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Training Camp at St. Joe coming to a Close

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By now you've had a week to reflect and discuss the Kansas City Chiefs first preseason game. The loss last Friday against the Atlanta Falcons left many with a sense of deja vu. The initial stand of the defense to the first three and out by Matt Cassel and the offense was eerily similar to last year.

Like the 1966 spaghetti western film "The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly", there where performances to like, ones to forget, and others you'd not like to see again.

But having attended Training camp over the last couple days I see that the players and the fans haven't quit. On the Chiefs first practice back Sunday some 3,500 fans we're in attendance. Talking to fans this week hopes haven't been dashed. There's more in the tank.

Monday matinee...

Monday started strange, and the press conference didn't change things. Todd Haley canceled practice and took the kids to a movie. At first I was thinking like Ward Cleaver, no movies until you do your homework, but what do I know. Maybe I was disappointed that after a long drive I wasn't invited. Hey, if popcorn and junk food does the trick, then I'm for it!

So what's next, a giant inflatable? I'd better be in on that!

Seriously, even though the media gets a tad closer than the average fan, Haley and his coaches are with the team the entire off-season. We may have a ton of questions about the team and Matt Cassel, but Haley isn't worried.

In the Monday morning press conference I asked Haley if the team is learning to walk with what they've learned before they can run. Maybe fans are expecting too much too soon sort of thing. Let's face it; there was more than the usual anticipation for the Chiefs first preseason game.

"I don't know that I'd take it that way because we've, they've had a lot of information to digest in a short amount of time under difficult conditions and meeting, practice, treatment, meeting, lift, practice; I mean we're putting a lot on them," said Haley. "I just again, think that the human nature aspect is, 'oh we've got a game we've got to come up with a lot of ideas and those will all be new ideas to the players' and that's just what I as the head coach have to manage.

That doesn't mean we're going to win the game if we have a lot of new ideas. We may win the game because we're doing things simple and everybody's playing fast and physical and we just make more plays than the other team. That's really throughout the year something that I'm going to manage but in training camp I think it's easy to lose sight of it as a coach."

In other words, if the Chiefs win in preseason that's fine, but right now evaluating the team and the individual player is what's key.

Colin Brown...

After Wednesday's morning practice I was able to ask Chiefs guard Colin Brown what the general attitude was since the Chiefs first preseason game.

"One of the big things that came up is everybody learned the things they need to work on," said Brown. "It became obvious that people may not have realized that they needed to work extra hard in certain areas, but that game showed the different areas that people need to work on. I know it showed me several things that I have to adjust to and get better at."

Standing 6-7 and 335 pounds Brown is a second year player that's fighting to make the team. Brown is a great story, and fits the Haley profile. Brown has to fight for every inch to get to where he is. Going to Mizzou was Brown's dream, but his dad had to scratch everything they had together. Here's the kicker, even after that there was no guarantee for Brown, but he made the program in 2004 as a walk-on.

I asked Brown if that same attitude has helped him so far in camp.

"I believe so," said Brown. "You know, I just try to take it one day at a time and just try to get better and see where that takes me."

After talking to Brown it's easy to see where Haley gets the extra patience. It may be clear cut for the fan, especially after the first quarter of the Atlanta game, but the Chiefs are sure they're still on the right track.

Good day, Chief fans!

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