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Heartland Health Practice Report: Heading To Arrowhead

Posted Aug 10, 2011

The pads were popping Wednesday night in the Chiefs final St. Joe practice before Friday's preseason opener

ST. JOSEPH, MO – The next time the Chiefs take the field, it will be at Arrowhead Stadium.

Training camp breaks from Missouri Western State University for 72 hours as the Chiefs head some 60 miles south on I-29 to ready for preseason’s opening kick. Head Coach Todd Haley will take his team through a walkthrough inside Arrowhead Stadium Thursday before kicking off against Tampa Bay at 7:00 PM Friday night.

In preparation for Friday’s game, Haley put the Chiefs through a full-padded practice that featured the first live takedown period of camp. The session consisted of two offensive series with some of the Chiefs younger players.

“It really felt great, it was the first time hitting in a while,” rookie LB Justin Houston said.

Over 7,000 fans turned out to watch the workout under the lights at Spratt Stadium.

CB Quinten Lawrence drew the biggest response of the practice when the 6-0, 184-pound cornerback laid a big hit on FB Shane Bannon to record a tackle for loss.

The Chiefs first-team offensive and defensive units removed shoulder pads before beginning their competitive 11-v-11 period.

“Yeah, the ones took the pads off today and we weren’t banging that much so maybe we’ll play the whole game,” Cassel joked.

In a more serious tone, Cassel did say that he’s preparing to play in Friday’s opener.

“That’s up to Coach Haley,” Chiefs quarterbacks coach Jim Zorn said after practice. “I can’t imagine we’d risk a lot, but all of that’s up to coach. He’s got a plan and we’ll stick with that plan. You’re going to see all three quarterbacks; I can at least tell you that.”

Haley plans to go over specific details regarding Friday’s play-time structure with his staff on Thursday.

Colbert Makes Chiefs Debut

The Chiefs announced the signing of veteran WR Keary Colbert minutes before practice began. He wore #84 and participated in individual drills as well as one-on-one work against the defensive backs.

For Colbert, it’s been a long road back to the NFL.

The veteran wide receiver was completely out of football last season, serving as a graduate assistant coach under Lane Kiffin at USC. Colbert was a standout for the Trojans in the early 2000s.

Last year’s coaching experience re-ignited the competitive flame and pushed Colbert to make another NFL push this season. He was last with the Detroit Lions during training camp in 2009, but has not appeared in an NFL game since 2008.

A former second-round pick of the Panthers in 2004, Colbert’s finest season came as a rookie when he turned in 47 catches for 754 yards with five TDs. He owns 49 career starts.

Despite the layoff, Colbert was impressive in his Chiefs debut. He caught his first pass as a Chief over Quinten Lawrence for a red zone touchdown in one-on-one drills and followed that up with a nice catch against Sabby Piscitelli in the same drill.

Chiefs Add Kickoff Specialist

The Chiefs are going to give a look to a kickoff specialist after all. Along with announcing Colbert’s signing, Kansas City also revealed they’d been awarded K Todd Carter off waivers from St. Louis.

Carter is known for his powerful leg, previously serving as a kickoff specialist for veteran John Kasey in Carolina last season. It will be interesting to see what he can do with new kickoff rules moving the football to the 35-yard line. With Kansas City’s 90-man roster not yet full, it’s worth a look.

“We’re kind of feeling our way through that,” Haley said of the Chiefs approach to new kickoff rules. “We don’t want to make any decisions until we get through a couple of these games and really see what they look like.”

Carter was not at practice Wednesday night.

Most noteworthy about Carter is that he played at the same high school (Carman-Ainsworth in Flint, Michigan) and university (Grand Valley State) as Chiefs CB Brandon Carr.

Live Period Breakdown

We waited nearly two weeks for the first live period of camp and it finally came Wednesday night. The six-play period featured two three-and-outs forced by the defense. Here’s a run-down…

1st Series

1) Handoff to Jackie Battle goes for one yard. Tackled by Reshard Langford.

2) Tyler Palko sacked on a screen attempt. Justin Cole broke through the line on a dog blitz to record the sack.

3) Palko sacked again on a double dog blitz, this time by Erick Bakhtiari.

2nd Series

1) Ricky Stanzi completes seven-yard out to Zeke Markshausen.

2) Shane Bannon stuffed for a loss by Quinten Lawrence.

3) Stanzi just misses connecting with Verran Tucker on a 33-yard pass to the end zone.

Other Observations

- Ryan Succop connected on field goals of 51 and 45 yards. There was no rush.

- FB Mike Cox was the only player to miss practice. Tervaris Johnson, Glenn Dorsey, Jonathan Baldwin and Tony Moeaki were all full participants.

- Rookie Jalil Brown picked off a high Matt Cassel pass intended for Dexter McCluster. Pressure was applied on the play by fellow rookie Justin Houston.

- Jon McGraw tallied a sack after timing a stunt perfectly.

- Cassel ended 11-v-11 work on what looked like a TD pass to McCluster. Instant replay from Chiefs photographer Steve Sanders showed McCluster’s right foot landing out of bounds (see picture below).

Overheard

“Look at the former wide receiver putting his nose in the butter!”

- Voice of the Chiefs Mitch Holthus after CB Quinten Lawrence tackled FB Shane Bannon in the live period.

Photo of the Day


Dexter McCluster just missed the end zone on the final play of practice

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