AFC West: Dantrell Savage.

The Kansas City Chiefs continue to shed players from the Carl Peterson regime.

Kansas City cut receiver Devard Darling and running back/returner Dantrell Savage on Wednesday. Both Darling and Savage were role players.

Darling was on injured reserve all of last season. He joined the team in 2008.

Savage had 34 kickoff returns for 793 yards in two seasons in Kansas City. He was brought in as an undrafted free agent in 2008. He also rushed for 98 yards on 25 carries. The previous regime thought Savage had a future as a return man, but he never really developed.

Chiefs make roster moves

December, 20, 2009
The Chiefs' oft-injured backfield took another hit when the team put backup tailback and returner Dantrell Savage on the injured reserve.

In addition to shelving Savage, the Chiefs cut receiver/returner Quinten Lawrence. He was a sixth-round pick this year. Lawrence could be a candidate to go to the practice squad, where he has spent time this season. Kansas City added guard Darryl Harris. He has been on the practice squad this season.
  G. Newman Lowrance/Getty Images
  Todd Haley, the new coach for Kansas City, has made his players feel his presence during the offseason and training camp.

Posted by's Bill Williamson

RIVER FALLS, Wis. --- The Kansas City Chiefs are tired.

And they should be.

Camp Haley has been no pleasure cruise.

The Chiefs, who break camp Thursday, have undergone a harsh transition from the cushy Herm Edwards days to the no-breaks, harsh methods of new coach Todd Haley. Mimicking new general manager Scott Pioli's humorless ways, Haley has not been easy on his troops.

Camp Confidential: AFC West
Raiders: Fri., July 31
Chargers: Tues., Aug. 4
Broncos: Wed., Aug. 12
Chiefs: Thurs., Aug. 20
Training camp index

It's all about making the Chiefs -- who have won a total of six games the past two years -- "hard to beat," Haley said.

"I think this camp had to be tough," Haley said Wednesday. "We need a mental toughness .... I've been on teams that have turned it around and each of those teams needed to get tougher."

In the offseason, Haley stressed conditioning and made his team lose weight. Then, he held a conditioning test before the start of camp. Several well-known players didn't pass, thus delaying their camp starting date. Camp practices in this idyllic Wisconsin college town have been long and hard-hitting.

Haley is often heard barking his displeasure at his team and often his media briefings smack of an unsatisfied coach.

Further getting everyone's attention, Haley broke down standout receiver Dwayne Bowe. The team's best receiver was made a third stringer. But the tough love has worked. Bowe has responded and it's been a lesson learned for the entire team.

Haley knows he has a lot of work to do with this team. The Chiefs are being reconstructed. Haley knows it's not going to be easy, but he's bent on making it work.

"I've seen good progress," Haley said. "This team is much tougher than it was a few months ago. But we have to keep on improving."

(Read full post)

Breaking down the Chiefs' game

August, 16, 2009

Posted by's Bill Williamson

Random thoughts from the Chiefs' 16-10 preseason opening loss to visiting Houston:

It's time coach Todd Haley puts receiver Dwayne Bowe back on the first team. Bowe, who had 156 catches in his first two NFL seasons and who is far and away the Chiefs' best receiver, was shaken down all the way to the third string last week. Five very average Kansas City receivers played in the first quarter Saturday night and Bowe didn't play until the second quarter.

Bowe had five catches and beat up on much lesser competition. Ok, coach, your point has been made. Get the guy back with the first team. The Chiefs' chances are much better with Bowe playing. Plus, Bowe and quarterback Matt Cassel have to develop a game rhythm in the preseason. Bowe has to work with the first team in next week's game.

Cassel has been fairly unimpressive in the Chiefs' first preseason game and in their scrimmage last week. Give him time. He hasn't been horrible, so Kansas City shouldn't fret. It will take time for him to get used to his new surroundings.

By all accounts, the Chiefs struggled to adjust to their new 3-4 defensive scheme. That's not surprising. It's going to take time for this unit to feel comfortable.

Brodie Croyle didn't do anything to hurt his chances of being the No. 2 quarterback. He completed 12 of 18 passes for 145 yards. Tyler Thigpen was 7-of-14 for 40 yards. He threw a touchdown and an interception. If Croyle can stay healthy, he may be a nice No.2 in Kansas City.

The Chiefs like young running back Dantrell Savage. He had a nice night Saturday. He had 39 yards on eight carries.

Kansas City had two sacks. The Chiefs set an NFL record for the fewest sacks in a season with 10 in 2008.

Top pick Tyson Jackson was credited for half a sack.

Second-year defensive lineman Glenn Dorsey, who is trying to adjust to the 3-4 defense, had one tackle. Third-round pick Alex Magee, who Dorsey is competing with, had four tackles.

Posted by's Bill Williamson

Kansas City

Young Chiefs running back Dantrell Savage is getting some special attention this offseason.

My take: The fact that former Kansas City running great Priest Holmes is helping Savage prepare for the 2009 season is sure to get folks excited in Kansas City. Holmes has a special place in the hearts of Chiefs fans. Give credit to Savage for recognizing Holmes as a rushing authority. The Chiefs are excited about Savage. The summer work with Holmes won't hurt him.

San Diego

Former NFL quarterback Trent Green thinks Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers is a shoo-in to be a 4,000-yard passer this season.

My take: Rivers threw for 4,009 yards last season. It was his highest yardage total by more than 600 yards in his three seasons as an NFL starter. Throwing for 4,000 yards is not easy. It is no shoo-in for anyone. But Green's belief in Rivers shows what people think of Rivers: He is an elite quarterback and he's been recognized for it.

Chiefs need to jump on Pioli

December, 30, 2008

Posted by's Bill Williamson

The Kansas City Chiefs need to put the full court press on New England executive Scott Pioli if they truly want him to be Carl Peterson's replacement.

The Cleveland Browns are pursuing Pioli hard. If the Chiefs want in on Pioli they need to strike now.

The word is that Pioli is as interested in pursuing other jobs as he's ever been. He is clearly the prize of the general manager market. Many league observers believe the best current situations open are in Cleveland and in Kansas City.

Pioli would likely be intrigued by both jobs. That's why Kansas City has to strike now. Sure, the Chiefs have other names on their wish list, but every GM wish list starts with Pioli, who has been a major part of the Patriots' success this decade.

Among the selling points Kansas City must give Pioli are the fact that he can pick his next coach, the fact that Kansas City has the No. 3 pick and, yes, he can bring in free-agent quarterback Matt Cassel if he likes.

The Chiefs have a lot to offer. If they want Pioli, they have to make it clear now with Cleveland already bearing down on him.

Meanwhile, the Chiefs just announced they signed four players to future contracts. They are guards Brian De La Puente and Edwin Harrison, defensive tackle T.J. Jackson and running back Dantrell Savage.

Chiefs' McBride done for the season

November, 19, 2008

Posted by's Bill Williamson

The Chiefs lost another player to a season-ending injury when defensive end Turk McBride was put on injured reserve.

The Chiefs were hopeful McBride would be able to play through a shoulder injury, but it hasn't improved. It is a hit both now and for the future. The second-player player has a lot of promise and he will miss valuable experience in the final six games this season.

Defensive end will surely be an area Kansas City tries to upgrade in the offense. The Chiefs have a league low six sacks this season. McBride has one career sack in 10 NFL starts. He had three sacks in the preseason this summer.

Meanwhile, running back/return man Dantrell Savage was cut. He is a candidate to go to the practice squad.

Injuries piling up for the Chiefs

November, 9, 2008

Posted by's Bill Williamson

SAN DIEGO -- The Chiefs' delicate backfield took another hit.

Rookie running back Jamaal Charles, who had a 100-yard rushing game last week, is out with an ankle injury. His status to return is questionable. Expect the Chiefs to rely heavily on the passing game the rest of the game.

Dantrell Savage, primarily a returner, is the Chiefs tailback. Jackie Battle is the backup with Charles out. Charles was starting because Kolby Smith is out for the year with a knee injury and Larry Johnson is serving an NFL suspension for one game. Johnson was inactivated by the team for the last three games. He will likely return next week at home against New Orleans.

Kansas City middle linebacker Pat Thomas is out with a thigh injury. His return is questionable. He was replaced by Weston Dacus. Now, Kansas City is without four defensive starters: Thomas, outside linebacker Derrick Johnson, defensive end Turk McBride and cornerback Brandon Flowers.

Around the AFC West

October, 3, 2008

Posted by's Bill Williamson

Around the AFC West:


It's been a strange safety dance for the Broncos.

Matt Prater is excelling in a tough situation.

Kansas City

Some receivers are looking for some love in K.C.

The Chiefs have rallied around Dantrell Savage.

San Diego

Chris Chambers is headed back to Miami.

The Chargers are going Wildcat hunting.