If you’ve ever been to St. Joseph, you know that there isn’t a whole hell of a lot going on. There’s the Glore Psychiatric Museum (which is really kind of neat), a bunch of chain restaurants, a downtown that had a bunch of money pumped into it a few years ago and a quiet suburban peace broken only occasionally by methamphetamine or booze fueled stabbings and shootings.
Given the Victorian architectural leanings and small-town quaintness, it’s a little like Independence—only with 1/10th of the aforementioned meth-fueled stabbings and shootings.
It also shares Kansas City’s summer weather—obviously—which makes it a bit of a strange place to hold football training camp. Football practice in 105 degree heat? YES PLEASE.
I suppose it makes sense—given the fact that two exhibition games will be in KC, in August—and September only cools by a slight bit, but if you’re a player, how fucking annoying is that?
The hottest day next week in River Falls, WI, the previous training camp home of the Chiefs? Well, it’s going to be 89 on Monday. Partly cloudy.
Sorry, gents. Enjoy your heatstroke.
So if you’re packing up the family for the trek up I-29 to take in a practice or whatever, make sure to douse your balls in talcum powder, drink plenty of fluids, and keep your eye out for the following stories as they pertain to your Kansas City Football Chiefs:
Short answer: I highly doubt it.
When Brady Quinn was brought in from the Denver Broncos this past offseason, he was told that he’d be able to compete for the starter’s job. Of COURSE he was told that. People are ALWAYS told that. If I showed up, talked a bit with head coach Romeo Crennel, bought him a Hardee’s Monster Thickburger and really made an impression, I’d be told that I was in contention for the gig.
Then, there was that dude who Glazer had a boner for— Alex Tanney, that undrafted trick shot QB from Monmouth whose collegiate accomplishments (82.6 completion percentage, 14,249 yards passing, 157 TDs to 30 INT in Division III) were overshadowed by his YouTube shenanigans.
Oh, and let us not forget Ricky Stanzi. Yep, Ricky Stanzi.
So it’s pretty much a foregone conclusion that Cassel will be under center at the start of the season. It would take a pretty remarkable camp from any of these other fellas to change that fact (Glazer: “But didn’t you see Tanney hit the cross-bar from 60 yards out? ON ONE KNEE?! Tits… uh, King of Sting!”).
It would still be pretty nice to see Cassel pushed, though. He can be a pretty fiery competitor on the field, but he carries himself without passion or conviction off. He seems withdrawn and sullen, which doesn’t exactly breed confidence amongst fans, inspire teammates or strike fear into the hearts of opponents. Maybe Quinn’s notorious jabber-jawing will ignite something deep within Cassel, a dormant football-dragon capable of gun-slinging his way into another Pro Bowl spot.
(Wow. Remember that? PRO BOWLER MATT CASSEL? Holy shit, that was weird and it feels either A) made up, or B) a million years ago)
“Donte,” as he’s affectionately known around this here website, needs to prove, and prove fast. Oh sure, there’s a learning curve, and no, he doesn’t need to become Warren Sapp Version 2.0 within his first season, but he needs to show that his less than illustrious collegiate career—the very same one that raised analyst’s eyebrows when he was drafted in this year’s first round—leaves no lingering questions.
Per Crennel, Poe isn’t guaranteed ANYTHING. As he told kcchiefs.com, “Rookies, I never let rookies be the starter. When Eric (Berry) came, I didn’t make him a starter. He had to go out there and show me something first so Dontari Poe is going to have to do the same.”
Oh, SUUUUURE, Romeo. I bet.
Unless something silly happens, I’d that Poe is the man at nose-tackled when camp breaks, or at the very least, seeing a majority of the snaps shortly thereafter.
According to Crennel, however, training camp could be a pretty decent indicator of future assignments. He’s the coach, I suppose.
Are Charles, Moeaki and Berry Healthy, and Can They Stay That Way?
By all indications, the first answer is yes. The second questions bears the burden of deep medical-related research regarding incidents of injury-recurrence that I’d probably botch worse than Adam Sandler making another funny movie, so fuck it, I’m not going to try.
The second part of question one—and the more intriguing part as it applies to the success of the team—is: can they trio be effective playing ACTUAL football? Because it’s all good and well to run around in pads and lightly careen off teammates who wish you no ill-will, and another thing entirely to have asshole defensive-backs launching themselves helmet first into your surgically reconstructed knee-parts.
This part remains to be seen, and is probably the most important story in all of training camp.
Will Any of the Free Agents Make a Difference?
The biggest signing, the one that the casual fan forgets about (because who likes the fat guys, amirite?) is tackle Eric Winston, formerly of the Houston Texans. The 6-7, 300 lb Winston provides an immediate and much-needed upgrade on the offensive line, and, if healthy and productive, could serve as one of the finest offseason acquisitions in recent memory, most certainly in Scott Pioli’s tenure.
Winston makes an immediate impact.
Peyton Hillis, the bruising, barrel-necked running back from the Cleveland Browns, has the potential to be a fantastic compliment to Charles—and way better than anyone else who filled in during Charles’ injury last season—but that’s all dependent upon which Hillis the Chiefs are getting. If it’s the 2010 Hillis who ran for 1,177 yards and 11 TDs and ended up on the cover of Madden NFL 12, this is an awesome signing. If, however, this is the pussy who had lingering, questionable injuries in the middle of last year’s contract dispute, fuck him. Go away.
Stanford Routt is an intriguing signing as well. The former Oakland Raiders cornerback signed a 3-year contract in February, once it was clear that Brandon Carr was headed to more Jerry Jonesian pastures. If Routt is a step down from Carr, as some have suggested, it appears to be a small one. He’s inconsistent at times (as was Carr), but his burn rate (egghead stat that measures the percentage of targets for every defender that resulted in catches) bettered from 2010 to 2011.
According to Raiders fans, though, these stats are for shit because, as Oakland4Lyfe6969 said in the Yahoo! comments section, “Stamford Rout was a stupid n*gger last year and I hope he f*cking dies that f*ckin pussey is HORIBLE!”
Compelling counterpoint, for sure.
When Will Dwayne Bowe Join the Team?
Look, maybe he’s a douche, or maybe he’s a prima-donna or a diva or an entitled ass-clown with an overinflated sense of self. Maybe he’s stoned right now, playing as himself on Madden, which it totally blowing his fucking mind, bro, and maybe when he thinks about going to St. Joe, he gets a little pain that makes it feel like he needs to poop.
Whatever the case, he needs to be in camp and he needs to start the season as the number one wide receiver because Jon Baldwin isn’t ready to be the man yet, and Steve Breaston—a potentially excellent number two in the right offense—never will be.