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Chiefs’ Tamba Hali has high expectations for 2014 season

07/24/2014 9:59 AM

07/24/2014 10:16 AM

Chiefs outside linebacker Tamba Hali reported for his ninth training camp on Wednesday afternoon, and the expectations are no different than the first eight.

“Our goals are set,” Hali said on the eve of Thursday’s first full-squad practice. “There’s only one goal we set … to get to the championship game. That’s our mind-set.”

The Chiefs’ 2013 season ended with a disappointing 45-44 loss at Indianapolis, and Hali said, “What happened in the past, you can’t do anything about it, we just have to build on it. Coming out here and working hard and listening to our coaches. They’re putting us in this position to have success again.”

Hali and fellow outside linebacker Justin Houston tied for the team lead with 11 sacks last season, and Hali was eager to resume working with Houston, a fellow Pro Bowler who sat out the entire off season in hopes of getting a contract extension.

“From what I hear, he’s going to be here,” Hali said. “We’re going to get it rocking again — Sack City. Whatever happened in the offseason, we put all of that behind us. He’s here to play football just like every other man. That’s our concern — get to that quarterback.”

Hali, 30, said he is as excited for this season as any he can remember.

“To keep doing it with one team, I can’t ask for any more,” Hali said. “It’s been a dream come true. I’m living the American Dream, as they say. Again, this is a business job and a production business. We have to get out there in the heat and get ready to win some football games.

“In two weeks, we’re going to play a (preseason) game. In a month, we’re going to be playing games that are going to count … ”

Hali and Houston also will be joined by first-round draft pick Dee Ford, who is expected to continue the Chiefs’ pass rush tradition.

“We’re going to have fun out here,” Hali said, “but at the end of the day, we all remember what happened in that playoff game. That’s what has to carry us, the rookies, the veterans … throughout the year.”

To reach Randy Covitz, call 816-234-4796 or send email to rcovitz@kcstar.com. Follow him on Twitter at @randycovitz.

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