CAMP TALK

Just two days into training camp, the Kansas City Chiefs are already buzzing. They're excited about the change in the way the team is run and are ready for more. Here's what seven particular members of the red and gold have been talking about for two days so far, including Dwayne Bowe, Brandon Flowers and Zach Thomas.

TIGHT END BRAD COTTAM

From last year to this year, have things been really different?


"Just being as physical as we are with pads and everything, it's been different, but we've installed this offense twice already so we're getting used to it. I think it went really smooth for the first day of practice from my perspective."

How has Haley been this far into training camp?

"He's been the same old guy just you know, real disciplined, and if we jump offside we're going to run. Just making sure the tempo's high, that's been the biggest thing; getting in and out and making everything quick and, you know, work yourself in to shape."

Does it feel good to finally have the pads on?

"Yeah it felt good to have a headache finally."


SAFETY JON MCGRAW

How are you feeling after the first day of practice?


"It's good to get that first one out of the way, you're always a little anxious to get that first pop."

What does Haley expect out of you as players?

"Basically great effort and everything you do, do it right. And if you don't do it right they'll let you know. Don't make the same mistake twice. "

How does it feel to have the first day out of the way?

"It feels good. After that first one you feel a lot better afterwards and you feel a little more comfortable."


WIDE RECEIVER QUINTEN LAWRENCE

Did the first day of practice bring any challenges for you guys?


"No, people came back in great shape. The offseason work outs were very tough."

It felt good to get the first one done and out of the way?

"Yeah it did it did. It feels good you got that camp practice in. We know the tempo with the coaches and everything. Just to get everybody settled and comfortable. We knew what to expect, they definitely set us up for what to expect during OTAs."


WIDE RECEIVER BOBBY ENGRAM

After going through OTAs and having the conditioning test done, will things be any easier going into the next days of practice?


"I wouldn't say easier, it's a different game with pads. It's a lot different, it's the pads, there's a lot of hitting out there, there's going to be a lot of two-a-days."

How are you and the other receivers grasping the offense so far?

"There's a lot going in, but we just got to take one day at a time and make sure we get to know everything."

Football is a great way to make a living isn't it?

"That's everybody's dream as a kid especially mine."

Do you feel like you can play a role as a kick returner this season?

"I mean I have the tools to do it, but it depends on where they need me at wide receiver or any position. I got to battle for that position just as everybody else has to and hopefully I get it.


LINEBACKER ZACH THOMAS

For the defense to work, you need to be on at the linebacker position right?


"Oh definitely, that's any defense, if you don't have good linebackers, I mean...you have to have a good front, but it's not like tennis. You depend on everybody. You depend on everyone around you. If your D-line is having a bad day you're having a bad day at linebacker. Linebackers do all the communication; they're the ones that pass everything around and keep the defense together."

What have been your impressions of your teammates so far?

"I know they're working hard, I don't know how they were last year. Coming in when I saw they won two games last year I thought there were a lot guys that weren't unmotivated, a lot of slackers and things like that, but I haven't seen that and that's a good thing. The coach [Todd Haley] is trying to change the mindset of this team and I want to and I want to be part of it when he does."

The coaches have been very vocal, what do you think about the coaching style?

"There's so many ways to coach but if you win, it's great, great coaching. If you lose it's bad coaching so I mean that's just the way it is."

Last year the defense had 10 sacks, how important are sacks to a defense?

"Sacks are very important it definitely changes the game, but you have to stop the run first to have a chance of that. If you can make a team one dimensional then you get your sacks. That's where it starts, stopping the run and playing it simple."

Do you think the defensive scheme will help you get to the quarterback more this year?

"I'm not for sure, we haven't really played a game yet. I know it's a great scheme especially for myself to be in. It's a change of position with me, because last year I was out of position in Dallas playing weak side. I'm just happy to be back in the middle. It's a lot of talk but its early. Everybody thinks that they're going to win a lot of games this year, but it's not going to happen so hopefully we'll be the team that does. But we've got to see about today and the day after, that's when you get better. Everyone can come out and play hard the first day; you have to be strong mentally."

What did you think of Mike Vrabel coming into all of this?

"I've always hated that guy. When I was with Miami every year I just thought he was a real jerk, but I tell you what I really like playing beside him. Being a veteran, our communication really clicks."


CORNERBACK BRANDON FLOWERS

How well will you be able to pressure the offense this year?


"We're going to get more pressure this year that always helps the secondary if the quarterback doesn't have a lot of time to throw the ball."

What are you personally working on at camp? "Just conditioning, so I never get tired on the field when it comes down to the fourth quarter, and just being stronger than the receivers so it gives me a chance to win that matchup."

What does Mike Brown bring to the backfield?

"A lot of leadership, you know, he's a professional on and off the field. A lot of us young guys look up to that kind of stuff and he's motivating us to be that type of player. "

What has bringing in a veteran done to the youth that plays in the backfield?

"It feels good. Bringing in a veteran like that the chemistry is still there [. . .] everything is blending right now we just have to take no steps back."

From your perspective what do you think of Matt Cassel' s play?

"I like how he plays with a lot of energy. You know when Brady got hurt last year we didn't know who he was coming in. He came in with a lot of energy and he got the Patriots fans and his team on his side. Like today, when they were scoring touchdowns he jumped, high-fiving with the running backs and the offensive line and with the offense. We need that kind of energy and they're doing a great job out there."


WIDE RECEIVER DWAYNE BOWE

How is your relationship with Matt Cassel coming?


"It's coming along fine and dandy, you know, um, we're hooking up a lot. We're trying not to overdo it or get over excited because we have a great defense. Everyday we're just working together as one."

Do you feel like there is a lot pressure on you to perform this year?

"I don't call it pressure, I call it fun, excitement. Everybody wants me to fall or wants someone to fall, that's when I do the opposite, so I call it fun."

You had a 1000-yard season last year, now you're going into year three. With Tony Gonzalez gone do you feel like you have to have a breakout season?

"No, I don't look at it like that. I look at it every day if I come out here and do my job and the team does their job, we all going to improve. My numbers are going to jump and the team's win column will jump."

What do you think of Matt Cassel?

"He's a good leader. Like I said in an earlier interview, he won't let anybody fail, there's no room for failure and he's going to let you know that. If he sees you fall he's going to pick you up and he's going to call you out. I don't want him to call me out or the team doesn't want him to call out so everybody's doing their jobs right now."

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