Tamba Hali is far and away the Kansas City Chiefs best pass rusher. Branden Albert has been tapped to be the team’s franchise left tackle. That means Hali and Albert go at it every day in practice and according to coach Todd Haley, the battles are helping both players.
“I think when Tamba brings it like he’s bringing it in a game and if you’ve been out here to practice a bunch, you see this guy isn’t calling off the dogs very often,” said Haley at yesterday’s press conference. “So I see a good battle between Branden and Tamba on a consistent basis and that’s going to make both of them better, but I think Branden’s benefiting from that work every day.”
The fact that Hali is making Albert better is good news for Chiefs fans. After a strong rookie campaighn, Albert struggled early in 2009, causing many experts to suggest moving him to guard.
Haley, however, see’s progress.
“I think Branden Albert is making progress,” he said. “I’ve felt that about Branden going all the way back to last year, from the conditioning aspect and buying into that thought process of believing what he’s being told – that he could be a better player if he were in better condition and at a certain weight. I think he went through an adjustment period of dealing with his new body, he stayed in shape when the season ended, he came into this off-season at a baseline where he has to be and then he built on it.”
It is obvious that Haley likes the competition and knows that Hali and Albert are cornerstones of this team. Albert is lucky to get to practice against a pass rusher like Hali on a daily basis and in the long run, the battle should make them both better players.