Unfamiliar Faces...


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Jan 22, 2006
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Unfamiliar Faces to Remember
Aug 07, 2006, 5:02:44 AM by Bob Gretz
RIVER FALLS, WI – As the Chiefs get back to work and begin preparation for the start of their pre-season schedule this Saturday, it’s time to give you a peak at some of the unfamiliar names on the roster that have the coaching staff talking after more than a dozen practices.

These are guys that have gotten a jump on impressing the decision makers when it comes to earning a roster spot. They are also players who have flown under the radar with most of the fans and media. But that will change soon enough:

DT JAMES REED: If the season started today, there’s a very good chance Reed would be in the starting lineup. That’s what kind of impression he’s made on the defensive coaching staff since they landed in River Falls. Reed signed with the team back in June, after spending five seasons with the New York Jets; he was selected by Herm Edwards in the seventh-round of the 2001 NFL Draft. Last year, Reed started 15 games for the Jets, who decided not to re-sign him.

At 6-0, 286 pounds, Reed has a combination of speed and power on the inside. He has spent most of training camp working on the offensive side of the line of scrimmage. He’s been disruptive and involved whenever he’s been given the chance. If he continues to perform to the level he’s shown so far, it will be impossible to keep him out of the starting lineup.

DT RON EDWARDS: Coming off shoulder surgery, Edwards has barely gotten involved in practice. Doctors just gave him the go-ahead to begin contact work late last week and he took part in two practices. He also saw some time in the Friday night practice against the Vikings.

But in that limited work, Edwards made it very obvious that he’s going to be a factor on the inside of the defense line and very well could line up next to Reed as the other starter. What Reed gets down with quickness and power, Edwards gets done with power and owner. He’s 6-3 and listed at 315 pounds, but is probably a bit heavier than that. In a dozen plays with the first-team defense here in River Falls, he’s left his teammates shaking their heads in amazement.

The Chiefs will be handling Edwards carefully in camp as he comes back from his rotator cuff surgery. But if he’s anything like what he’s shown so far, Edwards is going to be a factor for the Chiefs defense.

S JARRAD PAGE: It’s tough for seventh-round picks to make an impression, especially last round choices that missed most of the off-season work because of the silly NFL rule that does not allow them to participate until their school semester is over. But Page has overcome that and has caught he eye of the decision-makers.

Page always seems to be around the ball; he’s gotten his hands on more potential interceptions than just about anybody in the Chiefs secondary. He’s not always held on to them, but he’s caught several and he’s shown the ability to challenge people at the point of attack.

There are still moments where he’s prone to make the rookie mistake, like last week when in a seven-on-seven drill in the scoring zone, he walked out of the play before the snap of the ball because he thought he’d made a mistake by being on the field with that sub-defense. But he makes up for that with performances like the one he had in Mankato, where he had the head coach talking about him after the practice against the Vikings.

WR NATE CURRY: This is a name most Chiefs fans don’t even know is on the roster, but in a wide-open battle for the fourth and possibly fifth wide receiver spots, Curry has jumped ahead of everyone else.

Curry spent the spring playing in NFL Europe, where he caught 18 passes for 222 yards with the Hamburg Sea Devils. He also led the league in kick returns with an average of 27.9 yards on 14 returns. The Florida native who came out of Georgia Tech spent last training camp with the Chiefs, but didn’t leave much of an impression.

That’s changed in this camp, as Curry is showing up not only catching the ball – which he’s done quite well – but on the special teams, where he’s not only a returner behind Dante Hall, but a cover guy as well.

Curry stumbled a bit in Mankato, where he had several drops during the work against the Vikings. That’s something he cannot afford to do again. For him to make the roster, he must get better each and every day. Luckily for him, there are plenty of practices and four pre-season games ahead to do just that and make the trip to Mankato a fuzzy memory in the minds of the decision makers.

The opinions offered in this column do not necessarily reflect those of the Kansas City Chiefs.
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