Boomer Gets A Taste

Friday night in Mankato, Minnesota, new Chiefs fullback Boomer Grigsby made his debut in a controlled scrimmage against the Minnesota Vikings. It was a date the converted linebacker had circled on his calendar since he switched positions.

There is something to be said for guys like Grigsby, who take nothing for granted. He knows this is a make or break year for him, after never really getting a chance to compete at middle linebacker. Sensing that he had to find a place on the roster for Boomer, head coach Herm Edwards called the young player into his office "I told him if he wanted to make this football team, this is what he needed to do," Edwards told our listeners on our Out of Bounds Podcast.

So Boomer dedicated himself to running and catching this spring, and it has carried over into the OTAs, Mini-Camp and now in training camp. His hands won't remind you of Fred Biletnikoff, but Boomer has something magical on his hands – no it's not stickum - heart and desire. He knows one dropped pass could push him down the depth chart.

He's not going to let that happen. In Mankato, he was pumped up for an opportunity to show the coaching staff he could get the job done in live action.

It was something he won't soon forget.

"It was a rush," said Boomer. "It was outstanding. I got to run up there and smack into people. It was kamikaze-like and it was good to go against another opponent."

The position may be new, but it's something Boomer has felt he was more than capable of conquering for a while now. After Thursday's special teams practice, he told me he should have been doing it since college.

He's been turning heads, that's for sure, and his teammates and coaches have noticed. His boyish side has emerged - after the scrimmage he had a smile a mile wide.

He acts like he's won the NFL lottery, but at the same time hasn't lost sight of what's important about his new role.

"I'm just trying to help out my teammates," said Boomer. "I don't care about my role. I just want to help this team win football games."

One person who knows something about that is former Chiefs fullback Tony Richardson. He still has a soft spot for his former NFL city, and is also a big supporter of his teammate of two seasons. Richardson and Grigsby spoke in March, and the veteran offered him solid advice.

"He just had basic simple questions," said Richardson. "I think he can make the transition. You know, it's a different animal going from linebacker to fullback, but he has the instincts and the heart to get up in the middle of the line and do it."

That's high praise from someone who defined the position in Kansas City for nearly a decade. But that praise isn't limited to T-Rich - it also comes from Boomer's head coach, who admits he's rooting for Boomer.

"How can I not?" said Edwards in our podcast. "He's wearing my number."

Despite that praise, Grigsby still has some distance to travel before he can be counted on to jump from backup to starting fullback. Despite this spike in playing time and opportunity, he knows deep down his attitude and heart might ultimately be the determining factor to a larger role on offense.

"You either have it or you don't," he said. "You can develop techniques but you have to have the right mentality. Thankfully I have great coaches working with me."

So what's next for Boomer? He's looking forward to Saturday's rematch with the Vikings in Rivers Falls.

"I get to smack somebody again," he said.

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