Chiefs Exploring Options At Receiver

After Kansas City's 24-21 loss to Jacksonville last Sunday, in which new arrival Chris Chambers caught three balls for 70 yards and two touchdowns, and Lance Long hauled in eight passes for 74 yards, Todd Haley said the time-built relationship between quarterback and receiver was overrated. Thursday, he half-jokingly explained why.

"Because we picked a guy up off the street that had two touchdowns," he said.

Haley then backtracked, conceding the relationship between passer and catcher is tangible, and extra time together (pre-game warm ups) without the coaching staff is especially important.

"To me that's one of those times with a quarterback and receiver without a lot of coaching, because we don't want to be messing around with them right then," he said. "They can develop some of that chemistry. It's on the field they're going to be playing on, there's nobody bugging them, there's not a practice going on, it's just kind of private time, and after practice is another big time."

"I think you try to fit that in wherever you can, and it's offseason. When you get a guy like Chris (Chambers) or Bobby Wade that comes in late, they've got to work hard, and sometimes you put a lot of emphasis on it and you catch up faster than you normally would."

Matt Cassel also sees the importance of time well spent with his receivers, but admits it's not the end all be all.

"As a quarterback, you'd love to develop some rapport and a relationship with your receivers," he said. "But then again, as long as they're going out there doing their jobs and being at the right depths and running the right routes, then I think you can get in a rhythm pretty quickly."

As you hear every signed free agent or traded player say, the biggest transition from team to team is learning the terminology. With as many stops as Chambers and Wade have made in their careers, that transition probably comes smoother.

"That's what they both did a great job of doing, was figuring out what they had to know, and then the execution part was easier for them," said Haley. "They're veteran guys that have been around and know how to run these routes. I mean, there's not a lot that's invented new. It's more a matter of knowing what it is and then doing that which you're supposed to do."

Wade was inactive last week, but that doesn't necessarily mean it's because Haley doesn't value him. Rather, it could mean Haley wanted a look at what Chambers and Long bring to the table, much like he did earlier this season when he sat Jamaal Charles down for a game to get a look at Dantrell Savage. Now Charles is starting .

With six receivers on the roster, there will most likely be an odd man out every week. How does Haley go about making the decision on who will be inactive?

"It's going to be tough, because we're a little beat up on the offensive line, and we have other issues, safety issues," he said. "We went through that preliminarily last night, and somebody's going to get left out and that's the hard thing."

If Wade sat against the Jaguars to get Chambers and Long extra work in the spirit of evaluation, what does Cassel think of his new targets?

"He's got some speed, he's savvy, he's definitely a professional," said Cassel. "He's been in the NFL for a long time, and anytime we're lucky enough have a guy like that on the team, he definitely brings a lot of veteran leadership as well."

"Last week (a rapport developed) pretty quickly with myself and Chambers. It just goes back to both parties doing their job, and Chambers did a great job of being in the right spot last week and knowing what he was supposed to do."

And Long?

"There was a reason why he was on the field on Sunday, and that's because obviously the coaches noticed something and we noticed something," said Cassel. "He had a spark and he's definitely got a great skill set and a great skill level and he came out on Sunday, he prepares hard, he works hard, he's diligent about what he does, and he came out and he performed, so anytime he gets open and I'm able to get him the ball, that's a great thing."

"He's a great slot receiver, he's got tremendous quickness, he gets in and out of his breaks well, he catches the ball, he's a tough guy, he'll go in, he's not afraid to lay in a block on linebacker or safety, so he's a great player and he's been helping us, there's no doubt about that." Top Stories