Breakdown: Mild Wisconsin weather greeted Herm Edwards’ squad as they took to the practice fields at 9:00 AM for their first day of two-a-day workouts. The pace of practice was upped a notch as the club switched to shells (shoulder pads and helmets) for the first time this camp.
When the club returned to the field for their second practice of the day they bore full pads and fans could finally hear the distinct football sounds they’ve been craving all off-season. Helmets cracked and shoulder pads walloped while the voices of coaches rose in what was undoubtedly the most intense practice training camp has seen thus far.
Plays Of The Day:
AM Session: S Bernard Pollard was downright nasty during Saturday’s morning practice session. The 2006 second-round draft choice tallied key defensive plays in each practice segment. During team run, Pollard completely dismantled an offensive stretch play by running the alley from his safety spot to meet lead blocker FB Boomer Grigsby behind the line of scrimmage, altering the course of the play and allowing defenders to swarm the ball carrier.
When he wasn’t trespassing in the offensive backfield, Pollard displayed quick reads and breaks on play-action pass routes that resulted in him nearly intercepting two passes to close out the team run drill. In the next period, during seven-on-seven drills, Pollard made good on his interception efforts by picking off two QB Jeff Terrell red zone passes on successive plays.
PM Session: Many questions surround the Chiefs new look offensive line. If the offensive line’s performance can match the way they played this afternoon, those questions could be put to rest. The unit took a major step forward today as they governed the front in each meeting with the defense.
Big Stix: LB Derrick Johnson drew a roar of “ahhhs” from the crowd after a hit he delivered to fifth-round draft choice RB Kolby Smith. Smith had to re-direct his route over the middle when the pass attempt was tipped at the line of scrimmage, but was leveled by a streaking Johnson before he could get back to the ball.
Still Waitin’ on a Friend: Three-time Pro Bowl RB Priest Holmes was anticipated to arrive in River Falls late on Saturday. When Holmes does arrive in River Falls, he’ll don a Chiefs jersey for the first time in nearly two years. Chiefs President Carl Peterson addressed the situation after the afternoon practice.
“I would say that you will probably see (Holmes) here tomorrow,” Peterson stated. “I talked with him today, he called me and let me know what was going on, and we’re going to afford Priest Holmes the opportunity to make this football team because he deserves it.”
Camp Necessities: Chiefs players bring a number of items with them for training camp in River Falls. Bikes are the common form of transportation around the university, but some players pay to have their vehicles shipped to them in Wisconsin, while others opt to rent a vehicle from local car rental vendors. During previous camps, some players have even bought old junker cars to get themselves around town for their three-week stay; only to donate the vehicle to a local resident at the conclusion of camp.
Whether it be an Xbox 360, flat-screen plasma television, silk linens or a custom air mattress; each player attributes something as a necessity for them to get through training camp. For WR Eddie Kennison, that necessity is video conferencing software that allows him to communicate with his wife and two sons back in Kansas City.
“I use video teleconferencing on my Mac to talk with my wife and kids each day,” Kennison noted. “That really keeps me going during training camp.”
Get Your Autographs: This morning’s practice session marked the first morning practice of training camp; which meant it was the first organized autograph opportunity for fans attending practices in River Falls. After each morning practice throughout training camp, Herm Edwards will randomly select a handful of Chiefs players to sign autographs for fans at the conclusion of practice.
Sabol On-Site: Emmy-Award winning NFL Films President Steve Sabol has been at training camp since the team arrived on Thursday evening. Partnering with HBO to produce Hard Knocks, Sabol has been taking a hands-on role with the production of the primetime program that makes its debut Wednesday, August 8th at 9:00 PM Central on HBO.
Look Who’s Talking:
“You guys are the fastest three in captivity.“
- Head Coach Herm Edwards commenting on the exploits of LBs Derrick Johnson, Donnie Edwards and Napoleon Harris during the team portion of the AM practice.
“I’m surprised there weren’t any fights today, because normally in the first couple days of pads there is always some sort of fight.“
- LB Donnie Edwards commenting on the intensity of the teams first practice in full pads
Look Ahead: The Chiefs continue two-a-day practices on Sunday with sessions scheduled to start at 10:00 AM and 3:30 PM. Sunday’s AM practice is slated to be the club’s first special teams gathering.
You Asked It: Submit your questions to River Falls Wrap, Chiefs Chatter and Camping With The Chiefs by clicking the link at the bottom of the page.
Dave R. from Jefferson County, CO: “I have never understood why each team has a roster of 53, but may only suit up 46 on game day. Why? And count most fans in on revoking that rule.”
JL: Dave, Chiefs Head Coach Herm Edwards is on your side. In fact, just last night Edwards addressed his team about the difficulty of making a professional roster. He told his club that each one of the 53 players privileged enough to make a final NFL cut are talented enough to play in an NFL game. “I didn’t make the rules,” Edwards told his team. Former Chiefs Head Coach Dick Vermeil has also been an outspoken public critic about the current NFL rule.
As for why this rule exists; it is an antiqued rule that was originally developed to keep a team from having a competitive advantage over another due to injuries. The idea is that each team will have the same number of available players regardless of the club’s injury situation. The rule is debated nearly every NFL off-season.
Questions?: Is there a question about training camp or the Chiefs that you want answered? A handful of questions will be answered daily in the River Falls Wrap. Chiefs insiders Rocco and Stuckey will also discuss submitted fan questions weekly in Chiefs Chatter.
By Josh Looney