It’s a very happy and historic day for the Kansas City Chiefs family and more specifically for former Chiefs DT Curley Culp, who in just hours from now will be inducted into the 2013 Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Culp played a total of 13 seasons in the AFL/NFL with Kansas City, Houston and Detroit and was selected to a total of six AFL All-Star Games or Pro Bowls.
“On behalf of the entire Chiefs family, we’d like to congratulate Curley Culp on his induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame,” Chiefs Chairman and CEO Clark Hunt said when the 2013 class was first announced.
“Curley was one of many great players that helped lead this franchise to a Super Bowl victory in 1970, and that team, including Curley, helped build the tradition and foundation of the Kansas City Chiefs. Curley was a fierce competitor and a difference maker who commanded a great deal of respect. I know my father would be very proud of Curley and his enshrinement in Canton.”
One of Culp’s teammates on that Super Bowl IV-winning team, Hall of Fame QB Len Dawson also praised Curley’s abilities.
“Curley Culp was a tremendous athlete,” Dawson said. “He had such strength and quickness. I remember Jack Rudnay used to say that every center in the league should have to go against Curley, in order to know what it’s like to go against the very best.”
It was a minor transgression in the grand scheme of things. Reid has taken over the reins of a franchise that’s barely experienced stability in the last decade, where coaches such as Vermeil and Marty Schottenheimer are revered simply because they took the Chiefs to the playoffs. So if Reid can somehow usher them to the Super Bowl, well, far more serious missteps would be forgiven.
Expectations are so high that even before Reid was introduced as Romeo Crennel’s replacement, news helicopters were tracking the movement of his black SUV as he headed for a tour of Arrowhead Stadium. He was engulfed by fans when he was spotted on the famed Country Club Plaza during the offseason. And now that he’s in training camp, just as many people are pining for his autograph as they are for Pro Bowl players Jamaal Charles and Dwayne Bowe.
It might be overwhelming if Reid wasn’t having so much fun, laughing with fellow coaches and players after practice. It might be overwhelming if he was just starting out in the business, a wide-eyed assistant coach at BYU or Northern Arizona with his entire career ahead of him.
Reports out of camp were that on the first play of 11 on 11 drills, linebacker Derrick Johnson came screaming through the middle and stuffed the ball carrier at the thighs, something that Johnson has become quite good at the last few seasons. On the third play, Alex Smith threw a dime up the middle of the field to receiver Dexter McCluster that resulted in the first score of the scrimmage, and drew a loud cheer from the fans in the stands. A lot of reports indicated that Alex Smith was, at times, “deadly” accurate with his throws.
The tight end group really shined today as well. Quarterback, Chase Daniel connected with rookie tight end Travis Kelce, in which Kelce was able to break a few tackles and high step into the end zone. Tony Moeaki also caught a beautiful over the shoulder pass from Smith that resulted in a touchdown. The tight end group this camp has been one of the best competitions.
“It’s what I love, that’s what I know starting from early days,” said Flowers, who has 16 interceptions in his five-year career. “I always played man-to-man coverage, that’s what they installed at Virginia Tech. I love the way we’re getting pressure with the front seven just letting us lock up in the back end.”
In some passing downs against multiple receivers, Sutton has used seven defensive backs with one down lineman, defensive tackle Dontari Poe, inside linebacker Derrick Johnson and pass-rushing linebackers Tamba Hali and Justin Houston. Some of the backs are in coverage, some are blitzing the quarterback.
“Being a defensive back, we think we’re the most talented guys in the room, so you want to put as many of us on the field as possible,” Smith said. “Coach Sutton says, ‘If you have one thing you can do great, we’re going to find a way to get you on the field. If you’re good at blitzing, we’re going to find a package for that.’