The Kansas City Chiefs are opening an OTA session today and Todd Haley is expecting upwards of 75 players to attend. But Bob Gretz feels the attention will focus squarely on the players that are not there.
Will unhappy guard Brian Waters set aside his feeling and take part? After missing the veteran’s mini-camp before the NFL Draft, will LB Mike Vrabel become part of the Chiefs for the first time?
Under NFL rules, teams are allowed to have 14 of these practices in the off-season, along with a mandatory three-day mini-camp. All of those sessions for the Chiefs will go down in the next four weeks. While the three-day mini-camp June 5-7 is mandatory for all players, these OTA sessions are voluntary.
When Waters and Vrabel missed the veteran’s mini-camp, along with since traded TE Tony Gonzalez, Chiefs head coach Todd Haley did not indicate any unhappiness with his missing players. They had all checked in with him, and since the three days of workouts were voluntary, no big deal was made. That’s probably not going to be the case with the OTAs.
I fully expect Waters to continue acting like a child and sit out this week’s sessions since they are voluntary, but I think Mike Vrabel will make his first appearance as a Kansas City Chief. Even if both end up sitting this one out I don’t think it’s a huge deal. Would I like them to be there? Of course and I’m sure the coaches would like everyone on the roster there ready to pick up the new systems being installed. But if Waters really has no plans on playing in Kansas City he should sit out the mandatory mini-camp in June and put his money where his mouth is.
The San Diego Chargers have dominated the AFC West the last three seasons, winning three division championships by the total of nine games. Many felt that the Chargers dominance had more to do with the inferiority of division than any strength on San Diego’s part. Adam Teicher talked to Chargers GM AJ Smith about how the division has changed this off season with the additions of Josh McDaniels and Scott Pioli.
“You’ve got Denver and Kansas City with New England Patriots’ philosophies going to those franchises, and it’s well-documented what I think about how they do their business and how they operate. That scares me a little bit. I just feel that they are going to get it done and get it done right. How quickly? I don’t know.”
The big question for everyone is how quickly the Broncos and Chiefs will turn things around. Clearly the Broncos were setup to challenge the Chargers for the division once again this season but that was before they traded away their quarterback and raised questions about their new coach’s trustworthiness. The Chiefs still have quite the talent gap to bridge with the Chargers, but I am confident that Scott Pioli can be a better executive than Smith has been in San Diego.