By Josh Looney
Breakdown: Chiefs players hustled off to the team locker room while fans attending last night’s Family Fun Night enjoyed a fireworks display at Ramer Field. Head Coach Herm Edwards had cancelled team meetings for the night, but players weren’t running to reserve a table at a restaurant; they were actually in a hurry to get back to the team meeting room. Players, coaches and staff members all filed into the Kinniickinnic River Theatre at the UWRF University Center to watch a tape-delayed version of the series premier of HBO’s Hard Knocks: Training Camp with the Kansas City Chiefs.
Players laughed, hollered and joked with each other during the hour-long affair. Overall, the team was pleased with the outcome of the first episode.
“I thought the show was good,” QB Damon Huard commented. “I especially enjoyed being able to see my wife and kids.”
Training camp quickly turned back to business on Thursday afternoon when the Chiefs went through their final practice session before kicking off the preseason at Cleveland on Saturday. Edwards focused his efforts fine-tuning techniques and assignments in the 3:45 PM session.
Chiefs Rock Band: The basement of McMillan Hall, the UWRF residence hall that houses the players, has been transformed into a recording studio thanks to music afficionado T Kyle Turley. Upon the club’s arrival in River Falls, Turley rented some guitars, amps and other musica gear for his teammates to play during their free time. As a result, a training camp Chiefs band has been formed featuring Turley on lead guitar, S Bernard Pollard on drums and DT Ron Edwards on bass. Other Chiefs players, such as P Dustin Colquitt, will occasionally join in and jam with the trio on the keyboard or vocals. The McMillan basement has long been a place for players to gather in their free time; now they have in-house music.
Hall of Fame Visitor: Just a day after 12-time Pro Bowl G Will Shields visited training camp, the club was greeted by another All-Pro offensive lineman. Chiefs Hall of Fame T John Alt attended Family Fun Night with members of his family.
Alt anchored Kansas City’s offensive line for 13 seasons (’84-96) and was inducted into the Chiefs Hall of Fame in 2002. He played a key role in the resurgence of the Chiefs franchise in the ‘90s, stating 149 games and making 10 career playoff appearances including the ‘93 AFC Championship Game. He earned back-to-back Pro Bowl trips following the ‘92 and ‘93 seasons and was an All-Pro pick in ‘90-91. Alt currently resides in the Twin Cities area.
Family Fun Night Notes: DT Tank Tyler delivered a titanic hit to RB Derrick Ross at the at the one-yard line to keep Ross out of the end zone. Even more impressive than the hit was Tyler’s ability to run laterally down the line of scrimmage to make the stop off-tackle run.
S Bernard Pollard disguised a blitz from his safety position to log a sack of QB Brodie Croyle.
DE Tamba Hali showed explosive speed throughout the night. In one play in particular, Hali came around the left edge unscathed to sack Croyle.
S Jarrad Page made an impressive pass break-up of a QB Damon Huard pass intended for TE Michael Allan. Allan appeared to have caught the 20-yard seam route, but Page closed in on the ball before the rookie tight end could tuck the ball away.
CB Justin Phinisee sacked Huard on a blitz from his nickel position.
QB Casey Printers scrambled right and hit WR Brent Little on the run for a big gain down the sideline.
S Greg Wesley notched a pass defensed by breaking into a full-extension dive to split up a pass intended for WR Eddie Kennison.
DE Jared Allen logged back-to-back quarterback pressures as he added to an already strong performance by the defensive line.
WR Rod Gardner made one of the best catches this training camp when he placed both feet just inside the sideline paint to grab a pass that was deflected by LB Keyaron Fox. Gardner came back on the very next play to catch a 25-yard TD pass from QB Casey Printers to close out Family Fun Night.
Look Who’s Talking:
“I had over 50 voicemails and over 30 text messages this morning. Everyone was trying to get a hold of me.“
- S Bernard Pollard commenting on the reactions of friends and family members to the locker room dance-off he performed on Hard Knocks.
Fan: “Hey #82, can you sign this card?“
Dwayne Bowe: “Um, that’s not me.“
Fan: “Oh…can you sign it anyway?“
- A conversation between a fan and 2007 first-round draft pick WR Dwayne Bowe as the fan presented Bowe with a #82 Dante Hall football card to autograph.
Look Ahead: Pack your bags. The Chiefs will hold a short walk-thru in River Falls on Friday morning before they catch a charter flight to Cleveland for the first preseason game. Kickoff is set for Saturday at 6:30 PM. Fans in Kansas City can watch the game on KCTV-5 or listen to the radio broadcast on KCFX-FM 101.1 or an affiliate of the Chiefs Fox Radio Network. Fans can also follow all the action on kcchiefs.com in the Chiefs Gamecenter.
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.
Sharpie from Ohio: “I live in Ohio and I’m a big Chiefs fan. What can I expect to see at the first preseason game in Cleveland?”
JL: Sharpie, expect Herm Edwards to play a lot of young guys. It seems as this preseason has an even bigger impact on the final roster then in previous season with 38 rookie or first-year players currently on the roster. In regards to specifics involving players, look for second-round draft pick Turk McBride to play on both the interior and exterior defensive line, fifth-round draft pick RB Kolby Smith to see his fair share of carries and QB Brodie Croyle to start and receive the majority of reps with the first-team offense in the first quarter.
Steve P from Bolton, England: “I’m from England and I’m flying in for the home game against the Vikings in late September. If the roles were reversed would the Chiefs organization be interested in playing a game in the UK (or somewhere else in Europe) like the Dolphins and N.Y. Giants are doing this October?”
JL: Steve, you’re in luck. Earlier this year the NFL decided to launch an overseas regular season schedule plan. The plan is set up so that teams would rotate over a 16-year period, with each NFL team playing outside the country twice over that span, once as a visitor, the other as a home team. That means a team would lose one home game during that span. For the Chiefs, it would be most logical to play their slated overseas home game during one of the next few seasons as the team will be playing in the midst of renovations to Arrowhead Stadium. Of course, the NFL schedule ultimately a league decision.