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News

New Chiefs Teammates Feeling "Like Family"

Posted 20 hours ago

OL Mike Tepper, CBs Conroy Black & Kamaal McIlwain welcomed by the Chiefs

Think back to the last time you were at work and a new employee started in your department, or you're in school and a new classmate now sits in front of you every morning at 9 AM, what were you thinking or feeling at the time?

Those specific scenarios are very much like the past few days at Chiefs Camp, where the team recently signed CB Conroy Black and Thursday announced the additions of CB Kamaal McIlwain and OT Mike Tepper.

Before talking with all three new players, Chiefs LB Derrick Johnson offered me some perspective on having new guys join the team.

"It's the NFL," Johnson said. "It's camp time, so you're going to see a lot of new faces. When guys come here and put on that Chiefs helmet, they're a Chief right now."

And that's exactly how DJ and the rest of the Chiefs have been treating their new teammates.

"Just like family,” McIlwain said.

“I was in Atlanta with current Chiefs DB Dunta Robinson. I was a rookie in 2011 with him in Atlanta. He brought me in his room every day, going over plays and stuff, so, the guys embraced me well, shook my hand, checked to see how I’m doing, asking where I’m from; it’s good."

Chiefs CB Conroy Black couldn't agree more.

"They've done a real good job, just helping me out," Black said.

"Sean Smith went to the same college I went to (Utah), so, he's done a lot. He's helped me out with the plays and stuff; it's coming along. The whole team and the organization have been real cool. I'm just happy to be here."

Conroy also commented on the first thing he noticed about coach Reid's up-tempo practices.

"They go fast," Black said. "I had to get my legs back, but it's been fun. It's been a lot of work."

As far as trying to learn the new playbook as fast as possible, the team's newest CB already has a plan.

"They asked me if I wanted a TV in my room" McIlwain said. "I told them I’m going to be on the dark side for the next five weeks, or however long they keep me. I’m just going to be in there studying. No TV, no cell phone; three hours per night, all playbook."

Like his fellow new Chiefs teammates, Tepper also knew a familiar face already on the team.

"I knew Chiefs OL Stephen Baker already, because he was in Indianapolis with me," Tepper said. "I'm glad to be on an NFL team like the Chiefs with coach Reid. I think we have a lot of great things coming this year and I'm looking forward to progressing in the system and watching everybody grow."

The growing continues this morning at practice, beginning at 8:15 AM CDT.

Can't make it to Chiefs Camp? Follow me on Twitter (@KCChiefs_Reid), as I'll be providing updates, photos and more throughout camp.

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