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View Full Version : Chiefs Outside linebacker Eric Bakhtiari is hoping to find a permanent home with the Chiefs


Tribal Warfare
08-13-2011, 12:49 AM
Outside linebacker Eric Bakhtiari is hoping to find a permanent home this year with the Chiefs. (http://www.kansascity.com/2011/08/12/3073876/outside-linebacker-eric-bakhtiari.html)
By RANDY COVITZ
The Kansas City Star

It’s never a good sign for a player when he is assigned a duplicate number in an NFL training camp.

That’s the plight of Chiefs outside linebacker Eric Bakhtiari, who was handed the same No. 66 as third-team center Darryl Harris. Harris started Friday night’s 25-0 preseason loss to Tampa Bay in place of veteran Casey Wiegmann, who like several veterans, was given the night off.

Harris got off to a rough start as he and quarterback Matt Cassel missed a connection on a snap in the first quarter, leading to a fumble.

Bakhtiari had to wait until the second quarter to get in the game, and he knew he had to make an impression on the Chiefs coaching staff. And fast.

Midway through the second quarter, Bakhtiari (pronounced BOK-tee-R-ee), playing right outside linebacker, bore in on Tampa Bay backup quarterback Josh Johnson and sacked his former college teammate at the University of San Diego for a 3-yard loss.

Bakhtiari had another shot at Johnson later in the quarter and dived for his ankles, but Johnson eluded him and scrambled 24 yards to the Chiefs 4.

“I owed him one,” said Johnson. “We used to go at it in practice all the time. He’d say I’ll sack you, I’ll sack you ….’ ”

Bakhtiari played with that same determination on Friday, a resolve that has marked his journey to the practice squads of seven different teams, including the Chiefs in 2010.

A long shot to make the Chiefs’ roster, Bakhtiari finished the night with six tackles and a quarterback hurry.

Bakhtiari, a 6-foot-3, 250-pounder, entered the NFL as an undrafted rookie free agent with the Chargers in 2008 after leading Division I-AA with 20 sacks and 24.5 tackles for losses in 2007.

Bakhtiari was not available for comment in the Chiefs’ locker boom, but Johnson said, “I’m happy for him. Coming from our school, a lot of guys don’t have this opportunity. I’m excited to see guys still hanging in there from a small Division I-AA nonscholarship school.”

Released by San Diego in the final roster cutdown in 2008, Bakhtiari bounced from the Chargers’ practice squad to those of the 49ers (2008), Buccaneers (2009) and Titans (2009) before Tennessee signed him to the active roster in 2009.

Bakhtiari appeared in three games for the Titans, collecting six special-teams tackles, including three against St. Louis in his NFL debut.

Then, it was back to practice squads in San Francisco, Miami, Cleveland and Kansas City, where he spent two weeks with the Chiefs late last year.

But he impressed the Chiefs enough to be handed a jersey for training camp in 2011. Even if he has to share it with someone else.

L.A. Chieffan
08-13-2011, 01:02 AM
He has a motor