River Falls, Wisconsin—The Chiefs practice once on Friday and again on Saturday then it’s back to Kansas City for a Monday night game with the Rams. As they break camp, head coach Dick Vermeil isn’t as quick to praise his team’s performance as he was this time last year. When asked how he’d rate the 2004 training camp on a scale of 1-to-10, Vermeil said, “I have some reservations putting a 10 on it or a nine on it.” But it isn’t necessarily because he doesn’t think he has a talented team, he just says his expectations are higher than they were in 2004, “Last year at the end of training camp, I knew we were going to be better than an 8-8 team. Right now I can’t tell you were going to be better than a 13-3 team.” … Now the task of cutting the team down to a 53-man roster begins, which is never easy for any coach, but it’s probably even more difficult for Vermeil, who has a well-known affection for his players. One thing is for sure, according to Vermeil is that some talented football players in River Falls will be looking for work soon, “ If didn’t have a lot of good football players it’d be easy because you’d be cutting someone who can’t play….we’re going to cut some kids who can play in the league for someone else,” Vermeil said. One of the tougher cuts for Vermeil will be at kicker. Lawrence Tines, who, was cut by the Chiefs after the 2001 and 2002 training camps, is battling veteran Morten Andersen. Vermeil has indicated that one of them will be let go. Tines has the edge in kickoffs, but Vermeil said the ability to score points will weigh heaviest in the final decision, “Can you make the 48-yard field goal with no time left on the clock? That’s what it comes down to.” Andersen is 88 points and three games shy of passing George Blanda for the NFL record in both categories.
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