Aug 04, 2007, 3:32:10 PM
By Josh Looney
Breakdown: Blakeslee Stadium at Minnesota State University definitely had the feel of a college football setting on Saturday evening as fans overflowed the 7,000-seat facility. The home and road crowds were distinctly separated as fans clad in Red and Gold filled the visitor’s stands, while the Purple and Gold crammed the home side and the bank of the east end zone. Fan zones, VIP tents, autograph lines and hillside seating all combined to round out the gameday atmosphere.
After both teams completed stretching routines, the Chiefs defense ventured into Blakeslee Stadium for drills against the Vikings offense, while the Vikings defense met the Chiefs offense on the adjacent practice fields. This portion of practice was executed like a normal practice routine as the club’s faced each other in various drills including seven-on-seven, one-on-one and inside run.
About and hour into practice both teams met together inside Blakeslee for 11-on-11 team drills and special teams work. Each squad saw their first, second and third-team units receive snaps. The punting game was the focus of the special teams segment as both teams took a handful of reps against a live block unit.
Finally, to close out the evening, rookie and first-year players participated in a full-contact scrimmage. The scrimmage was set similar to a college spring game as penalties and first downs were kept. Each team received six offensive snaps against their respective defensive counterparts.
QB Brodie Croyle opened the 11-on-11 team period with the first-team offense. He completed his first pass attempt on a check-down route to FB Kris Wilson.
Croyle looked particularly impressive with his throws on 10-yard outs. He throws such a quick ball that defenders have difficulty breaking on out routes. He also delivered a well-orchestrated pass that hit WR Eddie Kennison in stride on a slant route for 15 yards to close out his last rep with the first unit.
QB Damon Huard also took a portion of snaps with the first-team offense midway through the team session.
DT Ron Edwards recorded a sack of QB Tarvaris Jackson on the first-play of the team session.
LB Derrick Johnson blew up RB Mewelde Moore on the second play of team drills for a three-yard loss. The play gave the Chiefs back-to-back tackles behind the line of scrimmage to open the period.
WR Ean Randolph made the play of the day with a one-handed diving catch on a streak route down the left sideline for a 40-yard gain inside the five-yard line. CB Mike Hawkins provided near perfect coverage, but a beautifully thrown QB Jeff Terrell pass, combined with Randolph’s effort was too much to overcome. WR Rod Gardner also stretched out to make an impressive catch of his own over the middle.
WR Maurice Price made a nice diving catch on a slant route delivered from Huard.
S Greg Wesley delivered a huge hit to WR Chandler Williams when the rookie attempted to deliver a crack block on a rushing play. Williams appeared to be a bit shaken up as he made his way to the sideline.
WR Jeff Webb made a great double-move against CB Jerron Wishom to catch a deep post route over the middle.
G John Welbourn had a very good day during one-on-one drills against the Vikings defensive line.
Off-season free agent acquisition T Damion McIntosh pancaked DE Ray Edwards on his first snap of one-on-one drills.
DE Jared Allen used his quickness to get around All-Pro T Bryant McKinnie a few times during team drills. Allen put himself in position for at least two sacks.
Head coaches Herm Edwards and Brad Childress walked side-by-side through much of the team session discussing the practice.
Former University of Kansas CB Charles Gordon, in his second season with the Vikings, intercepted a pass on his first play of one-on-one drills with the Chiefs wide receivers.
RB Michael Bennett and LB Napoleon Harris received a warm reception from Vikings fans as they made their return to Minnesota. Bennett spent five seasons (2001-05) in Minnesota, capped by a Pro Bowl selection in 2002 when he rushed for 1,296 yards. Harris was a member of the Vikings from 2005-06.
On the other sideline, former Chiefs FB Tony Richardson was greeted by Kansas City fans, media members and former teammates throughout the evening.
Kansas City fans really got excited when former University of Missouri WR Brad Ekwerekwu went up against Gordon in one-on-one drills for a MU vs. KU match-up. Ekwerekwu notched the highlight of the rookie and first-year player scrimmage when he placed both feel in-bounds on a leaping catch down the sideline for a 15-yard gain.
Playing For A Cause: On Friday, Vikings owner Zygi Wilf pledged to donate all proceeds from the training camp practice with the Chiefs to relief and recovery efforts for families of the victims of the tragic I-35W bridge collapse in Minneapolis. A moment of silence was observed in respect for the victims before Friday’s scrimmage.
Returning The Favor: The Vikings complete the home-and-home series with the Chiefs when they travel to River Falls for a scrimmage with the Chiefs at 6:30 PM this evening. Tickets for the event can be purchased on-site at Ramer Field. Prices are $10 for adults, $5 for ages 12 to 17 and free for children 12 and under.
There are several parking options when the Chiefs host the Minnesota Vikings at the Athletic Complex and Ramer Field on Saturday, Aug. 4.
Fans can park for free at three UWRF lots - E, N and O. It will be about a 10-15 minute walk from any of those lots to the Athletic Complex and Ramer Field.
Fans may also park at the Athletic Complex for $5 per car. There is limited parking space available at the Athletic Complex.
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.
Antonic from Overland Park, KS: “How much does Larry Johnson want and how much the Chiefs want to give him, have the Chiefs signed WR Dwayne Bowe and where can I see a clip of Bernard Pollard’s deflection interception?”
JL: As with any contract issue, there are various unconfirmed reports of just what is on the table. However, only the individuals involved in the negotiating process know the actual numbers being discussed. Rest assured, Chiefs officials are in contact with Johnson’s representatives on a daily basis.
First-round draft pick WR Dwayne Bowe is the only other player yet to report to camp. Bowe is one of five first-round selections that remained unsigned as of today. The others are QB JaMarcus Russell (Oakland), CB Darrelle Revis (N.Y. Jets), QB Brady Quinn (Cleveland) and LB Jon Beason (Carolina). Bowe’s agent also represents Russell.
I’ve yet to see any video footage of Pollard’s interception and that’s a shame as it was a dandy. Camping With The Chiefs, which airs on kcchiefs.com, is a good place to look for footage as it shows a handful of practice clips daily.
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.
Click here to ask your Camp Question?
Have a specific question for a specific player? One fan question will be selected daily and featured in the Fan’s Want To Know portion of Camping With The Chiefs, which airs every evening of training camp on KCChiefs.com.
Click here to ask a player a Question?