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Chiefs’ training-camp roster shaping up

August 2, 2011

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— Barry Richardson signed his restricted free-agent tender with the Kansas City Chiefs on Monday, while the team added free-agent linebacker Brandon Siler to help shore up the defense.

Bit by bit, general manager Scott Pioli is putting the finishing touches on his training-camp roster.

Still missing after Day Four of practice were outside linebacker Tamba Hali, the Chiefs’ top pass rusher from a year ago, and third-round draft pick Justin Houston, who is expected to compete with Andy Studebaker for the other outside spot.

There was no word when either would arrive, though the coaching staff seemed unconcerned.

“I feel like we are gaining a little traction here,” coach Todd Haley said before an afternoon practice at Missouri Western State University, where temperatures Monday afternoon climbed into the triple digits.

The team spent about 75 minutes in shoulder pads before finishing their afternoon work in only helmets.

“Get those first couple of days out of the way,” Haley added in the cool confines of the indoor training center. “Not that we’re changing a whole bunch, or a whole lot has changed, but we’re gaining a little traction here.”

It’ll help when Haley has his full squad on the field.

The Chiefs have today off from practice before an evening workout Wednesday. On Thursday, when the league year officially starts, veteran contracts signed in 2011 go into effect and players such as Siler and center Casey Wiegemann — who signed last week and again watched from the sideline Monday — can start practicing.

“I’m really anxious, and I know they are, to get out there and get with their teammates on the field, and I know that will be a boost for everyone,” Haley said. “We’re really kind of short everywhere right now because of the guys we have sitting on the side.”

Siler spent the past four seasons with the AFC West-rival San Diego Chargers, where he played 63 games and made 13 starts during the regular season and playoffs. He’s known for his ability to stuff the run, something that the Chiefs struggled to do early last season, and could pair well with Derrick Johnson on the inside.

The 6-foot-2, 239-pound Siler, a former seventh-round draft pick out of Florida, also had two interceptions and three sacks during his time with the Chargers.

“We’ve seen him for a couple years and he’s a guy who was an active part of San Diego,” Haley said. “I know everybody was excited about bringing him in here. He will add to the competition at the insider ‘backer spot.

“He’s a guy who understands the division, what’s going on,” Haley said. “He’s a big, good-looking guy.”

Richardson is coming off a breakthrough season in which he started 16 games between the two tackle spots because of injuries. He filled in on the right side when Ryan O’Callaghan hurt his groin in the preseason and also started once at left tackle in place of an injured Branden Albert.

The Chiefs had placed a second-round tender on Richardson. His signing leaves cornerback Brandon Carr as the only restricted free agent without a contract. Kansas City placed a first-round tender on him.

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