Drum Beats - Mankato

I finally made it to Mankato, MN, Hunter Thompson style. Okay, maybe not exactly Thompson style - I didn't have a suitcase filled with tools of debauchery, but I did have a bag of beef jerky, an Ipod, two liter bottles of Mountain Dew, and a sack of miscellaneous snacks lovingly packed by my fiancée.

Alright, that's not Thompson's style at all, but I did pull into the parking lot of Minnesota State University with a sense that something exciting was going to happen, that I would witness something truly special.

Must have been the Mountain Dew talking. Nothing special happened, unless you count some serious accuracy on the part of quarterback Brodie Croyle. The starting linebacker corps appears to be gelling pretty well, too.

There were a couple of things that were evident as soon as practice started, including a couple of players that distinguished themselves immediately

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I'd been hearing about Kolby Smith all through camp, all the way down in Kansas City, and having seen him in the mini camps and OTA's, I have to admit that I thought all the buzz was only hype. After all, Larry Johnson isn't around, so there has to be something to talk about.

And then I saw him run.

I have to admit, the guy can run the football. Two things stick out about his style - how powerful his lower body is and how quick his feet are. Smith generates a lot power out of his lower body-pile moving power that will serve him running between the tackles. His quick feet give him the ability to cut quicker, and with his good vision, he's going to be a really good back.

Will he get an opportunity once the season starts? I guess we'll get to see - once the season starts. If LJ's not here, Smith will definitely be in the mix.

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Chris Hannon showed up this offseason leaner and faster than he's ever been in his pro career. He was known as a burner at Tennessee, but that didn't carry over into his rookie season. Now in his second campaign, Hannon's put in the work and honestly, it shows.

He's outrunning corners and splitting the safeties consistently, and he's looking like he could be a deep threat for the Chiefs for years to come. The only issue for Hannon will be that he's got Dwayne Bowe and Eddie Kennison ahead of him. That'll put a damper on his starting hopes for a year or so, but I'm thinking Hannon's going to muscle his way onto the field this year and could catch some balls.

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