River Falls Wrap: Day 6

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RIVER FALLS WRAP: Day Six
Aug 02, 2006, 7:45:48 PM


Camping with the Chiefs - Day 6

by Josh Looney


Breakdown: The weather continued to be the center of attention in Chiefs training camp as the squad was forced to cancel another morning practice session. Light rain during Tuesday’s PM practice turned into a downpour overnight and continued throughout the morning. The River Falls area has received over three inches of rain over the past 24 hours.

“We took advantage of it,” head coach Herm Edwards remarked after weather cancelled another morning practice. “We met in the classroom and sometimes that’s as good as practicing. You walk through some things. As long as they understand when that happens you can’t have the mindset of I’m missing practice. They’re going at a good tempo, a good clip. For the second day in a row the afternoon practice has been good. It’s been physical and it’s been in pads, too.”

Afternoon practice was held as scheduled at 3:45 PM Wednesday. Overcast skies parted and the sun shined down as the Chiefs practices on a beautiful Wisconsin afternoon with temperatures in the 70s.

Peterson Swings Deal: Chiefs President Carl Peterson held a press conference this morning from River Falls announcing a trade with the New Orleans Saints to acquire RB Michael Bennett. “We have been working on a potential trade of Michael Bennett for the last couple of months,” Peterson commented. “As a former number one draft choice he brings quality and experience to the Chiefs.” Bennett was the Vikings first-round draft choice (27th overall) in the 2001 NFL Draft.

Bennett, a six-year veteran, will work behind Chiefs Pro Bowl RB Larry Johnson. “Michael has had a 1,000-yard rushing season and has been to a Pro Bowl,” Peterson remarked. “He will be utilized to back up Larry Johnson and be involved in our group of running backs as soon as he arrives in camp.” Bennett arrived in River Falls and made a brief appearance on the field in street clothes before completing his physical.

The Milwaukee, Wisconsin native appeared in 64 career games (49 starts) with Minnesota. He recorded 713 carries for 3,174 yards (4.5 avg.) with 12 touchdowns as a member of the Vikings. He also owns 126 receptions for 1,040 yards (8.3 avg.) with five TDs.

Position Analysis: Kicker, Punter and Long Snapper: At most NFL training camps you rarely find a position with no competition. The Chiefs have two positions that bear no challengers in their 2006 camp. Incumbents K Lawrence Tynes and P Dustin Colquitt will handle all the kicking duties during the Chiefs preseason with no other kicking specialists on the roster. Earlier in the week, head coach Herm Edwards indicated he would have liked to have signed a kicker and punter to help promote competition during camp and give his kickers legs a rest, but needs at other positions were bigger priorities and filled up the Chiefs camp roster. “It would be nice to have someone here to help me with all of those kickoffs,” K Lawrence Tynes commented. “I think you are just competing against yourself and you do what you’ve got to do to get ready.”

Tynes, a native of Greenock, Scotland, begins his third season with the Chiefs. The former Troy State standout made the final cut with Kansas City in 2004 after previous training camp stints with the Chiefs in 2002 and 2001. He is expected to handle both the kickoff and placekicking duties for the club in 2006. Tynes developed into a consistent performer in his second NFL season hitting 27 of 33 field goal attempts and 44 of 45 PATs for a career-high 125 points. His 27 field goals in 2005 topped his 2004 mark by 10. Tynes currently ranks fifth in team annals for most made field goals in a career with 44. He needs only six field goals in 2006 to move into fourth on the list.

P Dustin Colquitt will handle the club’s punting duties for the second straight campaign after joining the Chiefs as a third-round draft choice in 2005. The left-footed punter is known for putting a unique spin on the ball and that frequently gives return men problems. As a rookie, the former Tennessee Volunteer appeared in all 16 games, punting 65 times for 2,564 yards (39.4 gross, 35.2 net) with 27 landing inside the 20 and five touchbacks.

“He’s a very impressive punter,” Chiefs special teams coach Mike Priefer commented after the team’s first special teams practice last Sunday. “He’s a very talented young man and he works really hard. I think they did a great job with him last year as a rookie. He had an excellent rookie season and hopefully we’ll keep building.”

Not all the specialists are free from competition, though. Pro Bowl long snapper TE Kendall Gammon will be challenged by first-year TE Adam Johnson and DE Jared Allen will continue to see limited reps as the team’s emergency long snapper. In 2005 Allen filled in as long snapper during the second-half at Houston (11/20/05) after Gammon left with a lower leg injury.

Gammon enters his seventh season with Kansas City and his 15th campaign in the NFL. Gammon, who played collegiaetly at NCAA Division II Pittsburg State in Pittsburg, Kansas, has seen action in 218 NFL contests with three organizations (Pittsburgh, New Orleans and Kansas City). He was a 2004 Pro Bowl selection and joins Baltimore K Matt Stover and San Diego WR Keenan McCardell as the only active players in the NFL drafted in the 11th round or later.

Johnson joined the Chiefs last spring and hopes to upend incumbent starter Kendall Gammon as the club’s long snapper. Johnson comes to Kansas City after spending time in the Carolina Panthers training camp the previous two seasons. He originally entered the league in 2004 as a rookie free agent out of Buffalo University and spent that season on the Panthers practice squad.

Plays of the Day: (Wednesday, August 2, PM practice)
Offense: In what the Chiefs hope becomes a consistent connection, QB Trent Green hit third-year WR Samie Parker on play action, 20-yard out for a TD during the 11-on-11 team period.

Defense: During 7-on-7 Green looked to find WR Dante Hall on a deep corner route. Running on Hall’s back hip was seventh-round pick S Jarrad Page. Page ran stride for stride with Hall breaking up the pass and nearly came up with an interception.

Big Hit: For a rookie free agent to make an NFL roster, he must take advantage of every opportunity given to him to stand out. Rookie free agent LB William Kershaw continues to make big plays and finds himself on the “play of the day” list for the second time this week. Herm Edwards had his players ran goal-line plays during a portion of today’s 11-on-11 periods. With the ball spotted at the two-yard line, Kershaw quickly filled the hole as RB Quentin Griffin took a carry between the tackles. Kershaw’s blow forced Griffin to fumble and drew praise from the defensive coaching staff.

Look Who’s Talking: ””I love it. The way Coach Edwards runs things, this is like a dream come true. You can ask any guy on this team, it’s something else. We feel fresh and we’re going to go out there and bust our behinds to get better.“
—TE Tony Gonzalez on camps under Herm Edwards guidance.

Injury Report: DT Lional Dalton left the afternoon practice early with a strained knee.

*River Falls Weather:
Temperature: 77 degrees
Heat Index: 79 degrees

*Kansas City Weather:
Temperature: 91 degrees
Heat Index: 94 degrees

*Temperatures are recorded after each morning practice.

A Look Ahead: On Thursday the Chiefs are scheduled to hold two practices. A shells practice is scheduled for 9:00 AM followed by a spiders practice at 3:45 PM.
http://www.kcchiefs.com/news/2006/08/02/river_falls_wrap_day_six/
 
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