Kansas City Chiefs

Chiefs still out to improve

KANSAS CITY, Mo. —Eight Chiefs players gathered Tuesday for a throwing session at a Kansas City area high school. There was no doubt about the one in charge.

Matt Cassel, practicing in sunglasses and a ball cap turned backward, wasn't necessarily dressed for the part. But he was the one calling out orders, giving all the play calls, directing tr affic. Practice started when he arrived and concluded when he left.

"This," wide receiver Jeremy Horne said, stating the obvious, "is Matt's deal."

With the owner-imposed lockout firmly in place, the Chiefs are on their own for conditioning and practice. For three weeks, Cassel has organized local workouts for any interested Chiefs pla yers.

This morning, six players met at a local fitness center for a 2 1/2-hour conditioning session. Later, eight Chiefs, mostly offensive skill players, showed at a high school field for an hour-lo ng practice.

That's where Cassel took control. After a brief warm-up period, he immediately began calling plays from the Chiefs book and then giving imaginary defensive coverages.

"He's the quarterback, so he has to know what everybody is doing on every single play," Dexter McCluster said. "One thing I've learned: Matt knows what he's talking about."