Last Thursday the Chiefs felt they'd give Jason White a tryout. After flying into town, many thought that he was a lock to get a contract from Kansas City, but after a poor showing over the weekend, White heads back to Oklahoma and presumably his NFL career ended before it began.
From what we learned about the tryout this weekend, White displayed anything but a competitive spirit. He seemed to be going through the motions and that won't cut it in the NFL and certainly his tryout was not what the Chiefs were anticipating.
Chiefs head coach Dick Vermeil indicated to White that he'll need to gain more experience and would be better suited to play in the Arena League since NFL Europe would not be an option until 2006.
"What I recommended him to do, if he really wants a place in the NFL," Vermeil said, "is to go to the Arena League, sharpen his skills and compete. I think he's aware of where he is and what he needs to do."
The Chiefs in the end were not concerned with his two surgically repaired knees but were disappointed with the lack of fire he showed on the practice field. One thing that hurt his chances with the Chiefs was the overall improvement from Friday to Sunday by seventh round draft pick James Kilian from Tulsa. By the end of the three day rookie mini-camp, Kilian was clearly the better quarterback and it appears he'll compete with veteran Damon Huard and second year man Casey Clausen for the third string job in Kansas City.
In other notes from the mini camp, rookie linebacker Derrick Johnson was clearly the most impressive of all the players in camp. His speed and fluidness in the field puts him on pace to be one of the Chief starting linebackers come September 11th when Kansas City opens the season at home against the New York Jets.
But he was not the only linebacker to turn some heads this weekend. Fifth round draft choice Boomer Grigsby continued to show why the Chiefs are high on him. He was so impressive that its not out of the question that he could actually see time at linebacker for the Chiefs in 2005.
He was ear-marked for a special teams spot but he showed that he's clearly a leader on the field and was very comfortable and not intimidated by his surroundings. Though its far too early to determine how much playing time he'll get early in the season, it's clear that Boomer Grigsby is a player to watch on defense.
Wide receiver Craphonso Thorpe, the Chiefs fifth round draft choice was also impressive. Though he did not bust out that 4.35 speed he showed in workouts last month, nonetheless he made some nice catches and the Chiefs can't wait to work him out with Trent Green. Thorpe was a steal in the fourth round and if he can emerge from the rookie shadows, the Chiefs could feel more comfortable in releasing veteran wide receiver Johnnie Morton in June.