Training Camp : The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly
Seeing as Training Camp just recently started up around the NFL, what more would anyone want to know than some training camp notes! I just thought I’d pass along some news, notes, and other information worth mentioning that I’ve managed to dig up from the Chiefs.
First and foremost, the good. Rookie DE Alex Magee showed up for practice, and early at that. (Sounds like nothing much, but it is good considering Tyson Jackson was late and showed up to camp still unsigned!) From a Chiefs fans standpoint, there was good news from division rivals camps. Broncos 1st rounders Knowshon Moreno and Robert Ayers were both unsigned still until Ayers signed around monday night, and Moreno is still unsigned. Two thumbs up for having your rivals players unsigned and not showing up for training camp? I sure think so. Also, reports from Oakland are 1st round pick (WR) Darrius Heyward-Bey are just, not good. In one set of 7-on-7 drills alone, Bey reported dropped 4 of the 9 passes thrown his way.
More things to look forward to. “Mr Irrelevant” Ryan Succop is becoming more than Mr. Irrelevant. In fact, he’s not the team’s starting kicker, and showing himself to be an impressive kicker at that. OG Brian Waters and DE/OLB Tamba Hali both showed up to camp in what some called “elite” conditioning, which I hope they plan on getting used to, because from what I read, training camp will be tough for the Chiefs. Here’s why.
Todd Haley’s idea of toughening up his team, seems to be working. His idea? You drop an easy pass in a drill? You run 200 yards, immideately. Fumble on a 7-on-7 drill? Run 200 yards. Miss an important tackle? 200 yards. commit a penalty on the offensive or defensive line? Well you guessed it, run 200 yards.
From the reader’s standpoint, it may seem harsh, but Chiefs fans sure don’t seem to think so. Take a look at ow the crowd reacts towards Dwayne Bowe dropping a pass….
“7v9 drills. Cottom drops one, then Bowe drops one. Haley stops play, demands a new receiver in Bowe’s spot, and yells “I want guys who will catch the ball, not put the ball on the ground every other play! I don’t care who you are!”. Crowd cheers”
Now for some last “quicknotes” on the good.
Tank Tyler – looks amazing at NT. Seems to be eating up blockers and getting in there to stop the run. Impressive is all you can say of him right now.
Brandon Albert – leads off on the same foot he did to end the NFL season last year, and that being the right one. Looks to be getting better as the days go by. Same goes with Brian Waters – who says once you’re over 30 in the NFL, you’re done? This guy looks like he’s 21 all over again.
Mike Vrabel – also playing the “age?” card. Playing like he’s got another 10 years in this league. He’s as quick as he’s ever been and can really make an impact on this team this year, or next, or maybe even the year after that at this rate.
Brandon Flowers – Is fooling everyone who thinks of him as just a “2nd year player”. He’s been far and above the best defensive player and he’s getting better as each play goes on. Could emerge as one of the better CB’s in the entire league this year.
Alex Magee – showing flashes early on, especially for a rookie, and some pass rush ability from a 3-4 defensive end position.
Dervard Darling – Nothing else you can say here but amazing. Flashing amazing hands right now and shown some excellent route running. Let’s hope this isn’t luck.
Now, for the bad. As mentioned earlier, Tyson Jackson hasn’t signed yet. Not a good start to a new defense, especially from your 3rd overall pick. Even moreso that it’s leaving Alex Magee a chance to show him up, which is not what the Chiefs want right now. From there I noticed alot of issues with Brad Cottam. Cottam seems to be doing alot of things wrong. Dropping easy passes (see the quote from earlier about Bowe dropping a pass) and his blocking is not on par for what they expected of Cottam. I understand that he can’t become the new “Tony Gonzalez” but given that the pass game has Bobby Engram, newly signed free agent Amani Toomer(who just signed a 1 year deal with the Chiefs a few days ago), and also Dwayne Bowe, you have to think the pressure isn’t really on Cottam anymore.
Speaking of Bowe, I was hoping I wouldn’t have to say this, but he’s amongst the bad, and nearly the ugly. Bowe is reportedly running bad routes, missing easy catches, not finding “space”, and is practically invisible on the field. I will admit that at the same time, a certain unknown WR Rodney Wright has been given time to shine in lou of Bowe’s mistakes. Wright possesses a skillset very similar to that of Patriots WR Wes Welker, but he’s physical as well. His problem is he seems to be a player that “isn’t coachable”, and could see the pink slip if he doesn’t get his head into the game as well. From there, there seems to be nothing more “bad” to speak of. Unless your a Chiefs player and you repeatedly succumb to Haley’s horrid 200 yard runs.
I will say though, there is some “ugly” coming from camp. Glenn Dorsey showed up to camp and immideately failed the Conditioning Test. Personally, I can’t understand this. For someone who was drafted #6 as a DL member of this team over a year ago, one would think he would prepare, considering the team switched defenses? He had enough pressure on him before, but the team switched to a 3-4, and he has to take on a role that few players on his situation could actually pull off, and he comes unprepared? If I am Todd Haley, I’m furious about this. He may be undersized, but over the last 4 months (Since the switch and Tyson Jackson and Alex Magee were picked) I would have to imagine that the switch and picks would have motivated Dorsey to put on weight and mass in order to make an impact in the 3-4. Instead, he comes to camp completely out of shape? It’s reported that today he passed the condition test, but now he’s behind at least a weeks worth of camp. I can’t say I’m very pleased about this. Also, as I’ve mentioned in the past, RT Damian McIntosh is probably the one player Chiefs fans never look forward to seeing. Well, it only gets worse. On back-to-back days for 7-on-7, McIntosh found himself both bull-rushed and beaten to the outside on two occasions (each) by rookie LB’s. Furthermore, from the look of things(from training camp pictures I saw) McIntosh looked like he gained weight this off-season, but forgot about getting the “muscle” in the meantime. Personally, I had hoped for rookie OT Colin Brown to step in at RT, but reports show he needs this year to spent time on the practice squad to refine his running skills, so that’s not likely for the 2009 season.
My overall report would have me saying the Chiefs look great this year. They likely won’t win more than 5 games this year, but they will be progressing with a bright future ahead of them. I noticed talks of rookie WR Quinten Lawrence, who was getting alot of coaching from his fellow veteran teammates, and was responding to them very well, which I think would be great for the Chiefs future seeing the potential he has. Larry Johnson seems to have forgotten all the “issues” he had with the Chiefs last year, and seems happy, although some report he’s still making simple mistakes with his vision and cuts in his runs.
Unfortunately, this is all I could find about camp for now. Stay tuned, for I’ll be posting more of the Good, Bad, and Ugly from Kansas City once again in the next few days.| Dwayne Bowe, Kansas City, Todd Haley, Training Camp, Training Camp 2009