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Chiefs Practice Report: 8/30

Posted Aug 30, 2010

The final week of the preseason is upon us

The Chiefs embarked on a short work week Monday morning, giving players sitting on the roster bubble limited time to make positive final impressions. Including today, there are only three opportunities available for players to appear on film before the final round of cuts.

“It’s a short week and we have to be ready to go,” head coach Todd Haley said. “It’s going to happen fast. We essentially just get tomorrow to work on anything for Green Bay, and then we walk-thru (on Wednesday) and play (on Thursday).”

The Chiefs must trim their roster from down from 75 players (to 53) by Saturday, September 4th.

“Letting guys go who have put so much into the team is always a difficult task,” Haley said. “There isn’t a guy that I can say hasn’t given his heart and soul to what we’re trying to do here.”

Practice Inactives

OLB Tamba Hali

G Darryl Harris

CB Maurice Leggett

T Ryan O’Callaghan

OLB Cameron Sheffield

Hali was the surprise player to be held out of practice on Monday morning, working out on the stationary bikes alongside O’Callaghan. Hali played a considerable amount of snaps vs. Philadelphia and did not appear to leave the game injured at any point.

O’Callaghan suffered a leg injury nearly a week ago and has not practiced since. In his absence, Barry Richardson has received the first-team reps at right tackle and continued to do so on Monday. Harris has been out since early August with a leg injury, while both Leggett and Sheffield are recovering from head/neck injuries suffered in the past two games.

Sheffield Present at Practice

It was good to see Cameron Sheffield outside and walking around the perimeter of the practice fields this morning, not even 72 hours since he left Arrowhead Stadium immobilized on a stretcher.

“I’ve never had to experience that,” Haley said. “I was in the box in 1997; last game of the year, Jets vs. Detroit, when (Reggie) Brown went down. That’s really the last time that I’ve been a part of anything like that, and that’s been enough.”

Brown suffered a life-threatening spinal cord injury in that game and was motionless on the turf for 17 minutes. In the end, Brown underwent surgery to fuse the first and second vertebrae on his spinal cord and regained full use of his arms and legs. However, Brown’s football career was over.

Sheffield’s situation looked bleak when he left the field on Friday night, but he is now expected to make a full recovery. It’s news that everyone is rejoicing in. The Chiefs, however, will ease the rookie back into things.

“He was lifting yesterday and everything looks real good,” Haley said. “It’s really encouraging.”

Croyle Goes Full

Backup QB Brodie Croyle was back to guiding the second –team offense at practice on Monday. Since the team had signed a fourth quarterback on August 17th, Bill Stull, Croyle throwing workload had been limited. With Stull’s release on Sunday, the team is once again down to three quarterbacks and Croyle appears to be ready to go for Green Bay.

“It was good to get out there throwing again,” Croyle said. “I actually felt pretty good. It was one of those things of just getting back into it and it felt good. We’ll just have to roll from here.”

Croyle’s arm strength looked up to speed when he rifled a pass to TE Leonard Pope in the back of the end zone during a competitive two-minute drill that closed practice. The play was very similar to one that you’d find in a backyard football game. After being flushed out of the pocket, Croyle found time and pointed with his non throwing hand to WR Jerheme Urban in the back corner of the end zone on the opposite side of the field. One Croyle looked off defenders, he re-squared his shoulders and threading the TD pass to Pope.

“To see him out there, and get through with no issues was a good sign,” Haley said. “He didn’t look overly rusty, although we all did have cans of Rust-Oleum in our pockets, but we didn’t have to pull them out much, so that was good.”

Vrabel’s Versatility

With Tamba Hali out of practice, Andy Studebaker ran opposite Mike Vrabel with the first-team. Studebaker typically backs up Vrabel at the left outside linebacker position, but Vrabel moved to the right side in Hali’s absence.

Vrabel has now lined up at both outside linebacker positions for the Chiefs and also plays inside linebacker during nickel situations.

“He’s a unique player and one that I’m happy is on our team,” Haley said. “This guy is a football player and just a smart guy in general. You could probably have a conversation on a number of different topics with him and he could probably spin you into a thought coma.”

Unlike the inside linebacker positions, which Haley doesn’t see as interchangeable in a 3-4 scheme, he’s hoping that that outside linebacker positions can one day become interchangeable.

“We could probably line him up at all four spots,” Haley said. “I know that he’s played inside at both spots in one way or another and I know that he’s played both outside spots, but that’s not the norm. I think that Mike has proven to be a pretty unique player over time to stay in the league as long as he has and be productive and part of good defenses.”

Don’t forget that Vrabel also owns 11 career TD receptions as an offensive player as well.

Other Notables

  • Lots of footballs were thrown in the direction of Chris Chambers. His best snag of the practice came on a deep fly down the left sideline that was placed perfectly by Matt Cassel. Following the gain of 50-plus yards, it was a footrace with S Ricky Price to the end zone.
  • CB Jackie Bates had a nice INT when Cassel tried to go in Chambers’ direction one too many times. Bates was able to jump Chambers’ out route one play following the big connection from Cassel. Bates almost got a second INT on the day when he jumped a Tyler Palko pass intended for Jeremy Horne near the sidelines.
  • The first-team defense won the competitive two-minute period against the first-team offense. Dwayne Bowe set up the offense for a win after he caught a deflected pass off the hands of CB Javier Arenas for a big gain, but the defense was able to hold the offense out of the end zone on four consecutive goal-to-go snaps.
  • DE Wallace Gilberry batted a Cassel pass at the line of scrimmage during competitive period.
  • Very similar to the way the team conducted practice following the second preseason game at Tampa Bay, both the offense and defense spent about 15 minutes going through a correctional period consisting of problem plays from the Eagles game.
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