Camp Report: Tamba Hali

The reports out of the Kansas City Chiefs' rookie camp on former Nittany Lion All-American defensive end Tamba Hali continue to be impressive. Already assuming a leadership role, Hali is being looked at early on as a great first-round pickup for the Kansas City program.

Tamba Hali had a sensational weekend of practices and he "looked the part" for a first-round pick. His film doesn't do him justice and he's better than advertised when you see him in person.

Right now the strongest part of Hali's game is his initial burst. In fact, he appears to have the quickest first step of all the Chiefs defensive linemen, including Jared Allen and Carlos Hall. This was encouraging to see up close, because sometimes it's difficult to judge "takeoff" from video.

Hali's amazing balance, his ability to use his hands to defeat blocks, and of course his relentless motor also stood out. Outside of Bernard Pollard, Hali was clearly in a class of his own when compared to the other rookies.

Hali's willingness to take on a leadership role with the defensive linemen was just as impressive as his physical skills. It's not good enough for Hali to elevate his own game. He wants the players around him to elevate their games as well. He could often be heard encouraging his teammates through drills as if he were a coach.

"Keep working Alex, keep going Alex, come on, keep working Alex," he shouted to teammate Alex Guerrero during pass rush drills. Even the veterans weren't immune to Hali's involvement. "Widen your stance Junior, you're too narrow" he yelled out to Junior Siavii during a drill on Friday.

This type of vocal leadership is something I've never seen out of anyone on the Chiefs roster, let alone a rookie. The only other player I know of in the entire NFL that does this sort of thing is Ray Lewis, and the Chiefs have been in dire need of this sort of player for a very long time.


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