Around The Web: Cassel At Camp, New Draft Target, Mocking The Mocks, Mini-Camp Ends

Matt Cassel is spending his time these days making his teammates see how badly he wants to earn their respect and trust, writes Jeffri Chadiha at ESPN.cassel3

So far during his time in Kansas City, Cassel is at Chiefs team headquarters every weekday morning at 7:30 so he can train with the first group of players going through the team’s offseason program.  Cassel has shown his understanding that his off-field behavior at this time of year is just as critical as what happens in practice.  During this weekend’s mini-camp, Cassel has sounded like someone ready to make this team his own:

“You need to show [your leadership] by example instead of by what you say.  Once you do that, then you can open your mouth a little more.”

It’s nice to see that Cassel gets it. That attitude will serve him well as the Chiefs try to change the culture of a team that has won just six of its past 32 games.  You can also see he understands how he needs to act when he shook reporters’ hands and introduced himself at his first news conference with the local media.  He wants to make a strong impression.  he wants people to know what he’s about.  Just as in the locker room, Cassel sees the benefits in letting people see he’s simply a laid-back, outgoing native Californian who’s trying to help his team win games.

Someone sure doesn’t sound like a guy competing to be the starting quarterback.  I’m sure Todd Haley was genuine when he told Tyler Thigpen, and the rest of the team, that every position was open but Cassel sure is playing the part of starting quarterback pretty well right now.

Wtysonjackson1e have heard plenty from Michael Lombardi at the Football Post regarding Tony Gonzalez and his potential trade to the Atlanta Falcons.  Today he is reporting the Chiefs have a new player targeted for draft day.

The word around the league is Kansas City is in love with DE Tyson Jackson of LSU and see him as another Richard Seymour.

I can buy that the Chiefs want to go with someone other than Aaron Curry, but I don’t see how Jackson can be that guy.  If they go defense and it has to be a pass rusher, then Jackson would be a poor choice as he doesn’t have the closing speed a top line rusher needs.  That’s not to say he wouldn’t be a welcome addition to the defense, but I don’t understand how he would be a better pick than Curry.

‘Tis the season to mock!  To try and figure out who the Chiefs will select with the third pick, Joe Posnanski scoured through 200 mock drafts.  What do those mocks tell us?

Aaron Curry of Wake Forest will probably be the pick.  73% of the mocks predict the Chiefs will select Curry.  He is far and away the consensus choice of the mockers.  If it isn’t Curry, 9% of the mockers think the pick will be Texas defensive end Brian Orakpo.

Talk about an interesting read.  We all know most mock drafts aren’t worth the web space they occupy, but I’m as guilty as anyone when it comes to reading as many as I can.  Posnanski makes a great point that nobody gets the picks right, but the fun of the process is playing the guessing game.  I’ve been guessing almost since day 1 that Aaron Curry would be the pick, but that doesn’t stop me from moving the pieces around every day to see who might fit in with the Chiefs.  Add in the trade possibilities that are being floated out there and putting together an accurate mock draft is harder than picking a perfect NCAA bracket.

Todd Haley and the Kansas City Chiefs wrapped up their first mini-camp today with another indoor practice session, reports Bob Gretz.

There were 64 players on the field for the workout with Tony Gonzalez, Brian Waters and Mike Vrabel all missing.  Haley said the players were interested in doing things the way they want them to do it:

“That’s one of the criteria for being on this team, you are going to have to do it the way you are coached to do it.  They are listening and paying attention and doing it the way we are talking about…We have a long ways to go.”

Haley also stressed that this mini-camp was about teaching and not so much about player evaluation:

“There’s no pads so there is only so much that you can see.  I told the players you are not going to make the team this weekend. You have a better chance of making the team lifting and running the way we want it done.”

I wondered a couple days ago if Haley and Scott Pioli might make an example out of a player that decided to skip this mini-camp even though it was voluntary.  Haley seemed to be convincing when he said the players not in attendence were good about letting him know why they wouldn’t be able to make it.  That said, I wish everyone would have been around this weekend, including Gonzalez, Waters and Vrabel.  I understand some players prefer to work out on there own and I don’t have any problem with that under normal circumstances but with new coaches putting in new schemes on both sides of the ball, players should make sure they are at every mini-camp and conditioning program.

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