River Falls Recap – Mankato Scrimmage, 8/3

Friday, August 3, 2007 - Mankato Scrimmage, 6:30 - 8:30 PM


Kevin Sampson appears to have been moved to guard for the time being. The Chiefs had him playing in the right interior against the Vikings early in practice with the second team.

Tony Richardson is still a great team guy. He warmly greeted his former teammates before practice began, going out of his way to visit the field where Kansas City's offense and Minnesota's defense squared off (Richardson practiced early on a different field). He talked with fullback Boomer Grigsby, running backs coach James Saxon and wide receiver Samie Parker.

I'm not sure what to think of the punt returner battle. Justin Phinisee, Ean Randolph and Samie Parker all fielded punts against the Vikings this evening. I didn't see any of them muff a punt.


Rod Gardner is definitely making a case to claim a roster spot. Today he hauled in a spectacular one-handed catch down the seam, gaining about 20 yards on a pass from Damon Huard. It's by far the best catch any receiver has made in practice since I've been here.

Boomer Grigsby is not just a good receiver, he might be a natural one. Today he caught two more passes, one of which was a difficult, juggling grab on the right sideline.

I finally saw someone muff another Dustin Colquitt knuckle-punt. It's about time. His ability to make life hard on punt returners is an underrated part of this team.


Believe it or not, Samie Parker. After a disappointing start to training camp, he really impressed me last night with four catches in limited duty, including a leaping, 20-yard grab along the sideline. Minnesota has a fine pair of corners, too, and the closest thing I saw to a drop from Parker was a tough play along the sideline when a Vikings defensive back stuck his hands in as the ball arrived. Throw in Parker's solid night of punt-return duty, and you can't complain.

Brodie Croyle just keeps getting better. Tonight I witnessed 16 attempts from the young quarterback (among 4-on-4, 7-on-7 and 11-on-11 drills), and he completed 14 of them, including an impressive 6-for-6 stretch at one point during 7-on-7's. He stood tall in the face of a blitz and hit Tony Gonzalez, and most importantly he got his wide receivers involved, hitting Samie Parker three times and Jeff Webb (a nifty 20-yard completion along the right sideline that saw Webb drag his toes, to the delight of Herm Edwards), Chris Hannon and Eddie Kennison once apiece. Meanwhile, Damon Huard hit just eight of 14 (by my count), threw an interception and was sacked twice. The difference is clear.

The offensive line – in pass protection, anyway. Damion McIntosh looked solid at left tackle, and I counted at least three times that Chiefs quarterbacks had opportunities to hang in the pocket after completing their drops. Even the second team looked solid. The only caveat to this is Chris Terry, who gave up at least two sacks. Perhaps there's an opportunity for Kyle Turley.

Overall I was very impressed with the wide receivers for the first time this season. When KC's offense moved into the stadium, Chris Hannon had a great 20-yard catch over the middle of the field on a dig route (Casey Printers threw a rocket down the hash on this play). Eddie Kennison had another nice grab on a quick slant from Brodie Croyle. Where was all of this hiding in practice the last week?

Minnesota's cheerleaders. Who knew the upper Midwest contained such beauty?


The offensive line – in run blocking, anyway. The Vikings pretty much dominated KC's front five when practice began and the Chiefs tried to run the ball in 9-on-7 drills. I gave a slight edge to KC's starting line, but the second team got dominated, even if Marcus O'Keith ripped off two nice runs. Minnesota had one of the league's top run defenses last year, so this may not be much to worry about, but I couldn't help but think of Larry Johnson when I saw the Chiefs running backs getting stuffed.

Chris Terry. See above.


"Eight-five! That's what I'm talking about, baby!" – Eddie Kennison, enthusiastically congratulating Rod Gardner on his circus catch after running 30 yards downfield to greet him.

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