One-On-One: Chiefs Linebacker Keyaron Fox

Kansas City Chiefs head coach Herm Edwards got his message across to linebacker Keyaron Fox early. The two had an impromptu meeting right after Edwards arrived in Kansas City, and the young Georgia Tech product found out early what his new coach was all about.

"He kind of caught me slipping," Fox said. "I told him I was on vacation right now. I don't know why I said that, but he hit me with a ‘Hey, it's only your second year in the league and you're taking vacations already? It doesn't work like that, brother.' He said it jokingly, but there was some truth to the matter. I took it to heart, but we laughed it off."

Of course, Fox knows what is expected of him in the NFL. He turned in his best off-season as a pro last year, tearing up training camp in River Falls, Wisconsin. Fox improved leaps and bounds from his rookie campaign, and challenged for a starting position before injuring his knee in week two of the regular season. Fox went back to work, and showed up this year with a renewed resolve to be a better player and break into the starting lineup.

"I got hurt the second week of the regular season last season, and as soon as I was able to work out, I started working out," Fox Said. "I've been going hard since October. During the real off-season, you know, without the rest of the team, I still worked out without the team, and now I'm back in full swing and I'm feeling tip top. My goal this season is to do something on the field. I want to be a starter, that's definitely one of my goals. I want to be out there. I want to produce for this team. I started out last year with a pretty good pre-season and first couple of games, but with my knee getting hurt, I kind of felt that I let the team and myself down."

As the on-the-field portions of the Chiefs' off-season begins, so does the competition for starting spots. Edwards has indicated that the best players will be on the field for the Chiefs this year. Work now, be the best at your position, and you will play this season. Every player on the roster is at ground zero with the coaching staff and will have to prove himself in OTA's, mini-camps and training camp. The competition for linebacker will be fierce.

"The way the NFL works, there's always a spot out there," Fox said. "It just depends on who wants it more and who's best at that position. We've got some great athletes out there at linebacker. There's always going to be competition whether it's a starter or a backup. There's going to be someone out there trying to get that position. I'm fighting for a starting spot just like DJ's fighting for a starting spot, just like Bell's fighting for a starting spot and Kawika's fighting for a starting spot. Those three guys started last year. They know that people are on their heels."

He wants to start, but Fox won't let that desire undermine the team goals. He understands the concept of team, that working hard as a unit makes the team better overall. While every player can't start, every role on the team is an important one. Contributions are much more that mere numbers or minutes played.

" It's a friendly competition and all, but you want the best guys on the field," said Fox. "The harder we work as a unit, the more we push each other, the better we're going to be as a unit and that's what really matters. Last year I wanted to start, this year I want to start, my rookie year I wanted to start, but I feel that coming off the bench and producing is just as important. Whether you're starting or whether you're playing special teams, producing when you're on the field, that's the biggest key in the NFL."

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