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Old 06-09-2009, 01:51 PM  
Count Alex's Losses Count Alex's Losses is offline
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Devard Darling ready to reclaim starting job

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http://www.bobgretz.com/chiefs-footb...%99chiefs.html

Darling Chases Starting Spot … Tuesday Cup O’Chiefs

Todd Haley says there are no starting jobs assured on the 2009 Chiefs right now.

That’s OK with Devard Darling. He’s more than willing to keep working for a starting job. He’s just excited that right now, he’s running with the first team offense as the other receiver with Dwayne Bowe.

It was Bowe who got all the attention on Monday as the Chiefs started another week of OTA workouts. Haley talked about Bowe, and then the wide receiver spoke to the media, something he’s done very little of during this off-season.

On the other side of the room was the team’s other starting receiver – at least for now. As always, Darling did not draw a lot of attention. It’s probably one of the biggest surprises of the new season so far that a guy considered an unrestricted free agent bust last year, has pushed himself into the mix in the Chiefs offense. A starting job in June does not mean he goes back to Baltimore in September and takes the field for the first offensive play.

But right now, Darling is getting the chance to build rapport with QB Matt Cassel, thanks to those reps with the first team.

“I’m excited about the opportunity,” Darling said. “It’s too early to think things are set. There’s a lot of work left to do, then training camp. I’m just going out and working as hard as I can every day that I’m here. That’s what I’ve done through this whole off-season and that’s what I’m going to continue to do.”

In a Chiefs passing game that has struggled in the last week or so to get things done, Darling has been very consistent and very productive.

“You hear from the coaches all the time that they are evaluating,” said Darling. “So I try to take advantage of every opportunity that comes my way.”

People forget that Darling started last year in the Chiefs offense. It was a spot he held for the first five games of the season. He caught just four passes in those games and the only one to remember was the 68-yard play where he split the Patriots defense in the fourth quarter and gave the Chiefs a chance to beat New England. Right after Darling catch and run, Bowe dropped a TD pass in the end zone and the Chiefs racked up the first of their 14 defeats.

That play should have been Darling’s ticket to more action in the Chiefs offense. But something got in his way. First, it was the problems at quarterback and first Brodie Croyle and then Damon Huard were injured. Through the first five weeks, Darling caught just four passes, none longer than 11 yards.

That’s when Darling lost his starting job, as Mark Bradley advanced to the first unit after being signed off the waiver wire. Darling did not start again until Bradley was injured late in the season.

And it was in the last month that Tyler Thigpen found him again, as Darling caught seven passes in the final three games, including a 33-yard TD catch against Miami.

So what happened between the 68-yarder against the Patriots and the 33-yard catch against the Dolphins? Darling would like to know.

“I can’t really tell you what happened,” he said. “Nobody ever said anything to me. I didn’t get a lot of opportunities.”

Darling ended the season with 17 catches for 247 yards and one touchdown. Those numbers were all less than what he’d done in the 2007 season with Baltimore (18 for 326 and 3 TDs.) He did contribute 11 special teams tackles last season, which was second on the team.

“It was a bad year, the worst season I was part of in my career,” Darling said. “It wasn’t just that I didn’t get a chance in the offense. It was the losing. It was just awful.”

Like everyone else that returns from the 2-14 debacle, Darling is looking for an opportunity to wash that sour taste out of his mouth.

“We have a chance to overcome that,” said Darling. “That’s what I’m trying to do. I’m trying to get better every day and help this team win some games.”
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Old 06-09-2009, 01:54 PM   #2
MIAdragon MIAdragon is offline
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Old 06-09-2009, 01:57 PM   #3
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Old 06-09-2009, 01:58 PM   #4
Count Alex's Losses Count Alex's Losses is offline
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I'm telling you right now...Darling was completely hamstrung by our retardus maximus offensive playcalling before we went to the spread. He's waaaaay better than what he showed last year. Haley's gonna find a way to use him. No doubt in my mind.
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Old 06-09-2009, 02:00 PM   #5
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two plays accounted for about a third of his yardage production, and his only TD.

Maybe this guy will man up and top 20 receptions this year
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Old 06-09-2009, 02:01 PM   #6
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Old 06-09-2009, 02:04 PM   #7
MIAdragon MIAdragon is offline
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Old 06-09-2009, 02:04 PM   #8
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Bradley walks all over DVDudd, and if he stays healthy Darling will never see the field.
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Old 06-09-2009, 02:05 PM   #9
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This would be ideal if he could actually produce.
The guy's got the goods. Just hasn't really put it all together on the field.
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Old 06-09-2009, 02:06 PM   #10
DaneMcCloud DaneMcCloud is offline
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With Haley as head coach, I'm expecting improvement from all of the receivers, including Darling.
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Old 06-09-2009, 02:11 PM   #11
BarrySPAMAID BarrySPAMAID is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Claythan View Post
I'm telling you right now...Darling was completely hamstrung by our retardus maximus offensive playcalling before we went to the spread. He's waaaaay better than what he showed last year. Haley's gonna find a way to use him. No doubt in my mind.
I can agree with that Claython. I do remember the big play he had in the New England game as well. There is an opportunity for Devard this year. Let's see how it pans out.
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Old 06-09-2009, 02:11 PM   #12
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Old 06-09-2009, 02:12 PM   #13
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please please please don't do this again claythan. I mean come on didn't you learn any thing last year? Devard "football jesus" Darling can't play. please attach your self to some other never will be as opposed to the same one you mouth humped all of last year.
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Old 06-09-2009, 02:13 PM   #14
Count Alex's Losses Count Alex's Losses is offline
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please please please don't do this again claythan. I mean come on didn't you learn any thing last year? Devard "football jesus" Darling can't play. please attach your self to some other never will be as opposed to the same one you mouth humped all of last year.
He can play. It's not like he was dropping passes. He just needs an opportunity. He got a raw deal last year.
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Old 06-09-2009, 02:15 PM   #15
JASONSAUTO JASONSAUTO is offline
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I can agree with that Claython. I do remember the big play he had in the New England game as well. There is an opportunity for Devard this year. Let's see how it pans out.
you mean the one where he was running free for the game-tying TD and got ran down from behind by 99 year old rodney harrison IIRC?
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