Texas Linebacker, Derrick Johnson has to feel like he's back in school after receiving Gunther Cunningham's defensive playbook before his first practice with the Chiefs. Johnson is participating in the Chiefs rookie camp and didn't seem fazed by his new homework.
"It is not too difficult. The coaches know how to explain things. They are good coaches. If you don't know something, you ask. That is one thing I do a lot of. I ask questions if I don't know something and I am very coach-able. Everything is pretty smooth right now," Johnson told reporters after his first workout.
That's good news for Chiefs fans who already have penciled Johnson for one of the two outside linebacker spots. Though the Chiefs don't want to rush Johnson, he didn't appear to be in awe of his new surrounding after practice on Friday.
"My first practice was great. It was a little different. There was a lot of stuff going on. The first one for a rookie, I am very proud of myself. I am trying to get everything learned and I am doing a great job right now," Johnson said confidently.
When linebacker Boomer Grigsby was drafted last Sunday by the Kansas City Chiefs, everyone felt he was one of those special second day draft picks that comes along once a draft. At the onset of the practices; designed for the Chiefs rookie class, Grigsby was very realistic in assessing his first day on the practice field.
"I'm excited to be here and it's still a little surreal. But you have to get over it and realize that you're attempting to be on the same level as all these players who are already here. I am far from saying that I have arrived and very far from being an NFL player," said Grigsby.
But he knows he has a lot to prove and in the beginning his fate and playing time could be in the hands of Chiefs defensive coordinator Gunther Cunningham. It's clear that his new coach has already made an impression on the young linebacker.
"I love him. He's a man. He's tough. Defenses are built on toughness and guys who want to get things done. Passive coaches and real nice guys don't work on the defensive side of the ball, especially at this level. I'm a big fan of Coach Cunningham. I'm sure he's going to get all over my tail during my career here. I might hate him in the beginning, but I know I'll love him in the end," Boomer said after his first practice.
The Kansas City Chiefs thought it was a good idea to bring in Oklahoma Sooner quarterback Jason White for a tryout this weekend. With no guarantees that he'll even get a free agent contract, the 2004 Big 12 offensive player of the year talked about the start of his three day audition with the Chiefs.
"I'm going to give it my best shot and see where it goes from here," said the Oklahoma standout.
It's not going to be easy for White to make the final roster for the Chiefs. He's in a battle with last years undrafted free agent quarterback Casey Clausen; who is playing in NFL Europe, seventh round pick James Kilian from Tulsa and veteran Damon Huard who rode the bench in 2004 for the Chiefs last season.
Still White understands that he has many obstacles to overcome in trying to convince the Chiefs or anyone else for that matter; that he can play in the NFL. But he knows what he has to show the Kansas City coaching staff this weekend.
"That I can just play, that I can play at this level, I can make the throws the NFL quarterbacks throw," he said. "That's all I need to show: is that I can play at this level. If I can do that, I'll find a spot. If I can't, I don't deserve to find a spot."