The Morning Fix

“He’s a guy we were excited about when he became available because he’s somebody we had our eye on last year even a little bit. [He’s a] pretty unique story in that [he was] a full-time tight end and really has been playing out there as a tackle here only for a year. And then you consider he missed an offseason and had a shortened training camp. I think he does have some versatility. He’s 300 pounds plus now, and you don’t see many 300-pounders playing tight end, but he’s athletic and can move around and run. He’s here to be a tackle first and foremost.”

“One of our priorities is to create a compelling positive fan experience,” Chiefs President Mark Donovan said. “We are focused on making every potential point of contact with our fans a positive experience, including on gameday, at Arrowhead and beyond. These nominations represent the hard work and determination of our staff as we strive to reach that goal.”

Charles hopes that making history is once again the agenda for 2011, but the only goal he’s willing to go public with revolves around leadership and maturity.

“One of my goals is to be a team leader this year,” Charles said. “I’m getting mature, it’s my fourth year in the league and I’m not a rookie anymore, so I’m approaching this year like I’m a leader. I want to be like the quarterback, only at running back. That’s how I’m approaching this year.”

Chiefs coach Todd Haley said he never stopped having confidence in his kick returners, even as they struggled during the first two preseason games. Haley held back Javier Arenas, Dexter McCluster and Steve Breaston while a handful of fringe players were given chances.

Those players didn’t make a solid impression, and now Kansas City’s marquee returners are back in the spotlight.

Cassel is a huge part of the re surgence of the once downtrodden Chiefs, who from 2007-09 were a combined 10-38 including a dreadful 2-14 in 2008 before winning the AFC West crown a year ago with a 10-6 record. The unquestioned leader, he’s listed on the injury report because of a rib injury that was initially believed to be significant enough to keep him out of Sunday’s season opener against the Buffalo Bills.

But Cassel practiced fully on Wednesday and treated the injury as if he stubbed his toe declaring, “I’m ready to roll.”

There’s no guarantee that he’ll stick, or ever step on the field for the Chiefs. Colbert could be released at any time, and he knows it. But he also knows that every day he’s still around is another day he can pursue all of those unrealized dreams.

“”A comeback like that is unusual,” Kiffin said. “I mean, once you’re gone, you’re usually gone. They don’t open the doors back up for many people once you’ve been sitting out, because the league always wants to be young, and the way the salary cap is set up, it’s hard to keep older guys. It’s just a great story.”

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