When the Kansas City Chiefs released
Connor Barth just before the start of training camp, it
appeared the competition for kicker was over. The job was
rookie Ryan Succop's.
Not so fast.
Though he will get all the reps in training camp, Succop
still has to earn his spot as the Chiefs kicker. Kickers at
other teams' training camps, veterans waiting for
another shot, even Barth-they're all still in the mix
if Succop doesn't perform.
"He's got competition. His competition is just
coming from guys that are out there right now, including
Connor," Chiefs coach Todd Haley said. "Anything
Banks: Snap Judgments: Chiefs' Cassel at ease with role as face of franchise
IVER FALLS, Wis. -- Dispatches from the opening day of the 19th and
final Chiefs training camp on the picturesque grounds of the University
of Wisconsin-River Falls ...
• I was lucky enough to catch up with new Kansas City quarterback Matt Cassel on Saturday, which was impeccable timing since it happened to be the first day of the rest of his career.
know Cassel's deal by now. He's one of those classic overnight success
stories that was years in the making. I know the Patriots didn't wind
up making the playoffs last season; but for my money, Cassel winning 11
of 16 games still stands as one of the more remarkable feats in recent
goes down with a season-ending knee injury midway through the first
quarter of New England's opener, and in comes Cassel, the guy who
hadn't ever started a game in the NFL or college. Almost everyone
doubts he can do it, and when he does, almost everyone labels him a
"system quarterback'' who only benefited from the Patriots'
all-everything receiving tandem of Randy Moss and Wes Welker.
Babb: The Chiefs' conditioning test is over. Most passed. Some didn't. Here's one who didn't
Chiefs coach Todd Haley has made it clear, again and again, that
conditioning is a priority. It's a basic element of success, he
believes, and it clears the way for coaches to emphasize more important
and advanced issues during the relatively brief three weeks of training
So when a likely starter fails the conditioning test, it's a tough
thing to deal with. Defensive end Glenn Dorsey admitted Friday that he
was among the handful of players who didn't pass the test.
Though not every player completed his conditioning test today in the
assigned time, coach Todd Haley said he was satisfied that as a whole,
the Chiefs arrived at training camp in good physical condition.
"I was concerned (whether) guys during their little bit of time off
continued to stay in condition," he said. "As a group, we did that."
Haley wouldn't reveal which players failed the conditioning test but
said the Chiefs had a handful of players who won't practice tomorrow
because of physical issues.
Babb: Dorsey understands what Tyson Jackson is going through
This time last year, it was Glenn Dorsey sweating through the final
hours of a long negotiations process. He missed the Chiefs' first
practice as part of a brief holdout, while former Kansas City president
Carl Peterson and Dorsey's agent, Joel Segal, worked out the details.
So Dorsey knows what it's like for Tyson Jackson, his former
teammate at LSU and the Chiefs' top pick this year. Jackson didn't
travel with the team to River Falls, and he didn't take part in
Friday's conditioning test. Team drills begin Saturday.
The Kansas City Chiefs didn't get a leisurely day of meetings and meals
to kick off training camp. They ran. Not just a shake-out-the-cobwebs
run. A timed run, the last part of their pre-camp physicals. Don't make
time, don't practice Saturday.
Clearly, this isn't the pat-on-the back, glad-to-see-you
greeting the Chiefs got from coach Herm Edwards. New boss Todd
Haley is all business, all the time. His players will be in shape
or they won't practice.
"In every situation, we're competing; everything is a
competition," center Rudy Niswanger said Friday. "Everything is a
battle, and the guys are thriving on it."
Well, not everyone. A handful of players didn't pass their
physicals and will miss Saturday's practices.
Haley didn't say which players didn't pass -- defensive tackle
Glenn Dorsey acknowledged he was one -- saying only that it was a
handful and not all were because of a failed conditioning test. No
one was expected to be out long term.
"There were some surprises both ways, you could say," Haley
said. "Overall, it was about what I expected. I was pleased. It's
a difficult portion of the physical, and as a whole I felt pretty
The Chiefs knew what to expect.
After two years under Edwards, Haley has put his imprint on this
struggling franchise with a foot to the backside. Mistakes are not
tolerated. Excuses are even worse. Get it right or hear about it