles in front of him that's kept him from realizing his potential (coming out of College early, injuries, etc.). I don't know that he'll become anything in Kansas City with a fresh start, but I have a weird hunch...

dorseybowe
07-27-2008, 09:13 PM
Is Sippio really that slow?

Count Zarth
07-27-2008, 09:14 PM
Is Sippio really that slow?

How else do you explain the fact that DAMON HUARD managed to overthrow him on a deep fly?

SNR
07-27-2008, 09:15 PM
So are we for Michael Crabtree next year?I'm for getting any guy not named "Crabtree"

TRR
07-27-2008, 09:19 PM
If you look at Webb's college numbers, his size, and his speed, he should be a pretty decent #2 in the NFL. And thru it all, he ended up having a decent season for the amount of playing time he received last season.

Darling isn't as big or fast as Webb, but seems to really "want it." It would be nice if KC could get lucky and hit on one of these players, but only time will tell the story.

Count Zarth
07-27-2008, 09:21 PM
They're still installing the offense, so maybe there's some stuff coming that will allow the WRs to really shine...

But the young corners are certainly as good as advertised. They aren't liabilities out there at all. They're facing equally n00bish offensive talent, but still...

Mr. Arrowhead
07-27-2008, 09:21 PM
So are we for Michael Crabtree next year?
I thought Crabtree was only a sophomore this year. Am i wrong?

Mr. Arrowhead
07-27-2008, 09:22 PM
Gochiefs, How has Brodie looked so far?

dorseybowe
07-27-2008, 09:24 PM
www.sippio.com does exist.

Count Zarth
07-27-2008, 09:25 PM
Gochiefs, How has Brodie looked so far?

Pretty good. Today he got screwed by a bunch of drops. The gap between Brodie and the other two QBs is HUGE though.

Brodie also throws REALLY well on the run. The bootlegs have been executed well, if not always for huge gains.

So far, two dropped interceptions, but they were both questionable throws.

They haven't practiced red-zone yet, but will soon, so we'll see some TDs soon hopefully.

Mecca
07-27-2008, 09:26 PM
I thought Crabtree was only a sophomore this year. Am i wrong?

redshirt soph which means he's eligible to leave....

Mr. Arrowhead
07-27-2008, 09:27 PM
Pretty good. Today he got screwed by a bunch of drops. The gap between Brodie and the other two QBs is HUGE though.

Brodie also throws REALLY well on the run. The bootlegs have been executed well, if not always for huge gains.

So far, two dropped interceptions, but they were both questionable throws.

They haven't practiced red-zone yet, but will soon, so we'll see some TDs soon hopefully.
Yea when i heard we are gonna run more bootlegs, i was thrilled, i think that fits Brodie game perfectly

chop
07-27-2008, 09:37 PM
It's hard to get excited about a guy who couldn't get on the field when Baltimore honestly would have thrown any scrub out there at WR.


Same thing could have been said about Joe Horn when he left the Chiefs. I'm not saying Darling is going to be the next Joe Horn but I can hope.

Hydrae
07-27-2008, 09:37 PM
Yea when i heard we are gonna run more bootlegs, i was thrilled, i think that fits Brodie game perfectly

I thought Brodie's strength is his arm though. Not sure I am thrilled with a continuation of the dump off passes all the time. Boots yes, I think he does well on the move but we have to push the ball downfield if that is his strength.

Huffman83
07-27-2008, 09:39 PM
I'm all for Bowe/TG having 1000 yards and the rest having about 400-500 each. But honestly, if that's the case then the Chiefs are probably trying to play catch up in the game and not running the ball/controlling the clock.

I agree that if Darling is pretty suspect if he couldn't make it on the field w/ the Ravens.

Pablo
07-27-2008, 09:45 PM
I'm all for Bowe/TG having 1000 yards and the rest having about 400-500 each. But honestly, if that's the case then the Chiefs are probably trying to play catch up in the game and not running the ball/controlling the clock.

I agree that if Darling is pretty suspect if he couldn't make it on the field w/ the Ravens.The Ravens have a pretty decent WR corps. They just didn't have a QB to get them the ball.

Mecca
07-27-2008, 09:46 PM
The Ravens have a pretty decent WR corps. They just didn't have a QB to get them the ball.

Wasn't he there when they were running Randy Hymes out on the field?

Their receivers were brutal before they signed Mason and drafted Clayton.

Pablo
07-27-2008, 09:51 PM
Wasn't he there when they were running Randy Hymes out on the field?

Their receivers were brutal before they signed Mason and drafted Clayton.I honestly don't know. But getting playing time behind Mason and Clayton wasn't easy. He wasn't pushed out the door because he sucked.

Mecca
07-27-2008, 09:56 PM
Ok Darling was taken in 2004 while Clayton was taken in 2005.....and Mason was also signed in 05..

StcChief
07-27-2008, 10:03 PM
competition is a good thing....

the fact the Darling didn't get balls in Baltimore isn't suprising

he did make good yardage on the little throws he got.

Long term may the best win, play as a team in 2/3/4 wide set. I'm sure each D they face should dictate who/what routes go.

Discuss Thrower
07-28-2008, 12:40 AM
Recieving yards this year:

1. Bowee
2. TG
3. Darling
4. Webb
5. Franklin
6. LJ

I'll go out on a limb and say any RB other than LJ will be leading in receiving yards regardless of LJ's health.

rambleonthruthefog
07-28-2008, 12:46 AM
So are we for Michael Crabtree next year?

i hope so. i love me some crabgrab.

BigRock
07-28-2008, 01:01 AM
I honestly don't know. But getting playing time behind Mason and Clayton wasn't easy. He wasn't pushed out the door because he sucked.

When Darling signed, somebody somewhere wrote a column on him and looked at his numbers with the Ravens last year. And while they weren't anything special, if I'm remembering right, he actually ranked near the top of their WR core in yards and TDs even though he was thrown to far less than their other receivers.

So if nothing else, he seemed to make the most of what little playing time he actually got. If he gets more of a chance, you never know.

Reaper16
07-28-2008, 01:11 AM
I'll go out on a limb and say any RB other than LJ will be leading in receiving yards regardless of LJ's health.
Charles should be able to pick up some receiving yards, that was a skill of his in college.

RustShack
07-28-2008, 01:27 AM
Darling was tearing up training camp until he got hurt... then Mason and Clayton were brought in...

Phobia
07-28-2008, 01:54 AM
I kinda like this Clifton guy's writing.

Clayton & Clifton - you two must be quite a pair.

beach tribe
07-28-2008, 06:06 AM
If you look at Webb's college numbers, his size, and his speed, he should be a pretty decent #2 in the NFL. And thru it all, he ended up having a decent season for the amount of playing time he received last season.

Darling isn't as big or fast as Webb, but seems to really "want it." It would be nice if KC could get lucky and hit on one of these players, but only time will tell the story.

From what I've heard, Darling is smoking fast.