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Tribal Warfare
08-10-2010, 01:00 AM
Chiefs’ Monday day in camp: Waters in lineup at practice (http://www.kansascity.com/2010/08/09/2139763/chiefs-monday-day-in-camp-waters.html)

Waters back in action at practice

Brian Waters took his place as the starting left guard for the first time at training camp after missing several practices because of an undisclosed leg injury.

Waters didn’t take all of the first-team snaps, leaving some for Ikechuku Ndukwe.

“I felt good today, but we’re being a little cautious,” Waters said.

Waters said he didn’t know whether he would be available to play in Friday night’s preseason game against the Falcons in Atlanta, but coach Todd Haley indicated the Chiefs would try to have everyone available.

“It’s going to be very important to me that everybody that can play is playing and working with their teammates to make progress,” Haley said.

Darryl Harris had been starting in Waters’ place, and when he was injured, Ndukwe entered the lineup.

Bad morning for offense

The passing game was horrendous in the morning practice, the first after the initial day off from camp. On numerous plays, quarterbacks threw off-target passes, and receivers dropped passes or fell coming out of breaks.

The Chiefs were ineffective no matter the quarterback — Matt Cassel, Brodie Croyle or Tyler Palko.

“Anytime you have a day off … They sat around for a day and hopefully took care of their bodies, hydrated and did all of those things,” Haley said. “Now all of a sudden you’re throwing them back into the mix, and I wouldn’t say (the players were) lethargic, but at times we were having to push them a little more than we’ve had to push them.

“The concentration level in some areas didn’t appear at the level it’s been.”

Crennel speaks

The Chiefs allowed Romeo Crennel to answer media questions for the first time since shortly after he was hired as defensive coordinator last winter. He indicated that he and the rest of the defensive staff were still learning the strengths and weaknesses of the players.

“We changed the system defensively, and the guys are trying to learn the technique,” Crennel said. “They’re working at it. They have good attitudes. It’s been hot. They’re sore at this point in training camp, but they’re trying to push through it. That’s a sign of progress. Hopefully we can keep progressing. We still have a lot of work to do.

“With the preseason games coming up, we’ll begin to find out more about this team, who we have, who can do what and then how we need to fit them together to give us the best chance.”

Going home

Safety Eric Berry won’t merely be making his professional football debut Friday night. He’ll also be doing it in his hometown. Berry is from the Atlanta area and said he is looking to have as many as 150 family members and friends at the Georgia Dome for the game.

“It does feel a little bit different for me because I am going home to play in my hometown and (against) a team I grew up watching,” he said. “I’ll be playing in front of a lot of family and friends. I’m pumped about it.”

What you need to know about …

THE OFFENSE
The miserable morning for the passing game started with tight end Leonard Pope’s dropped pass. Two plays later, Matt Cassel missed open fullback Mike Cox with a short pass. Cassel then threw a badly underthrown pass intended for receiver Dexter McCluster. Things didn’t get better when Brodie Croyle took over at quarterback. Tight end Leroy Banks dropped a pass, wide receiver Terrance Copper fell down while making a cut, and a pass for him was incomplete. Perhaps the worst play of all came with third-stringer Tyler Palko at quarterback. He threw an interception to defensive back Jackie Bates, who wasn’t covering anyone at the time.

THE DEFENSE
Rookie linebacker Cameron Sheffield received some snaps with the first-team when the Chiefs went to their nickel defense. … Despite his strong scrimmage on Saturday, linebacker Derrick Johnson was again a backup. But he made another big play when he got into the backfield early and smothered running back Javarris Williams for a loss. … Defensive back Javier Arenas broke up a pass intended for wide receiver Quinten Lawrence.

INJURY REPORT
Tight end Tony Moeaki and guard Darryl Harris did not practice. Cornerback Travis Daniels practiced in the morning but not the evening. Safety Jarrad Page has yet to sign his contract and is not in camp.

DAILY BATTLE
The Chiefs missed Moeaki, who was injured during Saturday’s scrimmage. His absence doesn’t have the look of a prolonged one as he rode a stationary bike on the perimeter of the practice field. But without him, the tight ends had a tough day. Both Pope, who has been starting, and Banks dropped passes.

TODAY’S SCHEDULE
The Chiefs practice at 1:50 p.m.