Insider Blog: It's On

Posted Mar 29, 2010

The Chiefs 2010 off-season program kicks off today

The NFL calendar rolled over weeks ago. Free agency has begun, the NFL Combine has concluded and countless players across the league have seen their careers take a different route for “next year.” But for those who are already part of Kansas City’s roster, today marks the first official day of 2010.

This morning, it’s on.

Today marks the first day of head coach Todd Haley’s 2010 off-season program. There is a new hand guiding the ship in strength and conditioning coach Mike Clark, but the workouts will remain strenuous as this team begins to build for OTAs, mini-camp, training camp and finally the regular season and beyond. This is the official start.

Many players have jumped the gun and already been in town this winter to train at the Chiefs practice facility, but a new look will await those that report back for the first time this morning. Clark has already re-arranged the Chiefs weight room to match his liking.

The best thing about today is that it’s all about football. Our neighbors to the west (whose name shall not be spoken) began their program with an absent quarterback and plenty of media distraction. Pittsburgh is in a similar situation with their superstar quarterback. In fact, Ben Roethlisberger has reportedly been asked not to participate in Pittsburgh’s off-season program for the time being.

In Kansas City, there are no distractions. Players will report, work out and get better. They build muscle, lose fat and gain endurance.

For this team to take the next step in 2010, the Chiefs in-house talent will need to continue to progress. Can CB Brandon Flowers take his game to the next level? How about Glenn Dorsey, Tyson Jackson, Matt Cassel, Andy Studebaker or Tamba Hali? It’s the same across the board whether the player is a starter or backup. Everyone has something to prove one way or another.

Simply put, it’s impossible to overstate the importance of the Chiefs 2010 off-season program. With a roster still under construction and plenty of positions up for grabs, the offseason program is critical in what transpires next season.

This isn’t just about lifting and running anymore either. Although there won’t be any structured on-field coaching, players will hit the jugs machines and run dry routes, pass drops and positional drills on their own just as they would during regular season practices. A handful of mature veterans will help these younger players refine their techniques when they go off to work on their own following strength, conditioning and agility training.

Some players will want to add mass, while others will look add explosiveness or improve footwork. Some will look to prove themselves.

A player like G Colin Brown (pictured above) is a perfect example. Here’s a player who the Chiefs brass were excited to develop as a rookie coming out of Missouri last summer. Brown began as a tackle and then moved to guard for a short time before suffering a knee injury. Brown is now ready to go and you can bet that he’ll be evaluated day-in and day-out as to where he fits on this roster. That evaluation was diminished dramatically a year ago.

Then there’s the case of TE Brad Cottam. His high hopes to earn the starting tight end job came crashing down in training camp last year. He found himself third on the depth chart and inactive for a handful of games before finally working his way back to the game field, little by little. Late in the season, Cottam turned that promise into in-game production before ultimately suffering a neck injury as he stretched for a first down and extra yardage.

Will Brown impress? Can Cottam continue his ascension as he continues to rehab the injury in the process? These are just two of the many storylines that begin their 2010 chapter today.

No leaf will be left unturned as the Chiefs begin their journey towards the 2010 season. The workouts are voluntary, but the majority of the squad is expected to show and participate in the program. Things are in motion behind the scenes, and even though this day isn’t a headline maker, it’s the start of what leads to headlines in the fall.

Today can’t be ignored. It’s a big day for the Chiefs. Football isn’t as far away as it seems.

We’ll talk to new strength and conditioning coach Mike Clark following today’s workouts. Check back later this afternoon to catch the full video interview and hear what Clark had to say about the first day of the Chiefs off-season program.

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