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 – WR
Quick Intro – Horne began his career at Syracuse before transferring to UMass. He saw action primarily on special teams during his two seasons with the Orange, one which was served as a redshirt. Once Horne moved on to Massachusetts, he went on to catch 84 footballs for 1,338 yards (15.9 avg.) with 11 TDs over three seasons with the Minutemen.
JL: You’ve seen college football at two different levels of play, and now you are experiencing yet another brand of the game. What has been the biggest adjustment for you since joining Kansas City?
JH: I’d consider myself to be a faster type of player, so the speed of the game hasn’t been that big of a change for me. But technique in the NFL is very important with the increased skill level of those around you. That’s where I’ve found the biggest adjustment has had to been made.
JL: Your former teammate, OL Vlad Ducasse, seemed to have a lot of scouts and media members questioning the level of play at UMass while he was going through the draft process. Were those some of the questions that you had to answer too?
JH: Well, since I had played at Syracuse for two years, I had that experience to fall back upon. I would say that the overall difference in play isn’t a whole lot. The main difference is in the play on the line of scrimmage. For the skill positions, there is very similar talent at both levels. We also went head-to-head with Boston College and Texas Tech while I was at UMass, so there was plenty of film on me playing against that level of play when my Syracuse tape was added into the mix too.
JL: From seeing both of those levels of play first hand, it sounds like you have a lot of pride in UMass and the teams that you played against from week-to-week.
JH: We played in the best conference of 1AA football – the CAA. Teams from our conference beat multiple teams from Division I last year.
JL: Here at the pro level, when we’ve watched you practice, you seem to be more of a physical player. Is that in your nature?
JH: Yes, I’m very physical. That’s where I pride myself. I just play the game the way that it’s supposed to be played. To me, that means to go in there and play hard on every single play.
JL: Horne never shied away from contact during non-padded practices this off-season. He involved himself in two collisions after making catches across the middle and also diving for a pylon during Red Zone work. Most of his physical play can be attributed to executing each play at full speed, regardless of the situation. Horne also described himself as a "G.I. Joe type of guy" during a team visit to The Big Red One at Ft. Riley, KS.
JL: The off-season program is winding down. What are you going to do in the few weeks you have off to prepare yourself for the opening of training camp?
JH: I will continue to get strong and to get better every day. I’m going to get into my playbook and work on my technique. I won’t be sitting back and taking time off.
JL: What’s something that you’ve taken from these past two months since you’ve been in Kansas City that you maybe weren’t expecting?
JH: Just learning how to be a pro, watching the older guys to see how they approach different situations and deal with everything from working with the coaches to dealing with the media. There are good examples in the locker room of how to approach everyday life and how to take a professional approach to the business side of this game.
JL: Is a guy like
JH: Yeah, most definitely. All of the veterans have been very kind and generous to us. It’s really been a good experience for all the rookies I’d imagine.