Zach Thomas has sat out Kansas City Chiefs practice since August 4th with an injury. Taking the place of the 7-time pro bowler has been fourth-year linebacker Corey Mays and as Kent Babb notes, he’s capitalized on the opportunity.
The 25-year-old journeyman has a chance to steal the starring role from Thomas. Mays hasn’t missed a practice, and Chiefs coach Todd Haley said Wednesday that the former New England and Cincinnati player has gotten a little bit better every day.
“When somebody sees that opportunity out there and seizes it, and goes after it like they want it, that’s what we want as coaches. We need that happening across the board. When a guy is in that mode, I’m excited about him.”
Mays began training camp as a likely reserve or special-teams player, and now he has developed into a potential starting linebacker. Not only has he mastered the scheme — Mays says he played in a different variation of the 3-4 in New England, which signed him as an undrafted free agent in 2006 — he has begun commanding his teammates’ respect for running an organized huddle and making certain his teammates are lined up properly.
“I’ve gotten more opportunities,” Mays said, “but with that power comes great responsibility. People follow your leadership, in my eyes, through your actions. Whatever you do — if they see you working hard, I think they will respect you more, rather than just talking about it.”
You can count me among the many people following the Chiefs that didn’t really take notice when Mays was signed. He had all the makings of a player that would have to fight just to make the roster on special teams. And here he is day after day showing that he can start for the Chiefs defense even when Zach Thomas eventually returns.
Every year there are players that you root a little harder for as camp goes along and Mays now sits at the top of my list.
If you are the type of person that puts money on the Chiefs to win the Super Bowl every season (there have to be a couple out there) then you will be rewarded handsomely if Kansas City can shock the world. According to Las Vegas Sports Consultants, which advises Nevada sports books on odds.
The New England Patriots are 4-1 favorites to win the championship, meaning a winning $100 bet would return $400 plus the initial stake. The Minnesota Vikings, after the addition of Brett Favre currently rank eighth among the league’s 32 teams with 14-1 odds.
The Chiefs are 60-1 odds to win the Super Bowl. Only three teams have longer odds than Kansas City to win it all: Oakland Raiders, St. Louis Rams and Detroit Lions.
I’ll be honest, I’ve never put any money on the Chiefs — preseason Super Bowl or even regular season — but it might not be the worst bet in the world to throw $100 bucks down on them before Week 1. Don’t get me wrong, I think the Chiefs best case scenario is 8-8, but why not bet it and forget it?
Yes, I’m a terrible gambler.
Former Chiefs defensive end Jared Allen missed his second full day of practice yesterday due to a sprained ankle. While he will not suit up against the Chiefs tomorrow night, Allen has been keeping himself busy.
Allen watched practice from the sidelines and at one point was seen jogging across the field. Allen declined to discuss his injury, but he joked that head athletic trainer Eric Sugarman had a saw in his office when Allen walked in Wednesday morning.
Allen also apparently tried to pull a fast one on defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier.
“He pulls a practical joke on me and tells me he’s out for six weeks. Almost gives me a heart attack. But he’s going to be fine. He’s a big jokester.”
It seems highly unlikely Allen will play against his former team, the Kansas City Chiefs, on Friday night at the Metrodome.
I’m reallllly broken up about Allen not being around tomorrow night. The only people probably more upset than I am are Matt Cassel, Brodie Croyle and Matt Gutierrez.