Poole Glad KC Called His Number

Cornerback Will Poole, who spent his first three seasons with the Miami Dolphins, has experienced plenty of highs and lows in his NFL career. He hopes that's all behind him now, as he's getting a second chance to live up to the expectations he set for himself when he was once considered a lock to be a first-round draft pick.

Back in the 2004 NFL draft, virtually every draft guide had Poole going somewhere from the middle to the end of the round. As the draft unfolded, Poole found himself on the outside looking in, and was eventually selected on the second day.

The Dolphins wisely took him in the opening stages of the fourth round. After a torn ACL, he found his footing again but was released anyway.

It's hard to blame Poole's former team, considering he hasn't played a single NFL game over the last two seasons. But that's where the Chiefs step in.

They entered this season needing a veteran cornerback, someone who could play behind Ty Law and Patrick Surtain. Poole fit the bill, but there wasn't a rush from other teams to get him into an NFL camp.

In fact, the Chiefs were the only team that called him.

No one else was willing to give him an opportunity. But Poole doesn't really care. He just wanted another chance, and particularly wanted to land with a team who could use his skills and expertise in the Cover Two defense.

It would have been easy for him give up after injuring the same knee twice, but he didn't give up.

"You just have to keep grounded," Poole told me on Monday. "It's taken some time, but I feel I'm getting there every day."

Perhaps he's right. Considering the lack of depth and experience among the cornerbacks on KC's roster, it looks like Poole might be the third best out there.

Benny Sapp is a veteran, but head coach Herman Edwards is also auditioning a plethora of young players such as Tyron Brackenridge, Michael Bragg, Dimitri Patterson and Justin Phinisee.

Poole obviously has yet to make the team, but in the event he does, he'll have a mentor in Surtain, a teammate of Poole's in 2004.

"Pat taught me a lot when I was a rookie," said Poole. "He taught me a lot about the game, and the in's out's about playing corner. He always had the answers. I've been fortunate to have older guys in front of me my whole career."

While that's a bonus at the end of training camp, he still needs to impress his head coach. The good news is that Poole's abilities fall closely in line with what Edwards wants from the fourth-year corner.

"His style of play is aggressive," said Poole of his new head coach. "You go out there and get them. He hones in the technique and he makes you fundamentally sound and that's key for a cornerback. If you're not, you're going to hear from [Herm], and you don't want to hear from him."

The jury is out on Poole, but after showing signs that he's 100 percent healthy he'll get a chance to knock some heads this weekend as the Chiefs and Vikings face off in back-to-back scrimmages. It will be a critical two days for Poole and his attempt to make the final 53-man roster.

"I am just happy to put pads on again," said Poole. "It'll be good to go up against any other team. I'm just looking forward to getting my career going again."

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