On July 29th, 80 men will report to training camp in St. Joseph, Missouri with one goal in mind – to wear the Kansas City Chiefs logo on their helmets when The New Arrowhead Stadium hosts its first-ever Monday Night Football Game on September 13th. Chiefs fans are already familiar with the majority of players who will be competing for roster spots this summer, but the crop of undrafted free agents often enter camp anonymous to the fan base.
Starting on June 29th and ending on July 14th, we’ll meet each of the Chiefs undrafted players for conversation. These are members of the Chiefs roster that can’t be ignored. History tells us that several of these men will end up on Kansas City’s Opening Day 53-man squad.
Today’s Rookie Focus – LB
Quick Intro – Greenwood was the third overall selection, chosen by the Toronto Argonauts in the 2010 Canadian Football League Draft. He played collegiately at Concordia University in Montreal, Quebec, where he started all 31 games of his college career.
JL: Talk about the CFL Draft process. That’s very interesting to Chiefs fans. How is that process similar and different to the NFL Draft process?
CG: It’s kind of similar as far as there being a Combine, but they only invite the top 50 guys in the country there. It’s spread over the weekend and you do your 40-yard time, your medicals and your bench press. It’s all the same tests, except its a little more condensed.
Friday, you’ll get in there. Saturday, you’ll do your tests and then on Sunday you’ll actually put on equipment and we’ll go on the field and actually do one-on-one pass rush drills. I did my linebacker drills through the bags and then did pass rush drills against the running backs. We’ll also go over and do the coverage stuff, because they also bring in quarterbacks as well. It’s cool that they throw the padded aspect of the game into it.
JL: Who all is involved in making up those top 50 players who compete in the CFL Combine?
CG: All Canadians are eligible, actually. You even get guys who played Division I and Division II ball down in the States if they want to come up. If they are a Canadian citizen then they can get the invite. All of the CFL teams keep good track of the Canadians who go down to the States to play in college.
JL: How does it work for you now? Do the Argonauts still own your rights if you ever end up as a free agent again?
CG: Yes, that’s correct. The CFL Draft was a week before the NFL Draft, so I knew that I was drafted. Then the NFL Draft came along, but I didn’t sign with Toronto. We were still going through negotiations with my contract up there – you know the contract length, signing bonus, incentives…all that stuff. So we were kind of taking our time and seeing what was going to happen. If I become a free agent, they have my rights and I can go sign with Toronto.
JL: If you would have signed with Toronto, would you not have been able to negotiate with any of the NFL teams?
CG: That’s correct.
JL: So it’s a good thing that you waited a bit to work on that contract with Toronto.
CG: Yeah, we did that on purpose to keep all of the options available.
JL: In Canada’s college football system you play a shortened schedule compared to the NCAA. Talk about how that system is set up and what life is like playing college ball in Canada.
CG: There are around 30 teams in Canada, spread out all over the country. In my conference, the Quebec Conference, there are six teams. So we will play every team once, one team twice and then play a cross-over game because there are four teams down on the east coast. It’s called the interlock, so we’ll go down there and play a team and then we’ll host a team from down there as well.
It’s kind of neat that you get to play teams from other conferences at least once a year, which the other teams in Canada don’t get to do. But now they’ve passed a rule that they don’t want to do that anymore because it costs so much money to travel and it’s like a 16-hour bus ride to get down there. So our conference moved to a nine-game regular season schedule and we’ll play every team twice.
JL: now that you are a professional football player down here in the stats, talk about what the experience has been like for you.
CG: It’s been fun. I didn’t really know what to expect heading into OTAs and the workouts. It wasn’t too hard. I thought it was going to be crazy because it was the NFL and that they were going to beat us down into the ground, but it went pretty well.
JL: You as a long snapper; talk about your experience there and is it something that you’re thinking that you could maybe fit in to your game at the pro level.
CG: We had a great long snapper at Concordia, so I was kind of his backup in case anything would happen to him. So I was always practicing in pre-practice on my snaps and stuff. Then this spring, I practiced (long-snapping) a lot just training for the combines, because I wanted to come in and make myself as versatile as I could. If I could help the team by long-snapping, playing special teams and linebacker I would be that much more valuable to the team.
It’s been coming along and you just keep working away at it. It’s a skill that not too many other guys can do, so why not have that in your tool box.
JL: Have you been working on it after practice with special teams coach Steve Hoffman and LS
CG: Yep, I’m working on it every day after practice and even after workouts if it’s not a practice day. I’ve just got to keep on doing it. It’s all about reps.