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Old 08-15-2011, 02:24 AM  
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Chiefs camp report: Chiefs tackle Gaither will start out on left side

Chiefs camp report: Chiefs tackle Gaither will start out on left side
By KENT BABB
The Kansas City Star

ST. JOSEPH | Chiefs coach Todd Haley said Sunday that offensive lineman Jared Gaither, signed last week after his contract expired with Baltimore, would begin his Kansas City career at left tackle.

Gaither practiced with the second-team offense during Sunday afternoon’s workout, lining up at left tackle. Gaither, who is listed at 6 feet 9 and 340 pounds, is a fifth-year lineman who started 26 games with the Ravens in 2008-09. He suffered a back injury last year and missed the season.

Haley said Gaither’s top priority would be improving his conditioning after an extended layoff, made longer by the NFL lockout.

“Even though I believe he’s been working on his own,” Haley said, “the No. 1 deal for him is going to be the strength-and-conditioning aspect. He got a couple of good workouts over the weekend, and we’re going to continue that, and then you’ll see him out there at tackle.

“I would say we’ll probably start at left and then go from there. First and foremost is trying to get him into baseline physical condition that we feel like gives him a chance to succeed safely.”

Gaither wasn’t made available to reporters Sunday. His former teammate in Baltimore, nose tackle Kelly Gregg, said he expected Gaither to contribute immediately to the Chiefs.

“He’s a little undersized,” Gregg said, joking, “but other than that, he’s got tremendous potential, and he’s going to be a good player for us.”

Asked what he remembered about Gaither from their years together with the Ravens, Gregg said: “Just those long arms around my neck.”

“He’s going to be a great addition. He sat out last year, and he’s hungry.

“I’ve talked to him, and he’s ready to be a Chief.”

Lawrence adjusting

Quinten Lawrence, who spent his first two NFL seasons as a wide receiver, said he has settled into life as a defensive back — the position he was moved to early in training camp.

Lawrence said Sunday that he was told during the offseason that he might move to defense but that nothing was made official until the lockout ended and the team gathered last month in St. Joseph.

He played cornerback in Friday’s preseason loss against Tampa Bay. He also returned a kick. Haley said he thought Lawrence’s performance was “one of the brighter spots” in the 25-0 loss.

“He was on and off the roster the last couple of years,” Haley said. “Whether it was on the practice squad or backup on the active, the one thing you saw from him was no quit. … We said, maybe he has a chance.”

New kicker gets shot

Kicker Todd Carter, who signed last week, practiced with the Chiefs for the first time Sunday. Working alongside Ryan Succop, Carter was erratic on field-goal attempts, but he made five of six from 47 yards.

“It’s competition, and he’s got some ability,” Haley said. “… Again, I wouldn’t look too much either way, other than we’re getting a chance to develop a guy, and if he can improve and give us any opportunity, then that would be something we would think about.”

THE OFFENSE
Quarterback Matt Cassel connected in a team drill with new receiver Keary Colbert, who ran a deep route and hauled in the pass between a handful of defenders. … Tight end Tony Moeaki, activated last week from the physically unable to perform list, also made an impressive catch. … Wide receiver Jonathan Baldwin, who missed a handful of practice days because a hamstring injury, said Sunday that he’s “100 percent.”

THE DEFENSE

Rookie linebacker Justin Houston worked with the second-team defense, lining up at the left outside spot. … Quinten Lawrence had the day’s only interception, cutting in front of a receiver and picking off rookie Ricky Stanzi. … Inside linebacker Derrick Johnson worked for a while with the second-team defense.

INJURY REPORT

Defensive lineman Amon Gordon spent Sunday’s practice on the stationary bike. Linebacker Eric Bakhtiari was carted from the field because of an undisclosed injury. Defensive lineman Anthony Toribio spent time in the medical tent after suffering an apparent leg injury during individual drills.

DAILY BATTLE
The race for backup quarterback is advancing slowly, and neither Tyler Palko nor Stanzi did much to take control. Both passers were erratic and indecisive during team drills, and Palko continues to show an inability to make decisions and pass on time. Palko, for now, appears to have the edge only because of his experience over Stanzi, a rookie.

TODAY’S SCHEDULE

The Chiefs will have a walk-through at 10:40 a.m. and a practice at 3 p.m. The walk-through is closed to the public.

84 Sunday’s high temperature in St. Joseph; today’s expected high is 78.

2 The number of years since the Chiefs last had a training-camp battle at kicker. Two camps ago, Nick Novak beat out Connor Barth — and, shortly after the season began, Novak was released, and the Chiefs re-signed Barth.

1 Number of inches taller Gaither is than any other Chiefs player. The next-tallest is 6-8 offensive lineman David Mims.
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Old 08-15-2011, 08:45 AM   #2
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