OTA's Day Four: Woods Still a No-Show

On the fourth day of OTA's, the Chiefs went back to work without a pair of starters on the field. Safety Jerome Woods and Guard Brian Waters still have not atteneded any of the workouts.

On Tuesday afternoon, the Kansas City Chiefs resumed their second week of OTA's with largely the same group of players that attended workouts during the previous week. Once again the first team offensive line was without Will Shields, Willie Roaf, and Brian Waters which left Casey Wiegmann and Jordan Black as the only starters in attendance. It was expected that Shields and Roaf would likely skip OTA's on the verge of their final seasons but the absence of Waters is still a bit puzzling and so has the absence of Jerome Woods.

When asked if he was surprised by Waters absence Chiefs Head Coach Dick Vermeil replied "Well, I thought there might be a problem but I thought he would be here by now. Sooner or later he will show up. You can't make them be here." Vermeil also then went on to state that he wasn't a hundred percent sure why Waters has failed to show up to OTA's thus far.

Waters absence has left many wondering if this is simply a case of extreme tardiness or a sign that he is unhappy with his current contract. His 2005 base salary is roughly 1.62 million which happens to be a 625 thousand dollar increase from the previous season. That contract however was negotiated in 2002, three years before Waters would be widely considered one of the best guards in the NFL. Coming off of his first pro-bowl season in the prime of his career, one might speculate that Waters could be making an attempt to close the gap with teammates Will Shields and Willie Roaf who are set to make $4.3 and $3 million respectively this season.

Another player MIA is safety Jerome Woods who has now missed each and every workout. Woods is the only defensive player capable of starting who has yet to report to OTA's. "I expect him, but I do not know when. He has some personal problems and he is working those out. Sooner or later we expect to see him" said Vermeil when talking about Woods. "It's always disappointing because you know he is such a good guy. He has been here his entire career, but he has some personal problems" "We will see him, but in this league you go on anyway" said Vermeil.

Another issue of the day was the groin injury to linebacker Kendrell Bell. Apparently Bell strained his groin early in practice which forced him to sit out practice for the rest of the day. Coach Vermeil did however state that he didn't believe that the strain was anything serious and that he expected Bell to be practicing again this week most likely on Thursday.

Prior to this groin strain Bell has been one of the consistent play makers on defense. He has shown no signs of injury or lack of movement so Chiefs fans can relax in knowing that Bell is going to be just fine. Though Vermeil did hint that he was concerned about his shoulder and that's something to keep an eye on as the OTA's continue.

Plays of the Day:
Offense: Sammie Parker was lined up against Eric Warfield in a situation where the left corner had little inside help because the defense was shifted over to the right in a blitz package. Since there was no safety help in the middle of the field Warfield needed to press Parker towards the sideline. What happened instead was that Parker was able read the defense and beat Warfield to the inside. Trent Green was looking for it all of the way and he hit Parker in stride for what would have been a long touchdown. Gunther Cunningham was not happy to say the least.

Defense: The offense came out in a spread formation with three receivers, a tight end, and single back. Trent Green took the snap and dropped back to pass only to find that all of his receivers were jammed at the line. This gave defensive tackle Lional Dalton enough time to beat his blocker and wrap Green up for the sack.

Another nice play on defense came when wide receiver Eddie Kennison was lined up as a flanker on the left side and then came across the middle on a crossing route. Kennison was Greens fourth progression on the play. As Kennison reached the opposite sideline by the time Green made an attempt to throw him the ball. Green threw a laser on the sideline and would have made the catch if not for cornerback Patrick Surtain who swatted the ball out of the air as he ran stride for stride with Kennison.

Linebacker Derrick Johnson was another defensive player that made an amazing play on the day. Tight end Kris Wilson was coming across the middle on a shallow IN pattern. Wilson was in perfect position the make the catch in front of fellow linebacker Boomer Grigsby for an easy eight yard gain. Then, out of nowhere, Johnson came from five yards down the field stepped in front of Wilson to blow up the play. On the play, Wilson happened to be on a dead sprint himself but Johnson almost made him look like he was in slow motion. Johnson didn't make the tackle or pick off the pass but what he did do was force the quarterback to throw the ball over the top to a receiver who dropped it because he wasn't ready.

Injury Notes:
Return man Dante Hall returned to practice after missing most of last week from an injury he sustained from a collision with Keyaron Fox.

Linebacker Mike Maslowski and tight end Tony Gonzalez look like they are both doing well. Maslowski was even able to participate in conditioning drills at the end of practice.

Wide Receiver Craphonso Thorpe missed part of the workouts with a strained groin muscle.

Priest Holmes is showing no ill effects from his 2004 knee injury. Right now he looks as good as he's ever been. He is hitting the holes with precision and then accelerates with a burst of quickness I have never seen out of him.

Additional Notes:
Running Back Larry Johnson, Linebacker Keyaron Fox, Defensive End Carlos Hall, Linebacker Kris Griffin, Cornerback Alphonso Hodge and Safety Shaunard Harts also had very good days at Tuesdays practice.

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