Last Dance

The Chiefs' preseason is dead, and with it the opportunities for several young men to prove they can play football at the NFL level. For some veterans, it means the end of the line. When the Turk comes, he doesn't care how long you've been around. All he knows is that it's time for you to bring your playbook to the coach.

"There's a couple of tough decisions to make," said head coach Herm Edwards, "and I'm anxious to see this tape because it wasn't going to be, ‘Hey, just finish this tape and get into the regular season.' We'll look at the tape and make some decisions."

Will McKenzi Smith's Marcus Allen-esque touchdown leap from the one-yard line be his last play in the NFL? Or will he get more opportunities with the Chiefs or another NFL team? We'll find out Saturday.

The Chiefs have to trim their roster to 53 players by 3:00 p.m. Saturday. That means that 22 men will still have the aches and bruises from Thursday night, but they won't have a spot on the roster. Nine players will make it to the practice squad, but a player can't spend more than three years there, and you can't have been on the active roster for more than nine games the previous season.

That means guys like wide receiver Jeris McIntyre, could have a shot, but it'll be tough. McIntyre is in his third season with the Chiefs. He's been on the practice squad for two seasons, will the Chiefs be willing to keep him around?

"Hopefully, things will go right," said McIntyre. "I've been here for a minute, and I think I proved what I can do since I've been here, so, I'll just pray, and hopefully things will work out alright. I think I've showed enough to earn a roster spot."

For second-year linebacker Kris Griffin, this is a stressful time. He tore up NFL Europe in the spring, but had an average camp. The talented young linebacker is hoping he made an impression during the last preseason game. It's difficult to play a full season in Europe, go through mini-camps, OTAs and a full training camp and be at your best.

"Anything can happen," said Griffin. "I just pray that they like what I can do on special teams and defense. Hopefully, they've taken a liking to me, from being here last year. Hopefully they'll see the improvement, and hopefully I'll be here."

"It's all what they're looking for and what they want from their linebackers," Griffin continued. "Hopefully I'm that guy they want to contribute on special teams and play some defense when they need me."

The Chiefs have already sent a message to the team by releasing 2005 fourth-round pick Craphonso Thorpe, a talented wide receiver. No one is safe from the Turk.

"One thing that Coach Edwards said when he came in here was ‘I don't care if you're first round," said McIntyre. "He's going to choose the players that he wants on this team. That just goes to show you, with my buddy Craphonso being released, that anything goes."

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