Around The Web: Learning How To Win, Another Cal TE, Camp Drama, Jared Allen 2.0, Tragedy In Chiefs Family

This week will end with the Chiefs first training camp under coach Todd Haley and the question Bob Gretz is asking today is do they know how to win?

Haley is not waiting to find out, instead turning on the competition during the team’s off season strength and conditioning program.  The team works out in groups of 15 to 20 and while the weights and aerobic exercises are done individually by each player, they are done in the framework of the group according to Jarrad Page:page4

“Everybody starts at the same time. Everybody moves on to the next thing at the same time. Whether it’s on the field running or in the weight room … We are in there working together. Nobody is done before anybody else. Nobody is lagging behind. We start together and we end together.”

Clearly togetherness is being stressed by strength and conditioning coaches Cedric Smith and Brent Salazar but so is competition.  Withing these groups, players are workout out not only with, but against each other.  Put that many athletes doing the same things at the same time in the weight room and the competitive level goes up.  Page thinks that will help the team take that next step:

“I think doing what we are doing now is part of learning how to win.  Part of learning how to compete against each other, make it through things that are tough; these workouts are tough right now. They are pushing you to get through…  All this is stuff people don’t see, but they see teams finishing in the fourth quarter on Sunday. I think that begins by finishing as a group in April. It’s similar in what’s required of each player and the group together; teaching yourself mentally how to do that is teaching yourself how to win games.”

Page is one of the few players we have heard from this off season and if he speaks for the rest of the team then Todd Haley is off to an amazing start.  Unfortunately you never know if players are sending out the typical rah-rah signals until the season rolls around and there are some results, but I love the early returns.  Teaching these young kids that have done nothing but lose the past two seasons will be a tall task and one that veterans like Mike Vrabel and Zach Thomas will help Todd Haley accomplish.

morrah1After having success with a TE from California 12 years ago in Tony Gonzalez, Rob Calonge of the Examiner thinks the Chiefs will try again by selecting Cameron Morrah in the 4th round.  Even if Gonzalez isn’t traded, Morrah would be given time to learn the new Chiefs offense and how to take his place.

Even if the Chiefs do end up trading Gonzalez I can’t imagine they will make much of an effort to draft another TE.  As I’ve said before, I think TG will be just as, if not more, successful in Todd Haley’s system than he was before because he isn’t your typical tight end.  But if he does get shipped out you are going to have trouble getting even the top ranked tight end, Brandon Pettigrew from OK State, to fit into the new offense let alone a boom or bust type guy like Morrah.

The drama surrounding the Chiefs moving their training camp from Wisconsin to Missouri is still going on.  The St. Joseph News-Press has been all over this process and is reporting a resolution is expected sometime this week so Missouri Western State University can meet construction time lines.  The school intends on breaking ground on its new stadium this summer.

Now that the politicians from both sides of the aisle have gotten their teeth into this issue I am done making predictions on when the deal will finally be officially approved.  There’s no reason for it NOT to happen because everyone benefits, especially the local economy in St. Joseph, MO.

The Julius Peppers situation is still ongoing and Darin Gantt of the Herald thinks it looks a lot like the Chiefs showdown with Jared Allen from last year.

After a flurry of public words from both Peppers and the Panthers early on in the process, things have been completely quiet.  The man at the center of Allen’s departure from Kansas City, his agent Ken Harris thinks there has to be something going on with Peppers just as there was with his client:

“The current silence on the Peppers thing is deafening.  There has to be something going on right now that we don’t know about.  The silence is the biggest clue.”

The biggest different between the two situations is the leaders of the teams involved.  The bombastic Carl Peterson’s role in the Allen drama is central, as there appears to have been significant tension between him and his coach as well as his star player.peterson1

Peterson’s relationship with Harris is such that the agent won’t mention the former GM by name, and Harris said the talks he had with the Chiefs were almost entirely conducted through other members of the front office.  That led to him staying quiet through the trade proceedings, as he worried openly talking about a potential deal with another team might anger Peterson and jeopardize it. At the same time, Harris said the low-key nature of Panthers GM Marty Hurney — who he described as “Incredibly professional” — might help facilitate something.

The Chiefs ultimately shipped Allen to the Vikings for a first round pick and pair of third rounders.

Wow, this is one of the most severe attacks I’ve seen leveled at Peterson.  We all know he prided himself on being a tough negotiator, but I think it’s a bad sign that your best player’s agent refused to have direct contact with you.  I’m not saying Scott Pioli will be all heart and flowers with his players (see: Brian Waters) but I cannot imagine he will ever be unprofessional to the level that Peterson apparently was with Allen.  As for the Panthers, they will be lucky to get the two third round picks for Peppers the Chiefs got for Allen with him coming off a 2.5 sack season and being older than Allen was last season.

Jay Beckman, 52, South Miami city commisioner and brother of former Chief Ed Beckman, was found fatally shot Sunday afternoon in his home, according to The Miami Herald.

After interviewing Bechman’s son for hours, Miami-Dad homicide detectives arrested 17-year-old Jason Beckman on a charge of manslaughter with a firearm.  The son said it was an accident.

Ed Beckman graduated from Florida State and played tight end for the Kansas City Chiefs from 1977 to 1984.  Ed lives in Naples and declined comment Sunday saying he did not know all the details.

Very sad.  My thoughts and prayers are with the Beckman family today.

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