Kansas City Chiefs

Chiefs continue nonstop changes in search of help

The dizzying pace of change accelerated Wednesday at Chiefs headquarters. They made one change in their starting lineup and filled two roster vacancies with available free agents.

Coach Todd Haley promised more of the same until the Chiefs find a better roster combination than the one that delivered them to an 0-3 start.

"We're in the process of shaping this team. It's critical that we understand and all the players understand and everybody really understands this is the beginning stages of the process,'' Haley said. "One thing that's going to be clear to the players is that there's going to be changes here as we try to improve and get better each week. They can't let it affect them in any way, shape or form other than to push them to be better each and every day they're in here and each and every Sunday.

"We've been clear with the guys about that. That's the way we'll continue to operate.''

The Chiefs promoted Ryan O'Callaghan, plucked off waivers from New England before the start of the regular season, to starter at right tackle, replacing Ikechuku Ndukwe. If O'Callaghan holds the job for Sunday's game against the Giants at Arrowhead Stadium, he will be the Chiefs' fourth starting right tackle since the start of training camp.

Ndukwe, the since-departed Damion McIntosh and practice squad player Barry Richardson are the others.

Haley didn't commit to O'Callaghan keeping the job for the Giants game.

"You can't hold me to what we're going to do on Sunday,'' he said. "It's going to be determined by how the guys practice.

"We'll look at the tape and see how everybody did.''

The Chiefs also signed linebacker David Herron and cornerback Mike Richardson. Both played for New England when Chiefs general manager Scott Pioli worked for the Patriots, though most of Herron's two-year career was with Minnesota.

The moves come a day after the Chiefs traded quarterback Tyler Thigpen to Miami, released linebacker Monty Beisel and cornerback Ricardo Colclough and signed tight end Leonard Pope.

Haley said Pope, who played for Haley with the Cardinals, has a chance to play against New York. Despite being 6 feet 8 and 264 pounds, Pope is more of a pass receiver than a blocker.

A part-time starter in his three seasons with Arizona, Pope's best season came in 2007 when he caught 23 passes, five for touchdowns.

"Leonard's a big guy who's real tough,'' Haley said. "He's fast. He can really stretch the field.''

Haley said the flurry of activity wasn't a reaction to the 34-14 loss in Philadelphia. The Eagles dominated the game from its opening moments.

"I don't think it was a knee-jerk reaction,'' Haley said. "It was guys we talked about to find ways to somehow get on our team. It's not going to stay the same. That will serve us well as we go forward and as we improve and continue finding the types of guys we need to go forward with.''

The Chiefs are trying to make a right tackle out of Ndukwe, who mostly played guard before coming to the Chiefs in an August trade with Miami. Since joining the starting lineup, he hasn't been the solution.

O'Callaghan made some starts for the Patriots at right tackle.

"I've been comfortable the last couple of weeks,'' O'Callaghan said. "It's just up to what the coaches want to do. If you're ready, it will show. If not, there's another guy waiting in line.''

Haley made it clear he won't hesitate to yank an unproductive player from the lineup. He also said he didn't agree with the theory the Chiefs needed to settle on the best five players for their struggling offensive line and let them work together.

"That's an easy way out,'' Haley said.

"He probably would have liked to play a lot more and had kind of been relegated to special teams,'' Haley said. "It just didn't work out. I love everything about Monty and how he works and prepares and what he brings to the team.''

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