Undrafted rookies audition in KC Print
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Friday, 02 May 2008 15:14
NFL Headline News

 KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -If only the national championship he won at Florida had made Chris Leak 4 inches taller.
Then maybe the 6-foot quarterback wouldn't have spent Friday in a cramped and stuffy indoor facility working out with about 70 other hopefuls, longshots and draft day also-rans.
Practicing in the morning and again in the afternoon, all were chasing the same dream. All were desperately trying to seize the moment, get their foot in the NFL door and win an invitation to the Kansas City Chiefs' training camp in July.
Many of the undrafted rookies paid their own expenses to Kansas City this week. After running about 80 plays on Friday, they had a third workout planned for Saturday. Then perhaps only a couple - if that many - will receive that precious invitation to take one more small step toward a possible NFL career.
``This is our Super Bowl,'' said Leak.
Clearly the shortest of the three yellow-shirted quarterbacks taking part in the two-day audition, Leak made some good throws and some not so good. Working with wide receivers he'd never seen before and who may not be as skilled as some of those he knew at Florida, Leak rifled one pass 40 yards into the hands of a receiver who was double-covered.
It would have looked great if the receiver had not dropped the ball.
``We all want to come out here and perform well,'' Leak said. ``The best thing you can do is just come out and try to have fun. That's the attitude you have to have. Go one play at a time and finish every play strong.''
Despite being named offensive MVP in Florida's 41-14 victory over Ohio State in the 2006 national championship game, Leak was not drafted. He signed with the Chicago Bears as a rookie free agent last year but was cut before the season. His next plan was to play in the All American Football League, but its inaugural season was postponed.
So here he was in Kansas City.
``Whatever happens, happens. I'll leave it in the Lord's hands,'' Leak said.
Not a single player being checked out was drafted, although 17 have contracts. But assistant coaches, said head coach Herm Edwards, were not even told which ones they were.
``I told these guys, 'We brought you here, we're the only team doing this, that actually has a camp where it's all rookies and no draft choices,''' said Edwards.
There's a reason Edwards made sure the 12 players the Chiefs drafted last week were far away.
``What coaches do is take them first and coach them the whole time,'' he said. ``They don't worry about the rest of the guys. This way, we just look at the players. They don't know who has contracts or not, which is even better.''
Leak was determined to stay cool and not be unnerved by anything. He refused to speculate on what his chances might be.
``I can't worry about that,'' he said. ``I'm just out here doing what I love to do and having fun. It's the NFL. They want the best guys on the field.''
The Chiefs already have four quarterbacks on their roster, including incumbent starter Brodie Croyle.
``Chris is a very talented kid,'' said Edwards. ``He always keeps his composure. And he did a good job throwing the ball. It's tough. You're throwing to guys you don't even know.
``We already have four. You wouldn't want to take more to camp,'' said Edwards. ``If we do that, if we decide to take a quarterback from here, we'd have to cut a guy. But that's why we bring guys in, to compete.''
As the young players trotted out of the indoor facility, Edwards told reporters that there had actually been a few who did catch his eye.
``There might be one or two who slipped through the cracks, that didn't get drafted and we didn't sign in free agency,'' he said. ``We'll see how they do tomorrow.''
 

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