Open For Business, NFL Camps

It is that time of the year, the hype is where it always is during the last of July and early August, at all the NFL training camps.  The fans who are the most excited are those fans who have MLB teams that are playing poorly and out of the playoff picture, like the Kansas City Royals.

Right now the Chiefs can’t do anything wrong, but then again they are only at training camp.  We see it around here every summer, the Royals are on track to loose a 100 games and the loyal sports fans jump ship and get on the NFL and Chiefs band wagon.

Now that the Chiefs are holding camp nearer to Kansas City, St Joesph MO, just 50 minutes north of down town.  The access to watch practice for Chiefs fans is much more available creating a stronger following and a air of excitement.

I think a lot of teams in the NFL have figured out, keeping their team close by is not only a good idea, but has become very profitable.  Just look at the fans showing up to see Payton Manning at the Bronco’s training camp in the Colorado, you don’t think they aren’t selling a truck load #18 Jerseys, wrong!

Even though the Olympics are going on, baseball is just past the halfway mark, NFL Football is getting the majority of attention from the media, at least around here they are.  Watching ESPN, there is a tremendous amount of NFL conversation and information being broadcasted on radio and television, not to mention on the internet.  You can’t hardly look online and not see something about Tebow and Sanchez.  That is getting old.

As a former player, I don’t get that excited about training camp or preseason.  Regular season is a different story.  Like millions of others, I am a huge fan of the NFL and can’t wait for the real games to begin, and yes I play fantasy football!

I am a sports fan, and even though NFL camps are open, I am watching as much of the Olympics as I can, great stuff with the exception of some of the NBC reporters.  Some are better than others and then there are a few who are an embarrassment to their profession, mainly in the swimming.

That is all for now, good luck to your team and go USA!

The Outdoor Quarterback.

2012 NFL Draft

So, how did your team do in this year NFL Draft? My team, the Kansas City Chiefs, did a really good job of filling needs with some outstanding combine workout standouts. Now if they can all translate their workout numbers to on the field results, I think the Chiefs have a real good chance of making the playoffs.

Last year the Chiefs lost several key players, our starting running back, Jamaal Charles, our starting free safety Eric Berry and our starting tight end Tony Moeaki.  All three of these player would have been game changers for the Chiefs and were out either from preseason injuries or from injuries suffered in the first two games.  These where all huge blows to the Chiefs organization.  Along with some internal issues with the head coach, it just wasn’t in the cards for the Chiefs in 2011.

With the 2012 draft choices and the return of key players and the off season moves and signings, the Chiefs may have the best team, on paper, going into the 2012 season.

We are all hoping that Dontari Poe, the Chiefs first round selection, is able to make the transition from college to the NFL as the coaching staff expects him to.  If he doesn’t, that will add to a long list of first round defensive line failures that included Junior Siavii, Ryan Sims, Tyson Jackson and to some degree Glenn Dorsey.  I think Glenn has done decent job at his position. He just hasn’t lived up to all the hype from his college days at LSU.  Let’s hope that Dontari Poe is the player we all think he can be.

Other teams that had great drafts, at least in my opinion, were the Steelers, Rams, Tampa Bay, Eagles and Patriots.  Only time will tell how good these teams did.

I hope your team lived up to your expectations in this years draft.

The Outdoor Quarterback

Manning Mania or Turkey Trott

The country is eaten up with Peyton Manning and where is he going to play. Being from the AFC West I hope it isn’t Denver but it is looking more and more like number 18 will be wearing another shade of blue, with a little orange. If that happens I think the AFC West will be a very powerful force in this upcoming season. San Diego is good and you can never rule them out. The Raiders always have great athletes with tremendous speed. I think Denver and Kansas City are the closest to having playoff ready teams, particularly if you add Manning to the mix. They have a strong defense and they can run the ball very effectively. They need some receiver help but overall they are very close. The Chiefs are almost in the same position, with the exception of the offensive line. The Chiefs need to bolster the offensive line. They need a tackle along with adding quality depth to the roster. We have very good receivers and with Jamal Charles back, the running game with help balance the offense. In both cases, Denver and the Chiefs, the running game will be a huge factor in how well Matt Cassel and Peyton Manning play this year.

With everyone being able to attend OTA’s (off season training activities) and the ability to work out with teammates, the 2012 season should be a very exciting. Just look at how well the 2011 season was played, with limited training camps, no contact with the rookies and free agents, it was impressive. I was shocked at how well the quarterbacks played with very little time and work with their receivers. Numbers should go up again in 2012.

Either it is talking about Manning or the Spring Turkey season. Seeing how football is months away and the Spring Turkey Season is, in some southern states, just days away, so thoughts and conversations are all about Turkeys.

Just got all my gear out, checking my calls and looking at the new things on the market that a hunter can add to his or her list of gadgets. What I have found over the years is that the person who can sit the longest and pay attention will still be the most successful taking one of the 4 or 5 species of the North American Thunder Chicken (Turkey)! My advice is get a really good pad to sit on, The butt can only take so much and it makes sitting by the tree a lot easier. The hunter with the most patience will always prevail.

Thanks for reading,

The Outdoor Quarterback

Locked Out

The NFL and the Players are at a crossroad and as a former player and someone who has an ongoing relationship with the Chiefs organization, I see, and somewhat understand, both sides of the issues, I am just not sure where its going and how quickly it is going to be resolved.

Of course as a former player I would love to see more attention payed to the benefits of the retired players, because one fact that does exist is that all the current players will, at some point in time, become retired NFL Players.  Those great medical benefits they now receive will no longer be available once their football careers are over.  If you played long enough to qualify for a pension then you most likely sustained many of the normal injuries that go along with the sport, shoulder, knee, back and head and sometime in the future, severe arthritic conditions.  If that is the case, these players along with thousands of retired players, will find and continue to find it very difficult to obtain medical insurance.  Insurance companies are just not willing to take on those preexisting conditions.

There are so many retired players who are suffering from major medical conditions who cannot get affordable insurance, if they can get any insurance at all.  Adding to that, most of them cannot go back to their former employers for workers compensation.  The facts are, most if not all of their disabilities came from their football careers.  The most disappointing part of this is, the NFLPA and the Pension have more than enough money to take care of every retired players medical insurance and their premium expenses.

It’s just my opinion, but addressing these issues will go a long way in securing a strong CBA and a much needed closer bond between the active players, the retired players and the Owners.

Now addressing the Lock Out by the owners.  It is simple, it is the money!  I can’t say that I blame them.  With the uncertainty of the CBA and with millions of dollars due for roster bonuses, restricted and unrestricted free agent player issues, it is difficult if not impossible for them to do business.  The owners need clarity in order to operate.

The problem I see is that in the last CBA the owners made a bad deal and they realize it.  Now they are trying to figure a way of turning the table around and restructuring the revenue splits.  Time will tell the story on that issue.  What I do think is that the addition of two regular season games is just a negotiating  ploy.  It isn’t a good idea, period and everyone knows it.

The next month or two are going to be very interesting.  The guys I feel sorry for are all the new drafted players who are wanting to get their new careers started, the coaches and all the support staffs for all the teams, they are all caught between a rock and a hard spot.

There isn’t much we can do as fans, just hope that sound and logical minds get this settled, and soon!

The Outdoor Quaterback

Super Bowl Wrap UP

Thank you all for following my blog, your comments are very rewarding and motivating.

Now on to the SB!  During my playing career I never had the opportunity to play in the Super Bowl, but had several teammates that did.  The obvious response from all of them was, without question, the single greatest memory they had in playing football, that comes from players who both won and lost.

Momentum is, in my opinion, the most critical thing you can have going for you entering the SB.  Of course being healthy is a huge factor, but look at the Packers this year, they had 13 players on injured reserve, some of them starters.  What they had going into this game was confidence and momentum.  The best example was Arron Rogers.  He was playing at a level, I don’t believe, that has previously been matched.  The Packers offense had incredible momentum coming off all their playoff games including the NFC Championship.  The offensive game plan was designed around Arron, they road the horse that got them there, plain and simple, end of story!

I keep thinking of all the passes he had dropped, no telling how many more yards he could have had or how many more touchdown passes he would have thrown.  It was a remarkable performance on the greatest stage, in front of the most viewers in the history of television!  That’s impressive.

We always hear, defense win championships, in this case they played a significant role, but from what I saw, it was all on the shoulders of Arron Rogers, he excepted it and performed like it was a Saturday practice.

Congratulations to all of you Cheese Heads, it was one of the best Super Bowls I have ever seen, and I have seen them all.  Unfortunately for many of us, I don’t think this will be the Packers last under Arron Rogers!

Something to remember in the future during the playoffs.  Whoever scores the second touchdown in the game wins 90% of the time.  It is amazing, but held true in all the playoff games I watched.  And yes, the Packers scored the second touchdown in the SB.

In my next blog I will talk about he CBA (Collective Barganing Agreement) and how it may affect the NFL.  I will also talk about the upcoming Spring Turkey Season and what you should be doing to prepare.

Thanks again!

The OutdoorQuarterBack

Best Time Of The Year

Thanks to all of you for your encouraging comments.  I will do my best to keep bringing you interesting and accurate information about subjects where I feel I have some unique perspective.

Saying that, it is my opinion that this is the best time of the entire year and here are my reasons.  The NFL is getting started, college football is off and running as well as your favorite High School.  Friday nights are full of electricity and all of the high schools are fired up for their games.  It brings back great memories from years ago.  I personally love college football.  There really isn’t anything more fun than heading to a college campus on game day.  Living on the Kansas and Missouri boarder, there is some real love and hate relationships when it comes to football, but one common bond is everyone around here hates Nebraska!  It is fun to watch and listen to all the fans and supporters talk about their schools.  What I like most is the energy and effort of the college players.  They play every down as if it were the key to them winning or loosing.  How about Boise State!  If they can get by Oregon St., they have a chance at the National Championship Game, pretty incredible!  Thank God for fantasy football!  It actually makes the NFL much more fun to watch.  I am lucky because we have the Chiefs right here in our backyard, plus I played for them, so I do have a rooting interest.  Many of you have to pick a team to follow or support because you don’t live in a city that has a NFL team.  Fantasy Football gets you involved and you actually are rooting for several players from multiple teams, it’s great.  I will say this about the Chiefs and Arrowhead Stadium, it is without a doubt the loudest stadium in the NFL, which makes it a true home field advantage.  I believe the Chiefs are going to be competitive, but are a year away from being a really good team.  Time will tell!

Next, and just as important, the fall hunting seasons are about to happen.  I am leaving for my archery elk hunt in Mew Mexico.  I get the same rush and feelings as if I were about to start a football game.  Not nervous just excited with anticipation of what is going to happen and what I will experience.  Dove season is open, early teal season is just a week away, and the first youth deer hunts will take place in a few days.  Some of the best fresh water fishing is just around the corner so don’t put the rod and reel away yet.  I am not sure it gets any better than a early morning weekend hunt or throwing a line in the water then an afternoon of football.

I am off to the mountains and hopefully I will have a few good stories about my hunt.

Hope your teams, HS, College or NFL all have good weeks and if you are in the woods or on the water be safe and enjoy the experience.

The OutdoorQuarterback

Are You Ready For Some Football & Tunning up for your Fall Hunts

The NFL preseason is about to kickoff and everyone around the Kansas City area is pretty pumped up.  The Chiefs have moved their training camp from River Falls, WI to St. Joesph, MO; just hair over an hour from Kansas City.  The move has really created some excitement around the area, from KS, MO, IA, NE and even OK.  I will be heading up to camp directly to see for myself.  Yes, going up to training camp always brings back memories, but anyone who says they miss training camp, practiced way too many times with their helmet off!  It is very hot and humid around here this time of the year and it makes for long and miserable practices.  Enough about the Chiefs, at least for now.

It looks like all but a couple of the first round draft selections are all signed and in camp.  That is good for everyone particularly the players.  Missing those first few days of training camp are almost impossible to replace or makeup.  You get so far behind in such a short time and for most of these young players the speed of the game just went from highway speed to NASCAR speed.   And when you are trying to learn an entire new system and compete for a spot on the team, every day is critical.  The best way to describe what is going on for them is that everything is a blur.  It is when they can slow that blur down to a speed they can successfully compete at, is when they will start seeing real progress and productivity.  Keep an eye on all the rookies and you will see what I mean.  One rookie I think will do well, is the Detroit Lions number one draft pick Nadamukon Suh the defensive tackle out of Nebraska.  He has a great motor, incredible work ethic and the drive and desire to play the game.  If he stays healthy, he will be a impact player for them.

Getting tuned up for the upcoming hunting seasons is a lot more enjoyable than going to training camp, no one is hitting me as I practice shooting my bow.  I can do my cardiovascular training without someone yelling at me and I can do it on my own schedule and at a pace I like.  The two key words here are, practice and do it!  Even if you are using a firearm, this is the time you should be out practicing.  If you are hunting out west, it is important that you shoot at long range.  If you become confident at 300 plus yards, your opportunities for success will significantly increase.  The same philosophy applies with a bow.  If you are hunting out west, practice at 50, 60 and 70 yards.  You will be surprised at how much better you are at 30 and 40 yards.  At least you will find out what your limits  are on taking and making an ethical shot.

Remember, if you can’t breath when it is time to take your shot, all that practicing will have been wasted, so make sure you get your conditioning in.  I have found that I enjoy my western hunts much more if I am able to handle the elevation I am hunting at.  A little work everyday will go a long ways.  One other suggestion, take a vigorous walk or jog long enough to get you breathing pretty hard and your heart pounding, then try shooting  your bow or firearm.  That should give you a good idea how much more training you need to do.  It’s not too late to start.  Good luck and using a couple of old football cliche’s , ” no pain no gain” and  “practice makes perfect”.

For now, the Outdoor Quarterback

MyOutdoors is now live!

I am happy to announce the launch of is a referral site for hunting outfitters and fishing guides and Captains for North America and soon for Mexico, Central and South America.  Then on to the rest of the hunting and fishing world, Africa, Australia, New Zealand and Europe.  If you are looking for a guide or outfitter MyOutdoors is where you will want to go.  Check it out and give me your thoughts, ideas or suggestions.

The Chiefs are out in the free agent market and seem to picking up some quality players.  Thomas Jones, running back from the Jets.  Thomas had over 1,400 yards rushing last year.  He will be a great addition to the Chiefs.  Over the weekend we resigned Casey Weigmann, who was the Chiefs starting center for 7 years and has been the starting center for the Broncos for the past two years.  One of those years he was selected to the Pro Bowl.  We also signed a run stopper in NT (nose tackle) Shaun Smith.  Another new face is WR (wide receiver) Jerheme Urban who played with the Cardinals and coach Todd Haley.  He will be a good addtion to the receiving core.  He has great size for a wide receiver. 

I like what the Chiefs are doing and I believe we will be looking for offensive linemen in the upcoming NFL Draft.

I will keep you posted.

The Outdoor Quaterback

Super Bowl Aftermath

As always, if you want to bet on a team, just pick opposite of what I predict!  Although I told everyone I was a Drew Brees fan because of his size, something we have in common.  It was a great game, maybe one of the very best and based on the information from the networks, the most watch program in history!  That says a great deal about the two teams and most important the quarterbacks, Brees and Manning.  They both played well.  The interception by the Saints was back breaker for the Colts.  I think everyone felt like it was a bad pass, but from my perspective, the receiver gave up on the route and left Manning out to dry.  In playoff games, the Super Bowl being the biggest, turnovers are magnified.  Normally both teams are strong defensively and to stay in these games the offense must minimize their turnovers.  The one in the Super Bowl was huge!  Over all, exciting and well played.  The onside kick to start the second half may have been the most unpredictable call in Super Bowl history, gutsy!  Congratulations Saints!

The Outdoor Quarterback

Super Bowl Week

OK it’s Super Bowl Week, the big game is this Sunday, have you made your plans!  I am sure most of you have picked your team, having played in the AFC most of my career I usually root for the AFC, in this case  I think the Colts are going to win.  The biggest reason is Peyton Manning.  He has been there before and won.  This is a tough week for the players, all the media attention and family and friends wanting stuff from you as well as your time.  All those distractions take away from your concentration and focus.  Peyton won’t let that happen.  His role in running the offense is so critical plus his involvement in the preparation of the game plan is vital, he can’t afford to be distracted.  He can lay that stuff off on his father and brother!  I will be honest, I am a Drew Brees fan.  He and I are about the same size and I love it when us shorter QB’s have success.  He is a competitor no question, but so is Peyton.  It should be a good game, less than 10 points.  I know that sounds like a lot, but these two offenses can put up some points, Colts 34 Saints 28.  I am heading to the game on Thursday and will give my thoughts on the game when I get back.

Still hunting a few geese, but starting my preperation for the the Spring Turkey season.  I have few Ducks Unlimited banquets to attend and one tureky banquet to go to.  These banquets are great opportunities to catch up on everyones hunting seasons and to raise money to support the organizations.  Also, you never know what you might win, or what items you may bid on.  The monies go to great causes, and normally the food is not bad, KC Barbaque, the best!!

Hope you enjoy the Super Bowl!

The Outdoor Quarterback