Chiefs aren’t done making moves


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Jan 22, 2006
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Chiefs aren’t done making moves
Edwards: Team will look different by September
The Kansas City Star

The annual talent grab known as the NFL’s collegiate draft is over, and the Chiefs fortified themselves with four players Sunday and a total of seven over the weekend.

Their roster still has some holes, most notably at cornerback, where only Patrick Surtain stands out among candidates for two starting jobs. So the Chiefs aren’t quite ready to load up the truck and head for training camp in Wisconsin.

They’ve still got some work to do.

“The team you see practicing today, or (in three weeks) when we go to minicamp, that won’t be the same team that lines up in September,” coach Herm Edwards said. “A lot of things can happen between now and September.”

One of those things could be the signing of veteran cornerback Ty Law. The Chiefs drafted only one cornerback, Miami’s Marcus Maxey, in the fifth round.

Discounting Maxey’s ability to play immediately probably wouldn’t be wise given Edwards’ record in rapidly developing defensive backs while he was with the Jets.

Law, a four-time Pro Bowler, is more of a sure thing. He signed with Edwards and the Jets last season and tied for the NFL lead with 10 interceptions.

Chiefs president/general manager Carl Peterson indicated he probably would be speaking with the agents for Law as soon as today.

In the meantime, the Chiefs have at cornerback Surtain, Maxey and a cast of veterans that includes former Broncos starter Lenny Walls.

“For me to say what our corner situation is … I haven’t seen our guys practice yet,” Edwards said. “We haven’t even had a minicamp yet. Ask me that in the summer sometime when these guys start practicing and I can evaluate them on the field.

“I’m not a panic kind of guy. I don’t throw my hands up and say, ‘We should have got a corner.’ We’ll be fine. I’m a big believer that you play with the players you have. Those are the players you have to coach. You can’t coach the players that ain’t here. You coach those players to the best of their ability and then you go play.”

The Chiefs on Sunday also drafted Mississippi guard Tre’ Stallings and San Diego State wide receiver Jeff Webb in the sixth round and UCLA safety Jarrad Page in the seventh.

They join Saturday’s picks of Penn State defensive end Tamba Hali, Purdue safety Bernard Pollard and Alabama quarterback Brodie Croyle to give the Chiefs a draft class tilted toward defense.

Hali figures to play immediately, at least as a reserve. Pollard also could challenge for a starting spot.

“We’ve created competition within the football team with young players,” Edwards said. “You need to do that.”

The Chiefs believe the four defensive players fit the mold preferred by Edwards and coordinator Gunther Cunningham. They are physical players who like to hit and tackle.

“It’s not a natural thing to do to tackle,” Edwards said. “It’s really not, if you think about it. There’s two ways to tackle. You can kind of tackle him and grab him or you can run through him.

“These guys run through guys. They get their pads dirty, they get their jerseys dirty. I’m not saying we don’t have those type of players on our team. I think when you infuse them with more of those type of players, you become more physical in your presence when you’re playing defense.”

Webb, who played with Edwards’ son Marcus in college, gives the Chiefs another developmental wide receiver. Their one established wide receiver, Eddie Kennison, is 33, and the Chiefs lost veterans Marc Boerigter and Chris Horn to free-agency, but they don’t appear concerned about their quality and depth at the position.

“I’ve never been involved with a football team — Philadelphia, Tampa, New York — that had an offense that could score as many points as this offense has done the last five years,” Edwards said. “Hopefully that answers your question about wide receiver.”

The Chiefs did not draft a running back to spell Larry Johnson. Their reserves are Quentin Griffin, Dee Brown and, perhaps, Priest Holmes.

“We’ll assess that as we go,” Edwards said. “We don’t know the answer to that right now.”
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