Bush Makes Visit to River Falls

Chiefs players and coaches were treated to an easy day yesterday after their family fun night on Tuesday. But that didn't stop the team from welcoming a visitor as President George Bush made a stop in River Falls.

The Chiefs spent last night practicing, doing the yearly rookie initiation, and thanking the city of River Falls, Wisc. The team took part in an autograph signing to thank the fans in Wisconsin as well.

The rookies were told to sing to the fans John Booth sung classic "Lean on Me", but three of the newcomers refused to sing. Rookies, Samie Parker, Jeris McIntyre and Zach Fletcher were tied up to the goalpost and drenched with water and Gatorade for not singing.

However it was not all fun and games for the team, they still have to prepare for state bragging rights. The defense will have to make adjustments from last Friday's debacle of 31 points given up.

The coaching staff is saying the defense is finally catching up to the offense. In a nine-on-seven drill the defense was able clog holes and not let the running backs get through and get a big run.

"They're starting to catch up," Vermeil said to the Kansas City Star. "I felt it coming gradually, but I just watched it from the very first period of our practice today. The defense is starting to understand… (it) is much more disruptive of our offense. I think they're starting to move more freely within the scheme and more aggressively — especially the defensive line."

From yesterday's practice two defensive backs made some great plays against tight end Tony Gonzalez and wide receiver Dante Hall. Eric Warfield read the pass from quarterback Trent Green to Hall to make an interception. Greg Wesley made the play against Gonzalez down the middle.

Before the Chiefs come home for a few days on Monday night's show down they got a visit from the Commander and Chief yesterday. Many of the Chiefs players were in awe of the President George W. Bush's visit to camp.

"It was an experience that I caught on tape and on camera." Running back Priest Holmes said on Kansas City Chiefs.com "I was glad to be a part of this day. It meant a lot to me just because of my father being over in Iraq and knowing that whole connection of him serving our country."

For the leader of the free world, President Bush took part in a huddle during practice. Bush even spoke in the huddle to the players.

Vermeil said on KC Chiefs.com, "He talked about the season, wishing us luck. He knows we're good and that we won 13 games last season. He walked up to the huddle and said, ‘Priest Holmes, I remember you when you were in high school.' He's a Texas guy. Everybody in Texas knows Priest Holmes."

Also from practice yesterday another rookie is starting to shine safety Lyle West, got some praise from Vermeil. West who is in the middle of a three way battle for one of the final roster spot with Clint Finley, Willie Pile, and rookie Scott Connot.

"All Lyle West does is do things that are right," Vermeil said. "He scores a touchdown the other day (against the Giants) if he doesn't drop the interception. He's just sort of in the right place at the right time."

Veteran Willie Roaf sat out of yesterdays evening practice to rest up for the season. In his place, second year offensive line member Jordan Black took his spot on the first team.

Chiefs Notes:
The Chiefs had a surprise visitor at training camp on Tuesday afternoon as President Bush visited the tiny town of River Falls Wisconsin. Bush on an election tour of Wisconsin and Minnesota shook a few hands and threw around a football with Chiefs quarterback Trent Green. Several of the Chiefs including Priest Holmes, were ecstatic about the visit.

"It meant a lot to me because of my father being over in Iraq," Holmes added. "He said he was glad to see that my father was doing well. Basically, he said that our troops are going to return home safely."

Chiefs President Carl Peterson was also excited that Bush made a detour to River Falls and in particular to visit the Chiefs. Bush seemed very knowledgeable about some of the Chiefs players and made a comment to Defensive coordinator about his return to the Chiefs. Cunningham appeared honored that Bush knew so much about him.

"It's obviously a great honor for the Kansas City Chiefs organization," Peterson commented. "We got the word that he might want to do this on his tour of Wisconsin. We thought it would be terrific. Dick (Vermeil) and I have had an opportunity to get to know him a little bit on a personal basis in years past. He's a very special guy. He was wonderful to take some time to do this. Again, on behalf of the Kansas City Chiefs it was a real honor."


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