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http://www.kcchiefs.com/news/2006/07/31/river_falls_wrap_day_four/RIVER FALLS WRAP: Day Four
Jul 31, 2006, 3:51:01 PM
Camping with the Chiefs - Day 4
by Josh Looney
Breakdown: Another day of sweltering River Falls heat didn’t stop the Chiefs from holding their third straight day of two-a-day practice sessions. The club followed their standard schedule on Monday holding a full-padded practice at 9:00 AM and a spiders (shorts and flap-jackets) practice at 3:45 PM.
QB Damon Huard took the majority of the offensive snaps with the first unit in the AM session, while veteran QB Trent Green rested his arm. Head coach Herm Edwards said Green would be back and throwing again in the afternoon practice.
Green spoke yesterday about how he had been impressed with the job first-year offensive coordinator Mike Solari has done with the unit thus far. Although the head coach and offensive coordinator from the previous five campaigns are no longer with the Red and Gold, the Chiefs offensive system remains largely unaltered. Chiefs fans will recognize familiar offensive sets and shifts, but may see a difference in the way the game is managed.
Edwards has wasted no time testing his new offensive coordinator in practices throughout the spring and training camp. Edwards has a unique way of putting his coordinators on the spot during practice sessions, hoping to simulate a real game situation as much as possible. “He’ll blow the whistle and say, ‘ok it’s fourth down-and-three from the seven-yard line, we’ve got to have a touchdown and there’s six seconds left. Mike (Solari) make your call, Gun (Cunningham) make your call,” QB Trent Green explained yesterday. As the playbook remains similar, fans could notice a difference in situational play calling from years past.
Learning Curve: Chiefs rookie players put in some extra practice time after Monday’s morning session. After the team broke practice, veteran players headed to the locker room while the rookie skill position players stayed on the field. Coaches tutored the young Chiefs while the offensive and defensive rookies ran through about 10 plays against each other.
Hali-lujah: Christmas comes in July for 100 prep athletes at Teaneck High School in Teaneck, New Jersey. Chiefs 2006 first-round draft pick Tamba Hali, a Teaneck High alum, is donating 100 pairs of Nike football cleats to his former high school team. Hali was named All-America by G&W in 2001 for the Teaneck Highwaymen.
Red, White and Blue: Speaking of Hali, the rookie defensive end was back home in New Jersey on Monday finalizing he quest to become a U.S. citizen. Hali is a native of the war-torn African nation of Liberia and escaped the country when he was 10 years old to join his father in the United States. He has not seen his mother since he fled the country, but maintains close contact with her and is currently in the process of attempting to bring her to America.
Head coach Herm Edwards commented on what Hali’s American citizenship meant to him after the morning practice session. “This is America,” Edwards remarked. “It’s a big deal. We can say we have some faults and every country does, but this is the greatest country in the world because it gives people opportunities. You can dream in this country and actually fulfill your dream. In a lot of countries you can dream and you don’t have an opportunity. You can do it here when you’re a young guy. I had a lot of dreams when I was a young kid to be a professional football player and I had an opportunity to do that. That’s what I feel about our country.”
The Commish: Chiefs Chairman of the Board Clark Hunt is one of eight members appointed to a search committee selected by NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue to recommend candidates for the commissioner’s successor. Joining Hunt on the search committee are Al Davis (Raiders), Woody Johnson (Jets), Jerry Jones (Cowboys), Robert Kraft (Patriots), Mike McCaskey (Bears), Jerry Richardson (Panthers) and Dan Rooney (Steelers).
Partners in Heat Education: Gatorade, the Chiefs and the NFL have partnered to educate parents and coaches on how to keep athletes safe from heat-related illness during upcoming two-a-day practices. The partnership is built on communicating heat-illness prevention and treatment techniques, including what tools NFL teams use to defend against heat-related illness.
The partners are all working together to raise money for The Kendrick Fincher Memorial Foundation. Founders Mike and Rhonda Fincher started the foundation in memory of their son, Kendrick, who succumbed to complications from heat stroke during the summer of ‘95. Chiefs head coach Herm Edwards talked with ESPN’s Cold Pizza, NFL Live, ESPNews “Hotlist” and the NFL Network about the Kendrick Fincher foundation today in River Falls.
Back on the Sidelines: Former collegiate and NFL coach Butch Davis has been spotted on the sidelines the last two days in River Falls. Davis, former head coach of the Cleveland Browns and the University of Miami, now works for the NFL Network as an analyst for the program Playbook. The show provides analysis of the key match-ups of upcoming NFL games. The show features the use of team-supplied footage — the same video that coaches and players use each week to prepare their game plans. Playbook is hosted by Paul Burmeister, while Sterling Sharpe, Brian Baldinger and Solomon Wilcots join Davis as analysts.
Plays of the Day: (Monday, July 31, AM practice)
Offense: Third-year TE Kris Wilson gave the defense fits today during the squads 7-on-7 periods. Early in the drill, Wilson broke past Chiefs linebackers on a corner route and was well on his way to score what would have been a 70-yard touchdown had the offensive and defensive lineman not been working out on the opposite half of the Chiefs practice fields. Wilson wasn’t satisfied with only one TD during the morning session and added a 24-yard TD on a post route from QB Damon Huard during the end of the period.
Defense: The Chiefs practiced Red Zone plays for the second straight day during 7-on-7 drills and a defensive back made a goal line interception for the second straight day as well. QB Brodie Croyle tried to find fellow rookie TE Robert Docherty in the back of the end zone from about 20 yards out, but S Scott Connot displayed an impressive vertical leap and tipped the ball to himself as he secured the interception falling backwards.
Big Hit: During the squad’s 11-on-11 team period, FB Ronnie Cruz made a crushing block on second-round draft pick S Bernard Pollard, springing RB Larry Johnson untouched around the left corner for a 24-yard touchdown run.
Look Who’s Talking: “I thought we were going to fall into a little bit of a lull because this was the fourth consecutive day that we’ve gone out in pads as a team. They didn’t do that and that’s a good sign. That tells me that the veterans in the locker room are controlling the locker room and the mindset of this football team and that’s very important.“
—Head Coach Herm Edwards
Injury Report: Chiefs G Brian Waters (foot), WR Craphonso Thorpe (shoulder) and CB Lenny Walls (leg) all missed Monday’s morning practice.
*River Falls Weather:
Temperature: 97 degrees
Heat Index: 102 degrees
*Kansas City Weather:
Temperature: 93 degrees
Heat Index: 97 degrees
*Temperatures are recorded after each morning practice.
It looks like the Chiefs will get a break from the heat on Tuesday as temperatures are expected to top out in the upper 80s. There is, however, a 50% chance of thunderstorms.
A Look Ahead: It’s clockwork in River Falls as the club will hit the field for two practices at 9:00 AM and 3:45 PM again on Tuesday.