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Last week, when I visited the Kansas City Chiefs training camp, defensive coordinator Gunther Cunningham made one thing clear:
There would be no free rides this summer.
Cunningham stressed that all of the Chiefs veterans on defense who used to be starters had to earn their keep. With so many young players trying to make their way with the Chiefs, Cunningham said there was terrific competition.
He pointed to youngsters Turk McBride and Pat Thomas. Both of these second-year players took over starting positions earlier in camp; McBride at defensive end and Thomas at middle linebacker. And now there is another youngster stealing a starting job in Kansas City.
According to the Kansas City Star, defensive tackle Tank Tyler has overtaken veteran in Ron Edwards for a starting job. Tyler is also a second-year player. It is clear that it is a new day in Kansas City.
The brass loves the youngsters from the last two drafts and it wants to see these players perform well. The players who play the hardest and the best will get the starting jobs in Kansas City.
It's fun to watch what is going on in Kansas City. The Chiefs may not be great this year, but they are working towards getting better and the competition cannot be stressed enough.