Kansas City Chiefs sideline reporter and former player Kendall Gammon stopped by Soren Petro’s weekly Red Zone Podcast today on KCChiefs.com.
Listen to the show via the player below or check out my notes on the interview after the jump.
Gammon talked about everything from Todd Haley’s first training camp to Matt Cassel’s TD-INT ration for 2009. Check it out.
Petro’s questions and Gammon’s comments are paraphrased.
Your thoughts on leaving River Falls and how it’s going to change the dynamics of training camp?
The cool weather we’re seeing how, that changes. Coach said yesterday that you get into those 3rd, 4th days of practice and you get tired in the heat, well you’ll get more of that in Missouri. I think taxing the body more in camp helps a player, because it tests them mentally. It’s great more fans will get to see the team at training camp.
I’ve heard getting away from the family is better for comradrie. Could being at St. Joseph add distractions and take away the “bunker mentality”?
Maybe so a little bit. But I think it’s far enough away. You still have the dorms and curfews. I don’t see it being an issue.
What’s the difference between this camp and Herm Edwards’ and Dick Vermeil’s training camps? Larry Johnson talked about it being more than Edwards’, but less hitting than Vermeil’s.
That’s what I would say too. On a single day practices go two and a half hours or more, but when they have double days they shorten them up a bit, just like they did with Vermeil. Hitting wise they are going after it pretty good, but not quite as much as they did under Vermeil.
How about Todd Haley’s command of the team in his first year?
It’s no nonsense, very business like which I like. This is the way it’s going to be and if you don’t like it we’ll go on without you. He let people know very quickly, if you don’t pass the conditioning test then you’ve got some things to do over there. I just love the way he is with people. It doesn’t matter if you are the lowest guy on the field or the star, he treats everyone the same and expects the same level out of everyone.
Could his approach wear thin on people?
Whatever approach you take, if you don’t win it will wear thin.
What about the backup quarterback spot?
With Tyler you have a guy that has a lot of experience from last year and you like that in your backup quarterback. By the same token, Brodie still has those intangibles. It’s just a question if he can stay healthy. He can flat wing it.
Larry Johnson is very different than he was in the past. Has he just matured or is it the right coaches?
He probably has matured. You’d have to after going through some of the things he has. You always hear people talking about needing a change of scenery. Well he got a change of scenery, he just didn’t have to go anywhere. So far he’s saying all of the right things and if you have a happy Larry Johnson then he can do his job. I’ll tell you this — I was a teammate of his — he does work hard. He works his ass off. He’s in the weight room, he runs hard, he does all those things When he was irritated he made it a point not to do those things.
Are the Chiefs expecting too much from Bowe? Can he be a legit No. 1 NFL wideout?
I think he can be. He’s good hands and can make the hard catches, he just has to make the easy catches too. I think that’s a concentration issue, but I think this atmosphere will get him going. Because if he drops the ball it won’t matter that he was a No. 1 draft pick, they are going to get on him where in the past he would have been told “it’ll be alright”.
What do you expect to get from Brian Waters?
I think he’ll do the same thing he’s done, which is just play hard and play up to the level that he can. I saw him in one-on-one pass drills and I saw him throwing some people around and doing what Brian Waters does. I like the fact that when things happen here, they are done and we are going to move forward with what is going on now. He can still play at a Pro Bowl level. He might get frustrated from time to time, but there is a pride factor in how you play and he has a lot of that. Waters wants to be the best.
What about the battle at right tackle between Damion McIntosh and Herb Taylor?
I do think it’s a battle. I don’t think either is the answer long term. I just think it goes back to Herb being more agile and being able to do more things.
Tyson Jackson is missing time in camp, how much can a rookie miss before it starts to become a major problem?
You would think once you get a week, week and a half into it you’ve got some issues. You hope that he’s working out and doing all that he can do on his own, but you can’t get into football shape that way. It’s the business side of the game and you have to get used to it.
What about Tamba Hali’s switch to OLB?
Right now I don’t think he’s comfortable with his new position. I think it’s good that he has a guy like Vrabel there to help him out. He has the prototypical size and if he makes the transition then it could help him play forever. But it’s not fair right now to judge him since he hasn’t gotten many reps yet.
What TE will have the most catches?
The Cassel TD-INT numbers this season (It was 21-11 last year and Thigpen was 18-12):
I am going to say 20-11.
What is the Chiefs record?
The schedule makers didn’t help them out much this season. I can’t even give you a fair assesment, so I have to give an Incomplete. Until I see them in games, it’s hard to tell what’s here. I am going to pass, but get back to you before the season starts.
Look at the love bug getting some… well, love! For some reason Taylor is a guy that I don’t think we have heard mentioned more than once or twice all offseason. I have never been overly impressed with him, but the potential has been there from the beginning. Maybe Todd Haley is the coach to help him reach that potential?
A week of practices isn’t enough for Hali to get comfortable, so hopefully no one panics. But if his feet aren’t on the ground by the time they take the field against the Texans, then Clancy Pendergast and Todd Haley have a big problem on their hands. Because unless you feel comfortable with a rookie starting at OLB then the talent drops way off.
If you would have told me going into camp that Gammon or anyone associated with the team would pick Ryan to be the team’s best tight end I would have called you crazy. But between the injuries to Jake O’Connell and the inconsistent play of Brad Cottam (and his own injury now) it has really opened the door for Ryan to shine. I assumed he’d make the team, but right now he has to be the early leader to start opening day for the Chiefs.