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Tribal Warfare
08-28-2008, 01:21 AM

Chiefs buzz: Kickers get final chance to impress

Pressure competition

The Chiefs’ most intense competition trimmed one kicker Tuesday, sending him home while the final two compete.

“Like a reality show,” Nick Novak said.

And the surprise twist was that Jay Feely, a veteran kicker whom the Chiefs signed Monday, was the one who didn’t remain. Novak and rookie Connor Barth have been with the Chiefs all preseason, and they’ll finish it tonight when the Chiefs play St. Louis in the preseason finale.

Novak said Wednesday he initially was “fired up” when the Chiefs signed Feely. But Novak said he also believed coaches when they said the best two kickers would remain for a final showdown tonight.

The most dramatic leg of the competition, which coach Herm Edwards called a “kickoff,” took place under some unusual and secretive circumstances. Reporters weren’t allowed to watch the kickers Monday, and on Tuesday it was just the kickers with only the snapper and holder surrounding them — and 30 chances to be perfect.

Barth missed two kicks in two days, and Novak missed three. Feely missed seven.

“Once I saw him kick and once I sized him up, so to speak, I knew I could do this,” Novak said. “It was just another test for us. Jay still has to come in and perform, and obviously he didn’t.”

Albert nears return

Left tackle Branden Albert is nearing a return from a foot sprain and will dress for tonight’s game, Edwards said. That doesn’t mean Albert will play.

“I’m not saying yeah on that one,” Edwards said.

Albert hasn’t practiced since he hurt his right foot the first week of training camp. He initially needed crutches and a walking boot to protect the foot, but he has been doing some light training the past three weeks.

Other injuries

Linebackers Donnie Edwards (hamstring) and Napoleon Harris (knee) and running back Jamaal Charles (shoulder) will dress and are expected to play tonight. Tight end Brad Cottam (shoulder) also could play.