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Chiefs coach Reid: tackle Albert ‘very eager’ to start practice next week

Updated: 2013-05-10T23:32:54Z

By ADAM TEICHER

The Kansas City Star

Left tackle Branden Albert has told the Chiefs he will join them in time for full-squad practice next week. Rookie Eric Fisher, selected by the Chiefs with the first overall pick in the NFL Draft last month, was at right tackle Friday for the beginning of a three-day rookie camp at the Truman Sports Complex practice facility.

“He’ll be in here Monday,’’ Chiefs coach Andy Reid said of Albert. “Branden will play the left side for right now and Eric will play the right side. I think that gives you two pretty good bookends right there. We also know we have Donald Stephenson, who is also a good football player.

“He’s very eager to get going. He’s very excited.’’

Following the conclusion of the rookie camp, the Chiefs resume full-squad practice on Tuesday.

After the sides were unable to agree on terms of a long-term contract, the Chiefs designated Albert as their franchise player, effectively preventing him from testing the free-agent market. Albert soon signed the Chiefs’ one-year contract offer worth $9.83 million, but has stayed away from the voluntary off-season conditioning program that began April 1.

He also was absent for last month’s full-squad mini-camp. Albert indicated in a television interview in April that he wanted assurances from the Chiefs that he wouldn’t be traded and that when he reported, he would play left tackle, his position since he joined the Chiefs in 2008 as a first-round draft pick.

Since then, the Chiefs were unable to complete a deal involving Albert with the Miami Dolphins and the trade market for him has disappeared. Reid also indicated last week that Albert would play left tackle would be reported for practice.

Two draft picks signed

The Chiefs agreed to contract terms with center Eric Kush and linebacker Mike Catapano. Kush, from California University of Pennsylvania, was a sixth-round pick while Catapano, from Princeton, was selected in the seventh round.

The Chiefs’ other six draft picks remained unsigned but they all participated in rookie camp.

Local players trying out

In addition to the eight draft picks and 13 rookie free agents signed after the draft, the Chiefs have 44 other players participating. Eight are first-year players under contract to the Chiefs: wide receivers Junior Hemingway and Tyler Shoemaker, tight end Kevin Brock, offensive linemen Steven Baker, Tommie Draheim, Dustin Waldron and Lucas Patterson and linebacker Chad Kilgore.

The others are players invited to camp without a contract on a trial basis. Among the names that are locally familiar: kickers Anthony Cantele of Kansas State and Trey Barrow of Missouri and quarterback Dayne Crist and running back Toben Opurum of Kansas.

Long snapper Andy Nelson played in college at Villanova but is from St. Joseph.

To reach Adam Teicher, call 816-234-4875 or send email to ateicher@kcstar.com. Follow him at twitter.com/adamteicher.

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