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Tribal Warfare
08-20-2009, 12:53 AM
As Zach Thomas continues to recover from an injury, Corey Mays is making most of his chance (http://www.kansascity.com/sports/chiefs/story/1393782.html)
By KENT BABB | THE KANSAS CITY STAR

RIVER FALLS, Wis. | Another day passed, and two more practice sessions concluded without the linebacker elected two months ago as the de facto leader of the Chiefs defense.

As Kansas City went through its final two-a-day session of training camp, Zach Thomas spent another morning on a stationary bike. The Chiefs practiced indoors Wednesday afternoon to avoid severe weather, and reporters couldn’t attend. But Thomas, a seven-time Pro Bowl linebacker, spent another valuable practice day healing from an unspecified injury that has kept him out of drills since Aug. 4. He’s missed all but four days of training camp.

As the Chiefs continue getting comfortable in a new defense, their loudest offseason voice has been absent on the practice field.

“He’s played in so many systems, he knows this up and down,” said linebacker Derrick Johnson, who lined up next to Thomas during offseason practice. “Zach is very much needed on the team.

“Everybody looks to Zach on everything.”

The problem is that the only place Thomas can contribute is in meetings. Johnson said the 35-year-old Thomas attends all team functions, helping coaches explain players’ assignments and their roles in what Johnson described as a complicated defense.

Thomas didn’t speak to reporters after the morning session and didn’t appear at the cafeteria on the University of Wisconsin-River Falls campus.

Johnson said this spring that he was learning from Thomas as much as anyone. Now, Johnson said Wednesday, the Chiefs are trying to find not only a solid inside linebacker to replace Thomas, but also another leader on defense.

“We’re not struggling or anything,” Johnson said. “But we can’t wait for him to get back, I’ll tell you that.”

For now, the Chiefs are turning to fourth-year linebacker Corey Mays. He’s the stand-in, and the 25-year-old journeyman has a chance to steal the starring role from Thomas. Mays hasn’t missed a practice, and Chiefs coach Todd Haley said Wednesday that the former New England and Cincinnati player has “gotten a little bit better every day.”

“He’s clearly in the mix,” said Haley, who wouldn’t discuss Thomas’ injury or his status. “When somebody sees that opportunity out there and seizes it, and goes after it like they want it, that’s what we want as coaches. We need that happening across the board.

“When a guy is in that mode, I’m excited about him.”

Mays began training camp as a likely reserve or special-teams player, and now he has developed into a potential starting linebacker. Not only has he mastered the scheme — Mays says he played in a different variation of the 3-4 in New England, which signed him as an undrafted free agent in 2006 — he has begun commanding his teammates’ respect for running an organized huddle and making certain his teammates are lined up properly.

“I’ve gotten more opportunities,” Mays said, “but with that power comes great responsibility.

“People follow your leadership, in my eyes, through your actions. Whatever you do — if they see you working hard, I think they will respect you more, rather than just talking about it.”

Johnson said Mays is more mature than most players his age. Johnson thought Mays was a practiced veteran, certainly not a player still in his mid-20s.

“My age or one year older,” said Johnson, who is 26.

Mays said he has no delusions of unseating the experienced and vocal Thomas once the veteran is 100 percent. He has too much to offer, Mays said — too many years for coaches to ignore.

But Thomas’ age has been the one knock on him. He was motivated, eager and outspoken during offseason drills. But could he continue defying his age and ignoring how that number — he’ll turn 36 on Sept. 1 — clashes with the NFL’s demands? During organized team activities, Thomas was active and spry, and his teammates couldn’t stop talking about how the old guy was challenging the Chiefs’ youngsters to be better and faster and smarter.

“He’s a guy who everybody respects,” Johnson said Wednesday.

Now, the Chiefs are waiting for Thomas to return. Johnson said he doesn’t expect Thomas’ long absence to threaten his job security, saying that the veteran’s leadership is worth a roster spot even if his body can’t hold up to the regular-season grind.

Haley indicated that the team is looking toward the situation with optimism. Thomas’ injury was unfortunate, but Kansas City might not have discovered Mays if Thomas hadn’t been sidelined. They’re also discovering that maybe Thomas isn’t the only one with leadership potential.

“He’s always full of speed,” Johnson said of Mays. “It’s never like, ‘Oh, I don’t want to go fast this day.’ He’s always like: ‘Hey, I’m the guy. Zach’s not here right now. I’m the guy.’ ”

salame
08-20-2009, 12:59 AM
he looks like a bad ass
I really look forward to him on sundays
He seems to have excellent tackling fundamentals

http://media3.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/photo/2008/12/14/PH2008121402551.jpg

58kcfan89
08-20-2009, 01:00 AM
I really hope Mays can force his way into the lineup, assuming he plays like he did last week. That, and his hair is second-best only to T-Jack's.

MoreLemonPledge
08-20-2009, 01:01 AM
I like his dreads.

Dreads = POWER

What if we got a team full of Somoans with long ass hair and dudes with braids? And white guys with disgutaches?

CHAMPIONSHIP

salame
08-20-2009, 01:03 AM
http://www.dreadheadhq.com/images/products/dreadband/dread-band-large.jpg

ChiefMojo
08-20-2009, 07:57 AM
To be honest this is playing out just the way the Chiefs would hope in some ways. We know when healthy Zach Thomas is going to bring it and will be a very good smart LB. With that said he isn't going to be around very long. We are going to have to replace him in the very near future anyways. If Mayes is proving he is ready to be a starting LB in this league, all the better. I remember him out of college at Notre Dame, the kid was a stud. Things are now just coming around in place now for him in the NFL... it helps he is getting a chance.

MVChiefFan
08-20-2009, 08:45 AM
I really hope Mays can force his way into the lineup, assuming he plays like he did last week. That, and his hair is second-best only to T-Jack's.

Have you seen Tom Crabtree's picture on kcchiefs.com? :shake:

BigChiefFan
08-20-2009, 10:26 AM
To be honest this is playing out just the way the Chiefs would hope in some ways. We know when healthy Zach Thomas is going to bring it and will be a very good smart LB. With that said he isn't going to be around very long. We are going to have to replace him in the very near future anyways. If Mayes is proving he is ready to be a starting LB in this league, all the better. I remember him out of college at Notre Dame, the kid was a stud. Things are now just coming around in place now for him in the NFL... it helps he is getting a chance.

Good post.



Mays has been solid throughout camp and made some nice plays in the first preseason game.

Fish
08-20-2009, 10:34 AM
I think it's becoming clear that Derrick Johnson will never be a leader on defense....

Dicky McElephant
08-20-2009, 10:41 AM
God.....get rid of Thomas. I'd rather see his roster spot filled by someone who can actually get on the field.

sparkky
08-20-2009, 10:49 AM
Mays was one of two players that really seemed to jump out at me with his performance in the game.

Battle was the other.

Mr. Krab
08-20-2009, 11:18 AM
God.....get rid of Thomas. I'd rather see his roster spot filled by someone who can actually get on the field.
I disagree. I hope we keep Thomas around in a part time situation all year to help teach the kids.

Thomas and Mays can split time.

That's why Pioli brought Vrabel,Thomas,Brown,Engram etc in. To bridge the gap to the youngsters and make them better.

BarrySPAMAID
08-20-2009, 11:28 AM
Yet another player I clued everyone in on in week ONE of training camp during my video blog. I told everyone about Mays. I told Clark Judge from CBS sports during our interview to expect number 12 to be the backup. I said watch out for Jackie Battle, and when he asked where we were going to get touchdowns from, I said look in 87's direction. He got the only touch for the Chiefs last week. Brad Cottam.

Man I'm tired of being right. lol

58kcfan89
08-20-2009, 11:29 AM
Have you seen Tom Crabtree's picture on kcchiefs.com? :shake:

Uh, wat? How in the hell do you even know about that guy (or is that a guy?)?

I think it's becoming clear that Derrick Johnson will never be a leader on defense....

This. When you're talking about how you need Thomas back to be a leader, it's pretty obvious. Here's hoping the dread-headed beast Mays can be one by season's end.

Dicky McElephant
08-20-2009, 11:30 AM
Yet another player I clued everyone in on in week ONE of training camp during my video blog. I told everyone about Mays. I told Clark Judge from CBS sports during our interview to expect number 12 to be the backup. I said watch out for Jackie Battle, and when he asked where we were going to get touchdowns from, I said look in 87's direction. He got the only touch for the Chiefs last week. Brad Cottam.

Man I'm tired of being right. lol

:rolleyes:



STFU

BarrySPAMAID
08-20-2009, 11:39 AM
:rolleyes:



STFU


Sorry? :clap:

TEX
08-20-2009, 01:12 PM
Thomas is done. He's been done for awhile. Still, he might have something to teach the kids so he's worth keeping.

Dicky McElephant
08-20-2009, 01:15 PM
What can he teach that Vrabel can't?

Mr. Krab
08-20-2009, 01:24 PM
What can he teach that Vrabel can't?
A completely different style of linebacking? :shrug:

Chocolate Hog
08-20-2009, 02:06 PM
I disagree. I hope we keep Thomas around in a part time situation all year to help teach the kids.

Thomas and Mays can split time.

That's why Pioli brought Vrabel,Thomas,Brown,Engram etc in. To bridge the gap to the youngsters and make them better.

You can't be a leader on the sidelines.

Mr. Krab
08-20-2009, 02:15 PM
You can't be a leader on the sidelines.
Apparently you didn't read the article.

Chocolate Hog
08-20-2009, 02:17 PM
Apparently you didn't read the article.

Don't need to Kent Babb wrote it. What are guys suppose to say about Thomas? "He doesn't really teach us anything at practice. While we're practicing he's on the bike."

Mr. Krab
08-20-2009, 02:19 PM
Don't need to Kent Babb wrote it.
Talking out your ass again, i see.

Chocolate Hog
08-20-2009, 02:23 PM
Talking out your ass again, i see.

"Not only is Croyle the #2 QB he's also pushing Cassel to be the starter"

Who's talking out of their ass?

kysirsoze
08-20-2009, 02:26 PM
You can't be a leader on the sidelines.

I don't think that's entirely true.

Chocolate Hog
08-20-2009, 02:29 PM
I don't think that's entirely true.

It's nice he's teaching DJ things in meetings but after pre-season he should be released as he simply can't play anymore. His leadership didn't do dick for Dallas the last few games when teams would run right up the middle. Let Mays be the starter.

penguinz
08-20-2009, 02:29 PM
You can't be a leader on the sidelines.U R DUMB

kysirsoze
08-20-2009, 02:31 PM
It's nice he's teaching DJ things in meetings but after pre-season he should be released as he simply can't play anymore. His leadership didn't do dick for Dallas the last few games when teams would run right up the middle. Let Mays be the starter.

It's just as silly to blame Thomas for all of Dallas' defensive problems as it is to credit Cassel with all of the Patriots' offensive success.

Chocolate Hog
08-20-2009, 02:33 PM
It's just as silly to blame Thomas for all of Dallas' defensive problems as it is to credit Cassel with all of the Patriots' offensive success.

Well i'm not blaming all of it on Thomas however he is a leader so leaders take responbility no? Maybe Claythan or someone can show some film of those games where Dallas got beat up the middle.

Consistent1
08-20-2009, 02:40 PM
It will be great if Mays continues to develop and sees a lot of time on the field. People talking about cutting Zach at this point are pretty silly. Having experience and depth are going to help the D's progress this year. It's not like we are sitting on all kinds of killer young LB's that Thomas is holding back.

Mr. Krab
08-20-2009, 03:06 PM
"Not only is Croyle the #2 QB he's also pushing Cassel to be the starter"

Who's talking out of their ass?
You again, apparently.

KCChiefsMan
08-20-2009, 03:08 PM
ya Mays was very impressive the first preseason game. Hopefully we have landed a diamond in the rough.

Chocolate Hog
08-20-2009, 03:21 PM
You again, apparently.

No doucherocket that would be you. Try having an actual conversation based on facts and show me where the fuck Zach Thomas being a "leader" has paid off the last few seasons? Besides some fluff article written by a shitty journalist.

penguinz
08-20-2009, 03:33 PM
No doucherocket that would be you. Try having an actual conversation based on facts and show me where the **** Zach Thomas being a "leader" has paid off the last few seasons? Besides some fluff article written by a shitty journalist.Didn't Thomas play in a different D last year in a position that is not his natural position?

Chocolate Hog
08-20-2009, 03:35 PM
Didn't Thomas play in a different D last year in a position that is not his natural position?

Yea he played inside 3-4 and I think thats what the Chiefs wanted him to play too. He'd move to MLB when the Chiefs played a 4-3.

Mr. Krab
08-20-2009, 03:38 PM
No doucherocket that would be you. Try having an actual conversation based on facts and show me where the fuck Zach Thomas being a "leader" has paid off the last few seasons? Besides some fluff article written by a shitty journalist.
Billay is making friend, making friends.

Chocolate Hog
08-20-2009, 03:45 PM
Mr.Krab is my BFF

Chocolate Hog
08-31-2009, 06:33 PM
Bump

Chocolate Hog
08-31-2009, 06:35 PM
I disagree. I hope we keep Thomas around in a part time situation all year to help teach the kids.

Thomas and Mays can split time.

That's why Pioli brought Vrabel,Thomas,Brown,Engram etc in. To bridge the gap to the youngsters and make them better.

It's awesome when people don't know what the fuck they are talking about.

Halfcan
08-31-2009, 07:30 PM
mays has been our best d player imo

Jackson has done pretty good as well

TheGuardian
08-31-2009, 07:37 PM
Bump

In response to a report from ESPN's Adam Schefter that veteran linebacker Zach Thomas will retire this week, agent Drew Rosenhaus says that Thomas will not be retiring.

Says Rosenhaus, via Twitter: "Zach Thomas is not retiring. He is progressing from his injury & he fully expects to have a great season with the Chiefs in 09."

So what gives? Well, it might just be a matter of semantics. Schefter said that Thomas will retire or reach an injury settlement or be cut.

If Thomas retires, he gets no money. So, quite possibly, he might be digging in his heels in the hopes of a parting gift from the Chiefs.

Per NFLPA records, Thomas is due to receive a base salary of $1 million in 2009.

...

TheGuardian
08-31-2009, 07:38 PM
It's awesome when people don't know what the **** they are talking about.

Like your dumbass?

Chocolate Hog
08-31-2009, 07:42 PM
Like your dumbass?

Says the faggot who can only post what other people report. Hey u doucherocket I predicted Thomas wouldn't be on this team and pointed out how all of Kent Babbs articles are fluff and drones like you follow.

TheGuardian
08-31-2009, 07:43 PM
Says the pillowbiter who can only post what other people report. Hey u doucherocket I predicted Thomas wouldn't be on this team and pointed out how all of Kent Babbs articles are fluff and drones like you follow.

I don't read em. I simply posted up what is being reported. Even if Zach retires, it still doesn't dismiss that you are a complete fvcktard.

Chocolate Hog
08-31-2009, 07:46 PM
I don't read em. I simply posted up what is being reported. Even if Zach retires, it still doesn't dismiss that you are a complete fvcktard.

Yea you just parot what Kent Babb says you probably think Thomas is a leader on this team. You truely are a cum sponge.