“We’ve got some talent,” Edwards said after Thursday’s practice. “I think we’ve got camaraderie, which I like. I think you have to have that. There is no ego; everyone is kind of on the same level right now. I think everyone understands it’s just about us; it’s about nobody else right now.”
Because of that, after the final session was over it was apparent Edwards is relaxed and at peace – at least for the moment. It’s been a long run for the man who is now entering his third year as head coach of the Chiefs.
We can’t lose sight that the transformation ahead has one goal - win the division and get into the tournament, where every NFL fan knows anything is possible. Just ask last year’s Super Bowl winner, the New York Giants, who conquered three opponents on the road in the playoffs.
I’m not going to preach that this year’s team is ready for that kind of run, because they’re not. Nobody believes the 2008 Chiefs will win anything significant this season.
But this year does represent the first stepping stone to something potentially great. That’s what Edwards believes as he heads into Friday’s meetings to determine which 12 players will be cut.
As the team signs each draft pick, as they did Wednesday with the signing of fifth-round pick Brandon Carr, they’ll have to release a player. With the training camp limit of 80 players looming, roster spots are priceless. Teams can’t afford to make mistakes, and Edwards knows the dropoff in talent from spot #40 to #80 isn’t huge.
There’s a good chance each of KC’s 12 draft picks make the roster. The only exception might be tight end Michael Merritt, who didn’t take the field in OTAs due to an injury.
Regardless of which players get cut in the coming days, we know Edwards and his coordinators, Chan Gailey and Gunther Cunningham, will put together starting lineups that place the best players on the field. That hasn’t always happened in Kansas City over the last several years.
Final OTA Notes:
RB Jamaal Charles - He kicked it into another gear in practice today. The synthetic turf at Spratt Stadium probably had something to do with it. A reporter who covered Charles at Texas told me he put ball on the ground too much in college, but I didn’t see any of that the last few weeks. Charles should give second-year man Kolby Smith a run for his money for the top backup job.
WR Bobby Sippio - Today was one of his better days, and he’s beginning to emerge as someone who’s determined to make the roster. He’s still a long shot but there isn’t anyone who can criticize his hands. The one thing Sippio’s had to do, because he’s not blessed with great speed, is run precise routes. He might have been the most improved route runner in OTAs. Today he also signed every single autograph possible for the fans in St. Joseph, and didn’t stop signing until he hit the team bus.
WR Will Franklin - Like Sippio, he had a great day. I’ve been impressed with him the last few weeks, and with the questions at wide receiver, someone needed to emerge. He’s in a dogfight with Devard Darling for the number two slot, but I don’t think this competition will be decided anytime soon. There were questions about Franklin’s hands coming out, but I’ve seen him drop only two passes through the OTA sessions.
DE Turk McBride - The more I see him play the more I like what he’s becoming. Herm Edwards said the Chiefs will miss Jared Allen, but if McBride, who spent a lot of time under Allen’s wing a year ago, can continue to mature on the field, he’s going to give Edwards a difficult decision to make in regards to the starting lineup. Right now McBride is the left defensive end in the nickel package, but he could see more playing time.
SS DaJuan Morgan - He has skyrocketed up the charts, and in my opinion he’s already ahead of Bernard Pollard for a starting spot. I would not be surprised come training camp if Pollard plays with the second-unit defense more than the first team. Clark Hunt told me he really likes Morgan – now all he has to do is sign him.
The St. Joe Crowd - About 4,000 people showed up and their enthusiasm was rewarded as the players spent plenty of time signing autographs after practice. I think you’ll see the Chiefs hold similar events quite often over the next couple of seasons. It’s important they move around the states of Missouri and Kansas so more fans can reach out and touch the team.
Mitch Holthus - The Voice of the Chiefs and I had a few lengthy conversations the last few weeks. He’s as excited about this group of draft picks and young players as I am. Yes, we’re drinking out of the same pitcher of Kool-Aid, but as two people fortunate enough to watch the team regularly in the offseason, we both believe the 2008 Chiefs will win more games than they did a year ago.
Looking for the rest of this offseason's OTA Reports? The full archive is listed below.
Wednesday, June 11 practice
Sunday, June 8 practice
Saturday, June 7 practice
Friday, June 6 practice
Tuesday, June 3 practice
Thursday, May 29 practice
Tuesday, May 28 practice
Thursday, May 22 practice