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Heartland Health Practice Report: Final Day in St. Joe

Posted Aug 19, 2010

Will the Chiefs starters play until halftime vs. Tampa?

In like a lion out like a lamb.

The Chiefs closed the door on training camp in St. Joseph Thursday afternoon with a helmets-only practice featuring lots of carded plays. The slower paced practice was a stark contrast to the way Kansas City opened training camp back on July 30th.

“It’s only been three weeks?” WR Chris Chambers joked. “It feels like it’s been two months. I feel like we accomplished some things, but we’ve still got a long way to go. We’re not taking a break from working hard and training; we’re just leaving here and going back to our facility. We’ll work just as hard there, just without the crowd.”

Kansas City will break camp tomorrow morning, travel to Tampa Bay, and resume workouts at the Chiefs Training Facility on Monday morning. If you missed open practices in St. Joseph, you still have one chance left to catch a Chiefs practice in 2010.

Next Wednesday, August 25th, the Chiefs will hold an open practice at The New Arrowhead to coincide with the grand opening of the Hall of Honor Presented by Time Warner Cable. The event is free to the public and will offer much more than just a practice session on the field.

As for the action at Chiefs camp today, the most newsworthy items came from Todd Haley’s pre-practice press conference in relation to Saturday night’s game in Tampa Bay.

Extended Action for Starters

Few starters lingered past the middle of the second quarter in last Friday’s preseason opener. Some were done well before the first quarter expired. All are expected to get a little more time this Saturday night.

“I would, for the most part, expect a little more (play-time) out of them,” Haley said. “I’m not putting a number on it, but we have to get these guys ready to play.”

A year ago, Matt Cassel quarterbacked the entire first half of the Chiefs second preseason game in Minnesota (yeah, that was the “Return of Favre” Game…funny how that works this time of year). Though a few starters called it a night before intermission, plenty of other regulars like OLB Tamba Hali, S Mike Brown and LB Corey Mays joined Cassel for a full two quarters of play.

We’ll see if playing the entire first-half is the standard on Saturday night. Either way, starters are expected to be on the field for longer periods of time this weekend.

“You have to go out here in the second (game) and put a little more emphasis on things that you didn’t do in the first game,” OLB Mike Vrabel said. “We’ll continue to move forward, probably play a little bit longer and work on our game conditioning.”

Greenwood to Stay; Stull to Play?

One day after the Chiefs had gotten down to just 10 active bodies on the offensive line, DE Bobby Greenwood made the switch from d-line to o-line. Since Greenwood’s switch to right tackle, the Chiefs have gotten healthier along the front five. Regardless, Greenwood will enter Saturday night’s game strictly as an offensive lineman.

“Bobby is officially a meat and potatoes guy,” Haley said. “This is a good, hard working kid that cares and does things the way that we want them done.”

Haley left the door open for Greenwood eventually returning to the defensive side of the football, but he won’t be going back-and-forth in the time being.

“I think that it’s a good thing for me,” Greenwood said after practice. “Whatever it takes for me to get on this team, I’ll take that opportunity.”

As for newly signed QB Bill Stull, who will have all of four practice sessions under his belt by the time kickoff rolls around Saturday night, Haley appears to have seen enough to let the rookie get in some action on short notice.

“I think that there is a good chance of (Stull) playing,” Haley said.

With back-up Brodie Croyle missing most of practice this week, the Chiefs were in a situation that potentially saw just two healthy QBs travel to Tampa if Stull had not joined the squad.

Practice Inactives

QB Brodie Croyle

G Darryl Harris

S Jon McGraw

RB Kestahn Moore

This list has remained consistent over the past few days of training camp. None of the above players

have taken more than a handful of team snaps this week, clouding their chances for play-time on Saturday night.

Practice Notables

  • Turning in the Play of the Day in a “routes on air” drill doesn’t normally happen, but WR Lance Long made today the exception. In a drill with no defenders present, Long ran his route along with other receivers, ends and running backs. Each player is thrown a football, sometimes putting five footballs in the air at the same time. A mix-up occurred and two passes were thrown in Long’s direction, but Long hauled in both of them within a second of one another. Long also had two nice catches during portions of practice where defenders actually covered him.
  • After a very active night practice, CB Brandon Carr showed up again today with a few nice pass breakups in the end zone.
  • Mike Vrabel knows how to compete, even during the slower times of practice. In Red Zone 7-on-7 work, Vrabel was encouraging the first-team defense to try and go through the entire period by keeping the offense out of the end zone. They almost did too, had it not been for a TD pass by Cassel on the final play that the first-teamers ran.
  • QB Tyler Palko got hot in Red Zone 7-on-7, connecting on four of five attempts with four TDs. He rattled off three consecutive TDs to start the period (two to TE Tony Moeaki and one to Long) before being picked off by CB Mike Richardson in the back of the end zone. Palko came back on his final snap to find Verran Tucker for his fourth TD throw of the period.
  • QB Bill Stull and C Lemuel Jean-Pierre had some difficulty with exchanges throughout the practice. The two may pair for some snaps together on Saturday night.

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