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Tribal Warfare
06-08-2009, 01:02 AM
LT Albert earns coach Haley's praise, but he did it the hard way (http://chiefsblog.kansascity.com/?q=node/825)

Branden Albert knew what the topic was Sunday, and he smiled when the questions came. The Chiefs left tackle, one of the team's most promising young players, came to two tough realizations nearly three months ago: His offseason relaxation had gone on too long, and Albert's new coach, Todd Haley, isn't the type to overlook a few extra pounds.

"The first day I got here," Albert said Sunday, "when I weighed in, he said, Oh, no, no, no, no. "

Albert weighed 341 pounds on that day in March, more than 15 pounds heavier than his playing weight during an impressive rookie season in which Albert made the move from college guard to pro tackle, a tall order ordinarily even for a first-round pick. But Haley's assignment for Albert was more intimidating: a 305-pound playing weight in 2009.

Haley doesn't sugarcoat his thoughts about players and how he clearly ties success to motivated, well-conditioned athletes. Albert has said he has Pro Bowl aspirations, and Haley told the big man that he would have a much more difficult time reaching his goal -- or helping the Chiefs -- if he didn't shed weight.

"Hes a guy who came in way out of shape that I was pretty disappointed in, that we were all pretty disappointed in," Haley said Sunday. "He kind of let himself go from the end of the season and probably during the season a little bit."

So Albert hired a nutritionist. He worked out with strength coach Cedric Williams during the daytime, and at night Albert did extra cardio work. He eliminated sugary sports drinks and Jack Stack Barbeque, a particular weakness, from consideration. Not easy, but Albert is serious about his goals.

"Maybe I took too long of a break," Albert said, "and I learned my lesson from that."

Albert began eating six small meals a day, cutting his portions and cranking the intensity of is workouts. The extra weight was melting off Albert's 6-foot-5 frame, and he arrived to this weekend's three-day minicamp at a cool 309 pounds. The guy had lost 32 pounds in three months. And as quickly as Albert grabbed Haley's attention for the wrong reasons in March, the lineman did it the right way in June -- enough that Haley did a rare thing Sunday, singling out Albert as one of the best examples of a team shedding extra weight along with a few bad habits.

"The guy has got his nose to the grindstone, and hes lost a lot of weight," Haley said. "Im pretty excited about what the possibilities are for Branden."

Haley said Friday that the Chiefs had lost a total of 338 pounds since the offseason conditioning program began in March. Haley made it clear that workouts, even the voluntary kind, weren't vacations. He ordered sprints after two-hour practices, conditioning sessions throughout the week, and just so players knew, each locker this weekend had a schedule taped inside -- witha reminder that the weight room was open at 7 each morning.

"Ive hit the conditioning a lot," Haley said, "and I think weve made great progress there."

It's a needed change from the past, when it was easy to argue that the Chiefs weren't conditioned as well as other NFL teams. They struggled late in games last season, when they went 2-14, and it was a stunning sight last year when two Chiefs defensive backs failed to chase down LenDale White, Tennessee's 235-pound running back, on an 80-yard touchdown run. Former coach Herm Edwards' practices were casual, which players liked, but Kansas City was clearly behind other teams when it came to conditioning. That seems to be a tradition that Haley has vowed to break.

Albert said Sunday that he feels lighter, quicker and more athletic. His big body isn't carrying around those extra 30-plus pounds, but Albert admits he has a few more pounds to go before Haley is satisfied.

Albert smiled again Sunday while talking about his target weight. It might have been difficult to believe three months ago that such a weight would be possible. Then again, Albert is serious about his goals.

"Im closer than what I was," Albert said.

Kyle DeLexus
06-08-2009, 01:15 AM
I'm excited about Albert, it looks like he's got a great work ethic and respects the new coach.

HemiEd
06-08-2009, 03:47 AM
love it

Jethopper
06-08-2009, 04:01 AM
It is a great thing to know we are no longer gonna lose to tampa bay in overtime....

Hog Farmer
06-08-2009, 06:59 AM
I can see us winning at least 3 games this year.

DeezNutz
06-08-2009, 07:02 AM
Great to see this for one of our best players.

Bwana
06-08-2009, 08:04 AM
Great job Albert.

Chiefnj2
06-08-2009, 08:10 AM
Linemen always balloon in the offseason. It's a non-story, except in KC where the media grovels for any little scraps they can get out of Arrowhead.

Buehler445
06-08-2009, 09:21 AM
I REALLY like that Albert sacked up and did what he needed to do to improve. That is fan-freaking-tastic. Go big man!

I am however, slightly concerned that Haley puts too much emphasis on weight. Don't get me wrong, I'm not calling up the fires of hell on Haley, it is only a twinge of preliminary concern. But it seems to me that Haley shouldn't be obcessed with weight rather than performance in the workouts. In all actuality, it is probably the best way to keep these guys focused during the workouts and not letting them slip up. But if Haley is forcing guys to play at weights that are not necessarily in their best interest to play at, it could be counterproductive.

Like I said, it is most likely fine and I'm superstoked Haley is working to undo the Herm suck, I just don't want to see another Gun situation in which he is trying to force players to do things that are counterproductive.
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Pants
06-08-2009, 09:30 AM
I REALLY like that Albert sacked up and did what he needed to do to improve. That is fan-freaking-tastic. Go big man!

I am however, slightly concerned that Haley puts too much emphasis on weight. Don't get me wrong, I'm not calling up the fires of hell on Haley, it is only a twinge of preliminary concern. But it seems to me that Haley shouldn't be obcessed with weight rather than performance in the workouts. In all actuality, it is probably the best way to keep these guys focused during the workouts and not letting them slip up. But if Haley is forcing guys to play at weights that are not necessarily in their best interest to play at, it could be counterproductive.

Like I said, it is most likely fine and I'm superstoked Haley is working to undo the Herm suck, I just don't want to see another Gun situation in which he is trying to force players to do things that are counterproductive.
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This is OTA's, not training camp. I'm not too worried about his methods yet.

Buehler445
06-08-2009, 09:33 AM
I'm not either. It's not a big concern, just a hint of potential concern.

I am still uber excited to see what a legit coaching staff can do.
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Pants
06-08-2009, 09:34 AM
I'm not either. It's not a big concern, just a hint of potential concern.

I am still uber excited to see what a legit coaching staff can do.
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Just the fact that we won't be calling 2 timeouts in a row already lets me know this is a massive upgrade.

Herzig
06-08-2009, 09:39 AM
Does this mean we can't call him "Fat Albert" anymore? LOL

KcFanInGA
06-08-2009, 10:44 AM
Nice work Albert. Some tackles on this team know how to step up and set an example..cough..Waters..cough

MagicHef
06-08-2009, 10:49 AM
How will playing at about 20 pounds lighter than last year affect him? Seems like that can't all be fat.