River Falls Wrap: Day 5


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Jan 22, 2006
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Aug 01, 2006, 8:15:46 PM

Camping with the Chiefs - Day 5 by Josh Looney

Breakdown: Tuesday was a good day to be a Chief. Players awoke to cooler temperatures and wet surfaces after late night thunderstorms rolled through the area. Rain in the River Falls area has been rare this summer. To put things into perspective, the headline on the front page of Sunday’s Minneapolis Star Tribune read “Dry and Desperate.” July was not kind to the Northwoods as there were 17 days temperatures of 90 degrees or above were registered, the most since the Dust Bowl year of 1936. Monday’s high hit the century mark, marking the first time in 11 years the area has seen that kind of heat.

If the cool temperatures weren’t enough to elevate player morale, the news they received when reporting for breakfast early Tuesday morning should have done the trick. Head coach Herm Edwards cancelled the morning practice and replaced it with a special teams walk through. The rest was welcomed by players after three straight day of two-a-days.

“It’s one of those days where we’re going into the fifth day and guys are sore,” Edwards remarked. “It was early this morning when I got up and walked the fields and it was raining at 5 AM. They were slick and I didn’t, all of a sudden, want to take a chance to practice on slick fields twice in one day. Generally when you do that you expose your players and get guys hurt with groin pulls on loose turf.”

The squad returned to the field at 3:45 for an afternoon practice and battled light rain throughout the duration. The afternoon session had a sense of urgency to it and the practice was fast-paced. “On a day like this we got in about 80 plays, believe it or not,” Edwards commented. “We got it done in pretty good fashion.”

NFL Network Debut: The Thanksgiving Day match-up between the Chiefs and Broncos will mark the NFL Network’s inaugural live regular-season game telecast. NFL Films sent a camera crew to River Falls on Tuesday to shoot promotional and profile shots of Chiefs players for potential starting lineups.

The 2006 Turkey Day contest between Kansas City and Denver will be the Chiefs first Thanksgiving Day appearance since the club traveled to Detroit in ‘96 and posted a 28-24 victory over the Lions (11/26/96). On that date, Hall of Fame RB Marcus Allen became the NFL’s all-time leader in rushing TDs, registering his 111th ground score on a one-yard run to bypass RB Walter Payton’s previous record (a record later surpassed by Emmitt Smith). Kickoff is set for 7:00 PM at Arrowhead Stadium. Arrowhead Stadium has never hosted a Thanksgiving Day game as the last home date took place in ‘69 at Municipal Stadium.

Hometown Flavor: What would a native of Kansas City do without burnt ends, brisket, ribs and baked beans during the three weeks of training camp? Players, coaches, staff and media members only had to wait six days to fill their fix of BBQ. The good folks at Kansas City’s own Zarda Bar-B-Q catered lunch for media members and dinner for the Chiefs players and staff on Tuesday.

Red, White and Blue - Confirmed: First-round draft choice DE Tamba Hali returned to camp Tuesday after missing Monday’s practices to finalize his American citizenship in New Jersey. Hali reported that he returned to River Falls a legal United States citizen.

“Just being there all day, I was so restless and I was just happy to get the process over with,” Hali commented. “The next process is playing football. It feels good I’m a US citizen with legal rights and I can vote.”

Coach Johnson: Penn State University defensive line coach Larry Johnson attended Chiefs practice this afternoon. Johnson, who is the father of Chiefs RB Larry Johnson, coached rookie DE Tamba Hali last season with the Nittany Lions. The Chiefs have three former Nittany Lions on their 2006 training camp roster with RB Larry Johnson, G Tyler Lenda and DE Tamba Hali all wearing Navy and White during their collegiate careers.

The elder Johnson spoke with Hali yesterday about the news of becoming a United States citizen. “He’s a very happy man right now. I saw him last night when I came in and he’s really happy, he couldn’t be much happier and I’ve never seen a bigger smile on the guy,” Johnson commented. “He knows now that he’s part of something great, a great country. It’s great for him and great for his family. Now the pieces of getting his mom here can start happening and he can see it now, which is really great.”

Plays of the Day: (Tuesday, August 1, PM practice)
Offense: The Chiefs ended Tuesday’s practice with a situational 11-on-11 team period. The offense was given the ball at the 45-yard line with 40 seconds to play and trailing by three points. They started with a fresh set of downs and needed to put the ball inside the 25-yard line in order to kick a field goal. After a series of plays, QB Casey Printers faced a fourth-and-two from the 37-yard line with only enough time remaining to run one play. Printers was flushed out of the pocket, scrambled to his right and threw a desperation pass to the back of the end zone. The ball hung in the air enabling rookie free agent WR Kyle Brown to win a jump ball in the back of the end zone over CB Justin Perkins. Celebration ensued as the offense rushed to congratulate Brown on the grab. The Chiefs concluded practice after the play.

Defense: The second-team defense took on the second team offense during one of the 11-on-11 situational team periods. QB Damon Huard tried to find TE Kris Wilson on a five-yard check down route over the middle where Wilson was met by third-year LB Keyaron Fox. Fox’s hit jarred the ball loose and into the air enabling seventh-round draft pick S Jarrad Page to make a diving one-handed interception to end the period.

Look Who’s Talking: “It’s been really great so far to see how much he’s grown and matured since he’s gone through this league. We’re all excited to see where it goes and it’s one game at a time, one day at a time and hopefully be able to handle all of those things, and I think he will.“
—Larry Johnson, Sr. on his son RB Larry Johnson

Injury Report: Chiefs G Brian Waters (foot), WR Scott McCready (shoulder), WR Craphonso Thorpe (shoulder) and CB Lenny Walls (leg) all missed Tuesday’s afternoon practice.

*River Falls Weather:
Temperature: 81 degrees
Heat Index: 87 degrees

*Kansas City Weather:
Temperature: 98 degrees
Heat Index: 102 degrees

*Temperatures are recorded after each morning practice.

A Look Ahead: On Wednesday the Chiefs will partake in two practices, a special teams practice at 10:00 AM (spiders) and a full-padded practice at 3:45 PM.
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