Saturday OTA Report: Defensive Line Gelling

Saturday's practices were more intense than Friday's sessions. The weather was a mix of cold and hot but one thing was consistent - the unmistakable audible presence of defensive line coach Tim Krumrie.

Some have questioned Head Coach Todd Haley's decision to keep Krumrie on the staff. Today, however, he was coaching with his in-your-face style and had the defensive line working hard. The three main players up front likely to garner the most attention are draft picks Tyson Jackson and Alex Magee and third-year man Tank Tyler. Today Tyler was busting his tail in drills and seemed to act as if he'll start over veteran Ron Edwards. To this point it looks that way.

Jackson looks as comfortable out there as any Chiefs rookie over the last few seasons. The only other rookie who has looked this good early in the past was defensive end Jared Allen.

But the man opposite Jackson was also solid. In defensive line drills Magee pushed blocking sleds high into the air as if they were nothing. He was quick in speed drills, coming down the line of scrimmage, turning and heading down the sideline to chase plays.

The rest of the unit, outside of a couple of undrafted players, really seemed to be buying into Krumrie's coaching. He was encouraging and complimentary. One of his veterans, Alfonso Boone, appears to be stronger than he was a year ago and despite the fact he's working with the second team, is working hard and looks to be in better shape.

The defensive line is key this season if the Chiefs are going to win more games. Right now they appear to have some talent to work with, even though last year's top pick, Glenn Dorsey, is still sidelined by a shin injury. Edwards is also injured.


Mini-Camp Notes:

LB Derrick Johnson - Don't read too much into it, but he was playing with the second team today. Demorrio Williams, who played briefly in a 3-4 in Atlanta, took over DJ's spot. However, if the season started today the likely group of starters would still be Tamba Hali, Johnson, Zach Thomas and Mike Vrabel.

LB Corey Mays - The former Notre Dame standout has looked good so far. This is his fourth NFL season and though he has not played in that many games, he has a shot to make it as a backup in Kansas City. Who knows if the Chiefs will carry seven or eight linebackers, but he has some skills as an inside linebacker.

S Bernard Pollard - He's been kind of lost in the shuffle but he's looked good at safety. DaJuan Morgan will push him for certain but right now Pollard is buying into the system and might be a surprise this season.

PR Quinten Lawrence - It was not a good practice for Lawrence, who is competing at punt returner. He had a terrible time of trying to catch a clean punt from Dustin Colquitt and struggled all day. His batting average was so bad he'd qualify for a starting spot in the Kansas City Royals lineup. At one point Todd Haley had to remind him how to field punts.

WR Devard Darling - He stood out today with his pass-catching abilities and seems more confident in his ability after a disappointing first year in Kansas City. He appears to be in a position to be the receiver the Chiefs thought he'd be when they signed him as a free agent. He's also a big fan of Cassel's, as are the other receivers, who all look a little more confident with their new quarterback in the huddle.


Injury Report:


Though they're injured, Ron Edwards, Glenn Dorsey, Kolby Smith and Brodie Croyle are working harder than anyone else in camp. They've been lifting weights and working on strengthening their upper bodies. Haley has preached losing weight and being in shape, and when these four players are ready to practice again, they should be ready.

The conditioning of this football team is strong. Already Haley has the team coming in over 300 pounds less than they did when offseason workouts began in March. A big thing for this football team will be to overcome injuries and the shape the team is in now is a good sign.

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