Tyler Stars During Rookie Mini-Camp

It's very clear to me that Tank Tyler and Turk McBride are the talk of Kansas City's rookie camp. They are the future, and their presence might someday be compared to the impact Neil Smith and Derrick Thomas made on this roster in the 90's.

That might be pushing it, but after watching them practice twice now, these two defensive standouts – even without pads and before ever taking an NFL snap – are the real deal. Already, they are two of the better defensive linemen on this football team.

Demarcus Tyler, the Chiefs' third-round pick from North Carolina State, had a mean streak in college. When he had an opportunity to hit people, he did so. When he could cross the line of scrimmage and create havoc, he did so. When there was a play to be made, he generally made it.

In mini camp, even though he's been banging up against offensive linemen that likely won't make the final roster, he's been so dominating I'd pencil him in as a starter right now.

The Chiefs don't have another defensive tackle on the roster with Tyler's size, speed and ability to clog the middle. Good tackles force double teams so outside pass rushers can get into the backfield. Tyler already demands that presence.

He'll have to develop a consistency to his game that was in question at times in college, but he has a gift. He can turn it on when it's time to play football and turn it off when the whistle blows.

"You've got to go 100 miles per hour on every step with maximum effort," said Tyler. "That's what coach Edwards has told us."

Does that sound like a player with a lack of motivation? The other thing that's strikingly fresh when talking to Tyler is how open he is about his off-the-field issues. In college he was arrested for assaulting a cop, an incident he hasn't forgotten.

"Whenever I do anything form this day forward, I have a lot to think about because I've been through it," said Tyler. "Somebody who hasn't been through it doesn't usually think about it, unless somebody's told them or they have seen it first-hand from somebody else. So I have a lot to think about and I've been through it and I've been made a different man today."

Tyler's attitude bodes well for his future in Kansas City. That's one thing that Edwards has preached to all of his players. He wants them to face their problems like men and wants them to talk about it with the media. It's clear to me that Tyler has learned his lesson.

*****

Tank Tyler Final Rookie Camp Report: Tank Tyler is also on the fast track to becoming a starter. He was playing at a level that simply blew away the inferior talent he was facing along the offensive line. Plug him in alongside Ron Edwards or Alphonso Boone and this unit can't help but be better than it was a year ago.


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