ST. JOSEPH, MO – Todd Haley continues to ramp up the tempo of practices in preparation for Friday’s preseason opener against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. A longer practice than usual, Tuesday morning’s session was also among the most physical since camp opened.
In a calculated flip-flop, Haley held the team’s full practice in the morning and moved the daily walkthrough to the afternoon.
“As you get closer to some of these games that are coming up, you have to try to lengthen things out and where guys are handling many more reps,” Haley said. “It’s not something we’re going to do all the time but we wanted to get one in there before Thursday and Friday.”
The practice followed a heavy session on Monday afternoon. Haley has yet to take his squad through a full takedown period, but Tuesday’s 9-on-7 drill was as close as it gets to the real thing.
“Thought it was good work,” Haley said. “We created a little controlled chaos out there to kind of keep them on their toes and also put everybody on the same sideline there for a period to give them a feel for what Friday night would be a little more like as far as a crowded sideline which is another one of those things that you don’t really think about, but you have to handle and have some organization out there.”
Haley will hold Wednesday’s practice under the lights of Spratt Stadium beginning at 7:15 PM. It will be the Chiefs final workout in St. Joseph before Friday’s preseason opener. Practices at MWSU resume Sunday at 3:00 PM.
Depth Chart: Here We Go Again…
The Chiefs have released their first unofficial depth chart of 2011 and, once again, the initial slotting is generating plenty of chatter. Most notably, Pro Bolwer
“I know the depth chart is like Christmas for you guys,” Haley joked. “You want that depth chart, but I will say again that it doesn’t carry nearly as much weight in our meeting rooms, our team rooms and our player rooms. The guys understand what their task is right now.
“Really, I wouldn’t put too much into it across the board.”
Here’s my take – it’s a non-issue, especially at this point in the preseason…and don’t look past the word “unofficial” being attached to it. Look no further than the Chiefs final depth chart of 2010 for plenty of examples.
- Chris Chambers was listed as a starting wide receiver, but ended up being a healthy inactive in the Chiefs playoff game vs. Baltimore.
- Jamaal Charles finished 2010 listed second on the depth chart and his year turned out just fine .
Fear not, Charles is not struggling through a sub-par camp and his stock with the Chiefs brass isn’t falling.
Happy at Home:
Fresh off signing a lucrative long-term deal with the Chiefs last week, Tamba Hali hasn’t wasted any time making his presence known since arriving at training camp.
Since his arrival, Hali has shown characteristics of being the same high-motor player that’s defined him throughout his career with the Chiefs. Within his first hour stepping onto the field he had deflected a pass at the line of scrimmage that resulted in a
By all accounts, Hali is a happy player right now. The (former) franchise player is much happier than if he would have simply signed his one-year franchise tender.
“I wanted to be here, of course I wanted to be here; I missed my teammates,” Hali said. “Any player would want to be here longer than a year. Our game is so risky because of the injuries; you want to take care of the business part and come in and just play football and not worry about being hurt and just having fun on the field.”
Aside from giving fans a scare with cramping and dehydration on his first day back, Hali has appeared to be in excellent shape over his first few practices.
“I believe in working,” Hali said. “Impressing myself is not really important, it’s been about working since I’ve been here. I feel like I’m coming into the player that I want to be come and I’ll continue to have that success on the field.”
Despite turning in a career-high 14.5 sacks to pace the AFC last season, Hali is hesitant to make any bold predictions for 2011. He’s instead crediting last season’s breakout to the improved play of the Chiefs defense.
“I can personally have my goals, but it’s more about the team,” Hali said. “A lot of credit goes to our team, our coaches really put me in a position to make plays - we’ve got a bunch of good players on our team that allows other players to make good plays.
“Derrick (Johnson) being the best linebacker we have on our team, you have to watch him, he’s all over the field, so that allows us to make plays. Credit to the defensive lineman and our safeties back there;
Hali has led the Chiefs in sacks four of the last five seasons. The only year he didn’t was when Jared Allen won the NFL sack crown with 15.5 sacks in 2007.
“I love Steve [Breaston] and obviously he’s had a great career so far. I’m just looking forward to getting back out there on the field with him; he brings great energy to the field, great energy to the locker room, we were roommates early on in our career my first year in Arizona, his rookie year.”
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