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NFL's Chiefs set for 19th training camp at UW-RF

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The Kansas City Chiefs open their 19th Summer Training Camp at UW-River Falls this week with practices beginning Saturday at Ramer Field.

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Saturday will also be the team's annual Punt, Pass and Kick Competition, with registration beginning at 11 a.m. and the competition at noon. The free event is for boys and girls age 8-13. There are two divisions for girls -- age 8-10 and 11-13, and six divisions for boys -- age 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 and 13. Registration is also available online at www.uwrf.edu/chiefs/ppkform.htm.

Another annual highlight of camp will take place Saturday, Aug. 8, with Family Fun Day. The event gives fans a chance to get photos and autographs of Chiefs' players and coaches. Food and beverages will be sold, and there will be a wide range of other activities.

The Chiefs will sign autographs starting at 1:30 p.m., and a scheduled two-hour intra-squad scrimmage will start at 2 p.m. Admission is $7 for adults and free for children under 18. Gates open at 11 a.m.

On the days when the team practices only once, the practice will run from 2-4 p.m. During two-a-days, the team will practice from 9-11 a.m. and then again from 4:30-6:30 p.m. All practices, except Family Fun Day, are free and open to the public.

The Chiefs are coming off a 2008 season in which they posted their worst record ever -- 2-14. In response, the team will open training camp with a new general manager -- Scott Pioli, former vice president of player personnel with the New England Patriots, and a new head coach -- Todd Haley, former offensive coordinator of the NFC champion Arizona Cardinals.

Longtime fan favorite and perennial Pro Bowl tight end Tony Gonzalez was traded to the Atlanta Falcons during the offseason, and in his place will be a host of new faces looking to turn the team around.

Former Patriots quarterback Matt Cassel is the most high-profile newcomer while the defense features a trio of veteran linebackers -- Zach Thomas, Mike Vrabel and Monty Beisel -- who have 36 years of NFL experience between them. The Chiefs also brought in veteran safety Mike Brown, formerly of the Chicago Bears.

The team will break training camp on Thursday, Aug. 20, and on Friday, Aug. 21, the Chiefs have a pre-season matchup with the Minnesota Vikings at the Metrodome.

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