Super Bowl Drive Starts Today for Chiefs

The bad taste of the 2004 season can finally be washed away today as the Kansas City Chiefs are set for their first day of training camp. Expectations are at an all-time high with the additions of some major defensive personnel and their high-octane offense still in tact; this could be the year that this team finally makes it back to the Super Bowl.

That quests starts today as the players, coaches and fans finally get to see all the new pieces that have been assembled this off-season. We've analyzed every off-season move this organization has made since March when free agency began and everyone is ready to watch Surtain, Bell, Knight, Hall and Ambrose and see if they can make the kind of impact on the roster enough to erase memories of a defense that has struggled to make plays on the field the last two seasons. Even though the first exhibition game is two weeks away, the players will start hitting each other for real today and thus the official start of the 2005 season will begin in the tiny town of River Falls, Wisconsin.

The Kansas City Chiefs nation is ready and so are the coaches. Management is eager to see if their rolling the dice approach will pay off. Upon arriving at River Falls Wednesday evening, Head Coach Dick Vermeil declared this was the best team he's ever brought to training camp while coach of the Chiefs. That's one heck of an endorsement and a sentiment that is shared by many who observe the Chiefs on a regular basis.

Everything is in place save three of their draft picks including first round draft choice linebacker Derrick Johnson. Outside of that, this team has more defensive talent than they've had at anytime in the Vermeil era. The defensive newcomers will have a bulls-eye on their backs especially early on in training camp but Kansas City was very careful to bring in players who are both playmakers on the field but also people who will lead this team off the field and in the locker room.

On offense everyone returns to the roster and outside of right tackle where Jordan Black and Kevin Sampson will compete for the starting spot, the cast and crew that has created one of the leagues premier offenses; could in fact be better than they've been the last three years.

But this first practice is just the start of things to come in 2005. The Chiefs also know that they have some age on this roster; especially on offense. That could be why Vermeil is not going to force the players to wear full pads twice a day. Players will only wear the full gear in the afternoon or evening practices in River Falls. The morning sessions will feature more work on special teams and drills designed to get everyone on the same page fundamentally.

One of the Chiefs weaknesses last season in particular is that they just didn't feel comfortable in the offensive and defensive systems. At times players were out of position or simply not able to make plays because of talent or injuries. This season that should change. The focus of this training camp will be to implement the playbook and concentrate on getting the new players up to speed with the way the Chiefs approach training camp.

In years past some of these veterans that have been added to the roster never quite adjusted to the pace of practices but that shouldn't happen this season. Based on the OTA's and Mini-Camps the players are fired up and ready to shed the disappointments of the last two seasons. The new guys have brought a fresh attitude to the squad that has clearly been noticed by everyone who has watched this team practice in the off-season. Still expectations are high as the players are set for their first training camp practice this afternoon.

For those who can't attend training camp in River Falls, sit back and relax because Warpaint Illustrated will have it covered for you. Starting today are staff will report all the days events and update the Hot News and put up numerous stories so you know everything that happens throughout the morning and afternoon sessions. We'll file reports after each workout, have quotes and analyze the day's action plus keep you updated on injuries and have the very latest on the unsigned draft picks.

Each night at 9:00 central time we'll also have a Live Chat from River Falls, Wisconsin updating the day's actions and answer all your questions. No other media outlet will have training camp covered or deliver content and information like are staff will at Warpaint Illustrated. We've been gearing up for this all off-season and if you want to know everything that happens in River Falls then keep checking the site throughout the day and evening.

It's been a great off-season and ever since the Kansas City ended their 2004 season last January, this date has been circled on the calendar of every Chiefs fan. Now the fun begins and hopefully this ride will last into February. Something tells me that this is going to be very special season for Kansas City; one that could give a new generation of Chiefs fans their first Super Bowl ride.

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