Signed in February, the former rookie free agent cornerback spent this past offseason with the Chiefs, learning the defense and working to carve out a roster spot. Before being cut, he thought he had been doing a good job.
"OTAs went really well," said Bragg. "I proved myself. I kind of created a name for myself, trying to impress the coaches. I let it go from there, just kept doing what I was doing, playing hard every day, working hard and just trying to prove myself."
Bragg received a formal letter this summer informing him that he was being released due to a lack of performance. He had given up on making the Chiefs, and tried catching on with another team. Bragg even considered playing Arena football until next year, when teams would be looking to expand their rosters for 2007. As it turned out, he got another opportunity with the Chiefs.
The young cornerback got an unexpected call from Chiefs' defensive backs coach David Gibbs.
"I was released in the offseason, after the summer camps," said Bragg. "I called the position coach, to see if they could do me a favor to help get me on another team in the NFL, because I wasn't getting any calls. He basically said he wasn't done with me and that he still wanted to work with me, because he felt I was a good player."
"When he said that I waited and waited, continuing to work out at home, and then he gave me a call, telling me they were thinking about bringing me back and to sit tight. They told me to make sure I'm in shape, and I told them I'd be ready, just give me the call."
In Gibbs, Bragg had an ally. Gibbs was enamored with the defensive back and wanted him back on the team. He pressed defensive coordinator Gunther Cunningham to give Bragg another shot.
"Gunther said that Gibbs would put my name on his desk everyday," laughed Bragg. "Mike Bragg. Everyday, it would be like, ‘We need to bring another corner in.' Mike Bragg. He would suggest ‘Mike Bragg' every time. Doing that gave me the opportunity to be here today and prove myself."
Last season, Bragg had trouble sticking with the Giants as well.
"This is actually my second incident," Bragg said. "When I was with the New York Giants, last preseason I reported to camp and they released me the same day. They sent me home. A week later they re-signed me and brought me back for training camp."
Luckily for Bragg, this time he had his own personal savior in Gibbs. It also helps to have a head coach who believes in you and wants to give you a chance at success, and Bragg has just that in Herman Edwards. Sometimes all a player needs is another chance.
"I enjoy playing for Herm, and I think this is a better opportunity for me," said Bragg. "I told them I'd break my neck for them. I'll go the extra mile. I'll do whatever it takes to be here. I told them I'll continue to prove that I deserve to be here."
One On One: Michael Bragg
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