Around The Web: Croyle’s Long Road, New England Holliday, Barth To South Beach, Texans Simulate Arrowhead

Of all the players in camp with the Kansas City Chiefs, no one is happier to be on the field than Brodie Croyle.  After an injury ended his season last year, Croyle told Adam Teicher at the Kansas City Star he immediately began to asses his future.BrodieCroyle2

“I just knew that’s not the way I wanted to go out,” Croyle said of the season-ending knee injury he suffered in last October’s game against Tennessee.  “I didn’t want that to be my final legacy, my final play in the NFL.  I still love the game.  I don’t think anybody was more excited to come to training camp than I was.  I actually get to play football again.  I’ve done all the rehab and all the working out to give myself a chance, so it’s fun to get back there.”

Croyle, after missing all the offseason practices because he was rehabilitating from knee surgery, returned to play when the Chiefs started training camp two weeks ago.  Croyle, a former starter, is competing for a backup spot behind Matt Cassel.

Croyle already emerged victorious in one battle, the race to return by the start of training camp.  Last year, he not only tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee for the second time but also damaged his medial collateral ligament.

“It’s been a long road.  It’s probably a little earlier than people thought right off the bat.  It was a pretty good knee injury.  A lot of rehab, a lot of extra work.  It was my goal to get back by the start of camp so I could give myself a chance and I would have to play well when I got here.”

Haley was critical of Croyle on the field early in camp, but those comments have slowed as Croyle settled back into his routine.

“The first day, it just felt like bodies were flying around everywhere, guys in coverage everywhere,” Croyle said. “It takes awhile to get used to seeing everything, anticipating your throws, anticipating the holes.  I wouldn’t say it’s completely back, but each practice it’s feeling better and better.”

You have to admire Croyle for being able to constantly fight his way back from major injuries.  The fact that he has those injuries, has to make you wonder if that is who you want as your No. 2 quarterback.  If God forbid Matt Cassel goes down with an injury, you need someone running your team that you know isn’t going to be taken off the field shortly after the man they are replacing.  Tyler Thigpen showed last year that he can make plays, but just as importantly that he can take a licking and keep popping back up.

Last week, the New England Patriots signed former Chief Eddie Freeman.  They have once again gone fishing in the Chiefs pool, giving a workout to Vonnie Holliday yesterday, according to Fox Sports.

The Patriots also have been courting free agent Kevin Carter in an attempt to bolster their defensive line.  Holliday and Carter were teammates in Miami in 2005 and 2006.  Holliday, 33, also played the last two seasons with the Dolphins, starting 15 games in 2008.  Interest in the veteran DE has been slow going as he tries to recover from offseason knee surgery.

I don’t know about you, but I think we are a Wes Dacus signing away from being able to call them the New England Chiefs.

ConnorBarth2Speaking of former Chiefs, Connor Barth — cut just before training camp — signed with the Miami Dolphins yesterday.

On Friday, the former Hoggard and North Carolina star talked about insurance classes and townhouse shopping in Chapel Hill.  On Monday evening, he was settling in south Florida, as the Miami Dolphins signed him to a two-year contract to compete for the starting job.

The competition in Miami will be a good one between second-year kickers.  Dan Carpenter went 21-for-25 on field goals for the Dolphins last season, while Barth went 10-for-12 for the Chiefs in a half-year’s work.  Neither player missed an extra point.

Barth made it to Miami in time for Monday afternoon’s practice.

Barth said he had been kicking well in the off-season while preparing for classes to become an insurance agent.  When the Chiefs let him go, he quickly found the silver lining – that more time in Chapel Hill would mean free time to watch little brother Casey kick for the Tar Heels.

Good for Barth.  He has an NFL leg, just not a big-time NFL leg.  If they Chiefs hadn’t drafted Ryan Succop and his long range leg, Barth would be up in River Falls right now kicking for Todd Haley & Co.  Carpenter seems to be very similar to Barth, so there’s no reason he can’t go into Miami, have a good camp and win the job.

The Chiefs will take on the Houston Texans Saturday in the first preseason game of the season.  The boys from Texas are making sure they are prepared for the road environment.

To prepare for the game against the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium, simulated crowd noise was blasting during yesterday’s morning practice.

Quarterback Matt Schaub and the offense seemed a little rattled at first, but the first-team unit was eventually able to perform as needed despite all the noise.

It’ll be a whole lot different than training camp, but I don’t think simulated crowd noise is necessary to prepare for a preseason game.  I have no doubt everyone at the game Saturday will be pumped to see the new Arrowhead, but it won’t be anywhere near the noise of a regular season game.  Something tells me the crowd isn’t going to get too crazy over Ricky Price picking off Rex Grossman in the fourth quarter.

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