Heartland Health Practice Report: 8/4/11

Posted Aug 4, 2011

The veterans come out, McClain is ready to block and Breaston wants to be part of something special

ST. JOSEPH, MO – It’s finally starting to look like training camp.

The curtain lifted Thursday afternoon with the finalization of the new Collective Bargaining Agreement. With that came the arrival of 19 veteran signees who had previously been prohibited to practice. Brandon Carr, Tamba Hali and Sabby Piscitelli all signed contracts hours before practice and were part of that group.

Those making their training camp debut included: RB Jackie Battle, WR Steve Breaston, CB Brandon Carr, WR Terrance Copper, FB Mike Cox, CB Travis Daniels, DE Wallace Gilberry, DL Kelly Gregg, LB Tamba Hali, S Reshard Langford, WR Zeke Markshausen, FB Le’Ron McClain, S Jon McGraw, T Ryan O’Callaghan, S Sabby Piscitelli, TE Leonard Pope, T Barry Richardson, LB Brandon Siler and C Casey Wiegmann.

“It’s amazing just getting out here with the guys, seeing some old teammates, Gilberry and Arenas,” McClain said. “Just getting back out here getting into the groove of just football man. It’s been so long since I’ve been away from it. I just thank the organization of the Chiefs just bringing me in.”

Hali’s Arrival

Tamba Hali was greeted with a loud ovation fresh off of signing his new deal. He had missed the first half hour of practice while finalizing all of the details, but was able to hit the field in time for the end of individual work.

He made his presence felt immediately, batting a pass at the line of scrimmage to DB Donald Washington during 11-v-11 for an interception. Hali spent plenty of time signing autographs and receiving congratulations from Chiefs fans after practice.

McClain Here To Win…and Block

Le’Ron McClain will be a fullback first. Coach Todd Haley made that clear during his daily press conference Thursday afternoon.

“I’m glad he’s on our side,” Haley said. “I think he’s a big, physical fullback, who’s obviously in the past has shown really good run ability in the year when he had a chance to carry the ball when they had an injury. With that being said, he’s very clear, we’re very clear, he’s coming in to be our fullback, first and foremost.”

By all accounts, it looks as if McClain is on board with that notion as well. He had previously expressed a desire to see increase his touches after turning in a 902-yard campaign in 2008.

“I’m here to win, that’s it,” McClain said. “I’m a fullback man, here to win, and just getting Jamaal Charles and Thomas Jones over 1,000 [yards] a piece. That’s what I’m here to do. Blocking linebackers, kicking out linebackers, keeping them off Matt Cassel, just doing anything I can do to help the team win.”

McClain’s initial practice looked like it would be cut short when he briefly excited the field during individual drills. After a quick trip into the trainers’ tent, McClain returned to action for the remainder of practice.

“That was just the excitement of the first day and getting used to the helmet and shoulder pads, and being out there will all of the guys,” McClain said. “Just some excitement, that’s all it was.”

Breaston Remembers Arizona Fondly

Steve Breaston’s decision to leave Arizona didn’t come without struggle. The receiver broke into the league four years ago with that team, worked his way up the depth charts and turned in a career season during Arizona’s Super Bowl run. Then, of course, there were the relationships he left behind.

In the end, Todd Haley extended an offer that caught Breaston’s attention.

“It was tough,” Breaston admitted. “There were a lot of relationships out there and I’m not going to lie, but it was a very tough decision and this is the opportunity that was presented to me and I talked to coach Haley, he’s always talking about building something special, and I want to be a part of something out here.”

Breaston worked alongside the first-team offense during portions of his first practice with the Chiefs.

“They’ve got a lot of talented weapons out here and I’m just trying to come in and just be a piece of the puzzle,” Breaston said.

Practice Observations

- Jonathan Baldwin and Tony Moeki did not practice and rode stationary bikes throughout practice. Moeaki is on the Physically-Unable-To-Perform list, while Baldwin previously participated in Thursday morning’s walk-thru before sitting out the afternoon session.

- Glenn Dorsey left practice early during two-gap drills with the offensive line. He’d walk under his own power to trainers before heading into the Griffon Indoor Complex. There is no post-practice status regarding Dorsey’s departure.

- The Chiefs have yet to go through a full practice in pads. Haley had his team lose the shoulder pads for the team periods of practice once again.

- Third-round draft pick Justin Houston was not at practice Thursday afternoon.

- Veterans making their training camp debut put in some extra time with strength and conditioning coach Mike Clark during the middle stages of practice, but were later involved during portions of 11-v-11 work.

- Derrick Johnson, who has been taking plenty of questions this camp about his hands, recorded a pick-six on an underneath route thrown by Matt Cassel.

- Donald Washington later added and interception during the later stages of 11-v-11 work. The ball was tipped at the line of scrimmage by Tamba Hali.

- Brandon Flowers was tested deep several times in one-on-one and seven-on-seven drills and did a nice job defending the long ball.

- Chandler Williams turned in a nice catch running down the sideline while being well covered by rookie Jalil Brown.


“It feels like we’ve been locked up in purgatory for a while and on hold. Now we get to go out and play with all the kids at recess.”

-Jon McGraw following his training camp debut

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