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Rookies Readying For Debut

Posted Aug 12, 2010

It's time for the Chiefs rookie class to make its NFL debut

Nineteen rookies are currently part of the Chiefs 2010 Training Camp roster. Some of the group is made up of high-profile draft picks from BCS universities, while others came to Kansas City as undrafted hopefuls from anonymous colleges. Regardless of the path that each rookie took to Kansas City, every one of them will feel the something similar when they walk out of the Georgia Dome tunnel on Friday night; boo birds and all.

“It will be a dream come true (when I walk out the tunnel),” rookie WR Dexter McCluster said. “A lot of people have asked me if it’s really sunk in yet that I’m in the NFL. I tell them, ‘yeah, it has,’ but I think that Friday is when it’s really going to sink in once I see that stadium."

McCluster’s excitement is shared by his former collegiate teammate as well, rookie S Kendrick Lewis.

“I’m very excited and very anxious waiting to see how it’s going to feel,” Lewis said. “I’m just ready to go up against some new guys and see how we can compete.”

For some of the rookies, Friday night will mark the beginning of a long and successful NFL career. For others, this preseason game could be one of the few NFL moments that linger with them forever. Regardless of the direction their career takes after Friday night, the evening is going to be a special time for the entire crop.

In first-round pick Eric Berry’s case, playing in the Georgia Dome carries even more meaning. A native of nearby Fairburn, Georgia, Berry’s first-ever NFL game will be that of a miniature homecoming. Expect to see a load of #29 jerseys pack the dome to witness Berry’s professional debut.

“I’m very excited,” Berry said. “It’s my first NFL game of any type and its back at home. I played my last college game there, so I’m very excited about it.”

Berry is hoping that his return to town yields a better result this time around. On December 31st, Berry and his Tennessee teammates were downed 37-14 by Virginia Tech in the Chick-fil-A Bowl; something that Berry has no doubt heard about plenty of times from his off-season training partner, fellow defensive back and VT alum Brandon Flowers.

“I feel like if I just play within the scheme of the coaches and do what I’ve been taught over these two weeks at camp, then I think they’ll put us in the right position,” Berry said. “All we have to do is perform, pay attention and get after it.”

Most every rookie is expecting to play a lot on Friday on Friday night, whether it’s on offense, defense, special teams, or a mixture of the three. The butterflies are going to be churn and there might be a missed assignment in the early goings as a result. Adjusting to the speed of the game and a new playing environment is all part of the preseason experience for rookies.

Everything will be new for these 19 players, right down to the travel schedule and pre-game routine. The event is going to be a fun one for the rookies, as well as for Chiefs fans getting their first gameday glimpse of Kansas City’s newest faces.

 “Live game action – this is what it’s all about,” McCluster said excitedly.

The first of 20 begins on Friday.

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