Archive for Saturday, August 2, 2003

Opener nearing for K.C.

Chiefs coach Vermeil fan of Hall of Fame Game

August 2, 2003


— The Kansas City Chiefs wrapped up their 23rd practice of training camp Friday with their final workout in full pads before Monday night's preseason opener against the Green Bay Packers.

The team will hold two more practices in shells today and an hour-long walkthrough Sunday morning before traveling to Canton, Ohio, to play the Packers in the NFL's annual Hall of Fame Game.

Coach Dick Vermeil said he jumped at the opportunity to play in the Hall of Fame Game because it meant an extra week of practice for the Chiefs before they open the regular season Sept. 7 against San Diego.

"This is a physical, fundamental, technical game," Vermeil said. "The more reps you give your players, the more time it gives you to teach them to do it better. And the more time you get to work with young kids, they get to do some real good things."

Vermeil said the Hall of Fame Game also gave the Chiefs an opportunity to play a fifth preseason game, something he felt would pay dividends.

"If it's utilized properly and organized properly, we should be a week better than our opponent," he said. "It doesn't mean we'll beat them or anything like that, but it gives us a week advantage in preparation to better detail things.

"More often than not, when our players break down, it's not because they don't know what to do, or have the ability to do, it's (that) the fundamentals aren't instinctive or ingrained yet," he said.

Vermeil said he thought the Chiefs sent a message to the rest of the NFL last season with their performance on offense, and that played a role in the league's decision to schedule the team for the Hall of Fame Game. Still, he said he would approach it like any other preseason opener.

"I've never coached in a game that it wasn't important to play well," he said. "Now there's a difference in terms of importance of winning it, because it's not real important to win. But it's important to play well regardless. I've never coached in an unimportant game."

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