Cassel said that player visits help children briefly forget about their illness and be kids again.
“It’s pretty amazing to be able to go to the hospital, interact with the children, give them one of these ‘buddies,’ and see their faces light up,” said Cassel, who replaced Tony Gonzalez as the Shadow Buddies spokesperson four years ago. “Especially now that I’m a father of two, being able to come here to Children’s Mercy and interact with the children here puts things in perspective for you.”
Starting safeties Eric Berry and Kendrick Lewis are recovering from surgeries, leaving temporary openings at those positions. Neither player has yet participated in an offseason practice and though the Chiefs haven’t publicly ruled it out, it’s unlikely Berry or Lewis will be in the lineup before offseason work concludes with next week’s three-day mini-camp.
In the meantime, the Chiefs are busy sorting through safety candidates. They’ve taken a look in the starting lineup at a variety of players, including converted cornerback Travis Daniels and another undrafted rookie, Terrance Parks of Florida State.
Playing on a defensive line littered with early-round busts, Tamba Hali has been a pass rushing force for the Chiefs despite often facing double teams. Hali is one of the quickest players off the edge in football and earned his first Pro Bowl selection in 2011.